before i write the chegue,i gotta' ask all in the know:the sound difference between VSA DB-99 and Zu Definition????? i know by all reports these are very close in all repects like value and performance,but total different sound.i am leaning to the Zu side of the fence.cost is almost the same,so that's not a factor.the drive amp will be a VAC 30/30 Sig.3 [front end is Sonic Frontier--getting old but still works.]Zu said they can burn them for 14 days so the sound should be almost complete out of the box.what to do???????
VAC/Von Schweikert is a classic combination...run together at many
audio shows for years.

I know, you live in God's country where you can't audition the Von
Schweikerts, but isn't the cost of airfare and a hotel for one night a
worthwhile investment to make before dropping $10k on loudspeakers?

If the Definitions are the only speakers you can hear before you are
obligated to keep them, then you should avail yourself of that
opportunity. To not hear either before you buy is lunacy, IMO.

But, even the die hard Zu-ish have to agree that you owe it to yourself to
do what's necessary to hear both if they are the last two on your list.
2bigears, it would seem that you have a very high class problem. I own the Definitions as you know, but I have never heard the Schweikert. Would I prefer the Schweikert? Maybe? No interest in finding out, however. I may prefer more than just the Schweirkert to the Definitions. You have to trust your ears and what your prior listening experiences haave taught you. Here you can listen to a pair of $9k speakers (spring for their Ibis cables. Low volume resolution is amazing) with your rig and all your tunes in your crib for the price of shipping if you don't love 'em. If you're crazy about them after your 60 days? What do you need to know? That there may be something else you prefer? You got to let go of that. If you love them, keep them and enjoy your rig. Then get yourself an SET amp and you'll never look back...sweet, intimate and holographic--and as good as I have experienced.
thks guys,the boys at Zu said i could have a 4 month trial period,me being so far from market,that's pretty good,shows a lot of class.there is a relation between VAC and VSA for sure from what i hear.i guess the bad part is you have to buy new....you can't find these used,but they both sell very well if you are so inclined.a deciesion is eminent for sure.i know this is beating a dead horse,but it's a rather large thing!thks
there is a relation between VAC and VSA for sure from what i hear.i guess the bad part is you have to buy new....you can't find these used
Have you really not done any homework? There is a used pair of VSA DB-99 available right now on Audiogon, unless they've been sold and the seller hasn't updated the listing.
they went for 9300.and i have been kicking this around for some time.now that i have sold the 4jr's i really need some transducers bad?? thks
Take a plane to Vancouver or Montreal or Toronto and hear the Von

Otherwise, buy the Zu Definitions and be done.
Warren's right. You can drive yourself crazy worrying that there might be something better available or you can enjoy what you have. If you have to jump in cold on one of these speakers, I think it makes sense to choose the one that has a money back return policy. Even if you pay round trip freight on the Defs, it won't approach the price of an airplane seat and a hotel room. And where will you get the more complete audition, in your own room with your own gear for 60 days or during a couple of hours listening to completely different ancillaries in a strange place with a salesman yammering in your ear about what Miles Astor says?
Soon you'll be promoting Zu like the rest of us.
A 4-month trial period? In your own home? Why wouldn't you? And in the meantime, fly somewhere to hear the VS's. There is much more sonic commonality between the VR4Jr, Sr, & Gen III SE than there is in the DB-100's, IMO. So if the 99's are anything like the 100's, I would absolutely audition the 99's before laying down that much cash. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge...)
If you really want to know which one YOU'LL like better, then YOU must listen to both--period. At 10,000 dollars, it's absolutely mandatory, unless you're a multimillionaire.
I don't know if it is that important to know which speaker you prefer. It matters if what you are listening to, is satisfying your tympanics. Experience in this area is a major plus, since a long resume of listening experiences helps you know where you want to go and when you're there. I don't have to listen to one darn thing to know that I'm where I want to be. For now that is. And we all know how long that can be....Haven't had this much fun with a rig since my Magnaplanar Tympanic 1D days back in the late '70s.
in Canada,we have one dealer in the east,that's it.said it before and will repeat,we just don't have the shops.by all indication,from what i have read,i think the Zu's will work.it works out to 11k total,if not the real deal i will,must likely not--sent them back to Zu.i love used buying but in this case these never come up,or not all that frequently.can't wait,need speakers now!!must buy,must try!!if anyone in stereo land wants to sell me their used Def's please call.any bets i buy new??
Here's an idea, Db-99's come up used once in awhile, as Tvad pointed out. Buy a used pair, then order an audition pair of Definition's from Zu, so you would have them both in your home at the same time, with plenty of time to audition both and decide which you like better with your system, and in your room. You would have no additional cash outlay since you would only pay for the Db-99's up front. If you like the Db-99's better, simply send the Zu Definition's back, if you like the Zu Definition's better, you have a couple of months to sell the Db-99's before paying for the Zu's. If history is any indication, the Db-99's should not take long to sell at a fair price.
i thought you had to pay for the Zu's up front.i never asked them,i just took for granted you paid up front?? my plan is the same as you just laid out,except for the 99 part.
You do have to pay for the Zu's up front but you can use a credit card to delay payment a while.
As you noticed, there are NEVER any Zu Definitions for sale used. This means two things to you. First, they should be a very quick resale and second, they should fetch a very high percentage of new price when sold used.
I also want to note that they are not resold or returned because they are so good. The Db-99 is frequently resold according to the above poster and there may be a similar conclusion drawn from that fact.
i hear ya jack,conclusions can be drawn,i think i will bite on the Defs.all that's left is the deal.you know what that means also?? no more dump speaker questions from me.dam amateurs,it was nice a few of you helped me along to what i think and hope was a good descision,let the music play-on!!
04-25-06: Macrojack
As you noticed, there are NEVER any Zu Definitions for sale used.
To be fair, this also could also mean that people who audition them keep them, or that people who audition them return them.

Both scenarios are possible explanations for why Zu speakers do not appear as often for sale as other gear that is not offered with a return policy. The return policy certainly reduces the chances for a regretted purchase.

The Db-99 is frequently resold according to the above poster and there may be a similar conclusion drawn from that fact.
The above poster said DB-99 come up used "once in a while". He did not say they come up used frequently. Personally, I've been watching for DB-99 for quite some time, and I don't recall that many offered here.

Furthermore, there are myriad reasons why gear is sold, and one cannot assume the reason anything is sold is because the owner didn't like them.

Sorry about that, I wasn't thinking about having to pay up front for the Zu's (duh, brain fart!). However, if you have the cash flow to front both pairs, having both in your own room for direct comparison would be the best way to audition, and whichever you choose you should get all or most of your money back on the one you don't keep. Regarding the VSA Db-99's being frequently resold, my comment was "once in awhile." In fact, when looking them up in the A'gon blue book, there was "not enough date to graph," which indicates they haven't come up for sale too often. I have heard good things about both speakers, so please let us know what you think if you can do a direct comparision.
I have yet to hear on the 'gon, AA, anywhere, an audiophool who has been unhappy with the Definition 1.5s and returned them. Have you? Any out there who has returned their Definitions because you weren't happy? Hey, I'm sure it will happen, but, IMHO, it will be a rarity
I'll concede all your points. My statement was a bit too spontaneous.
I'm a Zu owner, however, so I know which way to bet on this one.
By the way, you'll notice the reason for the recent sale of the DB-99 was the conversion of the owners' listening room into a nursery for their new baby.

He said the DB-99 were the finest speakers he had ever heard. 'Course we don't know if he had ever heard the Definitions. :)
If your going to plop down $10K for a speaker, you might wanna check the new Calypso from GMA:
I'm a Zu owner, however, so I know which way to
bet on this one.
Macrojack (Reviews | Threads | Answers)

Macrojack, I respect your opinion and your enthusiastic endorsement of Zu Audio loudspeakers. Are you still using the Melody SP-3/Druid combo, or have you changed to the Definitions?

Surely, you must agree that is reasonable for someone shopping for new
loudspeakers do whatever is necessary to ensure they have all the
information available to make a decision that is right for them, including
hearing the products?

I am neither pro-Von Schweikert nor anti-Zu. I am in favor of an
informed decision as I suspect are you.
I still have Druids. I've tried repeatedly to convince myself to upgrade to the Defs and so far it's been a no go. Last week I took delivery of Zu's new Mini Method sub and I'm wondering if I even needed that. The Druid is pretty complete by itself. I'm going to keep the sub for my 2 channel movie watching but it is not so necessary with music.
Yes, I still use the SP-3 with my Druids but I alternate another combo that works rather well. Today I have a Pass Aleph 30 and an Eastern Electric Mini Max preamp driving them. I think the latter combo has somewhat higher resolution but there is something about the SP-3 that is very hard to abandon - and surprisingly the bass is pretty equal. That fact really surprised me.
As for waiting to see what else Zu will make in the future, why? Are you going to walk until you are convinced that Ford or Toyota or whoever has finalized the automobile.
You remind me of myself not buying a computer until fairly late in its development because I noticed that they got bigger and better and cheaper every year. While I was making up my mind, everybody else was benefitting from computer use and I was on the sidelines strategizing. Well, I've had a computer now for 7 years, in fact I've bought 5 of them now, and nothing has changed at all. They still get bigger and better and cheaper every year but at least now I can participate.
You all sound like kids at the candy counter with just one nickel. It ain't that hard to make up your mind. Furthermore I will say that I have bought probably 40 or 50 pairs of speakers in my time and never really regretted any of them.
The reason people rave about Zu is simple. Don't complicate it.
As for waiting to see what else Zu will make in
the future, why?
I am quite satisfied with my
present loudspeakers, and I am not in the market, but I will address your

The Druids don't satisfy my requirement for full range loudspeakers. The
Definitions are beyond my budget, and they work best in larger rooms
according to comments made by reviewers and users. My room is fairly
small. I suspect there are plenty of potential customers who have similar

There's nothing wrong with making an informed decision. You have
enjoyed your journey through 40-50 pairs of loudspeakers, but that
doesn't make your method best for everyone.
Macrojack: As for waiting to see what else Zu will make in the future, why? Are you going to walk until you are convinced that Ford or Toyota or whoever has finalized the automobile.

I can only explain how I feel, each person must decide for himself.

Your analogy would be on the mark if somebody was listening to a clock radio, and waiting for Zu or whoever to come with a perfect speaker. However, most of us already have a speaker that we love, that we found after much search. We know we will upgrade someday and are always looking at potential candidates but it is not like we don't have good or even great speakers.

To come to your analogy, I already have a Camry or Lexus or BMW or whatever each of us can afford. Prius is impressive new technology but I think it will mostly be a sideways move for me and anyway I hear Toyota and others are about to come out with new hybrid models. So I decide to wait and enjoy my present car a little more.

I don't know if this makes sense to others, but that is how I feel.
2bigears - I don't think there's a bad choice here. Of course you know where my vote falls, but I haven't heard the other. Owners of those would probably endorse theirs to the exclusion of all others too.

Have any Def. owners returned theirs because they weren't happy with them? Well, I had the Druids and traded them for the Def's. I really liked the Druids but suddenly had cash to burn. Then I traded the Def's for Def. Pros. Was I unhappy with the standard model? No, but I was looking for the last 5% of low bass which the standard Def's did not do in my room. They were flat to 30 hz in my biggish room, and dropped quickly from there. I haven't heard any other Def. owners complaining at all about bass and I suspect my highly perforated room is unusually hungry in the low frequencies.

Most people would be very happy with this, but my musical diet includes hip hop and electronica which contain significant energy below 30 hz. Unwilling to trade the strengths of the Def's for a whole, new direction the Pro upgrade was natural.

Zu's approach with the Pro's is to let the main drivers run to their natural rolloff at around 40 hz. This figure is actually around 50 hz in my room. So, I'm using the TacT 2.2XP to cross over between 50 hz and 65 hz, depending on material.

Going this route is a little more intensive, as the sub drivers in the Pro's are actually pro models with significantly more output potential, though their inherent response is uneven. Unequalized, they run to 1 khz, so EQ and XO for the subs are mandatory.

Why the longwinded story? To share the primary weakness I personally had with the stock Definitions. Again, most listeners wouldn't have this problem. But if you're like me, going straight to the Pro's, even with the start-up baggage, would be worthwhile.

The upside is that the system I've got going (shameless plug) can do anything, given sufficient space. Girl-with-guitar is portrayed with tearjerking beauty, Snoop Dogg will shake the entire house, Miles Davis will be brought back to life, Drum Planet will blow your freakin' mind, and 2 watts via 45 SET amplification is PLENTY to do any of this at any sane volume. No kidding.

This rig is without any meaningful limitation. If you don't need the last 5% of bass extension, the standard Def's will do the same.
I haven't returned my Definitions nor do I plan to. I will probably go to the Pro version down the road. Great speaker; very musically satifying.
Just received Zu Definition Pro speakers a couple of days ago. They got the standard factory burn-in but I am sure they are not broken in fully as yet. Performance fresh out of the box is unprecedented. I thought my Druids represented an extreme in resolution but these are very clearly better. Zu has rewritten the book with this product.
Ask for opinions all you want, remember its only a opinion, which does not make it truth.
I know from reading all the stuff written about the Spendor 8 to be a bunch of bunk. And that is the truth, not an opinion.
Bartokfan, If your above post is a joke and I missed it- my fault. I've never heard the Spendors, but for all of those who own and love them, what qualifies you to be the absolute truth in proclaiming they are "bunk"? Maybe you should read the first sentence of your post again--that seems to be more the truth.
06-30-06: Bartokfan
Ask for opinions all you want, remember its only a opinion, which does not make it truth. I know from reading all the stuff written about the Spendor 8 to be a bunch of bunk. And that is the truth, not an opinion.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
Microjack, your Definitions are a long way from break in. I don't have the Pros, but you still have 12 10 inch woofers there. Enjoy those babies. I don't think you will be disappointed...looking forward to hearing your impressions: now, in 3 months, in 6. The Definitions are like a fine bordeaux over time. warren :)
ok here we go,now have the defs fed by the VAC 30/30 sig mk3,the player is direct to the amp and is the opus 21 modded by GNS.the speaker cables are Zu Ibus and interc to the amp is Discovery sig. the Zu guys did put 320 hrs on the speakers but they still sound better with each listen.my room sucks shit so work to be done there,13 by 18 with open beam ceiling at 8 feet.i think i will keep the Zu's as they sound freaking phenomenal so far,with room treatment i can't think what they will do.those boys are up to good things at Zu.to the guys with the def's,what are you runnin' for amps,just curious as i think the little vac is a gem,will a SET do better?? more to come,summer is for outside.
I know you guys are using tube type amps, but I am running my Def's with an Integra Research RDA-7 (Made by B.A.T.) with excellent results. 150 WPC.

2bigears, This is long and my journey,
Room treatment advances everything with these speakers or any, I just finally got to put bass traps hanging over them last week, HUGE difference with highs that made the tweeter nearly dissapear, now yes they are bass traps but positioned so the first reflection from the front drivers is dead, and they hang 4" down so the back still does its original intention of trapping(they are Hemholtz type), and Really re-directed the bass to the center of the room instead of losing all the feel into the corners.. By the way I did not stop there, I had to have more after the breakthru, not only did the Volume gain go way up with the studio panels above the speakers but everything is cleaner and more sensitive, so I had a hanging 8ft long rug very nice in another room and moved it on the wall with my right speaker killing its first reflection, Again huge gains in energy directed at the listening position and much more smooth rather than sporadic music all over the place...

Well then I said screw it gotta have more! So I have a large bank of windows next to the left speaker, well it already has some expensive large verticle blinds over them, but I went and found some real nice realitivley heavy fabric Drapes to go over them, Damn now the balance and bass in the soundstage was like dead on and eminating from the center of the room instead of so much behind the speaker, and again further advanced the imaging and smooth highs.. By imaging I mean the voice now comes from about 2.5 ft off the backwall center and you would not even know the speakers are running, the sound completley has moved into the air and made them dissapear phantom style...

Finally I had a custom 9 ft X 6 ft rug put together this week too, and threw it right in front and between the speakers with the 9 ft length of course being horizontal in the room cause the speakers are roughly about 8ft apart, now we treated all surfaces with great clarity and bass room load is very apparent. So I have learned the backward way that yep you spend 9 g's on speakers you better have a room resonably up to the task, otherwise everything will sound very messy, and this was true with my other 3 pairs of speakers I had in this room before the Zu's, but the Zu's came much closer without as much hassle cause they just overpowered some issues, but then they also overpowered the room.

I now have experienced the absolute power of the room, it is the most important and might make any speaker fully enjoyable, I plan to go into a dedicated space in the future with diffusion panels and corner traps etc.. but for now this is as good as it gets, but I have a real bad hall right behind my left speaker that losses a ton of bass and balance on me but you would never know, so once I get a full wall I know the re-enforcment will be ludacris. You can actually walk behind my right speaker and tell its about 9 db better bass load than the left, but not that noticeable sitting in the listening position. Also, all this fires directly into a 20 ft room right into the kitchen which just bounces everything around behind the seating. Also, I found the distance of this speaker with the rear firing drivers is absolutley crucial in getting the best, I have to have minimum of 40" which really snaps things into place with higher output and eliminates the excessive boom factor reflecting off the backwall. Angle and distance apart will be critical as well, I found in my room everything is smooth as glass at about speaker distance 98" apart and with a 2" toe in on each speaker, very Warm and fuzzy sound, like a mcintosh amp or tubes running with vinyl. It took me about 25 different positions over the last 4 months to find the optimal for my space, but it makes a difference.
At 18 watts per, my SET doesn't make my ears bleed, but manoman, what a holographic, palpable feast of sound. That coupled with a great front end: I'm there, finally...There's no going back to ss, for this audiophool.
Warrenh,what do you run for a set.i may look into that soon just for the fun of it.these speakers are made for this.would like to compare the set to the vac.Undertow,where do you get the traps,how many do you need in a room and where do you place them mostly??sounds like you have the room dialed.i put on A3 the other day and i have never been bathed in better bass,simply the smoothest bass i have ever heard. can't see it getting any better,it was soooo cooool.where do you learn room treatment,or who do you call???? thks
2bigears, you can get 2 pretty cheap 4 foot by 2 foot traps that are 4" thick from Gikacoustics.com.. they are basic but most effective, but if not done up right very ugly. They are cheap though and use the whole corning fiberglass formula and the acoustic fabric all the room treatment costly companies use. These are designed to hang from celings and go kitty corner in the corners just as well, they are tuff to hang and get set though, best thing is to call them. Also, a big company that does more stuff but is a lot more money is the realtraps.com which are very popular and on their website many examples and formulas are given with pictures, honestly the smaller the room the more acoustic treatment in general you need due to the overall boundaries causing havoc on your speakers response, but bigger rooms can take care of a lot themselves due to the large amounts of air and space from sidewalls and things.. its all dependent and important in different ways to different rooms, depending on many factors including how high the ceilings are, and what kinda floors, and how many doors, windows, corners, etc... Rivesaudio.com is the a company that can develope entire room systems using several companies and these devices to completley tune your room probably within 95% of perfection, however super expensive just to get the consultation from them with no products or labor being bought even. I simply took the overall formulas that I see people use and are given by these companies and made some common sense judgements to get things somewhat dialed in much better... I would say I am about 60% good on the room but can get about 90% once I get a dedicated somewhat sealed off space, with many more corner wedges, traps, diffusors etc... Good luck, just remember a studio pays thousands to treat a sound room with good reason, there are huge advances, so someone can say "So and So studio uses these speakers" and now I can say so what, cause yeah they are probably very good but sound that way cause there are very excellent monitoring / mastering rooms they are setup in.
thks Undertow.things to think about,get ready for the cold weather and warm music.
I'm driving my Def Pros with a Red Wine Clari-T on top and a Pass Aleph 30 on the woofers. Very nice. Yesterday I ordered Vinnie's Signature 30 amp which I expect to be a giant improvement. Apparently I'm not the only one who knows about this new unit. It's only been available for a few weeks and there is already a waiting list.
As for your VAC amp, I'd have to guess it is pretty near the ideal product to be driving Definitions. I have no experience with it myself but I can recall universal rave reviews running for years on that amp with the only limitation being power output which should certainly not be a problem with your new speakers. Congratulations.