Question about ZU speakers

Hi! I´m from Portugal.This is my first post here...
I´m considerind to take the risk and buying the Zu Definition MK1.5. But since there are no Zu delear here in Portugal I want to ear your opinion about them!
My interest on them started after read the review of Mr Ebaen from 6moons. I remember that he compared the Definition with the Avantgarde Duo that he owned...
I listen to the Acantgards (second hand opportunity) last month and I loved the sound. I didn´t bought them only for 2 reasons: the bottom end was not very tight and didn´t integrated very well with the rest of the bandwith and I think I would have space problem with them at my living room (4x7 meter).

So any of the owners here compared the Zu definition with the DUO's?
Do you think the Def Pro are fare better option than the Def MK1.5?
Anyone tested the Druids with 2 subwoofer againts the Definition's? What do you think it would be better?

I need also to buy 2 power amps to drive them. I notice that most Zu owners use yamamoto's and audiopax amps but this brand aren´t available here in Portugal. What you think about pairing them with Bel Canto M300 or Monarchy SM70pro(one Monarchy for each Zu)? My budget for the power amps is around 3000 usd and I´m open to other options...

My other options are B&W 802D and Pioneer S-1EX (with TAD drivers) both amplified with Bel Canto REF1000...Do you think they will beat the Zu's? Anyone eard the Pioner S-1EX?

The rest of my gear is Bel Canto PL-1A (universal player), Tag Mclaren AV32R DP (AV processor), speaker cable Audioquest Vulcano and IC are Acoustic Zen Matrix II.

This speakers/amps are for my AV/stereo system which i´m starting to built. But my primary goal is to have very good stereo reproduction!
Thank you for your help
Best regards

PS: sorry if are any mistakes on the text
Hi Miguel, there are practically no Zu dealers in the USA too. You should try to find someone relatively nearby (well, traveling distance within Europe) who owns the speaker and request an audition. If you contact Zu, maybe they can help you locate such owners. Good luck.
Miguel, I'm sorry that you are not getting any repsonses. I'm not surprised, however. It is very difficult to find audiophools who have ab'd the exact equipment you are interested in, and with exactly the same components. Zu, being the new kid on the block, makes your questions very difficult. There aren't a heap of Definition/Pro owners out there. And with the listening experiences with the equipment you mentioned? I don't think so... I own the Definition 1.5s. The bass is more than I ever imagineded. Prodigious, visceral with oodles of air movement. That's with 18wpc SE. No comparison with the Def Pros, but I believe those who have had the Def 1.5s and moved to the Pros, did so for personal bass requirements that were not in the realm of the Defs. I have not heard a negative thing about the Pros. I have owned the Defs, not even a year, and they continue to gently age, reveal things that I have never heard on a cd before, and mate beautifully with tubes. Particulary SET, which is my new addiction. I would like to think that you won't be disappointed with the Definition 1.5s. Shipping must be a bear to and from Portugal, should you want to return them. I have heard less than stunning reviews concerning the Druids. The Definitions, from every owner I have heard from, have delivered the sonic goods. Hopefully my thread will inspire other Zuish audiophools to help you out. peace, warren :)
There is a ZU thread here. Look it up. There are equal pros and cons on the speaker,. Type in zu, and look in discussions. It should be 4 or 5 pages back.
Read between the lines of the post.
Watch for hype.
Hopefully audiogon will allow this post to go through
Nice day
Baton Rouge
There are Zu dealers in Europe. In the United States, all sales are factory direct. Go to for dealer locations.
I started with a pair of Druids and was very happy with their performance for music. The bass response justifies calling them full range speakers. My system is a 2 channel home theater, however, so I added one MiniMethod sub and found that to be ample for movies. I'm sure two subs would be better but I elected to upgrade to Definition Pros instead. With this speaker I have the equal of anything on the market today that will fit in a normal listening room and cost less than a new Mercedes. The bass is excellent, the dynamics electrifying and the resolution is among the best. The Definition is a fun speaker and the Pro version offers the option of choosing your own preferred bass amplification, higher quality woofers and the ability to custom contour your subwoofer reponse to the room.
Jim Smith, the man who introduced Avantgarde speakers to the U.S. market, has surrendered his franchise with them to become a Zu representative. As you know, Srajan felt that the Druids, by themselves, replaced his Avantgarde Duos with no real compromise of performance. When he moved to the Definition 1.5, he realized increased bass response and higher resolution than the already excellent Druids had provided. Then he accepted an offer to upgrade to the Definition Pro and has stayed there for about a year despite his ready access to virtually any other speaker manufactured today. I'm sorry I can't provide more in the way of actual head to head comparison.
In answer to your question about amplification, I get excellent results using a Red Wine Audio Signature 30 amplifier for the front drivers and an old NAD 2200 amplifier for the woofers. As you probably already know, the response below 50 hz can be infinitely shaped by the Rane PEQ 55 which ZU sells with the Def Pros.
The Red Wine Audio Signature 30 has been reviewed by Srajan and I know it is available with a battery charger that will operate on European current.
No one ever faults the Zu performance but some people find it difficult to get used to the sound of no crossover.
Good luck with your search. I don't mind if you contact me with additional questions. Srajan has always made time to talk with me and probably would do so for you, and Zu is known far and wide for being as helpful as they can be.
My room is 4.6 meters by 6.77 meters.
Having not heard the Druids, Definitions, and Tones your advice to "read between the lines" is simply disingenuous, baseless, and without merit.

Thank you.
Thank you very much for your comments!
The nearest dealer is in Barcelona-Spain(which is 1000 miles from my location). I already spoke with the ZU staff(very friendly personal) and with the dealer. I intended to do a demo at my living room with my gear but this would be too much expensive if I didn´t want to keep them because I would to pay all shiping costs. So I´m now considering catch a flight and go to Barcelona! But I still have to gather more info about them in order to confirm their performance...
I read all the threads here and on Audiasylum regarding Zu Definition. There are people who love them and others that simply hate them...They seem to have a lack to impress people at the Shows but I read some post of owners that are very happy with them. Hope you understand my confusio with this speaker!
But I want also to know about comparison with Zu definition vs Avantgard DUo since that was who grab my attention on the 6moons review and I read somewhere that previuos Duos owners changed to Definitions.

To be honest on the beggining I only planned to ear B&W 802D and the Pioneer S-1EX but when I read the review of Mr Ebaen I went to look more info about them and after demo the avantgarde Duo I put this on my list...

Any recommendation about the amps for the Definitions?

Anyone eard the Pioneer S-1EX? They seam to be a very good speaker.. Certainly with different sound when compared with the Zu´s but the specs are interesting and are a lot of good reports about their performance with the Bel canto ref 1000 at the shows. I´m planning to make a demo of this two after moving to my new house!
The Pio here in Portugal are half the price of the B&W 802D...

Thank you very much for you comments
The poster specifically asked for input from people who own, have heard or have compared Zu. You admit that you are not qualified to respond on any of these counts and yet you insert cautions every time a Zu thread appears. Why? What are your reasons for commenting? Are you afraid that Zu poses a threat to the value of your Tyler stock?
I'm using my Pro's with a Yamamoto A-08s 45 SET amp currently. I have ordered Red Wine Audio Signature 70 monos also which will be here the week after next. I'm using an old Hafler 220 for the subs, to great effect.

The "brain" of my rig is a TacT 2.2XP. Playing around with it, I fully believe this combination (with a good DAC) would satisfy just about any audiophile on the planet.

There have been negative comments about the Definitions, though no direct problems I've heard from owners. Generally, these are attributed to "virgin ears" who don't "get" the non-XO'd sound. To some degree, I think this is correct. I had a fellow over who admitted after our session that it took him a half hour to adapt. Some people connect immediately, others never do. This is a primary concern in the "store audition", as well as a quick visit to an owner's home.

I've owned homebuilt single driver speakers, the Druids, the Definition 1.5's and Pro's. They're all excellent if you like their sound and get better up the ladder. The Definition 1.5's carry the tone of Druids even further while adding significant bass extension, though I was never able to get enough bass pressure out of them. Keep in mind I have rap, dance music, and metal in the rotation.

The plate amp in the 1.5's has been blamed for the difference between 1.5's and Pro's. I have no doubt this is a factor. For me, with the TacT, I set the crossover higher than the 1.5's, running the XO with shallow slopes at around 65 hz. This allows the mains to run lower and the subs to run higher, which permits incredible, unidentifiable blending between the main and sub arrays. With steeper slopes, bass presence was very strong, but with an easily identifiable handoff between the mains and subs.

Even with the Pro's I always thought there was a midrange-treble area that could get overstimulated with some music, maybe 1 khz-3 khz. Mostly, distorted guitar music would accentuate this area. I always thought it was an unaddressed byproduct of the wideband drivers with their whizzers. I was willing to live with it because the other 95% of the music I listen to is splendidly portrayed. Every speaker has its compromises, right?

This lively presence in the midband is also one of the reasons these speakers are so gripping in the midrange.

Recently, I was playing with the TacT and dialed down the response in the area I thought was to blame. The short story is these things sound great playing rock now. With this depression, they also sound closer to more-conventional speakers.

So, I think the Definitions' verve through the presence band is another reason some people don't love them.
Bartokfan, equal pros and cons? News to me, especially with the Definition 1.5s. You haven't heard any of the Zus? Shame on you for that gratuitous post....
I can definitely recommend the Red Wine Signature 30, and I'm sure the Signature 70 is even better. My speakers aren't the Zu's (I have Bastanis Prometheus MKI), but they're similar in design approach and they sound absolutely amazing driven by the Sig 30. It's a wonderfully involving sound that I'm absolutely thrilled with and my amp only has a few dozen hours on it so far.

Anyway I'd definitely suggest you go to Barcelona to check out the Zu's, it's easy to get to from Portugal and besides it's one of the best cities in the world :). I flew Vueling from Lisboa to Barcelona last year and I think the total round trip cost was less than a hundred euros. Much cheaper than shipping would be for a demo pair.

I heard both the Pioneer S-1EX with Bel Canto REF1000 and Zu Definitions at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. The Zu's were run with low power tubes for the highs and a crown pro amp (if I remember correctly) for the bass. I can say that I preferred the Pioneer/Bel Canto combination. The high frequencies from the Zu's seemed unnaturally harsh and metallic for my tastes. 15-20 min was about all I could take at a time from the Zu's at the show and I went back several times to see if maybe the system just needed to break in a bit. Some of that may be attributed to show setup in a hotel room. The Pioneer setup sounded much more relaxed and musical. Two very different speakers with very different tweeter technologies. Your choice will depend on your individual musical tastes. I agree that you really need to listen to the Zu's before you buy. They sounded very different from what I expected.
I understand Zu has always had trouble with their setups at shows. I assure you this has no bearing on how they sound at my house. Multi-hour sessions are common, with no fatigue.
Hello! It wasn´t my intention to cause any dispute with this thread! I´ve seen in other threads that is very common to see certain type of posts related to Zu´s speakers.
Since I´ve been used to live on a democracy I cannot stop people to post here and this isn´t my intention. I want to gather all the info I can with this thread... So comments coming from people who really eard Zu´s and Pioneers are very welcome here. Hope you won´t misunderstood my words...

Said that... in fact is my intention to fly to Barcelona because I receive just now the quotes and if I don´t keep the Zu´s I´ve to pay around 1500 USD for the shiping and insurance costs of Zu Def Mk1.5, Zu Tone, 3 monarchy amps!So it would be more cheaper to catch the flight.( In fact like Gary said Vueling as a cheap flight from Lisbon to Barcelona. Thank you very much for your advice!)
I´ve also asked quotes for the ZU Tones. I´m thinking on using them as rear channel. Anyone with this set-up?
What you reccomend to use as central channel?

The DEF PRO it would be great but I think if I go with the MK1.5 I don´t need to spend more money on the amps and Rane EQ system only to earn more control on the bass and a more easy integration with the room. Don´t you agree that this are the main differences? Besides the dealer does´t have any DEF PRO to demo...

Regarding the amps I went to look the Red Wine Sig and they seem to have very good feedback! I also looked in the SIG 70 and I think I prefer this one but I would be happier with each one of those...I listen mainly pop rock, jazz and starting to buy some classic music. Do you think Zu´s are good performers for this type of music. Do you think with SET amps they will have the energy and the fast pace to play pop rock?
The dealer recommend the Monarchy SM70Pro power amps (one for each speaker) for the Zu´s. He said they will be enough and have plenty of power to deal easily with them. Any experiences with this powers and Zu´s or with the powers with other set-ups?
What is the price of the the yamamoto´s? They will be enough for the MK1.5?

Anymore experiences with Pioneer S-1EX?

Thank you very much for your comments about ZU and Pioneer Speakers
Kind Regards
I have NEVER heard a rave about any Zu speaker at a show. NEVER. Considering the rooms at these shows, it is not surprising. It's a crying shame audiophools cannot hear what I hear in my crib. Isn't that what matters? It's hard to be motivated to purchase a Zu speaker, or any speaker, in fact, when they don't audition well at a show. Zu has such a great money back guarantee, that it may be worth the trial, given Zu owners wonderful home listening experiences. Myself included.
I have a full Zu 5.1 home theater setup. The Definitions up front, a custom Druid center, custom Druid rear effect speakers (just the top 1/3 of the speaker with mounts for wall placement), and the Original Zu sub.

If you need a center or rears, call the Zu guys and ask what can be done for your specific situation.

Hi Ton1313!

It seems a good idea to use a adapted Druid or Tone for central channel. The drivers of Tone are the same of the Druids correct?
Since the Tone are cheaper than the Druids maybe is better to keep the Tone for rear or central channel...
But I will send an email to Zu asking about this.

Can you talk about a litle more about the performance of your system and the rest of components! I would be highly appreciated!

Thanks Miguel
Miguelcarvalho: The nearest dealer is in Barcelona-Spain (which is 1000 miles from my location). I already spoke with the ZU staff(very friendly personal) and with the dealer. I intended to do a demo at my living room with my gear but this would be too much expensive if I didn´t want to keep them because I would to pay all shiping costs. So I´m now considering catch a flight and go to Barcelona!

Good idea. However, it still can't hurt to inquire if any persons (just owners, not dealers) have Zu's near you, so you might be able to arrange a visit to them for a listen.

Don't pay any attention to "controversy" that Zu-related threads almost spontaneously give rise to. Special circumstances, history, personalities. If you ignore that, you can get useful information and advice. After that, it's your ears, your tastes, your money, your decision. Good luck.
Associated Equip.

Integra Research RDC-7 Pre/Pro
Integra Research RDA-7 Amp
Sony DVPNS999ES DVD Player
All Zu cabling

The Tones have a deeper cabinet than the Druids, so for my rear channel locations, the larger cabinet was unacceptable. The system is ultra detailed, and for movies it is amazing. 2 channel stereo results are the same, huge soundstage, intimate, and very satisfying. No listening fatigue.

you need to realize with Zu speakers they are prone to bad power hum, smearing etc... If not on very well tuned equipment and power supplies.. Atma-sphere uses Zu as a test on their equipment as they show everything up the chain, have incredible efficiency yet don't give the horn sound that can amplify other problems even further.. They are organic sounding paper drivers with extremley deep transparency, and simply way too fast for a bare walled hotel demo, At minimum I have found you can't be too close to walls, needing a couple feet to not get back a lot of echo or reflection from the wall re-enforcing already fast and high decible full range sound, they are not crossed over like a conventional design trying to create a curve they are the curve, and the Room causes all your problems even more amplified than a standard speaker... So keep that in mind, or Have a very large room so you can hear the speaker, not the room and re-create a boxy sound already difficult to defeat in any acoustic sound environment. Killing first point reflections just like any speaker helps a ton...

Beyond that they are a very 3 dimensional, yes most negatives I have seen on this speaker is they sound un-realistically Big in the soundstage.. I really don't understand why you want something compressed sounding in the center of the room, but if you want a speaker that breaths than this is for you.. Otherwise definatley look at the Standard audio speakers that are Well overdamped and compress at a certain point to keep things under control in the environment.

Also just a side not for Pro def users.. I found easily the back drivers Re-enforce much of the frequencies in the 250 to 800 hz range, that is a lot of extra re-enforcement to what the front drivers already are doing, this can add a lot of rock and roll midrange at high DB if you don't cut them off or filter a couple DB off them via the processor, not to mention you are firing these mid freq's right off the backwall which even adds more Delay and re-enforcement to it.