don`t over look the Vandersteen 1ci, very good loudspeaker for the money.
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Yes the limitation is rather artificial. I am open to other suggestions and will research these. My difficulty is that a. I have a limited time to pull the trigger (or not) on the Zu DW sale ending next month and b. I have to purchase without actually being able to first audition. My research has led me to the aforementioned 3/4 options.
I owned a pair of Zu Union's, a precursor of the Omen's.
Overall, I was very pleased and I would think the Dirty Weekend's should be even better.
I bought them as a way to see how a full range driver compared to multi driver speaker. In the end, though they were close, the Vandersteen's bested them in reproducing subtlties-probably the time and phase sync.
I still own a pair of Zu Omen Bookshelf speakers for my office. They are nice, but I think I want to try a pair of Vadersteen VLR's.
So, to sum up a rambling post-
If you want something for right now, then go for the Zu.
If you want something that will stand up to future upgrades, I would look at other manufacturers. Not that the Zu are bad, but I think that if you start auditioning speakers, you will soon find out there are some very, very good ones out there within your budget.
According to the Vandy website, these are the guys to contact in Canada
take a listen to the Martin Logan Motion 35XT. $1200 USD retail, and i imagine they can be had for quite a bit less used. also, they should be easier to demo as best buy/magnolia typically has SOME type of Motion series speakers on demo. They tend to have very similar sounds, so even if they don't have the Motion35's, any other motion would give you a ballpark representation of how they sound.
I've owned them myself and favor them to my other bookshelf's (Dynaudio Excite 12's, Monitor Audio's). Lastly, a small subwoofer goes a long way. If not today, then in the future, just don't exclude it.
With the bookshelves and the maggies, you will definitely need a sub in a room that big. There are lots of fans of the Zu and same for the Lore. You have a pretty big room and I suspect that the Lore will have a better low end just based on reviews and forum comments...the F3 for the Lore is around 42hz with useable output into the 30s.
I own the Lore. Massive soundstage with both depth and width. Probably as a result of the high efficiency related jump factor, it is as though you are seated front row center. They are easy to drive and have both punch when you need it and delicacy as well. They will need 100-200 hour of break in to really bloom. The overall sound can be easily tweaked with tow in tow out and slight cant forward or backward depending on your listening position. They sound best when at least 18" out from a rear wall.
I've had other loudspeakers at home recently including Elacs and Kefs so I would say that $1000 and up loudspeakers have the sound signature that the designer wanted. When volume matched, the Kef LS50 (with a sub) were fairly similar to the Lores but with a small soundstage and much dynamic impact.
You really can't go wrong with either of these but if you opt for the Lore, then spend the $100 and get the grills, even if you aren't going to use them, which will make resale easier if you do decide to upgrade before the 10 year mark....and, if you go with the Lores and go with the grills, don't let them ship the speakers without the grills.
One thing I didn't mention...
Originally I had the Lores in a 3500 cubic foot room...they could easily do 95 db at the listening position 12' back with plenty of toneful low end and balance overall without a subwoofer...probably using less than 30 watts given their efficiency.
I suspect both the Lore and Dirty Weekend will sound good with the Vidar. I've used the Crown XLS200, Nuprime STA9 and Halo A23 with the Lores and all were a good fit with their own unique differences.
Thank you all -specifically you who have clearly taken some time to respond here--I am actually a little blown away by this user group (my first visit here). I have an e-mail into Eric at Tekton and may even call in a little later today. I am going to try and audition the Vandersteen (which, thanks to info from gdnrbob, I understand may be closer to my location). I am also reading up on all the other mentioned suggestions-thanks again. Anyone have thoughts re the SVS Ultra bookshelf-these seem to be getting excellent user reviews. I am amazed by the small number of actual user info on youtube regarding Zu, Tekton and other suggestions. I will report findings soon.
My decision. Given your input -- you deserve to know where I am landing and why. First, permit me this preamble:
1. If you live in the USA, the you really need to appreciate the wonderful range of practical options available to you. For example, even though we have a "dealer" in Toronto, they have no Vandersteen' in stock, to audition.
2. For newbies, buy the best gear you can afford at your stage of life. As a young man the cost felt like a fortune. However, even after 14+ years of ownership my B&W 602' + NAD Amp/CD still provide great joy, (I am actually looking for a second clean set of B&W 602').
3. I have little doubt that Tekton make great speakers. The customer service is however really lacking. As mentioned in other posts, their lack of communication is disconcerting. I have had no replies regarding my inquiries. (This becomes a problem when you have to ship product across boarder).
4. High on my future wishlist are the Totem products (and I hope to be able to audition the other recommendations also).
I decided to go with Zu.
1. They have answered every one of my phone calls and e-mails and they are trying to work with me on shipping (which will be half of my cost).
2. The $999 OMEN DIRTY WEEKEND [MK.II] makes for excellent value. They are actually using new drivers (not recycled, as the have "run out of recycled drivers"). My research leads me to believe that the retail cost of the drivers and internal components alone are ~$500 (this in contrast to the well regarded SVS Ulta, which I believe only has about ~$200 worth of internal components). I understand (and expect) the cabinet workmanship to be world-class (I am opting for the "electric blue" cabinet).
3. Being unable to first review, mine is indeed a calculated risk., as well as a test of the reliability (Steve Guttenberg!). Wish me luck! I will report my findings. Thanks!
Thanks Whoopycat! Having 18 kids (before we freak out here--none are biological to us :-) --one tends to become value conscious and I am thinking that my new combo may be one of the best value propositions.. (Schiit Vidar / Saga $1050 + Zu DW $999 = $2049 sans shipping & tax).
I was tempted by a pair of B&W CDM NT9' -on sale here now for ~$1200. Also, keeping my old B&W'.
Gosh...anytime you can get a $2,250 pair of loudspeakers directly from the manufacturer for $1k, I'd say go for it. Well done! I have not heard the Omen, but based on other Zu products that I've experienced, I'm sure they will impress.
I'm actually listening to the SVS Ultra Bookshelf speakers as I type this. This speaker is popular with the home theater crowd, but I think it deserves a place in dedicated 2-channel listening rooms too. Build quality is in a completely different league than the Elac Debut or Uni-Fi lines. These little guys render well-recorded piano as well as anything I've heard and image like bandits. Played at reasonable levels, they don't need subs. One could easily do worse for $1k, IMHO.
Of course, they are not going to party like the Omen's... nowhere near it. Enjoy those Zu's!
Congrats on your Omens. I too have a pair . I’m running a Schiit Yiggy to a Rogue RP-1 to a Had Inspire SEP. I have Klipsch Heresy II’s and KG1.5’s in the closet. The Omens smoke them both even with a sub. Also have JBL 4312A’s but currently lack an amp to run them . Anyway my share is this . I have really thick shag carpet and run the Omens 10 feet apart and the baffles 28” off the back walls . I am using the provided spikes set to max height with a slight upward facing tilt and very slightly toed in . Sounds great . I purchased a pair of 16”x16”x3” solid walnut bases from Timber Nation . Beautiful pieces . Used the provided spikes and spiked the Zu’s onto metal cups . Sounded like a transistor radio in the bottom of a barrel. Talked to the man himself at Zu. Played with the magazines , felt pads, big gap, little gap, and no gap . It was a huge tonal flop . My $400 bases are in the closet waiting for reassignment . I thought the bases would lend a more open sound with greater bass . It was an extreme opposite. So seriously experiment with placement . Also when I roll KT-120’s in place of KT-77’s the bass ( not the fish ) is so profound that I can turn off the sub . Most of the time I run SED Winged C 6550’s. After you’ve had some quality time with your system , might I suggest some low wattage tube power . Your components are well thought out and a petite tube amp would be a cost effective addition that would provide huge flexibility in an allready nice system . I also think that you will have great results with cable selection . Best of health and Happy Listening , Mike B.
I think you will really enjoy the Zu's especially for providing that "you are there, live music sound". Make sure you give them a couple hundred hours of burn in time to really smooth out the midrange and get the bass flowing. If they are at all like the Tektons, then somewhere around the 100 hour range, you can start to gradually tweak the toe in/out and the tilt up/down to really optimize the sound and sound stage...and yes, we all want to hear continued reports of how its going.
I have a ZU DW set up I purchased 4 years ago and am very happy with it. Impedance is 12 to 16 ohms so almost any amp will drive them.
With mine I requested an upgraded 10 inch driver from the soul superfly ZU set me up with tweeters that match the main drivers better and gave me an upgraded crossover for the tweeter.
Great comments -specifically appreciate the comments from Zu owners-thanks!
Pure curiosity and tempted by recent raving reviews regarding it's musicality -I also purchased the little Vista Spark amp. In addition to my Schiit Vidar--I plan to try the Spark on the Zu' (I will pass it on to one of my kids if it turns out to just be a toy ;-) On paper and in a smaller room the Spark should match the Zu DW' 12-ohm impedance. (This may be another great deal as a value proposition, i.e. the Zu DW at $999 + Vista Spark at $350 for a total = $1350). Although the Zu' guys may start to frown on their products being paired with "value" amps.. :-) I will report my findings on this combo as well as with the Vidar/Saga.
To confirm --I really-really like the detail coming out of my new Schiit Vidar / Saga combo (running now on my B&W' and also trying them on my Elac B6' -and soon on the Zu'). If you are looking for an affordable A/B amp, look at the Schiit' Vidar (I can easily see the benefits of running two Vidar' through their Freya pre--and I could be tempted to go this route down the line). Good weekend to you!
I recently purchased the Tekton Lore as a combined birthday/xmas present to myself. They have replaced a pair of Polk Monitor 7's. I was skeptical at first. But after letting them break in/ play without listening for 10 hours I must say I am amazed at the Tekton Lores sound. The Polks have been upgraded xovers and sound wonderful but don't even come close to the separation, clarity, impact that the Lores bring to the listening environment. I disagree with Tekton's customer service. I found that Eric or Karma responded to any questions either by email or phone call very promptly.