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Tekton is another brand I find interesting, and amazingly inexpensive…I'm tempted to order a custom veneered (zebra ebony…swamp recovered logwood...dagwood…tuck & roll) something or other someday as the high efficiency is tempting…then I could buy a single ended 3 watt tube amp. I second the in-home listening thing, although a tuck & roll finish might be hard to return…or dagwood, whatever that is (answer: Blondie's husband). Zu also makes an inexpensive AC cable that supposedly works.
I lived with the Omen Mk. I for a couple of years. Strength was speed (dynamics) and satisfyingly thick and meaty tone. Weakness was imaging: when most of the information is coming from a 10’ driver, it won’t disappear in the room. There is still a stereophonic effect, but I’m not sure they will ever do the holographic imaging thing.
It also likes power and may not be quite as efficient as claimed. 38 watts of tube power was enough, but I don't think an SET would have brought them to life.
Have a pair of Zu Def 4s. If you like tubes, and I do, they can absolutely sing. Have heard that the DruidV is another winner but wouldn't trade. Above poster is right about placement, took some experimenting. Also took some break in time.
Only problem is I can't stay out of the basement.
Go to the Roundup thread. Just type in roundup.
I agree with DentDog regarding Zu Def 4s. (No, I have not spent time with other Zu speakers.) In part, the Def 4s take on the character of the amplifier that is driving them. I have heard them with SET, low powered SIT, and even moderate powered SS. While some individuals think that most SETs are underpowered (search for posts by 213Cobra - he uses an 845 SET), I am quite happy with my 300b SET. Conversely, I thought that both 45 and 2a3 SETs were insufficient - although I have very long speaker cable runs that might have contributed. I did not fuss with placement for two reasons - mostly because there were not a lot of options in my living room.
As I mentioned in an earlier post: "Zu offers a generous in-home audition program. I suggest that you give Zu a call; they are always happy to talk with prospective customers." My personal experience is that the only way to audition or compare speakers is in your own environment. Every listening room is unique. In-home assessment trumps everything else.
well I'm too far away for an audition in brooklyn but I can offer some perspective on my Zu Soul Supremes- running off almarro 215a SET and also I have tried some ss amps too-
Some people have mentioned setup is difficult- I think the challenge is that these speakers are very present and so it can take some ear break in to appreciate what is going on, but sometimes people start moving the speakers right away to get them to sound like they think they "should" sound but that isn't always best for what they actually sound like. They are different. My appreciation of them has changed over the year I've had them. I think for tweaky people they might not be good, but if you like listening more than tweaking then they are great.
Definitely has magic with low power tubes. But also can sound great at high volume with lots of watts. I'd like to get the undertone also, I have a cheaper sub currently in the system.
synthfreek - I suggest that you call Zu anyway. You would not be wasting their time. Just be honest that you are looking to buy pre-owned. Zu often has pre-owned speakers available - ones taken in trade during an upgrade.
I agree and I would just give Zu a call. They love to take care of all customers. Recent example of their amazing customer service: I bought SnoPro's beautiful Druids and am loving them, but I couldn't find one of the bolts to raise the Druids off of the ground so I called Gerrit at Zu asking about placement and adjusting height on the Druids and where I could buy more bolts, and next thing you know Gerrit is mailing me a pair immediately, for free. Without even a second thought. Top notch guys.
I have a pair of Omen Def Mk1b for 5 months.
In the beginning, right out of the box, I remember they sounded a bit "fat" for my taste. I was missing some brightness, some treble detail.
Then they developed week by week and I guess they will continue to change until they are completely broken-in. And all I can say by now is that the sound is amazing! I'm driving them from a push-pull 35W amplifier (Cayin MT45 Mk2) and I can never reach the 12h on the volume knob (at least in my apartment...). They are indeed very efficient and any low powered amp will make them sing.
Regarding the positioning, I never felt the need to be moving them around. Just got them in the selected location and then adjusted the toe-in angle to get a good stereo sound and that's it! They really sound powerful and detailed, it's a gorgeous sound. But I would't say transparent or neutral; they put some tone in the music, which is good for my taste.
And finally a word to those guys at Zu: They are top notch! I live in China and after auditioning the speakers in two different stores I decided to wait some more months (or years) until my budget could reach those speakers. But one day I found a pair in their website for half price ("preloved" section), mailed them and soon after the speakers were in my living room! They really like what they're doing and they take good care of costumers.
Anyway, I advise you to go listen to the speakers and then decide.
Snopro:. I'm loving them thank you. I had forgotten the big juicy tone that Zu delivers in spades. Now I'm doing a lot of fine tuning with placement, cable changes, and tube rolling in the Franks and Lampizator. I'm quite happy with the Druids and I want to thank you for sending me a pair that looks brand new but already has the break in done :). I still have to move the Undertone around and such, and all of that little tweaking will likely take a while. Now I'm just enjoying them.
When I got back on the music appreciation hobby and researched everything for about a year, really researched it to the point of reading books on active crossovers, Floyd Toole, Jim Smith's Get Better Sound and a few more my prevailing thought was to get away from crossovers in the speakers.
Many things affect the signal path but taking the crossovers out of the picture removed the veil I had always heard. I will say the need for clean power became more evident so addressed that. All in all, cleaning up the signal path paid big dividends. The Zu guys know this and develop their products accordingly.
Their speakers aren't warm or soft but the sound is full and has an overwhelming sense of vividness. Good luck with your choice.