Zu Druid IV - the real deal?


i just got done setting up my brand new pair of Zu Druid IVs. they just arrived this afternoon. i am speechless. my girlfriend is too, and quite frankly she could not give a damn about what kind of speakers i have. i bought these speakers without having heard them before. i was just curious.

right out of the box they are remarkable, and i can only expect that they are going to get better. music simply floats out of them effortlessly. wow. i can't even describe it.

now get this; i have them hooked up to a $799 Denon 2803 a/v receiver. $25 Audio Quest interconnects and cheap speaker cable. this is my second system, which i use mainly for watching TV. in the other room i have what would be considered an "audiophile" grade system. i can only imagine what these Druids are going to sound like if i give them a spin in there.

oh yeah; i have a REL storm sub woofer filling in the low end.
skuras
"if I give them a spin in there?" Skuras, after you hook those babies up to your real rig: Your Coincidents should fetch a pretty good price on the 'gon. If you think the Druids sounds great with that _____you hooked them up to, fasten your seatbelt. let us know after you've done them justice with something serious...
Funny these Zu's get about 80% "greatets thiong since AC power" and other 20% hate them.Had one guy say he went to dealership after not getting them to sound OK and he and his buddy just couldn't get them to soundecentt at all.Don't think I have seen this passion exceptt in all positive reviews of Plinius where it's not a product it's a cult movement.Butt some just don't cotton which makes me want to here them all the more.6moons.com editor took $10K pair to replace his $22K Avategarde horns which is quite something.When i get scratch might take dive just wonder when they will fill the $2,800 to $10K gap in their line.If anybody can explain in basics terms why all the hub bub I'd like to know.
Enjoy those who (and hate those who do-some aspects of scociety arestill free).
Chazzbo
Chazzbo,

The appeal of Zu speakers is in their holistic representation of music. Frequency accuray is sensational on Definitions, and very good on Druids. Phase coherence is about as good as you have experienced and far better than most speakers. Top-top-bottom consistency of transient behavior is uniform. And detail is revealed without sacrificing body in the tone. Add to that the ease of driving 101db/w/m speakers with relatively benign impedance curves and you have speakers that are unusually communicative of expression and intimate, but which scale spatially and dynamically to ambitious music.

I have two systems, one built around Druids and the other centered on Definitions. After over 30 years of serious involvement in hifi as hobby, and the music interests behind that, Zu speakers are among the top handful of genuine advances in fidelity I've heard in that time.

A key characteristic that drives the unusual tonal excellents and coherence to the Zu sound is absence of crossovers. You don't have to accept the tonally disruptive effects of crossovers, and the dynamic constriction they inevitably cause. Being free of crossovers can take some getting used to, as can the phase linearity of the full-range driver design, but the behavior of these design attributes is startlingly reinforcing of your illusion of musical reality from recorded performances. The jump factor of very high efficiency combined with a strong-motor driver that is as dynamically engaging as real instruments only adds to the value of Zu's speakers in an overhyped market.

Last, don't discount the contribution made by having speakers able to be driven forcefully by modest output amplifiers. Able to choose power amplifers on the strict merits of sonic signature and not on power, Zu owners have unusual latitude to find their sound.

Phil
Chazzbo, you said it yourself: "...might take the dive..." Whatever you read-- will do nothing more than (motivate)you to take a listen or not. We've been around this block with these babies before on the 'gon. The 20%ers come out and usually (some haven't even heard them) beat up on the Zus. I love my Definition 1.5s. There are oodles of threads in the archives, and perhaps there is some new stuff that will come out in this thread. The Definitions have brought SET into my life. This, alone, has been a wonder and a sonic joy. The longer I own a pair of speakers (this has been my audiophoolish experience)the more likely they are to not measure up--deliver the goods. My experiences with the Def 1.5s have been just the opposite. Take the plunge. The Zu boys have a money back guarantee you can't beat with a stick. peace, warren :)

PS Skura's experience with the Druids is quite different from most. The Druids will not hold up with mediocre electronics, particularly SS. And they ain't the only one.. Hey, whatever floats your boat.
warrenh,
i must admit that i originally had low expectations about mating the Druids with my low-fi HT receiver. but i talked to sean at Zu several times before i took the plunge, and he told me that he had a pair of Druids in his home and they were being used with an entry level Yamaha receiver. he told me that on a few occasions he had tried using the pre outs of his Yamaha receiver and adding a higher end tube amp, but always went back to just using the receiver!

within the next couple weeks (after the Druids get a couple hundred hours on them) i plan to buy a mid-priced 2A3 amp and see what the Druids can do with tubes. have also been considering the AES / Cary Super amp with KT88s. at this time, though, i must say that the future looks quite bright with my trusty old Denon receiver.

the curious audiophile should give a call to Zu sometime - the guys there really were quite helpful, and took lots of time on the phone with me.
After you put your Druids through some tubes, give us the scoop...warren
People often post about being impressed with a component right out of the box, and then state their expectation for even greater things once they get however many hours on the component.

I'm not a disbeliever in break in necessarily, but have you ever had the experience of something sounding its best at first and then not so magical later on? I know it's happened to me.
Drubin,

I have absolutely had that experience. Get a new component, call my buddy telling him it is the greatest value ever, sell the new component 2 weeks later!

This is absolutely not a commentary on Zu. I've never heard any of their products (but I'm curious!).

Enjoy,

TIC
although i have not had the experience that you are describing, drubin, i think i know what you mean. almost like newly weds, right? things are great at first, but after a few months of being together 24/7 you start to notice the shortcoming of your partner a lot more!
Drubin and Reubent have a good point. First off I don't believe in the breatin idea at all. Everything electroic I own works just as it did the day I turned it on.
What I think Drubin and Reu is getting at is the initial impression may 'fool" us into hearing the best qualities and ignoring the downside. After a few hrs, the weaknesses become apparent, maybe even days. I had a old pr of philips 2 ways, that a few DIYers said that speaker was first class in its day, back in 1980's. I got a pr of B&W's for my wife, and could haer the issues with the Philips, still I could also compare the philips to the B&W's 602's and hear their waeknesses also. My Seas Thor's reveal all the many weaknesses in both. The Philips served its useful purpose, as it was the best thing in those days going. The B&W's were a step horizontal.
Initial listenings can be deceiving. But who knows I had a friend who loved his highly colored, grainy, distorted musical sound image comming from his $20K(new $40K) used priced system.
Just give us another review in a yr from now, to see how things turn out.
It is possible this is your ideal speaker. We all have slightly different expectations.
>>First off I don't believe in the breatin idea at all. Everything electroic I own works just as it did the day I turned it on.<<

Whether you believe it or not is a personal matter but the "phemonenom" is well documented by both manufacturers and listeners. Speaker cones, capacitors among other parts all contribute to the changes that DO occur. Perhaps you are simply not able to discern them.
Warren: Should I say anything or not? I know it will get me burnt to a crisp but I have actually heard tthese several times sans the sub. Maybe I should let these happy people celebrate without my impressions.-Steve
P.S. I have stayed out of the daily Zu threads if you noticed.
Steve, this thread won't need you or me to keep it going. I may not agree with you, but I'll defend your write to say it, even if it's ridiculous...lol..
Most people will not put in the time to learn Burn in.. It takes a lot of patience, NOT LISTENING... You do not sit and listen for 15 hours straight and decide to see if something happens. But this much I can Guarantee, TUBES, Capacitors, And even Drivers will change sound character after being under continuous load for a good solid week to 2 weeks straight, then when you shut it down and turn back on it will be pretty stable but still take maybe a half hour to warm back up to the 95% level it was at after the Serious burn in occured for a couple weeks.

There are a lot of backyard mechanics on this site that have heard their system in bursts, for 3 hours here, 2 hours there, another 5 hours over there.. So what, leave em' on and burn in new caps, drivers or tubes and there is Change whether you believe it or not, whether it is for better or worse, normally for better, better soundstage, smoother transient response, things don't sound as artificial.. Kinda how a brand new car the engine does not put out full horsepower and best gas mileage as it will after 3000 to 10,000 miles, it just works. Maybe some don't experience this phenom' Okay so be it, but that would suck for sure.
"Perhaps you are simply not able to discern them."

Bingo!

Everyone doesn't have the same eyesight and it's silly to think everyone has the same ability to hear or discern sounds, be it a function of the brain or the ear.
Hey don't get on Bartockfan's case. He is still at a point in his learning curve where he doesn't understand the relationships involving gain and speaker efficiency, amp output impedence and the speakers impedence curve let alone being able to actually discern the differences in components attributible to break-in, set up, or synergy.

Be thankful that he is such an eager contributor of 'information' without regard to the extent of his actual knowledge. Without folks like him who would you pick on (probably some poor newbee). Personally I'm thankful for his presense as it serves as a constant reminder to us all from where we came. :-)
I have no personal affront with Bartok and am not picking on him as you suggest. I do not question the veracity of his statements. However, my doubts are manifested by the post in this and other threads which indicate, IMO, a lack of experience and knowledge as you pointed out.

Lastly an "eager contributor" of falacious information is by definition a bad contributor IMO. Wouldn't you agree? Don't forget that a lot of folks rely on the information posted here, for better or worse, in making decisions on equipment purchases.

Thank you.
I have a friend, a piano tuner who hears things in my system I can never locate. Joni Mitchell sounds fine to me but he thinks her voice isn't chesty enough. He raves about levels of detail that I'm not sure I hear.
Plainly, the two of us have different levels of acuity or, at the least, difference points of reference or taste. Neither of us is wrong and neither is an expert. Many of the comments I read on this site seem to be very authoritative in tone. In fact, I'm sure some rabid archivist will dredge up something I've written in the past to expose my hypocrisy in mentioning this. This will only illustrate that I too am guilty or have been.
What I'm getting at is the need for all of us to recognize that our values are perceived and our opinions flawed. The sound is what he hear and only what we hear. The notion of an Absolute Sound is poppycock. How can the ephemeral be absolute? Sounds are fleeting no matter how many times we replay them. What we hear varies from moment to moment, mood to mood and person to person.
I find Zu to be unencumbered by the compromises invariably introduced by crossover networks. I also dislike makeup on women. Most guys seem to think it enhances her. To each his own.
I'm glad Skuras likes his Druids. I had the same "right out of the box" experience. In fact, I have read many times now about people who make similar statements. I'm not sure about Chazzbo's 80/20 ratio but I think the ratio of people who have actually listened to them in their own homes and loved them is much closer to 100%.
Newbee I don't need a defense team. Sure I can't explain the tech stuff that goes with audio, but have a intuition how these concepts work out.
Gain/db levels, fq's, impedence , these things can be electronically measured. Breakin "improvements" cannot be meansured. Is there any gauge that says '90%, 95%, 99% breakin complete"??
But if you can detect breakin and its real to you, then who am I to object. We only give our opinion shere. No one is right nor wrong. If the ZU's work for you thats all that matters. Just try to be as accurate as possible in how your comments go. This way others can better base their decisions as to buy or not from your comments.
Its good to see ZU and other labs giving a trial period for their products. This offers those interested to try before buy. This shows a commitment to make sure the customer is happy, and its not all about the money.
Bartokfan....you ever hear of "reading between the lines"?
Audiofeil...

I think that Newbees post was somewhat tongue-in-cheek...at least that's what I got out of it.

How many billions is our national deficit up to now Bartok?

and now...back to your regularly scheduled programming on....

the ZU channel
Audiofeil, Tough place for a newbee to seek advise. Ask a reasonable question and you'll get 10 answers, two of which might happen to be right. When the stars are all alighned the right ones will be well phrased and intelligently presented so the questioner will have his answer. If they are not well phrased or intelligently presented then the questioner will disregard them and any of the other wrong answers similarly presented by others.

What I fear for those seeking to solve problems are well phrased, intelligently presented, thoughtfully considered answers, coming from folks who present themselves as being experienced and knowlegable, which happen to be just plain wrong.

I think Bartockfan's posts present no such problem for any reader.
Warren you are right you don't need me at all but there is a consensus re the speakers that keeps the group cohesive and reassuring to each other. Why interfere?
All Zu issues aside, I think there is a definite break in period for many elements in audio. In the case of amps, caps do dissapate their charge and so does everything else that has them. With out your crossover you miss one part but the flexing of a speakers cones and surrounds does change them IMHO.
So all the low frequencys are driven into the tweeter Um! I didn't think--- in fact a premier speaker builder and master repair person Mr. Bill Legall of Millerspkr, has told me in person that he was annoyed with himself mixing up his external crossover and was certain that the emits on his IRS Vs would have suffered (its not a Zu but they are pretty good speakers)that it is simply not a good idea for the poor tweeter, could you tell me how those frequencies are prevented from getting there? There is no obvious way that these frequencies aren't seen by the tweeter, of course they can't reproduce them but they may be trying, just not a tweeters role in life I guess. BTW the opposite is ok you can subject a woofer to high frequencies but it does no harm apparently Just Curious-
Audiofeel,

"but the "phemonenom" is well documented by both manufacturers and listeners."

I'm just a noob at this can you show me where a serious audio company has documentation on "breakin", especially as a linear function of usage?

Things change over time but to say that manufacturers design their equipment based on predictable changes is novel but I believe it to false concept. A link would be awesome and please can we excuse small tube amp companies, cable companies and japanese audiophile companies. Thank You.

"Frequency accuray is sensational on Definitions, and very good on Druids. Phase coherence is about as good as you have experienced and far better than most speakers. Top-top-bottom consistency of transient behavior is uniform."

Cobra213, could you share your measurements. I am anxious to see real measurements of the Zu speakers. Because my measurements of the speaker conflict with your comments. And I think maybe my total lack of experience might have had something to do with it?

"Being free of crossovers can take some getting used to, as can the phase linearity of the full-range driver design"

Also I'm dying to see the acoustic phase of this speaker properly measured, it promises to be something to see. Don't you agree?

Unsound? I'm having some difficulty with your premise.

"Most people will not put in the time to learn Burn in.. It takes a lot of patience, NOT LISTENING... You do not sit and listen for 15 hours straight and decide to see if something happens. But this much I can Guarantee, TUBES, Capacitors, And even Drivers will change sound character after being under continuous load for a good solid week to 2 weeks straight."

No actually that is not how it works, it takes about 4-5 duty cycles heating and cooling, that's like 4-5 days 4-8 hours. Are you an engineer and does any of the technicians who made your equipment have a degree in anything? I'm just curious where you got your information that you're so confident to guarantee results from? Just want to know, I'm a noob you know.

Skuras,

That's what speaker soundlike when it has a big driver, my advice would be to go surround, buy three more Druids and quality prepro and have it all in one system.
Newbee has expressed my opinion better than I could. Thanks.

Mechans - That seems to me to be a very good question that you should put to the Zu boys. I would answer it here and now if I could but it never occured to me to ask so.........

Bartokfan - If you would take more care with spelling and punctuation, I would have a better idea of what you are saying. At times you are very clear and at other times I find your writings unintelligible. Please take your time and be more careful.
hey - let's talk about me for a while!

i've only got about $1500 at the moment to drop on a tube amp. remember, this is my second system we're talking about here, and i simply don't want to drop a ton of $ into it right now.

front runners are the ASL "orchid" - a 2A3 integrated amp (i would just use the pre-ins, and utilize this as a power amp) or the cary / AES super amp (KT88's and about 25 watts). i am happy to listen to any options you may suggest.

actually, there is one other amp i have always liked - the ARC VS55. KT88's again, and about 55 watts of power.

anyone got an opinion? i'll bet you do...
Macrojack, I hate to bust up your Zen

"Plainly, the two of us have different levels of acuity or, at the least, difference points of reference or taste. Neither of us is wrong and neither is an expert."

I disagree totally with your comment, because between the two of you only one is of any use to me as a speaker designer.

"What I'm getting at is the need for all of us to recognize that our values are perceived and our opinions. flawed."

Again DISAGREE.

Sounds are fleeting no matter how many times we replay them. The notion of an Absolute Sound is poppycock. How can the ephemeral be absolute?

Because the signal has been captured on a recording, frozen lifeless and Absolutely quantified my friend. For better or for worse....
So ZU is the new kip on the bloack with massive marketing push/$'s and is a better speaker than the Danes who have been researching to achieve the Excel line, for over 40+ yrs.
Go for it.
I'm thinking Tyler has 2-3 yrs to go before his speakers are known for the value they are.
Go for it dude.
Bartokfan - You are a boundless source of misinformation which most of us chuckle about and then move on. However, I want you to be well informed on at least one topic if you choose to discuss it, and that would be my beloved Zu speaker line. It is not a big or well funded corporation but rather a small startup with young and inventive owners like your friend Tyler. I have been to the Zu factory and I can tell you for certain that they have 9 employees. As far as innovation and the Danes go, you have supposed correctly. Zu has it all over them. The products that Zu has presented are all built around a wide bandwidth driver that produces uninterrupted signal from 40 Hz to 12 Khz. This design has been in the works for over 70 years but had been abandoned because of the inability of Western Electric to make it work well enough. The Zu boys took up the challenge and succeeded in their pursuit by using modern materials and instrumentation that was unavailable to WE's very capable staff. Use of a large surface area and very short excursion makes for a very quick and electrostatic like presentation. Since there is no crossover in the mix, the problems of time and phase alignment that challenge Tyler and virtually all other speaker manufacturers do not come up for Zu.
There are many other aspects of the Zu designs that are interesting and innovative, and I would encourage you to explore the topic further by reading and by asking questions of the factory. They will welcome your call.
D_edwards - I think my zen will be O.K. as long as you keep calling me friend. But I'm afraid that measurements aren't valued much around here. This is a very subjective and experiential crowd. We're more into what seems to be than what is, even though we speak in absolutes.
I loved your "frozen in time" thing.
>>I'm just a noob at this can you show me where a serious audio company has documentation on "breakin", especially as a linear function of usage?<<

So you have a lot to learn. Good for you. Email me and I will give you all the serious audio companies you wish to contact. Part of the learning process you know.
>>I think Bartockfan's posts present no such problem for any reader<<

Re-read all of his posts and say that again with a straight face.
Thank you.
"But I'm afraid that measurements aren't valued much around here. This is a very subjective and experiential crowd."

Yeah actually I know that, its what I call "feeling around in the dark". And my history has been to march through your "experience" and show that all they really have is a house of cards for your audio knowledge temple.

You can't build a high quality 12 inch fullrange driver without serious instrumentation, so if those measurements matter so much to you, why do the end product measurements matter so little?

One measurement creates the miracle the next is useless? Tsk Tsk, I see philosophical conflict within you.

"The Zu boys took up the challenge and succeeded in their pursuit by using modern materials and instrumentation that was unavailable to WE's very capable staff."

How does a company achieve quality control, without measuring their product? How does technology advance without documented history? Listening to it? Let me tell you that doesn't work. I've had $17,000 Stereophile Speaker of the Year show up after several weeks "shakedown" at the factory with the crossover so badly miswired, I'm not sure how all the speakers worked. And how did they not hear it? How many audiophile visitors just ate it up as the panacea of audio, and half the drivers were messed up in one speaker? Yeah our ears go both ways when it comes to their accuity.

Its all about measurements Macro, you need to understand that the truth is there, because as you mentioned you are prone to mood swings making you a highly dubious source for information. We all are.

The fact that measurements constrict freedom, temper creativity and limit the heights of self-delusion does take the fun right out of the hobby for some I realize.

But for some of us, measurements are the guide post, proof that we are playing back the musical information as the artist intended, even if that means we don't like it as much. Because the artist comes first and myself; I personally feel editing an artists intentions to suit my self is selfish and a seriously short-sited intellectual decision.

Oh well
D_edwards - I'm not one to grab the salt shaker or the ketchup bottle. I respect the chef in that regard. And I do not hasten to modify every product that enters my house with any and every available tweek. I don't have test instruments because I wouldn't know how to use them. However, I am sure that you will find that Sean Casey at Zu can answer your questions about measurements and design decisions. There are no 12 inch drivers in any of Zu's speakers and the mention of Stereophile in any sentence meant to impress me is self-defeating.
The tone of your comments seems to indicate that you have confused us mindless consumers with the geniuses who created the product. Not a fatal error, I suppose but it leads to some very confusing arguments from you.
And your bit about short sighted editing of the artist's intentions calls for a bit of projection. God made winter and created me naked. And every year I put on clothes because the artist set me up to freeze to death if I don't.
Oh, and what's up with the tale about some other speaker company wiring their crossover wrong. What bearing does that have on Zu or this discussion? It sounds like you are attempting to position yourself as superior to that established manufacturer. Perhaps you are. Again, though, what's the point?
Measurements are nice, and as you point out, vital to some pursuits. I don't need any for my audio outside of the cable length or speaker position. I don't know the weight of my car keys, the height of my mulberry tree or the time it takes me to shave. Nonetheless, I've moved through life with some degree of comfort and grace. I don't think I could say that if I had been measuring everything for the last 50 years.
Relax, D_edwards, there's nothing to prove. I like my speakers and you could never provide me with enough data to change that.
D wants measurements from me. What good would it do for me to measure any speaker in my house? Neither I nor anyone else here listens in an anechoic chamber and hardly anyone has their room treated or EQ'd to flat response itself. More to the point, every location I listen to live music in imposes its own acoustic signature too. I've had plenty of speakers in my home that measured "flat." This had only limited relationship to sonic fidelity. No one has yet measured the aggregated simultaneous behaviors of a speaker transducing music. So, yeah, measurements are interesting, and have some relevance, but are not exclusively determinant.

Zu provides specs on efficiency, frequency distribution and on phase coherence. The speakers sound pretty much like they describe, and then some. They also sound like they are missing crossovers, which they are and which is a good thing.

So, bottom line is that in their price ranges, Zu's speakers deliver frequency accuracy, dynamic projection, phase coherence, uniformity of transient behavior top-to-bottom, frequency range and efficiency in sufficient balance to transduce a superior illusion of musical reality from the electrical signal they are fed. Most of us who own them think very few speakers at any price meet or exceed Zus in this regard. And some of the folks who don't own them refuse to accept the conclusion of those who do. It's easy to resolve. Skeptics can uy them and return them if you don't agree. Or get to a location where you can hear them and decide. Fly, drive, walk, hitchhike to Utah and get a demo at the factory from the guys who design and build the speakers. Do what you want, but the answer remains the same. I'm highly experienced at this hobby, have benefit of industry friends if I want something else, get to hear most gear that has any modicum of credibility, and I ventured to buy Zu. The result is that both my systems are at equilibrium and the sound quality I have is the most realistic and natural attained so far, 35 years after buying my first piece of true hifi gear. To answer the original question, yes, Zu Druid is the real deal, and this applies more dramatically still to Definitions.

Phil
as a potential buyer of speakers who likes rock music what are the pros and cons of the druids as opposes to other well reviewed speakers like the taylors or acoustic zens.difficult to audition any of them so basically trying to read up on and listen to others viewpoints.
The Druid is very efficient. This affords wide latitude in amplifier selection. It has a very benign impedance curve, again affording almost limitless amplifier compatibility. It plays very loud without breakup. It is remarkably coherent allowing you to understand the lyrics of screaming vocalists. It is very rhythmic about playback, if that makes sense to you. There is a fullness of tone that you are unlikely to find in other speakers. Its a kind of vitality that really defies description but is easy to detect. Tones are more resonant than what you are accustomed to in speakers at or even above this price range. Bass is a little tricky to adjust initially but comes through as fast and furious once you get it right. The addition of Zu's Mini Method sub takes it to a genuine full range experience. Cabinets do not seem to contribute anything. This is partially due to their design materials and construction and perhaps also to the short excursion of the full range driver and open bottom which emits bass energy. Call Zu and ask them about how all this works. They will explain plainly and not make you feel like a fool for asking.
I don't know a thing about the other speakers you mentioned but I'm hoping you find some useful answers in what I said.
Another fact about the Druids that went over well at my house is that you can postion them right up next to the front wall without significant loss of performance. Good for small spaces and difficult wives.
Been listening to Ani Difranco's live album Living in the Clip. 2cd of many of her concert tours mixed beautifully without all that applause. Afer listening to the first track: I never heard a kick drum (the entire drum set in fact) sound so real, dynamic, palpable, in your face, right there, as my Defintions allow this wonderful cd to happen. Then it happens again with guitar electric on the next track. Oooh. Measurements? Doesn't matter what they are, what you tell me they are, what they are not, etc. I know what I hear in my crib, hooked up to my rig. And the sound has been gettin more exiciting and revealing with age. Remarkable speakers. I know, I know, these are not the Druids, but they are quite amazing and worth a try if you're thinking of a change and have $9k to drop. I haven't been around this block in a while, but when are saw cobra and macrojack: I couldn't resist...
Well that's the kind of answer I expected.

Macro.

Where the problem comes in is you SAY that the X-speaker has superior phase, dynamics, linear frequency response, etc. All easily measurable attributes. But you don't measure which means you don't really "know", because you only know what you've been told what has been suggested. How do you KNOW if you have a properly working pair of speakers in the first place?

I've been talking to Sean since he was at Kimber, much longer than you have I'm sure. My point is you drop all these technical attributes and say that speaker X is superior to Y and For Z reason, and yet you've no facts on how speaker X is actually performing or Y for that matter. If you're going to say it like its a fact then back it up with something substantial.

"I am sure that you will find that Sean Casey at Zu can answer your questions about measurements and design decisions."

This is not about Sean Casey, this is about YOU talking about stuff you don't have any proof of but using it to run down other products and Zu at the same time. Saying measurements don't matter!? Sean busted his ass researching and testing that speaker, and poof, in a sentence you say its meaningless. The driver was a lucky guess...do you realise that is what you imply when you simply dismiss measurements as meaningless?

"God made winter and created me naked. And every year I put on clothes because the artist set me up to freeze to death if I don't."

So its god's fault you decide to live where it gets cold? :)I don't think so Einstein, I don't remember any mention of winter in the Garden of Eden.

What bearing does that have on Zu or this discussion?

You're misrepresenting the performance of the speaker. You downplay all the engineering that went into the speaker and thus you create conflict for ZU. Your good intentions are creating negativity because you don't know what you're talking about, except when you say you like them. That I believe, the rest is unusable.

"It sounds like you are attempting to position yourself as superior to that established manufacturer."

Typical SP audiophile, no I used that example to show you that if you don't have measurements your ability to do quality control is suspect at best, listening experience is not valuable over long time frames without something to base the experiences. My comment are all about you and your comments about how you prefer to feel around in the dark instead of learning facts about audio.

"I don't know the weight of my car keys, the height of my mulberry tree or the time it takes me to shave."

Well if you were to say in conversation you shaved the fastest, you had a larger than average Mulberry tree and the heaviest set of car keys on the planet, ie all the relative qualitative comments about your speakers. Then I would expect, you could back up your comments with some relevant facts. Or without some sense of timing how could I even begin to quantify your shaving speed. How many times do you think you'd could tell me really really really fast, before I'd go, yeah you shave fast :( ...?

I'm just asking you to be fair, you picked on Bartokfan who makes me roll my eyes too, but you're just as bad, just more subtle about it.

Am I making my point?
Macrojack you obviously have't heard of Bill. Don't pass judgement on his fund of knowledge regarding speakers. His primary work is repairing every type of speaker there is and very little manufacturing he can modify the sound of virtually any speaker extant but he has chosen to stop doing that because he is an obssesive perfectionist of the highest order and he is now getting into his 60s. He has a national reputation for extremely fine exacting work.He owns many of the finest speakers ever made. He was profiled in 6 moons. I'm sorry you are simply unaware of of people who are truly masters, he has only been doing this for just short of 50 years his father owned a repair shop where helped out. I guess you can't take my word for it but he knows of what he speaks. I think your attack on him is a shameful act of complete ignorance. You really think you could hold a candle in this regard with Bill. No he is not a Zu person but if you brought them in broken he would be able to diagnose the issue very quickly and most likely fix it but he would be extremely careful being the unreal prefectionist he is. The simple fact that he is neither a Zu enthusiast (nor detractor) doesn't disqualify him or anyone and everyone else. From knowing speakers in a way very few of us could ever aspire to.
On a completely different topic I forgot to add that burning in a speaker with tube amps that you are using precious older tubes shortens their life so you might want to take out your finest tubes before burning them for 24 hours a day for 2 weeks.
213Cobra or anyone...could you please clarify this statement

"A key characteristic that drives the unusual tonal excellents and coherence to the Zu sound is absence of crossovers. You don't have to accept the tonally disruptive effects of crossovers, and the dynamic constriction they inevitably cause. Being free of crossovers can take some getting used to, as can the phase linearity of the full-range driver design, but the behavior of these design attributes is startlingly reinforcing of your illusion of musical reality from recorded performances. The jump factor of very high efficiency combined with a strong-motor driver that is as dynamically engaging as real instruments only adds to the value of Zu's speakers in an overhyped market."

This is why I am confused. I don't understand why I would have to get use to the sound of a speaker. My effort was to build a system that sounds like real instruments in the now, not after some time getting use to them.

If my niece was to play piano in the same room with the speakers, wouldn't they both sound the same?
Dave if your niece were playing her piano next to a $250k rig, you'd hear the difference in a jiff. Now if she were playing an electric piano or an electric guitar, that would be a different story. But acoustic? We're not even close. Great stereo cannot approach live acoustic sound, but it can sure make it fun, to say the least.
Dave,

The reason you might have to "get used to" the sound of a speaker is that the absence of a crossover in an otherwise tonally accurate speaker yields a sound quite unlike what you've heard from conventional speakers. The hifi loudspeaker industry has made most people accustomed to phase incoherence, inconsistent transient behavior and choked dynamics as you approach crossover points. Not to mention serious cabinet contribution to sound character for better or worse. When you really hear a voice or an instrument juxtaposed with most speakers, even good ones, you realize how dissimilar the two sound.

In my case, this initial period of disorientation lasted about 3 minutes and then I realized what was going on. I reconnected a pair of my prior speakers and realized there was no going back. Then you begin to notice the extraordinary jump factor and dynamic shadings these speakers are able to transduce in sharp relief. The essential unity of sound you get from a Zu speaker makes its own case, but for many people it will be the first time they've heard such a thing.

Phil
Warren...

I understand what you are saying, bad example...I will try and be more direct

As the poster said...

"Being free of crossovers can take some getting used to, as can the phase linearity of the full-range driver design, but the behavior of these design attributes is startlingly reinforcing of your illusion of musical reality from recorded performances"

If they give the illusion of musical reality (which I take to be a audible sonic copy of the recorded material), why would I have to get use to them (refering to the sound, being crossover less and full range design?)

Would a recording of a trumpet not sound like a recorded trumpet right away, even if I was not use to the sound of the speaker?

The quote sounds like a contradiction to me, at first he states you have to get use to the sound, then states, in the same sentence, that they give the illusion of musical reality. I don't understand why there is a disclaimer before offering praise for the sound.

So really my question is...what would I have to get use to about this speaker?
Phil...

Submitted a post and then read yours.

I'm not sure I understand. But that does make sense after all, we are trying to convey sound with words.

I am just trying to make sense of all the rabble...all products come with the lovers and the haters.

At present I am not ready for new speakers. I know the money back thing and all. But from what I am lead to believe, if a pair showed up at my door there is a good chance they would never leave.

So I will for now, read the discourse, and at a later date who knows.

Thanks for trying to clarify.

Dave
Phil and Warren...

One other question...

Would the sonic benifits of the definitions relative to the druids warrent the additional cost?

I would not want to go through the hassle of buying the druid only to upgrade to the definition.

Thanks
Dave,

Yes, the Definitions are well worth the additional cost over Druids. In every way, the Definition is the more accurate capable speaker -- except one. The Druid can be used relatively near field and does have a special intimacy of presentation on close listening of modest scale music. Otherwise, Definitions are wider-band, tonally more neutral, considerably more revealing of fine detail and micro-dynamics, and they scale up for large performances. That said, you need a larger room than for Druids, and usually 11 linear feet of distance from speaker baffle to ear, or more, for the Definition's sound to fully integrate.

I've said in the past that Druids give you the essential Zu qualities and 70% of Definition sound at 30% of the price. But that remaining 30% is well worth paying for if you can afford Defs.

As for your desire for more clarity on the matter of why you might have to get accustomed to a Zu speaker, I'll say it a little differently: Speakers as a whole just haven't been very good to date. The transducers in general are where a disproportionate number of the problems occur in the hifi chain, because their job is difficult. We've come to believe in the progress of cumulative technical development, and many have learned to discern improvements to products derived from a mistaken path. We all know that hifi at best is still a miserable approximation of sonic reality, but it gives us enough cues to be convinced, mind filling in the rest. The holism of a Zu speaker's behavior and sonic presentation is more like a real instrument's sound, but the absence of distortions and compressions we've become accustomed to accepting as part of hifi *can* make them sound momentarily disorienting when you're comparing them to another conventional speaker. If everyone got the speakers and immediately compared their sound on a trusted recording to the sound of a live instrument, it's far less likely this momentary disorientation would occur.

Phil
Phil, lives (presently) with both so he'll give you the best answer based on first hand experiences. I believe macrojack owned the Druids, as well, before moving up to the Defs? Also, if you read all the press, plus the threads in the archives concerning the Zus, going from the get-go for the Definition 1.5s would be a prudent and judicious expenditure of $6k. Not hard for an audiophool to rationalize judicious and prudence regarding $6k worth of speaker upgrade, I suppose..lol..
And now back to Skuras...

How has your experience been?

Any luck finding out about a new amp?
Do these discussions ever serve this speaker, company, or the audiophile community with anything worthwhile accept the same group of people on one side vs. the other side especially on these products? I do believe that owners have an agenda to protect the silly accusations that this company would sell something to them that is horribly designed, and Zero realistic measurements..

And then the other group of about 4 more people that seem to be ones really wanting to jump in and simply try to have it proven to them they should even consider trying this design and why, and even if it works, must show this on paper as well and it still can't be justified? Then we still have an agenda to just sit and keep repeating the same thing 50 different ways, and then the guys can't believe it anyway? Seems rediculous for both sides at this point does it not? Go listen to music and learn for yourself, remember this stuff is just like the new HDTV's.. LCD is superior at this, Plasma that, DLP the other thing... It all has one more specific end goal, they all want to be the best technology for the best price. Think about that.

By the way I can see why people are compelled to just go at it over this stuff, too much direct personal attacks, and it keeps warrenting some kinda response, Ha I probably should not have writen this, cause now I gotta go into the crossfire!