The Zu direct path to the speakers is certainly outstanding.
I am in Manchester UK.
The Audion amps are certainly one to investigate. I am currently using a 20 year old $150.00 CDP into a Primaluna Prologue 2 (Mullard NOS tubes up front with Svetlana EL34's output tubes) into the V's.
Zu Wylde interconnect and Zu Libtec speaker cables.
I am certainly interested in the Audion amps, would like to hear the Black Shadows (BS) again, and the Golden Dreams correctly tubed and set up (based on Phils comments about them), but keep putting it off, as I am more than happy with my system as it is (don't want to go listening to something that I cannot afford at this present time).
I have heard the stock BS MK2's into Druid IV's and stock Druid V's using the binding posts (I have the Dueland caps in my Druid V's) but the BS's were going through their initial burn in (and the dealers insistence that a pre-amp wasn't needed), so it wasn't really a fair demonstration to make a comment on.
The V's are to my ears, outstanding, music through them is just so engaging and completely effortless. Sean and all at Zu have done an excellent job with the reincarnation of the Druid speaker. Having owned the IV-2008's for 5 years, I was always of the opinion that these couldn't be bettered, but Sean has pulled it off again and improved the Druid beyond expectation (my expectations at least).
Did you own Zu speakers before the Druid V's?