Zu Omen Defs vs Tekton Pendragons

I have been interested in hearing a comparison between these two speakers for quite some time, and recently came upon the opportunity to do just that. I have owned two pairs of Omen Defs for several months now (one upgraded and one stock pair), and recently purchased the review pair of Pendragons from the 'parttimeaudiophile' Scot. I have had the Pendragons for several weeks now, and have tweaked the setup such that I think they have reached most of their potential.

First off, I am not a professional reviewer, just an avid audiophile of about 25 years. I am not interested in starting a 'war' with those who may prefer one speaker over the other, I just want to point out my findings for those who may be looking at these 2 speakers and are looking for differences between them. I have a modest system -- a pair of Wyred 4 Sound SX-500 amps (modified by Wyred with upgraded components), driven directly by a Wyred DAC 2. Music is via a Squeezebox Touch. All cabling is from Audience (AU24, with the speaker cables being the 'e' version). For multi-channel and video purposes, I have an Oppo BDP-93, a Marantz AV7500, and additional Wyred mono SX-1000 amps. The center and surround channels are also from Zu (an Omen center and the stock Omen Defs as the surround speakers).

Several months ago I was forced to sell my beloved Tyler Acoustics Decade D1 loudspeakers as my wife and I are fostering small children, and it became very apparent that those 'shiny round things' (even when hidden behind a grill) are just too tempting for little hands. I reluctantly sold off my Tyler system, and was looking at possibly turning to some in-wall speakers. During this search, I saw some Zu speaker ads, and noticed they came with plastic covers to cover the woofers -- this looked to be exactly what I needed. I quickly read all the reviews I could find, and decided that a pair of Omen Defs would work nicely in my room (15' x 33' x 8' loft area). I contacted Zu and soon a new pair of Black Ghost Omen Defs arrived.

As any audiophile who gets a new toy, I wrestled the big boxes upstairs to the loft area as soon as FedEx delivered them, unboxed them and quickly hooked them up to see if I had made a really bad decision (not that there really is a bad choice with Zu, as they have a 60 day money back guarantee). The first song I always play is "Your Latest Trick" by Dire Straits -- I bet I have heard this song 3 or 4 hundred times. Wow, what a different sounding speaker. From the Tyler presentation, which is like that of a recording studio, I was transferred to the concert hall. I finally understood what the 'Zu sound' was that people kept talking about. I had never heard such an open sound. Dire Straits were right there in the room with me -- it felt like I could get up, walk a few feet, and shake hands with them. The huge, open sound of the sax, the vocal, the guitars was different than anything I had ever heard. There was a 'thereness' that really captivated me. After recovering from the initial shock, I started moving through my music collection and experienced the same open, live sound with any type of music I threw at the Defs.

Once I had adjusted to their sound, I did start to notice that the bass did not go as deep as I had hoped. It was tight, but did not seem to provide the foundation that I was accustomed to with the Tylers. Also, there was a little excessive 'sss' sound with some female vocals, especially Martina McBride's "God's Will." I talked with the Zu guys (a very helpful bunch) and they assured me that it would take a few hundred hours for the Defs to break in. So, I let them run 24/7 for about 3 weeks, and during this time, did in fact find the bass to start developing and the highs to smooth out.

After about a month, I began the process of really trying to dial in the speakers with the room. This is one part of the process that can be a little frustrating. The Omen Defs sound very good just about anywhere I plopped them down -- imaging was very good, tone was excellent, but the bass was just not coming together as I had hoped. They still seemed to be a little bass shy, and it seemed to be a little out of balance with the superb midrange and highs. I read forums from other owners, and it seemed that the 'gap' between the speaker and the floor (or carpet in my case) was absolutely critical for dialing in the bass. I had mine on spikes about 5/8" off of the carpet, so I started to adjust the gap down a little. At about 3/8", things sounded quite a bit better (really difficult to see how 1/4" could make such a difference, but it did!), but still didn't seem like I was getting the best out of them. I used Peter Gabriel's "Don’t Give Up" (the last 45 seconds or so) and Rick Braun’s “Cadillac Slim” to work on the bass. I tinkered around about a week, adjusting the spikes and moving the speakers around the room, but never felt like I had hit the sweet spot.

A couple of days later, I was poking around in the garage and found some excess MDF board crammed into a corner. I had an idea, so I cut a couple of pieces into 14" squares and placed them under the Defs. Wow, now we are talking. Suddenly the bass took on a new depth and power. Now I had a near full-range speaker, outside of the deepest of bass (I am a bass freak, so a sub is pretty much mandatory for me). My room is such that there is a bass 'suckout' at the listening position around 40Hz, so a sub really helps smooth that out. But with the MDF slabs underneath the Omen Defs, I was getting bass down to low 30s (I measured down about 4 db at 31.5 Hz, dropping off very fast after that).

After fiddling some more, I ended up with the Defs tilted slightly back, about 3/8" gap between the speakers and the MDF slabs, toed in to where the speakers cross about 3' behind my head. The speakers are a little over 9' apart (they seem to like a wide spread) and I sit just short of 11' away. They are about 5' from the back wall, and about 24" from the side walls to the front of the speaker. After finally getting them positioned well in my room, the Omen Defs provide the most convincing sound of any speaker I have ever heard. There is a magic in a full range driver speaker that has to be heard to be appreciated. Vocals are absolutely phenomenal -- clear, full, up front, and forceful. Guitars are just like at a concert (to be expected since the driver is based off of the Eminence driver). Soundstage is huge -- both wide and deep. Even my wife, who can't understand why so many 'boxes' keep coming and leaving our house was impressed. "The singer is right here in the room with us."

The Defs sound equally well on all types of music. I am not really a country music fan, but my son has started to like some country stuff (met a 'girl' that likes it, so you know how that goes). Listening to country vocals on the Defs is really an experience. I am not sure I would say vocals are over-emphasized, but they really take the focus of the music with the Zus. Absolutely stunning. The Zus evoke more emotion from me than any other speaker I have ever heard. Again, such a different presentation from any other speaker I have heard as well. Another obvious benefit is the Defs will play LOUD. I mean, really LOUD! And they do so without breaking up. They are so clean and fast that I often find myself listening to music at a much higher volume than I normally would. Not that I need to -- the speakers sound terrific at low volumes as well -- but because I can -- the Zus do not show signs of stress till way past a level that is not dangerous to the neighbors!

I listen mainly to rock and jazz music, and the Defs are fantastic. They convey the power and intensity of the music. My son is a drummer, and he actually laughed when he listed to a drum solo by Neil Peart -- it sounded so real to him. The Defs are not the last word in high end detail (the Tylers were more detailed), but they do not mask anything either. I hear all the details in the music, but it is just not as prominent -- the midrange takes precedence. I even listened to some classical music (not really my cup of tea, but I have some so I can at least appear 'cultured'), and it was fabulous as well. One thing I notice with the Defs is that they seem to present the 'whole picture' rather than emphasize the individual. For example, when listening to Ein Straussfest, I didn't find myself identifying the individual instruments within the orchestra, but rather was drawn to the whole performance. Not that the individual instruments cannot be picked out (they can), but that is not what you are drawn to.

You can tell I really like the Omen Defs. However, they are not a perfect speaker (is there really such a thing?). They will not plumb the extreme depths, and I still like using my subwoofer with them (I run the speakers full-range, and the sub is crossed over around 40 Hz). The sound is more up-front than my Tylers were -- this is not necessarily good or bad, but one needs to be aware of this. You are not sitting in the middle of the concert hall with the Omen Defs -- you are in the first few rows. And, as I chronicled above, they take a little patience to get the bass dialed in. Reading comments from many that have owned/or currently own the Defs, I think many have sold the Defs short in the bass area because they have not been able to find that magical gap/tilt position. It can be frustrating, but once the bass is dialed in with the room, the Defs are really an extraordinary speaker.

Fast forward about 3 months, and I purchased a pair of upgraded Omen Defs from a fellow Agon member. They were upgraded with Mundorf silver/oil caps on the tweeters, and the bass drivers were upgraded to the HO drivers found in the Superfly model. This results in a net increase in sensitivity (101 db vs. 98 db at 1 watt). Without going into great detail, the upgrade was a worthwhile investment to me. The top end became more detailed and yet smoother at the same time. The new HO drivers are more agile, the midrange seems to have even more dynamics, and the bass is extended slightly further. The upgrade is not revolutionary, but evolutionary, and yet, when played side by side, is readily identifiable. After the upgrade, I can honestly say vocals are the best that I have ever heard -- period (I can only imagine how the Def IVs must sound!). The upgraded ones are definitely smoother, and are a little more forgiving of subpar recordings (though they are still extremely revealing). Is the upgrade worth the extra money? That is a little harder to assess. The stock ones are so good, and are a great deal at their delivered price, it is difficult to encourage one to invest the extra money for the upgrades. However, if your system is up to it, and you want the absolute best, then go for the upgrade.

Enter the Tekton Pendragons. A quick assessment of non-sound related qualities, I think the Zu finish is more refined (but for extra money, the Pendragons finish can be upgraded to just about anything you could want). The shipping cartons for the Zus are very robust and definitely have an advantage over the Tekton packaging (though mine traveled to the east coast and then all the way to AZ with just a couple of nicks). Both companies are terrific to deal with (Gerrit and Sean of Zu, Eric of Tekton). The Pendragons are definitely larger, being 4" deeper and about 8" taller then the Defs. They weigh about the same, and the 'knuckle' test on the cabinets would seem to favor the Defs, though I do not hear any cabinet 'nasties' from the Tektons.

I started out with the Pendragons set in the same location as the Defs, and things sounded pretty good. After playing with the location for several days, the sweet spot seemed to be slightly closer together than the Zus, and they are angled in to point directly at the listening position. At first listen, they are definitely in the same vein as the Defs. Very open and dynamic. Starting at the bottom, the Pendragons are able to go lower than the Defs -- they have very, very good bass. I was worried when I saw the 2 large rear ports, but I do not hear any port anomalies. This extra bass weight is not apparent on all recordings, but if the recording plumbs the 20s, the Pendragons will deliver. If one is looking for a full-range speaker, the Pendragon probably better fits the bill (though I still like using my subwoofer with them as well, but that is most likely due to my room).

Moving up to the midrange (I will be comparing the stock version of the Defs as they are very similar in price to the Pendragons), the Pendragons are again somewhat similar. However, this is where I give a definite advantage to the Defs. Vocals and guitars just sound more 'there' with the Zus. Vocals have a greater power and clarity with the Zus -- really quite evident on male vocals. Kenny Chesney's (I know, country music, but it is revealing) "When the Sun Goes Down" really accentuates this. On the Zus, his voice is deep and powerful and clear -- when turned up, you can feel his voice against your chest. On the Pendragons, though still excellent sounding, they lack that ultimate power and force. With the Zus, his voice grabs you and holds you. With the Tekton's, the voice is there and clear, but lacks the emotional impact provided by the Zus. Now, don't get me wrong -- vocals on the Pendragons are excellent, better than most speakers I have heard. For me though, the Zus have a magic that really captivates me. Same with female vocals. The Zus ooze with power, clarity and emotion, the Pendragons are more reserved. To some, the slightly more reserved presentation might be preferred, though all the people who have heard both in my room definitely preferred the Defs.

Moving up to the highs, I again give the advantage to the Zus. Neither speaker draws attention to itself in this area, and neither would be classified as highly detailed nor ultra airy. Yet I never sense that I am missing anything with either speaker. Percussionist Jim Brock’s “Tropic Affair” is one of the best CDs to test for cymbal clarity and air, and the Zus seem to better delineate the highs. I had two friends come over while I compared the two speakers, and both of them like the additional clarity of the Zus, but again, were not dissatisfied with the Tektons at all in this area.

When just listening to music (Rush, Kansas, Rick Braun, Passion Band, Dream Theater, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jason Gray, Christy Nockels – best female vocalist I have ever heard, Dire Straits, David Benoit, Norah Jones, etc.) I did gravitate to the Zus more than the Tektons. The Defs are more up-front than the Pendragons, but vocals and guitars (that crucial midrange area) have a ‘you are there’ realism that is simply not matched by the Pendragons. The midrange is full-bodied like no other speaker I have ever heard. They are the one speaker I have heard that gets the grunge sound of Creed right. They evoke an emotional response to the music that I have never experienced outside of a live performance.

Could someone else like the Pendragons better than the Defs? Absolutely. They are definitely a full-range speaker, and are able to reproduce sounds into the low 20s that the Defs simply cannot reach. They are not as forward as the Zus, and since they do not exhibit the sheer power and dynamics in the midrange, they are a little more forgiving of bad recordings. If one desires true full-range capability without the addition of a subwoofer, the Pendragons would be the route to go. I do enjoy switching to the Pendragons for a change of pace, and I am struggling whether to sell the stock Defs or the Pendragons (wife says either one of those has to go or I have to go!). I recently contacted Eric about upgraded crossovers for the Pendragons, and am looking forward to seeing the differences that will make.
Thank you for this excellent write-up! I just bought a pair of Zu Omen Standards and couldn't be happier with them. I had been considering also ordering a pair of Tekton M-Lores for the sake of comparison, but I'm so impressed with the Omens that I no longer think it's worth the effort. And for what it's worth, I agree 100% with your description of the Zu sound -- very well written.
Aren't the Def's around a grand more expensive? If so I would expect them to be better.
The Omen Defs are $3100 (shipping included), the Pendragons are $2500 + 200 shipping, so $2700.
Holley, out of curiosity, do you find there are any drawbacks to the upgraded Omen Defs vs. the stock version? I have the opportunity to upgrade my Omens, but am not clear on how that would change the sound.

There are no drawbacks (other than the extra $) at all. The upgraded Omen Defs improve slightly on the already fantastic midrange (vocals and guitar especially) -- quicker, more powerful, and increased dynamics. The greatest change is in the highs -- the upgraded ones have more detail and air, and yet, are smoother as well. I want to emphasize though, the improvements are evolutionary, not revolutionary.

Zu just came out with the option to upgrade the Defs further with the Nano drivers from the Dominance and Definition line. I am going to give that a try after I decide whether to keep the stock Defs or the Pendragons. I just received upgraded xovers from Eric at Tekton and installed one to compare to the stock. Quite a nice improvement, and well worth the price. Once I install the other one and let them burn in, I'll take another comparison. The upgrades definitely pulled the Pendragons closer to the stock Zus magic in the mids, and also provides more clarity and air in the highs than the stock Tektons xover.
Holley great review. Were you able to listen to the Zu with the new nano drivers or the tekton with the mundorf caps??
Jkontuly, I am waiting for the Nano drivers to arrive from Zu. I am hoping they will get here near the end of August.

I did get the upgraded crossovers for the Pendragons and have just passed the 300 hour mark on them. A very worthwhile upgrade. I initially upgraded one speaker so I could compare with the stock version. The upgraded one was much more defined in the top end, airier, and overall gives a cleaner view of the music. It definitely improves the vocal presentation and brings more emotion to the music.
Holley (or anyone) --- is the upgrade xover now standard in the Pendragon, or is it an additional cost item when ordering ??
The caps are an upgrade only. The caps are very large and the price on them is over $700 for both speakers if purchased from a parts store, I'm not sure how much Eric charges, but I bet it's somewhere on his blog.
As Morgan said, the Mundorf caps are an upgrade only. The cost from Eric is $750 (now listed on the Tekton site under the blog section).
Hi everyone,
This is my first attempt at any discussion of any kind about any subject. But I am really enjoying the conversation and the insights given. I'm close to ordering a pair of pendragons and spoke with Eric yesterday. Great conversation but was unaware of the upgrades being mentioned. My question is; I see at "audiogon" some folks selling upgraded pendragons with caps ? and custom paint. Selling at 2300.00 vs 3300.00. Good way to go or stay clear?? I like the idea of supporting an upstart company and upfront creator like Eric.

I haven’t seen any Pendragons for sale for a while now, but no matter. You are posting on a site where used gear is bought and sold all the time. The bottom line: When you buy a piece of used gear, the purchase is based on a certain level of trust.

The reputation of seller and buyer is very important. If you don’t have a rating, you might find that some sellers will not respond to your inquires. Likewise, you as a buyer will need to trust that the seller is accurately representing the condition of the item. It’s a two-way street that involves a leap of faith sometimes unless one or both parties are well known and have solid reputations.

Buying used for the first time and having not having a rating (and I haven't checked if you have), one of the things I would ask myself is: Is there a good used market for what I want? If I don't like it, how easy will it be for me to sell it? Having said that, buying new from Eric will avail yourself of his 30-day home trial. Trying out a piece of gear in your own room, with your own equipment with minimal risk is something that needs to be considered and only you can answer.

Good luck...
Thanks for the reply. I would prefer buying direct from Eric.....that is where the trust factor comes in to play. With the recommended upgrades though, the price is headed towards 4000.00 ( including the custom paint).
Holley, thanks for the thorough write up. I have been interested in Zu stuff for a while. To be clear, you ran the Zu's with the W4S SX-500 mono's?
Holley, if you are located in the Tucson/Phoenix area could I contact you? I am interested in setting up a system like yours. W4S --> Zu etc.....
Honeybee2012, I am located in the Southeast part of Tucson. You can contact me at [email protected]
Hi Tholt, missed your question. Yes, I ran both the Zus and Tekton's with Wyred SX-500 monos.
Anyone tested the new seas pendragon? It's a bit smaller but someone help me with the other component changes as listed on Eric's site. How would these two go in a head to head battle?
I received the new Nanotech drivers from Zu a couple of days ago and they have been running pretty much 24/7 since. They are a significant upgrade from the stock drivers. They are more detailed and yet sound more relaxed, faster, and more substantive on vocals and guitars especially. What I was not prepared for (and doesn't really make sense to me) is the high end has improved quite a bit -- more air and detail, and soundstage depth has increased. With the stock drivers, if driven hard and very loud, there was a slight harshness on some material. That is absolutely gone now.

I also compared the new Nanotech drivers to the HO drivers I have in my second pair of Omen Defs, and while not as dramatic of a change, they still provide a nice improvement. The whole musical presentation seems a bit more relaxed, but yet has more 'heft' and dynamics. Overall, I am very pleased with the new drivers.

Now, to compare the upgraded Omen Defs to the upgraded Pendragons . . .
I'm getting the Pendragons matched with the M-lore based center channel and a pair of M's as side surrounds for a 5.0 system an can't wait. Thanks for all the great reviews.
Holley, In another thread an owner of Pendragons( 8ohm,std drivers) measured their efficiency 4 db lower than Eric specs, 94-95 db 1w/1M. Was your experience similar with the Zus being decidedly more efficient the the Pens? Did you ever try a 20-40w tube amp to listen to what valves sounded like?
Klh007, That would seem to agree with what I have observed. The Pendragons seem to be about 4-5 db less efficient than my Omen Defs (which are supposed to be 101db 1w/1m). Nothing truly scientific, just sitting at the listening position and measuring the DB level of a 1 KHz tone for the Zus and then switching to the Pendragons. I definitely have to increase the volume a decent amount to reach the same volume level on the Pendragons.

I have not tried tubes at all. Too hot here in AZ in the summer (87 days of 100 degree+ temps) for me to go back in that direction.

I did have a couple of local audiophiles stop by this weekend to take a listen to the Omen Defs and Pendragons (we compared the stock Omen Defs with HO driver upgrades and the Pendragons with the crossover upgrades). Both of them slightly preferred the Pendragons to the Defs, saying the Pendragons gave greater image depth (they also preferred the soundstage appearing to start behind the speakers rather than the Zus, which are more up front) and sounded slightly warmer than the Zus. They also liked the deep bass foundation of the Pendragons, but said the bass on the Omen Defs seemed to be better defined. I must admit that I had the Pendragons optimally set up (I have been playing with them for several days) while the Zus were just placed beside the Pendragons to do quick comparisons.

After the local audiophiles left, I switched the positioning of the Zus and Pendragons, and the image depth advantage of the Pendragons went away -- the Omen Defs now had the greater depth of image. So if I was to make a final comparison of the Defs and Pendragons, with the input of several different people now, I would say this:

Advantage Defs:
1. Midrange clarity, power and dynamics.
2. High end air (close call here, but listening to music with high cymbal content revealed higher detail and clarity from the Zus. My son, who is a drummer, identified this characteristic very quickly, me not as easily).
3. Bass definition and speed. The bass is not as deep, but is more articulate.

Advantage Pendragons:
1. Deep bass foundation. The Pendragons really are a full-range speaker, and that foundation gives the music a fuller, slightly warmer feel when deep bass is present (the local audiophiles called the Pendragons more analog sounding than the Zus).
2. Sound more like 'traditional' speakers (not sure if this is really an advantage). One of the audiophiles was having a hard time adjusting to the Zus -- the presentation was just 'too different.' For him, the Pendragons had the dynamic, open sound, but still gave a similar sound stage (mid concert hall) vs. the very up front sound of the Zus.
3. Sounded slightly warmer (more analogue sounding).

Bottom line is this: Both speakers are remarkable values, are easy to drive, and present open, dynamic sound. I am not sure one can say which one is 'better,' as each person has their own set of criteria. One thing I have learned is the room has as much to do with the sound as any single component. Setting up the speakers at one end of the room (which I have to do to keep the wife happy) leaves me with a somewhat collapsed soundstage, and a bass NULL at the listening position. Switching the speakers to the other end of the room creates a magnificent soundstage and true full range output at the listening position. All this to say there is no substitute for being able to hear speakers in your own room with your own equipment with your own ears!
Brian, Did you order stock Pens, or the SEAS version? What did Eric tell you about the differences between the 2 Pens? How much less efficient are the SEAS version?
Hey 007, when I asked Eric about the upgrade to the SEAS, he said that the "seas pendragon" was a smaller version of the stock Pen( as stated in an updated presentation of the seas pen). My room is 20x20x8; Eric assured me the stock Pen would be the better performer of the two.
TAKE NOTE; the upgraded Seas Pen cost 500.00 more than the stock Pens. Eric's recommending the least priced speaker lends testimony to his honest pursuit of providing "best choice, best sound."
So, I'm getting the stocks, m-lores and m-lore center! Just need that right color.
Holley, When you re-positioned the Zus and got the better depth, did the up front first row soundstage retreat to row 8-10 or remain front row? Were you able to have the Pens 3' from the back wall, I hear they can get boomy/congested if they are any closer? The Zus should be easier to place in the room, w/o bass reflex ports in the back as the Pens have?
Sorry, my words were confusing. When I repositioned the Zus, the depth of soundstage increased dramatically, but you are still sitting in the first couple of rows. The best spot in my listening setup (which my wife will not allow permanently!) is with the speakers about 7' out into the room, with a stairway behind them that leads downstairs. In my normal setup, the speakers are about 5' from the rear wall. I have tried them closer to the back wall (from 2' or so), and never spent much time with them there as the soundstage collapsed with that setup. I am pretty sure it is my room as that has been the case for several different speakers I have had.

The Zus are definitely easier to place in regards to the bass, but they are finicky with the gap underneath the speakers. It takes some serious trial and error to get the Zus sounding their best (good news is they really don't sound bad anywhere, but there is definitely a sweet spot within the room where they really sing).
A "pro installer" described the Pendragons as being another bright speaker....like th klipsch reference. Is this true?? After reading these forums, I was thinking the opposite. Help please.
I had the pleasure to meet with Eric when I picked up my set of Pendragon in Utah. This is my second pair of Tekton speakers. When I hooked the pendragon to my tube amp, I was immediately impressed with the Bass and mid but I had trouble with the HI freq. I talked to Eric and he told me it is a matter of time and once the speakers are broken in I will find back the HI I was looking for. After 2 weeks of use 24/7 I can tell you now that the pendragon sound absolutely phenomenal across the board. Make sure you have enough room treatment and play with positioning the speakers properly and you will be rewarded. I listen to vinyl only and the combination of vinyl, tubes and Pendragon is jaw dropping.. Happy listening.Dan
The Pendragons are not bright at all. I am very sensitive to brightness And I have a highly reflective room and they are the least bright of any speaker I have owned. The tweeter is quite nice. Your installer likely wants to sell you something else IMO.
I agree with Morganc's assessment -- the Pendragons are not bright at all. Even with the upgraded xover, that does give a nice improvement in detail and air, I have noticed no shrillness in the highs at all. They are a very balanced speaker.
Do you like the Zu speakers better than the Tyler's?
I listened to some Tyler speakers in the past but
There is something magical about the pendragon.
I am in the process to hook them up to a high
Power solid state amp (pass lab) to see if the
Sound improve over my 100watt tube amp.
Don 't forget the -New Tekton Pendragon -SE which use totally different drivers.the SE model is slightly smaller 53 inches X 10 w X 13 d.
The mid- woofers are custom 8 inch models from the Seas Prestige line
And the Tweeters are Scanspeak ring radiators from their discovery line.
The crossover uses the excellent Jantzen Copper coil inductors Mundorf
Resistors, and upgrade option -Mundorf Silver oil capacitors for the extra
Money's you get much more refinement ,with image focus soundstage
Size and depth and air around the instruments .i have used these in many builds for at least6 years if you have the extra a no brainer,the only negative is the 200 hours just to start opening up and over 400 hours
To fully settle in .i documented literally 1,000 s of hours with caps.
One more thing Eric had a excellent painter and they will paint your
Speakers any Automotive color ,you just give them the color type and automobile.the price varies depending on how extensive the paint such as a candie apple .standard price is $3k with every option including delivery
Which is around $200 it is under $4400,and will go toe to toe with speakers in the $$ five digit range. 95 db efficient and a 4 ohm speaker.
At present it is a 2 week wait before they ship. I put my order in
And will present my findings and comparisons after I run them in
A couple of weeks.
"standard price is $3k with every option including delivery
Which is around $200 it is under $4400"

This makes no sense. Please explain.


That's a difficult call between the Zus and Tylers. Both are excellent speakers, and I really like them both, but they present very different views into the music. The Tylers put you in the studio with the musicians while the Zus put you in the concert arena. Its really a matter of personal choice. I have had lots of people come over and listen to my Zu system and about 1/2 say they liked the Tylers better. The Zus present a very different view of the music, and for some, it is too drastic a change. I was forced to move to the Zus with our family situation or I probably would never have sold my Tylers. However, now that I have the Zus, I really have no desire to look for new speakers.
"standard price is $3k with every option including delivery
Which is around $200 it is under $4400"

This makes no sense. Please explain.

I think he meant: The standard price is $3K. Delivery is around $200. The Pendragon S with the different options he mentioned above is around $4400 delivered.

I don't like being part of the grammar police but posters should take some care in their writing.
Before spending another dime on the Zu speakers the New
Tekton Pendragon - SE is in another league,using great components
No full range band drivers,the cabinets are a bit shorted around 52 inches tall. The drivers are excellent A pair of Seas 8 inch bass- mid drivers
Flanked by 3 Scanspeak Ring radiators from their discovery line
If you are going this far do buy the 2 - Mundorf Silver oil caps per speaker
They make the instruments sound much more real in tone, and there is more weight around the images. This New speaker is totally custom
And for less than 1/4 of what Zu charges you can have any custom paint
Of your choice.i heard the Stock Pendragon with The Mundorfs and they
Are noticably better then the Omens,these new SE version will
Go toe to with much more expensive speakers.Eric has a good ear
I am patiently waiting on mine .i am hard to please owning many
Big reputation speakers past and present.i will get back to you in Nov.
A question regarding the Pendragons. I just placed my order for a pair yesterday. I have seen much buzz about how they are dynmaic, sound big and explosive, have superb bass...etc...

But how do they handle the smaller fare? I am not second guessing my purchase (yet) because I do tend to listen to complex music at realistic levels most of the time. So I do think they were the better choice over the Lores. But what about when they are playing the simple stuff? Solo guitar, piano, vocals? I have seen no comments regarding that kind of stuff.

Thoughts are welcome and appreciated.

No one? Nada? Nothing?

They sound excellent on guitar, vocals, etc. I do find that Zu does vocals better though as they do not use a crossover, however both are very good with Zu having a slight advantage.
Shakeydeal, the Pendragons sound very good with guitar and vocals. My schedule has relegated much of my listening to late night with kids in bed, so the music has been mainly simple, quiet stuff. I have been very satisfied. But they really shine when you get the chance to open them up.

I ended up selling (reluctantly) my Pendragons and keeping my upgraded Zu Omen Defs. The Zus do not have the bottom depth that the Pendragons have, but I do prefer the Zu presentation of vocals and guitar. It has more weight and power. I'm not sure if you got the upgraded xovers with your Pendragons, but I would highly recommend them -- they made a significant improvement. I agree with Morganc's coments. Only thing I would say is the Pendragon full-range drivers operate full-range -- there is no xover to them. I had Eric build the xovers and ship them to me and I installed them, and the woofers are wired in series directly to the input -- no xover components.
Thanks for your input Morganc and Holley. I was almost sure that when talking to Eric he said there was indeed a xover in the Lore and the Pendragon, but maybe I was mistaken. I am looking forward to hearing the speakers and see how they compare to my now departed Green Mountain Audio C3s.

I owned the Tekton Uruz for a couple of years.
Impressive speaker and certainly for the money. Works well with almost any amplifier. I ran Manley Snappers, Manley Neo-classic 250s, Gamut D200, Electrocompaniet ECI-3, Shindo Cortese, Shindo Montille, Shindo Corton Charlemagne and Canary ca-339s through them and they sounded very good with all.
Ultimately, it did not have a wide enough sweet spot for my taste.
I kept my Joseph Audio rm25si mkII speakers and sold the Tektons.
I also felt my vintage Altec Valencias had more finesse and authority.
For the money, I suspect you will be hard-pressed to do better than the tekton speakers. But in my opinion, for more money, you can certainly get more speaker.

I listen to a lot of guitar and accoustic music.. I just finished listening to blue coast records new collection sacd and the sound was absolutely gorgeous.you made a great decision by buying the pendragons.
Thanks analoguefan. Can I ask what speakers you have compared the tektons to and what your associated gear is?


Hello. Very cool review, a ton of very useful info. You had me starting to salivate about the Zu. Almost pulled out my checkbook:)

I am quite interested in the Pendragon SE, with the Mundorfs. I trust someone will post about these as well in the near future.
Once you get to the Pendragon SE w/ Mundorf price tag, you are getting closeto the used Zu Definition mkII or used mkIII price tag.........and IMO the Zu Def is much better all around. Just another option to consider.....
Definition Mk II on Agon right now for 7800.00. Not even close to the price of the Pendragons.

Just sayin.....

They can be found for much less than that.....just sayin' :)
I had the Lore before the Pendragons and yes big difference between the two. The interesting part is that before I settled for the Pens. I auditioned magnepan 3.7 for hours using audio research amplification as well as Bryston and as much as liked the big Maggie's I still prefer the dynamic of the Tekton. I am usiing 40 w/ tube amps with the Pendragon and I love the combination. Good luck. Daniel