Although effective power will be lower into a 12 ohm load compared to 8 ohm or lower as is typical with most speakers these days, the Zus are high efficiency speakers, meaning they go louder with fewer watts, and are designed to present an easy load (12 ohm) for most any amp to drive compared to most modern speakers with impedances of 8ohms or lower.
They should work very well with most any low to moderate power amp, including 100w SS, but be a particularly good match to the 35 w/ch tube amp.
You cannot hurt the speakers by experimenting with the different taps. Just find the one that suites your taste.
In most rooms you will be challenged to clip a 35 watt tube amp on the Omens. They are easy to drive and rewardingly great sound too.
Atmasphere , do yo own a pair,had a listen yet of them? If so could you define the bass for me? Thanks.
Has ANYBODY outside of the Zu factory actually heard the Omen, yet?
I listened to the Omens at length at the RMAF last month and they absolutely destroyed quite a lot of the competition costing multiple amounts more. (No, I don't work for or have ANY connection to Zu). The fact they were selling them for $995 pushes them past the Magnepan MMG as the best speaker for the buck out there, in my opinion. My wife was so mesmerized by the Zu sound she ended up ordering a pair of the Soul Superfly's which we are anxiously awaiting. To answer another question in the thread, the bass is punchy and tight and unless they were in a large room I don't think you would need a sub.
The thing I like about the Zus on paper (having never actually heard them), in addition to their high efficiency, easy load, and supposed ability to go loud well, is that they use a single wide range driver for most of the sound, supplemented by a tweeter that crosses over relatively high compared to many designs, at 10Khz or so as I understand it. That is one of the attributes of the OHM Walsh speakers that endear them to me (they crossover at 8khz or so I believe), so the Zu's are a design that I would really like to hear some day.
The Omens will crank with that tube amp. Use the 16 ohm tap.
Although I don't own a set, I have heard them with our gear and IMO they are the move that ZU really needed to make! Fast, relaxed, detailed, really easy to drive and the bass is really improved over the Druid. I think they look better too.
Atmasphere, may I ask what type of gear you were using ?
Cwazz- Atmasphere is the owner and designer of Atma-sphere OTL tube amps (and tube pre-amps). When he says our gear, he means Atma-sphere products. Based on his show demos, he likes to listen to music at realistic live performance levels (IOW, loud!!!) and if he says a 30 wpc tube amp will be more than adequate, you can bet on it.
For the most part, one of our S-30 amplifiers and one of our preamps. For 99% of my listening, I can't clip the S-30 on that speaker. The meter barely moves at all.
ZU's twitter page has a photo of the new Omen Definition that will go on sale black friday. Looks like 2 10" zu drivers with a tweeter in between, packaged in a Omen like cabinet. Those that did not jump on the Soul or Omen preview sales may want to hold off to see what pricing is like, with twice the driver compliment I imagine it will come in above the Soul.
Zu now has a facebook page and the photo is posted there also...
Omen Definition will sell for $2500.
Sangria, Electric Blue, Ghost Black
They appear to have gone hyperactive. Omen, Soul, Soul Superfly, Omen Definition and now the Omen Centre. And they appear to be working Saturdays to ship stuff.
I think the Omen and Soul should be looked at as separate speaker lines with different target end users rather than competing within the same line.
Its an interesting approach which actually makes a lot of sense as it unfolds.
That said--ignoring my own suggestion, I'm curious as to ow the Omen Def compares to my Soul Superflys.
That way madness lies :) Leave it be!
They appear to have gone hyperactive. Omen, Soul, Soul Superfly, Omen Definition and now the Omen Centre.
There are at least 3 other speakers (beyond what you've mentioned) coming in the Omen line in the very near future. Yes, they are in overdrive.
That said--ignoring my own suggestion, I'm curious as to ow the Omen Def compares to my Soul Superflys.
Tough call, but I'd stick with the Superfly. Then again, I've never been a fan multiple midrange drivers, so the Superfly fits my preferences better.
@Atmasphere- have you listened to the Zu Essence with your gear? Thoughts on that match?
We've got customers who have an like the combo a lot, but I've not heard them myself.
If you think a 12 ohm impedance throws some people off, look at the quick comparison chart for Dominance, which is coming out in January. It's user switchable, and can be set to 48 ohms. Not a typo there- FORTY EIGHT! What stinking tap do you use then? LOL.
@Ralph- not a dig at your gear, not at all (especially since I intend to buy an OTL amp in the next year), but I have a question for you. On that same comparo chart Zu has, it says some of their speaker designs suffer from "poor bass response" or only "fair" bass with OTL amplifiers. What's the rub there? What kind of speaker would make an OTL amp sound limp in the bass response? Still trying to learn about these OTL amps and how they differ from the standard transformer containing amps. One of the great mysteries of my life right now. I can take a body apart and put it back together easy, but this electronic stuff baffles me sometimes.
Atmasphere - interested that you think Omen was the move that Zu needed to move - does that mean as opposed to the Soul?
Mahughes, no, that is as opposed to the Druid.
Afc, the ZU speakers are all fairly high efficiency. So they encourage the user to use lower-powered amplifiers if they can. An excellent example of this is the Definition, which is 6 ohms. A lot of people want to put a smaller amp on that, because they really don't need the power.
Now with OTLs, you have a phenomena of economy of scale- the bigger the OTL, the more efficient it becomes with low impedance speakers. That is why are larger amps like the MA-1, MA2 and MA-3 can fly in the face of conventional OTL mythology as they can be quite comfortable with 4 ohm speakers.
But smaller OTLs, because of this economy of scale, don't make good power into lower impedances. Normally the ZU speakers are 12 ohms, and almost any OTL made can drive that easily. But 6 ohms... now if you want to use a 30-watt OTL, with that impedance it will play, but it won't sound right.
There was/is a 30-ohm version of the Definition, that plays beautifully with smaller OTLs. And now there are newer ZU speakers that have a switch so you can set that impedance high if you want to, allowing for a lower powered OTL and the speaker to strut their stuff.
So I guess 180 watt monoblocks are out of the question for Zu speakers?
No- they like power just fine, as long as the amp has the finesse to not make a fool of itself.
"as long as the amp has the finesse to not make a fool of itself"
Is it possible for a amp to make a fool out of it's self? I will admit mt Rogue's do have personality.
The ZU speakers seem to work better with amplifiers that have a slightly higher output impedance, and the newer models seem like they are more accurate/less forgiving of brightness and sluggish behavior from the amp. So yes, some amps will be revealed in this fashion quite quickly.
So while the speaker does not mind having power at its disposal, it had better be clean power. Its a common experience that smaller amplifiers sound better and in this case the biggest amp you might ever want to put on this speaker might only make 40-50 watts at the most. A lot of bigger amps may not be up to the task.
I have to agree with Atmasphere's comment about accuracy, but with a slight reservation. I'm three weeks into my home trial of a pair of Essences. They possess the same 10" wide bander, but unlike the Omen, they use a ribbon tweeter. I've been experimenting with a variety of tube amps and taps. I'm currently using a push-pull EL84 amp that produces 22 wpc.
Since the speakers are still breaking in their character changes gradually. However, at this point one thing is very clear. They are capable of revealing all sorts of details. So far their presentation is one of rock solid images with a deep sound stage and plenty of air. Voice is reproduced in a fleshy, three dimensional manner. Piano, whether from a CD or LP, is stunning in tone, decay and resonance.
If anything seems out of whack at this stage it's the bass. While the Essence can produce solid bass (try Lyle Lovett's "She's already Made Up Her Mind"), it doesn't seem to blend seamlessly with the rest of the frequency spectrum. To my ears that makes the midrange stand out a bit too much and emphasizes the perception of "accuracy." At this point this may be a break in issue. I've got less than 100 hours on them. The wide bander uses a pleated surround which takes a notoriously long time time break in.
As part of a special promotion, I was given a 90 day home trial, so I'm in no hurry to rush to any judgement. I'm encouraged by what I'm hearing.
Thanks Jamich , can you please keep us up to date on this I appreciated it.
How would the Omen Defs sound with a mid range receiver like an Integra or Marantz? Is the power clean enough for these? I am encouraged by the reviews relative to the pricing. Could these be used with two Omen bookshelves, the Omen Center and a sub as a 5.1 system? I'm looking to utilize this system for both music and home theater in a fairly large room.
I'm sure they'd sound better with better amplification, but should still be nice with your receiver. I haven't heard the Omen Defs, just the Soul Superflys and it is hard to make them sound 'bad' with amplification.
As far as creating a 5.1 system with the rest of the Omen speakers, I can only say of cours! That largely seems to be the point of the other speakers in the line--I think thats evident by the fact that they're actually offering bundle pricing on the Omen Defs and Bookshelves
I'd hold off on the sub and see if its needed in the setup. The Omen Defs are supposed to have a great bottom end and I suspect you may have a difficult time integrating subs to the speakers.
Texas42 - Did you get your Superflys yet?
Your impression of the Omens is encouraging to me since I ordered a pair last week. Still $999 at Music Direct. Expected delivery end January, so I've got a little while to wait before I hear them.
Yes, we received the Superfly's (Superflies?) a couple of weeks ago and love them. At first I thought the sound was a bit too forward but I think that was only in contrast to the speakers I had replaced them with, which were more recessed in sound. I'm using a NOSValves modified vintage Scott 299D Tube Integrated with 16 ohms taps and the synergy is perfect! Just the right amount of bloom with dynamics. Startling realism without losing any musicality. Only thing I regret now (although my wife is fine with it) is that they didn't make them available in walnut when we ordered them (we have the cosmic carbon finish). Could return them for an exchange I suppose but they are too difficult to unplug now. Also, I highly recommend the Zu Mission cables with them.
2nd day with the Omens driven by a Sophia Baby Amp (10wpc). 2/10 of volume effortlessly fills my C-shaped 25x25 listening room to "loud conversation" levels. 5/10 of volume annoys people watching a movie 2 rooms away. As previously noted - the character changes are rather obvious as the break-in proceeds (starts somewhat congested but within few hours it comes alive). Right now Joe Henderson playing Jobim comes through precisely and evenly laid out throughout the frequency range - perhaps the lower octave not as full just yet.
I just received my Omens today. Ive been running them with a DIY 2A3 SET and so far so good. Plenty of power at 4 watts, no issues with the 12 ohm impedance. I've got a way to go before I need toake a decision but I'm pretty sure I'll keep them.
"Character changes are rather obvious as the break-in proceeds." Boy, have you ever got that right. I'm just passing 100 hours on my Essences and have experienced the same exact thing. I also discovered how much a difference seating height makes, though that might not be as big an issue with the Omens. How do you find the Omen's bass response? While the Essence can reach down there (check Lyle Lovett's She's Already Made Up Her Mind), and the bass is quite tuneful, I do find that's a bit light weight at times. I found the Essence to become much smoother as it broke in. I'm currently driving them with a Bob Latino/VTA ST70 with all of the cap upgrades. The speaker connectors are hard wired to the 4 ohm tap which to my ears produces a somewhat laid back and polite sound.
Jamich I heard the Essences connected with Jolida tube
amp ,the musicality of this combination is unbelievable,
I can feel the emotion of Elton John while singing.The
dynamics,palpability,goosebumps all in there.
Jayctoy, which Jolida powered the Essences? I find that the Essence driven by tubes is spot-on with vocals and pianos. Palpability and goosebumps are both included with the price of admission. What did you think of the bass response?
Can we get back to the original question ,,,and has any bought the Omens yet and have a review of them?
Use the tube amp with the 8 ohm tap. Should be fine.
Check out the thread in the cheap and cheerful section of Audiocircle.com A number of ACers have purchased the Omens and posted thoughts and impressions there.
I have them and they are fine speakers, good budget components that allow you to experiment with many amps. I use them on the 8ohm tap as that is all my amp has. Depending on your room size you only need a couple watts. My amp has 9w and I never have to turn it up beyond 11 o'clock.
I realize my experience is with the Essences so it might not apply exactly to the Omen. However, the both share the same 10 inch wideband driver. Compared to the 4 ohm tap, the 8 ohm tap delivers a crisper, faster, more open presentation. Until my speakers settled in a bit, I felt it was a bit too "in your face." So I tried the 4 ohm tap and found it smoothed things out a bit. The down side was the 4 ohm tap made things a bit too polite. Not offensive in any way and some listeners might prefer it over the 8. I thought the highs were rolled off a bit and the overall presentation lacked some air. A good demo would be Black Prarie's "Red Rocking Chair." In the end I think it's a very subjective call. Use the tap that produces the results you like the most.
However, they both share the same 10 inch wideband driver<<
Essence and Omen use different 10" drivers.
And soul different again.
I have the Omen Defs and they are night and day different from the Essence that I just sold yesterday after over a year in my system and my girlfriend, audiophile and non audiophile friends all agreed that they are a step up for my listening space (bright,reflective surfaces everywhere).
The Omen Defs have a much larger soundstage, a very large sweet spot, and have the palpable feeling of being at the concert....everyone that has heard them has commented on the fact that it sounds like the band is playing "just over there". They are not the ultimate in imaging or soundstage accuracy, but for someone like me, who prefers musicality, and a live sound, these are a great bargain at the Black Friday pricing for sure.
The break in has been a slow and at times painful process, but I have preferred the Omen Defs over the Essence from the moment I took them out of the box.
I have found great improvement from small positioning changes, to raising them off of the floor using bolts to improve the porting, to the Majik Buss that i just added.
Overall, I am very happy with these speakers and I have found that they excel with Jazz, Acoustic, and even electronica.....
I don't care what amp you use the Omen's are excellent speakers.They arrived the end of November I broke them in with a tubes and ran them all day everyday for 5 weeks then switched over to a Musical Fidelity A-5 proving that there's nothing like headroom. Yes these speakers play loud or soft. I might consider and upgrade to the Super Fly or Omen Def if someone can prove to me that it's justified.
Really clever marketing on Zu's part to offer them at $999.00 with a no questions asked return policy. Although Music Direct here in Chicago sells them for $999.00 regular price! So anyone considering a purchase should buy from MD not Zu and save $500.00 bucks and the return policy is still in place.
Can you give referance to other speakers you can compare the Omens to.
I'm looking at the Superfly, but if these are 90% there, I may concider them and pocket the yen.
Thank you. John
"Can we get back to the original question ,,,and has any bought the Omens yet and have a review of them?"<<
I bought the Omens and have probably less than 100 hours on them, so too soon to do an in-depth review.
I drive them with a 2A3 SET in a 12' x 13' room, and I will say that so far I really like them. Definately keepers @ $1,000. I also got the Zu Mission cables during the Christmas blowout sale and they helped quite a bit.
In this room with this amp I have had Klipschorns (too big for the room I'm afraid) and Tekton Katz Meow (last year's model). The Omens and Katz give a different presentation, I could easily live with either, both work very well with SET. The Omens sound bigger, more dynamic. The Katz are smoother, probably a little more holographic. I have yet to side-by-side them, but will soon. I think I'll end up determining that each does some things and some music better than the other.