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  1. #1
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Zealth Audio $890 Floorstanding Speakers

    So at CES a guy named Kevin was showing some very interesting speakers.

    Each speaker has left and right channels. The 'correct' side on the bottom with the opposite side coming out of the top. These speakers are a 20 year project. Kevin is now living in the San Diego area w/o a home.

    From what I remember, and will clarify in the review - each speaker has something like 8 cross overs and different Ohm ratings - 6, 8 etc. This helps it sound more cohesive.

    Anyways - I've just go them plugged into the Electrocompaniet PI-1 100W SS amplifier. I wish I had two set of the same speaker cables, but I don't at the moment.

    Anyways - if you missed my coverage of the speakers at CES here is the link.
    http://reviews.audioreview.com/blog/...-zealth-audio/


  2. #2
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    So why both channels in each speaker?

    Are the off-chanel drivers wired in opposite phase to the on-channel drivers so as to increase the perceived image spread? That is +L-R on the left and then +R-L on the right.

    This might be "spectacular sounding" but I suspect one should live with it a good while so that the gee-whiz effect wears off and then one is ready to compare it to the live music experience............

  3. #3
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    They look kind of odd but hey there are some odd looking components out there that kick some major Butt if you can get your wife to let you have them. I would be interested in how they sound and also how much of the detail is lost with all of the crossover networks being implemented and also the drivers look like from what I can see in the picture some of the drivers I have seen for driver replacement in old Advents and older style speakers. Are they foam surround drivers. Not to say that that would make them bad sounding just there longevity would not be there like rubber surrounds. It would be interesting to hear how they image and soundstage with such a sharp angle on the upper drivers, the angle looks to be somewhere around 50 to 60 degrees and that would make me wonder if that would push the image and stage too far up and not sound natural but like I have said there have been weirder designs out there that people have liked. And the whole left and right channel interchange between the upper and lower drivers does not make much since to me as far as staging and the music being where it is supposed to be with the stage. But right now only you can know how they sound because they are in your listening space but I will be interested in finding out how such an odd design does with equipment of the caliber you have there to test them with.

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  4. #4
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    This sounds similar to what Polk did with their SDA (Sound Dimensional Array) line. Feeding input from the opposite speaker to counteract it's bleed-over signal to get true isolated sound from each channel. You only hear the right channel in the right ear, left in the left. This just seems more elaborate with discrete drivers.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfalls
    This sounds similar to what Polk did with their SDA (Sound Dimensional Array) line. Feeding input from the opposite speaker to counteract it's bleed-over signal to get true isolated sound from each channel. You only hear the right channel in the right ear, left in the left. This just seems more elaborate with discrete drivers.
    It sounds to me like they are using a phase shifting method of separating channels and any crosstalk. Still seems odd to me that with today's components that such a design is needed since crosstalk is all but eliminated in almost all higher end components and audiophiles as a whole know a whole lot more about room treatment and speaker placement than they did a couple of decades ago. But like I said before sometimes odd designs can surprise people on what they can do.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  6. #6
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    This type of (we presume) design philosophy

    would not "just reduce crosstalk".

    It would tend to EXPAND the apparent soundstage.

    Maybe (in some cases) it would create a soundstage that seems wider than the walls of a typical listening room, say a room that is 13 ft wide, might allow.

    Example: Your room is 13' wide and you place "conventionial" speakers 2 ft from each side wall. Each speaker is 1 ft wide. With conventional speakers you subtract the distances of both speakers from the walls AND 1/2 the two speakers' widths:

    Estimate center to center soundstage width = 13' -2' -2' - .5' -.5'
    net width = 8'.

    But if your room is 18' to 21' wide you would get an apparent soundstage of maybe 13' to 16' wide. Which might be really fine for most recordings..............................

    The question people who might be interested in these speakers would want answered is "How wide is the apparent soundstage?" Maybe most useful would be a short study of "Room width versus apparent soundstage width", say for rooms 10' wide, 13' wide, and then rooms 16' wide?

  7. #7
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mash
    The question people who might be interested in these speakers would want answered is "How wide is the apparent soundstage?" Maybe most useful would be a short study of "Room width versus apparent soundstage width", say for rooms 10' wide, 13' wide, and then rooms 16' wide?
    Interesting idea Mash -

    Honestly though - so far I think I'm having issue w/ such a small ceiling and my chair height. I'm going to plug these back in tomorrow and listen again for the next week. But so far I'm not getting a great stage. Center image is fine, but stereo sounds don't seem to be cutting it at the moment. I'm going to continue to play around w/ set up - I think that is key.

    I have one record that has a fantastically large soundstage - i'll see what they do w/ it.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Adam have you tried them with the tweeters on the outside. I did not know if that might give a wider soundstage.
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  9. #9
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    Adam have you tried them with the tweeters on the outside. I did not know if that might give a wider soundstage.
    I'm going to give it shot - i'll write about all the configurations I try, including bi-amped and the standard bi-wired set up.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    it would be interesting too know the intent of the design as bud fried revealed when releasing his designs.

    he used whats called 'controlled directivity' to physically cause the sound to be directed inward to avoid room effects.

    my friend got some monitor IVs and figured that tweeter out would be effective in image spread. he ws WRONG. fried's design works EXACTLY as intended and he now gets an invisible speaker with a cavernous soundstage when thats in the recording.
    ...regards...tr

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Adam since they did not work as advertised in the suggested position have you tried any other methods with success?
    JohnMichael
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  12. #12
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    Adam since they did not work as advertised in the suggested position have you tried any other methods with success?
    JM - I wouldn't say they don't work as advertised - I think my ceiling my be too short -

    Here is what I wrote on FB the other day.

    "I'm running the Zealth Audio LoudSpeakers at the moment. Interesting since of space they create. I'm using Miles David Kind of Blue as my stereo test CD and hearing the sax on he left side is new and peculiar. It isn't pin point like so many box speakers - more defuse and larger in a way. The piano sounds good and the drums on the right keep where they should be but have a larger since of presences. More in a room feeling. This are very interesting speakers, and I think for $890 are pretty much a good deal. They don't do everything right, but overall very musical and the space they create is very appealing.


    Currently I'm running them the lower left/right off the Electrocompaniet PI-2 and the top left/right off the Mystere ia11. Obviously very different amplifiers and I can control the volumes to each segment of the speaker. I will just use the Electrocompaniet tomorrow.


    Oh the sax on track 2 just pop in. Much more dynamic (not that it was bad on the 1st track) but more life like and easier to pinpoint location. Just inside and out in front of the left speaker.

    http://www.zealthaudio.com/

    I'm going to have to continue to play around with set up - and I think my ceiling is too short - I sometimes hear the horns start low and on the correct side and the as they go up the scale and increase in volume they tend to float alway from their position. Wonder how awful my refecttions off my low ceiling are? Going to have to adjust for that somehow."

  13. #13
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    JM - I wouldn't say they don't work as advertised - I think my ceiling my be too short -

    Here is what I wrote on FB the other day.

    "I'm running the Zealth Audio LoudSpeakers at the moment. Interesting since of space they create. I'm using Miles David Kind of Blue as my stereo test CD and hearing the sax on he left side is new and peculiar. It isn't pin point like so many box speakers - more defuse and larger in a way. The piano sounds good and the drums on the right keep where they should be but have a larger since of presences. More in a room feeling. This are very interesting speakers, and I think for $890 are pretty much a good deal. They don't do everything right, but overall very musical and the space they create is very appealing.


    Currently I'm running them the lower left/right off the Electrocompaniet PI-2 and the top left/right off the Mystere ia11. Obviously very different amplifiers and I can control the volumes to each segment of the speaker. I will just use the Electrocompaniet tomorrow.


    Oh the sax on track 2 just pop in. Much more dynamic (not that it was bad on the 1st track) but more life like and easier to pinpoint location. Just inside and out in front of the left speaker.

    http://www.zealthaudio.com/

    I'm going to have to continue to play around with set up - and I think my ceiling is too short - I sometimes hear the horns start low and on the correct side and the as they go up the scale and increase in volume they tend to float alway from their position. Wonder how awful my refecttions off my low ceiling are? Going to have to adjust for that somehow."
    I may come across as a total noob here, but shouldn't a speaker's sound be judged from 'normal' rooms and setups? Meaning, 98% of folks who purchase speakers don't take time to find that ideal location or ceiling height. If I'm purchasing a speaker I want to hear the sound when placement isn't ideal to get a measurement or baseline if you will.
    If the speaker gets high marks then taking the time to find the sweet spot just makes it better.
    I don't mean to come across belittling critical reviews. I'm not. But when i read your moving speakers from here to there or considering ceiling height to get the best sound then it doesn't appear the reader is getting a true review, but a review under the best possible scenario.

  14. #14
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    I may come across as a total noob here, but shouldn't a speaker's sound be judged from 'normal' rooms and setups? Meaning, 98% of folks who purchase speakers don't take time to find that ideal location or ceiling height. If I'm purchasing a speaker I want to hear the sound when placement isn't ideal to get a measurement or baseline if you will.
    If the speaker gets high marks then taking the time to find the sweet spot just makes it better.
    I don't mean to come across belittling critical reviews. I'm not. But when i read your moving speakers from here to there or considering ceiling height to get the best sound then it doesn't appear the reader is getting a true review, but a review under the best possible scenario.
    Hi Tarheel -

    I see your point - but I would counter that a review that goes into detail about different placement of the speakers and the room they are in - should be seen as a guide for someone who might by those speakers - rather than not getting a true review. Besides that - no manufacturer would give you a product to review if you didn't set the things to perform it's possible best. The review would most likely say - imaging was bad - bass was lacking - and more negative critiques that depend on set up. I'm not too sure what you can really tell about a speaker other than maybe a glimps into its ability to resolve detail - if the speaker isn't set up correctly.

    Certain speakers are going to be more trouble to set up correctly than others. These for instance - speakers with side firing woofers - sometimes getting the bass right with rear ported speakers can be troublesome. I think, if a reviewer neglects to mention set up - weather it was easy or it took some time - than you can aren't getting as much information as you can/should from the review. But maybe it is how you see a review versus how I see a review. I see a review as a guide from a knowledgeable and honest source - about their experience with a component.

    When a reviewer says - this is the best - well that is the 'best' for them. Not for you. It is the best in their setup - their home - their ears. It really means absolutely nothing to you.

    My editorial article suggesting best in a category are based off the number of positive reviews the speaker or component has on audioreview and across other sites - as well - sometimes - it is just the best from what I have heard. But I try to explain that. Maybe I need to do better.

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    It has been almost a month (since the Feb 11, 2011 post update) so how is this going? Or is this a lost cause?

  16. #16
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Hey Mash -


    I'll have a short write up this week. I only had them for two-ish weeks.

    -adam

  17. #17
    Forum Regular swan24's Avatar
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    Just a quick point to make: I'm left wondering if anyone is aware that if you are auditioning one pair of speakers, and another pair of un-hooked-up speakers is nearby, the dead pair's woofers will move out of phase with the driven pair... ???... (m.)

  18. #18
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swan24
    Just a quick point to make: I'm left wondering if anyone is aware that if you are auditioning one pair of speakers, and another pair of un-hooked-up speakers is nearby, the dead pair's woofers will move out of phase with the driven pair... ???... (m.)
    This is true - but even if I moved the Zu's out of the way, the upward firing of the Zealth were too much for my small room.

    That is why my little write up will be more along the lines of a positive impression, but the speakers didn't work well in my room and thus a full review would be inappropriate.

    -adam

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