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  1. #1
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Zu Audio Omen Def Speakers





    If you check the weather radar for SoCal right now you'll find it is windy - and yeah - I'm the reason!
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  2. #2
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Ok I'm really liking this set up - Rega P3/24, Sumiko Evo III Blue Point Special, Moon LP3, Supra Sword IC and speaker cables, PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium, Zu Audio Omen Def.

    i'm spinning Sufjan Steven's The Age - I'm pretty much in a state of Super OMGZ Happy Joy Joy - the speakers have had about an 1hr of play time - so far. I hope it gets better cause this is pretty awesome.
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  3. #3
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    Looking good my fellow Zu-aphite. Those finger ports love more gap and a little backward tilt.

  4. #4
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    I moved the speakers back off the carpet onto the tile floor so they have a lot of room to breath.

    will work on tilts and stuff later but thanks for the suggestion.
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  5. #5
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    Adam, are those for review or did you acquire your own? Thanks for any feedback. Now you really have me anxious to get mine in.
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  6. #6
    RGA
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    Cute cat!

  7. #7
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Adam, are those for review or did you acquire your own? Thanks for any feedback. Now you really have me anxious to get mine in.
    I am really interested in hearing how these speakers sound and would really like a educated view from someone I know personally about the sound that they have. I know you have heard a lot of equipment and have the ability to hear a lot more stuff than I do with where you live and the only shop left in Springfield that I know of only sells B&W, Martin Logan which Martin Logan is not bad but their main components are Mcintosh which are well made but just do not have the sound that I like personally, A lot of people pair them with B&W because they are so bright that it takes super warm sounding stuff to tame them. I read a review on here that says that they are a very fun speaker to listen to and remind people of a good tube guitar amp which to me with a good guitar player playing a good guitar can make the sound magical and the Zu's are American made which has some pride with it as well. I know that crossovers are needed in most dynamic loudspeakers and are not necessarily a bad thing depending on the design but also I do realize that crossovers by design can't help but take a little of the power and sound from a speaker and that is the reason that a lot of newer speakers manufacturers are designing speakers that have drivers that are designed to not need crossovers and like the Zu;s their basically a full range 10" driver with a super tweeter crossed over minimally at around 10k which is an interesting concept to me and makes me want to hear them more. the fact that the crossover point is not in the middle of most of the musical information should be a benefit to the design and they might go well with your CJ gear since they are efficient and even though their web site states that they go well with SS and tube gear you can tell that tube gear was what they really designed them for. It will be interesting to hear feed back from what you think of these speakers.

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  8. #8
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    Some how in my mind I don't relish the idea of listening to music through a guitar amp. I missed those reviews some how. What got me interested in Zu was the talk of "tonal richness" and the dynamics. Another speaker company I was reading about, forget which one right now, uses drivers from the same company as Zu. That gave me a little more confidence in the quality of them. I will eventually know for sure.
    Mark Levinson #512
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  9. #9
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Hi folks -

    I will definitely try to convey as much as a can and answer any questions.

    I have them in for review. Right off the bad I do like them. But give me some time to spell out why. I mean I like other speakers that sound totally different, so me just liking them obviously isn't saying much.
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  10. #10
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Some how in my mind I don't relish the idea of listening to music through a guitar amp. I missed those reviews some how. What got me interested in Zu was the talk of "tonal richness" and the dynamics. Another speaker company I was reading about, forget which one right now, uses drivers from the same company as Zu. That gave me a little more confidence in the quality of them. I will eventually know for sure.
    I did not really mean to say I wanted to hear music through a guitar amp but I have been around musicians my whole life and if you have ever heard a good guitar being amplified by a good tube amp with a rich tone and quality drivers that do the amp right, then turn around and listen to a guy playing the same guitar through a cheaper modeling amp or Solid state amp with cheap drivers and the difference is really there and that was what I was talking about. That is one thing that tubes definitely have a advantage on is guitar amplification and I think that was the point that this reviewer was speaking about not actually hooking up your vinyl rig to a marshall and jamming.

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    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
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  11. #11
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    The full range drivers in the Zu's, Tekton Lore's and Hawthorne's are all made by Eminence of Kentucky, the world's largest speaker company. Much of their business is guitar speakers.

    Eminence, Ky located in the heart of horse and bourbon country, has a population of 3,000

  12. #12
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Poultrygeist - great info - thanks.

    So I've had the speakers a week now - I'm assuming they still need some burn in. At this point I have them paired with a PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium and I had them with the Electrocmpaniet CP-1 but I switched out for the Song PS-1.

    I wanted to soften the high end a bit and in crease some of the warmth in the lower mid range. This is basically what the PS-1 is good for. It wouldn't be totally fair for me to comment on the sound at this point - w/o enough break in - so I'm going to refrain. Give me another week.
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  13. #13
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    Just curious if the owners manual mentions any break in time. I've read some where it takes about 100 hours.

    yeah, thanks Poultrygeist, I knew I saw another reputable company using them, I was on both Lowther and Tekton websites in the recent past.

    Wow, I have posted on this thread how many times now, and it finally came to my attention, Adam, you actually have the Def version with two
    10"'s. You got my speakers
    Mark Levinson #512
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  14. #14
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Mr P -

    So you are getting the Omen Def's? The $3200.00 ones? Or just the Omens? I am pretty sure they share the same woofer but not too sure about the tweeter. Waiting for Zu's site to carry the specs.

    So I've heard that the Omen Def's don't need any break in time - which - umm - IDK - they are speakers - they need some break in. I've heard that should be about 250hrs. So kind of conflicting sources - but I have a theory they will change with some break in.

    Let me then assume they need no break in so I can tell you what they sound like out of the box. Just to review the associated equipment. I'm running them with the Sony PS1 - PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium (EL34 tubes) - Zu Mission speaker cable - Granite Audio #470 ICs and Granite Audio #560 power cables.

    You'll probably wonder why I have a $20 PS1 source. With the $2400 Electrocompaniet CP-1 the high end was out of balance. Amazingly detailed - like you can hear a pin drop and all the echos in the room - or with the analog source I could hear the record fuzz and noise floor much clearer than on any other speakers I've had in before. Honestly the high end is very detailed and open and here, in the room. It reminded me of either the Axiom M3v3 or Magnepan 3.7s I've heard recently. (Yes I realize that one is a $350 box speaker and the other a $5000 planar - but it just had that similar type of open and slightly breathy high end)

    But, at volume this sound can become fatiguing and metallic. Guitars strings and female vocals (thinking of Feist The Reminder) lost their naturalness and started to become metallic sounding. And this is with the PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium - that on all other speakers of mine had rolled off the highs a bit - was not fatiguing at all at loud volumes, with the PMC TB2i and other speakers (Something I love about it) - The PrimaLuna also thickened and slowed up the low end a bit on all other speakers I've used it to power.

    Conversely - taking this detail on the good side - on that same Feist album - I could hear her and her microphone much more clearly and separated from the rest of the band. Back ground noise samples, little echos, and the slight wet smacking of lips - were all very clear. One some classical records it was much easier to hear the echoes of the hall it was recorded in and with saw wave type of noise sounds, it really sounded like a saw this time. It is all very impressive and captivating. But it still seems slightly out of balance.

    So I put in the PS1 to smooth out the highs and round out the midrange. Which it has done. But at loud volumes the sound is still fatiguing. I am really hoping that with break in this will go away - since it has generally done that on all other speakers I've had in for review - or if I pair it with another amplifier - say the 300B from Melody or the Mystere pentode design. Heck I'm gonna bust out the old Van Alstine OmegaStar250EX soon to see how that thick bastard sounds.

    Otherwise, the mid range and low end are very clear, detailed, and sound good. As a whole the mids and lows sound a bit more relaxed - more at the distances of the speakers, while the highs tend to come out a toward me a bit more.

    I am a little sad there is only 1 set of speaker cable terminals. You can't bi-wire or bi-amp these.

    Staging is good - the speakers do blend in very well - but I'm still playing with set up. I have them about 6ft apart and 8ft away from me. They have just a slight toe in at the moment.

    I think I am going to try in the next couple weeks. A Melody 300B amplifier - 8W per channel. The AVA 100W OmegaStar - placement - and the PSAudio PerfectWave AC5 which boost mid range with the Electrocompaniet CP-1 CDP.

    A final note on the detail of the high end. Though it is very detailed one must remember this is a $3200 floorstander. It obviously isn't a $70,000 Marten Coltrane 2.

    So - please remember - this is all with about a weeks worth of air time. Final opinion is subject to change.

    Oh yeah - and the low end goes low! Massive Attack sounds f'ing amazing!

    Oh yeah again... the Zu Mission speaker cables are totally new as well - so they might need some break in time as well.... probably do.
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  15. #15
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Cute cat!
    Thanks, and he is totally crazy.
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  16. #16
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    I'm psyched! I'm going to be able to demo a Mystere ia11 with these Zu Omen Defs!

    http://www.upscaleaudio.com/products...tere/ia11.html

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    Adam, I did order the Def, I needed the 6 ohms for my amps. Have you tried any other cables with them? I'm hoping the break in will smooth out the response as well. According to Zu they are supposed to have a balanced sound but I suppose that's subjective. I'm not familiar with Mystere but the ie11 looks good and I like the auto bias feature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    Mr P -
    So I've heard that the Omen Def's don't need any break in time - which - umm - IDK - they are speakers - they need some break in. I've heard that should be about 250hrs. So kind of conflicting sources - but I have a theory they will change with some break in.
    Mine took about 350 hours, when using the Isotek System enhancer cd. I wasn't sure about these speakers initially, but changed my mind after sufficient / somewhat lengthy break-in [NOTE: buyers can pay Zu by the week to break in the speakers.]. I found a disappearance of congestion occurs late in the break-in period, bass tightens up / deepens (inititially thought a sub was needed but moved off that opinion), etc.

    I also second the comments about dialing in tilt, toe-in, placement - I found the Omen Defs respond greatly to small changes, so I took my time to dial them in. YMMV. FYI - nice video!

  19. #19
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    Good drivers usually do tend to require break in. It literally took months for my Dyn's to break in, I probably drove the dealer crazy calling and asking, "are you sure these are alright, going to break in?". I heard them before buying but they sure didn't sound like that out of the box and took forever.

    Thanks for the input, No Cacophony, what do you drive your Zu with? Do you find the sound quality on par with other speakers in the Zu price? Getting up around $3k there is some good competition.

    Any of you heard Harbeth and can compare to Zu? I'm sure the Zu would be more lively.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Thanks for the input, No Cacophony, what do you drive your Zu with? Do you find the sound quality on par with other speakers in the Zu price? Getting up around $3k there is some good competition.
    I use Odyssey Audio Extreme Mono amps.

    Also, my pair of Omen Defs were purchased during the Black Friday Sale @ $1,800/pr; the Omen Defs now retail for $3,100/pr according to the Zu site. At the price I paid, I haven't heard anything that delivers what the Omen Defs deliver. At the $3,100, the Gallo 3.1s easily came to mind / would have been worthy of consideration except Gallo stopped making them.

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    Those doped and treated 10 inch cones are stiff out of the box and need lots of play time to settle down and loosen up. Mine are still improving after 500+ hours. I loved the fact there's no full range shout as you often find with Lowthers.

  22. #22
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    Those doped and treated 10 inch cones are stiff out of the box and need lots of play time to settle down and loosen up. Mine are still improving after 500+ hours. I loved the fact there's no full range shout as you often find with Lowthers.
    What's "full range shout"?

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    Many full range speakers use whizzer cones to get extended highs. The downside is that the whizzer edges can vibrate at high volume and produce a "shouty" sound. A common speaker mod is to cut off the whizzer and dust cap and replace them with a phase plug which can smooth out the sound. Some companies even sell custom hard carved phase plugs in the wood of one's choice.

    While the Zu 10 inch uses a whizzer it also employs a unique cast aluminum phase plug which works well to cancel any shout.

  24. #24
    Administrator Site Administrator atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    Many full range speakers use whizzer cones to get extended highs. The downside is that the whizzer edges can vibrate at high volume and produce a "shouty" sound. A common speaker mod is to cut off the whizzer and dust cap and replace them with a phase plug which can smooth out the sound. Some companies even sell custom hard carved phase plugs in the wood of one's choice.

    While the Zu 10 inch uses a whizzer it also employs a unique cast aluminum phase plug which works well to cancel any shout.
    Funny enough - I just talked to someone about this yesterday - they said typically what you want is little or no toe in with a speaker that has whizzer cones. Which is how I have them, but with the Zu they suggested pointing the speakers straight at the seating position.

    I'm going to give that a try.
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  25. #25
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    Many full range speakers use whizzer cones to get extended highs. The downside is that the whizzer edges can vibrate at high volume and produce a "shouty" sound. A common speaker mod is to cut off the whizzer and dust cap and replace them with a phase plug which can smooth out the sound. Some companies even sell custom hard carved phase plugs in the wood of one's choice.

    While the Zu 10 inch uses a whizzer it also employs a unique cast aluminum phase plug which works well to cancel any shout.
    Hummm... Thanks for the info, Poultry. I'm afraid issues of this sort underlie my prejudices against full-range dynamic speakers.

    Doesn't the Omen have a tweeter of sorts, though?

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