July 1 Zu Omen Dirty Weekend Orders

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by JPW87, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. iluzun

    iluzun Forum Resident

    Thank you, in a log home, one always is looking to add color/texture, there is already enough wood to maintain! (-; I love the Rustic Hickory too, it’s just such a kool wood.
    I totally agree with your initial observations/comments. I was also worried about injecting noise via the phono system and not having enough range on the volume knob, but neither is an issue. Nor any concern about the Omens being ‘overly brash’, or too upfront. They image and stage very well and indeed present vocals with great presence. Images are life size and the lower registers of piano have heft and body. Tones r spot on. Build quality seems exceptional and they would seem to be a very easy speaker to live with as they get all the basics right. Will be interesting to see how they respond to tube rolling out of the 6L6’s to EL34s, 88s, or such. Also to see how they respond to a bit of treble tweak on the Yamaha preamps tone control. Love the 10”s though, such a great size driver, as they really deliver the musical message. Enjoy. (-;
     
  2. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    What is the room size you're using the 10's?
     
  3. iluzun

    iluzun Forum Resident

    Big. (-; I’ll try to take a full photo later, but 16’ vaulted, 26’x ?... its our living room. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. iluzun

    iluzun Forum Resident

    I like the Ghost Black, and considered it. Can’t go wrong w/black. That looks like a nice tt, what cart u running?
     
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  5. BlackCircle

    BlackCircle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pottstown, PA
    Thanks that is a VPI prime with a atmlx150 cart that has a replacement atn150s shibata stylus.
     
  6. iluzun

    iluzun Forum Resident

    Run thru that ‘monster Mac’ must sound very nice, would love to hear it. That some really great artwork/posters u got there also, really kool. Looks like something you’d see in the Haight. (-; very nice...
     
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  7. BlackCircle

    BlackCircle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pottstown, PA
    Thank you. I recently purchased one of those 18x24 portfolio cases. So I've gone through my collection that was packed away in tubes and put some in the book and rotated some others onto the wall. Those are mostly posters from shows I've attended. Concert show posters really are great and so much to choose from. Seems like every band is putting out show posters when a couple of years back you didn't see them for sale at shows at all.
     
  8. iluzun

    iluzun Forum Resident

    Day 3 was a bit of a revelation. Started off looking 4 a bit more treble extension as the Omens out of the box r ‘midrangey’ in the extreme. I should state that it’s been years since I’ve heard any Zu speakers. This was a ‘kiss and a prayer’ purchase based upon impressions of hearing the larger Definitions @RMAF a while back. I remember the dynamic slam, the quick incisive rise time and immediacy that I was never able to reproduce in any of my half a dozen different speakers. U know how the shows go, wandering about meeting and greeting over several days, one remembers or revisits those systems that ‘have it’. Yet most often, it’s file it away in memory, move on picking up a ‘this or that’ that one can afford and fit into your existing rig. U never forget though.
    So I started out wondering if the 10” just rolled off lower than I would long term like and the Jupiter capped super tweeter was just leaving a hole between the frequency response of the 2. I didn’t really worry about the lows as that seemed fine. I’ve a pair of 1SC ProAc that has kinda set my expectations, was that influencing me? I started wondering about the lack of a dedicated tweeter and how the unique presentation of the Omen 10” was really a different animal. Maybe my JBL slot super tweeters would reach a bit lower? Of course I started messing around (that didn’t take long) and even ran the ProAc tweeters off the Yamaha to see if I could regain some ‘sparkle’. Not bad. Different but not bad, let’s run the ProAcs full range, bringing in the mids too. Not bad either. Maybe with a bit of location adjustment. Move the Zu’s back a bit. There that’s better, just a little tonal shift and fill. Maybe a little ‘cable tune’. Power down, swap the copper for a pr. of silver, eat some lunch, crawl along rerouting speaker cables, accidentally power down half the system, crimp a power cable, snag a hdmi cable, u know the routine. Finally everything powers up.
    Drop in a cd. Wow! Really? What the...? No way. What’s going on? The Zu’s just ‘opened up’. A big jump, not a little smidge. Suddenly the frequency window got larger.
    Here’s the thing, I’ve swapped copper for silver, or vice versa, and never had such a ‘zowee’ moment. So was this a ‘break n phenomena? I suspect so. Or maybe Zu’s really like the silver, responding in a way I’ve never heard. What do you folks think? My guess, is a break in moment that just happened to correlate with the wire change.
    The reason being as I enjoyed the afternoons listening, I think the bass got better 2. Later at night I thought the soundstage was now ‘super huge‘ and that ‘that 10’ was filling my room in a way I’d never heard b4. Damn! Forget the subwoofers! They r not ‘forgiving’ speakers, as they showed the limits or the excellence of the musicians and the recordings. Hard to explain music that one suspected wasn’t being unraveled and displayed was now ‘cooler than cool’, and my ears were ‘tickled’, while drums had out of the box, focus and slam. Very nice!
    So 4 now, the Zu’s r 13’ apart, 6’ to side walls and I believe 31” off the back wall. Looking forward to more of that ‘room filling’ effect that ‘loads the room’ in a way that makes your head bob. Maybe they’ll loosen/open up even more, but that is hard to imagine right now. For now, I feel really lucky to have found such a neat company with such a relatively affordable product that can satisfy in so many ways. I’m gonna have to read up some more on these drivers as they r coming together so nicely. Break n seems a very real and audible phenomena w/these ‘blue demons’. Feeling really good about my choice to join the ‘Zu Crew’. [​IMG]
     
  9. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    Setting mine up now. Log cabin, also.
     
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  10. iluzun

    iluzun Forum Resident

    Really? This is gonna b fun... (-;
     
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  11. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    Finally! That was a long wait. Definitely as sensitive as advertised. 8wpc 300b doing the duties for now. They are extremely well made. Will see if they outclass my current speakers.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. BlackCircle

    BlackCircle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pottstown, PA
    Like your black hardware choice. Looks good with the hickory.
     
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  13. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    Thanks. I saw a pair with the black and I knew I'd get reflections with the silver.
    I was pleasantly surprised to get matching veneer and all but the back. I know it's just Hickory veneer, but still. Nice job by Zu.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
    Slimwhit33 likes this.
  14. iluzun

    iluzun Forum Resident

    Sharp! Didn’t even know black was an option. Very nice looking. I’d love to have a 300b to throw in there, that may be something to save for. Is that a Cayin?
    Look forward to your thoughts. Love the tt on the wall, no motion there!
     
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  15. TEA FOR ONE

    TEA FOR ONE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rochester,NY
    Congratulations to all you Zu folks!
     
  16. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Definitely a match made in heaven with your room size from here. I haven't had the speaker for a long time but I ran it of 1 week straight break in. everyday I notice the sound is getting bigger and bigger and becoming more balanced with the highs and the lows. great setup!
    is that a melody amp?
     
  17. iluzun

    iluzun Forum Resident

    Hi ‘car guy’. The DW’s just bloomed in a way I had never heard b4. Sounding really, really good now. The amp, ia a Mystere PA40, a pure pentode. I’m running 6l6gc but will try el34s at some point. It’s a bit more towards the SET sound than an ultralinear, speed and power, yet a bit more mid/vocal forward. I hope to find it’s matching preamp someday but they r hard to find... To bad that Melody gear is no longer available. Like Mystere, they’ve disappeared as a product.

    Pentode luv...
    SEX, MUSIC AND PENTODES
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
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  18. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
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  19. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    I received my Zu Omen DW two weeks ago but I managed to find the time to unpack and set them up on Friday.
    Here are some preliminary observations with pluses and minuses:

    a) These speakers look beautiful. I got the plain vanilla Rustic Hickory and the craftsmanship is beyond reproach. I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but to my eyes, they look really nice. (+)
    b) They are difficult to set up. Experimenting with height, toe-in, distance from the back and side walls makes a lot of difference and yields different results. After a lot of experimentation, I believe that I managed to set them up the way I like them but I will experiment more with placement in the future. Btw I am seating further away from these than I used to. (-)
    c) They lack bass in my room. No matter what I tried I found the bass lacking. I use a REL T9i sub and that gives me a full range sound but without the sub, the DW sound a little light. (-)
    d) These speakers provide an incredible sense of "you are there". Music has a presence and an impact, the dynamics are out of this world even when using a low watt amp. (+)
    e) I would not call them bright but they are certainly "lively" speakers. I played classical, jazz, classic rock, etc. and they are great sounding in all music genres that I tried. (+)

    So, my first impression of the DW is that these speakers do so many things right that it does not matter what they do wrong. I now understand what the Zu "cult" is about. The sound that the DW make is very unique.
    I have heard many speakers in my life but these sound unlike anything else.

    For associated equipment, look at my profile. With the Zu, I mostly used my Cary CAD 300B SEI tube amp.
     
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  20. iluzun

    iluzun Forum Resident


    Good observations. The drivers just seem to need a bit of time to loosen up, then u can go thru all the ‘set up’ fun again...(-; Maybe that bass will come around. I don’t have that issue, but I don’t own subs and the rest of my speakers r smaller for the most part. I do know both the lows and highs r better than when new. With either a Mystere PA11, or a Yamaha A-S2000, they deliver plenty of ‘smack and attack’ in my room. I agree with the difficult ‘set up’ comment but I probably jumped in too soon b4 the Omens had settled in, messing with cables and such.

    Besides being ‘up front’ they r pretty ‘revealing’. At one point I thought they were a bit dry on my digital front end so I switched to a Modwright Transporter and started rolling thru tubes. Out with the ‘Russian supertubes’ and some cryoed rectifier and into the various 6SN7s, dac direct into the Yamaha amp function.

    It’s here I discovered something unexpected. A pr. of metal base Sylvanias that had always been ‘too clinical’ in every other setup for the past dozen years. were almost perfect! More slam and attack than I could imagine. Yet no blockiness, no clipping edge, no tiring harmonic etching, nothing inorganic, just wide bandwidth & more speed and resolution than other well known 6SN7s. Why? Here’s what I now think. No crossover to slow it down. That’s where the unmusical nature may have always been emanating from, I was hearing a smear that was coming from my multi-driver speakers crossover, not the tube itself.

    At least that’s what I’m telling myself so far. The 10” Omens covering the entire frequency range allows me to finally use what I paid for over a decade ago, a startlingly fast, hard hitting valve.

    U got the Jupiter caps right? Perhaps try one of your other amps. I bet there’s more low end to be found, your more likely hearing the ‘beauty’ that the 300b is known for, but that driver can handle a lot of power. Put the tubes into the ‘front end or pre’ and run a neutral ss amp and the Omens dance. Or. a nice tube phono/pre
    into any flavor of tube amps and they will show you what they r being fed...
     
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  21. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    Yes, I got the Jupiter caps. I believe that the lack of bass has to do with some kind of impedance mismatch between my Cary and the Zu. I briefly tried them with a Chinese EL34 Single Ended amp and the bass was fine.
    I do not worry about it though, because I use a subwoofer anyways so I am getting plenty of bass with the help of my REL.
    I have not tried the Zu with my Mcintosh yet because they sound so good with the Cary. Later on, I want also to experiment with different tubes, they seem to react nicely to system changes.

    I have listened to a lot of speakers in my life but I have never experienced such dynamics and impact as with the Zu. Except for some horn designs, there is nothing that I have heard that can surpass them in this domain. I am listening to recordings that I know very well and suddenly I have to jump off my seat cause there is a drum roll in the orchestra or solo guitar part that literally hits you in the chest with its snappiness and its impact.
     
  22. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    I really had to lessen the gap with my 300b set amp. My el84 amp likes about 5mm. I simply cut the corners off of 2mm thick 12" x 12" cardboard and slide them under the speakers when I use the 300b amp. Works a treat as they say.
     
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  23. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Going back to the speaker impedance, why do they use 12, 6 ohm, etc. is this like a flexibility let say between 4 and 8 using 6 ohms?
    On my amp setup, when I use the 300b on 6 ohm speaker, I prefer 8 ohms output and so as the 6 watt eL34.
    But the primaluna sounds like it will easily rip the speakers to oblivion, so I use 4 ohms output.
     
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  24. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Oops by the way... I showed you the acme tubes before and I played the original Psvane 300b vs the fullmusic acme. In my own personal preference, the acme sound more detailed (in my tube combination) and sound separation is excellent. Its is very clear and warm! .. which is so pleasing to listen to even the whole day. Its must be the combination of my tubes which my preamp is the early 6sn7 Sylvania blackplate which sounds bright and detailed. so when it goes out to the warm sound of the acme tube. Acoustic and electric is just to die for. I am really hooked on the old ultravox midge ure era and the electric keyboard, the background just takes me somewhere. I list to a lot of Patrick Cowley music and it just blows my mind.
    I also notice that the power of my amp is a lot more with this tube.

    opposing with the psvane which I can listen for for hours and hours too but the music is very limited. I have to go with almost acoustic. it can be garbled when I listen to some electric sound
    Most the I like is the bass sound of the acme is much, much more.
     
  25. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    Thanks that's good to know. I was thinking of trying the Psvane but after I read your report it seems like the Acme might be a better choice for me.
     

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