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Zu Omen Dirty Weekend setup

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by banjobiotic, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. banjobiotic

    banjobiotic New Member Thread Starter

    Hello. I've been reading a ton of threads on the forum for awhile now and this is my first time posting.

    I am a lifelong musician and have always listened to music on run of the mill inexpensive audio gear such as relatively cheap headphones and studio monitors. I have a dedicated outbuilding from my house that is 15'x11' with 8 1/2' ceilings, hardwood floors, two large windows opposite each other in the middle of the short walls. I've been using this building as a home office, acoustic jam space, practice space and light exercise room (think yoga, calisthenics etc. nothing requiring a lot of equipment)

    I decided this past winter that I wanted to spend a little money investing in some higher end audio gear and get into some really active listening. After doing a lot of research I ended up with the following equipment. Zu Omen DW speakers, Rogue Sphinx V3 integrated amp, Fluance RT 85 turntable with Ortofon 2m Blue stylus, Schiit MODI 3 DAC, and ZU libtec speaker cables.

    I finally got everything up and running a couple weeks ago and while there have been moments of extreme joy and amazement at hearing certain albums and songs in a totally new way I am also struggling with some things. On a lot of recordings I'm having trouble hearing clarity in the bass. I can hear the speakers generating bass but the individual notes of the bass lines are difficult to pick out. I regularly listen to a stereo paired set of SONOS speakers in my kitchen while cooking and can easily make out the bass lines in songs I've been struggling to hear them on with my new setup.

    I've been reading over a lot of different threads regarding the Omen DW speakers and also reading a lot about speaker placement and setup in general because it is all very new to me. Seems like the more research I do the more confused I become. For example, most of the basic setup guides I've been seeing talk about the equilateral triangle and getting the speakers away from the wall. I read something about the 38 percent rule but to use that along my 15 foot length would put me like 6 /12 feet from the front wall and then the speakers would have to be right up against the wall unless I'm gonna be really really close to them. Than I ask ZU what they think and they are telling me to place the speakers as far away from each other as possible and close to the walls. I don't have any acoustic treatment in my room other than some fairly light weight curtains on the windows and it's pretty spartan when it comes to furniture and shelving. Could it be that the room is just making everything sound muddy?

    I've got the gap height on the speakers set at 1/4'' which is how they came. I've read on the forum some people have the gap height set as high as 5/8" and 7/8". Does higher gap height increase bass articulation?

    This is my room. No WAF, so I can set it up however I want. I need to fit a smallish desk and some musical instruments and equipment, but for the most part I have the flexibility to put the speakers where they need to go, I just don't know how!

    I'm almost at the end of my two month trial period with the speakers and I really want to hear what so many people are obviously hearing from them. So am seeking advice on setup and anything else ya'll can think of that might help me get things dialed in.
  2. namlook

    namlook Forum Resident

    I can say that mine really came alive with the addition of a sub. It was quite transformative. I would have never known until I heard it.

    Also because I use the rubber feet that they sell I definitely have more than the 1/4 inch that they recommend. This also adds to the bass.
  3. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Anacortes, WA
    Day 5 with my Dirty Weekends. Took some time to do a more precise set-up following these guidelines. What's the correct gap height? | Zu Audio .

    I'm on carpet with 1/4" gap using an 8wpc 300b amp. Speakers are 7' apart and I'm sitting about 12' away. Speakers are well away from side walls and 2' out from front wall.

    All this can get rather relative, but the improvement from yesterdays 1/2"+ gap is huge and I'm very pleased.
    Nice full and balanced sound. The music seems much more engaging which is the best part. Sound stage and imaging are nice, but I'm not one to focus on those aspects.

    I'll experiment more I'm sure, but for now I have zero complaints.
  4. seikosha

    seikosha Forum Resident

    Keep fooling around with the gap. Believe it or not the best gap on mine changes depending on what amp I’m driving them with. Try tiny increases and decreases and see if that helps. Also, I’ve found that if your room is too reflective/lively with lots of hard surfaces, bass articulation can become very diminished and you’ll never get where you want to be.
    TeflonScoundrel likes this.
  5. fcallington

    fcallington Forum Resident

    Hailey, Idaho
    I have the Zu Omens and I feel the bass is more than adequate. Sure, a sub will get you deeper bass but maybe you need to take a look at room treatments.
  6. TeflonScoundrel

    TeflonScoundrel Forum Resident

    I agree with trying out different gap heights. Different heights result in significant differences in the amount of bass as well as the clarity of the bass on the omen DW in my experience. I've got a set in Walnut and really enjoy them.

    Also try adjusting your listening position (if possible) as well. You may be able to find a location in the room that works better. If your listening position is at a point in the room that cancels out bass, you won't be able to improve things much by moving or adjusting the speakers alone. Sometimes adjusting the listening position even a few inches forward or backward can make a huge difference.
    aorecords likes this.
  7. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Anacortes, WA
    Yes, so far I agree. No sub for me. I need a little more time with them to make a judgment about the quality of the bass.
  8. james

    james Forum Resident

    “Dedicated outbuilding/no WAF”

    are you trying to turn us on?

    seriously though, I’d love to see the space. Sounds cool
  9. banjobiotic

    banjobiotic New Member Thread Starter

    Haha. I'll try and get some pictures up. Still trying to get the space to my liking. I ultimately couldn't get the sound out of the DWs that I wanted and went with the KEF LS50s. I've discovered through this process that bass articulation is very very important to me. I've also discovered the my room has a lot to do with the lack of bass articulation that I was getting from the Omens and everything other speaker I tried. Somehow the LS50s seem to articulate the bass in my space a little better.
    james likes this.
  10. Darnon

    Darnon Well-Known Member

    United States
  11. struttincool

    struttincool Senior Member

    Anacortes, WA
    Been using my el84 amp for last week or so with great results with a 5mm gap. Today I hooked my 300b SET amp again and it was sounding bass shy and a bit thin. Re-read the gap set-up page. It said some SET amps need to go lower. I made some 2mm shims out of card board according to the directions. Slid them under reducing gap to about 3mm, and they worked perfectly. Full sound and taut tuneful bass.

    No idea about the physics behind this, but I like it!
  12. namlook

    namlook Forum Resident

    Just get a sub. You will honesty not be able to believe you had never experienced one before.
  13. iluzun

    iluzun Forum Resident

    Just a heads up, would b interested in any additional experiences. The Dueland 16 tinned copper speaker wire is a very good match w/the DWs. The tonal balance is correct and the color variations are displayed in an organic manner. By comparison, silver is more extended at the frequency extremes but over a few days can be to revealing of the flaws of certain recordings. Still a musical and a fun listen but the Omens r not going to smooth over anything upstream. Copper is a pleasant easy listen, but maybe not revealing the full dynamic color and excitement that the driver is capable of. The Dueland tinned copper gives a burnished glow, a natural in the room presence, to both vocals and instruments in a way that seems to match the 10” drivers range very well. It’s an exciting match and quickly involves the listener by presenting all the details, yet keeping focused on the musical message, in a colorful, dynamic manner. Together, they do present that ‘live feel’. An ‘old style’ cable for an ‘old style’ speaker, who’d a thunk it? (-; These really seem a performance transducer, if you get it wrong you may not be happy. Accurate and revealing, the Omens walk and reward, careful selection of what and how they r fed...
    TeflonScoundrel and Whoopycat like this.
  14. crestwood23

    crestwood23 Forum Resident

    North Jersey
    If WAF isn’t an issue, I would go to town with some cheap DIY room treatments before throwing more cash at a subwoofer. Do a search for some OC703 panels and corner bass traps, very easy to make and will go a long way in clarifying and increasing the quality and perceived quantity of the bass your speakers are generating.
    Dignan2000 and struttincool like this.
  15. iluzun

    iluzun Forum Resident

    That all said. I love the Omens with the silver spkr cables, when the recording is very good! I’m a treble addict, call it sweetness, I want my ears ‘tickled’ with just enough resolution, to walk a tightrope, to have a leading edge, a snap, pow, pizazz! The tinned copper is so midrange focused on the vocal I just know I’m missing out on some fun! I suppose it’s good to have choices. Some of this could still be breakin’ I suppose, or my amp. There is a bit of ‘grain’, but I’m running 6L6GC EH, not an elaborate tube, but it’s what I got. I’ve moved away from the EL34s I spent lots of time with for a more ‘linear’ presentation, so I guess we’ll see. Still loving the 10s though, what a great driver. The question for most, I would guess, is can they ‘deal’ with such an honest speaker. Hearing vocals and the mids presented in such a direct, unfiltered way, seems a treat with the right amp/recording. Anybody on the edge of the DW offering, go for it, it may not be your destination, but the Omens are certainly a touchstone in a hobby so full of hyperbole. I think 2nite it’s silver... (-;
    Greenmonster2420 likes this.

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