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Zu Omen Speakers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Seancito, Aug 9, 2016.

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  1. Dentdog

    Dentdog Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Have a pair of Omen 1-Bs in the living room for upstairs music. They are the Sangria Red and have a well dressed look, but face it they gotta sound good as well. And they do. Get some tubes and enjoy, although the Rogue is a nice piece the poster above with the Declare sounds like he's on the right track.
     
  2. Seancito

    Seancito Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    Do you think the omen mk II need a subwoofer in a room roughly 12 X 15? I really don't want one. I like good quality bass and midrange. I want an upgrade that's a long term purchase. Made in USA is preferable; something nice looking and well built. Some klipsch speakers are beatiful but so massive!
     
  3. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    My defheads are sealed and only rated to 50hz. My room is about your size and I've never felt wanting for bass. I'd say no
     
  4. Jim13

    Jim13 Well-Known Member

    I had a pair Zu Souls MK2, ran them with a 300b amp, I couldn't live with them, too in your face, some other models might be different, but these were bright.
     
  5. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Your Diamond 10.7's are nice speakers and a good are a solid speaker for the money. They play down to 30-Hz.

    How do you feel your bass sounds currently, with your Diamonds?

    The Omen MKII's play down to 35-Hz.

    The used definitions I bought go down to 30-Hz, I still use a sub for a deep, fuller sound. When I mute the sound on the sub remote, sound on a whole, gets thinner.

    In my application, the addition of a sub, is the icing on the cake, you don't exactly need it, but the right kind of icing takes the cake up a level or two (the wrong kind of icing, does just the opposite).

    Yesterday evening, I was listening to some jazz and piano music at 45-55 dB range and the sound was better, more full and complete sounding with the sub playing.

    I want to add, while listening at these lower sound levels, the Zu's sounded completely full and real. This has a lot to do with their efficiency. The bass sounds natural.

    While you might enjoy the Omen's, they are more than a lateral move but I view them as a half step up from the diamonds. I get the impression that you are looking for that full step.

    I would consider the Omen Definitions to be a full step up. The Definition's MKII are $3,600, they are the top of the Omen line. I realize that the MKII's are roughly $1K more than the budget you have allocated, but they will be that full step up that seem to be looking for.

    Note, that the Omen Definition's are the budget versions of their Definitions, which retail for $12,750!

    Another option, if you want a true fuller range tower, Are the Golden Ear Triton Three+ Tower's, at $1,249 each.

    [​IMG]

    They feature a built in powered sub, the will go down to 21-cycles, with their 800-watt powered sub. There are advantages of built in subs. You don't have a sub box to deal with and the integration is seamless.

    BTW... Sandy Gross, from Golden Ear was a co-founder of Polk Audio, along with Matthew Polk.

    Another option are the LSiM707's from Polk at $4k a pair (sold at $2K each).

    While this is out of the price range you have indicated, in a few months (late in November), Polk usually holds a 50% off sale to previous customers and to those who sign up for their mailing list.

    They happened to have a sale on the entire LSiM line, earlier this year. I received their email and bought a pair. They don't even look like Poke speakers, they look and sound like $8k/pr. audiophile speakers and weigh 99.1 pounds each. They are the nicest home speakers I have ever owned.

    I have them sitting next to each other with an A/B selector switch, to switch between them.

    Funny thing is, since I got the Omen Definitions, I haven't been listening to the Polk's lately. My Omen Definitions are not the MKII improved models, which originally sold for $3,100. I bet the new models sound even better. I felt $2,100 was a fair price for me to pay for them. I consider the pair currently on eBay for $1,200 to be a steal. Both were local pick-up only. You can arrange for your own shipping company to pick them up and get them to you.

    I have three Rogue amps but all tubes. I am running the front mains off of a SS Emotive XPA-2.

    Just a few points to ponder...
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
  6. Seancito

    Seancito Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    Thank you for your feedback. I have contemplated the Omen Def's instead and possibly waiting a bit more since they are more expensive. Like I said, I would prefer not to use a sub. I have used one before with bookshelf speakers, and I also used them a bit with my Wharfedale's, but once I purchased the towers I shut off the sub. I don't dislike the Wharfedale's. It seems like they are not too popular of a speaker among the forum members here. When I purchased them, it was more of a temporary move. I had Rega R1 bookshelf speakers with a Polk sub. I had a small listening room at the time, and I wanted towers that would work with the room (I mean, it was a really small room, like 9 X 7!). I now purchased my first home, and I have a better listening room/tv den. It's about 12 X 15 rougly. I don't dislike the Wharfedales, but I am not in love with them. I also don't see them as a true investment. I like making purchases that I can hang on to for a while - ones that last a lifetime.

    So do you think that the Omen mkii speakers would have similar bass to the Wharfedales? On some recordings the Wharfedales seem fantastic, but others not so much. To be honest, the Golden Ear speakers look like a decent speaker, but I have to say it, not very pretty to the eye. Of course, I want them to sound nice, but I also want them to look nice in my room (not going to lie!). If you have any other ideas of any other speakers, keep it coming!
     
  7. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    Seancito, have you considered Omen Dirty Weekends? $999 gets you a new pair with refurbished drivers, 60 days in your home and one year to trade up with 100% trade in credit if you dig the sound. I've had old and new drivers in my Superflys, and while the current drivers do sound slightly better (just a tad more hi-res and little extra oomph), the older drivers I had sounded perfectly fine and will definitely get you a full taste of the Zu sound.

    I agree with SandAndGlass that the Omen Defs would be a great step up, but if you are looking for a low cost entry point, that's as good as it gets short of buying a used pair.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  8. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    Also, I'd be hesitant to use the term "upgrade" with the Omens. If you have not heard full range drivers before it will definitely be a different flavor, which you may or may not consider an upgrade. I can't recall if it was this forum or another but somebody once posted that when you hear full range drivers for the first time you may feel like some sound is missing. When I switched from my B&W 704s to my Superflys I kind of felt the same thing. It wasn't until after a few days of break-in for both the speakers and my ears that the sound began to click into place for me. To use the popular cliche, you won't "hear things you never heard before". However, you may hear music in a way you haven't heard before, if that makes any sense.

    Jim13 mentioned his experience with the Soul mk2. When I was trying to settle on a model and talked to Zu, they recommended not going with the Soul since I had hardwood floors in my listening room.
     
  9. Seancito

    Seancito Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    Man, all of this is making my head spin! Bu t I love doing the research! Like I said, the Wharfedales were a temporary fix for me. I'm intrigued with the Omens. I understand that some vinyl I have just doesn't have deep bass in the recordings, but I am looking for something that will have some clarity and good midrange and bass, similar if not better to my Wharfedale towers.
     
  10. Seancito

    Seancito Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    So an update on my search:

    the dealer I purchased my Scout turntable from is able to give me a deal on some used Von Schweikert VR-5hse’s. they have a few minor blemishes, but he will make an offer for $3000 per pair. I can't seem to find any original specs on these speakers. Anyone know much about them or the specs? How old are these? American made? China? I am on the fence, but I am probably going to audition them.
     
  11. mattsob1

    mattsob1 Member

    Location:
    Grand Rapids MI
    I'm guessing we both heard these in the same room at Axpona about 4 years ago, I don't think they've been back to Axpona since. IMO, you absolutely nailed it. In that big room they were very fun to listen to, dynamics were great, a nice full sound, and decent bass. In the smaller rooms though... meh.

    This^ is the reason Zu is "love it or hate it".

    I've never heard those particular Von Schweikerts, but I've never heard a pair of Von Schweikerts that I didn't (thoroughly) enjoy, they're great speakers. All that said, never buy a pair of speakers w/out auditioning them.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  12. Personally, I think the biggest fault with the 10.7's is they're just not sexy/esoteric/exclusive enough for a lot of people. I was quite impressed with them and thought they really delivered the goods. Replacing them may prove more difficult than you had imagined!
     
    timind likes this.
  13. Seancito

    Seancito Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    Possibly! For a while, they just seemed like a temporary fix given the good price I paid for them and their regular availability. It's also hard not to compare them to my well made products from VPI and Rogue Audio.
     
  14. Not Axpona. Either Newport Beach or Rocky Mountain Fest - can't remember which, but I think it was SoCal.

    but yeah. BIG difference.
     
  15. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    The used Omen's that I purchased from eBay are the older original Omen Definition's and not the MKII. If mine sound this good to me, I imagine the MKII's will sound even better, as they have undergone some substantial upgrades.

    The Omen Def's have the efficiency of a horn speaker, so they have the dynamics of a horn speaker, without being a horn speaker. That being said, I don't have any issues with horn speakers (or really any speaker) done right.

    They do have a distinctly forward organic quality about them. They definitely are not your run of the mill home tower type speakers. I find the bass to be strong and natural. With Zu, they have a 60-day in-home trail, so you have nothing to loose. Zu now burns their speakers in thoroughly at the factory. This is due to the fact that, their driver's do require a longer than average break in period. While you will need to adjust to their sound, you won't have to burn your demo period breaking them in.

    At first I listen to them at moderately loud volume levels, the more I listen, the more I turn them down. Although they can handle power and play loud, they sound equally good at lower volume levels because they continue to maintain their full sound.

    Have not heard (or seen) the Von Schweikert's but they do enjoy an excellent reputation. I have never heard anything bad about any speaker in their line-up.

    I would like to hear some other of Zu's line-up myself. Mine are the only ones that I have seen or heard. But, I have to say, I am impressed.

    That does not make me a Zu fan boy. I have a $2,500 Zu sub that I purchased direct from Zu, for $900 as a refurbished unit on eBay, that I don't at all care for. A few days ago, I removed it from the system completely.

    I am a self confessed Rogue fanboy, and proud of it!

    Triton makes some real nice speakers, I would have no issue with owning a pair.

    Whoopycat did make an excellent suggestion. You could buy some of the Dirty Weekends and see whether or not, the Zu sound works for you, your room and your equipment. Afterward, you can upgrade, if you wish to move forward with the Omen Def's.

    In this price range, if you are looking for big, deep bass, add a sub. I run at least two subs all the time. That doesn't mean there is always deep bass, It doesn't. This holds true with CD's or other media, if it ain't there, you ain't gonna hear it. When it IS, you are gonna hear it!
     
  16. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    I'm a speaker engineer and so rather biased, but I feel the speakers are by far the most important component. They are inarguably the component that most drastically affects the sound when changed. I definitely believe you should buy for the long term, since speakers do last a very long time. Hence, do consider used...but recent. Ancient speakers don't have the benefit of newer driver and crossover and manufacturing technology.

    I like Zu speakers, but full range is definitely a "flavor" as are planars and ribbons and horns. With each, you have to allow quite some time for your ear/brain to recalibrate your listening.

    I'm curious in what way you want to improve on your Wharfedales? What do you think is lacking? What could be better? Keep in mind it is possible that positioning and room acoustics/treatment might be tripping these up (pictures????), since those guys are not dummies in the speaker design department. What kinds of music do you listen to?

    I would definitely take an opportunity to listen to the Von Schweikerts. They are smart folks also, so what the heck. Even if you decide you don't want them, it will at least be interesting.

    Also try the Omen Mark II...but consider saving up and stepping up in their line. My very vague rule of thumb is you need to spend like 3-4 times as much on a speaker to be "sure" (ha ha) it is a step up from a lesser priced one of a different brand. You have good speakers, so take your time and keep an eye out for new/used great deals.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  17. Seancito

    Seancito Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    Thanks for the advice. I may take a look at the Von Schweikerts. My other jump might be for some preloved Soul Superfly's on their website for sale. I've had difficulty uploading pics on here. Instructions anyone? Right now against the back wall I have my turntable and amp on a timber nation maple rack. My speakers are about 6-7 feet apart and about 1 foot from the back wall. I had them sitting ahead a bit from the wall at first (like two feet maybe), but I was getting better bass response a foot from the wall. Wharfedale recommends at least 8 inches from the wall. Unfortunately, my listening room is also my den/tv room and the flat screen sits to the right of my set up in a corner. The room has a mid century couch, and a large rug. I have a few expedit shelves and a credenza on the other side of the wall. I have curtains, but my wife and I are taking those down and probably will have blinds. We just moved into this house, so we have a lot of work to do.

    I don't dislike the Wharfedales, and maybe I should appreciate them a bit more. They don't get a lot of hype on here, and I always look at them as a temp fix for me. I think I am trying to research as much as possible, save more money, maybe appreciate the wharfedales, and see what happens.
     
  18. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Because something does or does not get a lot of hype here or anywhere else, means lite or nothing at all.

    What matters first and foremost is, Do You Like Them?

    That is why I asked you about the Bass. That is why I thought the Omen's MKII would be a half of a step up at least.

    Preloved, Soul Superfly's would be awsome!!!

    F.Y.I, You don't upload anything to the SHF server other than your posts and your avatar. All other content is referenced via a link to the original.

    To link a photo, click the picture icon, it is the one directly to the right of the smiley.

    [​IMG]

    It is easiest to use the Chrome Browser. Move the mouse pointer over the image and right click. Close to the bottom of the pop-up list, you will find "Copy Image Address". Left click on that. Now paste the image address into the box that appears when you click the picture icon. Click the inset button and you are done.

    Now, I have new for you this AM. It may be good or bad. These are tagged on the Zu web site as SOLD, if you bought them, Great, if not, better luck next time.

    Which brings up another point. A link is only good into it changes on the host server. Since these have been sold, the picture will soon disappear.

    But... I do have some good news for you! Zu will build you an Omen Superfly if you wish. They might even build one based on the Dirty Weekend platform. Just call and speak to them. They won't be in the angled box. They will be in a rectangular box that the Omen's are built on. Not the real McCoy, but close.

    One thing you should do is to ask Zu if this is what you should do? Remember, because you can, doesn't mean, that this is the best scenario, for your application. Since you have the chance to speak directly to the factory, you will be getting suggestions right from the horses mouth, as it were. Talk to them get their suggestions. They can and will build almost any combination you wish.

    Since you do have a new house and, as prior advice has been given by head_unit, Speakers are the main ingredient, choose well, they should last you a long time, practically forever. At my age, most of my speakers are built well enough, that most will, most likely, outlast me.

    Zu speakers are user upgradeable internally. They will trade your old driver for a newer or better model, and you can upgrade yourself. But, back to your house. In my situation, color is not so important. For you your wife and your new house. Give some thought to having Zu custom paint you own personalized pair of speakers, that you will proudly display to your guests for many years to come. Would that be neat or what? Now they serve as custom made furniture.
     
  19. Seancito

    Seancito Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    Bummer on the Superfly's being sold. Oh well. I guess it is good to appreciate my current system and what I have. Plus I don't like to make any quick decisions. I have a dealer that is trying to push the Von Schweikert's (used). I don't mind buying used, but he's trying to get $3000 for them, which is a big purchase for me, and for the used market a lot to lay down for something that may not have a warranty. I'm on the fence in general. Also, I know how to post pictures from the internet, but having difficulty posting personal pics of my setup. Ideas?
     
  20. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Create an account on a photo hosting site, such as PhotoBucket, it doesn't matter which service. Then link to that photo.

    When you are after something, that has been on your radar, you have to pull the trigger fast. I wanted to try Omen Definition's, from what I had read, they seemed like something unique and something that would integrate into my system, (I run two to three sets of speakers/amps at any given time). I was not expecting anything, but when I saw a pair near me on eBay, I jumped on them.

    But, otherwise, there is not need to hurry.

    In the meantime, just in case, go to polkaudio.com and register to receive their newsletter. My bet is that they will have another annual 50% off sale the last part of November. This is only available for people who own and register their products or sign up for their newsletter. Don't rule out their LSiM707's. They are awesome speakers. I am listening to them right now. When I run the A7's, they are forward sounding speakers, I switch the speaker A/B switch to the 707's because their more mellow sound blends better with the forwarding A7's. When I have the A7's turned off, I hit the button to switch back to the Zu's. The 707's have been reviewed as comparable to speakers in the $6K-$8k range and are considered to be a good deal at $4k. Let me tell you, for $1K each. I doubt if you will find any speaker (new) on the planet for this deal.

    My rule of thumb is, pay about 50% what the retail price is. Sometimes a bit more, like I did with the Zu's, if they are harder to come by. It the equipment is older than, say 8-years, less than that, unless you get a hold of a rare gem.
     
  21. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    A sweet looking pair honey walnut Omen MkII's just hit ebay... around $1500 shipped. That's a good deal.
     
  22. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Not a good deal, only saving $217 from brand new from the factory. $1,200 delivered would be worth buying used.
     
  23. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    Agree to disagree... Zu will charge $1800 + 200 for the walnut plus another roughly 200 for shipping, so that's saving over $600.
     
  24. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I didn't realize the Walnut was a $200 up charge.

    There are no bids on it, 6-days remaining. I would wait and bid at the last moment. Good chance the he can get it for $1,000 plus $249 shipping.

    Set maximum bid for the buy now price, biding ends Monday AM at 11:36 AM. If he is available to bid in real time, bid the last 10-minutes of the auction $1,000. Set the maximum bid at $1,334 (Buy Now Price).

    By ALL means, if this is something that is exactly what he wants, go for it at Buy Now. Never risk something you want get away.

    BETTER YET!

    There are a pair of Zu Essence speakers listed on eBay, for a Buy Now price of $1,800 (listing ends the same day, Monday at 1:07 PM.)

    The Essence is a $5,000 speaker!

    The current bid is $1,000 but that is sure to go up a lot over the next 6-days, (Plus, the reserve is not yet met)

    Here are a couple reviews on the Essence:

    Stereophile - Zu Essence loudspeaker

    6-Moons - Zu Essence loudspeaker

    More bang for the buck here! I would have the OP call Zu and ask them about each speaker and get their opinion.

    If I was going to do a Buy Now, I would go for the Essence. They ship from New Hampshire. Shipping is only $75, savings $174 in shipping, apply to reduce the difference in price to $541. Now THAT IS A DEAL! (of course it's only a deal if it is what you want).

    (Let's do this some more, it's lots of FUN!)
     
  25. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Price correction update. The Essence was $5K when Zu was using a dealer network. Afterward, they went back to their direct model, the price of the Essence was reduced to $3,500 before the model was discontinued.
     
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