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Zu vs Omega speakers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Giacomo Belbo, Jan 4, 2018.

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  1. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979 Thread Starter

    Hi,

    I'm looking for new Speakers and I'm quite intrigued by single-drivers. What I have listened to so far was really impressive and I would like to explore them. Unfortunately not a lot of off the shelves options at least where I live in Denmark. Zu are available and I'm going to auditon them but I'm quite intrigued by Omega which however are not available here. I would be interested in the similarities/differences between the two and any other single-driver suggestion. I'm going to be partnering them with a Leben tube amp and I am looking for speakers that do 3 things: (a) great soundstage, (b) accurate/natural instrument timbre and (c) a forward presentation. Thanks a lot!
     
  2. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979 Thread Starter

    Anyone that has experience with either or both?
     
  3. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    Which Zu model are you looking at? I have not heard Omegas (although they look intriguing), but I do currently own 3 pairs of Zu speakers. I went into detail with my experiences with my Superflys (and to a lesser extent Omens) in this thread:
    Shootout: Devore O/93 vs. Zu Soul Superfly

    Short answer to your 3 criteria...
    a) I don't think soundstage is Zu's greatest strength, nor do I think it's one of their primary design goals. If that's your #1 criteria, Zu may not be your thing. I think it's adequate but the DeVore O/93's I owned had a better soundstage.
    b) Personally I love the tone/timbre on Zu. However this will vary by listener. My friends preferred the tonality of the DeVores but I think Zu captures the physicality of instruments/voices better.
    c) Zu definitely has a forward presentation, and can make less dynamic speakers sound asleep by comparison

    I find Zu's tone, dynamics, speed, attack and bass handling to be addictive, but that's me. YMMV
     
  4. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979 Thread Starter

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences, I'm looking at the Omens MKii (would you care to comment?). I've heard Devore in the past (the bookshelves 3XL if I'm not mistaken partnered with my amplifier and I wasn't really impressed). I'm sold on single driver so I'm looking forward towards the Zu. Having said that I keep shambling across comments about them not being "audiophile" etc which I'm not sure where they're coming from and what they mean. I definitely also like the attitude also! Thanks again!
     
  5. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    Omen DW II was my most recent pair, and I was surprised how good they sound in comparison to my Superflys. Omen isn't as fast or resolving but in a way more fun to listen to with its warmer tone. My girlfriend prefers the Omens to my Superflys (but not my DefHeads). More amp friendly than Superfly, but your Leben amp should be a great fit with any Zu speaker. I assume you're holding out for the next Dirty Weekend sale, if so ask Zu to put the ClarityCap hi pass filter in for another $100 (it comes standard on Omen mkII, the non-DW version). They sound fine without it but the ClarityCap to my ears opens up the sound just a bit more. The hickory finish looks sharp, as do the walnut and ghost black finishes (haven't seen the others).

    As for sounding "audiophile", I'm just going to paraphrase Bill Murray in "What About Bob" and say there are two types of audiophiles in this world: those who listen to Diana Krall, and those who don't.

    But seriously, the sound is not for everyone so I can understand the "not audiophile" comments. Full rangers take a bit of an adjustment.
     
  6. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Very different designs. I'm going to say the Omega's are going to be a very nuance oriented speaker, with a higher quality driver and some very nice options (hemp, alnico). I'd consider Omega is you really love small power tube amps, love imaging and soundstage, and would rather be drawn into the space of the recording.
     
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  7. Fden

    Fden Active Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Own Zu definition MK 4 for 5 years now. And listened to the Omega's at a dealer and was blown away at how good they sound for the price. They sound very similar to the Zu than other speaker i know. Very fast and dynamic speakers.
     
    SandAndGlass and Giacomo Belbo like this.
  8. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979 Thread Starter

    What would you say are the differences between them?
     
  9. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Zu's are speakers that you either love or hate. There does not seem to be any middle ground here.

    I think that @Whoopycat nailed it with his comments about the Zu's.

    I have a pair of their original Omen Definition's and I like their dynamic forward sound. Not everybody does. Different folks, different tastes.

    They are efficient for home type speakers and that is a major factor with regard to their forward sound. You can play them to a decent volume level without having large amplifier's. You can get nice results with SS or small tube amps. Go SS if you want live concert slam. Go tube if you want a more relaxed but detailed presentation. Tube amps in the 18-36 watt range will work well with them.

    A nice thing about them is that if you have older models, there are factory upgrades that are reasonable. I plan on updating my cabinets with their more current 10" drivers and replacing the tweeter and crossover.

    BTW... The Omen Definition's are the value menu versions of the real definitions, which are currently selling for over $15k. The Omen Definitions MK II are just under $5k.

    I purchased my pair used on eBay for about half the cost of the new MK II versions. I can do all the upgrades mentioned for about $1,200.

    I don't think that there as many available on the pre-owned market in Europe as there are available in the US, but it wouldn't hurt to look.
     
    Giacomo Belbo likes this.
  10. Fden

    Fden Active Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    It was a one afternoon listening session for the Omega's so take my impressions with a huge grain of salt. Especially since i am comparing a 2k $ loudspeaker tom my 15k $ Zu. Soundstage, timbre, dynamics are really to close to call without doing a serious A/B comparison in my opinion. But i felt that the Zu's 10 inch drivers could pressurize a room a bit more effortlessly. Also the Radian Tweeter on the higher priced Zu's seems to be more easy going and natural sounding at higher SPL.

    Seriously after that listening session i was kind of shaken at what could be achieve soundwise for a 2k loudspeakers ,i even thought about selling my Zu's. But i changed my mind when i thought about the size of my room( wich is pretty big) .But for a normal sized room it would a close match between Zu and Omega. Oh by the way the Omega were driven by Leben integrated and it sounded way more powerful than it's watt rating would suggest.

    Quick story:A close friend of mine randomly went to the same dealer, he is not a audiophile by any means. He had a home theatre setup at home. When he went in for a quick listen of the Omega'S who were already set up,is jaw fell on the floor. He did not know home audio could sound so good. He had trouble sleeping for a couple of days. He bought a pair a couple weeks later and sold is home theatre set up:)

    Aso i found this post of a Zu and Omega owner on the Declare audio forums who could do serious A\B comparison and he seemed to favour his Zu loudspeakers.

    Forums - Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
     
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  11. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979 Thread Starter

    Thanks a lot, really informative post. Unfortunately I have difficulty auditioning them but as they are not widely available and it feels like there is a strong following for both. It's a pitty single-drivers are so niche, I feel that they have to offer things that 2/3 ways have difficulty matching.
     
  12. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bexley, Ohio

    I agree. I have Omen defs and LOVE the sound. When listening to other peoples high end speakers, I feel they sound dead compared to the omens defs. I have very good sound stage results by "toeing in" the zu's to where the drivers are pointed past my ears. As if somebody were sitting about 18-20 inches behind me. Plus, Zu's are much better for classical music than people give credit.
     
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  13. TimB

    TimB Pop, Rock and Blues for me!

    Location:
    Galion, Ohio USA
    I have been wanting to try both of these, Zu and Omega. Hopefully I will audition some soon.
     
    Giacomo Belbo likes this.
  14. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979 Thread Starter

    Share with us what you think!
     
  15. eflatminor

    eflatminor Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kalifornia
    Omega's Super High Alnico Output XRS has me...intrigued.

    Efficient enough in my 12x15 room to use under-10-watt direct heated single ended triode amps. And while I listen mostly to acoustic jazz and chamber music (where I suspect the Super 8 XRS's would shine), these are supposed to be capable of rocking out, be it to Wagner or Sleep, which is periodically imperative.

    Anyone hear 'em?
     
  16. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    MI
    I would like to purchase a used set of Omega Monitor 7s.
     
  17. eflatminor

    eflatminor Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kalifornia
    Any Omega owners (any model) in NorCal? I'll buy you lunch if you let me listen to your speakers!
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  18. eflatminor

    eflatminor Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kalifornia
    SoCal perhaps?
     
  19. eflatminor

    eflatminor Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kalifornia
  20. beowulf

    beowulf Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chula Vista, CA
    Sorry for the delayed reply … try posting this on Omega's forum in Audio Circle. There are quite a few SoCal guys over there. I'm in Chula Vista myself and I would be happy to host a listening session for you, however I'm traveling a lot these days and won't be settled back in until after the summer.
     
    eflatminor likes this.
  21. eflatminor

    eflatminor Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kalifornia
    Thanks, I've just registered.
     
    beowulf likes this.
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