Zu Audio Dirty Weekend

muncybobmuncybob Posts: 2,207
I would love to give these a run, but I wonder if my Parasound HCA1500 would be a good fit for such efficient speakers? From what I've read they are more suited for lower wattage amps?
Yep, my name really is Bob.
Parasound HCA1500(indoor sound) and HCA1000(outdoor sound), Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, Marantz UD7007, modded Polk SDA 2B.
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Comments

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,463
    Well... the Zus are, at the least, a bit of an acquired taste.

    My experience with high(er) power amplifiers is that they tend not to be at their best at very low output power levels. I am not 100% sure you'll get the best sense of what the Zus are like with an amplifier like that -- but it totally, absolutely, 100% depends on the amp.

    Do you have any other choices? Maybe a nice, low power (desktop-style) class D amp? A good SET amp -- or a very good PP vacuum tube amplifier (6BQ5, 6AQ5 or 6V6, e.g.) would be good, too, I reckon. Low power class A solid state might be nice -- know anybody with an "Amp Camp Amp"? :)

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,463
    someone else needs to weigh in on this! :#

  • TEAforONETEAforONE Posts: 330
    Try shooting ZU a message. I have heard they're good people to deal with.
    First Watt,Monarchy Audio,Aric Audio,Promitheus Audio,Pro-Ject,Hornshoppe,Nola,HSU,Onkyo.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,463
    Come to think of it, the Zus probably get more 'airtime' (so to speak) on some of the other forums. Maybe try AA or AK (or just do a search)?
    TEAforONE wrote: »
    Try shooting ZU a message. I have heard they're good people to deal with.

    Good point. They do have a pretty good reputation.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,539
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    someone else needs to weigh in on this! :#

    ZU speakers with a Pass XA25 is what you need.
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 483
    Never a Zu speaker, but have been tempted by the Dirty Weekend on sale. Please expand, good Doctor, as to why they are an acquired taste. @Clipdat I have heard great things about the XA25.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S, retipped by Soundsmith; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • The dirty weekends are a great promo that Zu runs to help get their speakers out into the world. I've only heard Zus once, and they were powered by low power Bottlehead amps.

    The good thing about the dirty weekend promos are they tend to be pretty easy to flip an a minimal loss, and they can be traded in for full value within a year if you want to go further up the line (I think that's the case).

    But Zu certainly has a unique sound, and I've always heard they perform best on lower powered gear.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Cambridge CXC / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > Usher T-515 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 920
    I heard the DW's a few months ago at a fellow Polkies house. Driven by Coincident 300b monos. Nice listening room. Very, very nice sound. Not a lot of bass slam, but clean bass. Mids and highs are excellent. They are the type of speaker that does acoustic, jazz, vocals very well. If you listen to a lot of rock, punk and the such, these are probably not for you. Being a crossoverless design, they are much different than speakers that use a crossover. Very crisp and revealing. That may be what Doc Hardy is referring to. And poor/bad recordings sound terrible. I am seriously considering a pair of Zu speakers. Not sure about high powered ss amps with them. In my case I am using a pair of 300b monoblocks, so not an issue on my end. Currently using a pair of DIY full range crossoverless speakers and as everything has broken in, I am really liking the sound.
  • JayMXJayMX Posts: 259
    The Zu HQ is just up the road from where I live. Maybe I’ll go hit them up for a demo and come back with some impressions. They’ve always been interesting to me and because they’re close to home, maybe it’s time to make a pilgrimage!
    Current Collection:
    Monitor 4a (Peerless), Monitor 4b (Peerless), Monitor 5a (Peerless), Monitor 5b (SL2000), Monitor 7b (Peerless), Modified Monitor 7c’s (194’s, Dynamat, Sonicaps, Mills, H-nuts), SDA CRS+ (SL2000), RTA12c (194's), SDA SRS 2 (SL2000)

    Repair pile: SRS 3.1TL (198’s), RTA 11T's, (1) lonely RTA 11TL to become a center channel... someday...

    Pairs that have passed through:
    Monitor 5b (SL1000), Monitor 10a (Peerless), Monitor 10c (3x pair), RTA8, RTA8TL, SDA2, SDA2a, SDA1b, SDA SRS2

    ...and more to come, it’s a sickness.
  • JayMX wrote: »
    The Zu HQ is just up the road from where I live. Maybe I’ll go hit them up for a demo and come back with some impressions. They’ve always been interesting to me and because they’re close to home, maybe it’s time to make a pilgrimage!
    Please do! Even if you find the speakers aren't for you, I'm sure everyone here would love to hear about the experience and see some pics.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Cambridge CXC / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > Usher T-515 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,463
    edited February 13
    Faustin wrote: »
    I heard the DW's a few months ago at a fellow Polkies house. Driven by Coincident 300b monos. Nice listening room. Very, very nice sound. Not a lot of bass slam, but clean bass. Mids and highs are excellent. They are the type of speaker that does acoustic, jazz, vocals very well. If you listen to a lot of rock, punk and the such, these are probably not for you. Being a crossoverless design, they are much different than speakers that use a crossover. Very crisp and revealing. That may be what Doc Hardy is referring to. And poor/bad recordings sound terrible. I am seriously considering a pair of Zu speakers. Not sure about high powered ss amps with them. In my case I am using a pair of 300b monoblocks, so not an issue on my end. Currently using a pair of DIY full range crossoverless speakers and as everything has broken in, I am really liking the sound.

    2n2lq89ujavi.png


    I would call that sound aggressive.
    Mind you... up to a point, I like aggressive, as -- truth be told -- most real, live music doesn't sound polite, even if it is polite music. :) For better or for worse, they're decidedly not flat. Now, mind you, that's not meant to be judgemental -- but if one's used to loudspeakers that measure very flat, or BBC-monitor-style politeness, they're gonna sound very different!

    The description above from @Faustin also pretty much sums up my decade with a pair of Klipsch Cornwalls (FWIW). Not to say the Zus are Cornwall-equivalents, but if you've heard "Heritage" Klipsch, you know they're different, and that difference is fairly (no pun intended) polarizing.

    The Zus I've encountered aren't crossoverless, though. At least, I hope not! :# (given that they have tweeters). Minimalist crossovers, I wouldn't wonder -- but the poor tweeters won't last long without some sort of high-pass filter feeding them.

    Nothin' wrong with minimalist XOs a priori, of course :)

    37629795824_99cf84f9f0_h.jpgDSC_9782 (3) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    (and nothin' wrong with loudspeakers employing extended-range drivers, either, a priori)

    Just a buncha my opinions -- albeit opinions based on years of listening to dozens of relevant components (I would... opine).

    EDIT: Oh, by the way -- there's another, sort of "hidden" XO in these -- note that the "fullrange" driver is a twincone, sporting a parasitic or so-called whizzer cone to help improve HF extension and dispersion. Electrovoice always referred to an "acoustic crossover" at ca. 3500 Hz in their twincone drivers, and I think that's a fair and illuminating statement. Now, let me be perfectly clear (as a one-time US president used to say ;) ), I am not anti-whizzer... but whizzers do treble differently than some other 'solutions', and not everybody likes them.

    All in all -- of COURSE :) the best thing to do is to give a listen, ideally with an open mind. :)
    Post edited by mhardy6647 on
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,463
    edited February 13
    JayMX wrote: »
    The Zu HQ is just up the road from where I live. Maybe I’ll go hit them up for a demo and come back with some impressions. They’ve always been interesting to me and because they’re close to home, maybe it’s time to make a pilgrimage!

    Definitely -- see if you can bring your own amplifier!

    Once nice thing about the Dirty Weekends when available -- for what they are, they're cheap! :)

    EDIT: A little googlage didn't turn up any quantitative data on the Omens, but here's some data from JA on the (???) broadly similar Zu Essence from 2009.
    https://www.stereophile.com/content/zu-essence-loudspeaker-measurements

    The nice thing about Stereophile's (JA's) data, they test stuff the same way, so one can look at the graphics and do an apples-to-apples comparison of other components they've tested (sort of like the Rosetta Stone, you know?). Find a review of a speaker you know and like, look at their test data, then compare the 'unknown'. Generally, I think one can make some educated guesses about the 'unknown'. B)

    YMMV, though, of course.


  • mrbironmrbiron Posts: 5,209
    Oooo...apparently I was watching Dr Pimple Popper when I took that photo. I should try watching that show at reference levels. Could be terrible! :D
    Zu Audio Omen MK-1B's, Peachtree Decco65, Zu Mission sC’s

    Collecting Dust - Bryston BDA-2, Cheap TT, PS Audio UPC200, PS Audio AC3's, HTPC, One, Bottlehead Crack w/Speedball, Senn's MD HD600
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,463
    Dr. Pimple Popper... there is no hope for you, is there? ;)

    I forgots yez had Zus...
    ya know, there's this Amp Camp Amp... just a-sittin' up here... :#
  • mrbironmrbiron Posts: 5,209
    I know! Move back to Mass and we will make the swap. :p
    Zu Audio Omen MK-1B's, Peachtree Decco65, Zu Mission sC’s

    Collecting Dust - Bryston BDA-2, Cheap TT, PS Audio UPC200, PS Audio AC3's, HTPC, One, Bottlehead Crack w/Speedball, Senn's MD HD600
  • mrbironmrbiron Posts: 5,209
    https://www.zuaudio.com/deals

    Hickory DW’s for $899...
    Zu Audio Omen MK-1B's, Peachtree Decco65, Zu Mission sC’s

    Collecting Dust - Bryston BDA-2, Cheap TT, PS Audio UPC200, PS Audio AC3's, HTPC, One, Bottlehead Crack w/Speedball, Senn's MD HD600
  • JayMXJayMX Posts: 259
    mhardy6647 wrote: »

    Definitely -- see if you can bring your own amplifier!

    Not to derail, but maybe I could try these after I get them redone...? 😁
    jo685uyvj9mh.jpeg
    Current Collection:
    Monitor 4a (Peerless), Monitor 4b (Peerless), Monitor 5a (Peerless), Monitor 5b (SL2000), Monitor 7b (Peerless), Modified Monitor 7c’s (194’s, Dynamat, Sonicaps, Mills, H-nuts), SDA CRS+ (SL2000), RTA12c (194's), SDA SRS 2 (SL2000)

    Repair pile: SRS 3.1TL (198’s), RTA 11T's, (1) lonely RTA 11TL to become a center channel... someday...

    Pairs that have passed through:
    Monitor 5b (SL1000), Monitor 10a (Peerless), Monitor 10c (3x pair), RTA8, RTA8TL, SDA2, SDA2a, SDA1b, SDA SRS2

    ...and more to come, it’s a sickness.
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 10,841
    edited February 14
    #MeToo

    I have been very intrigued by the Zu's for several years. I own a 12watt Unison Simply Italy, the same unit that what used to demo the debut of the LSiM 705's in 2012, by Russman. This integrated has been awaiting to be put back into a system ever since. I think it would be a grand match up for the Zu's.

    Also is a link/discussion about Zu's

    http://www.unisonresearch.com/en/products/valves/integrated-amplifiers/simply-italy.html

    https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/zu-audio-speakers-and-accessories.507782/

    https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/128877/lsaf-lone-star-audio-fest-2012-may-4-6/p361bdbgfq05nq.jpg

    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • Mike ReeterMike Reeter Posts: 3,703
    mrbiron wrote: »
    If only I knew a guy.....

    Mine have been predominantly hooked to my Decco, but I have used an Anthem MCA20 and PS Audio Delta100 with good results. Pick up a pair and have fun.

    Side note - mine are the MK-1B and not “Dirty”. Same difference... ;)

    ftorsjt6s15q.jpeg

    I certainly like the looks of the ZU Lineup, something unique and quite appealing about the Drivers and that Cabinet Finish.

    SDA SRS 2.3TL's/SDA SRS 3.1TL's/SDA CRS+4.1TL's and some other stuff
  • mrbiron wrote: »
    If only I knew a guy.....

    Mine have been predominantly hooked to my Decco, but I have used an Anthem MCA20 and PS Audio Delta100 with good results. Pick up a pair and have fun.

    Side note - mine are the MK-1B and not “Dirty”. Same difference... ;)

    ftorsjt6s15q.jpeg

    I certainly like the looks of the ZU Lineup, something unique and quite appealing about the Drivers and that Cabinet Finish.

    Can't argue with that. I'm particularly drawn to the Soul Supreme in walnut from a visual standpoint.
    6026vuthrkmc.jpg
    If you call them you can pretty much go crazy with customization too. You can get all the silver done in black or gold, possibly other finishes. They sure can look sharp.

    I'd still like to give them another shot, but my one time exposure to some Zus with a few upgrades didn't have me running out to jump on the Zu bandwagon.

    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Cambridge CXC / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > Usher T-515 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 2,207
    While the ZU speakers def intrigue me, from what I've read I don't think they are for me. Still, I would love to hear them in action.
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
    Parasound HCA1500(indoor sound) and HCA1000(outdoor sound), Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, Marantz UD7007, modded Polk SDA 2B.
  • muncybob wrote: »
    While the ZU speakers def intrigue me, from what I've read I don't think they are for me. Still, I would love to hear them in action.
    Certainly worth trying. I think most people pretty quickly develop a strong opinion in one direction or the other. Not a lot of middle ground with them.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Cambridge CXC / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > Usher T-515 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • mrbironmrbiron Posts: 5,209
    I bought mine on a whim about 6 years ago, I think. All based on reading reviews and what is said about them is absolutely correct. It’s a 50/50 of likes to dislikes.

    I will say, they will not fill a big room, which unfortunately, is what I Now have after my move. Definitely will need to add a sub or move them to a smaller area. That’s a project for another day.
    Zu Audio Omen MK-1B's, Peachtree Decco65, Zu Mission sC’s

    Collecting Dust - Bryston BDA-2, Cheap TT, PS Audio UPC200, PS Audio AC3's, HTPC, One, Bottlehead Crack w/Speedball, Senn's MD HD600
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,539
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 5,231
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • Mike ReeterMike Reeter Posts: 3,703
    I've been thinking about a Motorcycle Trip out West to stop by ZU Audio and Spatial Audio for a couple of Demos. So many speakers, so little cash ;)
    SDA SRS 2.3TL's/SDA SRS 3.1TL's/SDA CRS+4.1TL's and some other stuff
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 483
    Utah is a great place to visit with a motorcycle, fun car, mountain bike, hiking boots, etc.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S, retipped by Soundsmith; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 920
    Spatial OB speakers are another variety I would love to hear. And, Mike Teeter, Tekton is out that way as well. The DW competitor Lore, and their flagship Double Impact. Like you said, so many speakers and not a lot of cash.
  • JayMXJayMX Posts: 259
    maxward wrote: »
    Utah is a great place to visit with a motorcycle, fun car, mountain bike, hiking boots, etc.

    @maxward Preach! I’ve lived here for 15 years and love it.
    @Mike Reeter If you do pass through and need dining or sightseeing suggestions, holler! You should add a visit to Wilson Audio while you’re here. And if the cards are played right, I can sometimes sneak friends into the Tabernacle Choir's recording studio 😉
    8e38bypjmzjw.jpeg

    Current Collection:
    Monitor 4a (Peerless), Monitor 4b (Peerless), Monitor 5a (Peerless), Monitor 5b (SL2000), Monitor 7b (Peerless), Modified Monitor 7c’s (194’s, Dynamat, Sonicaps, Mills, H-nuts), SDA CRS+ (SL2000), RTA12c (194's), SDA SRS 2 (SL2000)

    Repair pile: SRS 3.1TL (198’s), RTA 11T's, (1) lonely RTA 11TL to become a center channel... someday...

    Pairs that have passed through:
    Monitor 5b (SL1000), Monitor 10a (Peerless), Monitor 10c (3x pair), RTA8, RTA8TL, SDA2, SDA2a, SDA1b, SDA SRS2

    ...and more to come, it’s a sickness.
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