Zu? Or???

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justplainmike

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Zu? Or???
« on: 10 Aug 2010, 04:12 am »
Hi All,

I SWEAR my review is coming of my new One.2.  I've got a draft that I'm fleshing out right now, but one of the thoughts that has kept occuring to me is whether to keep my current speakers (Axiom M3 Ti...90db/8ohms) or try something a little more exotic...I've been looking at the Gallo Strada's (in no small part due to OzarkTom  :D ) but I'm also interested about Zu Audio's offerings.  I think that I'd have to step up to Sensation or Iceblock amps to power the Strada's  but does anyone have any experience w/Zu's and Virtue amps??  Thanks in advance!

Mike

wilsynet

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Re: Zu? Or???
« Reply #1 on: 10 Aug 2010, 01:50 pm »
The Virtue amps are characteristically very similar to the Red Wine amps, and from personal experience, they pair very well with anything from Zu.

There is a coherence and aliveness to the Zu lineup that drives long term satisfaction.  This is particularly true regarding the Druid, Soul, and Definitions.

At the recent California Audio Show, only the JBL Everest and Magicos filled me with great longing, but those speakers are much more of course.  No one's ever content in this hobby, but the Druids stayed in my system for 3 years while every other component was swapped out multiple times and I'm now waiting for the Soul Superfly to be delivered.  There was, I have to confess, a brief 6 month fling with another speaker which made me regret the Druid sale almost immediately.

I expect that barring a serious lifestyle change (ie. winning the lottery), the Soul Superfly (which is known to be comprehensively better than the Druid) will be with me for a long time to come.




sts9fan

Re: Zu? Or???
« Reply #2 on: 10 Aug 2010, 02:10 pm »
I had a fun time with Zu Druids and low power Tripath amps.  I used a 41hz AMP6 and a Trends T-amp.  That said I always found the Druids really did like more power then the 101db suggests. 

neutralos

Re: Zu? Or???
« Reply #3 on: 10 Aug 2010, 02:40 pm »
Hi All,

anyone have any experience w/Zu's and Virtue amps??  Thanks in advance!

Mike

Hi Mike,

months ago before my virtue TWO purchase I received a pair of the Druid Mk IV from a dealer in germany. We agreed on some days test session in my home and then sadly they went on journey to the next lucky recipient.

These days I owned another Tripath (winsome labs mouse). We must consider that the TWO month later had blown it away in every audiophile refers. Though that the system sounded extrem quick - and superb aliveness like wilsynet said. They seem to able to take all the stress from an audio chain - especially the hard work of the amp.

Regarding weakness of the Druids I read in a german review that the exact point to point imaging is better handled by other (of course expensive) speakers like the Thiel 2.4.

The Druid also plays a bit frontal compared to a Revel for example which builds the soundstage more into the backarea.

I don´t know if the Druid is still in their programm but a ZU speaker is one of my targets for my virtue TWO. I am nearly sure that this could be great match. Both in red and you have an Ferrari audio system without any compression and boredom  :drool:

Gopher

Re: Zu? Or???
« Reply #4 on: 10 Aug 2010, 05:24 pm »
I can't speak for the one.2, but the two.2 is an outstanding amplifier for the Zu soul superfly speakers.  Throw them into power amp mode and feed them with a tube pre and the combo punches well above the class.  I have the two.2 on the tour now and my dad will probably keep it.  It's a very solid choice for Zu speakers.

OzarkTom

Re: Zu? Or???
« Reply #5 on: 11 Aug 2010, 12:11 am »
I think that I'd have to step up to Sensation or Iceblock amps to power the Strada's

Mike

Hi Mike, no worries on the One.2 amd Stradas, unless you have a very large room. Mine is 16x26 and the One.2 drove them louder than I wanted.

I have been a big fan of ESL's for about 30 years so I like speakers that are very quick and detailed. The Stradas are all that, but have better inaging, focus, and detail. They work fantastic with all the Virtue amps, I had the One.2 here for about a month on the Stradas, but stepped up to the Sensation.

If you re-read the 6moons review on the Gallo Reference 3.5, they even said the Stradas sounded more like ESL's than the 3.5's did. Even though they share the exact same midrange's and ribbon tweeter, I will bet they will outshine the 3.5's in most rooms. The Stradas will work in a 10x10 room, and probably work well in a 20x20 room and a little larger. You better have a large room for the 3.5's to work.

Just add a powered sub and you can control the bass to whatever you like it. I saw Danny at GR Reasearch is having a heck of a deal on his DIY sub and amp for $199.

So what are the reviewers saying about the Gallo 3.5's?

"Top ten speakers" by Steve Guttenberg
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-20007800-47.html?tag=mncol;txt

And this
http://www.soundstagex.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91%3Aanthony-gallo-acoustics-nucleus-reference-35-loudspeakers&Itemid=61

Now don't expect the Stradas to be a bright and forward sounding speaker, which some people actually prefer. (I stiil say those people are high frequency deaf.) It is very neutral and only plays what is fed into them. With the musicality and detail of the Virtue amps, that is what you will hear.

justplainmike

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Re: Zu? Or???
« Reply #6 on: 15 Aug 2010, 07:48 am »
Thanks Tom for adding your impressions of the Stradas.  I read the 6moons write up and I'm intrigued by the wide soundstage potential of the tweeter on the Gallo. 

I have Mirage omnisats as a setup for my living room HT.  Love how big a soundstage they present.  Was switching out my axioms and an extra set of Omnisat V2's with the One.2 for a bit (this will be in the writeup as well).  While I liked the sound, i prefered the Axioms just a bit more (the soundstage is narrower but the tweeter is much better). 

There's a place locally here in Seattle that I can audition the Stradas...but I'm hesitant to do so now because I really should save up for them rather than tack more debt on the credit card :-)

justplainmike

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Re: Zu? Or???
« Reply #7 on: 15 Aug 2010, 07:59 am »
I can't speak for the one.2, but the two.2 is an outstanding amplifier for the Zu soul superfly speakers.  Throw them into power amp mode and feed them with a tube pre and the combo punches well above the class.  I have the two.2 on the tour now and my dad will probably keep it.  It's a very solid choice for Zu speakers.

Have you had a chance to hear the Zu Superfly's??  Would love to hear your impression as this is the Zu model I've been considering...probably the regular Soul actually...but since those aren't shipping yet I'd appreciate any feedback you might have.  Thanks!

justplainmike

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  • Posts: 53
Re: Zu? Or???
« Reply #8 on: 15 Aug 2010, 08:01 am »

I don´t know if the Druid is still in their programm but a ZU speaker is one of my targets for my virtue TWO. I am nearly sure that this could be great match. Both in red and you have an Ferrari audio system without any compression and boredom  :drool:

LOL!  Thanks for the input...Getting both in red would be the closest I ever get to a Ferrari!!  and at 1/1000th the cost too!!!

Gopher

Re: Zu? Or???
« Reply #9 on: 16 Aug 2010, 12:41 am »
Have you had a chance to hear the Zu Superfly's??  Would love to hear your impression as this is the Zu model I've been considering...probably the regular Soul actually...but since those aren't shipping yet I'd appreciate any feedback you might have.  Thanks!

Yep, I am the owner of the sixth production pair.  IMO they are exceptional.  I'm the original poster of the long audiogon thread and put a ton of feedback on the speaker there along with thoughts with various amplifiers.  The Souls makes a lovely partner to the TWO.2 and I strongly considered purchasing the tour unit---my  father took the temptation away and bought it from under me after hearing it in his rig though :p

justplainmike

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Re: Zu? Or???
« Reply #10 on: 24 Aug 2010, 03:57 am »
The Souls makes a lovely partner to the TWO.2 and I strongly considered purchasing the tour unit---my  father took the temptation away and bought it from under me after hearing it in his rig though :p

That's good to hear...I'm looking in that price range.  So far the Zu, Gallo Stradas, and possibly even Magnepan 1.7 are on my short list.  The nice thing about my amp is that I can actually carry it to the audio shop and try out the Gallo and Maggies! :-)

johzel

Re: Zu? Or???
« Reply #11 on: 24 Aug 2010, 01:10 pm »

If you re-read the 6moons review on the Gallo Reference 3.5, they even said the Stradas sounded more like ESL's than the 3.5's did. Even though they share the exact same midrange's and ribbon tweeter, I will bet they will outshine the 3.5's in most rooms. The Stradas will work in a 10x10 room, and probably work well in a 20x20 room and a little larger. You better have a large room for the 3.5's to work.


I have had my 3.5's for less than two weeks so they're still breaking in.  I've had them in a 15X18 room and also in a bigger room that adjoins to other open concept spaces - so a fair amount of space.  They sound fabulous in either room so I'm not sure why you'd need a large room for these to "work".  Auditioned several Martin Logans and the Maggie 1.7's -  decided on the Gallos -totally happy with the decision.  My experience so far is spot on with what reviewers have written about the 3.5's.  Now I just need to decide which room to keep them with - and decide what to buy for the other space.