AUDIO FORUMS >> General Discussion and Support >> Zu + Decware - Need some advice

Message started by RJR on 02/25/13 at 01:24:51

Title: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by RJR on 02/25/13 at 01:24:51

I have a pair of Zu Omen Def (with nano drivers) and a SE34I.34.  My family room is 13.5 x 22 but the seating arrangement is 13.5 x 16.  The system is on the short side of the room. The speakers are about 8' apart and about a foot or so off of the wall and the center stage is about 9' to 10'. I am somewhat limited in placement and setup. All of my music (rock and roll) is FLAC and fed wirelessly to Squeezebox 3, then into a Channel Island DAC and then the SE34I.  

I feel that my system and/or setup is not reaching full potential.  Some music sounds fine but some music doesn't, especially rock and roll from the 80's. It has more mid's and sounds a bit stiff.  It may just be the recordings???  I am not getting much bass overall from most of my music.  I know I have to discuss with Zu, yet many of you have Zu matched to Decware and hopefully can offer some suggestions.  Here are some thoughts I have:
1) Would tube rolling help? With bass? Subwoofers are out of the eqaution.
2)Zu Omen Def owners.  How high is the bottom of speaker off of the carpet? (mine are about 1"+)  Would lowering closer to floor help bass and sound?
3) Are they too big or too dynamic for the room size? Steve at Decware didn't think so and felt the integrated amp would greatly compliment my system and add another dimension.

All of you are very experienced and I hope you can assist me.


Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by Lon on 02/25/13 at 02:55:55


I haven't heard any Zu and I would hesitate to address that portion of your post.

I think your .3 is still fairly new, correct? I find that the amps and pre-amps slowly "bloom" and bass can sometimes be the last player to show up and unpack at the session if you know what I mean. It may be that you just need to season the amps a few more weeks.

Also. . .I confess I don't listen to much music of the 'eighties because in the 'eighties I took a left turn from listening to the rock and blues-rock I had been listening to and exploring heavily jazz and blues of earlier decades. I think 'eighties music sounds not so good, and I do think in part the production of the material and what the industry thought a recording sounded like was as you say, full of mids. Still you really should be enjoying your music!

Tube-rolling could help. Let us know what tubes are in use now and perhaps fellow posters and I can get a hint and give a few suggestions. . . .

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by RJR on 02/25/13 at 11:58:44


Thanks for the quick reply.  I appreciate your help and consideration.

You are correct that I have had the amp for a few weeks now. The tubes are the stock tubes that come with the amp; 5U4G, EL34 and 6N1P.  I am eventually going to roll tubes, but I have budgetary constraints (wife).  

I have sunk a lot of my hard earned money into this system and I just hope I can get some resolve. All of my research has been done online reading forums, reviews and manufacturers websites.  All my listening was, of course, blind.  There is no way to go to dealers in several states and listen to many types of speakers and amps, and then select them.  Way too much time and too many miles.

Thanks again.

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by Lon on 02/25/13 at 14:04:29

Well R, with the stock tubes you should be getting ample bass when the amp is broken in. (I still think more bass may come in in the next few weeks).  The tube I would roll first is the rectifier, I've never been fond of the stock rectifiers and another may give you more "warmth" . . . . I like to use RCA 5U4G tubes in that spot.

I don't know about the Zu speakers but I would think that a foot or so from the wall there should be ample bass from room boundary interaction. I hope that owners of those speakers here chime in and I think that a call to Steve may be the best resource. Hope you can get the sound you want! Keep us posted.

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by DBC on 02/25/13 at 15:36:25


I have Klipsch RF-7's which are approximately the same physical size as your Zu's. You mentioned subs and I can tell you from experience a subwoofer will not solve your problem. By far the majority of audible bass in music is above the frequency range that subs are designed to accurately reproduce.

I would be a little concerned about the carpeted floor since your Zu's are vented on the bottom. I seem to recall the Decware radial speakers were vented on the bottom and in later versions they went to a fixed wood plate on the bottom. This provided more consistent results whether they were placed on a hard surface or carpet (the bottom gap and reflection surface remained constant regardless of floor surface).

You might try placing each speaker on a 16" x 16" 3/4" wood plank. I've even used bamboo cutting boards in the past. If you can find something your wife does not object to these have a second advantage. A plank makes it relatively easy to slide the speaker on carpet. This way when your wife is not around it is fairly easy to experiment with different speaker placements. Just place the speaker with spike feet on top of the plank.

In any event I would think the planks would reflect maximum low frequency energy out into the room. Most people  think bass is 80 Hz and below. There is a lot of bass information going on all the way up to 260 Hz and you don't want to loose any of that to your plush well padded carpet.

From everything I have read you have a fine amp and speakers. I am not familiar with your source ?? Are you confident it is cutting the mustard on the low end ??  Just ask because I recently replaced my 12 year old Zen Select with the Super Zen and was stunned how much more low end resolution the Super had. So obviously my amp was my weak link.

You mentioned auditioning equipment. I've found listening to a component in other peoples systems in their rooms is quite different than the same component in my system and my room. I'm sure with experimentation and patience you will work out the kinks with what you have.

Were you at last Fall's Zen Fest ??  Met a guy and his wife there that were considering Superfly's, they were from Champaign, IL. I live just south of Springfield, IL.

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by rockn on 02/25/13 at 16:06:33

You could also try setting the speakers on 2 18x18 pieces of ceramic tile.  

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by RJR on 02/26/13 at 01:52:31

I just wanted to thank all of you for your help.  I had a chance to speak to Sean at Zu and I think I am on the right track.  I still like the idea of planks under the speakers and will try that, but I will also let my amp break in.

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by ncblue on 02/26/13 at 01:53:58

You should NOT need a sub with that combo. I am running the same ith great deep bass. One thing you must do is make sure there is plenty of space between the Omens and the floor. They say at least a CD case width. I have had better results slightly higher( as high as the supplied spikes would let me go). I would check this first. After that the room may not be helping. Also the nano drivers take a while to loosen up and driving them hard works wonders. Hope this helps.

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by RJR on 02/26/13 at 03:28:19


You mentioned, "After that the room may not be helping."  Do you mean the space between the Omen and floor or my family room size?  I hope not the latter.

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by orangecrush on 02/26/13 at 04:37:54

My Zu Superfly's need bass taming. I get tons of bass, I have them over three feet out from the rear walls and almost a inch floor gap. Now the bass is tight, the way I liked. Lowering the floor gap gives me more bass, but less controlled and sacrificing mid range.

The best rectifier I have heard for bass is the 1950's Svetlana 5U4G-ST. But next best and cheap is the new Shungang/Valve Art 274B. Either one would help you achieve what your looking for.

I have the Torii, so ymmv.

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by ncblue on 02/26/13 at 14:27:44

It's hard to evaluate room interactions without being there.  I have them in a bigger room, but found the sound was better along the long wall, well away from sidewalls. I'm sure some tube rolling will help, but there are other forum members with more experience with that. Zu does have 2 options for subwoofers now. I used the old Method sub for a while with my Superflys to great effect.

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by DBC on 02/28/13 at 19:54:24

ncblue & orangecrush,

Just curious if you have your Zu's on carpet or hard surface floor ??

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by orangecrush on 02/28/13 at 20:00:32

Laminate flooring. The finger ports on the bottom are less sensitive to floor gap height then older versions.

Title: Re: Zu + Decware - Need some advice
Post by ncblue on 02/28/13 at 22:35:05

I have a medium carpet in my listening room.

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