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Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress (Read 6149 times)
mark58
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Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
12/20/15 at 14:39:30
 
Hey Urbs, I see you are online.  You have had your Zu "Souls" since April...how about a report.  You were also going to get a Rachel and a ZP3.  Where are you in your audio quest?

I have to admit I listen to the Souls more than any of my other speakers...paired with the Zen Signature Monoblocks and a Jolida CD player. They are easy on the eyes too.

I'd like to hear from others who may have these speakers...or even other Zu speakers.  Zu Audio owners here are much too quiet.  Mark.



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« Last Edit: 12/21/15 at 12:56:54 by mark58 »  

"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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RJR
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #1 - 12/20/15 at 21:13:16
 
I have Omen Def MK 1b for about two years now.  Thought about other speakers, though, yet they really sound good and I just cannot get rid of them.  I talked to Sean at ZU about their new MK2 and he says that they are better.  I'm sure that they are, but by how much?  Sometimes I think it is more marketing hype than mere improvements.  

The Omen Def really sound good paired with my Torii MK3 and CSP2+.  I have a Music Hall turntable and a Squeezebox Classic.  I'm looking at changing up my digital, though.
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kevtn8
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #2 - 12/21/15 at 06:09:45
 
Hi Mark58,

Being a recent single driver speaker convert, I've always been curious of the Zu Soul speaker because it looks very simple. I've noticed from other threads that you also have some Omega Alnico speakers yet you keep saying that your Soul is the speaker you listen to the most.

After recently converting to single driver speakers through my Omega Super3XRS, I feel that they are very versatile and when paired with the right gear, they have very few weaknesses that I can think of. With how much Louis and Rob ( on AudioCircle) and everyone else on his forums that keep praising the superior attributes of Alnico driver, I went ahead and placed an order for his Alnico monitor.

I'm very excited and still waiting on my monitors however some of your posts regarding the Soul speaker have really caught my attention. Can you compare and contrast the Zu Soul to Omega Alnico?  Also, is it true that the Soul uses a coaxial tweeter because the driver design looks sort of similar to Alnico design with the whizzer cone. If this is the case, there is indeed a very simple crossover in the Soul vs none for the Omega. Please compare these speakers on the basis of their tone, midrange, treble , bass and dynamics if possible. Finally, are the Soul really that much more efficient ( 99db vs 93) because I've heard that the Omega Alnico are really conservatively rated?  

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DBC
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #3 - 12/21/15 at 15:10:29
 
kevtn8 wrote on 12/21/15 at 06:09:45:
Hi Mark58,

Being a recent single driver speaker convert, I've always been curious of the Zu Soul speaker because it looks very simple. I've noticed from other threads that you also have some Omega Alnico speakers yet you keep saying that your Soul is the speaker you listen to the most.

After recently converting to single driver speakers through my Omega Super3XRS, I feel that they are very versatile and when paired with the right gear, they have very few weaknesses that I can think of. With how much Louis and Rob ( on AudioCircle) and everyone else on his forums that keep praising the superior attributes of Alnico driver, I went ahead and placed an order for his Alnico monitor.

I'm very excited and still waiting on my monitors however some of your posts regarding the Soul speaker have really caught my attention. Can you compare and contrast the Zu Soul to Omega Alnico?  Also, is it true that the Soul uses a coaxial tweeter because the driver design looks sort of similar to Alnico design with the whizzer cone. If this is the case, there is indeed a very simple crossover in the Soul vs none for the Omega. Please compare these speakers on the basis of their tone, midrange, treble , bass and dynamics if possible. Finally, are the Soul really that much more efficient ( 99db vs 93) because I've heard that the Omega Alnico are really conservatively rated?  


kevtn8,

As you are aware I have a SuperZen UFO with Alnico Monitors. As far as efficiency, the Alnico's don't give up much ground to my Klipsch RF-7 floorstanders at 102db (volume wise in the listening space). The Klipsch benefit from a Sub and so do the Alnico's. Alnico's have great Bass clarity, a Sub simply adds a bit more substance to the bottom end. As I seem to recall you have the DeepOmega 8" Sub. This should be a very good match with the Alnico Monitors.

Main thing I found with the Alnico Monitors is that listening at Low to Moderate volumes is very satisfying so that maximum volume output becomes less and less important. Still, I never lack for volume when I want to Rock.

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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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orangecrush
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #4 - 12/22/15 at 01:34:43
 
I am in love with my Zu Soul Superfly's with the upgraded drivers and tweeters. I had my Torrii made with the 8 and 16 ohm taps and the 16ohm do sound a bit better.  I have tons of headroom.  

They are very transparent and revealing, to the point that some bad recordings sound terrible. But, you are rewarded with everything else.  I love their tone, intimacy with vocals and yet can rock. No sub needed.  You will never even think about one.  Huge soundstage.

I have threaded on roller block style/bearings for feet, and that was a nice and inexpensive improvement.

I don't know about the Soul, but Superfly only has a capacitor on the tweeter.  Seemless presentation with the full ranger.  Just adds what the full ranger can't do. That's why the Cain and Cain Super Abby's sounded so much better then the Abby's sans tweeter.  

I would love to hear some Omegas some day.  

But at this point there are three things I will know will never be the weak link in my system. The Torii, the Zu's and the BPT-1.


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« Last Edit: 12/22/15 at 02:11:29 by orangecrush »  
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mark58
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #5 - 12/26/15 at 10:53:33
 
kevtn8,  I have thought of replying to your question but have delayed.  I have written about all you ask many times in the past and I'm not sure why I haven't been able to bring myself to do it again. I suggest doing a search with Omega or Omega Alinco as keywords to find more detailed comparisons I've done in the past.

I have...

1) Omega Super 7XRS with the 7RSA driver with Alinco magnet which is no longer offered.  These are ported to the back.

2) Omega Alinco Super 6XRS with the top of the line Alinco Driver that is different than the above driver and can be viewed on Omega's site.  This driver has not changed to my knowledge since it's introduction, so any used pair would have this superior driver.  My pair were made in Dec 2011.  They have downward firing ports that, to my ears, provide better bass response than the above speakers.

3) Decware/Turning Point Audio HR-1s are in my main system with a Torii MK IV, CSP3, ZP3, Rega RP6 TT with Exact 2 Cart, Jolida 100 CD Player and the cherry on top is an Omega Deep Hemp Sub-woofer.  The HR-1s will remain there. I spin Vinyl about 99% of the time there...in the "Cave".

4) Zu Audio Soul MK II speakers that have a coaxial mounted tweeter with a high pass filter...no crossover.  I'm no techie so I'm not sure how a filter differs from a capacitor as found in the HR-1s.

I currently have the Omega Super 7XRS and Zu Souls side by side in my second system which includes a pair of 2.3 WPC Zen Signature Mono Blocks that were manufactured in 2008 and then modified several times by the original owner.  My source is a Jolida 100 tubed CD Player. I have speaker cables with bananas so it takes less than a minute to switch from one pair of speakers to the other.  As I have said in the past, I find myself almost exclusively listening to the Souls and can't remember the last time I used the Omegas.  I have not tried the Omega Alinco 6XRSs there. I will eventually but I'm confident the outcome would be the same. This quote from an earlier post of mine sums it up..."I have used Omega speakers with Alinco drivers with both Amps ...they do well with the caveat that they have a forward top end that is emphasized with both Omega speaker pairs I own. I can roll input or output tubes to moderate this effect but not completely to my satisfaction.   I think most people prefer this kind of sound hence the popularity of Omega speakers with Decware Amp owners."

I find the Zu Souls to have gobs of detail, tone, transparency, etc...without emphasizing the top end like the Omegas.  I also feel the bass is more satisfying with the Souls. The Omegas with the bottom firing ports would probably be close to the Souls in Bass performance. My second system does not have a Sub as my primary system does.  I listen to Jazz mainly...lots of piano trio...Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans...and can tell you I find the Bass and Drums/Cymbals just right with the Souls where as with the Omegas both fall a little short...a bit too much high end and not quite enough low end.  Of course these observations are only one man's opinion. Others may and do prefer Omegas over Zu Audio speakers.  I believe there are far more Omega owners than Zu speaker owners here, thus my original post to encourage Zu owners to speak out.  I hope this helps.  Mark.

PS...as to the difference in efficiency...99 vs 93.  The small Zen at 2.3 WPC provides adequate power for the Omega Alincos but do so with less headroom...ie. I have to turn the volume knob quite a bit further to get comparable volume.  With a higher WPC amp like the 25 WPC Torii, the difference would be less noticeable.

PSS...I might add that without getting a pair of Souls into your listening room you will never really know if you like them.  Zu Audio has the best trial and return policy in the Business.  The trial is 60 days (that can be extended to 90 days upon a reasonable request), if after 45 days...not before...you don't want them and paid shipping on your original order, they will arrange to have them picked up at your house with no shipping or restocking fee provided they are a stock pair...not a custom order.  These speakers need an adequate break in period to show their true colors hence the exceptionally long trial offered.  I know of no other speaker manufacturer that can match this policy. This goes for any speaker bought from their website...pre-loved or new...as well as any speakers bought from other channels like ebay.  Read the policy below and ask questions.  There are three guys who answer the phone and they are all very helpful, one being the CEO/President/Founder, Sean Casey, who one day answered my call.  It wasn't until after the conversation when reading their site, that I realized I'd been talking to the head guy.  Customer service is great!

PSSS...I'll also add that when the Souls were introduced and until not long ago, they retailed for $3500...now $2000.  I really don't care what speakers people buy but I remember how hard it was to figure out what to purchase.  The reality for me was even after reading all the reviews and other's descriptions/impressions, I still didn't know until I lived with them for a while in my own system, which speakers I liked best.  Everyone's "Ears" (Preferences), Gear and Rooms are different so anything less than listening for yourself is a crap shoot. Again my opinion.

http://www.zuaudio.com/60-day-guarantee


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« Last Edit: 12/27/15 at 10:38:28 by mark58 »  

"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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orangecrush
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #6 - 12/26/15 at 16:32:50
 
I have called a few times as well, and Sean always picks up the phone. Really nice guy to talk to.  

High-pass filter is a capacitor.  

You never forget the day you hear Zu for the first time! Such a different presentation. Make many other speakers sound flat and boring in comparison.
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« Last Edit: 12/26/15 at 16:33:22 by orangecrush »  
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kevtn8
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #7 - 12/27/15 at 19:24:50
 
Mark58,

Thanks so much for taking the time to write that very detailed analysis. I have done a lot searches on your old posts but never really got a handle on the differences between the Omega Alnico and Zu Soul from them and thus the reason I asked for further clarity.

It's really interesting that you feel that way about the Alnico in regards to their high frequency. Either way, louis says that his Alnico 6.5" driver which you have as Alnico 6XRS is best and most refined driver he's ever made. If you get a chance please listen to that speaker and see if you notice any improvements over the other omega drivers you have.

Your description of Zu Soul is very tempting and  nearly matches my musical tastes and preferences. I also agree that their trial period is among the best in industry if not the best. As a result of your strong opinions about them, I have already placed an order for the Zu Soul mkii and I'm super excited. Coming from Omega, I really like the coaxial design to retain the single point source sound that I've gotten use to. I think based on cost and what you're getting, it's their best valued speaker. I also upgraded the high past filter to Jupiter Copper foil.


Orangecrush,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with the Zu speakers as well. It definitely played a part in my decision to give them a try although I do have some questions for you.

Can you elaborate on the driver upgrades that you got for your Superfly? I'm specifically interested in the new tweeter. Is this the Eminence Asd1001 ? If so did it make noticeable difference to the sound/music? The reason I'm bringing the tweeter up is because most of the opinions of people that have heard Zu speakers (like at shows) have been very polarized, and it's mainly due to their choice of tweeters which they claim can make speakers sound very bright and harsh. From talking to Gerrit this is now their new standard tweeter besides the Radian in their highest model. Based on the opinions of Mark58 above, it seems like they may have finally found the right tweeter as the Soul mkii was one of their first speakers to use it.
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mark58
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #8 - 12/27/15 at 20:24:18
 
Kevtn8, I'm happy to share my opinions. I had not intended to buy a second pair of Omega speakers but at some point I realized I didn't have the top of the line Alinco driver in the Super 7XRS.  I had been watching for used Zu Audio Soul MK IIs and Omega Alinco XRS speakers for another Decware member. So when a beautiful used pair popped up on ebay, I immediately forwarded the link to him but he had decided on the Zu Souls.  I watched the auction hoping that someone would bid on them and end my temptation but no one did...I put in a minimum bid and got them for $1100 plus $45 shipping. Then I planned on having them in my main system for a couple weeks...well a couple weeks ended up being about three months.

I do plan on moving the Omega Alinco 6XRSs into my second system but moving speakers ruins my back for days so I've been putting it off...besides I'm extremely happy with the Souls.  If I clear things a bit I think I can get the two Omegas and the Souls next to each other and have a real shootout.

I have only heard the speakers I currently own so I can only comment on them.  As to the other Zu Audio speakers I have no opinion but I suspect some of the negative reviews may have been due to inadequate break in.  It is my understanding that the Nano-tech coating makes break in longer than usual.  Zu now runs them in for 600 hours before putting them in the cabinets.  Even so I still had a long break in period but in retrospect, I believe it was partly due to using a Taboo MK III as my amp...when I got my Torii MK IV it was like the heavens opened and blessed me with amazing sound.  Since then I tried to pair the Omega Super 7XRS with the Taboo...again it didn't go well.  The Taboo for me is strictly a headphone amp.  Not sure why it does so poorly with speakers but others have had the same experience I later found.  Anyway, let us know how things go.  Mark.

PS...Kevtn8, it just hit me...you got an upgrade to a Jupiter cap?  I didn't even know an upgrade was available.  What is the standard cap?...I've never known.  All my Decware gear has Bee's Wax Caps...I don't know what's in the HR-1s.


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« Last Edit: 12/27/15 at 20:35:05 by mark58 »  

"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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kevtn8
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #9 - 12/28/15 at 05:01:00
 
Hi Mark58, the reason I upgraded the cap is because most all of Zu's speakers only use a single capacitor as a high pass filter device ( a few also use an additional resistor) and knowing that this is the only filter device in the speaker, I wasn't going to take a chance with the much cheaper stock cap.  

Zu offers the ClarityCap MR as their upgrade cap however I requested they used the Jupiter Copper foil as I'll be paying the difference. I've been very happy with this cap in my Zen Select and wanted to keep my system as uniform as possible.

If you are ok with the ClarityCap MR ( which are very respectable caps by the way) then you can call and order from Zu and they'll send you an ungrade kit. Its a very simple install , plug and play and no solder involved. I'm not sure how it will work if you request other caps like Jupiter but you can call them to find out.
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orangecrush
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #10 - 12/28/15 at 08:30:17
 
Hi Kevtn8, my Superfly's were the first edition.  Then the updated Nanotech driver came out. Huge upgrade in sound quality.  Just more of everything good the Zu sound offers. But especially better with complex passages of music like classical music.  Then the tweeter upgrade came out, so I did that as well.  Less dramatic was this upgrade.  Slightly sweeter and more liquid highs.  

I talked lots with Sean about their clarity cap choice, as the caps in the Superfly were already very nice silver/gold mundorfs. Zu selected them by ear and to perfectly mate with the new nano drivers.  Zu are the tone guys of the speaker world and also get the human voice so right.  I would stick with their choice I were you.  Remember, this high by-pass filter is barely kicking in. Zu's full ranger is already giving you all the high range the Omegas deliver.  The coaxial or the seperate tweeter on the Superfly is just to get that a bit more air, clarity, sparkle and even a bit more more detail.  

IMO, if anyone finds the treble harsh, they are not a good match to their system. The Zu's are brutally revealing.  That's why I love them.  Did you read Darko's or 6 moon reviews? I agree fully with their findings. That's why I'm a big believer in building a system around the speakers.

I hope you enjoy your new Zu's as much as I do. System synergy is everything. I'm excited for you.  

Btw, search the forum here on Ingress Audio roller block feet.  They sounding great on the Zu's if you have hard surface floors. I use the threaded ones and they match the aluminium accents on my speakers.  The gap is higher then normal, but they sound fantastic.  You will find conflicting info on the gap. Higher is fine. They just float.  


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« Last Edit: 12/28/15 at 08:31:12 by orangecrush »  
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mark58
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #11 - 12/28/15 at 10:59:52
 
Kevtn8, a few things.  First, when I bought my gear only one Jupiter Bee's Wax Cap was offered or came standard on some pieces.  The Cooper Foil caps must be relatively new.  I just read in the write up for the Torii that the "Stock" Jupiter Bee's wax caps are "more forgiving" than the cooper foil.  I listen to a lot of used records as well as reissues so I'm good with this.  And with CDs, forgiving is almost a must for me.

I'm curious, how much did your Cooper Foil cap upgrade cost?  Do you know what the Clarity cap upgrade goes for?  As Orange said, the tweeter kicks in for only the very highest frequencies, I think above 12K.  It's doubtful I'd upgrade unless it is cheap and easily reversible by a non-techie...non-DIYer. What would such an upgrade be expected to give you sonically?

Next,  Orange mentions isolation feet.  I don't use any isolation with my Souls but in my primary system I did use Aurelex Sub Dude IIs under my sub and the bottom ported Omega Alinco 6XRS.  The result  was positive.  It tightened up the bass and pretty much eliminated any Boom that occurred with some recordings.  They cost $60 each with free shipping from Sweetwater...I recommend them.

As to gap on the bottom of the Souls...I ended up using the spikes almost as high as possible in the front and much lower in the back.  This gives good bass response and tilts the driver slightly upward towards my ears in the listening position.  There is much written on Zu's site about setup.  Mark.

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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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kevtn8
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #12 - 12/29/15 at 07:28:20
 
OrangeCrush,

My current room is small to normal sized and carpeted so I'll be messing around with the spikes first but those rollerblocks sounds very interesting. I don't think it would benefit carpets though right?

It seems like you are a very happy Zu owner. I've heard a lot of good things about those upgraded drivers. I totally agree with you that system synergy is the most important thing and I'm very excited to see how those Souls will fit into my current system.

I'm going to stick with the Jupiter Copper. They sound pretty good right out of the gate and just continues to get better. They are very organic, smooth, and balanced. Even Sean is a fan of this cap so that's good enough for me.

Mark58,

The ClarityCap MR uprade kit should be no more than $100 but give them a call to make sure. My Jupiter Copper were more than double the cost at $230 due to the large values of 1uf n 600v but I'm ok with this. Everything worked out well because I opted for the Sangria finish which saved me 300 over the Walnut.

Either of the ClarityCap or Jupiters would smoothen out the highs and remove any excess grain in addition to maybe being a bit more detailed and open. From the Darko reviews, the CarityCap upgrade is a plug and play type , no solder needed. Of course you need to remove the drivers first.

As far as the carpet spikes, I didn't know that you can level them up and down. I thought it was one of those designs where its either all the way in or not. Does Zu recommend modulating the spikes like that? From reading some of your posts, you seem to be very happy with the bass from these spikes. I'll definitely focus on this area when they are here.

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mark58
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #13 - 12/29/15 at 11:58:28
 
Kevtn8, Zu recommends "about" a 1/4" gap so the slits/ports on the bottom can see the room but the spikes can be screwed in all the way or part way allowing variation. I think  Johnny Darko even went to a hardware store and bought longer bolts to use as feet. I suggest experimentation.

I read Darko's article last night on the Cap upgrade and the photos show the Clarity Caps and stock caps. Even I could install them.  I also went to Parts Connexion and both the Clarity and Jupiter caps are sold for about what Zu Audio charges...plus Zu adds the extra length of wire and connectors to each side.  I'm pretty sure Zu would have added the same connectors to your Jupiters as seen on the Clarity Caps in the photo.  Someday I may do an upgrade but I'm in no hurry.

I think the Soul is a great match for the small Zen Amps and I'm surprised more here haven't tried them. Does your select have the UFOs?  What speaker cable, power cords, interconnects and tubes are you using?  As you know, everything works together.  I also use a Running Springs Audio "Haley" conditioner in my second system.  Mark.

PS...here are some reviews I've read the past couple days.  I'll add more when I find them...

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2014/11/removing-the-grain-part-2-zu-soul-mkii...

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2013/06/zu-soul-mkii-loudspeaker-review/

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2013/03/zu-union-from-factory-floor-to-sydney-...



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« Last Edit: 12/29/15 at 13:34:21 by mark58 »  

"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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kevtn8
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #14 - 12/30/15 at 01:50:00
 
Mark58,

My Zen Select has the UFO mod, Jupiter Copper caps, and stepped attenuator. The Soul being an 8ohm speaker was one of the deciding factors why I bought it. This fact coupled with your observations of them with the Zen sealed the deal for me.

As far as the rest of my system: I'm using Decware Silver Reference interconnects, Zen Styx speaker cables, and my source is the Sony HAP-Z1ES. Tubes are all stock although I've bought a bunch of different rectifiers to roll because I've heard the opinions of the stock Valve Art 274B rectifier from the people on this board has been very polarized. Some claim it sounds pretty dry and thin so I'll try out some other rectifiers and see which one works best with the Soul.
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mark58
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #15 - 12/30/15 at 02:20:28
 
Kevtn8, that's a lot of silver.  I have found increasing the amount of Copper in my cabling has gotten me closer to where I want to be. But the Souls were less affected by silver than my HR-1s, so you may like your silver cabling.  At some point after you've listened to your system for a couple months, if you'd like to know what I ended up with, let me know.

In regards to the rectifier, I still use the Valve Art 274B in my CSP3, I've tried others but came back to the stock tube. I found the Valve Art to be warm and it gave me better bass performance in my primary system. In my Zen Signature Monoblocks I use a pair of 50's RCA 5U4Gs and in the Torii MK IV I use a pair of WW II Ken Rad 5U4G rectifiers.  In the ZP3, I use a 50's RCA 5Y3G. Mark.
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« Last Edit: 12/30/15 at 02:25:00 by mark58 »  

"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Urbs
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #16 - 01/04/16 at 03:58:01
 
Hey Mark!!
Life was crazy for me in 2015.  Why I've been mia here.  I'm really liking my Souls.  I can not stress enough that they have a long break in period lol.  Didn't get the Rachel or the ZP3.  The ZP3 was more than I could spend at the time on a phono pre but I did get a Heed.  It was a huge upgrade to my Denon receiver pre amp.  I ended up getting a Line Magnetic 218 amp.  I got that amp after getting a good deal because it was a floor demo.  Am I happy with it?  Yes very.  Do I still have huge interest in Decware Absolutely....why I'm still here I guess lol.

My ZU Souls are fitting the bill very well.  If you remember I'm very very new to s.e.t. amps, vinyl, and zu style type of speakers.  I purchased everything not knowing if I'm going to like it or pitch it.   Well I love it.  I played the souls for weeks at different volume levels w my s.s. amp.  I feel they just fell into their own not to long ago.  I was spinning The Beatles the other day and it just sounded better than ever and nothing has changed so I'm guessing the speakers opened up even more.  My god they are honest.  As said before if the recording is not good or average they will let you hear it.  They excel at low listening levels.  I love my set up for this.  With everyone in bed I can still spin and hear such detail at low volume levels as I'm doing now.  I can't compare them to anything else yet but I'm very pleased w them.    

I want to thank you for all your time in answering my questions.   There were several of you guys on this forum who were helpful.  This is a great active forum.  Wife and I are considering finishing off our basement this year and this is where I will setup my listening room.  My system is lacking in speaker cables, tt, and cd player.  What I have is ok for now but on the short list to get replaced.  I'll get me my Rachel soon to compare to the LM.  No regrets on my purchase but damn I'm craving me some Decware.  I can say this....this is a expensive addicting hobby lol.  

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kevtn8
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #17 - 03/15/16 at 09:23:38
 
I have been so busy with work but I want to take the time to give an update on my new speakers : Zu Audio Soul Supremes ( I've finally found the ones, these will be my final speakers for life).

First I want to give a quick refresh on how I arrived at these speakers. My previous speakers were the Omega Super 3XRS ( which have just been sold). These were my first single driver full rangers and I was really amazed at what a small full range single driver speaker could do. Eliminating the crossover combined with the SET midrange magic of the little Zen amp produced a sound that I knew was for me and what I've been searching for. Without getting into too much specifics, there was some things about them that could be better. This became more apparent after I upgraded my Zen amp to the UFO transformers and Jupiter Copper  coupling caps. This threw off the tonal balance in my system but there were some other issues I had with the Omegas that I knew could only be fixed with another larger speaker.

I thought about the Omega Alnico monitors briefly and even ordered them but only to cancel them later. One of the main reasons was based on all of the research I did following all of the main postings by a regular forum member here : Mark58.  The reason Mark's posts were so informative to me was due to him owning so many different speakers and he would post so many impressions about them. When he kept posting about how his favorite or the speakers that he listened to the most were the Zu Soul mkII, that immediately caught my attention considering that he has some great and expensive speakers in his arsenal. Not only this but Mark also brought up some important ( although subjective) points that I took into consideration when he compared his Soul MkII to his Omega Alnico speakers.  

The Zu Soul MkII would be ordered shortly later. Coming from the single driver Omega, this particular model in the Zu lineup have always intrigued me even though the Soul Supremes were my dream speakers. This combined with the impressions Mark's postings made on them sealed the deal. However, being a perfectionist with components in the chain led me to contemplate a custom version of the Soul MkII that was agreed to by Sean Casey of Zu. He was going to use the well regarded Radian 475 compression tweeter on my version of the Soul MKII instead of the default and much cheaper Eminence ASD1001. After further talking and consulting with Sean about my goals and vision for this custom version of the Soul MKII he recommended that I move up to the Soul Supremes which already have the larger Radian 850 along with the more refined full range driver ( that was originally researched and designed for their $64k Dominance speaker) and better cabinet and bass. Of course these were my dream speakers however they were out of my budget. This was when I found out that they also have a few blemished cabinets that they can sell to me for a major discount since they consider these B-stock. I was very excited but a bit hesitant at the same time hoping that the blemish wasn't too bad. When Zu emailed me the photos to show me how minor the blemish was, the deal was done. Lets just say what Zu considers blemish, I consider insignificant and unnoticeable unless you're looking for it from point blank range. I couldn't be happier, my dream speakers would soon become a reality. To finalize the speaker, I would choose Jupiter Coppers for the Radian 850 to keep my system uniform since my Zen already have them as coupling caps.

The good thing about these b-stock Soul Supremes were that the cabinets were already done and so they were just waiting on the Jupiters to arrive while they were breaking in the main drivers since the drivers were all new. A few weeks later, my hand-rubbed dark Walnut Soul Supremes arrived. Considering the cost of the dark Walnut finish and the Jupiter Coppers, I ended up saving about $1700 on these speakers. The finish turned out to be better than I expected and it was a perfect match for all the silver trims ( tweeter wave guide, driver trim rings and center phase guide). As for the sound? I won't get into too much detail other than to say that I've finally found the speakers that I can confidently say that I'll keep for life. There's something about 101db 16 ohm speakers that when paired with a great SET amp like the Zen that just takes my breath away everytime I listen to them. The UFO transformers really paid off as they paired with these speakers beautifully. The Radian 850 is the most natural, open, and dynamic tweeter that I've ever heard. The tonal balance , midrange and bass are all on a level that I never thought I could attain or afford. Thanks to Sean and the guys at Zu for making this dream a reality. I feel like the luckiest audiophile in hifi right now.

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Lin
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #18 - 03/21/16 at 12:27:27
 
Anyone know if Zu has changed their voicing in the last 7 or 8 years?
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kevtn8
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Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #19 - 03/22/16 at 07:31:26
 
Hi Lin,

I've never heard Zu speakers 7 or 8 years ago so I can't make any comparisons. But after living with these Soul Supremes for the last 5 weeks now, I can say this: These are the finest all-around speakers that I've ever heard at home from top to bottom of the frequency spectrum without a subwoofer. Their current nanotech 16 ohm driver and the massive Radian 850 compression tweeter ( drivers direct from their $64k Dominance speakers) are so refined, smooth, detailed, and coherent with a perfect tonal balance that my SuperZen Select has never sounded better and I feel that my system is now complete. I may make some changes to my interconnects or speaker cables later to experiment but my system foundation is set. Its all about the music for me right now and nothing more.

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Lin
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Posts: 295
Re: Who has Zu Audio "Soul" speakers Impress
Reply #20 - 03/23/16 at 23:31:46
 
Thanks kevtn8, but a comparison would be more helpful in this case.
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