Zu Audio Soul Supreme loudspeaker Associated Equipment

Thu, 06/16/2016

COMMENTS
Odin 412's picture

Great review! I heard these speakers at THE Show Newport and I loved them. I went back several times to listen to more music. These are indeed speakers for music lovers - and that's what I like about them. An additional bonus is that the good folks from Zu always play really good and interesting music and not the usual boring 'audiophile' classical/jazz tracks.

crenca's picture

As an onlooker (I have never heard a Zu speaker myself - looking forward to it however) I have noticed more debate online about "the Zu sound" than is usual around a loudspeaker. These measurements go some way in explaining this. The Zu speakers strike me as the equivalent of a high performance British sports car - idiosyncratic, willing to do things their own way, yet just as competitive on the race track as the more mainstream cars...

chronoglide's picture

Terrific choice of music here Herb ... unexpected and most welcome.
I have been a little bored with the "audiophile safe" music at various shows I have attended. I miss the more daring and adventurous music which we all know exists.

Sunn 0))) -- while not to everyone's taste -- is crafted with as much refinement and mastering care as any audiophile record. Been a Sunn 0))) fan for many years and always thought this band would be a terrific choice, and it was so refreshing to finally see this being used. To future reviewers, please consider using more "out of the comfort zone" records in listening sessions alongside the classics ('Kind of Blue' etc).

If you want to "live dangerously", an even darker and deeper track than Sunn 0))) is the CD "The Place Where The Black Star Hangs" by Lustmord from 1995 (reissued on by Soleilmoon, no vinyl) - track 4 in particular which is 24 mins of the deepest, most layered and intricately textured piece of audio I know of. This will test ANY system.
Thanks for the great choice of music.

Herb Reichert's picture

Thank you for reading my stories . . . I am glad you like SunnO))) and just now I went to buy "Place Where the Darkstar Hangs" but for today it was a little too rich for current situation but I did bid on (and win!) "Purifying Fire" to get a taste of this interesting UK band and Williamson's art - thank you for putting me on to Lustmord !!! peace and crickets

jporter's picture

I think Scott Walker's music is so unique and he has an amazing voice. It seems like everyone at the audiophile shows likes playing Dean Martin. Scott is an infinitely better choice..."It's Raining Today" off of Scott 3 is perfect for testing a systems vocal reproduction. Another great one is "Farmer in the City" off of Tilt. Thanks Herb.

2marco's picture

Thankyou Herb for great review; regarding comparison to another speaker you reviewed last year (in the same off mainstream category )...... What about Zu Supreme vs Tekton Audio Enzo xl?
Marco

bijaya's picture

great reviews... not only for this speaker, but all of them which appeared in your list.. very very informative and descriptive.. just love them.. would like to know if any review had bn done on Bose 601 series iv floor-standing speakers.. i hv bn using these speakers since last couple of years with ONKYO A-9050 and 31+31 band graphic equalizer of PHONIC.. sound is good, but want to know if any improvement is possible..!!
thank u all and thank u stereophile.. keep it up.. love u..!!

Dr.Kamiya's picture

Paul Barton agrees with that idea, except he prefers fiberglass instead of foam. Makes a lot of sense too. The point of damping material is to get rid of excess energy going through the speaker, and that wave of energy is travelling mostly down the middle of the enclosure, not toward the walls.

alizaibkhan4's picture

Hey Herb

Great review! i heard these speakers at my friends place and i must say they sound amazing. However, would they be great party speakers? I throw parties every now and then and i am really looking for speakers with rich sound.

Thanks. Keep doing great work.

Ali.

Scott.Weinberg's picture

Has Stereophile relaxed their policy? Hopefully they have. I appreciate the 'support the dealers' spirit but there's so many direct to consumer firms, Salk, van Alstine, etc. They arguably need just as much or more visibility, sans dealer network. I think it's fantastic Zu was reviewed, and a cover pic no less.

John Atkinson's picture
Scott.Weinberg wrote:
Has Stereophile relaxed their policy? Hopefully they have. I appreciate the 'support the dealers' spirit but there's so many direct to consumer firms...

The "5 Dealer Rule" applies to products that are distributed through normal retail channels, but we have always reviewed products that are sold direct. For more info, see www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/307awsi/index.html.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Scott.Weinberg's picture

Thanks John for the clarification / reminder. Long time subscriber, big fan btw.

Pages

Pass Labs HPA-1 headphone amplifier Specifications

Thu, 06/16/2016

COMMENTS
ACF's picture

I just hate these glowing reviews from John Atkinson. It's costing me a small fortune.

Steve Eddy's picture

Mu-metal shielded toroidal transformer? Might want to double check with Jam on that. Mu-metal saturates at very low levels and wouldn't be very suitable for the sole shielding on a power transformer. Typically you'd use steel to reduce the levels to the point that you could use Mu-metal to handle the residual.

Pages

Zu Audio Soul Supreme loudspeaker Specifications

Thu, 06/16/2016

COMMENTS
Odin 412's picture

Great review! I heard these speakers at THE Show Newport and I loved them. I went back several times to listen to more music. These are indeed speakers for music lovers - and that's what I like about them. An additional bonus is that the good folks from Zu always play really good and interesting music and not the usual boring 'audiophile' classical/jazz tracks.

crenca's picture

As an onlooker (I have never heard a Zu speaker myself - looking forward to it however) I have noticed more debate online about "the Zu sound" than is usual around a loudspeaker. These measurements go some way in explaining this. The Zu speakers strike me as the equivalent of a high performance British sports car - idiosyncratic, willing to do things their own way, yet just as competitive on the race track as the more mainstream cars...

chronoglide's picture

Terrific choice of music here Herb ... unexpected and most welcome.
I have been a little bored with the "audiophile safe" music at various shows I have attended. I miss the more daring and adventurous music which we all know exists.

Sunn 0))) -- while not to everyone's taste -- is crafted with as much refinement and mastering care as any audiophile record. Been a Sunn 0))) fan for many years and always thought this band would be a terrific choice, and it was so refreshing to finally see this being used. To future reviewers, please consider using more "out of the comfort zone" records in listening sessions alongside the classics ('Kind of Blue' etc).

If you want to "live dangerously", an even darker and deeper track than Sunn 0))) is the CD "The Place Where The Black Star Hangs" by Lustmord from 1995 (reissued on by Soleilmoon, no vinyl) - track 4 in particular which is 24 mins of the deepest, most layered and intricately textured piece of audio I know of. This will test ANY system.
Thanks for the great choice of music.

Herb Reichert's picture

Thank you for reading my stories . . . I am glad you like SunnO))) and just now I went to buy "Place Where the Darkstar Hangs" but for today it was a little too rich for current situation but I did bid on (and win!) "Purifying Fire" to get a taste of this interesting UK band and Williamson's art - thank you for putting me on to Lustmord !!! peace and crickets

jporter's picture

I think Scott Walker's music is so unique and he has an amazing voice. It seems like everyone at the audiophile shows likes playing Dean Martin. Scott is an infinitely better choice..."It's Raining Today" off of Scott 3 is perfect for testing a systems vocal reproduction. Another great one is "Farmer in the City" off of Tilt. Thanks Herb.

2marco's picture

Thankyou Herb for great review; regarding comparison to another speaker you reviewed last year (in the same off mainstream category )...... What about Zu Supreme vs Tekton Audio Enzo xl?
Marco

bijaya's picture

great reviews... not only for this speaker, but all of them which appeared in your list.. very very informative and descriptive.. just love them.. would like to know if any review had bn done on Bose 601 series iv floor-standing speakers.. i hv bn using these speakers since last couple of years with ONKYO A-9050 and 31+31 band graphic equalizer of PHONIC.. sound is good, but want to know if any improvement is possible..!!
thank u all and thank u stereophile.. keep it up.. love u..!!

Dr.Kamiya's picture

Paul Barton agrees with that idea, except he prefers fiberglass instead of foam. Makes a lot of sense too. The point of damping material is to get rid of excess energy going through the speaker, and that wave of energy is travelling mostly down the middle of the enclosure, not toward the walls.

alizaibkhan4's picture

Hey Herb

Great review! i heard these speakers at my friends place and i must say they sound amazing. However, would they be great party speakers? I throw parties every now and then and i am really looking for speakers with rich sound.

Thanks. Keep doing great work.

Ali.

Scott.Weinberg's picture

Has Stereophile relaxed their policy? Hopefully they have. I appreciate the 'support the dealers' spirit but there's so many direct to consumer firms, Salk, van Alstine, etc. They arguably need just as much or more visibility, sans dealer network. I think it's fantastic Zu was reviewed, and a cover pic no less.

John Atkinson's picture
Scott.Weinberg wrote:
Has Stereophile relaxed their policy? Hopefully they have. I appreciate the 'support the dealers' spirit but there's so many direct to consumer firms...

The "5 Dealer Rule" applies to products that are distributed through normal retail channels, but we have always reviewed products that are sold direct. For more info, see www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/307awsi/index.html.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Scott.Weinberg's picture

Thanks John for the clarification / reminder. Long time subscriber, big fan btw.

Pages

Pass Labs HPA-1 headphone amplifier

When Pass Labs is mentioned, it's natural to think of its founder, iconic engineer Nelson Pass. But Nelson heads a team of engineers at the California company: Their XP-30 preamplifier, which I enthusiastically reviewed in April 2013, was designed by Wayne Colburn; and the subject of this review, the HPA-1 headphone amplifier, is the first Pass Labs product designed by Jam Somasundram, former director of engineering for Cary Audio. Somasundram joined Pass Labs in July 2013; he spent a year working on the HPA-1, which was shown at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, but not formally launched until the 2016 CES, at a hefty $3500.
Thu, 06/16/2016

Zu Audio Soul Supreme loudspeaker Page 2

Thu, 06/16/2016

COMMENTS
Odin 412's picture

Great review! I heard these speakers at THE Show Newport and I loved them. I went back several times to listen to more music. These are indeed speakers for music lovers - and that's what I like about them. An additional bonus is that the good folks from Zu always play really good and interesting music and not the usual boring 'audiophile' classical/jazz tracks.

crenca's picture

As an onlooker (I have never heard a Zu speaker myself - looking forward to it however) I have noticed more debate online about "the Zu sound" than is usual around a loudspeaker. These measurements go some way in explaining this. The Zu speakers strike me as the equivalent of a high performance British sports car - idiosyncratic, willing to do things their own way, yet just as competitive on the race track as the more mainstream cars...

chronoglide's picture

Terrific choice of music here Herb ... unexpected and most welcome.
I have been a little bored with the "audiophile safe" music at various shows I have attended. I miss the more daring and adventurous music which we all know exists.

Sunn 0))) -- while not to everyone's taste -- is crafted with as much refinement and mastering care as any audiophile record. Been a Sunn 0))) fan for many years and always thought this band would be a terrific choice, and it was so refreshing to finally see this being used. To future reviewers, please consider using more "out of the comfort zone" records in listening sessions alongside the classics ('Kind of Blue' etc).

If you want to "live dangerously", an even darker and deeper track than Sunn 0))) is the CD "The Place Where The Black Star Hangs" by Lustmord from 1995 (reissued on by Soleilmoon, no vinyl) - track 4 in particular which is 24 mins of the deepest, most layered and intricately textured piece of audio I know of. This will test ANY system.
Thanks for the great choice of music.

Herb Reichert's picture

Thank you for reading my stories . . . I am glad you like SunnO))) and just now I went to buy "Place Where the Darkstar Hangs" but for today it was a little too rich for current situation but I did bid on (and win!) "Purifying Fire" to get a taste of this interesting UK band and Williamson's art - thank you for putting me on to Lustmord !!! peace and crickets

jporter's picture

I think Scott Walker's music is so unique and he has an amazing voice. It seems like everyone at the audiophile shows likes playing Dean Martin. Scott is an infinitely better choice..."It's Raining Today" off of Scott 3 is perfect for testing a systems vocal reproduction. Another great one is "Farmer in the City" off of Tilt. Thanks Herb.

2marco's picture

Thankyou Herb for great review; regarding comparison to another speaker you reviewed last year (in the same off mainstream category )...... What about Zu Supreme vs Tekton Audio Enzo xl?
Marco

bijaya's picture

great reviews... not only for this speaker, but all of them which appeared in your list.. very very informative and descriptive.. just love them.. would like to know if any review had bn done on Bose 601 series iv floor-standing speakers.. i hv bn using these speakers since last couple of years with ONKYO A-9050 and 31+31 band graphic equalizer of PHONIC.. sound is good, but want to know if any improvement is possible..!!
thank u all and thank u stereophile.. keep it up.. love u..!!

Dr.Kamiya's picture

Paul Barton agrees with that idea, except he prefers fiberglass instead of foam. Makes a lot of sense too. The point of damping material is to get rid of excess energy going through the speaker, and that wave of energy is travelling mostly down the middle of the enclosure, not toward the walls.

alizaibkhan4's picture

Hey Herb

Great review! i heard these speakers at my friends place and i must say they sound amazing. However, would they be great party speakers? I throw parties every now and then and i am really looking for speakers with rich sound.

Thanks. Keep doing great work.

Ali.

Scott.Weinberg's picture

Has Stereophile relaxed their policy? Hopefully they have. I appreciate the 'support the dealers' spirit but there's so many direct to consumer firms, Salk, van Alstine, etc. They arguably need just as much or more visibility, sans dealer network. I think it's fantastic Zu was reviewed, and a cover pic no less.

John Atkinson's picture
Scott.Weinberg wrote:
Has Stereophile relaxed their policy? Hopefully they have. I appreciate the 'support the dealers' spirit but there's so many direct to consumer firms...

The "5 Dealer Rule" applies to products that are distributed through normal retail channels, but we have always reviewed products that are sold direct. For more info, see www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/307awsi/index.html.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Scott.Weinberg's picture

Thanks John for the clarification / reminder. Long time subscriber, big fan btw.

Pages

Zu Audio Soul Supreme loudspeaker

My lifestyle consultant warned me not to review Zu Audio's Soul Supreme loudspeaker ($4500/pair).

"Why not?" I asked. "They're exciting and super-enjoyable."

"Zu speakers are not mainstream," he explained. "People either love them or hate them. They're for music lovers, not audiophiles."

"That's not true!" I whined like a disappointed child. "They play Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin with spooky soul and natural tone! They play big classical orchestras—especially with trumpets and timpani—with radical ease and full-tilt momentum! And . . . and . . . they project large soundstages! Isn't that what audiophiles like?"

Thu, 06/16/2016

Dealer Events in Maryland Thursday and Washington State Friday

Thursday, June 16, 6–9pm: Gramophone will celebrate the Grand Opening of their Gaithersburg showroom (8513 Grovemont Circle, Gaithersburg) with an evening of wonderful music, delicious food, and world-class audio/video systems, while on Friday, June 17, 6–9pm: Gig Harbor Audio (3019 Judson Street, Suite D, Gig Harbor) and J-Corder (5800 Soundview Drive, D-101, Gig Harbor) will host a "Tactile Psychoacoustics" listening party.
Wed, 06/15/2016

The Meze 99 Classics Headphones Sweepstakes

Register to win a pair of Meze 99 Classics Headphones ($309.00 Retail Value) we are giving away.

According to the company:

"What is it that discards the superfluous, the gimmicky, the flashy, the questionable, the overly fragile, the misplaced? The obvious answer would be time. And this is also the riddle of good design: very few objects achieve such a rarefied consistency of qualities. This is our aim with the Meze 99 Classics, the anti-fragility of a classic, with a sound on par with the design. Pure, natural sound in a timeless body."

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

Tue, 06/14/2016

What If They Gave a CES and Nobody Came?

Last January, in Las Vegas, a record 170,000 people attended the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. Most of them neither saw nor heard a trace of high-end audio gear. Not only was all mention of what CES calls "high performance audio" absent from the show's official Attendee Guide, but the hallways of the Venetian Tower, which in past CESes were filled with high-end manufacturers, dealers, and distributors, were anything but crowded.
Fri, 07/01/2016

Recording of July 2016: American Tunes

Allen Toussaint: American Tunes
Nonesuch 554644 (CD). 2016. Joe Henry, prod.; Ryan Freeman,, eng.; Wesley Seidman, Monique Eveleyin, asst engs. ADD? TT: 49:31
Performance ****½
Sonics ****½

David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Phife Dawg, Merle Haggard, Dan Hicks, Ernestine Anderson, Lonnie Mack, Maurice White, Blowfly, Otis Clay, Steve Young, George Martin, Keith Emerson, Henry McCullough, Prince. Was there a genre or subgenre of music that did not grieve in the closing months of 2015 through spring 2016—a period that must rank among the most devastating ever for the loss of important and influential songwriters and musicians?

Fri, 07/01/2016

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