Sensitive Essence

Zu Audio goes its own way when it comes to speaker design goals, emphasizing sensitivity and dynamic range. The Utah company's new Essence ($5000/pair) covers almost the entire audioband with a single 10" drive-unit, augmenting this unit's output from the central "whizzer cone" in the top octave with a ribbon supertweeter. Sensitivity is claimed to be in the high 90s! The enclosure is constructed from Baltic birch ply with an outer MDF cladding, and the internal wiring is, of course, Zu's own cable, with cold-forged, solder-less connections to the Cardas binding posts.

As my readers will know, I am not generally a fan of designs where sensitivity/efficiency is given preference as a design goal over low coloration. But driven by a Melody 2A3-based push-pull amplifier offering all of 10W, the Essence sounded surprisingly clean and relatively neutral, as well as superbly dynamic.

suits_me's picture

So after all these years they discovered that dynamic speakers need tweeters. lol

KBK's picture

This is no surprise.I do a considerable amount of work in designing toward correct dynamic expression types of 'human sensory interface' devices,and I can tell you that coloration is actually down on the list compared to correct expression of dynamics when it comes to bringing something entirely believable to the human sensory system. Different people have differing levels and types of thresholds in their sensory systems (aural, physical and visual) but in all cases..the dynamic expression being correct takes front seat with respect to the essential NEED for resolution to be there, ion order to make sense of a given signal. The rest of the recipe is notably lower on the totem pole of internal human wiring priorities. Thus, sensitive system with high dynamics are principally more correct to the (averaged) human interface system. The rest is icing on the cake -- but the dynamics must be correct FIRST.

Jeremy's picture

Will Stereophile be seeking to review these? A full review including measurements?