What's Zu?

Jon Iverson has a nose. I mean, he just knows—for instance, we were walking through the Alexis Park, I mean Alexis Villas, when he stopped in front of Zu's logo and said, "I think this might be worth investigating."

We stepped inside and were greeted by Adam Decari and Sean Casey, two young'uns from Ogden, UT, who had spent time working for Ray Kimber (must've been their first jobs out of college, because these guys can't be much over 30). "Welcome to the Zu!"

Zu is technically Zu Cables, but what intrigued me was the two loudspeakers on display: the Definition ($9000/pair) and the Druid Mk4 ($2900/pair). Zu makes the drivers themselves, using paper cones on their 10.5" driver and machined aluminum for their super tweeters. There's no network and the speakers are specced at a sensitivity of 101dB—and power handling of 200W!

"We started Zu because we couldn't figure out why hi-fi seemed so dead and uninspired," Sean Casey told me.

Jon Iverson and I were excited that Zu was showing a speaker as ambitious and affordable as the Druid, so we asked to demo it. Sean laughed and said, "We're using a $200 Sony DVP-MC650V SACD changer, a $6500 Audiopax preamp, and a $3000 2W Yamamoto A08 power amp (and Zu cables, of course)." We were impressed by the dynamic ease and flow of the Druids. The top end was extremely natural and detailed, without a hint of ringing, although I found the lower midrange a bit lean. What the Druid did well, it did spectacularly, and what it didn’t do, it did without additive colorations. The Druid is a novel, perhaps even noble, product. It sure ain't a me-too product and I liked its look and its sound. Besides, I have to give props to any company that shows the Epiphone Les Paul of one of its principals in its brochure.

What's Zu? Zu is new and exciting—and I predict you're going to hear a lot more out of this company. I suspect the high end will be the better for it.

Matthew Peerce's picture

Nitpicking, but...is it Sean Casey, or Sean Cassidy? Must be a typo?

Jon Iverson's picture

These guys had a great attitude about doing demos and running an audio company. If there is a future for getting younger, less affluent music lovers involved in high end audio, this company will be there.

Kurt Gruetzner's picture

Does anyone have any experience with the Definitions? (other than the completely over-the-top and not very thorough reviews in sixmoons)I'm really eager to see what others think of these.

Todd Strockoz's picture

Kurt,I've owned them for almost 2 years. They are really an amazing speaker. 6moons review is really not that over the top, once you spent time with the Definitions in your system. They are extremely detailed, and the bass is rock solid. Go to Zu's website (www.zucable.com) and check out their links to other forums. You might find what you are looking for from the posts.

Donald N.'s picture

I'm glad you ran into them. BTW Kurt - I think the sixmoons review is spot on. Really love that site! Everyone should also take a look at the new audio mag Tone. I dig Positive Feedback and Enjoy the Music as well. Room for everybody in fact, the more, the merrier!

Don Cooper's picture

I own a pair of Zu Tone monitors and Zu cables. Yes, Zu is the real deal"".

John Walton's picture

I too am glad about web-(HiFi)mags especially such as TNT-audio.com with its 'no banners.' Sixmoons is how I heard about Zu and I've been reading up on this company ever since. I hope that when they hit Germany," that they don't get whacked by the wrong importer. The market here is crying for ""sane"" HiFi.

Steve Mello's picture

I am very interested in the Zu Tone monitors would like to hear from Don Cooper or any other Tone owner who loukd like to share their opinion of the speaker.Thanks to all,Steve M.Lowell, Massachusettsbichonboys@comcast.net

Lars Ahlgren, Sweden's picture

High-end has been in a deadalley before and all of a sudden there is a young company with fresh thinking whom put it back on track.This time I think Zu is the one who understand what it

Robert Simpson's picture

The speakers look really cool. I haven't had the chance to experience their sound yet, but with this review, I think I got to give it a try. And the price seems kinda affordable to me, but it definitely should go a bit down over time.

Composite's picture

Just reminding the setup of for a rock band party. Nice speakers, loud music and much more.

Ridzwan's picture

Those people at ZU are great!...with excellent after sales service and support!Thanks guys!