Zu Audio Soul Supreme loudspeaker Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Linn Sondek LP12 turntable, SME M2-9 tonearm, Dynavector 20X2L & Hana EL cartridges; Pioneer PLX-1000 turntable, Ortofon 2M Black cartridge.
Digital Sources: Integra DPPS-7.2 DVD-A player, Schiit Audio Bifrost Multibit DAC.
Preamplification: Dynavector SUP-200 step-up transformer; Dynavector P75 Mk.3, Parasound Halo JC 3+ phono stages; PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium, Simaudio Moon Neo 350P preamplifiers.
Power Amplifiers: First Watt J2, PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium, Simaudio Moon Neo 330A.
Integrated Amplifiers: Linear Tube Audio microZOTL 2.0, Line Magnetic LM-518 IA, Schiit Audio Ragnarok, Simaudio Moon Neo 340i.
Loudspeakers: DeVore Fidelity Orangutan O/93.
Cables: Speaker: Auditorium 23, Zu Audio Mission Mk.II. Interconnect: Auditorium 23, AudioQuest Cinnamon, Kimber Kable Silver Streak. Accessories Dr. Feickert Analogue cartridge alignment protractor & Adjust+ app; PS Audio PerfectWave PowerBase.—Herb Reichert

Zu Audio
3350 S 1500 W
Ogden, UT 84401
(800) 516-8925

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?

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.


klosterman'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

klosterman's picture

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

jdjaye's picture

Hi Herb-

Great review of he ZU Soul Supremes - I've had mine for about 3 years and love them!

Can you recommend an Integrated Amp for about $3k to drive the Zus?
Most of your enthusiastic subsequent Amp reviews are in a higher price range...

Thanks and Regards....

woodford's picture

I have an icon audio st40 tube integrated. It’s available from music direct, and I think would be a great match with the zus. Mind, I have not heard this combo, but MD has a 30 day guarantee, and the amp is not dissimilar to PrimaLuna or line magnetic amps.

klosterman's picture

I can tell you what I rotate on my Zu: Eastern Electric MiniMax (tube) & Sony TA-A1ES (ss). Both well under $3k. Both tasty & smooth. Really smooth.

Thomas Collins's picture

How do you quantify or qualify that characterization? What do they sound like? Do they impart some kind of sonic signature to the music that wasn't already there?