Has anyone gone from Tannoy to Zu Audio?


I'm a Tannoy Legacy Eaton owner who is wondering if the step to Zu Audio DW6 is to big for me.
I really like my Tannoys, but they are a little veild and a little too laidback.
I have a 12w tube amp and the sensitivity of the Tannoys is just at 89 dB.
I usually listen at low volume, which is also not the Tannoy Legacy Eaton's strong point.

So, anyone here that has taken this step? Was is an evolution, a revoulution or...?


I've not heard the Tannoy Legacy speakers unfortunately but I will say that for a 12 watt tube amp in my opinion the Zu Audio DW6 is several steps in the right direction.

Bandwidth: 30 - 22k Hz
Sensitivity: 99 dB-SPL @ 2.8V, 1m
Impedance: 8 ohm

Hmm... just afraid it might be a too big change in sound. I think Tannoys are considered to be very smooth, laidback and forgiving and Zus the other way round.
Thats the reason of the question. Maybe Zus will be too much of what I want to change in the Tannoys.

All of the Zu speakers I heard were extremely dynamic an d lively sounding, but, they were also bright, harsh and one gets tired when listening in sessions longer than a few minutes.  This is really a matter of taste, so one must hear the speaker.  I like lively sounding speakers, which is why I like some horn systems (I own a horn-based system) and some other high efficiency speakers, but the Zu is too far out for my taste.

I don't think that the Tannoys I heard were extremely smooth and laid back.  The Westminster and Turnbury models I heard were fairly lively sounding and "smooth" was not a term I would apply to the sound--there was a touch of a peak that made the sound slightly sibilant in the top end of the midrange--this issue notwithstanding, I liked the Tannoy speakers I heard.  If you are looking for something similar, but, to me, a little better sounding, audition Fyne speakers.  This is a company founded by Tannoy engineers who decided to make their own speakers.  The F1 model is particularly good sounding.  

@larryi ​​​​​​


Hmm...  that was bad. Thought Zus were reveiling and "in your face",  but not bright and harsh.

I've been looking at Fyne. Problem is they don't have any speakers within my budget (aprox $6000) that will work with a 12w tube amp.

I've heard some Klipsch,  but I didn't like them (Heresy III,  Forte IV and Cornwall IV).


@simna Have you considered Volti? I've only heard them at shows, but they similar in design to most of what you're talking about, around your budget and in limited show conditions they stood out over most other rooms each time. Plenty of reviews etc. online. Cheers,


IMHO you should change tube amps. The Art Audio Jota HC would give you 24 WPC and bring out the best in your Tannoys.


I've been looking around the net about Zu:s being harsh and bright and there seems to be different opinions about that. Maybe some models are and some not. Maybe it's the pairing with some amps that makes them harsh and bright?

Can you name some speakers you've compared Zu (which model?) with when you feel they sound bright and harsh?



Never heard about Volti. At least you can't buy them in Sweden where I'm living.



I thought a while about giving Cary Audio SLI-80HS a try, but then I will not get the benefit of high sensitive speakers being good at low volume listening.

If you’ve heard a Zu at a show then you’ve definitely heard bright and harsh. If you’ve heard a Zu at home in a well matched system then you’ve actually heard them. Listen to my Zu Soul Superfly for 6 or more hours at a time. Often hard to tear myself away. 

@mahughes  any idea why they sound so different at shows? I've been considering ZU, and can't decide if they'd be to my liking or not. Never heard them. Could order and return if I don't care for them. But shipping is still expensive and a hassle. 



I moved from Harbeths to Zus.The Harbeths were smooth as silk but left me craving dynamics. Now I've got 'em :-) They can sound harsh until you find the perfect position for them. It took me literally weeks to get them exactly right.I loved the live sound immediately but don't want to feel I'm right in front of the stage.Section B instead of section A up front if that makes sense.

@aldnorab @jtcf says. Whilst the DW stuff is easy set up much of the rest of the range takes time. Once in the right position they can take weeks and months to settle. Mine were still improving a year after purchase. Pretty much zero chance of pulling any of that off at a show. I’m not sure why Zu even go to shows. At ho,e and settled they are ludicrously dynamic, non-fatiguing things of wonder.

I’d say definitely try some different amps with your Tannoy’s if you really do like them it’s worth it. If you want new speakers someone suggested Volti that’s a great though. Their Rivals would be a bit above your budget but not the Razz.

Just saw your post that you're in Sweden have you considered Audio Note? A pair of AN-E's might do it for you and can probably be found used in your price range.

@mahughes thanks for the reply. My biggest worry is the upper midrange and highs. I'm sensitive to that range and worry there wouldn't be enough refinement. I've had that problem with Klipsch speakers from ~20 years ago. Exciting, but ultimately a little relentless, for me. I like my friends Lowther in a midrange horn with Altec horn tweeter. But the size and cost are hefty.

What well known speakers are the DW6 most like in tonal balance? JBL/Klipsch, KEF, Magnepan, etc.? Seems the economy is holding down sales of the ZU DW6. I remember past DW selling out in days. The DW6 have been going almost a month.



Just wanted to point the above out. I have no idea if the Zu sound would be something you guys would like. You could phone them and inquire about the sound and the above return policy.

@simna, right you are, I did not realize you were in Sweden. Please let us know what you end up doing, whenever you decide on the correct choice.

@aldnorab a Klipsch from 20 years ago is a very different beast to that of today. Get the right amp with that or a Zu; set up properly and it’s hard to imagine fatigue being the word that would spring to mind. I like Darko but his comment re: PAs was unhelpful and more than a little deceptive. 

I gave up trying to find new speakers for my small 12w tube amp.

Maybe I'll try to find a good push-pull using EL34, KT77, KT88 and 6550. for my Tannoys instead.

I have run my Tannoy Sterlings with an EL34 Line Magnetic 211ai tube amp and to my ears that amp brings a smoothness and clarity to the upper mids and lower  treble region that also seems troublesome with my hearing (sibilance) . I believe, though not positive, the driver in the Sterlings is the same as in the Eaton. 

The 211ai delivers 36 watts in ultralinear and 16 watts triode. I use the ultralinear mode with the sterlings. 

There are many EL34 tube amp available. My problem with the 211ai is the overly high sensitivity. Volume control is limited to 7-10 o'clock position. 

Hi , I have the original Zu Omens. I run a Thorens TT, Schiit Yiggy DAC to a Rogue RP1 pre. Morrow cables, Richard Gray power filter. I have a fairly large room, although untreated, it has heavy shag rug, large cloth sectional and large cloth drapes. I alternate between a 12 WPC Had Inspire and a modded Akitika SS amp. I’ve addressed BRIGHTNESS from the beginning. I’ve tried and avoided silver cables and between that and speaker position I’ve tamed brightness. I’ve done considerable tube rolling and have found a significant change based on this approach. My biggest battle was obtaining enough bass from the Omens with 12 watts. I run all premium nos tubes in the Rogue and the Had, but prefer KT-120’s for providing enough bottom end. In my tube selection I have about a dozen power tube variants and 6-7 rectifier tubes, and about the same for driver tubes. A couple things I’ll comment on is how sweet the sound is with nos GEC KT-66 and GEC KT 88 tubes. Also the SED winged C’s are fantastic too. I’ve played with 4” thick Timber Nation footers spiked under the Omens and it killed the sound. When I contacted Zu , Sean responded personally and suggested I play around with the gap between speaker and footer. I eventually removed the footers. I have a Schiit Loki and it was great , but I just wanted to enjoy tube rolling. Hence I’ve avoided room treatment and EQ entirely, which is more stubborn than smart. Id also add that sitting in the sweet spot is headphone sublime. As far as the NEW OMENS and the new design I can’t help. But in closing my original Omens are not that difficult to deal with. Also I have Klipsch and JBL in the closet and never rotate them in.  Happy Listening, Mike. 

I’m in the same boat kinda. I have a pair of Tannoy xt8f’s (let me know if anyone wants them). I have a mystere pa21 amp fed by a rotel 1572 and the Tannoy’a just don’t do it for me and am looking at Zu speakers as well. The union supreme is what I’m looking at. Not being able to hear the Zu speakers is driving me nuts as I also ordered the Tannoy’s sight unheard and don’t want to make the same mistake twice. It seems the new DW 6 and union speakers with the rear port are big step forward in ease of setup and filling out/mellowing the Zu sound while still giving you the dynamics and live music sound they are known for. Steve Guttenburg has a review of the soul 6 which was a pain to setup and took weeks and a different room placement and had to call in help to get them working. The DW 6 he just plopped on the floor where his klipsch normally sit and they worked right of the box. It seems that new rear port really makes them much more user friendly. 

You have to think about the Zu speaker line as an elevator lifting you to escalating resolution and pick your stop -- which floor do you want to get off at? Any Dirty Weekend is Zu's lowest-resolution loudspeaker and least neutral. DWs have the Zu snappiness, dynamic shove and good tone, but they are intentionally ameliorative of upstream system compromises and source material. DWs were intended for entry-level systems and second or vacation home systems where someone might grab a 1970s Marantz receiver off eBay to power them, or some budget electronics today to put together a ~$2500 system with sources. DWs were not meant for obsessive hifi nuts.

Step up to Union 6 and Union 6 Supreme and you have to start seriously considering system synergy. Unions aren't bright or harsh if mated well with associated equipment, but their transparency and musicality depends on solid input from upstream gear. Move up to Soul 6 and you have a true high-end speaker in a relatively affordable, compact form that will absolutely not smooth over flaws in upstream gear. But feed them properly and they will reward you with clean, expressive, explosive, tone-dense, beautiful sound that you can listen to all day long. Steve Guttenberg simply didn't take the time to understand the Soul 6 and completely flubbed his review. Look for Sam Rosen's Positive Feedback review, and and John Darko's commentary for a more educated and realistic assessment. Guess what -- all this applies to Druid 6 even more so and Definition 6 will mesmerize you (I have the first pair) if you have upstream gear commensurate to them.

The new Griewe-out-the-back scheme in Unions and Definition 6 certainly simplifies setup and bass optimization compared to the bottom-exited Griewe models. You just have to figure out how much musical objectivity you want to optimize your system for. You can be lazy about that with Dirty Weekends. You can be casual about that with Union 6. You have to start thinking systemically with Union 6 Supreme. Soul 6 and above, lazy and casual system thinking won't cut it.


I had a pair of Turnberry SE for 12 years. I always curious about Zu so I bought a pair used Zu Durid MK5 Rev. A. I had both for almost 3 months, sold Turnberry kept the Zu, almost a year passed, never regretted. I tried them both with SS amp, 845 SET, 300B Set, and new Marantz Model 30 the results were consistent. Zu is more musical and more soulful, hope this helps.



BTW, just recently I visited Upscale Audio’s music demo room, and listened both Arden and Cheviot, just to make sure if the newer Tannoy sound different, and yes, they both a tinny bit of better than my SE, the Tannoy shout midrange was improved with both new Tannoy, the general sound signature is the same, the Arden had too much bass for the mid sized room even I listen to R&B music. 

Is Zu perfect? Of course NOT, the bass is where Tannoy kicks Zu’s butt for deepest  bass and Zu lacks bass impact in the chest of Tannoy.