Zu all the way! Those Heresy's are an outdated long-in-the-tooth design. I was happy to sell mine! Let the stone-throwing by the Klipsch fanatics begin!
I had the Klipsch Heresy IV, they were dynamic for sure. An SVS sub was needed for my taste. I experienced a good amount of listening fatigue though. I sold them in less than a year. I cant speak on the Zu speakers, they look great and get very positive reviews here at AG. May want to see if you could get a listen to both if possible.
I ended up with Volti Razz and love them. Dynamic and alive like Klipsch with none of the fatigue. They are also sweet, effortless and throw a nice deep and wide soundstage. Right now Greg at Volti is offering an unfinished version of the Razz, great price for what one is getting!
Lack of deep bass is actually a plus, I’m in a townhouse and those lower notes seem to slip past walls more easily. I have a 45watt push pull tube integrated so all set there as well. I’ll check out the Volti’s never heard of them, they seem to resemble the Forte. I definitely don’t want listener fatigue though. I’ve heard conflicting reports on Klipsch. I have hard wood floors with a large area rug, coffee table and sectional leather couch to soak up extra treble, but my current speakers are soft domes so fatigue was never an issue, I’m not sure how other speakers will respond
@perkadin The Razz and the Forte do look a lot alike. Not to knock the Forte in any way, in my opinion the Razz sounds much better, the cabinet is made of higher grade material, and the drivers too are higher quality. It's tough to compare a somewhat smaller builder/artisan like Greg, to a big player in the market like Klipsch (or JBL for that matter.) They are loved the world over for good reason. Just for my tastes and the joy of the chase, the Volti just hit all my happy buttons.
You may consider stand mounts. I've heard the Golden ear BRX monitors several times and they are liquid gold. Surprise me every time that such full and musical sounds could come out of a monitor. Plus they much cheaper than those we've been discussing. I also have at home a pair of Tyler T1 Time Keepers. They sound amazing too. They are a bit power hungry tho... Very pretty speaker, I got the stands too from Ty. Pretty great guy to deal with, Like Greg from Volti. Tannoy and Fyne in the dual concentric camp are pretty great. I sold Tannoy at a local shop back when, I was completely smitten with them. The Tannoy Eaton or Cheviot.. one day I will own a pair.
Some dealers and manufactures will allow in home trial periods. That way you can bring them home, real world listening in home turf.
I’ll toss my vote in for the Zu’s too. I have a SET 300B that I use with my Zu Soul Supremes. I listen to a ton of live Dead (Dave’s & Dick’s Picks and all the box sets). The Zu’s throw a great soundstage (and aren’t bright). I couldn’t be happier but I would love to try the Volti Razz in my room, but I really don’t see it happening.
I’ve been living happily with the Zu SS’s for about 6-7 years. I’ve used different amps, First Watt F8 and SIT3. Depending on your amp you might want to get the impedance wrangling resistors to make them look like 8 ohms to your amp.
I can't speak for the Zu, but I have the Heresy IV and have not found them to be fatiguing at all. It's hard for me to think how another speaker, other than another Klipsch Heritage like the Forte IV, could sound better for live presentation.
Also consider the following: the Heresy maintain a dynamism and "live feel" even at LOW listening levels, and moderate levels... That's one thing that really impresses me about them; I usually listen at low-ish levels and I'm continually taken aback by how fresh and impactful they sound.
That said, are they my "lifetime" speakers after a lifetime of listening through the "linear sound" of Epi 100s...? Maybe not, and I'm going to give the Q Acoustics Concept 50 a try, see what I like better as my "forever" speaker... but I do not regret my Heresy purchase and they have really brought a lot of engagement and they are addictive such that I might not be able to let them go and could see "rotating" them in from for part of each year just to freshen things up a bit, even if I do ultimately settle on the Concept 50 as my primary.
I don’t want anyone to get me wrong. The Klipsch series are great speakers. The whole line up has something for everyone. There is something to be said for a historic company, having produced iconic speakers for so many years. I did like the sound of the Heresy’s. Dynamic, the complete opposite of boring. Great mid, nice open sound stage. And they were particularly good listening at low levels. Someone I talked to told me I didn’t give them enough time to really settle in, and maybe they are right.
I don’t think you would be at all disappointed bringing them home.
A speaker that has peaked my curiosity is the Heretic line out of Montreal. High sensitivity. The Big coax, big box, series crossover. All those combined, should make for a dynamic presentation with a soundstage to match.
I own Cornwalls, and really like them! They’ve been heavily modded w Crites tweeters , crossovers and major internal bracing. I’m regularly amazed at how delicate these big boxes can sound. And of course, they can crank it out. Been wanting to pu a used pair of Heresy’s for fun so I can do some comparisons between the Klipschs.
Sometimes, you just need a big box with big drivers.
I've had Heresy IIIs (Capitol Records version) for a few years and love the things. I tried a pair of IVs (figuring they would be better) and didn't like them at all although they're really well built...some upper mid frequency anomaly drove me nuts (the plastic midrange diaphragm on a re-designed horn is what I suspect is the culprit...the IIIs have a completely different titanium longer throat mid horn) so I sold them off. Same with ZU DWs...they sounded lame compared to the Heresy IIIs so back they went. The IIIs amaze me every day, and maybe just thrive on good gear in front...Schiit Freya preamp with an SEP tube or Pass XA 25 amp work perfectly in my rig.
Forte IV has almost the same footprint as the Heresy, so if you can swing a few extra $$, I'd recommend them over the Heresy. Sounded great w/175 wpc class AB amp and tube pre; even better w/30 wpc class A. Don't let anybody sway you with the adage that "they're best w/low power tubes"; IMO not true at all.
For those interested in the Heresy 4's try some Dyna Mat damping on the mid and tweeter horns sections. They definitely help to smooth out the mid and upper ranges. Less "shouty".... more relaxed presentation, but still maintains the lively and dynamic presentation that the Klipsch's are known for.
I gave the dirty weekends a 60 day trial and returned them. But not for lack of bass. If you don't want your room to rock, I suggest you don't get them. I had to get footers to isolate the speakers to keep my room from rattling. I actually thought they lacked treble presence. I know a fellow who loves the previous model for listening to '60s and '70s rock music. I never heard the Heresy's.
Ever consider Omega. They are single drivers and are super efficient. I have a Pair of their Super Alnico 6” XRS and it rocks with my Primaluna Dialoge Premium running on EL34 Tubes. They are not shouty at all and super fast and detailed. Also great at low volumes, you still get all the detail and textures. Bass is quite good also.
I ordered a pair of Omega Super Alnico Monitors for a second system. I owned Heresy III and now own Forte IV. I really liked the H3 and went to listen to the H4 when they came out. I ended up buying the Forte , it is the same footprint as the H4.
I really like the Forte IV , I'm running them with a 300b and its a great combo. I should have the Omega in a few weeks. Will be interesting to hear them in my main system first ...
I just wanted to get something completely different for room 2 so I took a chance on Omega. Hopefully they will be a good fit with the Cyrus amp I ordered. Hoping for a compact system that sounds great and doesn't break the bank.
I heard the Zu’s and was kinda disappointed. I loved the way they looked but they sounded much different then I was expecting. Very raw and lacking in refinement. Almost like older car speakers from the 80’s/90’s. I’m going to see if I can test the Heresy’s this weekend but my expectations aren’t too high now. I’m not sure if I’m a high sensitivity speaker fan. It’s probably just a negative first impression, and I’m not sure I gave the Zu’s enough time but I tried several types of music and nothing hit home. Oh well it was still fun trying new stuff. Hopefully I’ll come across another pair at some point but as for now they are out.
OP, I was looking at both Zu Audio (DWs) and the Heresy a couple years back but ultimately went with Omega for low level listening, and from what some had said at the time, more refinement. I still want to experience both Zu and the Heresy, but what I can say, is that Omega delivered in what I was hoping for when I initially started looking. Regardless, I think all three companies are a good bet, but your post resonated with me - usually listen at 4:00 in the morning and don’t want to wake the spouse, but want to hear everything at the same time - which Omega did in spades. Send Louis an email or have a quick chat. Honest but busy guy (for good reason). If there’s a particular woofer or cabinet combination, ask for a quote by email with screenshots from his website or Instagram page.
But if you do go with the Heresys I’d be really curious to know your impressions. Don’t leave us dry over here!
I was able to audition the Heresy IVs and was pleasantly surprised. I had it in my head at the time for some reason that high sensitivity speakers would sound similar to each other and that is definitely not the case. The Heresys are nothing like the Zu’s aside from both being efficient. The Heresys are much more detailed and refined and closer to what I was looking for. I think if you described the Zu’s as presenting an A shaped response curve, focusing on the midrange while rolling off the highs and lows, the Klipsch would be more like a hockey stick, with a flatter response across the mids and highs and rolled off bass. I guess the difference comes down to how they gain efficiency, with the Zu’s not needing crossovers and the Klipschs using horn loading. I think I greatly prefer the horn approach, but I can appreciate how some people prefer the simplicity of a single driver design (I know the Zu has a tweeter but the driver is full range). It’s a bit like SET vs Push Pull tubes. There Heresy’s are not a perfect speaker by any means, but I feel that’s covered by the Dynaudio Heritage. The Heresys should be a perfect compliment for when I’m looking for something different. Hopefully the attributes of one will help me appreciate the attributes of the other and vice versa.
Hey @perkadin, just caught this thread and wanted to comment. I have Zu Soul in my upstairs system, but they always left me wanting a bit more. For a single female vocal with maybe just some strings, they are great. Something more complex and fast (think Yes, as an example) they definitely wouldn’t be my first choice. I recently brought home a very clean set of Klipsch Quartets and really enjoy them on tubes. They aren’t as strong visually, but they are very presentable. Haven’t decided but I now have 5 sets of speakers and 2 systems, so wife is going to pressure me to thin the herd.
With regard to your bass comment yeah if you are trying to minimize it, Zu could be good. Before I put my new speakers downstairs I rotated the Zu's into my solid state setup for a weekend. They are easily 2' from front and sidewalls and there was very little bass as a result. Almost like they need to be close to the wall.
So a bit of an update- I was able to find a pair of Forte IV’s locally and so far they are absolutely amazing, except for one issue. I’ll get the bad news out of the way- I got my first neighbor sound complaint in over two years within the first 5 minutes of turning them on. I’m a little gun shy now on their dynamic range, its truly impressive and nothing like traditional speakers. Other then that they are exactly what I was looking for. They were too overpowering in the office, but perfect for my living room, and still great for HT despite no longer having a center channel. I don’t think I’ll miss it though, these have terrific imaging. I’m thrilled with these horns and the Forte IV. Its a different approach to high sensitivity compared to Zu with a very different result.