Zu Druids - Two years after

Well 2-3 years after all the hype about these speakers have you kept them in your system or have you moved on. In hindsight were they speakers to keep for the long term or just another audio flash in the pan? What has been your experience with them over the long term and other speakers you have had or heard?
No doubt this is going to become a very heated debate unfortunately.

I had the Zu Druids for over one year and replaced them with the Zu Definition - had no problems with the Druids - in fact, I liked them a lot but just wanted to move on to the flagship model as very much like the Zu sound.

It is interesting that Zu continues to attract a thread such as this suggesting that perhaps they are just a flash in the pan. I previously had Merlin TSMs.

my intent is not to start a heated debate. I am considering these speakers and: 1) they don't seem to get talked about anymore - maybe all the owners are happily listening 2) lots come up used but are gone pretty quick 3) they seem to have a lot in their favour - very well reviewed, high efficiency, relatively affordable, regarded to have a live like sound, work well with low powered tube amps, they seem well supported by a solid US company that seems to have good values about sound, support, and having fun with the hobby. But do they have staying power - in the right setup will they be speakers you keep for 5 years and put that smile on your face every time you spin some tunes.
Who keeps their gear for 5 yrs.? LOL

I have the Zu Presence and bought them without hearing them but read all the info on them. I may keep them for 5 yrs. they are that good. Huge smile on my face when I fire them up. =8^)

Everything one could ask for in a speaker IMHO.

My wife likes them so a big score for me.
Prices went up, so they kinda went a little out of the lines on the graph I feel.. They are a great speaker, but now are replaced almost a decade later by new models. If you want a good single driver speaker that does what a good single driver does, no crossover etc... Than go for it, however just as stated they are not subwoofer territory in bass levels, they are more of a studio monitor. By the way they are WAY more than 2 or 3 years old...

So if you want to go a little further order the new Essence for the best rounded single driver they now make, but of course they are more money, so end of story is they obviously were and continue to be a very successful entity in hi end otherwise they would not make the moves and new products they continue to make. See link its brand new info on this company and advanced products they are producing. Good luck

I've been listening to Druids since version 1. I have upgraded them to MK4, and still enjoy everything about them. If (big if) I were to change out, it would only be to buy the new Zu Essence.

IMHO - excellent speaker.
I have used Druids for 3.5 years and am still very much enjoying them. The bass was not satisfactory in my almost square room so I added a REL Strata III sub which integrates nicely. I upgraded the speaker drivers to the 08 models which increased the output in the highs which I felt was needed, and improved spatial characteristics. They are very lively and musical and you do not have to crank them up real loud to enjoy them, which I had to do with the many models of Magnepans I used over the years.
Just to update I now have a pair of low mileage 08 druids in my system. I have them running with a new 300b amp and love the dynamics and synergy. Also enjoying the look of the druids - they are cool looking speakers. Both have a bit of breaking in to do and have a pair of libtec cables on the way but even right out of the box love the music I am hearing, especially on vocals and jazz, even the tone of electric guitar. Thanks for the feedback - I am hoping this will be a system that gets me off the audio merry-go-round.
Sweet, they will match up better with the libtec cables for sure too…. It is a difference in synergy with the right cables especially on super high efficiency speakers and low power like this.
Good Luck
It is a mute point. They have discontinued ALL models listed above; replacing these with only one production model: a new mid-priced Essence.

Also, they are moving away from a direct to consumer model to only dealer supported.

All these announcements were made at the CES. 6moons has a pretty lengthy interview on the subject.
Actually, the following is a quote from an interview with Adam Decaria that was publishd in 6Moons: "In short, it was time to restructure the lineup and retire the Tone, Druid, Definition and Method models. Call it progressing from the spring of Zu to the summer of Zu. . . . . One obvious element somewhat out of step with the revamp is the Presence model which we just introduced this year. It's really too new to be retired." Perhaps Adam mis-spoke. . .
Rleff: Good question. I did prefer the Druid over the Merlins, yes, but that is not to say they are the better speaker, they just do things in a way that I preferred and given my musical tastes and because of the tube equipment I use (Audiopax and Melody). The Merlin are more detailed but I love the dynamics and tone of the Zu speakers - both the Druid and Definition are excellent in this department IMHO.
I just don't believe that a 10" midrange/woofer is going to capture the midrange. The bass,, yes. Midrange, no. Really short in that area. My opinion.
Not sure what the doubt is... Full range drivers of this size have been used for years, especially in pro audio with lots of PA systems(vocals) and guitars etc... Which are designed to excel in midrange!

Funny thing is the Zu's actually really take it to another level via they make it almost work like there is a 3.5 in midrange driver or whatever in the center by using the whizzer cone anyway to focus this sound just sharing a voice coil and single source for integration.. They are dynamic, smooth and very much more real sounding than many speakers I have heard using dedicated mid drivers of any exotics and size.

Not to mention this 10" driver has very limited excursion which is key to speed and making the midrange magic with energy still having a driver big enough moving some air for the lower frequencies, but the druid is not a bass speaker, its more of a midrange purity than anything else as a matter of fact, which is why to me they don't go low enough to truly put down the full range with authority...

Thats the druid speaker anyway, Zu has speakers that will make up for this in other models.
Sounds_real_audio. . .

Have you ever listened to these speakers? Or are you merely speculating?
Hey Glory,

You had Audio Note speakers, right? Es or Js? And you really sold those for Zu?
How can anybody believe something without experiencing it?

Let's carry this one step forward.

I don't believe airplanes really fly because I've never been in one.

Yeah, that works.

Sorry, I misunderstood the concept.

Well I know you guys are all a twitter with speculation that I have not heard these speakers but.............you are wrong. I have listened to them, at some length. To state the obvious, if 10" midranges were so terrific wouldn't all the big names use them? I have heard other manufactures make a stab at it as well, with perhaps slightly better results.

Speakers used for PA are just that, you pay about $400 for a speaker with two 16" drivers and stand back, way back.

The Large Advents are one of the most famous of numerous 2 way speakers that used a 10 inch driver for both mid and bass with notable success. Obviously there is no reason why it can't work.
As I said in my first thread, I was certain this would degenerate into a petty argument. I do not understand why this happens time and time again on this forum.

It is a matter of personal taste what equipment we all prefer and we can all simply pass on our own thoughts and experiences but try and do so in an inoffensive manner. This hobby is like a neverending journey which is what makes it so interesting.

As for the question on the Audiopax, IMHO, they were much better suited to the higher efficiency of the Zus than the Merlins. In fact I only really started seeing what the Audiopax were capable of when I started using the Zus - superb clear midrange, tone, dynamics etc - all the usual hallmarks of using a SET type amp with a high efficiency almost horn type speaker.
None of the Zu speakers are 'almost' 'horn-type' - unless you are counting the waveguide on the super tweeter?

They are not horns at all, front or back-loaded.
I actually enjoy the discussion and differing opinions as a long as it doesn't head into the personal.

There is just something about the Druids that sound so easy and right for me. My first good speakers were late 70's maggies and I am getting some of that feel I first had. I have a couple of other quality speakers around that I really like and that certainly do detail and audio better than the druids but especially with the 300b the sound is so dynamic, reach and touch me, so smooth, and clear. Exactly what I think my source should sound like (an Audio Note 2.1 dac and Accustic Arts transport).

My initial response was the mids are really good, the top end was closed in, and where is the bass (this compared to my other speakers). With about 50 hours on them and still no libtecs yet the highs have opened up and I can see potential at the bottom end (my new 300b amp and tubes have only 20 hours on them so have a long ways to go).

Thanks for all the good discussion - very enjoyable to read.

mine are two years old and from a 300b to a dna 500 i sill like 'em.but could use some help on the bottom. my room is 12x12 and filled with racks of records and cds so maybe its 9.5 x 10. any advise on a sub?
Not sure.. I would assume even their mini method which is dual 10" opposed to Dual 12" in the Method could work perfectly well also which is why they developed it. Call Zu they will give you the bottom line. I don't believe you would have to run Stereo subs for an improvement.. One would probably be enough with the 2 Drivers they use in one enclosure.


The Zu Presence is far and above a much better speaker in just about every area than the AN J.

I still love the sound of the AN speakers but the J was not big enough for my room and the E's are hard to come by and big $$$ for the better versions.

I am nearing the end of my audio journey and the Zu Presence will be with me for a long time. I want to spend my $$$ on music (LP) from now on.

What is sounds real audio on about? AN uses a 8" woffer and you tell me that they don't get the mid-range right?
Guys, I hate to rain on your parade but Zu is not manufacturing subs at the present time.

Dealer disclaimer.
Your room is too small for a Method, which has two 15 inch woofers. I had the Mini-Method in a larger space than yours and it was plenty with two tens.
Anyone using the Druids for a combination of both music and HT? I'm a perspective buyer, and I wonder if the Druids (when paired with a low-power SET amp) will have the slam for HT? Of course, I'm going to pair the speakers with a proper sub. By slam, I'm not referring to LFE, since the sub will take care of that. I'm referring to action scenes, dialogue intelligibility, etc.
I've used them in my HT, with solid state. No problems, and they are very dynamic and detailed. I have no experience with the SET amps though, so can offer no real advice, other than calling Zu and asking them directly. They are a pretty straight forward group of guys, and will give you good suggestions.
I am running mine with a 300b set. I run a oppo dvd player into my preamp and play movies through the druids all the time. I would love the zu method for movies but these are pretty good just two channel with movies - as good as anything else I have had. As Ton1313 says - very dynamic speakers, plenty of detail, for me pretty good full range although bottom end is definately lite for movies.
I have been enjoying a Druid 5.1 system (Druid Center, Druid EFX and Mini Method) for 18 months and am very happy.
>>03-31-09: Rocket323
Does anyone have experience with the Essence and a 250 watt class D amp?<<

Certainly it will work but unquestionably there are better and more appropriate amplifiers.

Dealer disclaimer
I was running the Druid MKIVs with a pair of Gilmore Raptor monoblocks (class D, 250WPC into 8 ohms) and they sounded excellent, but I was using a tube preamp as well.

One thing's for sure, they will get LOUD with that kind of a setup, but the Druids stayed remarkably clean and coherent on the occasions when I did crank it up. I would assume the Essence would be similar in that regard.
An update from me. I have moved my Druids from largeish living room to small 11 x 13 office. I have them on the long wall and they still sound fabulous. So much so I have sold my $9,000 when new speakers. I have purchased a Mini Method to supplement the bass which should be here this week so will be hoping I can successfully integrate this into my small room and not muddle the dynamics and tone I am loving. The druids with 300b amp and Bent passive pre (I am convinced there is serious synergy here) are so good that I am re-working my way through my 1000 deep cd collection and its the proverbial hearing the music like it was new from every cd I spin.
Re: using high-power amps: I tried my Druid Mk IV's with an Emotiva RPA-2 (Class H 350w into 4ohms) and it sounded insanely clear. Although the highs and lows were a bit glaring and exaggerated, I was pleasantly surprised by the realness conveyed with that setup. Oddly enough, I tried a 300b amp (Omaha Audio 300b) and it was way too dark and congested sounding. Also the hum was a deal breaker for me!

Now I'm running the Druids with a Pass Aleph 3 (Class A, 30w) and the sound is very natural and fairly analog sounding. I am also using a tube DAC and tube pre (Monarchy M24). This is all in a small bedroom 10x12.