Zu Druids upgraded Vs Essence

How does the upgraded Druid compare with the Essence?

I own a pair of the Druids and have been loving them for a few years. Was wondering if the Essence is worth the leap


High-efficiency speakers -- especially single driver types -- have their peculiarities and some of them are hard to live with. I've never been willing to trade away midrange tonal accuracy to get the palpable dynamic aliveness and holistic presentation of a Fostex or Lowther-based loudspeaker, though that's heaven to some music lovers. I tried Avant-gard and while they were among the best horn driver speakers I've heard, no amount of forgiveness or distraction could mask their lingering horn-ness. Music served the speaker rather than the speaker serving the music. But others raved. You have to know your acute sensitivities. I can't live with shout, even a little.

Zu opened the door to high-efficiency speakers for me, by reasonably combining high sensitivity with high power handling, excellent octave-to-octave balance with harmonic frequency extension through judicious use of a supertweeter and the holistic presentation of a single driver speaker. And over the last decade of the company's progress, they've steadily refined their full range driver and factory break-in procedure to push single-drive "shout" to the vanishing point.

I have Credenzas in my office system. That speaker really is the top 18 inches of a Druid, so lacking the cabinet height for partial Greiwe implementation, bass rolls off quickly below 50Hz.

A Zu subwoofer is a perfect match, since most other subs don't have the transient speed and definition to mate well with the Zu main driver. No floppy-surround, long-excursion cone thump boxes need apply. No, not even REL. So Credenzas + Method or MiniMethod sub(s) will go deeper than Druids alone. But it does mean placing more boxes and running more cabling around the room.

Credenza is genuinely a credenza speaker as it doesn't really sit well on stands built for modern small-driver monitors. If you had such a stand, it would take up the same footprint as a pair of Druids or Essence and the combined weight of Credenza plus any credible stand would be similar to or greater than Druids or Essence alone.

Essence is flat down to about 30Hz and the bass it produces is defined and tonally true so you're not left wanting a sub unless you crave movie scores at their most bombastic. But if you like the idea of Credenzas + subs, have at it. Just make sure the sub is quick.

Yeah, I move stuff around quite a bit. New stuff? In my den. Wife wants to get rid of some crap around the house, where's it go? My den. My drums have moved around four or five times. When I set up home theater in there, everything got moved. Big hassle. Plus, I just tired of them. Take up so much room, overpower everything else....didn't want that anymore.

Consider that prototype interesting in form only. I saw it at a Zu field outing here in California. The evolving prototype that becomes a product is already different.

An early iteration, as the current one has a tweeter. The shape is definitely the same.