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

Cheers
bonesetter2004
Afc

I have a Zu 5.0 system with Credenzas for the left and right fronts, Zu center and Zu surrounds. My sub is a Velodyne SPL 1200. The speed and blending with the Zu speakers is very good. I used to use the 8" Velodyne model but the 12" is a much better match. These comments are based mainly on home theater usage as most of my music listening is done using with my 2 channel system.
btw. wanted to comment on Essence being more "hifi" and therefore doing better with mainstream audiophile tastes.

I agree that the "hifi" sound has exaggerated treble, which I do not like and is why I got the Druids. I hope that Zu retains some reasonably priced model that has natural HF. I also understand that more sales will help them support more models, so if this is what the market wants, stupid market for wanting it, smart Zu for serving it (I suppose).

But there is also a market segment that did not try Zu because Druids measured very badly, especially in frequency response. Both Essence and Druid have ragged frequency response, and you just cannot get there without a crossover, which would turn Zu into a conventional speaker. Although the measurement side of audiophile world and the stereophile-followers don't like each other, I think that flat frequency response tends to sound like HiFi HF at the listening position. So, the pair of antagonists are maybe closer together on something directly related to sound than they think!

I wish there was some way to measure dynamics and tone. That would give Zu some good graphs it could use in marketing.
Cool.

I thought I'd responded, but I don't see my comment. Anyway, yes, I figured that Soul image was prototype. The description of the Soul's trapezoidal shape had me worried, but even in the early stages, it looks promising for a small floorstander. I'm excited to see how it develops.

Interestingly, it looks to me like the shape is an external shell of the new foam cartridge pictured in the Essence stereophile review. I'm just guessing, and you guys seem to have a lot of good firsthand knowledge of the Zu stuff, but is there anything to that?
I have the Druid Mk4/08 with 2 x Mini Methods. A further upgrade I did to the hi pass on the Druid was to add a Mundorf Silver in Oil cap and Duelund resistor of the same values and the Zu Kimber Kap and Mills, along with some Duelund silver foil oil/silk hookup wire as the resistor is HUGE. This improved the treble in a few areas, especially the smoothness without any edgey characteristics (liquid). Detail levels changed, I think slightly more micro than macro. I'm not sure about "air" or "sparkle" but the soundstage changed a little with greater height/width. The treble still is not in your face but "is" more pronounced than before. Overall much better to my ears. I certainly would not need any more as I'm not into the HiFi sound as such. This is a cheap ($130) and easy way to improve the Druid mk4/08 without losing its charm.......for me anyway ;-)

I listen to Live music in bars and pubs and this sound is not Hifi at all.......but isn't music reproduced in our homes supposed to sound like live??? Especially using Eminence based speakers which most Marshal and Fender use.

The Mini Methods match the Druids beautifully, you can't tell they are working unless you touch them, the bass seams to come from the Druids.

I haven't listened to any other Zu speakers as I'm located in Australia. I too was intrigued when reading the many 213cobra posts over the last 2 yrs or so.

I would be interested to compare my setup with the Presence (Presence and Def2 share Mundorf SIO caps)I love the midrange of the druid and would be interested to hear the difference with sealed FRD enclosure in the Presence.......if it was improved may be I could seal it in the Druid.......Another question for Sean!

I, like all of us here am also interested in the Essence, but feel the improvemnet in bass is not required for me, nor is more treble energy, especially at the expense of mids detail or dynamic scale. I would however love to hear them for myself.......
This thread seemed to die off just as it was getting exciting!

Any updates on the Soul? i know its been almost 5 months since the last post.

Thanks!