Zu introduces Soul 6


Major changes:
1. $5999 starting price
2. Okoume standard finish instead of hickory
3. Bigger cabinet - up from 31.5" to 36"
4. 120 days to audition in home!

Zu claims Druid 6-type performance, deeper bass than mk.II, more amp friendly, horn-like impulse response.
I am intrigued.  Soul Supreme is a nice value at $4500 so Zu must really feel this a step up in performance to price it above that.  


@aberyclark The ODS requires the plinth because the Radian 850 used as the supertweeter makes the speaker more top-heavy than standard OD, but the upgrade is well worth it. Much more harmonic grace with the Radian 850.

@rhythmnsound If you buy Soul 6, they ship after 4 weeks in Zu's intense-abuse burn rig. It's not just the driver but also the internal wiring harness that needs it. In fact, the concentric-supertweeter FRD is so transparent it makes the need for burn-in of the dielectrics more obvious. I mention this because if you buy during cold weather shipping, that will cause some backsliding on the benefits of burn-in. If that happens, you may notice some initial stridency in a band bounded roughly by about 600 Hz - 1500 Hz. It is not the same sound as horn shout but is in the realm, and of course the supertweeter has nothing to do with it. The other thing if burn-in backslides is that the speaker will throw a low soundstage initially. I just pushed them hard for a couple of weeks. Every time we went out for a few hours I put the protective driver discs on, turned on ESPN and cranked up the volume on their bombast. In the first four days, the vertical focal point of the soundstage notched up until by the fourth day it was projecting to the same vertical point as my Definition 4s on the same music and movies. That narrow midband stridency faded day by day until it was gone after about 2 weeks. Settled in, Soul 6 is remarkable not for any horn colorations but for its objectivity, transparency, cat-like agility and sheer rhino force even with modest-power amps. The supertweeter is only a factor above 10kHz.

Quad ESLs certainly have somewhat more finesse on delicate details than any dynamic speaker, but Soul 6 gets very close and in turn the Quad cannot even remotely match the Zu's frequency extensions top and bottom, nor its dynamic elasticity and ability to project acoustic force. Soul 6 also doesn't have the Quad's single-seat beaming. You have much more flexibility for placement and the prime listening window gives you seating latitude for communal listening.

@snapsc I haven't heard an open-baffle speaker that has quite the objectivity and tone equal to the crossoverless Soul 6. The partial dipole nature of dynamic open baffles helps with live-like spaciousness along with placement complications in many rooms. The Zu has that similar spatial projection without the room placement problems, plus bass is very well controlled. Where Soul 6 and good open baffles are similarly spirited is in the openness, agility and jump factor heard from both.


Thanks Phil, and thank you for the Mesa el34 tip - I have been using NOS Mullard XF2’s and they are hard to find and not cheap!

Just finished reading thru this thread and thanks for all the great info!  I am considering a set of Zu’s and am hesitant to go for the Soul VI due to the comments about how revealing they are.  
I have a pretty straightforward system; all Qobuz streaming using Innuos and a Wyred 4 Sound DAC, Hegel H120 integrated (75 W per).  Interested in thoughts on the Soul VI versus the Soul Supreme with this gear?  

@kingofgix  Soul VI will take you further in terms of leveraging ongoing evolution of your system and I don't see any reason you can't mate it with your existing system, the W4S DAC probably being the component you'll eventually come to upgrade. But Soul Supreme is definitely the more forgiving of upstream compromises (including source material), of the two speakers. Its Radian 850 supertweeter is harmonically graceful but does not equal the extended frequency response of the Soul VI tweeter. Also, if you run the Soul Supreme at its native 16 ohms impedance, eschewing parallel loading resistors, your Hegel's output will be reduced roughly in half but a lot of solid state amps sound a little cleaner and smoother into 16 ohms than into 8 ohms. It's not major but can be noticable.

One option you have is to buy Soul 6, taking advantage of Zu's 60 days return policy, and if you feel you need to back off on vividness a bit, you can order Soul Supreme if you come to that conclusion about Soul 6.



Thanks.  Interesting that you mention upgrading the W4S DAC, as I am considering getting a Yggdrasil.