Built to order—six to eight weeks for completion depending on finish. Soul Supreme is the new Druid [Mk. V] stuffed into the smaller American Mid-Century inspired obelisk cabinet. You get the fantastic Zu high output nano infused full-range driver, Radian based tweeter networked with ClarityCap MR caps and Mills top-shelf MRA resistor all interconnected and cabled with Zu Event internal cabling. Soul Supreme, despite it being about the same size as Soul Superfly, it performs head and shoulders above it.
Soul Supreme, like all Zu products, is built around the critical human voice A1, 55Hz, through A6 and all the possible harmonics, to approximately 10kHz. This is the same driver we developed for and use on our flagship loudspeaker Dominance and are also using in our other top performing speaker.
The nano materials and application process reduce weight while increasing strength and propagation velocity without incurring any sacrifices in damping. We use nano-processed and nano-engineered materials and key components in the matrix include nanosphere ceramic balloons, nanofiber cristobalite and amorphous fumed silica. This created a more 'mainstreamish' take on their house sound.
In the Soul, a new driver is back up to original sensitivity spec. It's been retuned by shaving off diaphragm mass and increasing flux density in and around the voice coil gap. Lighter moving mass plus stronger motor translates to higher dynamic contrast ratio. Retained is the cylindrical Essence phase plug with concave face dimple. That plug geometry improves off-axis response for the inner cone which couples directly to the voice coil.
It mildly angles the drivers up. While the Soul is short and its widebander relatively low, stage height isn't really compromised. The Grieve loading always relied on a precise floor gap to function properly. The Essence circumvented possible user error by fixing the gap with its lacquered twin plinth.
For the Soul, that detail was too complex. We recommend and show long spikes since the Soul simply looks cooler when floating above the floor. Just as you wouldn't jam a rear-ported speaker butt up against the wall to obstruct its vent, so the Soul's pressure release system can't be blocked by parking the speaker directly on the floor.
That's common sense. More in due time Could the O93's be my forever speaker? I pulled the trigger on a used pair, and here we are If I point out a strength of one, it doesn't necessarily mean the other is weak in that regard. This is a friendly shootout.
My goal is to give you an idea of how each of them sound to help you decide for yourself if you are considering Zu or Orangutans. The easiest way for me to do this is scorecard-style Bass: These speakers are both rated to go down to about 30hz, and they both sound like they are hitting that. However, the Superfly's bass is faster and deeper than the O93's. Listen to "Other Voices" from the Cure's album, Faith. The track features a low galloping bass line intertwined with rolling floor toms. The Superflys give you the attack of both the pluck of the bass strings and the drum hits, making the bass palpable and lifelike.
The O93's bass is fully present but slow and thuddy by comparison, and thinner. The O93's can't summon that kind of low end power. Any album by Afrobeat god Tony Allen sounds delicious on the Superflys, every beat present and fleshed out. Dynamics: No question, this is Zu's wheelhouse. Dynamic realism is one of the audio traits I value most, and it's tough to beat any Zu speaker in that regard.
That said, the O93's dynamics are quite good, and better than most other speakers I've heard. This is what a high efficiency design gets you.
If soundstage and imaging are your priority, then Zu is probably not your next speaker. The O93's put out nice 3D soundstage across my room with pinpoint imaging. The O93's simply sound more expansive than the Superflys, although the Superflys scale bigger. Placement: I wouldn't describe either speaker as particularly fussy in placement. With that said, the O93's do like a bit more space from the rear wall than what I'm able give them in my room.
The Superflys are only pulled about 9 inches from the wall and it doesn't bother them at all. However, for nearfield listening 6 ft , the O93's are still quite usable.
The Superflys are a bit overpowering at that short distance. Treble: The O93's top end is smooth and non-fatiguing. It's better than the treble on the Superfly. Neither are better than the Radian tweeters on the Defheads. The tonality and presentation on the Superfly is totally different from the O93's. Take the Tweedy album; on the Zu's although you don't get the nice soundstage with Jeff perfectly placed, you do get Jeff's voice front and center and full-bodied.
As opposed to hearing exactly where Jeff is located in the soundstage, instead it sounds like Jeff is simply in your room singing into a microphone. The Superflys give you more of a physical sound from instruments like a baritone sax.
We each have our own definition of what lifelike sound is, and what "live" sounds like. This might be yours, or it might not. Looks: I was curious how the fiddleback on the O93's would look in person.
Funny thing is they look exactly like they do in photos. They look spectacular at night. Both my Zus look better in person than in photos, and look even better in sunlight. Coincidentally, the black finish on the rear of the O93's is nearly identical to Zu's standard Ghost Black finish The verdict: This is where the whole full-range driver vs.
It's going to boil down to personal preference of how you want the midrange to sound. Rich and robust, or pretty and detailed? After a few years of listening to Zu's crossover-less design, I can hear the crossover on the Devores pulling apart the sound, even though it sounds more open and expansive.
It almost sounds unnatural to me now. Flipping from the O93's back to the Superflys also takes adjustment. Things sound congested at first until my ears adjust and then to me the sound gets more cohesive. Stereo versus mono, anyone? The O93 is a great all-around speaker. It does pretty much everything well, and like the Superfly it has a wonderfully textured tone. It's forgiving and yet detailed, and very amp friendly It's difficult to imagine any amp of say watts or more not being able to drive it.
It has great bass and dynamics for a speaker of its size, and it looks sharp. Had I not come to it from a high efficiency design like Zu, I'd probably be jumping up and down with joy.
You need to spend time on this. LOTS of time. Small changes in placement, lean and toe-in can solicit dramatic changes in sound. The downward firing finger-ports need daylight to ensure the ZuGriewe cabinet loading functions properly.
MUCH bigger spaces. Get overall speaker placement wrong and the Souls will sound dry and scratchy. It took me several weeks of tweaks to optimize all that the Soul MKII can offer: firing across the room, 90cm clearance from rear long wall and only 30mm lift from the floor. Canting them back a few degrees also enhances imaging.
Music grabs you by the lapels. Here is a loudspeaker makes you an offer you cannot refuse. Did I mention that you get dynamics that turn on a time? I did? The sheer honesty with midrange exposure is far superior to that of the outgoing Magnepan MMG.
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