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This post is no longer a placeholder.  Our new Zu Druid Mk5 speakers finally arrived in early March of 2013.  We have them fully burned in, set up and ready to listen, for clients from as near as Seattle or as far as Vancouver, Portland or Idaho.  Zu Audio designs and manufactures brilliant speakers, with enough bass to do Black Sabbath and enough finesse to do Vivaldi.  You won’t encounter many speakers that can do both, which is why we chose the Druids as our reference.  We’re very proud to offer Zu Audio products as one of 5 Zu dealers in the USA.  Call our toll free number to come by and listen to these amazing creations.

These have the black matte finish upgrade, which I think looks really cool and has slightly better damping properties than a wood finish.  For clients who are on the fence about what finish to go with, I recommend going with the stock veneer cabinets (which are very attractive) if you’re really focused on controlling the budget and consider the upgrades if you have the money to spend and you have to have that finish.

The Duelund cap upgrade presents the same question as the finish.  Because of the high demand for the Duelund and the company’s limited production capacity took a few extra months to deliver our speakers and they’re not cheap.  However, with this newest generation of Zu speakers the tweeter is playing a much larger role in the sound (I’d say 40-50% of the sound).  My feeling is that when spending this kind of money on a pair of Druids or even more on the Definitions it makes sense to reach for the pinnacle of performance.  We do offer a DIY kit from Zu for the caps if you decide to add them down the road, but it takes some doing to remove and replace the main drivers.

Druid 7We’ve been using the Zu Druid Mk4 as our reference since 2009.  As I mentioned above we need a reference speaker that does rock as well as softer music.  The key to Zu speakers in this respect is the 10″ driver with a heavy paper construction.  Try playing Led Zeppelin with speakers that use smaller or more delicate drivers an you’ll lose the fullness, body and weight in the mid-range, which is essential for rock music.  The bass of the Mk5 goes down low for a single driver and tweeter design (about 35Hz).  You may want to get down to 15Hz with a Zu subwoofer.  Since our Downtown Seattle listening room has neighbors below you can see I still have the speakers sitting on 2″ acrylic platforms and butcher block.  I’m also planning to put a layer of Dynamat under the carpet.

Druid 8Compared to the Mk4 the Mk5 has exactly the same character, it’s just much more mature and capable of greater performance.  The analogy of a college to pro football player is a good one.  The Mk4 had all the ingredients and the Mk5 had them put together in a way that delivers on a higher level.  From the tweeter and driver to the cabinet to the bass port, the Mk5 performs at the next level.  Read the 6 Moons review below and be sure to come by and listen for yourself.