We have realized such performance and form through a handful of key points:
- Understanding and making good use of Harry Olson’s work on full-range direct radiating drivers designed for and weighted on the human voice. Circa 1930s. All our ten-inch full-range drivers are built on his proven seventy-plus year old platform.
- New acoustic loading technology (Zu-Griewe) which affords improved acoustic impedance manipulation between source and terminus (driver and room).
- Combining full-range crossoverless driver development with ZuGriewe acoustic loading technology and development ensures both are optimized.
- Use of Zu Event internal cabling and harness designed specifically for Druid Mk.V—and just like the original Druid launched over a decade ago, Druid Mk.V brings back our ZuB3 connection interface complete with parallel 5-way binding posts to make it easy for those that are happy with their existing cables.
- A clear set of tone/sound values, with enough experience (music, sound, science, engineering + gut, emotion, drive and practice) and technical know-how to bring it all together.
- Modern materials and processes.
Druid Mk.V gives its best performance in good sounding rooms, within systems clearly build around “tone” and natural playback. And as mentioned, Druid does require careful system building and power amplifier matching is vital. With Druid’s high efficiency 16 ohm load, high electrical and mechanical damping, powerful resolution of frequency, time domain, and dynamics, amp matching with Druid can be highly rewarding (and sometimes unusually frustrating if you have a odd amp matchup).
Druid Mk.V draws not only from Dominance’s parts bins (Zu103ND full-range driver, Radian 850 based tweeter, Event internal cable) but also from its research and development and materials pallet. Cabinet engineering on Druid mark-five addresses noise and framework function across all fronts: materials, structural, bonding and building technique. The resulting combinations of engineered plate, Nida-Core core, vinyl-ester/phenolic adhesives, heavyweight stitched triaxial e-glass fibers, foams, damping compounds and aluminum alloys create a carefully tuned high performance structure that is still light enough for one person to manage.
Points of Engineering & Performance
- Zu nanotech (Zu103ND/G1-16) full-range 16 ohm driver.
- Radian 850-based tweeter assembly (if there’s better we haven’t found it).
- Zu-Griewe acoustic loading technology.
- Completely new cabinet design using expanded materials pallet to include coreing.
- Event based cable harness designed around our ZuB3 cable architecture.
- ZuB3 interface via speakON 8-pole, in combination with standard 5-way CE compliant binding posts.
- machined from billet aluminum base.
- Engineered for in-field serviceability.
Druid Mk.V is real high-fidelity and a sincere expression of our musical values—of what we create and build at Zu. You can see the strategic use of the mixed materials pallet, judicious use of silver in the cabling and high-pass network, and the uncompromising and intense focus given to all the drive units and the way in which they work together as a whole and interface with the cabinet and how the whole loudspeaker system works within the room.
Third generation Zu-Griewe electroacoustics loading
Zu-Griewe driver / cabinet / room loading technology is fully realized in Druid Mk.V, and maximizes the high-efficiency full-range drivers’ bass performance within this modestly sized loudspeaker. No soft pooffy, woolly bass here, only clean, tight integrated attack and real sustain and decay.
Zu-Griewe technology was developed by Ron Griewe and Sean Casey, with its beginnings in competition two and four-cycle motorcycle engine exhaust systems for improving power output, with increased bandwidth, while reducing noise and sound pressure levels over convention. More on the Zu-Griewe technology can be found in the FAQ section.
New Nanotech (ZU103ND/G1-16) Full-Range 10” Driver
This new Zu driver delivers stunning attack, shove, resolution and bandwidth—as they should, being lifted straight from our flagship loudspeaker, Dominance. Features include a maximal motor for expanded dynamic contrast and reduced harmonic distortion; a lightweight neutrally hung voice-coil assembly featuring a paper+Kapton former; a linear in-line layup of the inner cone for best resolution of detail; a diamagnetic shorting assembly for dynamic damping of the moving mass when playing at concert levels; nanotech paper cones designed to support wide bandwidth; and a machined from billet phase plug with concentric maximal length sequence diffusion for smooth high frequencies. All this is anchored to a heavy cast aluminum alloy frame with overbuilt bonded and riveted yoke/magnet/top-plate assembly.
In 2004 we began to experiment with cutting-edge nano-engineered coatings and solids. The initial reasons were to realize the best possible gloss finish and one that would also be far tougher. These nanotechnology engineered liquid solid ceramics, fibers and synthetic resins performed as promised, so naturally we got busy experimenting on driver applications. Here’s what we’ve achieved: the driver’s cone is a paper pulp substrate or core, processed with a liquid solid matrix utilizing several nanoengineered materials. Some key components and compounds include: nanosphere ceramics, synthetic epoxy, cristobalite, plus the use of amorphous fumed silica and aircraft dope. The nano materials and application process reduce weight and increase strength and propagation velocity without incurring any sacrifices in damping. The end results are stunning—our new nano-sanctified full-range drivers sound dramatically better than any previous generation Zu FRD.
We continue to watch and experiment with new fibers, cores and mats as they are very promising. For us however a tone-promising pulp-free combination of these new materials has not yet been identified. Nothing has proven to be as well behaved as natural fibers—here’s just something about wood and paper, its balance of strength, propagation velocity and damping all contribute to that tone, texture and fidelity we pursue. But add the right combination of old coating technologies plus nanoengineered materials and adhesives… paper maintains its advantages well into the 21st century.
ZuB3 Connector Information
Druid Mk.V features ZuB3 termination interface, and 5-way binding posts. You can use standard or oversized spades, banana plugs, bare wire, or ZuB3. We make it easy for you. For best results we do recommend ZuB3 terminated Zu cable.
ZuB3 is a cable archetype that measures and performs differently than other cable formats (twisted pairs, coax, braids, or ribbons)—a difference we believe significantly improves performance. Zu Druid-5 loudspeakers feature this cable geometry inside, and connecting Zu cable from the amplifier to the loudspeaker via ZuB3 ensures best fidelity. Reasons include:
- Maintaining the cable’s electric and magnetic features through the wall of the speaker.
- Lower contact resistance (better than half the resistance of pure copper lugs and spades).
- Ensured correct channel phase (SP+ to SP+, SP– to SP–) as the connectors are indexed.
- No possible short-circuiting of amplifier.
ZuB3 interface connection via speakON™ 8-pole connectors maintains the electric and magnetic properties of the ZuB3 cable and lowers contact resistance over other bulkhead/cabinet wall pass-throughs. For those that wish to use other cables, Druid Mk.V also features paralleled CE compliant 5-way binding posts. Users that own Zu loudspeaker cables can have them reterminated, free of charge, so performance can be maximized.
NOTE: We highly recommend factory termination. However, ZuB3 via Neutrik speakON termination convention is outlined here for reference.
ZU CUSTOM SHOP
- If you have an idea, we can probably make it happen
- Custom gloss, matte, and veneer finishes available
- Custom color anodized driver rings and tweeter lenses available
- Inquire for pricing, options, and lead-time