Zu Audio Omen Mk.II
PRICE IS FOR MATCHED PAIR
Omen is the right speaker for the vast majority of music junkies looking for great playback that rather not sell plasma or their bikes to get it.
Omen is a high performance yet generally affordable, fully U.S. made loudspeaker that will deliver fantastic sound in any living room. Omen is not fussy with placement or with electronics, matching up nicely with most any amplifier or receiver modern or vintage. Omen is also built to last a lifetime, like everything we make; cabinet material, adhesives, driver assemblies… every component is a quality part engineered and built to create a loudspeaker system that will continually satisfy and amaze decade after decade.
The Omen loudspeaker is our hook, the best we can do without making regrettable compromises in performance or materials. We think Omen Mk.II really delivers on the performance all that exotic driver goodness and premium cabinetry suggest, but only you know the sound you are looking for, everyone has their own sense tone and all of us have different tastes in music.
[testimonial_slider autorotate=””] [testimonial name=”” quote=”The Omen’s have wildly exceeded my expectations. Initially my plan was to have the Omen’s in a second system. After a week of breaking them in it became apparent they were a very special speaker. I ended up selling my main speakers which were Stereophile B-rated speakers featuring tweeter, midrange and three woofers in each tower. ” id=”t1″] [testimonial name=”Bob Fifik” quote=”The dynamics and integration of the Omen’s is amazing. In the present system they have a fair bit of power going in. Bryston 4B SST amplifier bench tested at 324 watts into 8 ohms per channel. The old speakers went down to 18 Hz and while the Omen’s don’t go that low there seems to be much more bass than the advertised 35 Hz. I listen to all kinds of music and the Omen’s have been great. Especially noteworthy was the Omen’s on some Japanese mono Kink’s Pye reissues.” id=”t2″] [/testimonial_slider]
OMEN MK.II QUICK SPECS
Height: 36” [91.5 cm]
Footprint: 12 x 12” [30.5 x 30.5 cm]
Weight: 54 pounds [24 kg] each
Bandwidth: 35 – 25 kHz
Efficiency: 97 dB-SPL 1W, 1m
Impedance: 12 ohm
Power Amp Range: 4 – 300 watt
Made by us in our home town of Ogden, Utah—U.S.A.
WHAT’S CHANGED [MK.I VS MK.II]
- New nanotech paper-core cone fitted on the new Zu260FRD/ND full-range driver. New FRD also features new cast aluminum basket with improved mechanical mounting dimensions and structure. Model number is now machined into the front pole piece of the FRD for easy identification. Quality assurance systems have also been improved and now use both amplitude and time tone-prints thus yielding tighter tolerance in FRD matching.
- Revised machined from billet trim-ring, matching the revised bolt holes and driver frame profile. Bolt hole circle through-holes and driver cutout feature radii for reduced stress risers and quieter structure and acoustic wave mechanics around the critical driver area.
- New FRD fasteners, no more wood screws. Screws and nut inserts are stainless steel, inserts are pronged tee-nut type and are fitted and glued to the cabinet from the inside maximizing compression strength and eliminating insert failure.
- New tweeter assembly featuring the Eminence ASD:1001 driver, which is also tone matched using both amplitude and time tone-prints. New machined from billet tweeter lens to better compliment the ASD:1001 tweeter driver and new FRD. New high-pass features ClarityCap MR capacitors with revised values to best match up with new FRD and tweeter assembly.
- New cabinetry processes and finishing systems yield high-end furniture grade cabinet quality and finish that will keep looking great decade after decade. Top-coat material is a premium conversion varnish applied in a three stage five coat process. Omen Mk.II are fully dressed to impress.
- Machined from billet and hand finished Zu logo—looks way better than the old stamped ones.
- Improved Griewe acoustic loading system now featuring radial bottom-side finger ports complete with inside and out profile radii. These subtle changes radically strengthen the base of the cabinet and further remove structural and acoustic resonance.
- Improved cabinet footer inserts—no pullouts, no failures. The profile was changed, the insert length is now a full inch [25mm] long and makes full length contact with the bottom, with full-length adhesive bonded to the cabinet. Bottom finish, durability and water resistance is also improved with a multi-step full epoxy based finishing system.
- Kiss the fiberfill goodbye! All acoustic damping materials are now made from premium polyurethane foam. This change not only makes the product more consistent and eliminates batting shifting but also allows the addition of MLS diffusion to cabinet cavity performance without significantly increasing costs.
- Mission cable harness inside, full Mission loudspeaker cable and not just simple hookup wire.
- New Zu combo plate! This features ZuB3 connector (via speakON 8-pole ZuB3 pinout convention) and parallel standard 5-way binding posts. This allows you to use about any cable you like, terminated however they may be: standard or oversized spades, bare wire, banana plugs, pins, or even ZuB3 terminated Zu cable. And yes, there are advantages with ZuB3 over other connections: lower resistance, easy and always correct connection, better E&M performance, and who doesn’t like to plug in speakON connectors.
- Internal termination on 5-way binding post is via premium Panduit Fastons; speakON internal termination is via silver-bearing solder.
- New machined aluminum nameplate complete with laser engraved product identification, serial numbers, compliance marks and other useful detail.
- No more wood screws here either. Screws and nut inserts for the nameplate are stainless steel, the same type and process used on the full-range driver—overkill sure, but cool.
WHAT HASN’T CHANGED
- The architecture, with its great looking Mid-Centry Modern/Scandinavian inspired lines.
- Fun. Omen has always been fun, and aims to please—Omen is not and never will be a prima donna speaker.
- 5-year warranty, the best service in audio.
- 60-day satisfaction guarantee, and we pay return shipping.
BENEFITS OF CHANGES ELABORATED
Full-Range Driver—We didn’t want to mess up the great tone of Omen, but we did want to improve the resolution and transparency, bass through treble. We took the nanotech cone technology developed for our top models, along with the revised cast aluminum basket and incorporated them into the Omen’s undercut, 12 ohm coil motor. These changes significantly improved Omen’s total detail without damaging its famously great tone. After improving the full-range driver we moved our focus to the cabinet, starting with the driver area and moving out.
Cabinet—In development of Druid Mk.V we found that subtle changes made to how the drivers mated with the cabinet yielded rather large performance effects; so we increased our engineering and development efforts into the dynamics of cabinet/driver interfacing. Omen Mk.II is leveraging these efforts. Yes, she looks nearly the same on the outside (a good thing) but the driver frame and how it mates with the cabinet are significantly improved, yielding lower noise and better wave mechanics—quieter, quicker, more precise, a significant step forward and further proof of our comprehensivist design position (engineering all system elements to best work within the whole). These seeming small refinements added little to the manufacturing costs but realized healthy performance improvements.
Improved Zu-Griewe Cabinet Loading—Revised finger ports on the bottom of the cabinet reduce noise and better couple the acoustic impedance of the room to that of the full-range driver, yielding tighter and clearer bass without sacrificing amplitude extension down low. The revised design also makes the cabinet significantly stronger, not that you were using it as a motorcycle stand. Still, stronger in this case is good and opens up other possible structural engineering solutions to further reduce cabinet noise.
Improved Internal Acoustic Control—echnology originally developed for Druid Mk.V is now used in Omen Mk.II loudspeakers. It takes advantage of both diffusion and absorption and significantly improves the internal acoustics and further reduce noise. No more fiberglass insulation, yay! Getting rid of the fiber fill and replacing it with the better and more elegantly engineered sectional foam based system also means less system change as the loudspeakers age and no shedding of fiber so reduced dust level in your home—we hate dust.
Fasteners & Interface Systems—No more wood screws—though the old ones we used were killer. All fasteners are now metal-to-metal. (Note, screws and inserts are stainless steel and you will want to use a bit of thread lube if you ever take things apart. Stainless steel fasteners are particularly susceptible to thread galling. Without lube the tightening process can seize the screw and insert together.)
Tweeter—Tweeter driver is made by Eminence and has many of the features found in the top shelf Radian drivers, like toughened aluminum alloy with mylar damping, and larger than traditional diaphragm for better dynamic behavior and electroacoustic power transfer. The driver is the same used in our OmenDef Mk.II (though a different lens and mounting). The new driver also uses a dual-wall rear chamber to reduce mechanical/acoustic feedback.
Tweeter High-Pass Network—Staying true to comprehensivity and in keeping systems as simple as possible, tweeter and high-pass network were developed to allow the most basic of circuits, a simple single element filter. Advantages of designing on a fundamental level usually allow further refinement through better components, and so it is with Omen Mk.II—funds that normally get gobbled up in complex solutions to basic problems are freed allowing us to put that cash into premium ClarityCap MR capacitors, full Zu Mission cable harness and inclusion of the ZuB3.
ZuB3 + 5-Way Binding Posts—This lets you run the ZuB3 connection if desired (which we think sounds best) or whatever cables you are already owning. You can use standard or oversized spades, bare wire, banana plugs or pins, and if you decide you want to run ZuB3, and you own Zu cable, we will reterminate your cables for free.
ZU260FRD/ND DRIVER AND ACOUSTIC TECHNOLOGY
Omen, like all Zu products, is built around the critical human voice (A1, 55 Hz, through A6 and all the possible harmonics, to approximately 12 kHz). Serving this critical region of tone is Zu’s Zu260FRD/ND 10.3” [260 mm] nanotech/paper composite full-range driver. In addition to a very large motor assembly and nanotech/paper composite cone, the driver also features a new cast aluminum basket and machined from billet center pole complete with engraved model notation on the face for easy identification. We only use the finest adhesives and binders to ensure consistency, toughness and a very long life; the result of decades of engineering and refinement with roots going back to 1934 and the prolific Harry Olson.
We designed/refined the Omen’s new full-range driver to work within our Zu-Griewe box/acoustic loading technology. With Omen Mk.II you get a loudspeaker that is lightning-quick yet still lays down loads of tone density. The system is consistent and linear in its resolution and dynamic behavior—from bass through treble. Omen Mk.II features revised Zu-Griewe loading and delivers slightly increased efficiency in the bass range and reduces noise and distortion generally. Our technology also reduces internal acoustic noise and couples more tightly the high acoustic impedance of the driver cone to the low acoustic impedance of the room. So you get improved bass drum thwack, techno hit, thunder-broom shove, snare pop, guitar tone, fiddle bite and burnish… and all able to scale and span even the most demanding and complex recordings (particularly when matched with a great bottom active tuned subwoofer like our Undertone). And yeah, voice always sounds human, real and present.
CABINET WORK AND MATERIAL PALLET
Omen is made from North American high density composite wood plate (Comp-60), machined on state-of-the-art CNC mills. Omen uses real wood veneer laid-up and pressed at the plywood factory and not glued after assembly. This ensures your finish will not lift or warp, and it yields the flattest surfaces and tightest seams. For glue, it’s Titebond III, for the highest joint strength and a lifetime of unfailing, moisture-proof service.
TIPS ON GETTING GREAT SOUND FROM OMEN
Omen Mk.II loudspeakers get 300 hours of high-intensity factory burn-in to ensure they will sound great within just a week or so of regular play. Nevertheless, if they are transported in cold weather, they take several days to “warm up” and return to giving you their best.
Make sure you have 1/4” [6 mm] or so gap between the bottom of the Omen loudspeakers and the floor. The finger ports are part of the Zu-Griewe box loading technology. They are not ports as used in a bass-reflex design but the finger ports do need to see the acoustic impedance of the room to function; blocking them turns Omen into an interesting but sealed design.
Omen is designed to account for its shortish stature. Placing its full-range 10” driver on top and then time-aligning the super tweeter to “tilt” the sound in a slight upward direction causes Omen to sound larger and taller than it is. Users can increase this effect by adjust the feet so as to lean the speaker back, further tailoring the sound of the loudspeaker’s integration with the room and the humans in it.
ZU CUSTOM SHOP
If you have a specific idea on finish we can probably make it happen. Custom gloss, matte, veneers available, custom color anodized driver rings and tweeter lenses… please inquire for pricing, options, and lead-time.
Thanks for your interest and please don’t hesitate to call or email, we love what we do and we are here to help.