RMAF 2017. "In 2001 the first Druid dropped and for the launch of the Mk.VI in 2017, we decided to take it back to 2001. To showcase the next big step, the decorations were in homage to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. We showed the new Druid Mk.VI ($10'000/pr) on a Peachtree Nova 300 ($2'500) cabled with Zu Event ($3'000). Supporting the very bottom octave was a pair of our Undertone subwoofers ($2'500/ea.) set to a 28Hz 3rd-order low-pass to even out the room's bass response and give listeners the needed infrasonic energy and life that doom soup, black metal, big orchestra and big pipes require."

The key bit in this quote is the Peachtree integrated, a 300wpc ICEpower-based class D amp. To many more traditional widebanders like Rethm and Voxativ, such a mention—much less their makers' actual use of class D during a show demo—would be anathema.

That's because anecdotal evidence shows their high-efficiency designs to work best with tubes, often the low-power SET types. Zu themselves have championed Audion and Melody valve amps. They simply don't limit themselves to valves or low power.

One underlying reason is power handling. Zu speakers can famously dish it at club levels. It's something our household and our music don't exploit. Here our Druid V are a V12 truck which we never drive in more than 2nd gear and then really only on perfectly smooth black top.

The fact that we do so happily tells you that these needn't be driven hard to sound good. It's simply something one can do when the mood strikes; which apparently struck team Zu during their Saturday night party at the Denver show - though we're told that the attending crowd didn't quite get down to actual dancing. Audiophiles.

During RMAF's seminar of "Young Guns of Hifi"

Bringing it home, demoing $10'000/pr flagship 1.5-ways with a $2'500 all-in-one to achieve plenty of very favourable press mentions for sound quality goes a way toward softening the blow that the hi-zoot VI asks nearly double that of the V. But then, the latter remains with the program and on the reservation.

... to be continued...

Zu Audio website