Zu Returns to Direct Sales

Zu Returns to Direct Sales. New, Lower Prices Effective Now.

OGDEN, Utah—August 31, 2009. Effective September 1st, Zu Audio once again sells our acclaimed loudspeakers, cables and accessories directly to our U.S. customers, via ZuAudio.com or telephone. After nine months serving our market through authorized dealers in the U.S., you’ve collectively spoken loud and clear: Zu customers want to buy from Zu. We also believe the radically changed economy of the past 12 months has reset music lovers’ perception of value. So we’re using the more efficient economics of direct sales to give you more for less: Our new critically acclaimed Essence loudspeaker, formerly starting at $5,000 per pair now starts at $3,495 per pair -- its new everyday price!

When we read the market in mid-2008, responding to a rush of new dealer inquiries and having just introduced Presence, Druid Mk 4/08 and Definition Mk 2, we believed that retail distribution would help us deliver Zu sound to more music lovers more efficiently, expanding our customer population more quickly than we could do on our own. We gave it an honest shake but three market realities emerged as obstacles to success. First, while we selected from among the very finest audio retailers, there simply aren’t enough outstanding high-fidelity audio salons to put Zu speakers within easy access for music lovers throughout this huge country of ours. Second, retail distribution required us to raise prices above traditional Zu value to provide for necessary retailer profit on Zu sales. And third, our existing customers vocally and relentlessly let us know each and every day, week and month that they prefer to buy from Zu directly. Our authorized dealers could not entice you to shop with them instead. Add to that the dramatic shift in global economic outlook after September 2008 has spurred a long-term change in music lovers’ perception of value in gear, and the complete picture adds up to a return to direct sales in the United States -- at lower prices and greater convenience.

Our new

Essence loudspeaker

, which marries the simplicity and tonal realism of our prior Druid Mk 4/08 model with deeper bass, extended treble and some of the sonic scale of our Definition Mk 2, now starts at just $3,495 per pair— less than Druid a year ago! It’s even easier to place well in any room, retaining the same 12” x 12” footprint as Druid and Definition but is more forgiving of room acoustics and the placement constraints of real living spaces. Beautiful base price standard satin colors and real wood veneers can be upgraded to gloss finishes and custom colors at additional cost. We will further expand our line to deliver new performance benchmarks in speakers and cables, at more accessible price points for their sound. But for most music lovers seeking accessible yet impeccable high-fidelity,

Essence

today is the right loudspeaker, at the right price, at the right time.

Find out more about Essence at

www.ZuAudio.com/loudspeakers/essence

. Call 1-800-516-8925 or visit www.ZuAudio.com to learn more or to order. As always, every Zu customer has 60 days return privileges. And welcome back to Zu!

Sean Casey & Adam Decaria

Founders, Zu Audio

Zu Audio is a manufacturer of high-quality audiophile loudspeakers, cables and other audio accessories for music lovers, located in Ogden, Utah. If you are interested in learning more about Zu Audio’s products and passions visit us at www.ZuAudio.com.

Zu Audio—A Revolution In American Hi-Fi

We’re Only Here for the Music” our tag for the last year embodies a powerful aspect of Zu’s soul, but only when things are getting done, moving forward,

getting better

.

“A Revolution in American Hi-Fi” was our tag when we were direct,

aggressive

, it’s what is required, it’s what must happen for compelling playback to again be enjoyed in the living rooms of vast numbers across the country.

Yes, the economy as a whole is in the toilet, and it doesn’t look to come roaring back soon. But that’s not the root of the problem within hi-fi. Try this on: conservatively, half the U.S. population enjoys and consumes music, and yet far less than 1% enjoy high-fidelity playback. By contrast, less than 1% of the U.S. population ride dirtbikes, yet it’s a driving force in the culture, and it represents a large and healthy industry, completely dwarfing hi-fi today. This was not always the case. Hi-fi was number two on the list of “must haves” for all heading off to college. Okay, maybe number three but likely one of those three can’t be mentioned here. A sweet car was likely top, but that always seemed a bit out of reach for most of us -- but not our music, and not good sound in the dorm.

In Hi-Fi today, a basic, somewhat realistic sounding system is at least the price of a hot new, right-off-the-showroom-floor, ready-to race motocross bike, with all new gear; or track-capable street bike; or a sweet American, German, or Italian made work-of-mechanical-art. Or a decent waterski/wakeboard boat, a room full of climbing and backpacking gear, or all the snowboard or ski gear you can fit in your hatchback. Plus season passes to Snowbasin, and Whistler, and a week long heli trip to Alaska! The problem is that hi-fi is no longer relevant when you compare it to other “competing” interests and products. Things in Hi-Fi today are pretty rickety; when state-of-the-art seems totally ridiculous compared to the products of these other industries.

Hi-Fi needs to generate products, and information, that allow people to experience a profound level of fidelity for the same price as competing interests. And for the everyday American we’re talking, hunting, fishing, cars, bikes, motorcycles, ski trips... not million+ dollar yachts and private jets.

Zu’s mission is to put sincere high-fidelity music reproduction back in the homes, dorm rooms and apartments of music lovers. Out of the man-caves and into living rooms for all to enjoy. We take seriously our brand proposition, “A Revolution in American Hi-Fi” meant to return the stereo to being among the most important furnishings in a home. To serve this mission, we must deliver convincing music fidelity, compelling visual appeal for the objects we create, and solid competitive value with other industries. The economics of dealer distribution undermined our ability to do both while meeting these expectations of value and affordability. Returning to direct sales allows us to reduce prices while becoming more profitable, and to develop and field a greater range of beautiful products more quickly.

SOME HISTORY & PERSPECTIVE

More on this will be laid down, but here's a teaser. In the heyday of hi-fi, an average working person could see his or her way to assembling a system comprised of the very best gear. They might have to do it piecemeal -- start with a best preamp, for instance, while everything else is just serviceable. Circa 1975 for example, anyone motivated had one of the two best preamps in their reach: Audio Research SP3a1 for $795 or Mark Levinson JC2 for about $1200. While either were real money 34 years ago, a middle class person could afford such a purchase if they were interested. A Linn Sondek was $295.00 and an SME 3009 tonearm was about $180.00. A Denon DL103 listed at $250.00. An Audio Research D76A power amp was $1200.00. A pair of Dahlquist DQ10s were $795/pair.

That system was attainable, for some all at once, and for many more, brick-by-brick, and it put you in the top tier of hi-fi. Frankly, it would still sound good today. Accessible "bests" in hi-fi vanished during the first Reagan administration, and hi-fi lost its heart ever since. As soon as most people could not imagine owning the best, they lost interest in settling for mediocre and the proliferation of competing hobbies more easily elbowed hi-fi aside. Early CD didn't help. "Perfect Sound Forever" made everything sound the same -- pinched, harsh and one-dimensional.

Our message is simple: Zu is the basis for making the best in hi-fi attainable again, and your love of music is the reason to be interested. It's easier to build a smokin' system around Zu speakers than any other cornerstone component, and average people can afford to.

It's good to be back.

Posted on September 1, 2009 and filed under Other.