Soul Superfly - Brian Herman Brown
Soul Superfly - Brian Herman Brown
Soul Superfly is a true, state-of-the-art, high-end, high-resolution loudspeaker that’ll work in most any room and is small enough to disappear amongst the furnishings of anyone bigger than a Hobbit.
Welcome to the next level of Soul Superfly, with its high-impedance, high-output 10” [26cm] paper-cored nanotech full-range driver that’s matched up to with same tweeter as used in Definition Mk.II and Mk.III, all mounted in a tapered cabinet and interconnected with Zu Event cable featuring our ZuB3 technology. Other features include ultra premium capacitors, Cardas pure copper binding post, and the Soul Superfly post lay-up cabinet adhesive infusion process. The end result is a modestly-sized loudspeaker that’ll give most any low powered, 16 ohm optimized amp the dynamics of a Fender stack.
Price is per matched pair.
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
Soul Superfly is a high-efficiency, high-output floor-standing loudspeaker capable of world-class performance. Soul Superfly is complete with ZuB3 silver alloy internal cabling, ultra premium capacitors, Cardas pure copper binding post, and Zu Superfly cabinet composite treatment process minimizing cabinet resonance. And now, with Soul Superfly Mk.I-B being fitted with our top shelf nanotech sanctified high-output, Dominance developed full-range driver! It is a 16 ohm loudspeaker, best matched with amplifiers that will benefit from this easy load.
So about the Mk.I-B... the most important element of a loudspeaker is the driver—the round part that vibrates and turns electric power into sound. And when a loudspeaker is build around a full-range driver like ours it makes the driver all that much more critical. Soul Superfly Mk.I-B has one very big difference over it’s predecessor, it features the Dominance developed nanotech high-output driver. There are no other changes but the difference is pretty huge—more resolution of attack detail in bass, mids and treble. And more resolution of tone and texture, and better dynamic handling of complex music.
Soul Superfly Mk.I-B can be identified by two main features:
- Revision Mk.I-B nameplate on the back of the speaker.
- Engraved model number in the full-range driver.
- And yes, owners of older Soul Superfly loudspeakers can update them to full mark-one-bee status with a simple full-range driver swap out. (email for details)
“Now it’s becoming clearer what you audio wizards at Zu are up to.... As my Event RCA breaks in and matches qualities with the Event speaker interconnects and the inner Event wiring in the Soul Superfly,....my brain relaxes into the music, the gestalt of the music is just THERE and the Tonal quality of the music instruments, voices, and even electronica, is JUST RIGHT. WHAT did you guys have to surrender at the CROSSROADS to make blues sound so Blue??? cheers,” —drblue
Soul Superfly is our single-minded response to the needs of users of amplifiers that benefit from high-impedance 16 ohm speakers. That list of amps includes most vintage amps, and any modern amp that is, or can be optimized for a 16 ohm loudspeaker—single-ended triode (SET) vacuum tube amps, output-transformerless (OTL) vacuum tube amps, some solid-state like some of the First Watt models, and even many of the mid-fi Japanese receivers. Our design target from the outset was focused on extracting every last bit of tone and texture of such amps while getting even better power and definition out of the system. So why a 16 ohm loudspeaker in today’s market? Because there are still hundreds of amp models being made today that will sound their best on a speaker that presents an easy-going 16 ohm load.
SOUL SUPERFLY [MK.I-B] QUICK SPECS
Height: 38” [96.5cm]
Footprint: 12-9/64”square [30.8cm square]
Weight: 54 pounds [24kg]
Bandwidth: 30 – 25kHz
Efficiency: 101 dB-SPL 1W, 1m
Impedance: 16 ohm
Power Amp Range: 2 – 300 watt
Made In Ogden, Utah—U.S.A.
Soul Superfly Technologies Old & New—Meet Our Zu103ND/G1-16 10” Driver
Soul Superfly, like all Zu products, is built around the critical human voice (A1, 55Hz, through A6 and all the possible harmonics, to approximately 10kHz). Serving this critical region of tone is Zu’s 5th generation high-output 10” paper-cored nanotech sanctified full-range driver. And despite what many audio snobs might think about it based on price, Soul Superfly is a true state-of-the-art loudspeaker.
This is the same driver we developed for and use on our flagship loudspeaker Dominance. The same driver is also being used on the Definition Mk.IV and Mk.III. The original Soul Superfly driver (Zu260/G4-HO) have nearly the same aluminum basket and identical motors (the 103 with its 60 ounce top-grade ceramic magnet and big thick iron and efficient magnetic circuit) but the cones are quite different, delivering stunning attack, shove, resolution and bandwidth.
Features include a maximal motor for expanded dynamic contrast and reduced harmonic distortion; a lightweight neutrally-hung voice coil assembly with a paper/Kapton former; a linear inline 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-impregnated paper cones designed to support wide bandwidth; and a machined phase cone with concentric maximal-length sequence diffusion for smooth high frequencies. All this is anchored to a heavy aluminum alloy frame with overbuilt bonded and riveted yoke/magnet/top-plate assembly.
The nano materials and application process reduce weight while increasing strength and propagation velocity without incurring any sacrifices in damping. We lay-up the paper pulp as a core material, and essentially infuse a liquid solid matrix over it. We use nano-processed and nano-engineered materials and key components in the matrix include nanosphere ceramic balloons, nanofiber cristobalite and amorphous fumed silica. Adhesives and binders include melamine, epoxy and nitrocellulose (aircraft dope). Bitting into the paper core is the first lay-up matrix of nanofiber cristobalite and fumed silica. On this you have a stratum of nitrocellulose and nanospheres. Moving past the lighter, stronger, higher velocity cone you have the Eminence made voice-coil assembly with is combination of paper, Kapton, copper windings and proprietary Eminence adhesives. The center “phase” plug is a carry-over from the research and testing we did with Essence, and gives this driver a more linear management of high frequencies and broader dispersion from the directly-coupled-to-voicecoil inner cone. And as dynamic contrast (to-the-max shove and pop) are of primary importance with Soul Superfly, we mated the new nanotech driver with the same super-tweeter assembly used in Definition Mk.III, reworking the high-pass filter a bit to blend smoothly with the high-resolution high-output full-range driver.
Third Generation ZuGriewe Electroacoustic Technology
When matched with the proper amp, ZuGriewe driver/cabinet/room loading technology as used in Soul Superfly allows this high-efficiency loudspeaker to deliver quick, deep, articulate bass performance—an attribute rarely achieved in a passive, high-efficiency loudspeaker system of this size, and never before at this price level. (ZuGriewe is an acoustic technology originally developed for high performance competition internal combustion engine exhaust systems, for improving power output through pulse and pressure management, with increased bandwidth, while reducing noise and sound pressure levels over convention. More on the ZuGriewe tech can be found in the FAQ section.)
Standard wood finishes are top coated by UV protecting premium grade conversion varnish. All finish work is done in Zu’s custom finish shop. Other finishes are available through the Zu custom shop where sky’s the limit on your finish possibilities. Inquire for pricing.
For Music Lovers Of Every Era—Techno, ‘70s Soul, You Choose...
Soul Superfly is complete in form and quality of sound. Order your pair today, with full no-questions-asked 60-day return privileges. Pull the stuff you really listen to from the depths of your CD, LP and digital music collection, including Sly & The Family Stone / There’s A Riot Goin’ On, and let the Soul Superfly work its magic. Matched well with a suitable amp this speaker will amaze, delight and always leave you satisfied. If you want your music alive with all the passion the artist and engineers put into it, a pair of Soul Superfly Mk.I-B is the only way to go.
Amps, Engineering and Design
We love tech’ and engineering, and we love music and sound and sensation. Soul Superfly, like all Zu speakers, is designed by ear first and foremost, using engineering and measures to help isolate and realize solutions for audible improvements. Once we get any loudspeaker sounding sweet we standardize it, including the test and measures procedures and systems used to ensure the highest possible matching and quality. Zu does not engineer around someone else’s ideals, implementation of models or engineering conventions.
Here’s a short list of amps we think are a good to great match-up:
Allnic A-6000*, Allnic T-1500 , Art Audio PX-25*, Audion Black Night 845, Audion 300B 25th Anniversary, Audion Golden Dream, Bryston LP2, Denon PMA2000R Mk.IV, Dynaco ST-70*, First Watt J2 (fed balanced), First Watt SIT-1, First Watt SIT-2, Leben CS-300, Leben CS-600*, McIntoch MA6600, Melody I-2A3, Melody M-300B, Melody NS-211, Panasonic XR-25–75, Peachtree Nova, PeachTree iNova, PeachTree Decco, PeachTree Decco 65, Classic Quad II, Yamamoto A-08S*
*Best on 16 ohm tap, or special order with 16 ohm output transformer.
TIPS ON GETTING GREAT SOUND FROM SOUL SUPERFLY
Take the time to read the Soul Superfly owner’s manual, there’s a lot of good stuff in it to help you realize a fantastic sounding space. Guidebook is included with each pair of Superfly. It’s also available for download.
And please don’t hesitate to call or email, we love what we do and we are here to help.
You should have a 1/4” [6mm] or so gap between the bottom of the loudspeaker and the floor—1/4” is a good place to start, changing the gap height changes the tuning. The gap and the finger ports in the bottom of the cabinet are part of the ZuGriewe box loading technology. They are not ports as used in a bass-reflex design (Helmholtz resonators in all their forms) but the finger ports do need to see the acoustic space of the room. Blocking them turns the Soul Superfly into a “sealed” design.
Soul Superfly has been designed to account for its shorter stature, the 2˚ rake on the obelisk shaped cabinet time-aligns the super tweeter to “tilt” the sound in a slight upward direction allowing the soundscape to appear larger and taller than you would think. Users can also adjust the feet in the Soul Superfly to tilt/cant/lean the face of the speaker back, further tailoring the sound and loudspeakers integration with the room.
Soul Superfly ships with both ball-end footers, to be used for ward wood floors, and long spikes to be used for carpeted floors.
Soul Superfly Mk.I-B loudspeakers get 600 hours of factory burn-in, they will sound good right out of the box but will not give you their best for a few days or so, depending—shipping them in winter months for example seem to cause them to need more time. Other factors effecting how long they take to really open up and sing include how much play they get and what kind of music they see, louder and bigger is better, but you don’t have to go crazy, we take care of the vast majority of it for you. Nevertheless, if at first you find them restrained and a bit conservative, relax, they will come around.
Soul Superfly loudspeakers are very amp sensitive and revealing of upstream gear. And as mentioned, they are also very sensitive to the cold. If you have received, moved or stored Soul Superfly in cold temperatures they will take a week or so to again sound good.