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-   -   New ZULU Thread (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/1143281-new-zulu-thread.html)

Rob Coates 9th March 2017 01:32 AM

New ZULU Thread
 
Since people are now receiving their ZULU, and testing it, I think it's time for a new thread dedicated to ZULU. I got mine this morning and spent the day putting it through it's paces. Didn't quite get it at first but discovered it's really, really tweakable. Once I found the sweet spot for me, and did the first listening tests, I almost peed my pants. This box sounds better than any reel to reel I ever had in the past. Really does that velvety tape thing well. I have an Aphex 125a preceeding it and driving ZULU pretty hard. Then I have the ZULU output going into the line inputs of a DBX 386 pre. The best tape sound I was able to get from ZULU came from having the switches on the back set to position1: TK;
Used the Pro setting for the deck, bias half way up (6 clicks from the lowest position); no Enhancement; and the Headroom controls on the highest setting. I'll probably just leave everything that way. I used a couple previous CDs I'd done that were all digital and kind of cold sounding. I split the signal and set the dry and processed through ZULU lines side by side on my console and carefully matched levels. Switching back and forth, I couldn't believe how great ZULU sounded and how much like the best tape sound I could ever dream of getting. Let the buzz begin. This box is the real thing. I predict it will leave all other tape emulation software or hardware in the dust.

kmade 9th March 2017 03:29 AM

I received mine today will put it thru some tracks tomorrow.

DrSax 9th March 2017 05:40 AM

Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to putting Zulu through its paces when it arrives here.

Drumhead57 9th March 2017 06:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob Coates (Post 12490845)
I have an Aphex 125a preceeding it and driving ZULU pretty hard. Then I have the ZULU output going into the line inputs of a DBX 386 pre.

Thanks for sharing this info Rob Coates, sounds like we're all in for a real treat.

To get my bearings straight on this; Due to Zulu's passive nature will I need to run signal from a mic pre to Zulu, then the output of Zulu should pass to another mic pre? Or can that signal go directly into my converters?

Rob Coates 9th March 2017 06:42 AM

You don't really need something to boost the signal on each end. i believe if you feed it a pretty hot signal, you should be OK. Having a preamp on the output however, gives you control (obviously) over the output levels which is really useful.

Drumhead57 9th March 2017 07:08 AM

Thanks Rob

sleepyhollos 9th March 2017 01:29 PM

Seems interesting. I'm curious to see how much they'll street at in the UK. I'd like to check one out but with the weak pound and factoring of import duty buying from the US is a little pricey.

Does anybody know whether there is a UK distributor?

ghostwriter 9th March 2017 05:41 PM

Let's please post some audio files so we can hear it. rockout

Ragan 9th March 2017 09:55 PM

I posted some thoughts already in the other thread.

Did some more testing last night, really digging Zulu.

FWIW, I've now done two different level matched blind AB's on myself with Zulu vs Slate VTM on the 2 bus and Zulu takes the cake handily.

QuintaQuad 10th March 2017 12:04 AM

Is the $400 introductory price still in effect? Website isn't clear on that.

bigfurry 10th March 2017 12:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ragan (Post 12493241)
I posted some thoughts already in the other thread.

Did some more testing last night, really digging Zulu.

FWIW, I've now done two different level matched blind AB's on myself with Zulu vs Slate VTM on the 2 bus and Zulu takes the cake handily.

Ragan,
How are you driving the Zulu and what settings are you comparing between the Zulu and VTM!? Really interested to get Zulu dialed in-
thank you,
Sean

Ragan 10th March 2017 01:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigfurry (Post 12493726)
Ragan,
How are you driving the Zulu and what settings are you comparing between the Zulu and VTM!? Really interested to get Zulu dialed in-
thank you,
Sean

This was just using Zulu as a HW insert, no other gear in the loop. I think I was on the cleanest Zulu settings with bias maybe at noon? VTM I'd have to check. 1/2" definitely, probably 30 ips and 456.

Greendale 10th March 2017 03:16 AM

Compare it to neve 542

Rob Coates 10th March 2017 03:57 PM

I had a pair of 542s for a while. ZULU smokes the 542. I couldn't get the 542s to sound much like tape. With ZULU it's unmistakable.

Greendale 10th March 2017 06:20 PM

Any samples of dry /wet signal with the Zulu? The 542 is a great sounding piece.

illacov 10th March 2017 07:24 PM

Handsome Audio SoundCloud


Thanks
-L.

QuintaQuad 10th March 2017 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by illacov (Post 12495419)

Link not working. Also, is the $400 introductory price still in effect?

bigfurry 10th March 2017 09:35 PM

Thank you for putting together the manual!!! It helped me continue to get a handle on this new creature. Of course, its reactions are so gain dependent that you can't proscribe for all situations but it's a really useful start.

I found sweet sounds combining "opposites", like the Hi end deck with low headroom, and then dialing the audible distortion back with the enhance knob, all the while adjusting the amount of gain in to get it just right. Another approach which brings a grittier distortion is hsving the headroom and deck selection to Pro but shifting the calibration to tracking, which also did something nice to the bass. I found extreme settings of bias (far left into less treble and maybe lower compression threshold?) counteracted by a few clicks of enhance. Starting to get there!

Langston, thanks for the call, btw. Righteous customer support. Can you speak to the compression threshold side of the bias control? Low mid comp sort of?

Thank you!

Sean

Drumhead57 10th March 2017 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by illacov (Post 12495419)

Head's up: Just clicked on the HA SoundCloud link above;

This site can’t be reached

https’s server DNS address could not be found.
DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

eshepherd 10th March 2017 11:33 PM

Maybe it's an issue with a mobile link? This one seems to be working on my desktop:

https://soundcloud.com/tod-levine_handsome-audio

borg64 10th March 2017 11:56 PM

Is it this one?

illacov 11th March 2017 01:04 AM

https://soundcloud.com/tod-levine_handsome-audio

Try this instead.

Thanks
-L.

BigBlackWolf 11th March 2017 01:10 AM

your link has extra stuff.... please repost


https://soundcloud.com/tod-levine_handsome-audio

JDM 11th March 2017 07:36 PM

I combined the manual stuff and created a PDF. Feel Free to use!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ap6sxwjxp3...anual.pdf?dl=0

Drumhead57 11th March 2017 08:30 PM

I really like the aged, water stained look of the manual. I have a couple of real life examples of my own laying around. kfhkh

monkeyxx 11th March 2017 10:22 PM

I want to hear gearslutz' sound samples too! or shootouts, even cooge

Drumsound 11th March 2017 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob Coates (Post 12490845)
This box sounds better than any reel to reel I ever had in the past. Really does that velvety tape thing well.

What tape machines have you had?

iMixOTB 12th March 2017 12:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob Coates (Post 12494972)
I had a pair of 542s for a while. ZULU smokes the 542. I couldn't get the 542s to sound much like tape. With ZULU it's unmistakable.

One of the best gear manufacturer in the world vs basement gear..
and it "smokes it". Sounds legit.
GS classic

illacov 12th March 2017 12:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iMixOTB (Post 12498000)
One of the best gear brand in the world vs basement gear..
and it "smokes it". Sounds legit.
GS classic

Our equipment is actually made in several facilities that specialize in aeronautics assembly and design. When I first visited our case factory I was expecting a "shop," instead I was taken on the tour of the businesses campus. The same was true of our electronics house, expectations far exceeded. Each of these businesses employs hundreds of US Citizens in the great state of Arizona. It is something we pride ourselves on.

There's nothing "basement," about the way Zulu is made.

Thanks
-L.

DrSax 12th March 2017 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iMixOTB (Post 12498000)
One of the best gear manufacturer in the world vs basement gear..
and it "smokes it". Sounds legit.
GS classic

Rob has first hand experience.

I'd keep judgements on Zulu to a minimum until you try it. I have the Zulu and it is very impressive. It has completely exceeded my expectations. I have not tried the Rupert Neve Tape sim... and Zulu is certainly not "basement" gear. It is clearly pro. It outperforms many very reputable, expensive pieces of gear in my studio.