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New ZULU Thread
Old 9th March 2017
  #1
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.
Old 9th March 2017
  #2
Gear Addict
I received mine today will put it thru some tracks tomorrow.
Old 9th March 2017
  #3
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DrSax's Avatar
Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to putting Zulu through its paces when it arrives here.
Old 9th March 2017
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
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?
Old 9th March 2017
  #5
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.
Old 9th March 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
Thanks Rob
Old 9th March 2017
  #7
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sleepyhollos's Avatar
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?
Old 9th March 2017
  #8
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ghostwriter's Avatar
Let's please post some audio files so we can hear it.
Old 9th March 2017
  #9
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Ragan's Avatar
 

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.
Old 10th March 2017
  #10
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QuintaQuad's Avatar
 

Is the $400 introductory price still in effect? Website isn't clear on that.
Old 10th March 2017
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragan View Post
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
Old 10th March 2017
  #12
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Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfurry View Post
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.
Old 10th March 2017
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Compare it to neve 542
Old 10th March 2017
  #14
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.
Old 10th March 2017
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Any samples of dry /wet signal with the Zulu? The 542 is a great sounding piece.
Old 10th March 2017
  #16
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illacov's Avatar
 

Handsome Audio SoundCloud


Thanks
-L.
Old 10th March 2017
  #17
Gear Addict
 
QuintaQuad's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
Link not working. Also, is the $400 introductory price still in effect?
Old 10th March 2017
  #18
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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
Old 10th March 2017
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
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
Old 10th March 2017
  #20
Gear Maniac
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
Old 10th March 2017
  #21
Old 11th March 2017
  #22
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illacov's Avatar
 

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

Try this instead.

Thanks
-L.
Old 11th March 2017
  #23
Gear Head
 

your link has extra stuff.... please repost


https://soundcloud.com/tod-levine_handsome-audio
Old 11th March 2017
  #24
JDM
Gear Maniac
 
JDM's Avatar
 

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

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ap6sxwjxp3...anual.pdf?dl=0
Old 11th March 2017
  #25
Lives for gear
I really like the aged, water stained look of the manual. I have a couple of real life examples of my own laying around.
Old 11th March 2017
  #26
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I want to hear gearslutz' sound samples too! or shootouts, even
Old 11th March 2017
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
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?
Old 12th March 2017
  #28
Gear Nut
 
iMixOTB's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
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
Old 12th March 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 
illacov's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iMixOTB View Post
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.
Old 12th March 2017
  #30
Lives for gear
 
DrSax's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMixOTB View Post
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.
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