DiyMobileAudio.com Car Stereo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 70 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,716 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There has been a lot of 'controversy' over this line of amps. I bought one based on the sound in a DIYMA member's vehicle, the aesthetics of the amp, the lay out of the connections and controls, and the experience of a few members in their interactions with Patrick.

I do not have a huge amount of experience reviewing equipment, and I don't have the items needed to test the amp for power output, etc. The following is just my impressions about the buying experience and my first hour or so of listening in my vehicle (this is not a critical, analytical review). I don't have pics of the guts either (sorry AZ Grower). You may want to stop here if you don't think this 'impression' will be useful for you.

Vehicle: '02 BMW 325i
HU: Alpine 9887 – active 2 way
Tweet: Morel MT 23 6 ohm
Mid: Morel HU 621 8 ohm
For this listening – I did not have the sub amp connected (temporary – Monitor 1 with two 10” drivers). I just listened to the 4 channel running the components listed above.

I received my Zuki Eleets 4 channel amplifier this week. It arrived a full week before I expected it. Of course it was double boxed with a huge amount of packing material as others have mentioned.





Patrick also included the CD set and a little extra 'gift'. I have been going through the CDs on my home stereo (many of the tracks sound incredible on the B&W's). Included with the amp was a simple owner's manual with set up diagrams.

I installed the Zuki on a simple covered ½” MDF board – this is a temporary set up until I get the small mono and my subwoofer. The connection and control layout is my preferred design. I have installed a few different designs – connections / controls at each end of long amp (PPI art series, Monitor 1), connections on one side and controls on the opposite side (Alpine PDX 4.100).











My original intent was to connect the temporary board to the board I have behind the seats, but the angle would have made it very challenging to connect the wires and manipulate the controls. I decided to simply lay the board (with another, non-covered board under it so it wouldn't flex so badly over bumps) at the base of the rear shock towers.







Ghetto Fabulous! Just Temporary.

Listening Impressions – WOW that is the most powerful 5 watts per channel I have ever heard! Of course I have read a couple reviews that the reviewers have bench tested these amps to get a good idea of their real world output. It certainly is much more powerful than the Alpine PDX 4.100 that it replaced (gains set very close to the same levels). I say powerful because I want to convey the idea that the sound has much more authority – it is fuller, stronger - not just louder.

The 8 ohm Morel HU 621 Mids mounted mid door were driven much harder, but with better control than with the Alpine. The cones were moving pretty well, and it was very evident that I was getting much better midbass output with this amp. I rotated the gain control very slightly higher on the midbass channels to compensate for more efficient 6 ohm Morel MT 23 tweeters.

Once I connected the tweeters, I was immediately impressed with the tweeter sound. There was a noticeable difference in the definition and sparkle of the highs – I would equate it taking a towel off of the tweeters. The tracks that I played today just seemed to be a bit more alive. For example, Dave Matthews Band, Under The Table And Dreaming, Lover Lay Down – Leroi Moore's Soprano Sax sounded like it was being played in a large room – with the Alpine, I could just hear the sound of the sax, it didn't have that airiness – that live feel.

I only listened for about 1 hour – this is what I went through:

Dave: #34 and Lover Lay Down – amazing acoustical sounds, guitar and fiddle 'plucks'– Carter Beauford's toms really came out – clear and defined.

Korn: Predictable – Lot's of energy – Fieldy's bass was extremely defined in the mids – good depth to the sound

Rush: Limelight and Tom Sawyer – Neil's drums were fast and accurate – wide soundstage – felt like being at a concert – this is the remastered album – extremely clear sound.

Simplified: Elephant Sky – this is a band out of Charlotte, NC that I found recently – phenomenal! (website Simplified Music - The official website of Simplfied). With the Zuki, Clee Laster's voice was so life like – very realistic. Again, everything is so well defined compared to what I had experienced with the Monitor 1 and the Alpine 4.100. There are nuances of very familiar albums that I haven't heard before.

I played a Diana Krull song from one of Patrick's CDs – incredible sounding stand up bass, and her voice was extremely articulate and clear. I also played a cool version of 'Nothing Else Matters' – an orchestral version (not the one with Metallica) that was on one of the CDs from Patrick – fantastic cello sound – extremely dynamic, powerful, and detailed.

I was very impressed with the overall sound quality (detail, wide soundstage, midbass impact, tweeter 'sparkle') and the amount of power. It was very evident that this amplifier is more powerful that the Alpine – not just by the numbers on the HU, but by the impact of the music. To me, this amp represents a great value as well – I have paid the same amount for far inferior products in the past.

When I was auditioning Morel speakers in a shop in San Jose a few months ago, the owner was pushing me to purchase a US Amps AX-TU4360C hybrid tube amp. He was explaining that the speakers play what they are told and that true fidelity comes from the quality of the amplification (of course you need a decent source as well). He was extolling the qualities of the tubes, and my need for a powerful, warm, non-fatiguing amplifier. I certainly feel that I have achieved that goal – I spent ½ as much money on the Eleets 4 channel, there is no lengthy warm up period, no delicate tubes, and a much more attractive package IMO.

After experiencing the performance of this amplifier, I'm really excited to get the small mono from Zuki sometime in March. I am expecting the same level of quality, and the same level of improvement of my sub stage as I have experienced with my front stage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,436 Posts
another believer in zuki :) be warned....for every believer there seems to grow 4 new haters :) lol
 

·
I'm baaaack!!
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Nice review Jason. I'm glad that I was able to bring you on over to the dark side. LOL!! :)

And the Metallica Cello song you are referring to is a group of 4 Cello prodigies called Apocolyptica. They're from Europe and are simply amazing to listen to. Look for their album named "Inquisition Symphony" and you'll find several covered Metallica songs as well as several original compositions. If I had thought about it I would've given you my burned copy that I had in the xB with me the night you were in town. I have the original, but I keep it in the house and just burn off copies as needed. :) You can also PM me with your address and I'll get a copy in the mail to you.

Zach
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
How much are the Zuki amps?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
614 Posts
Regrettably, you can't get much else... I sure wish they would post some more info about the amps. Size would be excellent, fusing would be better...
 

·
I'm baaaack!!
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Regrettably, you can't get much else... I sure wish they would post some more info about the amps. Size would be excellent, fusing would be better...
ELEETS 4 channel measure 16" X 9.5" X 2.6" and are fused with dual 30A fuses. If you have any other questions, you can always shoot me a PM as I've been running these amps for quite a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Thanks for the review. Interesting indeed that these are 5w x 4 amps. Totally confuses a newb like myself who's looking for 100w+ per channel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,011 Posts
Thanks for the review. Interesting indeed that these are 5w x 4 amps. Totally confuses a newb like myself who's looking for 100w+ per channel.
Since there is really no standard on how power output is measured they can pretty much call it whatever they want. Also, since there are no printed specs, no one really knows how it's being measured. I don't doubt that it's as good as everyone says it is, but most people will not drop a decent amount of cash on a product that releases no specs. I'd love to try one out but refuse to put up the cash for that reason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Since there is really no standard on how power output is measured they can pretty much call it whatever they want. Also, since there are no printed specs, no one really knows how it's being measured. I don't doubt that it's as good as everyone says it is, but most people will not drop a decent amount of cash on a product that releases no specs. I'd love to try one out but refuse to put up the cash for that reason.
That's an interesting point. I've read that the Zuki puts out 175w a channel. So then why not just say it puts that out? Saying it's 5w x 4 and no published specs that i've seen, I just can't take that leap of faith even though some here praise them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
That's an interesting point. I've read that the Zuki puts out 175w a channel. So then why not just say it puts that out? Saying it's 5w x 4 and no published specs that i've seen, I just can't take that leap of faith even though some here praise them.
SOMETIMES YOU GOTTA HAVE FAITH... :) ALL THE REVIEWS HAVE BEEN GREAT AND THE ONLY NEGATIVES HAVE BEEN DOUBTS MAINLY BECAUSE OF THE POWER RATINGS.... I HAVE BOUGHT ONE AND AM ANXIOULSY AWAITING IT. PART OF THE REASON IS NOT THE JUST THE REVIEWS BUT THE REVIEWERS REPUTATION AS WELL.... GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR PROJECTS, ROB.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
SOMETIMES YOU GOTTA HAVE FAITH... :) ALL THE REVIEWS HAVE BEEN GREAT AND THE ONLY NEGATIVES HAVE BEEN DOUBTS MAINLY BECAUSE OF THE POWER RATINGS.... I HAVE BOUGHT ONE AND AM ANXIOULSY AWAITING IT. PART OF THE REASON IS NOT THE JUST THE REVIEWS BUT THE REVIEWERS REPUTATION AS WELL.... GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR PROJECTS, ROB.
I look forward to your review :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,524 Posts
Thanks for the review. Interesting indeed that these are 5w x 4 amps. Totally confuses a newb like myself who's looking for 100w+ per channel.
Typically as an amp outputs more of its power it will drop in distortion relative to that power output level and impedance, up to a certain point, then it will start rising and depending on the amp, the difference in power between that minimum THD point and 1% can huge.

Here's a pretty good example chart of power output versus THD for 2,4,8 ohms.




One reason I'm assuming that he rates the amps that way is because music on a speaker can be a much more demanding load from the amps point of view then a sine wave on a resistive load so what good is it to have that RMS number.

Audiograph - Home of the PowerCube
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,716 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
HIS4 and kid red - I know exactly how you feel - very difficult to buy based on some subjective comments on how a piece of equipment performs when it seems the empirical evidence is not supporting those conclusions. I had the good fortune to hear this amp prior to buying. An incredibly cool DIY member (boostedrex) agreed to drive over 3 hours round trip to meet up with me in northern California when I was out there for a business trip. I was auditioning the SI Mag, but I was lucky enough to audition the zuki in the process.

My audition wasn't perfect though – he had a 4 channel Eleets on a pair of tweets and a pair of midranges and another 4 channel bridged to a pair of 6.5” drivers. We didn't drive the speakers very hard, but I could perceive the amount of power on tap. The quality of sound was astounding – of course, this was a vehicle with very good components and a very good install. I knew that when I purchased and installed in my car, I would have a two way set up on one amp, I basically had to guess as to how it would sound.

Another thing I understand concerning the 'ratings' issue – the lack of information about the amps. I sent you to Zukiaudio.net and you were disappointed. I am a huge brochure guy – I have brochures of equipment I couldn't possibly buy (I used to have a Stereophile subscription $20K amps). I like reading the marketing material of the quality of the equipment and the specifications, etc. You just won't get that on Zuki's site. Of course I am coming from the position of a satisfied customer, not someone who is on the fence and not sure if they should make the investment. If Patrick had written a few flattering things and posted the 'specs' that he has written in his owner's manual, that wouldn't have made me sure that I was making a good decision.

I never heard of Zuki amps before I listened to one in Zach's car. I read some reviews afterward (DIY and other sites – typed zuki in Google) and decided to sell my Alpine and my JL to purchase two Zuki's. I didn't listen to an Alpine 9887 prior to purchasing and I listened to one set of Morel's in a vehicle prior to purchasing (bad install – played extremely loud). It is difficult to properly audition mobile equipment prior to the purchase (a little easier in home audio), you can listen to it on the board, but that doesn't come close to an in-car experience – especially in your car with your other components.

Another cool thing about my purchase is that I feel that this is the amp I'm going to keep. I don't feel that I could improve on the sound unless I spent thousands more – and then you are in the area of diminishing returns. I have been a huge Genesis fan (never heard them – just seeing the reputation of the company, the build quality, and reading the build logs of the guys that use them). I almost purchased a Profile 4 based on what some guys told me about the way they sounded – this would have been 50 x 4 – I was just hoping that it would be powerful enough. This amp retails for $800 – I have never heard it, but I can't believe that it would sound better in my car than this Zuki.

My comment on the RMS issue:
1)If Patrick had stated that his amp produces 250 watts RMS per channel – and it was benched at *175 watts RMS per channel – it would be considered false advertising – a lynch mob would be formed.

2)If Patrick had stated that his amp produces 100 watts RMS per channel – and it was benched at *175 watts RMS per channel – than it would be a bonus – wow, I'm getting more than what I thought I was getting (birth sheets for Alpine 4.100 – often they are 'benched' at about 128x4).

3)Patrick states that the amp puts out 5 watts per channel at a certain THD – this isn't false advertising – it certainly does put out 5 watts per channel + a few more. I understand that if your tweeters can handle 75 watts per channel, than it would make you wary of buying something that could possibly do far greater than that (in my instance – the Morels can probably handle the full power of this amp – so not really fair for me to diminish this concern). If your tweets handle 75 watts, and you are not turning up the gains all the way and twisting the volume all the way – you should still experience incredible sound quality and a great deal of head room with this amp.
*I'm picking a number that I have seen in a review as an approximation of the power of the Zuki – I did not bench test it myself.

Finally (I know – when is he going to stop), I mentioned in my review the guy that was pushing the tube amp from US Amps – I complained to him (because he was blowing me away with an incredibly loud (75w x 4) amp that sounded amazing on a set of Morel Elates– totally shattering what I thought was good sound) that in the 20 years that I have been involved with this hobby – I have bought and sold so many pieces of equipment – I have lost a ton of money over the years – selling for ½ of what I paid. He explained that he experienced that as well, but at some point, you get a few good pieces (doesn't have to be the most expensive equipment – getting the best value is a great thing!), and you will feel satisfied. I didn't think that was possible – as soon as I purchased, installed, and listened for a little while – I would get bored with it or read a build log where someone is extolling the qualities of the new …..... and I would figure out how to purchase it. I am extremely happy with my Morels and I am extremely happy with this Zuki amp. I don't see me ever getting rid of these pieces of equipment (still undecided about the 9887 – I really liked Zach's DRZ :D).

As I mentioned – I am purchasing the Zuki small mono (sending out the MO today) without even seeing a picture of it – I have the specification of 15 watts x 1 and the performance of the 4 channel as my reference. I believe that the mono amp on a SI Mag will complete my system – and hopefully that will be it – I will start listening to music for it's own merit and enjoyment instead of always critically listening to evaluate the quality of my components. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,011 Posts
I have no issue with underrating whatever. I'd just like to know what those rating are based off. The spec given is so incomplete it is basically useless. Any meaningful power rating includes power output over a defined bandwidth with an associated THD. Why is it such a big deal to keep that information from the customer? Are those specs included with the amp when you buy it? I think those are things that should be given to the customer. If the amps are really putting out 175W/ch like some have measured, what benefit is there to rate them at 5W/ch?

So it's not really the actual spec that's important but the motive for not providing it. That's what makes people second guess their decision to buy these amps.
 

·
I'm baaaack!!
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
I have no issue with underrating whatever. I'd just like to know what those rating are based off. The spec given is so incomplete it is basically useless. Any meaningful power rating includes power output over a defined bandwidth with an associated THD. Why is it such a big deal to keep that information from the customer? Are those specs included with the amp when you buy it? I think those are things that should be given to the customer. If the amps are really putting out 175W/ch like some have measured, what benefit is there to rate them at 5W/ch?

So it's not really the actual spec that's important but the motive for not providing it. That's what makes people second guess their decision to buy these amps.
I know this is going to sound odd to most people, but nothing is being hidden/kept from potential customers. And no, there are no additional specs listed in the product manual you get when you buy an amp from Patrick. The thing is, Patrick is a hard core home audio guy and his goal is to reproduce a signal with the lowest amount of distortion possible. That is why his amps are rated the way they are. He isn't running them up until the clipping point to get power measurements. He sets a tolerable stopping point for THD in a signal and runs the amps up to that point. That is where he takes his measurements. This is night and day different than pretty much every other amp manufacturer on the market. It's simply a different way of thinking than what we're all used to. Does that make it a bad thing? No, it's just different than the norm.

What you're seeing when you see the bench testing of Zuki amps at 175 watts per channel (for example) is the amp being driven up until the point of clipping or until distortion rises above 1%. That is a different way than they are rated by Patrick. It's not that one is incorrect, it's just taking measurements from different points on the same "curve" as it were.

If you ever have questions about his amps, email Patrick. He is always very forthcoming about any details you are curious about. The only time he gets annoyed is when people get hung up about power ratings. If you email him asking about damping factor, signal to noise ratio, channel seperation, etc..... he'll answer you in great detail. Or ask him why he designs, rates, sells his amps the way he does and you'll get the same in depth answer. When you ask him about power, he'll answer with "my amps will power those drivers just fine" or "I don't think that this amp will power those drivers sufficiently" (the latter referring to an ELEETS 4 channel powering an 18" sub or something similar). I have yet to see a driver that the ELEETS 4 channel wouldn't drive beautifully. I'm talking about tweets, mids, midbass, small subs here as I don't own any large subs. I wouldn't expect anything short of a dedicated sub amp to push a large sub anyway.

Hopefully this will answer some of the questions/concerns that were brought up in the last several posts. And thanks for the compliments Jason, you are far too kind.

Zach
 
1 - 20 of 70 Posts
Top