Dunu Zen Pro Impressions

The Dunu Zen Pro was just announced this week on Head-Fi and I'd like to share some of my pre-release findings from a Dunu-hosted survey conducted a few months ago that I participated in. I was provided with a pre-release Dunu Zen Pro and was asked to compare it to the original Dunu Zen that I had reviewed last year. 

I was asked to do a quick listen and survey PRIOR to seeing any graphs of it, including graphing it myself, and then after completing that initial assessment, to go measure it myself, and re-assess the findings. 

First off, here's a takeaway from the PRE-LISTENING results:

Zen Pro Sound Signature:  Warm-Neutral

What changed the most? Upper-Midrange (1-5KHz)

With respect to overall sound experience, please note the aspect(s) you believe ZEN PRO has changed most, compared to ZEN

It sounds warmer, though, also sounds more compressed. Lacks the dynamics of the original Zen but perhaps a more warm tonal balance.

There were other questions, but this was just a quick snapshot of some of the answers. I then measured the two units over again, and is shown below:

And finally, the final impressions of the sample unit:

I mentioned in my subjective experience that I felt the 1-5K Upper mids sounded less pronounced, which is apparent here. I also felt that there was a bit of dynamic highs missing, which is probably evident in the treble peak being tamed down.

In the first stage, I did also perform a scoring analysis of the Zen Pro vs Zen relative to one another. Here were my results:

Please rate the following categories for the degree to which they have (or have not) improved *

Forest Plot Style, a '0' means the two are about the same; -5 strongly favors ZEN, +5 strongly favors ZEN PRO
Overall Tonal Balance
Bass Texture
Bass Layering
Bass Extension
Midrange Resolution
Vocal Forwardness
Vocal Realism
Overall Harshness
Treble Presence
Treble Extension
Treble Smoothness
Timbral Realism
Dynamic Range Reproduction
Transient Speed
Overall Resolution

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