It's not das Freiburger ZeltMusikFestival. Nor is it ein Zahnmedizinischer Fachassistent. Germans and their compound words. To address that distinction, he'd send me his latest flagship in open and closed flavours. Respectively, those go by Auteur and Eikon. Both are woodies. Such options reflect different pricing and subtly different sonics.
Ditto upgraded cabling. There are even swappable pads to tweak the tuning further. Rather than my way or the highway, Zach's philosophy is to present us with a solid base, then leave certain sonic finishing touches to his clients. He's also big on hand crafting. That positions ZMF as an artisanal boutique, not an industrial outfit with white-frocked supervisors overseeing assembly robotics.
ZMF are located just west of Chicago, Illinois and have been doing headphones full-time since Before that, it was a side business of Fostex modifications for friends and fellow students. That helped Zach pay off his student loans. Like 6moons turning into a full-time gig, it apparently was just one of those things which happen along the way.
He started life as Jimmy McGill. He was fun; the ultimate sleazebag lawyer. I remember Bob Odenkirk asking me, 'You guys are going to kill me off pretty quick? We built a set. We can't afford to kill you off'. As Zach's video explains, the design element of the Auteur's rosetta grill was inspired by old banjos and French stained glass. The name, like in the movies, reflects the fact that everything about this model is his personal vision, experience and doing.
Of course wood grain has its own say, too. That's part of working with and the charm of any organic material. No two will ever be the same, exactly.
But once more, this isn't a modified Fostex in new clothes. This is a ground-up effort.January World Premiere Review!
Review By Dave Hanson. O ver the past few years ZMF Headphones owner Zach Mehrbach has built a strong reputation within the personal audio community as one of the foremost modders of the popular Fostex T50RP headphone. Inspiration struck after a chance encounter with the legendary Sony R10 at an audio show.
Widely considered to be one of the greatest headphones of all-time, he became enamored with the ultra-rare R10's stunning sound quality and oddly contoured wooden cup design. The Sony's cups were machined from year-old Aizu Zelkova wood into a compound curve shape. The unique structure was said to give the cup a three-dimensional form that could more realistically mimic the feel of a live concert hall.
ZMF EIKON & ZMF ATTICUS
He also added a series of five open slots around the circumference of the cups to assist in tuning the headphones, making these the first cups ever to combine the benefits of compound curve acoustics and a semi-open design. Both headphones use an identical cup design, but the dynamic drivers found within are quite different, in both material and sound.
The other headphone, the Atticus, uses a diaphragm made from thermoplastic elastomer TPE. This synthetic compound offers an excellent balance of elasticity and rigidity, giving it nearly ideal sonic properties. They each clock-in with an impedance of around ohms, and as is often the case with high-impedance headphones, they tend to excel when paired with OTL output transformer-less tube amps.
They were even able to eek out a respectable amount of volume from an iPhone 6. They are comfortable to wear, stunning to look at Of the four possible combinations of woods and drivers, these two headphones will be the farthest apart.
The Eikon driver and padauk housing each being slightly more crisp and analytical sounding, while the Atticus driver and cherry cup both lean a little more to the lush and euphonic side.
According to ZMF, the drivers have a larger overall impact on the final sound than the wood choice. Choosing the right one is a matter of figuring out what you value most from your headphone. The Eikon feels a little bit higher definition, offering a linear signature and exceptional clarity. There is a certain edge to the sound, which is finely contoured on the front and back end of each note.
The sound is pretty linear, but a little colored overall with a bit of extra energy in the sub-bass and upper midrange. This additional emphasis makes the headphone an exceptional performer at low volumes, as the clarity and impact still shine through quite easily.
Getting into the individual frequency ranges, the bass on the Eikon is nicely extended, with a powerful sub-bass presence. Still, the decay is quick and accurate, making this headphone just as good for EDM as it is for classical.Enterprisedb vs postgresql
Mid-bass is briskly paced with a squeaky clean transition into the lower midrange. Adding a tube amp can offer a touch of euphonic bloom in this area, and with so much clarity to spare, I didn't find it to hurt the Eikon's sound one bit. I found the lower midrange to be tastefully done without any additional sense of bloat.A320 operators in canada
If I had to make one complaint, It'd say the upper mids have a pinch of shouty-ness at louder volumes with some genres, but that little touch of extra presence also brought out a nice bit of an edge on guitars that made them more energetic and engaging, so it's a bit of a tradeoff.
Treble is flat and controlled without being dull or harsh. Mehrbach credits the biocellulose driver for giving him the ability to walk this fine line with the treble so effectively. The upper treble air is quite good for a headphone that is semi-closed, giving the Eikon a more open sound than I expected. The attack and decay are very impressive here with a very quick initial transient response and a decay that hangs around just long enough to give the headphone a little pinch of extra body.
The background is deep and black, which allows sounds to separate cleanly with strong imaging. The compound curve design of the cup offers obvious benefits to the overall soundscape, particularly when paired with binaural recordings and Dolby Headphone or similar surround processing.
Listening to Cheskey Records' binaural version of Mozart's Divertemento in D, the "concert hall" effect is in full swing as you are transported to the symphony by simply closing your eyes.
The feel of the room is full and quite realistic, which is an especially notable accomplishment since the headphone is mostly closed-back in design. Width and depth are well above average here.Discussion in ' Headphones ' started by gbeastOct 1, Super Best Audio Friends. Read these "rules" AND introduce yourself before your first post.
A healthy approach to understanding measurements Being true to what the artists intended. Page 3 of 39 Prev I'm kinda wondering if you wanted to have the most different listening experience between the Atticus and Eikon, what species of wood would you order.
Atticus in cherry and Eikon in Paduk? ButtUglyJeffOct 16, Vanheim and bazelio like this. I haven't seen weight mentioned here. The Blackwoods, IMO, are a bit heavy and fatiguing. How do the Clay Eikons compare in weight?
It looks like they are about g in Padauk but I don't see weight info on the Blackwoods. The Eikon sat heavy on my head, the weight was noticeable. MerrickOct 16, TwoEars and bazelio like this. It's cool I have to do more sit-ups and neck pull-ups anyway, not just for the Zach Elronds.
Wilson likes this. Don MillerLurkerDownVanheim and 4 others like this. That's good to know, thank you for confirming!3d dungeon tiles free
Cherry: grams Padauk: grams Presumably that refers to final production weights? VanheimMerrickHuxleigh and 3 others like this. Glad that you opted for padauk as the "hard" alternative to cherry, Zach. Aesthetically, it's one of my favorite wood types.
Both look excellent in the various promo images. Last edited: Oct 16, HuxleighOct 16, HALOct 16, I wonder if the Eikon would turn out to be the super HD that Elear failed to be. SoupRKnowvaOct 16, It strikes me as ironic that their headphones were prominent at RMAF, but "unfortunately" will be absent at the most important headphone gathering of the year.
PacoTacoOct 16, Discussion in ' Headphones ' started by VtoryJul 21, Super Best Audio Friends. Read these "rules" AND introduce yourself before your first post. A healthy approach to understanding measurements Being true to what the artists intended. Page 3 of 11 Prev I received a VC review unit yesterday and already got in a few hours of listening and all I can say is wow.
I'm going to write up a full review eventually, but for those of you curious about VC, they are excellent. Now let me preface my background because I am a regular reviewer for Zach and I own both Auteur and Atticus and have long proclaimed that ZMF house sound just really fits my preferences.
So consider my fanboi-ism and take what I say with a grain of salt and all that. If you are familiar with Verite open then the VC sounds just like it, but just "more". More in your face, more aggressive, more visceral. Sort of reminds me of Utopia actually. The main difference between VO and Utopia to me is that VO has more space which feels "laid back", though that term is very relative here since VO isn't really a laid back headphone by any means. It is just as fast and dynamic as Utopia, but Utopia is just more in your face like you are sitting on stage with the band.
VO is like sitting 10 rows back. But VC basically closes that spacing gap that VO has and brings you front and center in the way Utopia does. VC also manages to not sound particularly closed in the way that Atticus and Eikon do. I actually forget I'm wearing a closed back.
ZMF Verite Closed
You get all the speed, dynamics, punchyness, and timbre that makes VO superb, but with the benefits of a closed back. Previously, I have been declaring VO my absolute favorite headphone of all time for my tastes and preferences and was saving up to buy my own.Discussion in ' Headphones ' started by gbeastOct 1, Super Best Audio Friends.
Read these "rules" AND introduce yourself before your first post. A healthy approach to understanding measurements Being true to what the artists intended. Page 38 of 39 Prev Last edited: Jul 30, LyanderJul 30, Aeron and Jinxy like this. ClaudJul 30, Thanks, Lyer The last one is the Eikon with its new Norne Silvergarde S3 layered headphone cable using my computer audio system to break in both Eikon and cord for about hours.
This is an Eikon with a magnesium chassis like comes standard on Verite. Jinxy likes this. AeronJul 31, Put them on 30 minutes ago to hear how they were doing.
They already beat the crap out of my previous closed headphone, the Mr Speakers Ether closed no Flow. Eikon has better more articulate bass, very nice detail and a midrange to die for. The best thing is that they are so musically involving. Zach says to break in for hours.
ClaudAug 1, Aeronzachm and Jinxy like this. Simple Elegance Hey Guys! Today we are talking about another great pair of headphones from ZMF, the Eikon. I will copy my blurb about ZMF Headphones from my Verite review, as nothing has changed on that front.
Although I have only had correspondence with him via email, he comes across as incredibly helpful, supportive, and proud of his work. Of course, as time has passed there are now other models, but the Eikon and Atticus are the original twosome. The pair of Eikon Zach sent me is done in Camphor wood. Again, as I mentioned in my Verite review, there are supposedly small changes in sound between the difference wood types, but I think you would see more of a difference changing to a different pair of pads, than a different wood type.
Speaking of pads, again ZMF Headphones has a superb system available. There are multiple different pads to choose from, in multiple different materials. For my pair of review Eikons, I had a pair of leather Eikon pads, and suede Eikon pads.Bose soundtouch 300 vs soundbar 700
Both pads offered a sound signature I enjoyed, and the change was not subtle. I will get into this a little bit more later on.
With all that being said.New customer? Create your account. Lost password? Recover password. Remembered your password?
Back to login. Already have an account? Login here. The unit provides both balanced and single-ended source inputs and headphone outputs. It is worth noting that it is only the faceplate of the unit that is colored. The main body of the case is finished in black, regardless of what color unit you choose. The unit I am reviewing is equipped with this module, which will be included in this evaluation.
The large, central, illuminated volume dial is buttery-smooth. All sockets mate solidly with both input and headphone connectors. Labels are clear and concise, with the functions they indicate being entirely unambiguous.
The only minor quibble I could cite with the build is that the casework can exhibit a little bit of flex towards the rear of the unit. The Phonitor x has a number of interesting features, some of which herald from the professional market, some from the audiophile world and some are relatively uncommon, but quite welcome, in either:.
For a start, it is clearly both an entirely neutral and highly transparent performer. That has a built-in headphone output that, by definition, offers the most transparent delivery possible from that unit. With some headphones, I feel DAVE lacks sufficient raw grunt to get the job done convincingly and really needs an external amplifier to deliver their best e.
It covers up nothing, makes excuses for nothing, and lets the source show its true colors without omission or editorialization. Transient response, perhaps most subtly exemplified by plucked strings and most vividly by rapid-fire electronic percussion is, to say the least, first class.
Listening to one of my favorite instruments, the piano, both from commercial and my own recordings of my own instrumentillustrates a pure, unwavering tonality. No emphasis, no bias, just a pure and honest reproduction of what the unit is being fed. Treble is delightfully smooth, but without any loss of detail and maintains an excellent sense of air, space and, where called for, delivers any sparkle present in the source material.
Bass is reproduced with excellent drive, slam and control and yet retains its texture. Tunes played in the lowest bass registers are ably communicated. Some of this is no doubt due to the significant available power, combined with larger than typical voltage drive, which seems to make for particularly effective pairings with higher-impedance headphones. Though that's down to the headphones and not the amp, in this case. Both upper and lower registers blend perfectly, seamlessly, into a fully detailed and present midrange.
Instruments sound the way they are supposed to with no artificial edges added nor any softening of their natural bite. Detail and resolution are superlative; where brush strokes on cymbals or drum-skins are so well rendered that you can hear when the wire bundle is split or part of it clips the rim of the drum head.
If you want to pick a mix apart or focus on part of an orchestra, the Phonitor x is an excellent tool.
This is set against a dead-silent, carbon-black, background. At no point, in normal operation, was the background anything other than completely silent. And it is, perhaps, in part due to the absolute void against which the music is delivered that results in the presentation being one of absolute clarity and vividity.
FS: ZMF Eikon Padauk Headphones
It is really an advanced, analog-domain, crossfeed 2 system that allows simulation of interaural time and volume differences at various user-selectable levels.
Nor was it always a beneficial change.Discussion in ' Headphones ' started by gbeastOct 1, Super Best Audio Friends. Read these "rules" AND introduce yourself before your first post.
A healthy approach to understanding measurements Being true to what the artists intended. Page 34 of 39 Prev God damn those Cocobolo cans are beautiful. Last edited: Nov 11, TwoEarsNov 11, TwoEars : All good!
I know what you mean My opinions are of course colored from the personal experiences I had. Before that for a very short time I had a SS Violectric V which had so much treble roll off it was not funny anymore.
Compared to these two my serbian made Trafomatic Head 2 for headphones and my german made Octave V40 for speakers are both like a fresh breeze on top Both are push-pull, so it is a bit easier or at least cheaper to get good extension. I actually think the Eikon - and I am sure Atticus and Auteur as well - are doing really well with the right choice of tube amps. Managed to clear up most of the mid range confusion along with some other anomalies in the highs.
This alone did wonders for the imaging. Then I did some tuning to the bass and mids to make the headphone sound more spacious and give the bass a more realistic impact. All tuning done on a Fiio e18 not the best source, but it's portability was a must for me during late night study sessions so your milage may vary.
Here is a Screenshot of the EQed flat and the tuned profiles. Can give a drive download link for the equalizer APO files on request. Edit: Here is a good song to show the tuning differences between the EQed flat and tuned profiles:.
Last edited: Dec 28, ElnrikDec 28, Good question.
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