ZMF Auteur Impressions and Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Hands, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Zach was kind enough to lend me an Auteur for early impressions and measurements. He said this is the production tuning. They also sound pretty good!

    He sent them to me with two sets of pads, the Eikon perforated pads and the regular Auteur pads, also perforated. The Auteur pads have a larger opening, but otherwise they are fairly similar. Here's how they sound with each set of pads.

    Auteur pads:

    - Really, really nice low end. Cleaner, better defined bass than the HD600/650. Less mid-bass bloat, more emphasis on lower octaves. Great extension. Very powerful sounding but well integrated.

    - Very smooth, gradual transition into the midrange. Midrange as a whole is close to rivaling that of the HD650.

    - Treble area is brighter and rougher than the HD650, but still sounds pretty good. Not what I'd call bright or fatiguing.

    - Staging may or may not be a little more forward and less open sounding than the HD650, but they do have a nice 3D sense to them (i.e. stuff sounding like it's in front of you). Maybe a little more like the open Focal headphones in their presentation than the HD650.

    - Nice sense of detail and resolution. Sounds snappy and crisp. Low level details seem to come through. Relatively clear sounding. I haven't really been able to ascertain their speed, ultimate resolving ability, or any sense of dynamic compression, but they're at least on par with the Eikon and Atticus, if not better.

    - Really engaging sound overall. (Spoiler alert: I prefer these pads, but if I owned an Auteur, I would use these pads with a wee bit of additional front damping to smooth the treble a bit more.)

    Eikon pads:

    - Similar bass and midrange as the above. A little more forward sounding, so not quite as clear sounding.

    - Overall darker tone. Treble sounds really good on these pads.

    - Staging is a little more forward. Even more so like the Elear or Utopia than the Auteur pads.

    - But there's something that trips me up. There's this sort of midrange aggressiveness with these pads that really bothers me. Fans of the HD600 might like this.

    - Otherwise, there are no earth shattering differences between the pads.

    Overall, I think this is a little more what people were looking for in the Elear. That, and the headphones are gorgeous. Zach did a really great job with these! These very quickly became one of my favorites.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2017
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  2. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    With the Auteur pads, you can see these have a full low-end, centered somewhere around 40-50Hz, with a gradual decline into the midrange. Extension looks good. There is a bit of an upper-mid, lower-treble rise, but it stays well below the bass and most of the mids. Some roughness, but nothing outrageous. I have no idea why my measurement rig has been chopping off everything above 8KHz as of late, but they definitely don't sound like that...

    ZMF Auteur Left Channel Frequency Response.png

    Distortion looks pretty low across the board! Bass distortion in particular basically stays below 1%.

    ZMF Auteur Left Channel Distortion.png

    CSDs indicate some extra energy around 1-2KHz, but nothing too sharp or with infinite ringing. We also see some excess treble between 5-10KHz. Nothing too bad, but ideally would be a bit faster/cleaner.

    ZMF Auteur Left CSD.PNG


    You can see the Eikon perforated pads in red vs. the Auteur pads in blue. Very similar response, but there is less of a treble rise, and smoother peaks too. That is to be expected based on hearing. What I'm not seeing is anything indicating an exaggeration in the upper-mids, and I definitely heard something in that area on the Eikon pads.

    ZMF Auteur Left Channel Frequency Response Eikon Pad Comparison.png

    Not a whole lot different in these results. I'll let you nitpick differences if you want. Still not seeing anything that screams "upper-mid problems!" So, I'll just have to leave that one as a subjective listening mystery.

    ZMF Auteur CSD Left Eikon Pads.PNG
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
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  3. Eudis Fernandes

    Eudis Fernandes Acquaintance

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    Got eikon measurements you compare it to?
     
  4. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Yes, see the Eikon measurements thread.
     
  5. Eudis Fernandes

    Eudis Fernandes Acquaintance

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Linking so people can make quick comparisons.
     
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  6. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Acquaintance

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    The ZMF Auteur is less warm than the Eikon but is an unimpressive headphone. The hard bass tends to overwhelm the mid-range when the headphone is pushed to a reasonable volume. There is no real punch then; the upper bass and lower mids are presented rather uniformly. Transients and emphasized notes do not come through. The treble is forward and slightly off. The Auteur is not a competitive flagship. Cheaper open-backed models from Sennheiser and Hifiman are just better headphones.

    However, this could be a good sub bass monitor for bedroom or small studio electronic music producers. That use won't take off given the cost and ZMF Headphone's focus on appearance over performance. The marketing shtick of handmade wooden cups and psychedelic metalwork overprices the Auteur for that well-suited function.

    Edit: I am not sure in which ZMF Auteur thread the user impressions are supposed to go. I saw "ZMF Auteur Impressions" on the sidebar, clicked it, scrolled down, and wrote my impressions. I assumed it would be in the common "Personal Audio" section, not the official "Measurements" one given the "HD 660S Impressions" thread being there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  7. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    I'm not trying to be a dick, but we're going to need more info than that coming from someone new to the community that just joined a few days ago. Where did you hear this? What equipment? How long was your audition? Which Sennheiser and hifiman models are you talking about, there is a bunch of them. We have no idea what your preferences for sound and music are.
     
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  8. k4rstar

    k4rstar Sad on the inside

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    Tell the Auteur to differentiate the different drumheads, micing techniques, compressors, and drummer heights between Rumors and Ride the Lightning. Oh wait...
     
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  9. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Thank you for the impressions! As @Mystic mentioned, some context and associated gear is always helpful for complete evaluations.
     
  10. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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    ^ He is not new
    *sigh*
    stick around. you will be exposed :D

    First lemme give you some tips
    1. provide context like what other headphones you are comparing them to not just some random general brands. All the crap Hifiman releases and Sennheiser only makes your point more confusing.
    2. provide pics or it didn't happen until you establish yourself. Even then, post pics!! Your doppelganger was here for ever and never posted one pic!
    3. Don't post only negative things about everything you hear all the time. It doesn't make you an instant authority.
    4. Talk about the gear you heard them from and don't come to a conclusion so fast without narrowing down all of the causes of the sound you are hearing. It is not like you took them home and tried them on your own gear. Now when you do this use phrases like "well from ___ amp it sounded like___". If you are not a troll (I almost laughed out loud typing that) then you need to provide even more context and use words like "in my opinion", "to my ears", "well I am not sure but... etc." Because NOONE knows you or your tastes.
    5. If everything but SENNHEISER sounds off then quit the hobby.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
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  11. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    Have not heard it, and out of the community for some time.

    But ZMF appears to be making new models like rabbits. What's up? What incredible new technological breakthrough occurred that so many new models need to be released.

    I liked his stuff then, not sure i like them enough now to go try it.
     
  12. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    Zach (I assume with some help) has developed 2 new drivers, and they have led to 3 new headphones total. Doesn't seem too crazy to me...


    I have faith in @zerodeefex 's crabbiness to sort it out if true...
     
  13. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    Not really. He had the Ori (his last T50) come out in 2015, the Atticus and Eikon last year (both with different and new drivers,) and the Auteur this year (which is an improvement on the Eikon he has been working on for quite awhile. He's still growing as a business, so having products come out at this pace (which is a reasonable one with 1-2 products yearly) is a good thing.
     
  14. captkirk

    captkirk Khan's BFF

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    Back on topic,

    @PacoTaco, how did the Auteur/Kenzie pairing suit you?

    My Atticus and Kenzie are a match made in heaven, but sometime I'm in the mood for a bit less "romance" and have been thinking about an Auteur or an Eikon. Maybe one of these elusive Blackwood Eikon's the GBeast has mentioned, or some other wood I could beg Zach to make...
     
  15. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I think it's fine and valid if @Titus Pullo doesn't care for the Auteur or finds them to be a poor choice among other options. But if it is indeed @Psalmanazar on an alt account, I wish they would just take their ban like a man. (I was not involved in their banning, nor did I personally mind Psalm myself, but respect the choice of the council.)

    Not sure how development of two different drivers for two different closed headphones, and then taking one of those and making an open model, over the course of 2 or so years counts as making new models like rabbits.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
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  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Zack has since moved on from those models based on the T50RP drivers. There is only so much one can do with those drivers. He decided to venture off into the biocellulose and TPE materials and traditional dynamic drivers; much to the delight of many.
     
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  17. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    Alright, fair enough. I hope he does well. I thought it was the same bio-cellulose drivers.

    I'll look for a demo. Thanks for correcting me.
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ZMF Auteur Frequency Response
    0 db line = 100db SPL
    ZMF Auteur Frequency Response.png
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ZMF Auteur Distortion (at above levels)
    ZMF Auteur L HD.jpg
    ZMF Auteur R HD.jpg
     
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  20. OJpos

    OJpos Acquaintance

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    How long did you spend repositioning to make it look like that? o_O
     

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