ZMF Compendium

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by ChaChaRealSmooth, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. k1arg

    k1arg Facebook Friend

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    Just to calm my worries, it is the power transformers that are scarse, rather than Lundahl output transformers, right?
     
  2. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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  3. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

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    I do indeed enjoy the hell out of the Pendant/Aeolus combo...Verite too is well served. No surprise really, Zach had a hand in the tuning. I highly recommend checking out this amp if anyone gets the chance.
     
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  4. perogie

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    There's a new Pendant on the way or maybe it is already out there and the price hasn't yet been increased, I think there were improvements incorporated over time. New pot and Jupiter caps from what I recall. 2500 up from 2000. Perhaps there is already a post about it somewhere on the forum but I haven come across it.
     
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  5. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

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    Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 1.26.50 PM.png

    Made this last night as something of a personal reference for my impressions. Not sure if it will be useful to anyone, but figured I would post it.

    Suffice to say these are personal impressions. They're largely in line with the chart @ChaChaRealSmooth posted on the first page, but I've added a few additional categories. This graph was made from listening to each headphone with SW51+ and Bifrost 2. Relevant pads (and woods): Eikon Suede Perf for Cocobolo Auteur, Universe Lambskin Perf for Silkwood Verite, and Universe Suede Perf for Sapele Aeolus. One important note: didn't ever own all these headphones at same time, so I'm going off memory and the past impressions I wrote with Verite. Let me know if I got anything egregiously wrong here.

    To define some of the terms that aren't used as much here...

    Textural Realism: The degree to which textures of instruments sound like they are realistic representations of the actual instruments. Related, of course, to richness and microdynamics.

    Richness: Roughly speaking, the saturation of notes, or their “thickness”.

    Vibrancy: Borrowed this from @eschaaf. Roughly speaking, the extent to which notes “pop” out of the background. Greyness vs. tonal color and contrast, “Sonic saltiness”.

    Midrange Balance: The extent to which the mid-range sounds neutral and flat, not emphasizing either the upper-midrange or the lower mid-range.

    Speed of Attack/Sharpness of Attack: Took these from here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...tive-terms-used-on-superbaf.3400/#post-100490. Basically, speed of attack how fast the object is going when it hits you, whereas sharpness is whether that object is a rock or a pillow. Sharper transients will emphasize leading edge notes more, while speedy transients won’t necessarily do this.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  6. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    I never had the Auteur, but I did have the Eikon (same driver). I would not have rated this driver as high on "textural realism", "layering", and thus "microdynamics". IMO it just does not have the resolve to rate it so close to the Verite, even if it is more balanced from a FR perspective.
     
  7. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    FR is whatever on a ZMF between all the pads; I keep my Auteur because it has the best timbre I've heard from a can that lacks what I consider critical weaknesses - senn 600s fail for me on multiple counts - but it's no audio scalpel, the Vs driver is on another level in pure technicalities.

    Given I daily Vs there's always an adjustment period when I fire up the Af with the Auteur where I'm expecting the acid-trip hyper-realism of the Vs and don't hear it.

    Biodyna drivers are just softer, zach even added a bit of polymer to it just to keep the inherent floppyness under some level of control.
     
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  8. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Poopsmith

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    Very nice work. A few points I would change, but something about opinions and assholes. Having done this for myself now, I get how difficult this is to do.

    To quote Marv,
     
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  9. will_f

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    I’ve been debating purchasing a Verite but I guess I’m having a hard time justifying spending that much money when I’m so pleased with the Auteur sound. Acid trip realism has appeal though.
     
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  10. Erroneous

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    @Taverius When you say the Af very much fails at the Vs, that has not been my experience and I'm wondering if you could elaborate on that.
     
  11. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    If I only had the Af I'd probably be really happy with that, but compared to the T4, my no-feedback Af does little to boost the Vs strengths, and ends up sounding a bit slow and soft by comparison.

    Its not, but the Veritès are weird, in that they're the only other dynamics near as fast as Utopias, and to do that well with an Af I'd want to add the feedback in, swap tubes, and probably tweak the caps too.

    The drivers are so fast that if you've got any compromise in the chain that trades speed and control off for something you're leaving a lot on the table, and once you've heard what they can do it's hard to go back.

    Keep in mind both of my Vs are LTD - ziricote and Ironwood I think? - so the perceptual space for "speed" and "transient hygiene" are that little bit more extreme. YMMV.

    Also, i like Universe Leather or Be2 Leather pads on the Veritès, and those plus the Af ends up with an over-expanded and disjointed soundstage, as noted by @jexby way back in his initial expressions.

    As always, with gear this high end, there is an implied "with my ears, my source, dac, tubes and any mods, pad selection etc, these are the small but significant differences that stand out" because anything this expensive that's actually good is going to be pretty fucking excellent no matter what, so the peas under the mattress are all that's left and they really stand out as a result.
     
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  12. HotRatSalad

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    If anyone has heard Aeolus with stock Aeolus pads, and the universe lambskin perforated pads, how far apart are they sound wise ? Is it worth getting a stock pair of pads if I just have universe lambskin and suede pads ? Trying to triangulate something in the middle of the 2 universe pads, where do the Be2 fall in ?
     
  13. edd

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    I have the Aeolus, universe perf lamb, and universe perf suede but not any Be2. The Aeolus is not what you’re looking for; it’s more bassy than both universe pads. Despite having all these pads, I don’t swap often. I used the Aeolus for a ling time and have more recently switched to the universe lamb as my regulars. Based on the various descriptions, I would imagine the Be2 would be brighter than the universe pads (not in between).

    in order from darkest to brightest, I think it would go Aeolus > uni lamb > uni suede > Be2
     
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  14. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I think that's kind of a difficult proposition - triangulating between two pads to gauge a third. I had Aeolus with stock pads and lambskin perfs for a bit, and found the differences to be slight enough that I found myself swapping pads based on what albums/genres I was listening to. As simple tone controls, stock suedes sounded like a 2db 1-2kHz droop, where lamb perf were a slight boost (comparatively) from 1kHz to 5 or 6kHz.

    So I have no idea what the Be2 would sound like aside from the chart on ZMF's website.
     
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  15. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Added link in post #1 and on post #15 (@ChaChaRealSmooth's plot) to this.

    FWIW, clicking on the ZMF sponsor logo brings you to the first post of this thread.
     
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  16. Assaf Muller

    Assaf Muller Rando

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    On the topic of ZMFs & weight, I started a little project that I knew would be useful to me so I thought I’d share - the ZMF Weight Database. To make it more useful, add your entries! Reply here or add a comment anywhere in the sheet and I’ll add your ZMFs, just specify the model, wood, chassis material, and metal (black, brass, etc).
     

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