ZMF Compendium

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

  1. k1arg

    k1arg Facebook Friend

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    London, UK
    Just to calm my worries, it is the power transformers that are scarse, rather than Lundahl output transformers, right?
     
  2. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Likes Received:
    8,940
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Denver CO
    Home Page:
    Yes.
     
  3. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,796
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Montgomery, New York
    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.
     
  4. perogie

    perogie Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2020
    Likes Received:
    150
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Ontario
    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.
     
  5. dematted

    dematted Friend

    Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2019
    Likes Received:
    2,153
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  6. crenca

    crenca Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    3,529
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Southern New Mexico
    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

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    3,002
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Rapallo, Italy
    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.
     
  8. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth Damsel in distress, ZMF Whore

    Staff Member Friend Gearmaster
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    8,661
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Avalon
    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,
     
  9. will_f

    will_f Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Likes Received:
    900
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    USA
    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.
     
  10. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,102
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Texas
    @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

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    3,002
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Rapallo, Italy
    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.
     
  12. HotRatSalad

    HotRatSalad Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 4, 2018
    Likes Received:
    951
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NH
    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

    edd Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    323
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    california
    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
     
  14. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Likes Received:
    7,412
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    NOVA
    Home Page:
    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.
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    82,493
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    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.
     
  16. Assaf Muller

    Assaf Muller Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2021
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    NYC
    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).
     
  17. minimus

    minimus Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Thanks, this is helpful, as I’m on the fence because I find heavy headphones to be uncomfortable. The ZMF product page lists the weight of the Verite Open as 430 grams with the stock sapele earcups, which I could live with, but 25 of the 27 Verite Opens in your spreadsheet weigh more than that, some considerably more. I realize the variation in wood choice plays a part.

    Any idea whether Zach has slimmed down the Verite’s weight, with new production models lighter than older models?
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    82,493
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    How did you arrive that you would be OK with the 430 grams? If this was by trying out a Sapele Verite Open, then I would say don't worry about it unless you get one of the heavier woods, i.e. Desert Ironwood. They all feel about the same to me, partially because of the suspension headband and soft pads.

    This is coming from someone who has difficulty with the weight of the Audezes (which in numbers are no heavier than ZMF cans). It's really a matter of ergonomics, weight distribution and balance. I can wear the Verite Closed all day. I love some of the Audezes, but I can't wear them for extended periods.
     
  19. zach915m

    zach915m MOT: ZMF Headphones

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,275
    Trophy Points:
    93
    When we switched to Sapele from silk I probably forgot to update it to 460 plus or minus 20g.

    Regarding weight, we almost solely talk to potential owners who are worried about weight, as once people have them in hand and have worn them, we generally have enough comfort options so that each owner typically finds something that works well.

    Response to the new crescent band has been overwhelmingly positive for comfort.
     
  20. Wilewarer

    Wilewarer Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2021
    Likes Received:
    165
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Chicago
    Maybe goes without saying, but having good or bad posture is important for comfort here. My set is about 600 grams, on the heavy side even for these. In a good sitting position, it's very comfortable (this is with the new stuff). Slouch too much, and... let's say I'm quickly reminded of why good posture matters.

    It's something to think about before buying, but it's absolutely manageable.
     

Share This Page