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June 16, 2019, 09:43:06 pm

Author Topic: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur  (Read 1268 times)

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Offline attmci

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2019, 05:10:38 pm »
Just back from AXPONA.  Talked to Zach yesterday briefly and today for a bit longer.  Came home with a pair of Auteurs.  Got a great deal on these as he tried to show me some blemish on them that I can't find but I certainly wasn't going to argue with him!  Also provided the upgraded RCA cable (just the OFC - 1 step up from basic) and he threw in the XLR basic cable.  Quite the deal!

Got them on the Mainline and have been listening for a couple of hours.  Very nice.
Did you try the Verite? That's another interesting headphone introduced at end of last year. :)

Offline Deke609

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2019, 05:03:35 am »
How much power can the Auteur's handle? I can't find any specs on that.  These headphones are getting some pretty good reviews, with a number of reviewers stating that the Auteurs compare favorably with Audeze LCD-2 and LCD-3 - both of which like a fair amount of wattage.  They're not planars, so I expect they don't need as much juice as the LCD series, but I wonder if they'd open up even more through a S.E.X. or even a Stereomour? (I listen to my LCD-4s through a Stereomour ).  I seem to recall that one reviewer paired his Auteurs with a HeadAmp GS-X - a solid state amp that can put out up to about 6W (3 Wpc).  Any Auteur owners out there with a S.E.X. or Stereomour willing to give this a try and post impressions?



Derek
______

Roon Intel NUC ->  Yggdrasil DAC -> BeePre (w/ BeeQuiet and JJs)  -> Stereomour IIs (2A3 and 45 Conversion - both fully upgraded)  -> Audeze LCD4

Offline ALL212

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2019, 06:00:51 am »
I find Zach's naming conventions a bit confusing so I really don't know if I did audition the Verite.  I was looking for a price point/deal and came away very happy.

I believe the Auteur is 300 ohm.  I've run it on the Mainline and had it about the same volume settings as the Senn HD800s with plenty of volume and more "clicks" to go if needed.  Given some time I'll try them on the S.E.X. but I really don't think you'd need the Stereomour to run them effectively.  I do have the speaker terminal to headphone jack adapter so it could be that I'll try them on that eventually.

I'm down a DAC right now (Yggy is heading to Washington for the analog board upgrade) so my S.E.X. system is crippled as I've stolen the Bifrost from it to run the main rig.
Aaron Luebke

Offline elnrik

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2019, 08:05:08 pm »
How much power can the Auteur's handle? I can't find any specs on that.  These headphones are getting some pretty good reviews, with a number of reviewers stating that the Auteurs compare favorably with Audeze LCD-2 and LCD-3 - both of which like a fair amount of wattage.  They're not planars, so I expect they don't need as much juice as the LCD series, but I wonder if they'd open up even more through a S.E.X. or even a Stereomour? (I listen to my LCD-4s through a Stereomour ).  I seem to recall that one reviewer paired his Auteurs with a HeadAmp GS-X - a solid state amp that can put out up to about 6W (3 Wpc).  Any Auteur owners out there with a S.E.X. or Stereomour willing to give this a try and post impressions?
.

They are 300 ohm cans, but they are all north of 96dB SPL/mW efficient.  I've driven my Eikon, Auteur, and Verite from the Crack, and they all love it.  Plenty of volume left, and they have no issue with slam or driver control.  I've also run the Eikon from a dragonfly black on a laptop, and it's passable, but could be much better.  It starts to muffle bass at any volume above 80dB-ish, which is louder than I usually listen to them.

The Auteur is not hard to drive, but it scales well with better amps and loves clean sounding tubes.

Offline Deke609

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2019, 03:16:10 am »
Thanks Aaron and elnrik - It sounds like the Auteurs and the Crack are a very nice match. In which case, the next step up in amplification might be the Crack-a-two-a with its shunt voltage regulation. With my Stereomour, going from stock to stock+shunt reg was a night and day improvement (and I was pretty happy with the stock sound).

... but I'm still curious to know whether the Auteurs play well with a S.E.X.
Derek
______

Roon Intel NUC ->  Yggdrasil DAC -> BeePre (w/ BeeQuiet and JJs)  -> Stereomour IIs (2A3 and 45 Conversion - both fully upgraded)  -> Audeze LCD4

Offline ALL212

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2019, 03:52:19 am »
I'm closer to testing but until the Yggy gets back I'm going to put the S.E.X. test  ::) on hold.

Cable parts came in yesterday.  Furez on both ends.  Between the new Hako soldering iron and that brand this was very easy to do.  Now I've got 12' instead of 5'.

Pinout on the mini XLR:  Pin 1 is signal, Pin 3 is ground.



Aaron Luebke

Offline attmci

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2019, 04:52:08 pm »
.

They are 300 ohm cans, but they are all north of 96dB SPL/mW efficient.  I've driven my Eikon, Auteur, and Verite from the Crack, and they all love it.  Plenty of volume left, and they have no issue with slam or driver control.  I've also run the Eikon from a dragonfly black on a laptop, and it's passable, but could be much better.  It starts to muffle bass at any volume above 80dB-ish, which is louder than I usually listen to them.

The Auteur is not hard to drive, but it scales well with better amps and loves clean sounding tubes.

I don't believe the Crack is the only amp you have. LOL

Offline ALL212

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2019, 02:49:16 am »
LOL...I'd be surprised if he only had a Crack amp also!

Had my amps mixed up in my head.  Can't test the Stereomour but I did run the MrSpeakers Alpha Prime closed headphones and the Auteur's on the S.E.X. and the BAC (big a.s.s. crack)

Both cans sounded good on both amps.  Plenty of volume, I don't think I got past the 10 oclock position with either of them.

The Auteur sounded best on the BAC.  I believe I had the impedance on the S.e.x. set to 8 ohm which might not have been perfect for the Alpha's (25 or 30 ohm cans).  I didn't run the Alpha's on the BAC because of their impedance.

If I hadn't have been comparing these I'd have been very happy with the Alpha's on the S.e.x. but the BAC/Auteur combination had better frequency extension on both ends of the band.

A friend recommended rather jokingly a band but I like them.  Wooden Shjips is what I think would be called a psychedelic/ambient band.   "...play minimal, droning, garage band-meets-Krautrock psychedelia...".  I'm not sure if I could listen to them all day.  Reminds me a bit of The Doors and some late 60's music.
Aaron Luebke

Offline elnrik

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2019, 05:01:56 pm »
I don't believe the Crack is the only amp you have. LOL

Crack, Black Widow 2, DSHA-3F, Mjolnir 2, Jotunheim currently owned.  Recently departed: Lyr 3, Dragon Inspire iha-1, Feliks Elise, MCTH, Liquid Platinum (the original), Vali 2, Magni, Asgard 2, Valhalla 2, (I had a Schiit phase), some Chinese AGD crap, and so many more amps I can't recall half of their names off the top of my head.  Truly.

The Crack has remained a constant despite having seen so many amps, and far more expensive ones at that, come and go.

As ALL212 said, it has a particularly good synergy with the Auteur.  :)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 05:11:10 pm by elnrik »

Offline L0rdGwyn

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2019, 03:25:06 pm »
Listening to my Cocobolo Auteur right now out of the Crackatwoa, good synergy indeed, definitely scale well with a nice set of tubes.  Zach is quite the tube man himself and keeps this in mind when he designs his headphones, they work really well with OTL topologies.

I own the Auteur, Atticus, and the HD800 if anyone would like any thoughts/comparisons.
Keenan McKnight

Offline ALL212

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2019, 04:09:03 pm »
Is the Atticus a closed can?  How does it compare to the Auteur?

Running the Auteur vs. Senn HD650 on the Mainline tonight.

HD650 sounded very good - many have verified it's a good mix with the Mainline.
Auteur is winning.  Bass is better, treble is better (HD's sounded a bit muffled compared to the ZMF's) and I think the soundstage is better.

Both cans have the same cable (Mogami W2534) and both have Furutech 1/4" plugs.

My only complaint with the ZMF is the headband.  I'm a bit (  ::) ) follically challenged and that inner leather strap isn't as comfortable as the Senn headband is.

I think I'll email Zach and see what if he has any ideas for us baldy guys.  I could remove that strap...
Aaron Luebke

Offline elnrik

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2019, 04:17:10 pm »
I think a thinner, softer, more compliant leather strap completely fixes the issue.  Pretty easy to get some good leather at just about any craft store.

Offline L0rdGwyn

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2019, 09:27:29 am »
Is the Atticus a closed can?  How does it compare to the Auteur?

Running the Auteur vs. Senn HD650 on the Mainline tonight.

HD650 sounded very good - many have verified it's a good mix with the Mainline.
Auteur is winning.  Bass is better, treble is better (HD's sounded a bit muffled compared to the ZMF's) and I think the soundstage is better.

Both cans have the same cable (Mogami W2534) and both have Furutech 1/4" plugs.

My only complaint with the ZMF is the headband.  I'm a bit (  ::) ) follically challenged and that inner leather strap isn't as comfortable as the Senn headband is.

I think I'll email Zach and see what if he has any ideas for us baldy guys.  I could remove that strap...

Yes, the Atticus is ZMF's "cheapest" wood cup dynamic driver headphones, it is a closed back.  One notable difference in ZMF's headphone lineup is Zach utilizes different driver materials for different headphones.  The Aelous (open) and Atticus (closed) use the same thermoplastic elastomer driver.  The Auteur (open) and Eikon (closed) use the same biocellulose driver.  The Vérité (open) uses a polyethylene naphthalate driver with vapor deposed beryllium.  Each driver has a different timbre and the open vs. closed back version sound markedly different (from what I am told, I have not heard every one).

As far as how the Atticus differs from the Auteur, different driver material so different timbre altogether.  Sound stage is smaller given it is a closed back, but very spacious for a closed back I would say.  The Atticus is known for its mid-bass emphasis, it is an unapologetically colored, warm, dynamic headphone.  In terms of its frequency response, it is often compared to the HD650, given it's mid-bass emphasis, relaxed treble and sub-bass roll-off.  I find that it is a nice complement to the Auteur when I want less refinement and a big bass-boost :) seems people like to use them for high-energy genres like rock, punk, metal, EDM, etc.  Hope that helps!
Keenan McKnight

Offline 12AU7-6SN7

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2019, 04:46:17 pm »
Thanks Aaron and elnrik - It sounds like the Auteurs and the Crack are a very nice match. In which case, the next step up in amplification might be the Crack-a-two-a with its shunt voltage regulation. With my Stereomour, going from stock to stock+shunt reg was a night and day improvement (and I was pretty happy with the stock sound).

... but I'm still curious to know whether the Auteurs play well with a S.E.X.

I’ve never heard the Auteur or Eikon, but  I have a pair of Atticus and a SEX 3.0 C4S and a stock non speedball Crack. They use a different material than the drivers in the Auteur/eikon, but very similar specs-wise ... pretty sure Zach said they can take 250mw, off the top of my head. Edit: yep, found a post elsewhere where he says that.

Very much prefer the Crack to the SEX 3.0 ... it just has the right kind of synergy  to it... plus it is more customizable with the input and output tube options vs only one tube type per channel on the SEX. I didn’t like the speedball in the Crack (only tried with HD650 a long time ago) so it may be that I also don’t care for the C4S in the SEX 3.0, though I’ve never heard it without since I acquired it fully built. It just makes my ears a bit sensitive after listening for awhile, so I mainly use the SEX for speakers now. The Crack speedball did the same thing with HD650, but that was a few years ago. 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 04:55:53 pm by 12AU7-6SN7 »

Offline ALL212

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Re: Rarely Mentioned: The ZMF Auteur
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2019, 04:35:19 am »
@L0rdGwyn - thanks for the review!  Good info on the different formula's for the cones.

As to the headband that I mentioned earlier - ZMF already has a solution and I just didn't know it existed.  Under the "ZMF Pads" section there is listed a Pilot Pad with three different variations specifically designed to make these more comfortable.  I've ordered the Lambskin and suede and will report back when they arrive.
Aaron Luebke