ATTICUS and EIKON, the new dynamic driver headphones from ZMF
Jan 29, 2017 at 3:06 PM Post #1,891 of 9,696
   
Pretty sure it's my fault for not labeling them.  Ima get on that lol!!!  =(

 
I recommend big block letters of varying sizes (maybe fluorescent green font?)...kinda like what kidnappers use in their ransom demands...
 
That would look totally cool on these headphones!
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 3:15 PM Post #1,892 of 9,696
 
 
It was really awesome to meet and talk with Zach, and hear these out of a lot of different setups.  Worth noting:  I went this whole time thinking the Cherry was the deep red wood, but actually that's Padauk. Cherry is the lighter wood. IDK how I got that confused but whatever, I ordered based on wood density anyway. 

If left in a sun lit room the cherry will darken up quite a bit,not as red but a reddish brown. 
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 4:22 PM Post #1,893 of 9,696
Which wood is your Eikon Pooch?


Cherry, I wanted the longer decay or whatever. Also a bonus they are lighter and cheaper. I didn't really have a chance to figure out if I could hear the differences between wood myself tho.

Zach, I'm sure I was just being dense (pun!) but it wouldn't hurt to make it more obvious. My girlfriend even told me cherry wasn't that red when I showed her the website and I still didn't question it lol.
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 5:59 PM Post #1,894 of 9,696
If left in a sun lit room the cherry will darken up quite a bit,not as red but a reddish brown. 


I found this for how padauk ages. Kind of cool.

http://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/woodworking-101/tips-tricks/how-to-finish-african-padauk-wood-to-preserve-the-color/

This for cherry.

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/projects/the-magic-of-cherry
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 6:16 PM Post #1,895 of 9,696
I found this for how padauk ages. Kind of cool.

http://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/woodworking-101/tips-tricks/how-to-finish-african-padauk-wood-to-preserve-the-color/

This for cherry.

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/projects/the-magic-of-cherry

 
This is fantastic information! You're doing everyone here a great service, @ProfFalkin.
 
I knew both woods darkened & had a pretty good idea of the general color shift for each. I've seen pictures illustrating photo-darkeing of cherry, but nothing as detailed/explicit as these padauk pictures.
 
These pictures demonstrate that to get padauk's red color & grain pattern really popping in the 1st place, the woodworker has to use one of the staining methods that tend to allow the most photo-darkening. That's interesting...
 
Word of caution: headphones are relatively small (compared to furniture) and more than likely are not left out in sunlight or ambient light for extended periods of time. Some owners will doubtless do that, but I'd bet most would not. So it may take quite awhile (if ever) for extreme darkening of light-protected padauk headphones to occur. I have no idea whether low light conditions will lead to much darkening.
 
Example: I have an ormosia henryi Ori coming in the next week or 2. My home office is low light most of the time, excepting morning when the sun outside is bright. Even then, my headphones never receive direct light ever; they're in a part of the room that doesn't light up. So my guess would be the earcups of my Ori will darken slowly/gradually, and may not get as dark red/dark brown as they would if they were left out all the time.
 
Jan 30, 2017 at 3:55 PM Post #1,896 of 9,696
My Eikon finally arrived. I haven't been this impressed with a headphone since I heard a well driven HE-6 or a well matched HD800 system. While I wouldn't quite rate it at the level of those two, the resolution and tonality are still phenomenal. The quality of the finish is the best I've seen from Zach yet, and it feels very solid while weighing much less than Zach's initial estimates. I'd guess around or slightly under 500g. I've been using it with an NFB11 after my attempt to downsize. The Eikon reveals gears exceptionally well and its taunting me to upgrade. That's a good thing from a technical standpoint, but not financial. Do note that due to the swivel and heavy cups the Eikon is like a small child. It wants to kill itself at every opportunity so be careful with handling it. Its a slippery (not-so) little guy.

Quick impressions (subject to change):
The overall tone is neutral leaning, but slightly U-shaped I'd say. Very much not your usual ZMF.

There is a bass hump and the bass extends to around 30hz before rolling off at all. The bass is clean enough and the transition from bass hump to lower mids is sharp enough that I don't detect much bass bleed if at all. The bass is boosted just enough that a bass guitar low in the mix can be obscured a little bit, but its not a major complaint yet. I will say the Eikon has the same bass feeling of "shock and awe" I get from the HE-6, though it distinctly has its own texture that is unlike planar bass. On lean tracks the Eikon is lean, and on bombastic tracks the Eikon is a weapon. No intrusive boosting or coloration in the bass from what I can tell. The bass doesn't quite slam like the HD800 and its not quite as well integrated as the HE-6's bass, but it is extremely clean and satisfying.

The midrange is clean and very detailed. It might be ever so slightly recessed, perhaps ~1-2dB between ~300-800hz (rough estimate) which can make vocal take a slight step back. The upper mids are forward, but not glaring or fatiguing. Reminiscent of the HD650/HD580 upper mids, but cleaner and without grain. Great separation and tonality in the midrange which is what makes or breaks most headphones for me.

The treble is new territory for ZMF. I'd describe the treble as slightly north of neutral. Not a bright headphone, but with a brightness and sparkle to it. There is likely a dip somewhere in the cymbal region (which doesn't make sense since the region is broad
confused.gif
) as I find that cymbals are much more balanced and unobtrusive for the overall treble presence that the headphone has. I never found the treble fatiguing, but I'm not stranger to enjoying bright headphones.

Soundstage is solidly intimate, but imaging is excellent. Detail and dynamics are extremely impressive, and I'd say just a step below the greats like the HD800 and HE-6 but above that of the LCD-2/3/x/4 HE-560 and HD6xx.

If the Eikon were open back, it would be worth $1300. Since it isolates very well I'd say it is a peerless closed back headphone and an astounding accomplishment.


 
So the Eikon have your 'seal of approval' with Metal music ? 
wink.gif

 
Jan 30, 2017 at 4:07 PM Post #1,898 of 9,696
Easily. It has an extremely pleasant tonality for Metal.

 
Nice, it's exactly what I'm looking for.
 
The electric guitars don't have enough bite or crunch with the headphones that I have at the moment. (NightHawk & Elear)
 
Jan 30, 2017 at 4:16 PM Post #1,899 of 9,696
Nice, it's exactly what I'm looking for.

The electric guitars don't have enough bite or crunch with the headphones that I have at the moment. (NightHawk & Elear)


The Nighthawk is just a mess, so yea. The Elear dies after 2khz, and nearly nulls. Neither are what I'd consider acceptable. The Eikon is roughly similar to the Hd650 (perhaps slightly less forward in the upper mids than the HD650) from from 1.5k-3.5khz, but does dip a little bit in the 4-5khz area. The dip doesn't bother me for electric guitars at all and the lack of the HD650's 1khz bump as well as general upper midrange grain is very welcome.

The Eikon is pretty much several levels above your current two headphones in my opinion, but I dislike the NH and Elear quite a bit.
 
Jan 30, 2017 at 7:29 PM Post #1,900 of 9,696
 I stopped by ZMF Headquarters while I was in Chicago for the meet this past weekend and grabbed a few pics of your future headphones being assembled. Enjoy!
 

Zach's personal sets hang above the part picking area.
 

Finished Eikon cups await assembly.
 

A few finished cups for the Atticus.
 

Eikon headbands and baffles, ready for assembly.
 

Atticus drivers waiting to be hand-tested and matched.
 

The final Eikon drivers sound absolutely stunning.
 

Burning-in some finished headphones for the next day's meet.
 

A variety of Vibro cups in all different colors and woods.
 

Zach's personal Bocote Ori with Grecian Copper Sliders.
 

Zach tests a Vibro to ensure it meets his standards before packing it up for shipment.
 
Jan 30, 2017 at 7:38 PM Post #1,901 of 9,696
That Bocote Ori is absolutely stunning.
 
Jan 30, 2017 at 8:18 PM Post #1,902 of 9,696
   I stopped by ZMF Headquarters while I was in Chicago for the meet this past weekend and grabbed a few pics of your future headphones being assembled. Enjoy!
 

Zach's personal sets hang above the part picking area.
 

Finished Eikon cups await assembly.
 

A few finished cups for the Atticus.
 

Eikon headbands and baffles, ready for assembly.
 

Atticus drivers waiting to be hand-tested and matched.
 

The final Eikon drivers sound absolutely stunning.
 

Burning-in some finished headphones for the next day's meet.
 

A variety of Vibro cups in all different colors and woods.
 

Zach's personal Bocote Ori with Grecian Copper Sliders.
 

Zach tests a Vibro to ensure it meets his standards before packing it up for shipment.

 

 
Jan 30, 2017 at 10:48 PM Post #1,903 of 9,696
  That Bocote Ori is absolutely stunning.

 
Until last month, the only pictures I'd seen of bocote Ori's had horizontal grain (not vertical, as shown in this picture). I wasn't really impressed by Bocote, never seriously considered it when I ordered an Ori 3 wks ago. I chose my favorite of Zack's woods, ormosia henryi.
 
Just 1-2 days after ordering, I saw a picture of another Head-Fi'er's bocote Ori w/vertical grain...didn't even know it was available that way. It was mind-blowingly handsome.
 
Was tempted to change my order--but like the other wood more...
 
Jan 30, 2017 at 11:01 PM Post #1,904 of 9,696
   
Until last month, the only pictures I'd seen of bocote Ori's had horizontal grain (not vertical, as shown in this picture). I wasn't really impressed by Bocote, never seriously considered it when I ordered an Ori 3 wks ago. I chose my favorite of Zack's woods, ormosia henryi.
 
Just 1-2 days after ordering, I saw a picture of another Head-Fi'er's bocote Ori w/vertical grain...didn't even know it was available that way. It was mind-blowingly handsome.
 
Was tempted to change my order--but like the other wood more...

 
Personally, I think the grab-bag nature of the wood grain is part of the appeal of ZMF headphones.  They're all unique and look good in their own way but sometimes... you get a killer piece...
 
Jan 30, 2017 at 11:54 PM Post #1,905 of 9,696
   
Personally, I think the grab-bag nature of the wood grain is part of the appeal of ZMF headphones.  They're all unique and look good in their own way but sometimes... you get a killer piece...

 
You are so right.
 
I've done woodworking...love wood. Each species is unique; each board is, as well. It's hard to even guess what wood can look like until you start working it.
 

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