ATTICUS and EIKON, the new dynamic driver headphones from ZMF
Oct 17, 2016 at 12:05 AM Post #241 of 8,729
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  This ATTICUS/EIKON thing is killing me:
 
-- for months I've planned to buy Omni's--a no-brainer because of well-reviewed sound; craftsmanship; handsome woodcups; big/comfortable earpads.
-- & obsessing over choice of wood. starting w/bubinga; now it's ormosia henryi (thanks, whirlwind!)
 
Then 1-2 weeks ago started reading about these new products. Suddenly everything's complicated. And exciting. ZMF doesn't launch new designs every day.
 
Now, like everyone else, I'm waiting for detailed comments/reviews of these new headphones (which are crazy-beautiful). And obsessing over new "issues":
 
1. Will the pilot pad fit over that rather thin-looking headband? Will that even matter?
2. If I go w/the Atticus, do I do w/o those beautiful cowhide pads? (looks that way)
3. Are those earcups asymmetrical? Really?
 
(try explaining this angst to people who don't care about audio gear!)

 
1.  Don't need the pilot pad, the headband has two pads on it already, it's a more space aware version of the pilot pad and leather strap combined.
 
2.  I tried cowhide Eikon pads, they were way too dark IMHO.  I may make a few just for the heck of it to carry around, we'll see. And yeah everything ProfFalkin said.
 
3.  They're symmetrical in that if you look at the listener from the side they are always angled forward.  Hope that makes sense.
  Will the stock cable be available with 4-pin XLR termination?


 Sorry if I already answered this, just playing catch up a bit, yes it will be available in a plethora of options.
  Im not familiar with PTE drivers. What other can out there utilitizes it? I am a big fan of the Nighthawks(which,of course, uses biocellulose drivers) but , actually, the description of the Atticus sounds like it may be slightly more to my liking(though the Eikon uses the Biocell) Though I am sure BOTH would be quite pleasing. . The NightHawks are one of the only cans that don't cause listening fatigue for me. Generally all non-dynamic cans are fatiguing for me. I've considered buying both, but not sure they are different enough to warrant doing so. Anyone , that has heard both the Atticus and Eikon , have an opinion on that? Tks

 
I don't own the nighthawk, but the Atticus definitely as you noticed will have the darker, more romantic sound of the two (all my stuff is a little that way though).  The Eikon is very resolving and technical while still smooth.
 
ZMFheadphones ZMF headphones hand-crafts wood headphones in Chicago, USA with special attention to exceptional sound and craftsmanship. Stay updated on ZMFheadphones at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
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Oct 17, 2016 at 12:07 AM Post #242 of 8,729
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Zach,
Do you have an eta on the new headphones from preorder? I am interested in preordering, but not if it means I will not receive the product for several months.

 
Feb 1st is kinda the safe date for shipping, we plan on starting to ship earlier, but the last thing I want is people waiting too long.  It should be noted that's the start "safe" date for shipping, depending on the amount of orders we get it may get pushed back for later orders.  I will update the order page with any and all estimates once it's live November 4th at 11am EST.
 
ZMFheadphones ZMF headphones hand-crafts wood headphones in Chicago, USA with special attention to exceptional sound and craftsmanship. Stay updated on ZMFheadphones at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/ZMFheadphones https://twitter.com/ZMFheadphones https://www.instagram.com/zmfheadphones/?hl=en http://www.zmfheadphones.com/zmf-originals/ contactzmf@gmail.com
Oct 17, 2016 at 12:55 AM Post #244 of 8,729

slex

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Are there options for different kinds of replacement woods cup for owners of atticus and eikon? Are they easily swappable?
 
Oct 17, 2016 at 1:00 AM Post #245 of 8,729
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Are there options for different kinds of replacement woods cup for owners of atticus and eikon? Are they easily swappable?


I'll do some testing at some point to see if we can make it work, but right now I don't believe it will be an option.
  I am thoroughly enjoying the Eikon. I will post some impressions soon and when I do I will try to hold back the superlatives. 

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ZMFheadphones ZMF headphones hand-crafts wood headphones in Chicago, USA with special attention to exceptional sound and craftsmanship. Stay updated on ZMFheadphones at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/ZMFheadphones https://twitter.com/ZMFheadphones https://www.instagram.com/zmfheadphones/?hl=en http://www.zmfheadphones.com/zmf-originals/ contactzmf@gmail.com
Oct 17, 2016 at 1:39 AM Post #246 of 8,729

Raketen

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Feb 1st is kinda the safe date for shipping, we plan on starting to ship earlier, but the last thing I want is people waiting too long.  It should be noted that's the start "safe" date for shipping, depending on the amount of orders we get it may get pushed back for later orders.  I will update the order page with any and all estimates once it's live November 4th at 11am EST.


Would address changes be a major hassle for you and/or will you be notifying prior to shipment? Tend to move around a lot...
 
Oct 17, 2016 at 4:18 PM Post #249 of 8,729

grizzlybeast

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  I am absolutely interested in Eikon because of sub bass. I listen to EDM and that sub bass is key.

You need to buy this headphone. The sub bass is spectacular. 
 
10hz seems audible even though it is not, during tone sweeps there was some fluttering of the drivers. 20 hz is very audible, 30-40 hz is fully kicked in and rich. 
 
You know what... Let me just take this time to post some impressions. 
 

ZMF EIKON - IMPRESSIONS
 
 
Honest impressions. I did post these on HF too. 
 
Aesthetics / Comfort - Both Atticus and EiKon I find the ZMF to be a bit bulky but very  in its presentation. It is a huge headphone but every part on it is either leather, metal, or gorgeous wood. The shape and design is very appealing and reminiscent of the Sony. I think the headband is okay aesthetically but can be improved upon.  As is it  provides a decent amount of comfort. Speaking of comfort these fit on the head a lot better than the Omni and the weight is more evenly distributed. The pads... ummm.... well...here goes me trying to not use superlatives but too bad...they are the most comfortable leather pads I have worn. Only beaten by my personal preference of the vegan Audezes because I like the feel. 
 

Sound
Bass
 
The bass reaches extremely low. 10 hz and the driver flutters slightly. 20 hz is clearly audible. 30 hz is just slightly more audible. 40hz is in full effect. The sub bass is better than that of the Omni and THX00. Very low distortion and very much present. In fact I know that some people will not want the Eikon because it has too much sub bass. There was one song where it was dominant over the vocals but that was because it was electronic based and the vocals were processed. Most others I tried take no hits.  The mid bass around 60 -120 hz sounds  boosted as well,  as 90hz is fairly present but the upper bass above 120 hz does not muddy up the lower mids much. In fact, on most acoustic music mud seems pretty much absent. Really though, if you don't like a lot of bass, The Eikon is not for you. OR TRY pad rolling. Honestly if you find the Elear to be too heavy down low the Eikon will be overwhelming. Now its not bass head ideal (or is it.?..I am losing my bass head bearings).  Its a good thing that the bass is of very good quality because there is a lot of it. Who knows by the time of release.. Zach the tinkerer... may end up dropping it a db or two but the word is that they are very close to the final tuning. Now EDM heads rejoice, not only do you have your mids, but you have your bass drops. Gamers, Movie watchers... yeah you too. 
 
Midrange
Here is how I know the midrange is not ill-effected by the mid-upper bass on most songs. Because compared to my modded 650(has tighter bass, more present highs, and sounds more clear and a little more open than stock) they sound very similar in tonality. After our mini meet I left thinking that the 650 is more tonally accurate. It is, by my standards, the standard for how a midrange should sound. The trouble with the 650 to me though, apart from its grain, is that the vocalist is a bit too close and forward since the soundstage is flat by comparison. That gives it a shouty kind of sound on some songs or the wrong tubes in my amp. The tubes I have now make this a non issue but with the Gold lions in there they become fatiguing after a couple of hours. The vocals have a slightly larger image size on the Eikon but have a blacker background around the vocalists with a more distant position. Simply put, for a closed back I have no criticisms here or at least not yet. For another example, its richer than the Code-X and a lot more wet in decay.  
 
Treble
This is not for the treble head. The transients are quick but the treble is not shimmery, super crisp but the treble to my ears sounds only a couple of DB shy of being truly neutral. It is not as dark as the Kennerton Vali or rolled off. High hats seem the same level as my modded 650 but less grainy and better defined. Overall I find the treble nicely tuned but in need of just a little bit of air. Besides that I really like where it sits in balance. What is cool though is that it doesn't sound over dampened. This area sounds like it is pretty much being free where as on the Omni I can sense some compression or dampening to help fix the inherent issues of the T50. 
 
 
 
Soundstage
Almost as spacious as the LFF Code-X more or less but seems to have a deeper and layered sound because it has more body. Now I compared the Code-X directly to the Ether Flow and found the Code-X to be more spacious. However I did not compare the Flow to the Eikon directly even if I compared it the Code-X. For perspectives sake (not many have heard the Code-X) The Eikon is almost as wide, not as tall, slightly more layered, more cavernous, and almost as good at separation but not quite because the decay and sub bass hold it back relative to the Code-X.  But the Code-X is more pin point and sounds more technical and dry so the soundstage sounds more acute with less resonance. The Eikon basically is holding its own next to a TOTL open back in soundstage size and is a lot better than the average but is not going to supplant something of the likes, or most open high end phones. Imaging is very good as well. 
 
 
 
Dynamics/Timbre/Presentation
It sits under the Elear, but over a well amped HD650 in Macro Dynamics. That means it is very dynamic but the music is smooth and rich. Notes resonate with a slight lingering of decay. It reminds me of a rich and fancy guitar cabinet that when strummed vibrates with a fervent and smooth pulse. This Eikon sounds clear but closed and organic with a black background. The transients are very responsive but are not super sharp. This headphone is not dry but also not as cavernous as something like the DX1000. The Kennerton Vali has this very thick and heavy sound by comparison where as this is more swift and nimble yet still rich. It sounds to me something like the nighthawk in speed and texture but this Eikon is more spacious, not nearly as muddy, sounds more detailed, and has a more effortless flow to it (both are biocellulose). Tones sound very natural to my ears with rich and full modulations that embolden the notches of accentuations the recording intends to display.
 
The Eikon does not sound like an open back. If you treasure the relief from cup enclosures and the openness it provides then something like the Elear ( though less holographic with a relatively smaller soundstage) will sound more open and less acoustically manipulated. I for one find the Eikon to be my closed back Unicorn but not open enough to replace an open back. 
 
Well that is more like a review than impressions but there you have it. 
 
 
 

Atticus - Impressions
Bass
The Sub bass on the Atticus is not as present. Instead the upper and mid bass is actually more present. Bass extension is good as well but 20-50 hz is not nearly as present as on the Eikon and from 90-200 hz is more boosted. Though everything is song dependent, the Atticus has more of a tendency to effect the midrange than the Eikon does. This is because 200-300 hz is a bit thick. Certain tracks did not reveal this because they did not have as much drum kicks. Take for example Amber Rubarth - "Lay your burdens" there are not many instruments in the lower mids to upper bass. However a song like Fleet Foxes - Sun Rises or Alabama Shakes - "Sound and Color" there is an extra warmth around the lower midrange. I am of the impression that the upper bass needs a cut to relieve some of the dimness/obscurity. The mid bass presence, as is seems deliberately tuned to give the headphone a relatively musical sound. I also do not find the bass of the Atticus to be as tight and controlled as the Eikon bass either. Opinions though seem to be very split on the Atticus. At our mini meet a member quickly preferred the Atticus to the Eikon and liked the punchiness of the midbass and was turned off by the rumble of the sub bass in the Eikon. Another and myself favored the Eikon; noting its depth, reach, and control. 
 
 
 
Midrange
During eq tinkering I realized that the lower midrange is tuned very well. I implemented that medium band cut at 250 hz and the lower midrange from 500hz+ sounded very even. The midrange proper and area is only slightly elevated by only about 1-2 db as to stamp ZMF on the midrange without getting too honky. But I would prefer a slight trim there.  As is gives it that ZMF house sound and  as it continues to up the frequency range it is very much in line with how something like the Omni was tuned, albeit totally different presentation due to the dynamic driver. 
 
Treble
The upper midrange is present but the sibilance region where "S's" and Cymbals crassshhshsh is actually very tamed and in my opinion can use a very slight boost for some definition. But this makes for a very non-fatiguing listen. I attempted to boost and drop 10 hz but actually liked it right where it was at as well. I also felt that the treble has enough extension. 
 
 
 
Overall technicalities
The Eikons are better technically. The Eikon has a blacker background, lower distortion,  and sounds more spacious. Both have an inherent transparency though and both are pretty much equally clear. To put this in perspective, the Atticus is still more spacious than average. It bests the Vali in that aspect and the 650. It also sounds less gritty and is decently refined.  I have a feeling that some of these  impressions has to do with my set up and amp that has an impedance setting to match the 300 ohms perfectly which will flesh out the depth of both of these headphones.  But also I must admit that the Eikon got more than double the head time due to my preference for it over the Atticus. 
 

Both
 
 
I do think that these headphones will be amp picky and some will have vastly different experiences based on the amps they use. Similar to how the 800 or HE-6 will sound different depending on the amp used. No headphone is exclusive to this. Feed the Pandora hope VI too much power and it will sound all messy. I just have a feeling that both of these will be more amp picky than the average mid-hifi headphone. They sound good on tubes too. 
 
 
 
On the pot they are both similar in volume and get louder than the 650. 
 
 
 
 
 
So there are my impressions. 
 
 
 
 I don't think he is done yet....We will see the final products! 
 
Oct 17, 2016 at 6:26 PM Post #250 of 8,729

Pharmaboy

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(thanks, Zach, for these answers!)
 
I called the bevel on the earcups "asymmetrical" because, while the bevels appear to be mirror image in the pictures, the earcups are not interchangeable w/in a given pair of headphones. But IMO, that's actually a good thing because:
 
-- The resulting look is striking & attractive as woodworking. It's also unusual...I can't recall any other wooden earcups beveled quite like this
-- The mirror-image placement of the bevel subtly enhance the "handedness" of the headphones, emphasizing R vs L, just by touch/feel, even if the lights are low or off. Since it really matters which side of these headphones goes on the right ear vs left, this subtle ergonomic & visual cue is welcome.
 
They are pretty.
 
Oct 17, 2016 at 7:26 PM Post #251 of 8,729

joeq70

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grizzlybeast did you happen to hear the Eikon out of the Jotunheim rigs? Think it matches nicely with it?
 
Oct 18, 2016 at 3:21 AM Post #254 of 8,729

Raketen

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You need to buy this headphone. The sub bass is spectacular. 

10hz seems audible even though it is not, during tone sweeps there was some fluttering of the drivers. 20 hz is very audible, 30-40 hz is fully kicked in and rich. 


Curious what you mean by fluttering- do you just mean you could feel the air pressure from the subass notes?
(just a little confused since I am most familiar with this term as a type of bass distortion that can happen due to overdriven/damaged diaphragm where it becomes unable to sustain low tones producing a 'fluttering' effect, but seems unlikely this would be happening in this case).
 

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