ATTICUS and EIKON, the new dynamic driver headphones from ZMF
Apr 13, 2017 at 1:48 PM Post #3,301 of 9,696
Hoping one of yall can run the ZMF twins out of some vintage gear and let us know us know how they pair together. 

 
@Hansotek

thinks that the resistor values used back in the day will give the Atticus improved midrange at the cost of slam...quite curious 


I've got an old H/K receiver I can sample the Atticus with.
 
Apr 13, 2017 at 3:03 PM Post #3,302 of 9,696
If you really want to get the character of those vintage receivers, forget the headphone inputs, get a speaker tap cable and go right from the speaker terminals.
 
Apr 13, 2017 at 3:30 PM Post #3,303 of 9,696
I have done that with my HE-500s and HE6.

TBH I dont hear much difference on the HE-500.The HE6 however you dont have much choice.

I will have Peterek or Zach make me a custom cable so i can run the Atticus from both taps or jack.
 
Apr 13, 2017 at 3:55 PM Post #3,304 of 9,696
  I have done that with my HE-500s and HE6.

TBH I dont hear much difference on the HE-500.The HE6 however you dont have much choice.

I will have Peterek or Zach make me a custom cable so i can run the Atticus from both taps or jack.

It is more to avoid the effects that resistors can have on dynamics and essentially the headphone inputs on most amps simply place resistors in line. I never understood the need for that. I use my NAD M3 which is capable of 180watts and I have no issues with any headphone I have ever used with it. I just use common sense on the volume and everything is fine.
 
I know some don't feel a well done resistor network will cause significant issues, but I figure why take the chance when those lovely speaker terminals are right there. Yes the HE6 must love a good speaker tap. I know the HE560 seemed to respond well. I'm not talking night and day, but good clean, stable power is always welcome.
 
Apr 13, 2017 at 7:49 PM Post #3,306 of 9,696
Apr 13, 2017 at 7:53 PM Post #3,307 of 9,696
How do these compare to the HE500 and LCD2?
the Eikon is better than both but not the same signature. It's closer to the HE-500 in that way but a step or two above. The LCD-2F​ is warmer and has that wall of bass that only planars can give, but the Eikon is far more transparent through out and both male and female vocals shine along with string,woodwind and brass instruments.
 
Apr 13, 2017 at 7:55 PM Post #3,308 of 9,696
  If you really want to get the character of those vintage receivers, forget the headphone inputs, get a speaker tap cable and go right from the speaker terminals.

 
 
  I have done that with my HE-500s and HE6.

TBH I dont hear much difference on the HE-500.The HE6 however you dont have much choice.

I will have Peterek or Zach make me a custom cable so i can run the Atticus from both taps or jack.


They do make a speaker adapter..I believe it is made by HiFiMan:   https://www.moon-audio.com/hifiman-he-adapter.html
 
Apr 13, 2017 at 8:05 PM Post #3,309 of 9,696
   
 

They do make a speaker adapter..I believe it is made by HiFiMan:   https://www.moon-audio.com/hifiman-he-adapter.html

Those are just resistor boxes and can in theory impact the dynamics of a headphone, and for any solid state amp there is no need for them anyway, the amp already has a gain control so why bother attenuating outside of the amp? I know there is one style of tube amp that requires such attentuator boxes, but that is due to the specific topology and is unique to that style of amp.
 
Apr 13, 2017 at 8:06 PM Post #3,310 of 9,696
Apr 13, 2017 at 8:08 PM Post #3,311 of 9,696
That adapter is literally the biggest pile of crap in all of high-end audio. Nobody should buy it. Ever.

 
Clearly you've never heard of the Synergistic Research HOT.
 
Apr 13, 2017 at 8:10 PM Post #3,312 of 9,696
Apr 13, 2017 at 8:21 PM Post #3,313 of 9,696
  It's a great review, but I take it you haven't seen/read David Mahler's epic Flagship comparison/ranking? http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared
 
I don't foresee that one ever being surpassed for Head-Fi Reviewing Greatness. 

 
ohmyGOD! that's the all-gold King's chamber on top of the OCD Tower.
 
I'm going to read that review (how could I not?). But first, I'm going to take early retirement and have food sent in for a week...
 
Seriously, I'm so impressed by how much time & effort people put into sharing audio impressions on Head-Fi. These 2 reviewers are way up on top our food-chain. But there are so many others who put in serious hours (not pro writers, not trained reviewers) trying to make sense of what they hear. You gotta love that.
 
Apr 13, 2017 at 8:21 PM Post #3,314 of 9,696
I've spent a good, solid, two weeks listening to the Eikon (Padauk) via my Oppo HA-1 and I'm mightily impressed. For its balance of frequency response and technicalities I'm not sure it has any major competitors out there regardless of price point. What I mean is that you can find headphones with better technical aspects--better speed/transients, soundstage, detail, tactility, dynamics, distortion, imaging, image size etc.--but most of those headphones will suffer in another technical area or will suffer from a wonky frequency response. There aren't many headphones that seem to excel in ALL of these areas. About the worst thing I can say about the Eikon is that it's a Jack of all Trades; that I really can't think of anything that it's genuinely weak at, even if I can't think of anything I'd call it the absolute best at. This would make a fantastic choice for anyone looking to scale their listening down to one "do-it-all" headphone. 
 
Regarding frequency response, Eikon is about as close to ideal as I've found since I sold my beloved R10s. Literally the ONLY fault I can find with it is a slight recession in the upper mids, roughly from 2k-4k. This is the only area where I think it can potentially lose to the HD600s/650s. I say "potentially" because with any poorly recorded music that stresses this region--and it's pretty common to do so in modern pop/rock--I actually think the Eikon's slight recession would be preferable. However, I do notice it being a negative on well recorded music that makes use of these frequencies to enrich the tonality of instruments: eg, female vocals, trumpets, violins. The slight recession can make those instruments seem slightly hollow in that you hear the fundamentals and lower treble more. So I used my Equilibrium EQ plugin for JRiver with this setting: Gain: 2.5db - Freq: 2250 - Q: 1.5 to boost them. It's not quite right to my ears (would be nice if Tyll would produce some measurements), but it's close. Perhaps if I'm nit-picking I could also say the treble isn't quite as smooth as the 600/650 either, but it's far superior to any of the Orthos I've heard. 
 
For sheer listenability, this may be my current favorite headphone. I also currently own the HD800S, LCD-X, HE-6, HD650s, and HP50s--which are basically the only ones I've cared to keep. All of them have significant flaws that the Eikon doesn't have: HD800S still seems to bright and bass-light; LCD-X has wonky treble; HE-6 is also quite bright; HD650s lack bass and soundstage. They also have a few areas where they're better: HD800s soundstage/imaging & clarity; LCD-Xs bass and tactility; HE-6s speed, detail, and punch; HD650s upper-mids/treble. But, again, it seems to me that the other headphones' flaws are more significant than those of the Eikon, which aren't so much "flaws" as areas where it's merely "good" as opposed to "excellent." Much like with my R10s, I tend to think that these kinds of "do it all well" headphones are more viable long term than headphones that have a few areas where they excel, because the latter's flaws tend to grate more over time as their impressive elements lose their initial "wow" factor. I think Eikon is a headphone that will be very difficult to grow bored of, while it's probably a very easy headphone to fall in love with long-term. IE, a better "long term relationship" headphone than a "short, lustful fling" headphone. 
 
So, yeah, well-done Zach. You managed to impress a pretty jaded/cynical audiophile like myself, and apparently many others. 
 
PS, I also have the Atticus in Cherry, but I haven't gotten around to listening to it yet. I prefer to take time to get to know one headphone before comparing it with another. 
 
PSS, I'm less picky about sources/amps than some. My general view is that amps that can produce enough clean power will sound practically identical, or enough so not to worry about minute differences. With my HA-1 I generally have it cranked almost to 100% ("+6") on the "Normal" Gain channel, but that's because most of what I listen to is high-dynamic classical and jazz recorded at a low-level to maintain dynamics. I'm guessing anyone listening to modern music mastered louder would have it at -6 or less, unless they listen much louder than myself. 
 
Apr 13, 2017 at 8:30 PM Post #3,315 of 9,696
   
ohmyGOD! that's the all-gold King's chamber on top of the OCD Tower.
 
I'm going to read that review (how could I not?). But first, I'm going to take early retirement and have food sent in for a week...
 
Seriously, I'm so impressed by how much time & effort people put into sharing audio impressions on Head-Fi. These 2 reviewers are way up on top our food-chain. But there are so many others who put in serious hours (not pro writers, not trained reviewers) trying to make sense of what they hear. You gotta love that.

IKR? I was awestruck when I first saw that. I don't know what was more amazing: the thought that someone out there was wealthy enough to purchase that many headphones, or that such a person would take the time effort to review/compare them all! Of course, I disagreed with some of his conclusions--For me, it's R10s #1, SR007 #2, HE90 #3, and perhaps SR009 #4--but you've got to be amazed that someone was in a position to make such a comparison at all! 
 
I also appreciate Head-Fi (and other audio forums) for the willingness of consumers to spend their time to offer opinions and inform other possible consumers. I even did my small part above. :)
 

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