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ATTICUS and EIKON, the new dynamic driver headphones from ZMF

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by hisoundfi, Oct 1, 2016.
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  1. PacoTaco
    I have arrived with my impressions so far. They're both in Cherry by the way.


    The very first thing that becomes very apparent when you put these headphones on is the fact that they're not the usual ZMF Headphone. They are supremely neutral. That is, nothing actually stands out in the frequency range (which will be a good thing for most people.) In fact, the only two things that seem to be emphasized is the tiny bit of darkness and the tiny bit of subbass emphasis. The best way to put it would be: "It presents music very, very well, and that's that."

    The big, big thing about this headphone is the resolve and transients. It is incredibly ******* fast, incredibly ******* detailed, and incredibly ******* clear. Everything this headphone does is well textured (especially the bass.) Hell, I'd say the bass outdoes the Fostex biocellulose headphones in texture and detail. Maybe not impact, but that isn't something everyone wants in the first place (as everything gets sacrificed.)

    I'm keeping this short, as I'm more wanting to get my impressions in order before I say much more. But, the big take away here is that Zach took a biocellulose driver, and made it neutral without losing any of the benefits. Because of that, we end having a headphone that makes the TH900 look like a mistake. Hell, even outdoes it in soundstage (though, I still wouldn't say the Eikon has a large soundstage.)


    Did you want the Omni, but obviously heard it being held back by the T50 driver? Did you wonder where the lower mids went? Well...guess what? They went into the Atticus. (Side-note, I am going into a bit more detail with this one becuase there is a weird lack of them going around.)

    Seriously though, if you wanted a headphone with the same quality as the Eikon, but with the ZMF House sound, this is the headphone for you. While the transients are slower (as the decay is a bit more natural to my ear,) the Atticus is every bit as good as the Eikon (just different.) That includes the superb resolve.

    The mids and bass are very much a focus of this headphone. The vocals sound amazing and acoustic guitars sound exemplary with this bad boy. The decay and texture in this region is a bit more obvious over the Eikon (as the decay is slightly slower and the mids are a bit elevated.) This includes the upper-mids.

    The bass, on the other hand, actually reminds me more of the THX00 and the Fostex stuff than the Eikon does. The Atticus has a healthy amount (not too much) of midbass and subbass that oddly stays incredibly clear and textured (meaning it lacks a lot of distortion in that area.)

    If you're a treblehead, you won't like this headphone. But, if you're not, the treble is very well done, and there's a surprising amount of air to it. That said, I would actually place the Eikon's treble a bit ahead of the Atticus. At the same time though, the treble is not meant to be the focus here...it does its job well and doesn't make me feel like it is lacking in anyway.

    The only issue I have the Atticus is that the soundstage is incredibly wide and occasionally makes things sound distant. I have this issue more in games than actual music.

    Now, I have to come clean with something...the Atticus I'm listening to is different from the rest. It actually has a slightly upgraded driver (The magnets are bigger/membrane material stiffer.) This removes the issue of muddiness that some people have heard in the bass of the Atticus. That, and it's the production driver (as in, this is what is going into the Atticus' being created.)

    That all said...I'm preferring the Atticus overall at the moment. I may be in the minority, as I know most people here would love the neutrality of the Eikon.
    Wilashort, jinxy245 and luvmusik like this.
  2. Kozic
    Nice write up, by the way what amp are you using with them?
  3. PacoTaco
    Audio-GD NFB-11. It's a neutral amp. Zach is sending me his OTL early next week.
  4. Kozic
    Great a OTL amp is what I'm looking for.
  5. zach915m
    I would love to use all those wood sand more, I don't want to promise any exotic hardwoods yet as we're exploring ways to make the design a touch lighter before committing to any super hard woods.  If/when we do other woods it'll probably be late spring or mid 2017, but some things to figure out before then.
    But yes, I always want to use all the woods!!!

    I like CSD plots but I also find them sometimes the hardest to equate to what I'm actually hearing.  I personally have an easier time reading THD and FR graphs and correlating them to what I am hearing.  For THD and FR I use SpectraPlus which is great for that, then I switch to ARTA for CSD, a lot of the time though I know where there is going to be ringing based on the FR/THD plots before I get to CSD so that by the time I see the CSD plot it's not a surprise what is/isn't going on.
    So anyways, yes, I like CSD's, and use them in tuning, but they are not generally used when doing QC unless something looks weird in a specific headphone and needs to be confirmed.  I use them to a minor extent when tuning a headphone before production (pre-launch), but do rely more on THD and Frequency response.
    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 page on Head-Fi.
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  6. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Thanks Zach, good to know.
  7. quisxx
    Ohh man, that last impression has me thinking of not getting the eikon, but the atticus instead. Fostex like bass and non deafening treble... :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes:
  8. Funky Dealer
    Same. I thought I wanted the Eikon mostly because of the subbass but then I really got to thinking about how few songs I listen to really go deep. I think I would rather have impact if what his impression gives. I use my Omni for movies and modern music because of the bass rumbling and impact. I use my hd 600s for casual music listening and for how lightweight it is.
  9. ProfFalkin

    Just do what I did. Get both. That way you can sit at home confused over which you like more for a few months while your wallet recovers. :) :)
  10. lukeap69

    And you get 10% more discount if you get both. :grinning:
  11. jelt2359 Contributor

    Which OTL is this?

    I've bought headphones purely on the strength of the CSD- Code-X, for example, which I hear has been sold by at least one guy in favour of the Eikon. That's really promising.
  12. quisxx
    I thought about getting both, but the resale value might be low. I remember selling my omni and vibro for a steep discount. Then there's the fact if worried they won't fit me like the vibro/omni as well........ My heart can't take the anguish :sob::sob::sob::sob:
  13. ProfFalkin
    I have the Eikon pads, and can verify they are just slightly larger than the omni pads (total diameter). If the Omni fit, these should.
  14. DoctaCosmos
  15. quisxx
    Earspace is fine, it's the lack of clamp from the t50 band that was the problem. They just wouldn't form for my head. Shame, the vibro is my favorite pair of cans I have ever heard, even more than the omni. They just wouldn't fit :disappointed::disappointed:
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