Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread
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c4rb0n

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Try dropping the 10kHz by -6db too. The Zs6 has a spike at 8 and another at 10 so cutting both may remove that harshness you are still getting.
Will sure do bro :beerchug: Thanks for the Suggestions brother. My Zs3's just arrived yesterday and man these have a very punchy bass haha. I also tried sir @Slater ZS3 Mod too and im quite happy with these, it brought up the highs quite a bit, and sometimes it gets sibilant, i only use them when watching movies, and my Zs6 for listening music.
 
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Superluc

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Batches of ears?
:smile:

Who knows...

I just find strange that, for Slater, the ZST is damn sibilant but not the ZS6.

See this graph:



Ok that is better to do comparison between graphs taken with the same stuff, but seeing this the highs seem even more pronounced on ZS6, at 8khz, and just the same after...

Oh well...

the highs peaks were tamed, no doubt, to a zs5 v1 level.
...this is what is important. Than anyone can find it's personal better balance between foam, EQ and/or adapters :thumbsup:
 
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:smile:

Who knows...

I just find strange that, for Slater, the ZST is damn sibilant but not the ZS6.

See this graph:



Ok that is better to do comparison between graphs taken with the same stuff, but seeing this the highs seem even more pronounced on ZS6, at 8khz, and just the same after...

Oh well...



...this is what is important. Than anyone can find it's personal better balance between foam, EQ and/or adapters :thumbsup:
I started to completely ignore graphs about 2 years ago.
They show quantity, but not quality. I just don't see them as a useful tool anymore.
 
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RomStar

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You know, it might seem cheesy and all, but this is why I f**king love this place. I never really cared about audio before, untill I heard a pair of athm-50s. I realized how much of a difference a good pair made compared to my stock apple buds

Slowly after venturing further, I stumbled upon these super cheap pairs of Buds called ATE's from a brand called Kz. Soon I found Zircons and then bigger boys like Magaosi... Since then I have never looked back :)

These days I actually save money for audio, and have spent a humble $400 in total. I love how much you can actually get for you're money and all the amazing analysis that goes on here. Cheers everyone for being amazing and making this a hobby of mine for the past year or so ^^
 
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Spelaeus

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I feel almost nauseous saying it, but having tried several of the cable options for the ZS6, my favorite one so far may be the gray/brown ofc cable. And it's largely because of... the memory wire. It's much better implemented in this cable. Much easier to mould and actually helps with fit. I ripped it out of every other KZ cable I've had. This isn't natural.

http://s.aliexpress.com/yAJn2EbQ
 
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RomStar

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sorry for my english and for the terminology..

sabaj da2 dac/amp is very portable, powerful enough, good quality sound. it's difficult to find a better deal at its price range. you could use it with your pc as well.

but if you need to keep using your usual smartphone apps for streaming, a single headphones amplifier is the easiest solution. just watch out ampifier's output impedance, and the absence of output coupling caps in it, if you plan to use ZS5 on it https://www.head-fi.org/threads/kno...essions-thread.698148/page-1553#post-13777918.
so i wouldn't suggest topping nx2 for ZS5 at all (it's >3.3ohms, and uses coupling caps), nor nx1s (same output impedance), old nx1 was <1ohm output impedance and no coupling caps, so better suitable for zs5, but had noticeable hiss, high gain mode had bass roll-off (design issue), and was not very powerful.
Thanks a lot. Tbh an amp looks optimal, I was looking into prices as well. I'm honestly just gonna get a nx1 cuz it's very cheap and another sets of buds. But since u mentioned it hisses a lot, are there any better alternatives? I won't mind a slight bump in price, thanks as usual ^^. Also learning a lot from these graphs u and others are posting, man I just realized i got a lot to learn

I'm really happy with my V1's (have two pairs) so really curious what all the hub bub is about this harsh treble in V2 or ZS6?

@hakuzen,
Thanks for showing details of your setup. That adapter would fit the tip of my calibrated measurement mic perfectly. A sweep with REW software will show the differences in this treble peak. Once I get my hands in a V2 or ZS6, I will measure.

Siegfried Linkwitz shows how you can connect an IEM to a mic to measure frequency response. It's important to find a soft pliable tube that mimics the diameter, length, and softness of our ear canal. The length is important as that will cause resonance peaks and dips due to reflections off the ear drum and back into the IEM. This is why foam tips helps, they attenuate that hard impedance mismatch and soften the resonance peak. Usually it is at about 2.5kHz and 7kHz. Linkwitz even developed a passive notch filter for his Entymotic ER4's. He said it just won't sound right once you hear what it is supposed to sound like with that 2.5kHz and 7kHz peaks removed.

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/reference_earphones.htm



Passive notch filter circuit:


So here is my hypothesis: adding that second BA driver right at the tip increases (by 2x) the hard material cross sectional area (the BA capsule) of stuff that can reflect sound and cause a resonance. This resonance has nothing to do with a different BA driver or even the crossover, it's where it is located, so it's purely an acoustic transmission line theory for modes of resonance. That's why adding foam earplug tips help. It's also why a small wad of foam or acoustic damping fluff helps. If this is true, it is kind of a design flaw for something that's supposed to be "an upgrade". If I am right, the V1 will always sound better.

Start hoarding those V1's until they come out with V3's. :)
Wow very informative and I see you're point. I feel like you're hypothesis is on point man, but now I wanna try the v2s myself. Maybe it's cuz of the praise here or ppl reporting them to not being too harsh. Is there any guaranteed way of snagging v2s? I might actually get the zs6 as well at this rate :xf_eek:

Differences in DACs are likely to be masked by other components until you get well above the price point we are working in.
I think you have gotten good advice on the amp from some others. I think with a little patience you can probably get a lot more amp for your dollar by purchasing from the classifieds here.

I do like the 9500 but to say they need a slight lift in the bass is an understatement. They have pretty severe roll off below about 100hz and sub-bass is just outright non-existent. On the other end of the spectrum, I don't find them exceedingly bright but they do have good treble extension. I would be very hesitant to try any non-reversible mod as I think the weaknesses in the 9500 are inherent to the driver and not likely to be "fixed" by external changes. I think I paid roughly $40 for mine on a black Friday sale so for the price, I have no complaints. I don't think they measure up to the Senn 598SE, but then I've never seen the 598 below $50 either.

Don't consider it wasted money, call it the cost of an education in audio. Even poor purchases teach us something.
Wise words as usual ^^

I don't consider the shp to be wasted money, love them actually. But I was stupid and paid $90 for them lol, they had no other stock available in Au, so i imported them with shipping fee :v

Now I'll focus on Closed Back sets. Actually you got any recommendations? preferably around the 100-150 range. I can snag used pairs, that doesn't bother me, just looking for value :)

I have both the Monk and Monk+, both are great, the differences aren't that pronounced, so I'd recommend the + without hesitation. The originals are no longer made.
Ah thanks, I've just seen too many people hating on the New revision. I'll still get them since they are dirt cheap, but are there any of the older stocks left tho? Would love a link to it :)
 
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post-13808280
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Slater

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:smile:

Who knows...

I just find strange that, for Slater, the ZST is damn sibilant but not the ZS6.

See this graph:



Ok that is better to do comparison between graphs taken with the same stuff, but seeing this the highs seem even more pronounced on ZS6, at 8khz, and just the same after...

Oh well...



...this is what is important. Than anyone can find it's personal better balance between foam, EQ and/or adapters :thumbsup:
I agree, it is odd.

And to clarify the ZST sounded too sharp, not sibilant.

I know you’d think from the graphs that the ZS6 would bother me even more, but that just isn’t the case.

Besides the FR graph, there’s other factors at play - the metal vs plastic shell material, the 2 different types of nozzle screens, the shape of the ear canal, reflections, insertion depth, nozzle width difference between the 2 models, impedance difference, etc. Not to mention QC variations from batch to batch.

I can guarantee that the source, amp, and music is the same etween my ZST and ZS6. As far as the tips, I’m using Starlines on both, but I don’t remember if the ZST has grey or black ones. On the ZS6 I’m using the black ones it came with (same M size on both as well).

One other difference is the cable. I have always used the original thin twisted SPC on the ZST, and on the ZS6 I’ve only used the fancier multi-wire braided silver cable. Maybe that has something to do with it.
 
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Wiljen

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Now I'll focus on Closed Back sets. Actually you got any recommendations? preferably around the 100-150 range. I can snag used pairs, that doesn't bother me, just looking for value :)
:)
For me that is an easy one, at $150 I'd buy the AKG 550.
 
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They show quantity, but not quality.
It may be true, but we can't not consider also the quantity of highs, when we are talking about personal sensitivity to them. The fact that for someone it's pair of ZS6 is more harsh and sibilant than it's pair of ZS5 v1 is also strange, thinking about yours ad Slater's opinion. Do you think that is only a matter of ears ? Something is odd...

I let you know my point of view when i have both the ZS6 and the adapter.
I’ve only used the fancier multi-wire braided silver cable. Maybe that has something to do with it.
The one for ZST or the OFC for ZS5-6 line ?
 
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Slater

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It may be true, but we can't not consider also the quantity of highs, when we are talking about personal sensitivity to them. The fact that for someone it's pair of ZS6 is more harsh and sibilant than it's pair of ZS5 v1 is also strange, thinking about yours ad Slater's opinion.

The one for ZST or the OFC for ZS5-6 line ?
They are both cables advertised for the ZST (ie with the bent 90-degree ZST plugs at the 2-pin ends).

The one I’m using on the ZS5 and ZS6 is the one with the silver aluminum 2-pin plugs where people chop off the translucent plastic tips to get them to fit flush on the ZS5 and ZS6. It also has a straight silver aluminum 3.5mm plug, not the molded 90-degree rubbery plug you usually see on all of the other KZ cables. And yes it’s braided with 6 individual wires, with what appears to be braided shielding on each individual wire. An absolutely beautiful cable and cheap price for what you get.

Here's a photo:

KZ-SPC5.png KZ-SPC6.png

The one I’m using on the ZST is the original SPC KZ released. It’s got clear plastic plugs, clear rubbery 90-degree 3.5mm plug, and is only 2 wires twisted together. It has clear insulation, and the wire turns green after a few months.

Here's a photo:

KZ-SPC2.png

BTW, I also have this cable (photo below) but have not tried it on anything yet. Maybe when my backup set of ZS6 comes I'll use it on that. The 6-wire braided cable is bulkier, but it's just so dang sexy that I don't want to use any other cable lol

new cable 3.jpg
 
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Hey everyone, received my red ZS6s a few days ago.
Count me to the "not that harsh" crowd, but they are kind of "s-y" which distracted away from the other qualities of these IEMs.
Tried Complys which didn't really help, found the Ostrys to muddle up the treble and still dont quite dampen the "s-ing".

Two hours ago I had a mental fit and decided to go with Slaters foam-mod as a last resort.
Instead of fitting it down the BAs I folded it over both (giving me 2 layers of foam covering the inside of the nozzle).

HUUUGE improvement to my ears, with the spinfits everything just shines!
These IEMs actually have a great mid-range, it doesn't nearly get the praise it deserves!

The end result was a more cohesive sound from bottom up, really showing what a gem these truly are.

So, I guess I should thank Slater for the lovely mod, I can't recommend it enough.
 
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vector84

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It may be true, but we can't not consider also the quantity of highs, when we are talking about personal sensitivity to them. The fact that for someone it's pair of ZS6 is more harsh and sibilant than it's pair of ZS5 v1 is also strange, thinking about yours ad Slater's opinion. Do you think that is only a matter of ears ? Something is odd...
Not that strange, different shell, different insertion depth, different resonance peaks.

So yeah, ears really are different :wink:
 
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Slater

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Hey everyone, received my red ZS6s a few days ago.
Count me to the "not that harsh" crowd, but they are kind of "s-y" which distracted away from the other qualities of these IEMs.
Tried Complys which didn't really help, found the Ostrys to muddle up the treble and still dont quite dampen the "s-ing".

Two hours ago I had a mental fit and decided to go with Slaters foam-mod as a last resort.
Instead of fitting it down the BAs I folded it over both (giving me 2 layers of foam covering the inside of the nozzle).

HUUUGE improvement to my ears, with the spinfits everything just shines!
These IEMs actually have a great mid-range, it doesn't nearly get the praise it deserves!

The end result was a more cohesive sound from bottom up, really showing what a gem these truly are.

So, I guess I should thank Slater for the lovely mod, I can't recommend it enough.
That’s a really good idea - folding it over both nozzles. Genius!

Nice job.

Glad to hear you're in the "not too harsh" crowd. I think the initial harsh reactions really scared a lot of people away from the ZS6. The reality is it's bright but really not harsh at all IMO. And I'm certainly not alone in that impression. So anyone reading this that is on the fence regarding the ZS6, don't hesitate any longer. The treble might be perfectly fine for you, and if not you can use foam tips. And if it's still too bright, you can either use EQ to knock the 10k down a few dbs or do the foam mod to permanently correct the issue (allowing you to use whatever tips you want).

BTW, the “s-ing” you’re talking about is sibilance. When you get a sibilant headphone/IEM, it can be really distracting. It’s usually not there on every track, but once you notice it you can’t STOP noticing it. For me, it seems more noticeable with female vs male vocals. Also, cymbals can get little more sizzling than they are supposed to sound, which is harder to notice unless you're very familiar with the song and how they are supposed to sound.

I hear commercials on TV and radio sometimes where they recorded the voices with a sibilant microphone. In that case, the sibilance is captured in the source, so it comes through on everything it's played on (regardless if the headphone/speaker has sibilance itself).

Kroger’s (a grocery store chain) is a big offender, and it’s really distracting. It sounds like they hired reptilian people to do 75% of their commercialsssssss haha. I always want to call their media/marketing department and tell them to junk whatever mic they’re using for voice work and get something different/better lol
 
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I agree, it is odd.

And to clarify the ZST sounded too sharp, not sibilant.

I know you’d think from the graphs that the ZS6 would bother me even more, but that just isn’t the case.

Besides the FR graph, there’s other factors at play - the metal vs plastic shell material, the 2 different types of nozzle screens, the shape of the ear canal, reflections, insertion depth, nozzle width difference between the 2 models, impedance difference, etc. Not to mention QC variations from batch to batch.

I can guarantee that the source, amp, and music is the same etween my ZST and ZS6. As far as the tips, I’m using Starlines on both, but I don’t remember if the ZST has grey or black ones. On the ZS6 I’m using the black ones it came with (same M size on both as well).

One other difference is the cable. I have always used the original thin twisted SPC on the ZST, and on the ZS6 I’ve only used the fancier multi-wire braided silver cable. Maybe that has something to do with it.
It's a big reason I take IEM measurements with enough salt to fill a canyon. There are so many damn variables.
 
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Superluc

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Not that strange, different shell, different insertion depth, different resonance peaks.

So yeah, ears really are different :wink:
They are, but we are talking about two models with same insertion depth and tips but reversed opinions on highs response between some users...
The only abnormality someone have pointed out is the different impact of impedance output between different source, but we can say for sure that is only that ?

If is that is better... no one want to toss a coin hoping to receive the corrected one. We can say the same between ZS5 v1 vs v2 discussion, that is very confusing.

Two hours ago I had a mental fit and decided to go with Slaters foam-mod as a last resort.
Instead of fitting it down the BAs I folded it over both (giving me 2 layers of foam covering the inside of the nozzle).

HUUUGE improvement to my ears, with the spinfits everything just shines!
Can you make a photo of this ? :pray:

I'm not sure to have understand how you have folded the foam on them :sweat_smile:
 
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