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Knowledge Zenith (KZ) impressions thread

  1. Otto Motor
    I wonder whether KZ are really listening to their customers or whether most slight modifications are a function of the availability of parts. For example, KZ5 v2 sounds different from KZ ZS5 v1 because KZ ran out of their old drivers and used the ones for the new KZ ZS6 model. And the later generation ZS6 contain the drivers of the newer ZSR...and so on. A Ponzi scheme driven by poor logistics...

    That also may explain the "driver-o-rama" in the ATR and ATE as reported by CoiL
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  2. cottonbud
    I don't think this little lip change a lot, but better than nothing for people who has this kind of problem.


    Small detail, KZ also corrected typography and now lines of text have same distance between. This is game changer for me, now I really want updated one but in red color.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  3. Sebilion
    I have a silly question, I got one of the first kz zs6 that came out. Is the kz zs6 extra bass that you are referring to the same model or some newer modification of it?
  4. Slater
    I used to CNC manufacture automotive aftermarket performance parts.

    That lip change has to be intentionally programmed into the CNC machine. In other words, you’d have to edit the current program for your “ZS6 nozzle”, and intentionally update the code to add the lip for all future manufacturing runs.

    It’s not a matter of “availability of parts”, because you are CNC machining the parts as you need them.

    That’s different than just buying a box full of ear tips or drivers that someone else made.

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  5. Slater
    I have a very recent red (as well as black) one. Neither have nozzle lips. ONLY the grey 'extra bass' model.
  6. Slater
    The 'extra bass' model is the grey one. It replaced the discontinued green color, and just came out a few months ago.

    However, it remains to be proven if it indeed DOES have 'extra bass'. I am still working on that part. I will know soon though; I've just been swamped with studying. Priorities, priorities :)
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    Sebilion likes this.
  7. Slater
    No, ZS5 v1 sounds different from ZS5 v2 because they made intentional tuning changes - moving a BA from inside the shell to the nozzle, changing the impedance, and selecting a completely different Bellsing BA model to meet their tuning target.

    Trust me, Bellsing isn’t running out of BA drivers anytime soon. They make millions of them for customers all over the world, and it’s even speculated that they are a contracted manufacturer for Knowles themselves. They have no problem keeping up with KZs pidley little demand (by comparison).

    What makes you think they just "ran out of drivers" and the ZS5 v2 was born? How did the BA driver get moved then? Did they run out of places to put the old BA driver? Did they run out of resistors too, and randomly just start using different resistors?
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    mrmoto050, Otto Motor and groucho69 like this.
  8. cottonbud
    So do I, it's ordinary red KZ6. I just hope in the future there will be red colored KZ6 with nozzle lip and corrected typography.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    Slater likes this.
  9. rendyG
    Are you sure about 3k being too high?
    I believe that the measurements you posted are uncompensated, so 3k peak is actually desirable... right?
    [Innerfidelity - Harman target response curve]
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    hakuzen and CoiL like this.
  10. Sebilion
    Thank you very much for the information. Please let me know when you know if it makes any difference. I will try to get my hands on some as well but it will take me at least a month until I have them.
    Slater likes this.
  11. Otto Motor
    I have no doubt that Bellsing or whoever is capable of delivering enough drivers, I was speculating that KZ didn't order enough of any one kind and just put the next-order/generation drivers in their old models.
  12. Slater
    OK folks, I've finished my ZS6 "extra bass" investigation.

    Bottom line, there is NO difference with the "extra bass" model, other than the color (grey), a lip on the nozzle (available on SOME of the grey color only), the extra bass packaging has a different "blahblah@qq.com" email address, and the tiny writing on the shell has been centered properly.
    • NO "extra bass"
    • NO different BA driver configuration (regardless of the "new" marketing literature implying otherwise)
    • NO better sound
    • and NO version 2
    The "extra bass" version is literally the same as all previous ZS6 models.

    Just buy the color you like, or whatever one is cheapest/on sale, and enjoy.

    Get the grey one if you want a nozzle lip to prevent tips from falling off in your ear. Other than the color and the nozzle lip, ALL ZS6 ARE ALL THE SAME.

    Also, be aware that not ALL of the grey ZS6 have the nozzle lip. And SOME of the non-grey ZS6 produced in 2018 are coming from KZ WITH the nozzle lip. It's just kind of random if you'll get one with or without a nozzle lip.

    Every ZS6 I have tested sound identical to one another, and have virtually identical FR graphs - multiple blacks, red, green, and grey "extra bass" models purchased at various times ranging from August 2017 until March 2018). There were MINOR variances between them all (1dB here, 1dB there), which is most likely due to slight impedance differences between them (ranging from 13.1ohms to 13.7ohms). It is not audibly different though - they all sound identical.

    I also opened every one of them all up, and examined the drivers, wiring, and crossover resistors. There were slight driver differences in the early ones (specifically, the large DD has 2 different vent filters on the magnet). But based on the FR graphs the differences between the vent filters do not make any difference at all. Perhaps they were sourced from 2 different companies or some such reason. Who knows; who cares - it makes no difference at all.

    Note that I didn't tear out the BAs and verify they were all the same part #s (ie 30095). If the evidence (listening and FR measurements) indicated there was a difference, I probably would have been willing to. But I saw no need to destroy >$70 worth of IEMs just to prove something I proved using 2 other methods. If someone else wants to, be my guest.

    Now, who's to say that KZ won't quietly revise the ZS6 AND REALLY MAKE a v2 at some point in the future? But as of right now, there is ONLY 1 VERSION OF THE ZS6 (sound-wise).

    Here's 2 of the graphs so you can see for yourself (uncompensated, quick and dirty). Remember, the very minor +/- 1 or 2dB variances here and there are normal and expected when measuring gear (due to slightly different insertions and whatnot from run to run, as well as the slight impedance differences between each of my particular units).

    (click for larger views)
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
    kukkurovaca, F4yze, hakuzen and 10 others like this.
  13. C2thew
    This is my filter mod that i've done to my ZS6. What you are looking at is essentially a very small piece of gauze tape that i placed on top of both BA drivers reducing the annoying SSSS exaggerated sibilance. The end result is a much more pleasant listening sound to the ZS6 that doesn't fatigue my ears. I am very fascinated that the grey ZS6's have that lip on the tip as that was one of the annoying things that I've found with the ZS6 would be that the silicone tips would fall off in my pocket.

    I'm also annoyed by the fact that the "extra bass" model is nothing more then a correction to the lip of the headphone and did nothing to actually add any extra bass to the ZS6. Shame on KZ for doing that. They should have just updated their entire product line with the added lip without charging more for the grey version.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    F4yze, hakuzen, groucho69 and 3 others like this.
  14. MDH12AX7
    Just for everyone's Info, not all gray ZS6's have the lip. I have a pair from Amazon purchased in January without a lip and with the old uneven lettering. Have a 2nd gray pair coming from Ali... Hope they have the lip for my wide bore tips.
    hakuzen likes this.
  15. Slater
    Wow, interesting info. Out of curiousity, did your white box have an email address on back that ended in blahbah@qq.com, or does your have blahblah@foxmail.com?

    I guess I'm the lucky one that mine has a lip (although I've never had a problem with tips coming off in my ears).

    Thanks for letting us know.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018

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