The Watercooler -- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
Feb 13, 2024 at 1:52 PM Post #81,331 of 90,143
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Feb 13, 2024 at 1:56 PM Post #81,332 of 90,143
Here's mine. Atriums are wonderful, beautiful headphones.

Compared to you guys' Atrium, mine is really plain, so plain that I don't even have a picture in my phone. However, the plain looking Atrium never arouse wife's attention, which is good enough.
 
Feb 13, 2024 at 1:58 PM Post #81,333 of 90,143
To those of you who heard Jewel and Annihilator. What are the main differences? Is Annihilator much brighter than Jewel, is the bass on Jewel higher than Anni? Currently considering blindly going in for Anni and doubts are crawling in =)

Too bright headphones usually tend to sound bit flat to me, I dont really enjoy losing the weight of instruments and depth of vocals timbre.
Quote from Elysian Annihilator 2023 thread is direct quote of MatW on the two.

"Yes, both universal IEMs. I do not find either bright. The Annihilator has a reputation of having the "best treble" and some equate that with "elevated treble", but that is not how I hear it. It has good treble presence and it is of high quality but I do not find the Annihilator a bright sounding IEM like e.g. the Ragnar or Fourte. The Jewel has good treble as well but it is not bright sounding either. The upper mids can sound a little forward at times, but nothing egregrious imo."

Personally I owned both. To me I preferred the Anni 2023, it is my favorite iem. It truly is a unicorn iem in that it is my favorite iem. To me the Jewel is way more reference than the Anni 2023. The Jewel is what I would you for reference listening. To me the thing with the Anni 2023 is that I find it to be the most exciting in that it goes right up to the edge and does not cross it. Anni 2023 has really good treble.

@phiemon I believe you have heard both. Can you comment on the Anni 2023? I believe your issues with the Jewel were that it sounded thin in some areas. Appreciate your assistance.
 
Feb 13, 2024 at 2:05 PM Post #81,334 of 90,143
Thanks, Phiemon was already so kind to feed me every bit of iem rankings on headfi so I can make an educated descision. I found my Jewel slightly too bright and somewhat flat, I really enjoyed the detail and amount of air, but dont have that much fun with it as I do with my Traillii, will have to let it go.
While I enjoy good technicaltiies a lot, I am usually into natural fun tunings (see ZMF tree) over sheer technicalities, that was basically the reason to let go my Susvara and why I never got much into over ear e-stats. Instrument body and physicality is rather important to me, thats something that I found Traillii doing rather well. So yeah the idea is to improve the treble region and get more detail than Traillii maintaining the fun tuning without having something too overly analytical.
 
Feb 13, 2024 at 2:53 PM Post #81,337 of 90,143
Quote from Elysian Annihilator 2023 thread is direct quote of MatW on the two.

"Yes, both universal IEMs. I do not find either bright. The Annihilator has a reputation of having the "best treble" and some equate that with "elevated treble", but that is not how I hear it. It has good treble presence and it is of high quality but I do not find the Annihilator a bright sounding IEM like e.g. the Ragnar or Fourte. The Jewel has good treble as well but it is not bright sounding either. The upper mids can sound a little forward at times, but nothing egregrious imo."

Personally I owned both. To me I preferred the Anni 2023, it is my favorite iem. It truly is a unicorn iem in that it is my favorite iem. To me the Jewel is way more reference than the Anni 2023. The Jewel is what I would you for reference listening. To me the thing with the Anni 2023 is that I find it to be the most exciting in that it goes right up to the edge and does not cross it. Anni 2023 has really good treble.

@phiemon I believe you have heard both. Can you comment on the Anni 2023? I believe your issues with the Jewel were that it sounded thin in some areas. Appreciate your assistance.
Thanks, Phiemon was already so kind to feed me every bit of iem rankings on headfi so I can make an educated descision. I found my Jewel slightly too bright and somewhat flat, I really enjoyed the detail and amount of air, but dont have that much fun with it as I do with my Traillii, will have to let it go.
While I enjoy good technicaltiies a lot, I am usually into natural fun tunings (see ZMF tree) over sheer technicalities, that was basically the reason to let go my Susvara and why I never got much into over ear e-stats. Instrument body and physicality is rather important to me, thats something that I found Traillii doing rather well. So yeah the idea is to improve the treble region and get more detail than Traillii maintaining the fun tuning without having something too overly analytical.
It's been a long time since I had the Jewel, so I can't make a direct comparison. But what I can remember is the following: basically the stock cable doesn't work at all, it's cheap, microphonic, sounds thin, bright, light. I had First Times with Jewel and it was much better, but a certain basic character had of course remained. Still, I couldn't warm to it, I don't know why. In itself, I thought Jewel was great and had a lot of respect for the technicalities. I think it was just down to my preferences to be honest. Another relative big problem for me was the soundstage, which was too narrow.

Anni is fun, lively, energetic, life-like, forward, ethereal, neutral-warm, thick sounding, it has (mid)bass. As I recall, the two are fundamentally different in that respect.
 
Feb 13, 2024 at 3:16 PM Post #81,338 of 90,143
While I enjoy good technicaltiies a lot, I am usually into natural fun tunings (see ZMF tree) over sheer technicalities,
Yeah, I was gonna say with your predilection for ZMF headphones, Annihilator’s warm rich midbass would probably work very well for you. It’s also highly accomplished technically, so you’re getting the best of both worlds really, and I think that’s why it has such universal appeal.

While on the subject of ZMF, I’d be curious your thoughts and comparisons between the ones on your tree, I might finally be ready for another headphone later this year, and Atrium & Caldera have both piqued my interest.
 
Feb 13, 2024 at 3:49 PM Post #81,339 of 90,143
Yeah, I was gonna say with your predilection for ZMF headphones, Annihilator’s warm rich midbass would probably work very well for you. It’s also highly accomplished technically, so you’re getting the best of both worlds really, and I think that’s why it has such universal appeal.

While on the subject of ZMF, I’d be curious your thoughts and comparisons between the ones on your tree, I might finally be ready for another headphone later this year, and Atrium & Caldera have both piqued my interest.

You are the first person pointing at warm rich midbass with Anni, usually I read about treble and how bright it is ;D


In short all ZMF headphones are all very natural sounding, its more about the music than gear, you stop listening to your equipment and start listening to your library which is a wonderful trait in my books. The whole totl line up is is slightly warm. I find all 4 flagships pretty great allrounders.

Caldera is technically the most impressive, while retaining the qualities of ZMF dynamic driver headphones (instrument weight and body, overall very natural timbre) it has technicalities of high end planar driver. While not as airy and etereal as Susvara its very much on pair with it detail retrieval-wise being much more natural choice in my books. Its fast, not Susvara / E-stat fast but faster than many other planar I tried. The stage is just right, its not too vast but not small either. Caldera got a lot of energy and dynamics without being fatiguing. The bass is punchy and tactile, there is a lot of texture to the bass. Drums on Caldera are simply fantastic. Vocals are beautifully lush and natural sounding, especially considering its a planar.

Atrium Open is the perfect allrounder, its not as technically proficient as Caldera, though it has probably the most agreeable tuning of the bunch with wonderful mids and beautifully deep stage with good width. I find the stage pretty much perfect, its large without starting to feel unnatural. Its considerably slower than Caldera and has less energy which makes it great for casual listening during work since it doesnt require much attention from the listener. Due to being dynamic driver its even bit more natural sounding than Caldera. Be careful with your wood choice,. Atriums Open tend to be the heaviest variant, because of the large metal grill.

Atrium Closed is everything Atrium Open is with smaller stage and more intimate presentation. AC lacks the vast stage of AO and the vocals are slgithly more in the background. Still it feels very open for a closed headphone. The bass is punchy and powerful with great texture, no other headphone did bass like Atrium for me. Due to the wooden cup the bass has some reverb which makes it organic, especially with instruments like Celos, you can hear the strings of instruments subtely vibrate together with the body of the instrument, which is a rare sensation in music renprodcution. The wood choice is rather important with AC, softer woods will not only make your headphone considerably lighter (around 430g) but will make the bass more enveloping and give more decay. With harder wood the bass becomes punchier and more focused with less decay but some may find it bit more balanced.

Verite Open is the most controversial ZMF tuning. I cant quite put my finger on it but it sounds like no other headphone I owned. While Atrium Open is bit of 660S on steroids, VO does its own thing entirely. While being a dynamic driver its very fast, close if not planar level fast. Similar to Utopia the detail retrieval is on pair with many planar, while not quite on the level of Caldera its very detailed with excellent instrument seperation, layering and microdynamics. The midbass is slgithly weaker than on Atrium Open. The mids are slgithly less prominent than on Atrium open but the vocals are more etereal due to slightly more elevated highs. The stage is very unique, while its not as deep as on Atrium, its truly holographic with intstruments being behind and above you at times. Its far less forgiving than Atrium or even Caldera to bad recordings, you immidiatly will notice issues with bad mastering. Some recordings sound absolutely magical with VO, some you will want to skip. There is no pattern in it for me, I believe the reason for it is simply very unorthodox tuning. While not being fatiguing by any means, I found Atrium a much easier listen for longer periods of time. I love female vocals with VO.
 
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Feb 13, 2024 at 3:58 PM Post #81,340 of 90,143
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The Rn6 is finally here! 2 things : holy smokes is this thing comfy! I have troublesome ears in terms of finding comfortable tips but I just slapped Baroques on them and so far I'm good to go, we'll see about long term comfort. I was worried they would fit like 64a IEMs which are sort of OK after putting ASMRs on them but these are superbly shaped.

Second one - do I finally get the W shape vs bassy neutral nomenclature? I dislike slapping two words as a sound descriptor but when I compare them to the Raven, what I hear is that the Raven has more intensive sound across the board without any being more prominent, but the Rn6 seems more tame? Correct me if I'm wrong!
 
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Feb 13, 2024 at 4:10 PM Post #81,341 of 90,143
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Second one - do I finally get the W shape vs bassy neutral nomenclature? I dislike slapping two words as a sound descriptor but when I compare them to the Raven, what I hear is that the Raven has more intensive sound across the board without any being more prominent, but the Rn6 seems more tame? Correct me if I'm wrong!
Yeah that’s how I hear it and would describe each! Raven = energetic W / RN6 = bass boosted neutral
 
Feb 13, 2024 at 4:16 PM Post #81,342 of 90,143
You are the first person pointing at warm rich midbass with Anni, usually I read about treble and how bright it is ;D


In short all ZMF headphones are all very natural sounding, its more about the music than gear, you stop listening to your equipment and start listening to your library which is a wonderful trait in my books. The whole totl line up is is slightly warm. I find all 4 flagships pretty great allrounders.

Caldera is technically the most impressive, while retaining the qualities of ZMF dynamic driver headphones (instrument weight and body, overall very natural timbre) it has technicalities of high end planar driver. While not as airy and etereal as Susvara its very much on pair with it detail retrieval-wise being much more natural choice in my books. Its fast, not Susvara / E-stat fast but faster than many other planar I tried. The stage is just right, its not too vast but not small either. Caldera got a lot of energy and dynamics without being fatiguing. The bass is punchy and tactile, there is a lot of texture to the bass. Drums on Caldera are simply fantastic. Vocals are beautifully lush and natural sounding, especially considering its a planar.

Atrium Open is the perfect allrounder, its not as technically proficient as Caldera, though it has probably the most agreeable tuning of the bunch with wonderful mids and beautifully deep stage with good width. I find the stage pretty much perfect, its large without starting to feel unnatural. Its considerably slower than Caldera and has less energy which makes it great for casual listening during work since it doesnt require much attention from the listener. Due to being dynamic driver its even bit more natural sounding than Caldera. Be careful with your wood choice,. Atriums Open tend to be the heaviest variant, because of the large metal grill.

Atrium Closed is everything Atrium Open is with smaller stage and more intimate presentation. AC lacks the vast stage of AO and the vocals are slgithly more in the background. Still it feels very open for a closed headphone. The bass is punchy and powerful with great texture, no other headphone did bass like Atrium for me. Due to the wooden cup the bass has some reverb which makes it organic, especially with instruments like Celos, you can hear the strings of instruments subtely vibrate together with the body of the instrument, which is a rare sensation in music renprodcution. The wood choice is rather important with AC, softer woods will not only make your headphone considerably lighter (around 430g) but will make the bass more enveloping and give more decay. With harder wood the bass becomes punchier and more focused with less decay but some may find it bit more balanced.

Verite Open is the most controversial ZMF tuning. I cant quite put my finger on it but it sounds like no other headphone I owned. While Atrium Open is bit of 660S on steroids, VO does its own thing entirely. While being a dynamic driver its very fast, close if not planar level fast. Similar to Utopia the detail retrieval is on pair with many planar, while not quite on the level of Caldera its very detailed with excellent instrument seperation, layering and microdynamics. The midbass is slgithly weaker than on Atrium Open. The mids are slgithly less prominent as on Atrium open but the vocals are more eteral due to slightly more elevated highs. The stage is very unique, while its not as deep as on Atrium, its truly holographic with intstruments being behind you at times. Its far less forgiving than Atrium or even Caldera to bad recordings, you immidiatly will notice issues with bad mastering. Some recordings sound absolutely magical with VO, some you will want to skip. There is no pattern in it for me, I believe the reason for it is simply very unorthodox tuning. While not being fatiguing by any means, I found Atrium a much easier listen for longer periods of time. I love female vocals with VO.
Wow, thanks for the detailed write-up, bookmarked for future reference!

I’ll need to sit down and listen to Caldera and Atrium Open along with my beloved Empy at some stage to see what contrasts best. Or I could just get Caldera, that’s probably where I’ll land anyways 😉
 
Feb 13, 2024 at 4:33 PM Post #81,343 of 90,143
Canpur CP54E

Really impressed, I have heard alot of BA or BA+EST sets and this is a clear favorite. Can share more once my hype has landed, have it only for short time as part of a tour.

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Feb 13, 2024 at 4:34 PM Post #81,344 of 90,143
You are the first person pointing at warm rich midbass with Anni, usually I read about treble and how bright it is ;D
I wrote a review of Anni 2023 a while back and it is very warm and bassy. Most people complain that the bass quality isn’t top notch. The quantity of bass tuned in is perfection to my ears.

The treble on Anni is about as good as you can get and it would be too bright if it wasn’t balanced by the warmth in the mid bass / lower mids
 
Feb 13, 2024 at 4:50 PM Post #81,345 of 90,143
Wow, thanks for the detailed write-up, bookmarked for future reference!

I’ll need to sit down and listen to Caldera and Atrium Open along with my beloved Empy at some stage to see what contrasts best. Or I could just get Caldera, that’s probably where I’ll land anyways 😉

The great thing, there is no wrong with ZMF, each of them offers something unique. My first was VO followed by Caldera on release. Got Atriums much later even if they are aguably less technically proficient than the first two, they get just as much listen. Atrium Closed is probably my all time fav headphone =)
 

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