ZEN by DUNU: our first model designed around next-generation driver platform ECLIPSƎ
Dec 14, 2020 at 11:19 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1,218
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DUNU launches ZEN, an inward reflection on the path forward

ZEN is designed around ECLIPSƎ, DUNU’s next-generation paradigm for dynamic drivers.

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DUNU prides itself on being constantly at the cutting edge of audio technology. Last year, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, DUNU launched LUNA, one of the world’s first and only pure beryllium foil dynamic driver in-ears. As a project developed from an unconstrained budget, in a quest to extract an unprecedented level of performance from one of the most exclusive driver materials available for high-end audio, LUNA’s driver was fabricated with a complex, composite assembly technique, utilizing separate materials for the dome, surround, and attachment points for the voice coil, for which DUNU was awarded an exclusive patent by the CNIPA (ZL20202008721.5).

LUNA_Patent_Redacted_Cropped.jpg

(Some information is redacted for privacy reasons)

Following LUNA’s success, DUNU set a goal to extend these innovative dynamic driver construction techniques across the company’s entire earphone product line. With ZEN, DUNU introduces the ECLIPSƎ driver platform, a collection of exclusive, next-generation driver technologies. Combining the trickle-down driver fabrication techniques derived from LUNA, an ultra-powerful ring type motor assembly, and refined voicing methods, ECLIPSƎ is a next generation paradigm for dynamic drivers.

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A magnesium-aluminum alloy dome with a specific W-shaped morphology serves as the centerpiece of ZEN's 13.5 mm ECLIPSƎ driver and allows ZEN to transcend performance standards at its price point. Furthermore, it is coated via high temperature, filtered, pulsed cathode arc deposition with nanoporous amorphous carbon (nanoDLC).

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nanoDLC greatly augments the strength of the alloy dome by filling microscopic pores in the metal with non-hydrogenated, tetrahedral carbon (sp3-hybridized), at levels previously unachievable through plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) techniques classically used on polymer substrates. With nanoDLC, the sound reproduction surface on the ZEN yields physical properties that inch ever closer to pure diamond.

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Chief engineer Andy Zhao, never one to settle on his laurels, designed a machine milled, ring-type, neodymium-based magnet assembly that achieves over 1.8 T magnetic field strength at the voice coil, one of the very highest figures achieved across the industry so far. The basis of this ring-type design will serve as the template for all ECLIPSƎ models to come.

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With voicing cues taken from extensive feedback relating to LUNA, ZEN signifies the next step of evolution in DUNU’s tuning approach. Whereas LUNA utilized a very purist, traditionally-minded voicing philosophy, ZEN combines a series of response-shaping dampers in conjunction with DUNU’s proprietary Air Control Impedance System (ACIS). ACIS, a bass reflex technique first implemented in the DK-4001, helps reinforce bass frequencies below 100 Hz, providing ZEN with a robust sub-bass response that doesn’t bleed into other frequencies.

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Taken together, ECLIPSƎ has allowed ZEN to supersede company expectations for what is possible at its price. “ZEN will appeal to audio lovers who desire a product that nears the level of technical performance set by LUNA, but at a more broad-based entry point,” says Kevin Sun, Global Director of Business Development for DUNU.

On the exterior front, ZEN is a continuation of partnered discussions with industrial designer Moses Xu to express a cohesively themed design brief. This is DUNU’s third such collaboration with Xu, reexamining the curves and lines that have defined DUNU’s product identity over the years for a minimal reduction of those shapes.

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Translating the concepts on the drawing board to the physical form meant a return to a medium very familiar to DUNU technicians. Machined from durable, monolithic 316 stainless steel and PVD finished in a scratch-resistant, understated wet black coat, ZEN is a stolid, yet expressive — reflective of ZEN’s overarching product philosophy.

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Usage-wise, ZEN continues DUNU’s tradition of bundling a premium cable with the convenient Quick-Switch modular plug system as well as a generous fit kit of different ear tips. ZEN’s designated cable is the DUW-03, an 8-core silver-plated copper cable first bundled with the Studio SA6, now finished with MMCX connectors. Aside from the standard 3.5 mm TRS single-ended plug, a 2.5 mm TRRS balanced plug and 4.4 mm TRRRS balanced plugs are also included.

ZEN_Accessories_Set.jpg


At an MSRP of $699.99 US dollars, ZEN will go on sale with authorized DUNU dealers worldwide as well as directly from DUNU’s official website before the end of the year.

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Media Resources


 
DUNU #FINDINNERPEACE with ZEN, the first of our next generation in-ears powered by ECLIPSƎ. Learn more on our official website. Stay updated on DUNU at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/DUNU.FANS/ https://twitter.com/DUNU_Headphone https://www.instagram.com/dunu_topsound/ https://www.dunu-topsound.com/ int_ops@dunu-topsound.com, support@dunutopsound.com https://m.me/DUNU.FANS
Dec 15, 2020 at 12:06 AM Post #3 of 1,218

kmmbd

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The driver diaphragm seems very interesting. The Al-Mg dome reminds me of Focal Clear driver (W/M-shaped), but then there's the added reinforcement of nano-scale DLC coating and I assume this to have great excursion. The THD figures are also very low which is pretty interesting, matching or exceeding that of the Focal Clear (I keep bringing the Clear because of the diaphragm material).

All in all: very interesting to say the least from a technical POV. The graph also looks good. Eagerly waiting for the first set of impressions.
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 1:06 AM Post #4 of 1,218

riverground

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Congrats on the release guys!

I hope to get a chance to listen to these or even review them just like the Luna.
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 1:24 AM Post #5 of 1,218
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Oh yes, more single DD goodness! Hope I eventually get a chance to use to these.

Building out our dealer network is a big priority for us for the coming year.

The driver diaphragm seems very interesting. The Al-Mg dome reminds me of Focal Clear driver (W/M-shaped), but then there's the added reinforcement of nano-scale DLC coating and I assume this to have great excursion. The THD figures are also very low which is pretty interesting, matching or exceeding that of the Focal Clear (I keep bringing the Clear because of the diaphragm material).

All in all: very interesting to say the least from a technical POV. The graph also looks good. Eagerly waiting for the first set of impressions.

Yes, you've got the right idea. The composite driver design is done specifically for high driver excursion at low THD. We'd show a plot of the THD, but it's not very informative, aside from the fact that it's quite low. THD levels like frequency plots, are not really comparable between apparatuses.

ZEN is to LUNA indeed like what the Clear is like to the Utopia in terms of materials. However, the overall size and morphology of the diaphragm on ZEN is different from what it is with LUNA. It's not merely a driver that has been "upscaled" from 10 mm to 13.5 mm. Mg-Al alloy is, as anyone can imagine, much easier to work with and much easier to obtain than Be, so we were able to prototype and iterate more easily without spending the kind of capital we had to sink in for LUNA. The material is also considerably more affordable, partially because it doesn't have to be subjected to so many safety regulations, and also because it doesn't have to be exclusively imported. With nanoDLC, we did manage to improve a number of its material characteristics as well. It worked out for us that the pulsed cathode arc deposition is actually a very mature technique --- many of the earliest applications of amorphous diamond-like carbon coatings were made specifically for metal cutting tools to improve their hardness and durability. By going with a metal diaphragm, we also didn't have to struggle with controlling polymer deformation with PECVD techniques.

Congrats on the release guys!

I hope to get a chance to listen to these or even review them just like the Luna.

Thanks! Beyond reviews, we also hope to run a number of listening tours. We're stretched a bit thin right now, so we plan on recruiting a few reliable people to help run tours for the ZEN.
 
DUNU #FINDINNERPEACE with ZEN, the first of our next generation in-ears powered by ECLIPSƎ. Learn more on our official website. Stay updated on DUNU at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/DUNU.FANS/ https://twitter.com/DUNU_Headphone https://www.instagram.com/dunu_topsound/ https://www.dunu-topsound.com/ int_ops@dunu-topsound.com, support@dunutopsound.com https://m.me/DUNU.FANS
Dec 15, 2020 at 3:22 AM Post #9 of 1,218

riverground

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Thanks! Beyond reviews, we also hope to run a number of listening tours. We're stretched a bit thin right now, so we plan on recruiting a few reliable people to help run tours for the ZEN.

When are you thinking of doing the tour? If it's after the holidays, I could definitely help out with organizing a Canadian Tour. You can give me a PM or e-mail me.
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 3:57 AM Post #10 of 1,218

davidmolliere

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Very exciting indeed... this is THE IEM I was tracking at the end of 2020, we most definitely need some Zen in this turmoil!

Thanks! Beyond reviews, we also hope to run a number of listening tours. We're stretched a bit thin right now, so we plan on recruiting a few reliable people to help run tours for the ZEN.

As I have done this before, I could jump in to help if you so need :)
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 4:38 AM Post #11 of 1,218

GTFOUR111

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Extremely exciting and a great looking IEM. Can't wait to see some user reviews or even test it out myself.
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 6:32 AM Post #12 of 1,218

nishan99

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Kinda dissapointed for not seeing Beryllium or Beryllium coating at that price but the crazy size and sensitivity of the driver really make up for it.

Very interesting indeed, really happy to see new innovations for single DDs.
 
Dec 15, 2020 at 6:44 AM Post #13 of 1,218

pepodenata

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The basis of this ring-type design will serve as the template for all ECLIPSƎ models to come.
Damn it, Dunu! They want to stop making things so attractive and so well done ... An ECLIPSE collection with several models to come ... This is going to be the ruin for our wallets.
 

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