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I can't wait to hear your impressions!
So, which version are people considering? Stock or limited?
Uh, both bro. You gotta collect em all!!!
Ha, yeah that is one solution. But doesn't really work for me, so I need to decide between the two. Any suggestions?
I went through a count of our wood supply for Ziricote and the stuff was very hard to get so - it's looking like we will only have 30 units or so if you're into the LTD thing. Sapele we will sell for the foreseeable future.
I won't have the pics up of the aeolus grille's in brass and steel for the LTD unfortunately, but they will be available at checkout for pre-order. Can always change before the headphone ships once I do get pics up of them.
I noticed in the pictures that are posted on the order page, the Limited has "ZMF" and "AE" stamped in the headband leather. Will that only be on the Limited model? As I do not see them in the pictures of the standard.
Continued from here.
Aeolus vs Eikon initial impressions:
Eikon - More sub-bass. Elevated sub-bass. Much sub-bassyness. I personally like this. All hail the bio-driver bass gods! Mid bass kind of seems recessed by comparison, but believe it is perceived this way because the sub-bass is strong in the Force.
Aeolus - Sub-bass is present, but much more in line with mid-bass. I would say the sub-bass quantity is slightly less than mid-bass, but only barely. The bass presentation is just smooth and far more "linear" and natural going from one to another, and again into the lower-mids. Less overall bass quantity than Eikon. As much as the Aeolus had an increase in bass over the HD650, the Eikon has yet that much more bass over the Aeolus.
Eikon - Nice rich mids. Certain instruments like to pop out at you, like on Stevie Ray Vaughn's Tin Pan Alley there are parts where he attacks the strings, and they are quite pronounced and leap out at you on the Eikon. The sound makes for a very cool reproduction of that song. Other things such as his guitar amplifier hum/buzz are brought through well and add to the live-in-studio sound that song has. I think this song is especially amazing on the Eikon, and I think the Aeolus has it's work cut out for it in this test.
Aeolus - Mids are the star of the show on the Ae. It presents a very smooth presentation, with less emphasis in areas than the Eikon. Where the Eikon made certain parts pop out, the Aeolus presented a more coherent and unified presentation to all of the instruments. The guitar playing is obviously the focus of the song, and remains so, but the percussion and bass don't wander in and out of my attention's focus like it does with the Eikon. You hear more of the complete song all at the same time on Aeolus. At first I thought the mids were just softer on the Aeolus, but after going back and forth, I think it's more that the Eikon has certain emphasis in places. They both render background detail very well. The guitar amp buzz is still evident on the track on the Aeolus.
---- A break to interject a few notes:
I am not hearing any unwanted resonances, cup reflections, or hash on the Aeolus. No breakup at very loud volumes.
The Eikon and Atticus have excellent headstage for closed cans, and I would say the Aeolus is at least as wide and deep without that bit of "closed in sound" from the other two.*** Basically, yes it's open, but it's not HD800 open.
It also doesn't have a massive mid-bass hump like I remember from the Atticus which might make it sound a bit thick. In fact, I would say the Aeolus is more neutral than the Eikon, Atticus, and Verite. I'll let that sink in a second.
(It's not true-neutral, or lawful neutral, rather more of a neutral-evil, because it's a little dark and the bass will kick your butt if you don't watch out. **)
I would call the Aeolus A More Flavorful Auteur, or perhaps a Darker Auteur, before I called it an Open Atticus.
(I'm running out of time to write this, pardon the break in format.)
----Treble - The Eikon has more. The Aeolus isn't lacking in detail, but treble is a little more polite and balanced. The Eikon seems to have a few more peaks that brings out cymbals and other tings and crash sounds. I listened to the Aeolus all day yesterday at work (6+ hours) without treble fatigue. It's just that easy to listen to. It is a neutral to dark sounding headphone, one I think LCD2c fans could get behind if they find the treble hash hard to take for long periods of time, or if they find the LDC2c uncomfortable. I'm not saying the two sound alike, the Aeolus is definitely a different beast. Still... great bass, a good amount of mid warmth, with non-fatiguing treble.
Comfort - The Aeolus is so much lighter than the Eikon, for those concerned. The cups also aren't as thick, so they seems to have a better center of gravity while sitting on your head. I also like that the earpads are thinner. The one thing a well broken in earpad on an Eikon will do is push out and touch your ear, something that is a pet peeve of mine. No touchy the ears! It's a super little nitpick on the Atticus / Eikon pads though, don't take it as a major flaw or anything.
*** I am a terrible judge at headstage because it's literally the last thing on on my list of important characteristics of headphones. If I want imaging, I go listen to speakers.
** Dungeons and dragons reference. Sorry. Just Google it if you don't understand.
Next on deck: Auteur vs Aeolus.
Edited for grammar and such.
Oh - yeah the Sapele pics were taken before the we had the brand in, now we have it and it will be on all the sets. There will also be a "V" on all Verite sets. We will be retaking pics as our final grille's come in. Not sure I mentioned it but the Aeolus grille's will have inset custom black, brass or silver screws to match the grille that the headphone comes with. The screws now are not custom and are not inset and sit outside the grille instead of "within."
All of us interested in the Aeolus (many of whom either own an Eikon or would like to) are your debt. This post is so helpful...
Glad it helped.
Thank you so much for this @ProfFalkin. One of the most informative posts I’ve read so far that describes the Eikon’s sound in detail. Except now you’ve convinced me I need to add an Eikon to my ‘endgame’ collection. Thanks for that
Same here lol. I thought I'd like the Aeolus better but from his description, I think I'd prefer the Eikon.
Ok, so the Eikon has been my favorite headphone for 2 years now. It's hard not to play favorites when writing a review, which is why I tried to stick to comparisons only and didn't put much personal opinion into it. While I still prefer the Eikon, the Aeolus is winning me over. It's truly not far from the Eikon sound, and the comfort benefits and open nature can't be ignored. (Plus Ziracote is so damned gorgeous! I love that wood!)
For the price, I would say it is the safest buy in Zach's inventory for anyone who hasn't heard ZMF headphones before and isn't familiar with his house sound. Especially at the pre-order price. You get a better headphone than the hd650 for EDM, pop, and modern whatever, because the bass isn't rolled off. It's rich sounding and detailed for jazz, blues, folk and your acoustic stuff. Rock and metal kick hard and the guitar sounds alive. The only genre of music I can think of that people might not think the Aeolus would pair well with would be classical, and I only say that because most classical nuts really seem to try to go for the ultimate in air and staging and should probably just stick with their Sennheiser HD800s anyway. (Or get the Auteur if they ever get sick of that 6k peak and want to finally hear bass in their tracks.)
With that said, I have a SACD Telarc rip of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, and I thought it sounded great. Real cannons firing, lots of dynamic range, lots of detail retrieval, and a life like tone to the instruments. Daft Punk's Adagio for TRON was also fantastic. (The whole TRON Legacy soundtrack is fantastic)
So, yep. Enjoy.
Dude you're killing me with this lol. Why you gotta make my life so hard? If I were to go Eikon, I can only afford to get it used, so it would actually be a bit cheaper than the Aeolus. I've also thrown in the Aeon closed for my consideration because it can be had cheaper and it's more compact. I know the bass won't kick the same though.