ZMF Aeolus Impressions thread
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Astral Abyss

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Listening to Aeolus out of ZMF Pendant and would appreciate any tube recommendations.

It sounds really nice with the stock JJ tubes, I can only imagine that it will improve with some tube rolling and I'm a novice at tube amps.

Thanks in advance!
Pendant is a great amp. I love mine. I'll recommend some tubes, both current production and NOS:

Current Production

Power:
Sovtek EL84M (make sure it's the "M" version) Justin from Ampsandsound (builder of the amp) recommends these and I agree, they sound good.
Gain: This ones a bit tricky as I haven't really found a current production gain stage tube I'm super fond of. The Sovtek 12AX7LPS is a solid choice, and so are the Tung-Sol reproductions. Don't get hung up on gold pins either. It's not going to affect the sound, just your wallet.
Rectifier: Electro-Harmonix 6CA4/EZ81. The rectifier has probably the smallest affect on the sound in this amp, so work on this tube last. I like these EH tubes just as much as any of the NOS rectifiers I've tried, and they don't cost a lot.

NOS

Power:
Russian Reflektor 6P14P-EV These are my "go-to's". They're built like a tank and sound wonderful. The ones that you can find from the 70s and 80s sound best. The ones with the Soviet star on them with CCCP below it look the coolest. :)
Gain: Raytheon 5751 "Windmill" Getter (looks like a plus sign). Roughly equivalent to a 12AT7. I haven't found a tube that sounds better than this in either Pendant or Leeloo (my other A&S amp), although the Sylvania 5751 triple mica's are pretty close.
Gain: For a less expensive version, try a Raytheon 5755 tube, with a tube adapter. (you need a 5575-to-12AX7/ECC83 adapter to change the pin-outs, don't just stick it in the socket even though it fits, or you'll be sad) This was also recommended by Justin as an inexpensive tube that has a really nice sound to it and I agree.
Gain: Any of the Philips/Amperex/Valvo/3rd party branded 12AU7/T7/X7 tubes made in Holland sound good, as do the Siemens tubes from Austria and Germany.
Rectifier: RFT EZ81. If I was pressed to make a choice on the best rectifier, it would be the RFT. It's just about damn near perfect.

I'm not a fan of anything Mullard made, so you'll have to talk to someone else if you have an interest in any of their tubes. I know they're popular.

Anyway, hope that helps. Careful though, tube rolling can be addictive. Sure is fun though.
 
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alreadyused

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Pendant is a great amp. I love mine. I'll recommend some tubes, both current production and NOS:

Current Production

Power:
Sovtek EL84M (make sure it's the "M" version) Justin from Ampsandsound (builder of the amp) recommends these and I agree, they sound good.
Gain: This ones a bit tricky as I haven't really found a current production gain stage tube I'm super fond of. The Sovtek 12AX7LPS is a solid choice, and so are the Tung-Sol reproductions. Don't get hung up on gold pins either. It's not going to affect the sound, just your wallet.
Rectifier: Electro-Harmonix 6CA4/EZ81. The rectifier has probably the smallest affect on the sound in this amp, so work on this tube last. I like these EH tubes just as much as any of the NOS rectifiers I've tried, and they don't cost a lot.

NOS

Power:
Russian Reflektor 6P14P-EV These are my "go-to's". They're built like a tank and sound wonderful. The ones that you can find from the 70s and 80s sound best. The ones with the Soviet star on them with CCCP below it look the coolest. :)
Gain: Raytheon 5751 "Windmill" Getter (looks like a plus sign). Roughly equivalent to a 12AT7. I haven't found a tube that sounds better than this in either Pendant or Leeloo (my other A&S amp), although the Sylvania 5751 triple mica's are pretty close.
Gain: For a less expensive version, try a Raytheon 5755 tube, with a tube adapter. (you need a 5575-to-12AX7/ECC83 adapter to change the pin-outs, don't just stick it in the socket even though it fits, or you'll be sad) This was also recommended by Justin as an inexpensive tube that has a really nice sound to it and I agree.
Gain: Any of the Philips/Amperex/Valvo/3rd party branded 12AU7/T7/X7 tubes made in Holland sound good, as do the Siemens tubes from Austria and Germany.
Rectifier: RFT EZ81. If I was pressed to make a choice on the best rectifier, it would be the RFT. It's just about damn near perfect.

I'm not a fan of anything Mullard made, so you'll have to talk to someone else if you have an interest in any of their tubes. I know they're popular.

Anyway, hope that helps. Careful though, tube rolling can be addictive. Sure is fun though.
Thanks!!
 
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Wes S

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I just put my order in 5 minutes ago for an Aeolus! I am super excited to be joining the club! :gs1000smile:
 
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Wes S

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Pendant is a great amp. I love mine. I'll recommend some tubes, both current production and NOS:

Current Production

Power:
Sovtek EL84M (make sure it's the "M" version) Justin from Ampsandsound (builder of the amp) recommends these and I agree, they sound good.
Gain: This ones a bit tricky as I haven't really found a current production gain stage tube I'm super fond of. The Sovtek 12AX7LPS is a solid choice, and so are the Tung-Sol reproductions. Don't get hung up on gold pins either. It's not going to affect the sound, just your wallet.
Rectifier: Electro-Harmonix 6CA4/EZ81. The rectifier has probably the smallest affect on the sound in this amp, so work on this tube last. I like these EH tubes just as much as any of the NOS rectifiers I've tried, and they don't cost a lot.

NOS

Power:
Russian Reflektor 6P14P-EV These are my "go-to's". They're built like a tank and sound wonderful. The ones that you can find from the 70s and 80s sound best. The ones with the Soviet star on them with CCCP below it look the coolest. :)
Gain: Raytheon 5751 "Windmill" Getter (looks like a plus sign). Roughly equivalent to a 12AT7. I haven't found a tube that sounds better than this in either Pendant or Leeloo (my other A&S amp), although the Sylvania 5751 triple mica's are pretty close.
Gain: For a less expensive version, try a Raytheon 5755 tube, with a tube adapter. (you need a 5575-to-12AX7/ECC83 adapter to change the pin-outs, don't just stick it in the socket even though it fits, or you'll be sad) This was also recommended by Justin as an inexpensive tube that has a really nice sound to it and I agree.
Gain: Any of the Philips/Amperex/Valvo/3rd party branded 12AU7/T7/X7 tubes made in Holland sound good, as do the Siemens tubes from Austria and Germany.
Rectifier: RFT EZ81. If I was pressed to make a choice on the best rectifier, it would be the RFT. It's just about damn near perfect.

I'm not a fan of anything Mullard made, so you'll have to talk to someone else if you have an interest in any of their tubes. I know they're popular.

Anyway, hope that helps. Careful though, tube rolling can be addictive. Sure is fun though.
Great info! I am interested in this amp, too.
 
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post-14729488
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Tostitostelli

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As someone who has only experienced solid state, and has no real chance to test audio gear before buying, what could you guys recommend me, in terms of Tube-amp, for the Aeolus?
Pricerange: 500-1000 euros.
I see allot of folks absolutely loving ZMF headphones on tubes, and i must admit im getting curious.
Edit: Perhaps i should clarify a bit, i dont know any tube terminology, or branding.
 
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Zachik

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As someone who has only experienced solid state, and has no real chance to test audio gear before buying, what could you guys recommend me, in terms of Tube-amp, for the Aeolus?
Pricerange: 500-1000 euros.
I see allot of folks absolutely loving ZMF headphones on tubes, and i must admit im getting curious.
Edit: Perhaps i should clarify a bit, i dont know any tube terminology, or branding.
A safe bet would be a tube hybrid (I know, you said you're not familiar with terminology... bear with me...)
I have a ZMF Verite headphone (not Aeolus. at least not yet......) and it is great with the (here is the specific brand / model for you :wink:) Monoprice Liquid Platinum (designed by the great Alex Cavalli).
I must admit I have no idea about availability in Europe (you mentioned budget in Euros). In the US it sells for $769 which is within your budget, but I know VAT / custom fees could change that...
Anyhow, I think this amp is a great starting point and very good match for ZMF headphones!
 
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Tostitostelli

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A safe bet would be a tube hybrid (I know, you said you're not familiar with terminology... bear with me...)
I have a ZMF Verite headphone (not Aeolus. at least not yet......) and it is great with the (here is the specific brand / model for you :wink:) Monoprice Liquid Platinum (designed by the great Alex Cavalli).
I must admit I have no idea about availability in Europe (you mentioned budget in Euros). In the US it sells for $769 which is within your budget, but I know VAT / custom fees could change that...
Anyhow, I think this amp is a great starting point and very good match for ZMF headphones!
Thank you for the reply ^^ . I will certainly consider them.
 
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Wildcatsare1

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As someone who has only experienced solid state, and has no real chance to test audio gear before buying, what could you guys recommend me, in terms of Tube-amp, for the Aeolus?
Pricerange: 500-1000 euros.
I see allot of folks absolutely loving ZMF headphones on tubes, and i must admit im getting curious.
Edit: Perhaps i should clarify a bit, i dont know any tube terminology, or branding.
Many people swear by the GOTL (the Glenn OTL), that’s the one I’m lusting after now to compliment my Liquid Platinum.
 
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GrussGott

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Many people swear by the GOTL (the Glenn OTL), that’s the one I’m lusting after now to compliment my Liquid Platinum.
Oh wow, would love to hear that comparo! Apologies if I missed this, but how does your LP do with the ZMF dynamics?
 
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itsikhefez

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As someone who has only experienced solid state, and has no real chance to test audio gear before buying, what could you guys recommend me, in terms of Tube-amp, for the Aeolus?
Pricerange: 500-1000 euros.
I see allot of folks absolutely loving ZMF headphones on tubes, and i must admit im getting curious.
Edit: Perhaps i should clarify a bit, i dont know any tube terminology, or branding.
Are you in to DIY? How about a Bottlehead amp? In your budget, you could afford any of them (slightly stretching for the Mainline).
I'm sure a Crack or Crack-a-two-a (both OTL) would both work wonderfully with the 300ohm impedance of the Aeolus.
I'm almost finished building the Mainline, and have ordered the Ziricote version pre-ordered, so may be able to post impressions in a month or so
 
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Tostitostelli

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Are you in to DIY? How about a Bottlehead amp? In your budget, you could afford any of them (slightly stretching for the Mainline).
I'm sure a Crack or Crack-a-two-a (both OTL) would both work wonderfully with the 300ohm impedance of the Aeolus.
I'm almost finished building the Mainline, and have ordered the Ziricote version pre-ordered, so may be able to post impressions in a month or so
I am interested in DIY, however, i cant do it thanks to physical disability. To give you some idea, what others would consider easy, or not even think about, swapping cables on my LCD-2 classic is beyond what my hands can do. I usually ask someone else to do it for me because of this. Same for pad swaps.
Not asking for sympathy or anything like that, just informing on whats possible :) .
Also, could you explain what OTL stands for, and Bottlehead? Feel like there's so much to learn when it comes to tubes.
Thank you for your reply ^^
 
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itsikhefez

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I am interested in DIY, however, i cant do it thanks to physical disability. To give you some idea, what others would consider easy, or not even think about, swapping cables on my LCD-2 classic is beyond what my hands can do. I usually ask someone else to do it for me because of this. Same for pad swaps.
Not asking for sympathy or anything like that, just informing on whats possible :) .
Also, could you explain what OTL stands for, and Bottlehead? Feel like there's so much to learn when it comes to tubes.
Thank you for your reply ^^
Ah, ok.
OTL stands for output transformer less. It refers to the circuit design of particular tube amplifiers. Such amplifiers mostly work well with high impedance headphones, such as the Sennheisers and Aeolus in this case.
Bottlehead is a small company that sells kits for building tube amps. Assuming you can build one on your own, they give good value for money.
https://bottlehead.com/headphone-amplifier-kits/
 
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Let's please keep the discussion on-topic and off one another. Thanks everyone.
 

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