ZMF Aeolus Impressions thread
May 24, 2022 at 9:57 PM Post #5,641 of 6,031

jinxy245

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no, thank you guys! this has been a really fun and insightful year for me; going to my first Canjam, getting a ZMF, etc. This thread (and head-fi in general) had some really good information; ill be back in a bit to share my Aeolus pics.

The least i could do, right?
Pics are definitely not a requirement, but usually appreciated by most people here. Looking forward to it!
 
May 24, 2022 at 11:22 PM Post #5,642 of 6,031

Mattyjm

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2022 OK: Canjam, ZMF…..make it a trifecta with a output transformer-less (OTL) tube headphone amplifier 😜?….👍?
don't tempt me, my wallet can't handle this...

what are some beginner OTL that are good for the Aeolus? BHC would be ideal (at least from what i have been reading), but the shipping + taxes might skew the price to performance ratio slightly
 
May 24, 2022 at 11:27 PM Post #5,643 of 6,031

jonathan c

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don't tempt me, my wallet can't handle this...

what are some beginner OTL that are good for the Aeolus? BHC would be ideal (at least from what i have been reading), but the shipping + taxes might skew the price to performance ratio slightly
Eufonika (various models), Woo WA3 (discontinued: they do appear in the classified adverts), Xduoo TA-26 are three to investigate.
 
May 25, 2022 at 12:10 AM Post #5,644 of 6,031

Mattyjm

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Eufonika (various models), Woo WA3 (discontinued: they do appear in the classified adverts), Xduoo TA-26 are three to investigate.
Is it true that the TA-26 and the Darkvoice 336SE are the same internal structure?
 
May 25, 2022 at 12:39 AM Post #5,645 of 6,031

jonathan c

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Is it true that the TA-26 and the Darkvoice 336SE are the same internal structure?
Similar configuration: one ‘6080’ type tube + one ‘6SN7’ type tube. As for ‘internal structure’: capacitors, resistors, wiring, I cannot say. What I have read about the TA-26 is that it is far less prone to hum than the DV.
 
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May 25, 2022 at 10:11 AM Post #5,646 of 6,031

Marlowe

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don't tempt me, my wallet can't handle this...

what are some beginner OTL that are good for the Aeolus? BHC would be ideal (at least from what i have been reading), but the shipping + taxes might skew the price to performance ratio slightly
Not saying anything that has not been said elsewhere on this thread, but the Schiit Valhalla 2 ($350 USD) sounds very nice with the Aeolus. I bet that the somewhat less expensive Little Dot MK III would sound pretty good also, but though I have one boxed in the closet, I sheepishly admit I've never broken it out and used it with the Aeolus. I can't say what the final delivered prices of these amps would be in particular countries outside the US (though the Little Dot, of course, is China sourced).

The price to performance ration of the Bottlehead Crack also depends heavily on your ability/willingness to assemble it from a kit (and paying a competent assembler nearly doubles the price). Apologies, but this is a pet peeve of mine since, despite my protestations, I've been told numerous times on these and other forums how "easy" it is to assemble. It's sort of like gourmet cooking. If you've acquired the skill to cook a gourmet meal, it's easy, but if your cooking skills (like mine) are limited to boiling water, it's not. And as a 68-year old who was an inept klutz in elementary school arts and crafts and high school shop, my water boiling skills are a whole lot better than my (absolutely non-existent) soldering skills.
 
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May 25, 2022 at 1:44 PM Post #5,648 of 6,031

mvneufeld

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Eufonika (various models), Woo WA3 (discontinued: they do appear in the classified adverts), Xduoo TA-26 are three to investigate.
+1 for Eufonika model H5 + Miflex KPCU. You can find it on Etsy for around $515. Be prepared to wait a month or two to get it from the guy in Poland who makes them. Fantastic synergy with ZMF headphones, very well designed and built. I wrote a short review a while back: Post #237 of 451
 
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May 25, 2022 at 2:09 PM Post #5,650 of 6,031

mvneufeld

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I've had my Aeolus for about 6 months and I really like it. I have the OTL Eufonika H5 mentioned in my post above and mostly listen to jazz, and the Aeolus is throughly enjoyable. It's not the slightest bit fatiguing, and I'm pretty happy with the resolution/detail and FR. I have a Sennehiser HD800S if I want to do critical listening, and I find the HD800S's notorious shortcomings pretty much disappear with a good OTL amp.

But FOMO/upgrade-itis is gnawing at my tiny brain. Is it worth selling the Aeolus for $1000 and spending another $1500 to get the Atrium? And if I sold the Aeolus and the HD800S, that would pay for an Atrium... On the other hand I'm really fond of my current headphones. I'm so confused!

I wonder if any fellow Head-fiers have been in a similar position? Any buyer's remorse?
 
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May 25, 2022 at 2:18 PM Post #5,651 of 6,031

raindownthunda

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I've had my Aeolus for about 6 months and I really like it. I have the OTL Eufonika H5 mentioned in my post above and mostly listen to jazz, and the Aeolus is throughly enjoyable. It's not the slightest bit fatiguing, and I'm pretty happy with the resolution/detail and FR. I have a Sennehiser HD800S if I want to do critical listening, and I find the HD800S's notorious shortcomings pretty much disappear with a good OTL amp.

But FOMO/upgrade-itis is gnawing at my tiny brain. Is it worth selling the Aeolus for $1000 and spending another $1500 to get the Atrium? And if I sold the Aeolus and the HD800S, that would pay for an Atrium... On the other hand I'm really fond of my current headphones. I'm so confused!

I wonder if any fellow Head-fiers have been in a similar position? Any buyer's remorse?
Off topic but I would love to see a comparison between the Eufonika H5 and Bottlehead Crack. Anyone know if that’s been done yet?
 
May 25, 2022 at 2:55 PM Post #5,652 of 6,031

haasaaroni

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I've had my Aeolus for about 6 months and I really like it. I have the OTL Eufonika H5 mentioned in my post above and mostly listen to jazz, and the Aeolus is throughly enjoyable. It's not the slightest bit fatiguing, and I'm pretty happy with the resolution/detail and FR. I have a Sennehiser HD800S if I want to do critical listening, and I find the HD800S's notorious shortcomings pretty much disappear with a good OTL amp.

But FOMO/upgrade-itis is gnawing at my tiny brain. Is it worth selling the Aeolus for $1000 and spending another $1500 to get the Atrium? And if I sold the Aeolus and the HD800S, that would pay for an Atrium... On the other hand I'm really fond of my current headphones. I'm so confused!

I wonder if any fellow Head-fiers have been in a similar position? Any buyer's remorse?
Not that I have an Atrium, but every time I consider selling my Aeolus, I start to really hear what makes it special. It's definitely got its own way of doing things that I love. Could the Atrium be the "one to rule them all?" Maybe. But if I sold a couple headphones in my collection in order to buy an Atrium, I'd lose out on the variety of having these different flavors.

I would at least advise trying to give it a listen before selling off your Aeolus and HD800S. I know I'm waiting to hear them at the latest by CanJam SoCal in September. Like all ZMF's, there's never been any real "better" between their models, aside from pure technicalities. Each one brings something special and unique to the listening experience.
 
May 25, 2022 at 5:44 PM Post #5,653 of 6,031

jinxy245

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Not that I have an Atrium, but every time I consider selling my Aeolus, I start to really hear what makes it special. It's definitely got its own way of doing things that I love. Could the Atrium be the "one to rule them all?" Maybe. But if I sold a couple headphones in my collection in order to buy an Atrium, I'd lose out on the variety of having these different flavors.

I would at least advise trying to give it a listen before selling off your Aeolus and HD800S. I know I'm waiting to hear them at the latest by CanJam SoCal in September. Like all ZMF's, there's never been any real "better" between their models, aside from pure technicalities. Each one brings something special and unique to the listening experience.
Good advice IMO. IDK how close you are to Long Beach (or your schedule for that matter) but if you wanted to check them out sooner, there's always T.H.E. Show at the Hilton Long Beach. That's going to be June 10th -12th. Just an idea...
 
May 25, 2022 at 5:49 PM Post #5,654 of 6,031

jonathan c

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Not that I have an Atrium, but every time I consider selling my Aeolus, I start to really hear what makes it special. It's definitely got its own way of doing things that I love. Could the Atrium be the "one to rule them all?" Maybe. But if I sold a couple headphones in my collection in order to buy an Atrium, I'd lose out on the variety of having these different flavors.

I would at least advise trying to give it a listen before selling off your Aeolus and HD800S. I know I'm waiting to hear them at the latest by CanJam SoCal in September. Like all ZMF's, there's never been any real "better" between their models, aside from pure technicalities. Each one brings something special and unique to the listening experience.
Each ZMF headphone speaks eloquently & musically with its own voice suggestive of that of its siblings. There is no ‘black sheep / lone wolf’ in the house that Zack / Bevin built.
 

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