ZMF Atrium - new open-back co-flagship
Apr 20, 2022 at 4:32 PM Post #331 of 2,416

johnnypaddock

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Are any of you listening to your Atrium (or any ZMF) using a solid state amp? As I wait for my Atrium and a Yggy LIM that I ordered a couple weeks ago, I’m looking to upgrade my solid state amp. Happy with my ZMF Pendant, but for various reasons I’d like to upgrade my solid state amp from a Jotunheim 2. Any recommendations?

As for budget, I’d like to keep it under $2k, but if higher priced options are that much better, I may consider selling some gear to help fund the purchase. Have been thinking hard about the Ferrum Oor (without Hypsos for now) with the expectation that perhaps during the holidays I’d also add the Hypsos. Have also considered the GSX-mini, which many on this forum seem to like, and which appears frequently in the classifieds.

At one point I had the Pendant and the GSX-Mini and used them both with the VO and VC. There were some great tubes in the Pendant, but the GSX-Mini was RIGHT there in terms of overall quality. They actually sounded more similar than different. Both had excellent speed, resolution and tonality. If you like the Pendant I'd definitely recommend the Mini as a solid state option, unless you're looking for more of a significant change in sound.
 
Apr 20, 2022 at 4:51 PM Post #332 of 2,416

WillieB

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Yup. Yggy LiM into a couple of different (restored) vintage SS receivers.

Also using a couple of other SS amps I've built (Neurochrome HP-1 and Pass WHAMMY).

The Atrium sounds awesome with all of them.
Ferrum OOR gets some great reviews, but I think I would go for the Hypsos PSU with it. Together they are around $3200. The amp by itself is still great and it is under 2K. I haven't heard it myself, but I have read that it goes well with high impendence HPs too. I would have to second Violectric as well. I typically stick with vintage receivers, though. There is a lot of value there.
 
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Apr 20, 2022 at 4:56 PM Post #333 of 2,416

soundchaos

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Ferrum OOR gets some great reviews, but I think I would go for the Hypsos PSU with it. Together they are around $3200. The amp by itself it still great and it is under 2K. I haven't heard it myself, but I have read that it goes well with high impendence HPs too. I would have to second Violectric as well. I typically stick with vintage receivers, though. There is a lot of value there.
I haven’t tried the atrium yet (my koa set hasn’t shipped), but I use the Oor + Hypsos with my VC and Aeolus and it’s an awesome combo!
 
Apr 20, 2022 at 4:57 PM Post #334 of 2,416

Monsterzero

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I’m sure I read somewhere that vintage receivers tend to have high impedance on the headphone out, and so can sound pretty good with high impedance cans. I might be skewing a few different things I’ve read there, though.

Do you find that to be the case? Maybe adding the tonal weight high impedance tube amps have?
Yeah, weight and body and bass are all right there where you want it to be, and since many receivers had tone control, as well as a loudness button, you can tweak the sound even further. Where an OTL has the advantage is the holographic imaging, which most solid state amps cant touch.

You might want to check out this video, done by some dude who is a member here.

 
Apr 20, 2022 at 5:55 PM Post #336 of 2,416

inthere

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I've tried the Atrium with 4-5 SS amps and it sounds great on all of them. No idea whether you'll need remote and preamp out or not. But here are a few suggestions:
  • Pretty much anything by Violectric. I have the V281 (wonderful) and Lake People G-109A (single-ended; F.S. here). Both really light up ZMF dynamics. One of the new models is this, currently getting some love here & elsewhere
  • Wells Milo: I've been jonesing for this one. Heard it at a show once. Slightly warm, slightly bassy, very musical, very powerful:
  • Kinki Studio Vision THR-1: This is my latest SS amp. It has gain issues that I'm dealing with, but the sound is quite something. Has some terrific reviews. It's the most powerful amp I've ever heard IMS:
Wells Audio Milo is what blew my mind and got me hooked on ZMF cans when I heard the Eikon and Atticus at Can Jam NYC (forget the year but I saw NBA great David Robinson there). I have a Milo now and it's pretty awesome. I have the base $1699 version but upgrades can take it as high as $5000, in which case I think I would just try the Head Trip.
 
Apr 20, 2022 at 8:38 PM Post #337 of 2,416

DeweyCH

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Are any of you listening to your Atrium (or any ZMF) using a solid state amp? As I wait for my Atrium and a Yggy LIM that I ordered a couple weeks ago, I’m looking to upgrade my solid state amp. Happy with my ZMF Pendant, but for various reasons I’d like to upgrade my solid state amp from a Jotunheim 2. Any recommendations?

As for budget, I’d like to keep it under $2k, but if higher priced options are that much better, I may consider selling some gear to help fund the purchase. Have been thinking hard about the Ferrum Oor (without Hypsos for now) with the expectation that perhaps during the holidays I’d also add the Hypsos. Have also considered the GSX-mini, which many on this forum seem to like, and which appears frequently in the classifieds.
I like my Atriums with tubes best - Mogwai SE or Quicksilver. But I have a couple of SS amps that drive them great. Both Bursons - Timekeeper 3ir and Conductor 3XP. Both are all-in-one units, the Conductor has 115mW into 300 ohms, I think the Timekeeper has the same output in its headphone stage but with a 100WPC Class A/B speaker amp if you need the juice. If you don't need the all-in-one functionality, a Soloist 3XP would probably do the trick right nice. Or anything from Flux, if you can find one. Or an iFi Pro iCAN, if you get one for the right price (GREAT amp, only sold mine b/c the Timekeeper was endgame for me).
 
Apr 20, 2022 at 8:55 PM Post #338 of 2,416

alsorkin

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Are any of you listening to your Atrium (or any ZMF) using a solid state amp? As I wait for my Atrium and a Yggy LIM that I ordered a couple weeks ago, I’m looking to upgrade my solid state amp. Happy with my ZMF Pendant, but for various reasons I’d like to upgrade my solid state amp from a Jotunheim 2. Any recommendations?

As for budget, I’d like to keep it under $2k, but if higher priced options are that much better, I may consider selling some gear to help fund the purchase. Have been thinking hard about the Ferrum Oor (without Hypsos for now) with the expectation that perhaps during the holidays I’d also add the Hypsos. Have also considered the GSX-mini, which many on this forum seem to like, and which appears frequently in the classifieds.
Using the very compact/portable but powerful Centrance Ampersand solid state amp is surprisingly good sounding with my Atrium.
 
Apr 20, 2022 at 10:24 PM Post #339 of 2,416

pravous

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Indeed. Wild Child is from 1973. The sub bass just jumps out at you and Annisette's vocals are glorious.



Clap For The Wolfman is from 1974. The instrument separation is phenomenal. Stuff just coming at you from different angles and height


Lenny.png

This album is fun on the Atrium. Psychedelia and Atrium staging are a trip.
 
Apr 21, 2022 at 5:09 AM Post #340 of 2,416

tinariwen

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Yeah, weight and body and bass are all right there where you want it to be, and since many receivers had tone control, as well as a loudness button, you can tweak the sound even further. Where an OTL has the advantage is the holographic imaging, which most solid state amps cant touch.

You might want to check out this video, done by some dude who is a member here.


Ah brilliant, I’ll have a watch later. I love the look of some of the vintage receivers, but are there particular ones that are considered better than others for headphones?
 
Apr 21, 2022 at 1:27 PM Post #341 of 2,416

Monsterzero

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but are there particular ones that are considered better than others for headphones?
All is revealed in the video, but the short answer is, "no".

Long answer is I like to keep it over 40 wpc, and no later than 1980. which isnt to say a 25wpc receiver built in 1982 might not work and sound good.

You also need to consider house sounds. Marantz, for example tended to make very warm sounding receivers, so a Marantz might not be the best match for the Atrium. Granted there are variations within any given company's signature sound. Sansui teneded to land somewhere in between a Pioneer and Marantz on the 70's warm & gooey scale, yet the Sansui 5000a is the warmest receiver I've heard to date.
 
Apr 21, 2022 at 1:29 PM Post #342 of 2,416

galileaux

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I've been enjoying my Atrium for almost two weeks now and wanted to share some brief impressions. It has quickly become my favorite pair of headphones, right up there with the Vérité Closed, and made me even consider perhaps downsizing my collection and selling my VO and LCD-4!

The biggest positives for me are: A) The Soundstage & Separation of instruments. They are quite unlike anything I've heard from a Dynamic Driver headphone so far. I briefly had an HD800S, and not at the same time as the Atrium so can't compare them, but I didn't feel as impressed by those at the time. I think the main thing I recall then is the HD800S had a wide soundstage, but with the Atrium what impresses me is not how large the staging is, but how well-separated instruments are. Different parts of a song feel defined in their own space, and it's very easy to paint a picture of things in your mind. B) The Timbre. Instruments and voices feel extremely real, especially out of the ZMF Pendant SE amp - this coupled with the impressive separation means that you have a sense that you can almost reach out and touch the different aspects of a song! It's super realistic, and I'm in love with it all. All of that and it still maintains a significant amount of body and bass as well, without ever feeling muddled. What a fantastic headphone this is!

I mentioned this before as well, but 100H of burn-in definitely made a difference for me. Things sounded smoother, and the separation was more evident after the burn-in - though they sounded good at first still.

The one negative for my specific pair (and this is 100% preference-based): The aged copper grills are maybe too aged? They look almost entirely gray, instead of copper. But again, just my own preference.

IMG_2382.jpg
 
Apr 21, 2022 at 1:51 PM Post #343 of 2,416

Pharmaboy

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I've been enjoying my Atrium for almost two weeks now and wanted to share some brief impressions. It has quickly become my favorite pair of headphones, right up there with the Vérité Closed, and made me even consider perhaps downsizing my collection and selling my VO and LCD-4!

The biggest positives for me are: A) The Soundstage & Separation of instruments. They are quite unlike anything I've heard from a Dynamic Driver headphone so far. I briefly had an HD800S, and not at the same time as the Atrium so can't compare them, but I didn't feel as impressed by those at the time. I think the main thing I recall then is the HD800S had a wide soundstage, but with the Atrium what impresses me is not how large the staging is, but how well-separated instruments are. Different parts of a song feel defined in their own space, and it's very easy to paint a picture of things in your mind. B) The Timbre. Instruments and voices feel extremely real, especially out of the ZMF Pendant SE amp - this coupled with the impressive separation means that you have a sense that you can almost reach out and touch the different aspects of a song! It's super realistic, and I'm in love with it all. All of that and it still maintains a significant amount of body and bass as well, without ever feeling muddled. What a fantastic headphone this is!

I mentioned this before as well, but 100H of burn-in definitely made a difference for me. Things sounded smoother, and the separation was more evident after the burn-in - though they sounded good at first still.

The one negative for my specific pair (and this is 100% preference-based): The aged copper grills are maybe too aged? They look almost entirely gray, instead of copper. But again, just my own preference.

IMG_2382.jpg
Nice comments!

I really like the look of your grills FWIW. A light grey grill option would thrill me...
 
Apr 21, 2022 at 2:40 PM Post #344 of 2,416

KrauserX91

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I've been enjoying my Atrium for almost two weeks now and wanted to share some brief impressions. It has quickly become my favorite pair of headphones, right up there with the Vérité Closed, and made me even consider perhaps downsizing my collection and selling my VO and LCD-4!

The biggest positives for me are: A) The Soundstage & Separation of instruments. They are quite unlike anything I've heard from a Dynamic Driver headphone so far. I briefly had an HD800S, and not at the same time as the Atrium so can't compare them, but I didn't feel as impressed by those at the time. I think the main thing I recall then is the HD800S had a wide soundstage, but with the Atrium what impresses me is not how large the staging is, but how well-separated instruments are. Different parts of a song feel defined in their own space, and it's very easy to paint a picture of things in your mind. B) The Timbre. Instruments and voices feel extremely real, especially out of the ZMF Pendant SE amp - this coupled with the impressive separation means that you have a sense that you can almost reach out and touch the different aspects of a song! It's super realistic, and I'm in love with it all. All of that and it still maintains a significant amount of body and bass as well, without ever feeling muddled. What a fantastic headphone this is!

I mentioned this before as well, but 100H of burn-in definitely made a difference for me. Things sounded smoother, and the separation was more evident after the burn-in - though they sounded good at first still.

The one negative for my specific pair (and this is 100% preference-based): The aged copper grills are maybe too aged? They look almost entirely gray, instead of copper. But again, just my own preference.

As far I see every grill is different. Some are too aged like yours (but is probably the most impressive I have seen), others have low aged applied and the colour is close to real copper. It seems they apply more or less random so every headphone is different. Like they say on the web, they want every headphone to be unique.
 
Apr 21, 2022 at 3:25 PM Post #345 of 2,416

jinxy245

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I've been enjoying my Atrium for almost two weeks now and wanted to share some brief impressions. It has quickly become my favorite pair of headphones, right up there with the Vérité Closed, and made me even consider perhaps downsizing my collection and selling my VO and LCD-4!

The biggest positives for me are: A) The Soundstage & Separation of instruments. They are quite unlike anything I've heard from a Dynamic Driver headphone so far. I briefly had an HD800S, and not at the same time as the Atrium so can't compare them, but I didn't feel as impressed by those at the time. I think the main thing I recall then is the HD800S had a wide soundstage, but with the Atrium what impresses me is not how large the staging is, but how well-separated instruments are. Different parts of a song feel defined in their own space, and it's very easy to paint a picture of things in your mind. B) The Timbre. Instruments and voices feel extremely real, especially out of the ZMF Pendant SE amp - this coupled with the impressive separation means that you have a sense that you can almost reach out and touch the different aspects of a song! It's super realistic, and I'm in love with it all. All of that and it still maintains a significant amount of body and bass as well, without ever feeling muddled. What a fantastic headphone this is!

I mentioned this before as well, but 100H of burn-in definitely made a difference for me. Things sounded smoother, and the separation was more evident after the burn-in - though they sounded good at first still.

The one negative for my specific pair (and this is 100% preference-based): The aged copper grills are maybe too aged? They look almost entirely gray, instead of copper. But again, just my own preference.

IMG_2382.jpg

Nice comments!

I really like the look of your grills FWIW. A light grey grill option would thrill me...
I'm with @Pharmaboy , I like the grills as well, but it is a personal preference as you're saying. Enjoy!!
 

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