ZMF Atrium - new open-back co-flagship
May 7, 2022 at 1:46 AM Post #661 of 2,416

Deceneu808

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Has anyone tried the universe suede perforated pads?
So, the USP. Bass seems a little more rolled off but nothing to miss out on. Still kicks. No change in the midrange as far as I can hear, just like the UHP. Treble however seems a bit more darker but also more airy ? It's interesting. Difference between all three variations of Universe pads are little and subtle.
 
May 7, 2022 at 6:20 AM Post #662 of 2,416

Mike C

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I'd wager it's more to do with your ears getting acclimatized to the Atrium sound than actual burn in. Brain burn in if you will.
I agree that 'brain burn in' can happen, and I've posted on Empyrean thread about some significant brain effects that I have; for me, I think my brain can give a filter effect to make the received sound more like my stored familiar version, totally messing up some AB tests. Even to the extent of adding things from memory that are now not there.

However I have found, by accident, that even a piece of wire can burn in.

Confusing? Contradictory? You bet! Nothing easy about this subject (or about high end hifi generally). As to whether brain burn in is 'more', in the case of Atrium I tend to disagree but who knows as it does happen.

And my Atrium have changed very significantly over about 10 days, something like 120 hours - and this is real, they are sounding very good indeed now. Natural, organic, real, fine tonality, beautiful music. The word 'organic' is used a lot and rarely explained or defined, but I use it to mean the opposite of mechanical; in a sense, less like hifi! One then thinks less about describing say treble, bass etc, more about the connection to the music. Atrium is doing this for me.
I can't say how they compare to the VO as I have not gone back, but there are strong similarities. Perhaps Atrium seems like 90% VO plus the best 10% of Empyrean????

It seems more spacious than VO but I'm not sure I'm getting the effects others report. Perhaps it may improve in this respect; if it doesn't, I'm not concerned as I love the sound. As has been said, ZMF love OTL amps and my latest DIY one is giving the kind of sound I like (as above).
 
May 7, 2022 at 6:10 PM Post #663 of 2,416

Henrim

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It seems more spacious than VO but I'm not sure I'm getting the effects others report. Perhaps it may improve in this respect; if it doesn't, I'm not concerned as I love the sound. As has been said, ZMF love OTL amps and my latest DIY one is giving the kind of sound I like (as above).

I find I over hype how good products will be everytime I watch or read a million reviews, and then actually hear the thing. I remember when I first tried HD800, I was expecting sounds to come at me from meters away. While this is true for biaural recordings, most are just a couple inches away.

Similar thing happened to me when I tried the Atrium. I expected more, but I soon felt how addictive they are.
 
May 7, 2022 at 9:26 PM Post #664 of 2,416

erics75

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Believe it or not, I'm still trying to figure that out. The other night I got astounding sound w/the Final D8000 (a planar). A couple weeks ago, astounding sound w/my other planar, the Ori.

Results with the Atrium have been a bit mixed: several days ago I got a very large, spacious sound with a bit more treble than expected (total level of treble, I mean--actual sound of the treble was terrific).

This amp is a real project. Mfr recommended 300 hrs burn-in, which I did. But it may prove to be one of those devices that keeps changing sonically until ~500 hrs' burn-in. I say that because I've gotten variable sonic results in the time I've had it in my main system (after 300 hrs' burn-in).

Part of the variability was because I tried 2 different tactics to knock down the excessive gain of the amp (external passive volume controller; or pair of high-quality 10 dB in-line RCA attenuators). The in-line attenuators work well and have been in the system for past week+. I'll try the VO & Atrium on this amp again soon, probably over the weekend.

As for output impedance of each jack, I really can't figure out this design at all:
  1. Thanks to a "pigtail" from ForzaAudioWorks, I can use my typical XLR/balanced FAW cable with either the THR-1s 4-pin XLR output or either of its 1/4" outputs. Here's the weird thing--the level doesn't change, no matter which output I use. That can't be correct; the high impedance output ought to put out lower volume. But it doesn't work that way.
  2. Compounding the weirdness is the fact that the volume from any of the 3 HP outputs is at least double that of the line-level outputs that go my amp & speakers. Comfortably loud on HP is ~9:30 on the dial, while comfortably loud on speakers can be 2:00+ on the dial. I can't figure that out at all
  3. At first I thought the passive controller or attenuators were somehow acting differently for HP outputs vs line level output (not possible, but still, I checked). Running the amp w/no attenuation at all, the same volume different exists, but now the volume is pinned counterclockwise for HPs, barely getting above 7:30 on the dial before becoming intolerably loud, while the preamp output is @~9:30 on the dial.
So to say the least, there are some operational oddities w/this amp. Some of this stuff wouldn't be noticeable to anyone using it only for headphones and not also for preamping, as I do.

But in general, the sound I've heard since putting it IMS is really high level SS sound done right--strong bass, big/rich midrange, and very extended treble that is also delicate and nuanced. The headphone sound is strikingly good on some headphones. I'm putting in all this time and effort w/the THR-1 mainly because its core sound seems so promising to me.

More to report in a few days re sound w/VO & Atrium...
Excellent info thank you! I love trying new gear, and the Kinki is definitely on my radar
 
May 8, 2022 at 2:01 PM Post #665 of 2,416

ctaxxxx

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(mucho text)

As someone who was considering a used WA8 (portable tube amp) to go along with my Cayin C9, you've convinced me otherwise. I like the Atrium, but it does sound flat out of the C9 and even my Audio-GD R2R-11 that I hardly use anymore. The WA8 may, or may not, help with that...

A lot of tube amps I see mentioned here though are with under $1K or north of $2k. I'm looking for something inbetween - a mid-tier OTL tube amp. There doesn't seem to be too many options though...

Decware CSP3 $1.44k - my first option until I saw they have a Year long waiting list...
Woo Audio WA2 $1.5k - may be too wide for my desk
Feliks audio Elise $2k - at the top of my budget but is a decent size for my desk

Anything I missed? The main thing I have to keep in mind is my limited desk space (which is why I was considering the WA8). I could just buy a separate shelf, but that's another cost to consider... Also I will be running line out from my DAP - 4.4mm to RCA cable maybe
 
May 8, 2022 at 2:26 PM Post #666 of 2,416

alsorkin

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As someone who was considering a used WA8 (portable tube amp) to go along with my Cayin C9, you've convinced me otherwise. I like the Atrium, but it does sound flat out of the C9 and even my Audio-GD R2R-11 that I hardly use anymore. The WA8 may, or may not, help with that...

A lot of tube amps I see mentioned here though are with under $1K or north of $2k. I'm looking for something inbetween - a mid-tier OTL tube amp. There doesn't seem to be too many options though...

Decware CSP3 $1.44k - my first option until I saw they have a Year long waiting list...
Woo Audio WA2 $1.5k - may be too wide for my desk
Feliks audio Elise $2k - at the top of my budget but is a decent size for my desk

Anything I missed? The main thing I have to keep in mind is my limited desk space (which is why I was considering the WA8). I could just buy a separate shelf, but that's another cost to consider... Also I wiWll be running line out from my DAP - 4.4mm to RCA cable maybe
Woo WA7 3rd Gen works great with my DX300Max Ti using 4.4mm to RCA inputs to the WA7
 
May 8, 2022 at 3:09 PM Post #667 of 2,416

ColSaulTigh

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As someone who was considering a used WA8 (portable tube amp) to go along with my Cayin C9, you've convinced me otherwise. I like the Atrium, but it does sound flat out of the C9 and even my Audio-GD R2R-11 that I hardly use anymore. The WA8 may, or may not, help with that...

A lot of tube amps I see mentioned here though are with under $1K or north of $2k. I'm looking for something inbetween - a mid-tier OTL tube amp. There doesn't seem to be too many options though...

Decware CSP3 $1.44k - my first option until I saw they have a Year long waiting list...
Woo Audio WA2 $1.5k - may be too wide for my desk
Feliks audio Elise $2k - at the top of my budget but is a decent size for my desk

Anything I missed? The main thing I have to keep in mind is my limited desk space (which is why I was considering the WA8). I could just buy a separate shelf, but that's another cost to consider... Also I will be running line out from my DAP - 4.4mm to RCA cable maybe
Woo Audio WA6-SE falls right at $1,500. It's the perfect amp for what you're looking for.
 
May 8, 2022 at 5:14 PM Post #668 of 2,416

WillieB

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As someone who was considering a used WA8 (portable tube amp) to go along with my Cayin C9, you've convinced me otherwise. I like the Atrium, but it does sound flat out of the C9 and even my Audio-GD R2R-11 that I hardly use anymore. The WA8 may, or may not, help with that...

A lot of tube amps I see mentioned here though are with under $1K or north of $2k. I'm looking for something inbetween - a mid-tier OTL tube amp. There doesn't seem to be too many options though...

Decware CSP3 $1.44k - my first option until I saw they have a Year long waiting list...
Woo Audio WA2 $1.5k - may be too wide for my desk
Feliks audio Elise $2k - at the top of my budget but is a decent size for my desk

Anything I missed? The main thing I have to keep in mind is my limited desk space (which is why I was considering the WA8). I could just buy a separate shelf, but that's another cost to consider... Also I will be running line out from my DAP - 4.4mm to RCA cable maybe
Look into 1101 Audio. Specifically, the Blue Halo OTL. It's not what I would consider mid-tier from a quality standpoint, but it is within the budget you mentioned for starters, but even nicely upgraded would still be under $2500 if some of the options were to entice you.
 
May 8, 2022 at 5:51 PM Post #669 of 2,416

Monsterzero

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Look into 1101 Audio. Specifically, the Blue Halo OTL. It's not what I would consider mid-tier from a quality standpoint, but it is within the budget you mentioned for starters, but even nicely upgraded would still be under $2500 if some of the options were to entice you.
The only problem with the Blue Halo is the wait time for a build.
I typed with Mischa about 3 weeks ago and the que is nearly a year.

I've not heard any of his amps yet, but by all accounts he builds great sounding amps
 
May 8, 2022 at 7:09 PM Post #670 of 2,416

inthere

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As someone who was considering a used WA8 (portable tube amp) to go along with my Cayin C9, you've convinced me otherwise. I like the Atrium, but it does sound flat out of the C9 and even my Audio-GD R2R-11 that I hardly use anymore. The WA8 may, or may not, help with that...

A lot of tube amps I see mentioned here though are with under $1K or north of $2k. I'm looking for something inbetween - a mid-tier OTL tube amp. There doesn't seem to be too many options though...

Decware CSP3 $1.44k - my first option until I saw they have a Year long waiting list...
Woo Audio WA2 $1.5k - may be too wide for my desk
Feliks audio Elise $2k - at the top of my budget but is a decent size for my desk

Anything I missed? The main thing I have to keep in mind is my limited desk space (which is why I was considering the WA8). I could just buy a separate shelf, but that's another cost to consider... Also I will be running line out from my DAP - 4.4mm to RCA cable maybe
Feliks Audio Elise $2000-I feel extremely lucky getting mine 7 years ago for $650. I felt it was a $2000 amp back then and still do, especially with the extras added in version 2. Listening to it right now.
 
May 9, 2022 at 4:22 AM Post #673 of 2,416

Henrim

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Ahh I see. I saw they're one of heaviest metal choices, +~50g for the Verite. Looks like I'll be getting black and koa.

On a side note, my girlfriend listens to my current rig on her own accord, which is the first time that's ever happened!! :L3000: (current rig is Chord Qutest -> Feliks Euforia -> Atrium, a demo unit) Apparently she got tricked, she took the headphones off to check if, or who was chatting outside. Turns out it was just in the recording haha! It's not even biaural, Jazz at the Pawnshop 30th Anniversary.
 
May 9, 2022 at 8:45 AM Post #674 of 2,416

Aenemo

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Ahh I see. I saw they're one of heaviest metal choices, +~50g for the Verite. Looks like I'll be getting black and koa.

On a side note, my girlfriend listens to my current rig on her own accord, which is the first time that's ever happened!! :L3000: (current rig is Chord Qutest -> Feliks Euforia -> Atrium, a demo unit) Apparently she got tricked, she took the headphones off to check if, or who was chatting outside. Turns out it was just in the recording haha! It's not even biaural, Jazz at the Pawnshop 30th Anniversary.
I asked about weight for the metal choices he said the back is the lightest and the rest of the metals tend to be about +30g on the Atrium.
 
May 9, 2022 at 9:08 AM Post #675 of 2,416

whirlwind

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As someone who was considering a used WA8 (portable tube amp) to go along with my Cayin C9, you've convinced me otherwise. I like the Atrium, but it does sound flat out of the C9 and even my Audio-GD R2R-11 that I hardly use anymore. The WA8 may, or may not, help with that...

A lot of tube amps I see mentioned here though are with under $1K or north of $2k. I'm looking for something inbetween - a mid-tier OTL tube amp. There doesn't seem to be too many options though...

Decware CSP3 $1.44k - my first option until I saw they have a Year long waiting list...
Woo Audio WA2 $1.5k - may be too wide for my desk
Feliks audio Elise $2k - at the top of my budget but is a decent size for my desk

Anything I missed? The main thing I have to keep in mind is my limited desk space (which is why I was considering the WA8). I could just buy a separate shelf, but that's another cost to consider... Also I will be running line out from my DAP - 4.4mm to RCA cable maybe

Maybe a La Figaro 339i

 

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