ZMF Atrium - new open-back co-flagship
May 20, 2022 at 9:03 PM Post #901 of 2,416

Henrim

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You're thinking about it all wrong... Nothing lasts forever. Because of that fact, your cherry pair will more than likely look much more appealing years down the line when many of the harder and glossier pairs are all scuffed up, and your cherry pair has some nice patina. Another reason woodworkers love cherry. It ages beautifully. :wink:

I just looked up how long it takes for cherry to age. According to this, cherry darkens as it the wood oxidizes, and it will be 80% fully oxidized after 1 year.
UV light causes the oxidization, so leaving them in the sun speeds up the process.

Here's a shot from the same site
1653094677530.png
 
May 20, 2022 at 9:24 PM Post #902 of 2,416

WillieB

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You're thinking about it all wrong... Nothing lasts forever. Because of that fact, your cherry pair will more than likely look much more appealing years down the line when many of the harder and glossier pairs are all scuffed up, and your cherry pair has some nice patina. Another reason woodworkers love cherry. It ages beautifully. :wink:


I just installed the solid mesh and testing with the Uni leathers. Now we're talkin'. I can see why you had originally sent out review pairs with the solid mesh. Or, maybe I'm just more sensitive to bright gear than many others. Tho, upper treble doesn't bother me. Mainly lower treble and upper mids.
Now reading that makes me think that I really should try the solid mesh. I have really come to love mine the way they are since they(and me) have had time to break in. It sounds like you are having a similar experience to what I had early on. Sounds like there very well could be good for a change that would suit my taste. I just wonder if it will bring them closer to what the VO are in terms of gentle nature of that part of the frequency range(upper mid-low highs). I don't necessarily want them to be TOO similar, though. Never hurts to try I guess!
 
May 20, 2022 at 11:24 PM Post #903 of 2,416

helljudgement

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I just wonder if it will bring them closer to what the VO are in terms of gentle nature of that part of the frequency range(upper mid-low highs).
The VO still have more sparkle in the highs even with perf mesh on Atrium. They are very different sounding and the solid mesh does make the Atrium a touch darker than the VO in tonality though the Atrium's midrange is more even. Could be that you're just more sensitive to the upper mids and if that is the case the VO is definitely a less fatiguing in that area.
 
May 21, 2022 at 1:18 PM Post #907 of 2,416

czalarenta

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I received my Atrium last Friday, but I’ve had a really unusual experience with them. I have a clue what’s going on now, but I hope that some of you fine folks might be able to help.

Simply put, my Atrium hurts to listen to, moreso than anything else I own. They’re also the best headphone I’ve ever owned in many regards, which has made the past week rather confusing.

The way it hurts me is similar to the reaction you’d get from sibilance, that uncomfortable cringe, but throughout the treble range. Depending on what I was listening to, the Atrium would be either slightly dark or aggravatingly treble-dominant, and it could switch instantly. I found this out the hard way when I was deliberately seeking out chill music and listened to some Coldplay, because I really liked them as a kid. It worked for a song or two, until Chris Martin hit a high note, and for a split-second, it felt like Chris Martin was right in front of me and about to murder me. While I have to applaud the ZMF team for making such a fantastic headphone that can make the artist appear in front of you, I don’t think that’s what either artist had in mind!

Clearly something’s not right in my case. So, I figured I should do a sine sweep test with visuals to see where the issue is. The best I could find was on Youtube (I know, I know…), and the results surprised me.

While I passed a hearing test at an audiologist with flying colors a year ago, those only test to see if you have enough hearing. What they don’t test for is if you have too much hearing! According to a couple different video tests, at 2600-3000, 6000, and 8000, I have some rather sizable peaks in my hearing. I tried it on three different headphones, and that basic pattern applied across all of them for me, even if the headphones and the tests had slightly different results.

So, the problem is just me then, right? Well, yes and no. Here’s the odd thing: the other two headphones I used were the Focal Clear and Hifiman Arya, and while both of those headphones are obviously designed to be more treble-heavy than the Atrium, they don’t bother me remotely as much as the Atrium does at those peaks, not even close. Something about the Atrium brings those peaks to the forefront of my hearing in a way that nothing else I own has ever done.

So, after all of that, I have two questions:
1. Is there a proper, Head-fi approved piece of software to do these kinds of sine sweeps with? I’m looking to essentially create an EQ for my ears, so I’d like to be precise and have it be a properly valid result. I’d like to do better than Youtube for that!
2. Why is it that the Atrium would aggravate my ears so much more than a Clear or an Arya?

So, final score: 10/10, comfy, pretty, Chris Martin tried to murder me. Thanks for reading my blog, and any help would be appreciated!
 
May 21, 2022 at 1:37 PM Post #908 of 2,416
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Is the Verite Silver cable discontinued? I noticed it's no longer on ZMF's site. Considered getting a second pair to go along with my Atrium since it worked well with my Verite.
Not discontinued and sorry about the confusion! Supply chain issues, but they will be back in stock within a month or so. Just didn't want to sell the wire before we have it on hand.
I received my Atrium last Friday, but I’ve had a really unusual experience with them. I have a clue what’s going on now, but I hope that some of you fine folks might be able to help.

Simply put, my Atrium hurts to listen to, moreso than anything else I own. They’re also the best headphone I’ve ever owned in many regards, which has made the past week rather confusing.

The way it hurts me is similar to the reaction you’d get from sibilance, that uncomfortable cringe, but throughout the treble range. Depending on what I was listening to, the Atrium would be either slightly dark or aggravatingly treble-dominant, and it could switch instantly. I found this out the hard way when I was deliberately seeking out chill music and listened to some Coldplay, because I really liked them as a kid. It worked for a song or two, until Chris Martin hit a high note, and for a split-second, it felt like Chris Martin was right in front of me and about to murder me. While I have to applaud the ZMF team for making such a fantastic headphone that can make the artist appear in front of you, I don’t think that’s what either artist had in mind!

Clearly something’s not right in my case. So, I figured I should do a sine sweep test with visuals to see where the issue is. The best I could find was on Youtube (I know, I know…), and the results surprised me.

While I passed a hearing test at an audiologist with flying colors a year ago, those only test to see if you have enough hearing. What they don’t test for is if you have too much hearing! According to a couple different video tests, at 2600-3000, 6000, and 8000, I have some rather sizable peaks in my hearing. I tried it on three different headphones, and that basic pattern applied across all of them for me, even if the headphones and the tests had slightly different results.

So, the problem is just me then, right? Well, yes and no. Here’s the odd thing: the other two headphones I used were the Focal Clear and Hifiman Arya, and while both of those headphones are obviously designed to be more treble-heavy than the Atrium, they don’t bother me remotely as much as the Atrium does at those peaks, not even close. Something about the Atrium brings those peaks to the forefront of my hearing in a way that nothing else I own has ever done.

So, after all of that, I have two questions:
1. Is there a proper, Head-fi approved piece of software to do these kinds of sine sweeps with? I’m looking to essentially create an EQ for my ears, so I’d like to be precise and have it be a properly valid result. I’d like to do better than Youtube for that!
2. Why is it that the Atrium would aggravate my ears so much more than a Clear or an Arya?

So, final score: 10/10, comfy, pretty, Chris Martin tried to murder me. Thanks for reading my blog, and any help would be appreciated!
Suggestions!

1. Solid Mesh.

2. Hybrid pads.

3. If you're using the same system for all three headphones, likely the system has a low impedance, could be worth trying an inexpensive otl amp like the schiit Valhalla or feliks echo etc etc and seeing if that helps as well. Or a solid state source with high impedance out like the Cayin iha6.

Thank you for the write up!
 
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May 21, 2022 at 1:51 PM Post #909 of 2,416

Monsterzero

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Or a solid state source with high impedance out like the Cayin iha6.
A vintage receiver would work tremendously in this case as well. With a high impedance output, dedicated bass/midrange/ treble controls built in and a high and low pass switch, a receiver from the 70s would make for an excellent, versatile and not too expensive alternative.

EDIT: All that being said, the solid mesh would be the simplest solution. My pair has the solid mesh and I do not hear any spikes in the 5-10k range.
 
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May 21, 2022 at 4:16 PM Post #910 of 2,416

Pharmaboy

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Now reading that makes me think that I really should try the solid mesh. I have really come to love mine the way they are since they(and me) have had time to break in. It sounds like you are having a similar experience to what I had early on. Sounds like there very well could be good for a change that would suit my taste. I just wonder if it will bring them closer to what the VO are in terms of gentle nature of that part of the frequency range(upper mid-low highs). I don't necessarily want them to be TOO similar, though. Never hurts to try I guess!
I have the Atrium with the original/1st version solid mesh (which weeks later was slightly changed to a new stock mesh that produced slightly brighter sound--or so I'm told). I wouldn't change this OG mesh for anything. The sound is perfect. The clarity and staging of the Atrium are truly next level.

I have a silkwood VO w/stock earpads and have often compared it to the Atrium w/stock earpads. While the Atrium beats just about every other headphone I've ever heard in staging & 3D placement of voices/instruments, the VO sounds different and (to my ears) beautifully musical in a way no other headphone quite manages--not even the very musical Atrium. The VO absolutely nails tone & timbre for me, above all else. I love that sound.

When I first heard the VO (a loaner when the VO & VC first launched), I assumed its sound would only suit classical music, choral/vocal, and acoustic instruments. Wrong--it suits every genre I throw at it. That's a good thing, no doubt...

I think a lot of what I'm hearing in the VO is the different driver (beryllium vs biocellulose of the Atrium); and of course, the tuning/"voicing" of the headphone itself (IMO that's ZMF's "secret sauce," different for each dynamic headphone). Maybe some of it is the damping, which is different than the Atrium's. Whatever is responsible for what I hear in the VO, I'm happy to have it. This headphone has a lovely sound.
 
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May 21, 2022 at 4:24 PM Post #911 of 2,416

Pharmaboy

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I received my Atrium last Friday, but I’ve had a really unusual experience with them. I have a clue what’s going on now, but I hope that some of you fine folks might be able to help.

Simply put, my Atrium hurts to listen to, moreso than anything else I own. They’re also the best headphone I’ve ever owned in many regards, which has made the past week rather confusing.

The way it hurts me is similar to the reaction you’d get from sibilance, that uncomfortable cringe, but throughout the treble range. Depending on what I was listening to, the Atrium would be either slightly dark or aggravatingly treble-dominant, and it could switch instantly. I found this out the hard way when I was deliberately seeking out chill music and listened to some Coldplay, because I really liked them as a kid. It worked for a song or two, until Chris Martin hit a high note, and for a split-second, it felt like Chris Martin was right in front of me and about to murder me. While I have to applaud the ZMF team for making such a fantastic headphone that can make the artist appear in front of you, I don’t think that’s what either artist had in mind!

Clearly something’s not right in my case. So, I figured I should do a sine sweep test with visuals to see where the issue is. The best I could find was on Youtube (I know, I know…), and the results surprised me.

While I passed a hearing test at an audiologist with flying colors a year ago, those only test to see if you have enough hearing. What they don’t test for is if you have too much hearing! According to a couple different video tests, at 2600-3000, 6000, and 8000, I have some rather sizable peaks in my hearing. I tried it on three different headphones, and that basic pattern applied across all of them for me, even if the headphones and the tests had slightly different results.

So, the problem is just me then, right? Well, yes and no. Here’s the odd thing: the other two headphones I used were the Focal Clear and Hifiman Arya, and while both of those headphones are obviously designed to be more treble-heavy than the Atrium, they don’t bother me remotely as much as the Atrium does at those peaks, not even close. Something about the Atrium brings those peaks to the forefront of my hearing in a way that nothing else I own has ever done.

So, after all of that, I have two questions:
1. Is there a proper, Head-fi approved piece of software to do these kinds of sine sweeps with? I’m looking to essentially create an EQ for my ears, so I’d like to be precise and have it be a properly valid result. I’d like to do better than Youtube for that!
2. Why is it that the Atrium would aggravate my ears so much more than a Clear or an Arya?

So, final score: 10/10, comfy, pretty, Chris Martin tried to murder me. Thanks for reading my blog, and any help would be appreciated!
I can't comment on many of the issues you raise. But I can suggest the perforated Auteur pads, one of the 3 pad sets recommended for the Atrium (I covered all 3 very briefly in my review). I stayed with the stock Universe pads, the sound of which is a home run for me. But the Auteur pads did noticeably warm up the sound overall for a more relaxing listen.

I have a relatively relaxed/organic-sounding chain in which brightness has been minimized & musicality enhanced: for example, the DAC is NOS, the MHDT Labs Orchid w/the best rolled tube I could find in the buffer circuit, and it is fed signal by a DDC via an excellent coax cable. This may be why the stock pads work so well for my otherwise treble-averse ears.
 
May 21, 2022 at 4:49 PM Post #912 of 2,416

inthere

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You're thinking about it all wrong... Nothing lasts forever. Because of that fact, your cherry pair will more than likely look much more appealing years down the line when many of the harder and glossier pairs are all scuffed up, and your cherry pair has some nice patina. Another reason woodworkers love cherry. It ages beautifully. :wink:


I just installed the solid mesh and testing with the Uni leathers. Now we're talkin'. I can see why you had originally sent out review pairs with the solid mesh. Or, maybe I'm just more sensitive to bright gear than many others. Tho, upper treble doesn't bother me. Mainly lower treble and upper mids.
You're thinking about it all wrong... Nothing lasts forever. Because of that fact, your cherry pair will more than likely look much more appealing years down the line when many of the harder and glossier pairs are all scuffed up, and your cherry pair has some nice patina. Another reason woodworkers love cherry. It ages beautifully. :wink:


I just installed the solid mesh and testing with the Uni leathers. Now we're talkin'. I can see why you had originally sent out review pairs with the solid mesh. Or, maybe I'm just more sensitive to bright gear than many others. Tho, upper treble doesn't bother me. Mainly lower treble and upper mids.
Maybe we’re misunderstanding each other: mine won’t look better years down the line because it has a small chip missing. I don’t care about it “maturing” and getting darker, it’ll be fine either way. Other than the chunk missing, it looks beautiful and sounds even better. How did the chip break off? I bumped the Eikon against it because they share the same stand. I know it’s just a teeny tiny piece, but I know it’s there.
 

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May 21, 2022 at 6:14 PM Post #913 of 2,416

Deceneu808

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Maybe we’re misunderstanding each other: mine won’t look better years down the line because it has a small chip missing. I don’t care about it “maturing” and getting darker, it’ll be fine either way. Other than the chunk missing, it looks beautiful and sounds even better. How did the chip break off? I bumped the Eikon against it because they share the same stand. I know it’s just a teeny tiny piece, but I know it’s there.
You are not alone. I myself confronted the elements of the outside world and got some battle scars while doing so. Wear it with pride

PXL_20220511_095754518~2.jpg
 

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