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ZMF Auteur Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by PacoTaco, Oct 15, 2017.
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  1. mysticstryk
    The Sing 19 isn't better than a $99 Modi 2, so I doubt it is better than the Terminator.
    I know what I've heard and what it measures. If you like it though then don't let anyone tell you differently. Enjoy what you enjoy.
  2. heliosphann
    It leaves a Chord Dave in the dust...
  3. czy6412
    I am not a fan of Dave anyway.
  4. heliosphann
    I was just joking. To me the Ares was a little warmer and the low end was a little sloppier than the SING 19. Other than that they were very comparable, so I'm sure the Terminator would be far better.
  5. Gym_Turtle
    Good luck with the pre-orders then! I can also see your suede pads becoming very popular (although I don’t know how sales for them are going).
  6. Astral Abyss
    Sure does. Eikon and HE-6 out of the Amethyst and into a Milo is really something amazing. Amethyst does have an amp built in and can be used as a DAC/amp combo. I've heard it's decent as an amp, but I've not had any reason to try it.

    BTW, got my Amethyst from Zach. :)
    Hansotek likes this.
  7. humzebra
    Can't wait to see who won the auteur wood contest and what the new wood will be, hopefully they made up their mind..
    I realize it may not be available for preorder as Zach suggested the current woods for November 10th release. Probably worth it to get an African Blackwood and a display case for me. Have we seen pics of the display case?
    Excited! Now all we need is Atticus reborn, no pressure Zach, really, I respect the beautiful headphones you continue to make and adore their sound.
  8. grizzlybeast
    Thanks for sending me these to check out Zach!!​
    • BASS: I find the bass of the Auteur to be tight and controlled. The sub bass is not as prominent as the mid bass but the hump in the midbass doesn't sound to have as high of an arch as the Atticus or the Eikon. It has good speed and is pretty punchy.
    • ATTACK/TRANSIENTS: Very snappy and decently fast. The tones are solid and dense enough that it makes the Auteur sound nimble and defined. Though it is not as heavy handed and rich as my Blackwood Eikon, it sounds more crisp and a little more clean cut with quicker decay.
    • MIDRANGE: The upper mids sound very much there with the Auteur pads without going into shoutiness. There are no dips in the upper midrange. The Auteur pads sound just a little zingy to me at times closer to the lower treble and around the upper mids but I actually like that as opposed to the Eikon Perforated pads. It gives it a bit more character and sizzle without becoming fatiguing. Very very very good midrange on the Autuer. The Eikon pads don't sound as forward in the upper mids but still don't dip like the Atticus.
    • TREBLE: The treble has decent extension and sounds very balanced. Again the Auteur may or may not have a little/tiny bit of sizzly/zing (not sure if there is any ringing or anything there)depending on the amp with the Autuer pads but nothing intolerably unpleasant to my ears. The Eikon pads are smooth as butter and really smooth over any irritations the drivers may be putting out.
    • OVERALL TONALITY: Very very well balanced. Perhaps one of the most balanced sounding headphones coming out now. The Eikon had good balance already and this one pretty much nails it. The only other headphone I have heard that hits sweet spots like this is the Code-X and the HD650. Very cohesive transitions from one range to the next
    • SOUNDSTAGE/SEPARATION/OPPENNESS: The area that I feel the Auteur improves the most over the Eikon is in soundstage width and separation. There is less reverberation from he cups and it sounds much better separated. The Eikon already has good separation. The soundstage is wider but not much deeper (as far as I can hear yet). The Eikon pads hold back the openess to me making them sound semi-open but the Auteur pads make them sound more open and airy to my ears. For this reason, despite me liking warm headphones, I actually much prefer the Auteur pads with this new release.
    • DETAILS: Just a bit of a step up from the Eikon. The resolution seems to be very good the microdynamics are great as is to be expected. It has good low level details especially since the decay is cleaner and the there is also less distortion around the details than the Eikon and Atticus.
    • BACKGROUND/CLARITY/TRANSPARENCY: The Auteur is a step up here from the Eikon and Atticus. In fact switching from the HD800 when I have the Auteur pads on doesn't leave me wanting more transparency or even separation. Perhaps a little more openness and of course the soundstage is not nearly as big as the 800 but the clarity is there. I would say this headphone really does have a blackground and sounds grainless and clean with my Aficionado.
    I would say the only cons to my ears is that I just find that the EIkon pads limit the openness of the headphone making it sound semi-open. Other than that the Auteur sounds VERY good. It sounds like Zach took his time. Well actually I know he took his time because this has been in the works for some while now. Also in terms of technicalities, it is not giant killer(Utopia killer) but the tonality and adequate technicalities make it special in the market. It is an easy headphone to get a long with and its technicalities hold its price up very well.

    Someone mentioned they wanted to see what I thought about it with the Milo. I like the Milo actually a lot but I don't find it ideal with the Autuer. I actually found it to hinder its openness and sounded just a little slow. It layered really well and provided good tonality. It is the closest to a tube amp I have heard in terms of timbre. The Pro iCan can't grip the Auteurs bass as well as the Milo but it sounds faster and more open and resolving, just not as layered. I need to do more comparisons to check on the resolution part but the Milo does not strike me as super resolving. I am gonna ruffle feathers here and just say that I prefer these ZMF headphones on tubes still overall and feel that I rarely, if ever, am able to hear the same snap, taughtness, solidity, microdynamics, and timbre that a good tube amp can deliver to these. Biased you say? sure. Does the Auteur sound good enough from a solid state for me to be happy? Yup. Ideal, nope.

    Actually, now that I think about it, the only other high impedance high end headphone out there is the HD800 *edit and the beyerT1(really semi open anyway)*. This headphone is begging to scale up with gear. VERY scalable and it is very unique. I think Zach killed it with this headphone. I got some more listening on them now compared to my first impressions and this is pretty much how I feel my impressions will stay.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
    Redmetal1897, drwlf, rnros and 16 others like this.
  9. Pharmaboy
    Excellent review!
  10. grizzlybeast
    Thanks pharmaboy.
  11. SHAMuuu
    That photo is superrrrbbbbbhhhhh. Very exotic lines. Well detailed review. Hearing a Utopia it seemed more like a tool for super critical listening, All this musical comments about it mixed with tubes sounds very exciting. African Blackwood looks like a big time winner. Hope to see on Innerfidelity :D
  12. mysticstryk
    What driver tubes are you using in your Aficionado @grizzlybeast?
  13. cskippy
    I'm pretty sure he's using WE369A for driver and Sophia Electric 2A3s, unless he's changed them.
    mysticstryk likes this.
  14. Gym_Turtle
    How does the Auteur compare to other high-end headphones? Considering it’s a neutral ZMF headphone, how does it compare to another neutral headphone like the Mr Speakers Ether? How does it compare to the Focal Utopia?
  15. grizzlybeast
    I will post a full review on earphiles when I get some time. Maybe not direct comparisons to those but I will do my best.
    I am actually using the Bendix 2c51 tube (very good tube) and Sophia Electric Princess Mesh plate 2A3's and an Amperex Mullard Orange globe for the rectifier.
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