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ZMF Auteur Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by PacoTaco, Oct 15, 2017.
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  1. LCMusicLover

    I'm super happy with Auteur from LP equipped with Gold LIons -- more bass impact, bigger stage vs my BHA-1. Although, TBH, I haven't heard Auteur sound bad out of any chain. Happen to be listening to them right now.

    Also, I was quite surprised to ready @Schwibbles comments on Gold Lions/LP (in LP thread):


    ...not what I'm hearing. I guess I'll be able to comment more once my (just ordered) Amperex come in next week.
  2. heliosphann
    The Liquid Platinum slays with every ZMF Dynamic I've tried it with.
  3. Wildcatsare1
    New to the Autuers, but I’m absolutely loving them on the LP, with Amperex PQs, and Vinshine R2R DAC!
    Wes S likes this.
  4. phthora
    I'm loving my Auteur out of the Audio-gd NFB-28.38, but I've already started daydreaming about getting a good tube amp. Thinking about the WA6SE, LP, or GOTL.
  5. CoFire
    I literally just finished comparing the Ether 2's to a couple cans, Autuer Cocobolo (balanced), HEX V2s (SE), 400i/Eikon pads (SE), Sennheiser HD6XX (balanced) and Elex's (balanced) through a m9XX/THX AAA 789 chain. I agree that Focals offerings are more intimate. Surprisingly, I'm not as impressed by the Ether 2. The trump card it holds is that low end, the subbass digs and hits harder both in quality (very controlled, impactful, and clean) and quantity than all cans mentioned. The cons, something is off in the midrange that causes a veil of sorts over vocals and they sound rolled off in the treble. Very apparent in songs like Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton where even my 400i seem to have more clarity. Stuff like Infected Mushroom where there aren't any vocals sound great, especially when you want to crank up the volume because the treble can't hurt you, but is not completely clear. Electronic music sounds great as long as you don't expect alot of energy in the higher treble or bell/chime sounds. Because of something in the midrange and treble, the E2 sound almost muffled but not that bad and that's SE directly out of the Grace m9XX and THX AAA 789, in fact, I'd argue better from the m9XX in many cases. The E2 sound great but even lack guitar crunch in Creep by Radiohead compared to the 400i or HEX V2, as well cymbals and initial drum hits sound held back. Essentially that low end comes with caveates.

    Based on your criteria, I'd go for the HEX V2 (or HEK SE, HEK V2 or similar offering) because it has a large soundstage, big images, doesn't dig as deep as the E2 but is completely respectable compared to the other headphones with that planar bass. Not as lush as ZMF in midrange/vocals but for instruments, horns, strings, and violin sound great, giving a good tradeoff between Focal's dynamics and planar soundstage with subbass/bass presence. The E2 soundstage is not as large as the HEX V2 either.

    Quite frankly, other than the subbass, I find the E2 disappointing compared to the other headphones and they are probably heading back to the vendor. I'll try them with the CTH and if the balanced cable arrives, I'll try them on the Liquid Gold or THX but I really don't feel they are under powered. The m9XX seems to synergize very well with planars. I still have a Mimby to try as a source with said amps as well and I may compare them against some Clears I have on hand.
    mtmercer and Gibson59 like this.
  6. Preachy1
    Thanks for that info. I’m not familiar with a few of the models to which you refer. HEX V2 and HEK V2. What brands are these?

    Edit: never mind, I see you’re referring to Hifiman models.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  7. Wildcatsare1
    HifiMan HEX and HE1000.
  8. CoFire
    They are Hifiman. Hifiman has some great sounding headphones but I will add a warning that I think all of the headphones I mentioned have superior build quality by varying margins. Given that, I own 2 Hifiman headphones and 2 Hifiman IEMs.

    The E2 has a very, very nice build with a seamless fit. Lots of thought went into that design.

    ZMF's are works of art, heavier but the weight is well balanced and let's not get started on the wood, really a sight.
    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  9. CoFire
    I'm also still new to the Auteurs so I hope to spend lots of time with them over the next couple weeks before decision time.
    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  10. thecrow
    Anyone for some alice in chains unplugged (mtv) album?
    Or neil young stuff?
    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  11. thecrow
    Have you heard The empyrean? Let us know if you have - i have not yet.

    That’s getting a strong following and I’ve heard some good reports on this one.
  12. LCMusicLover
    Sounds like you might describe E2 sig as L-shaped. I don’t disagree with your assessment of them in general. But I do wonder whether your E2s are fully burned in? That said, I prefer E2 from my SS amp (Bryston BHA-1), primarily due to increased energy in the upper-mids & treble, although it does present some kick@$$ bass from my LP. Still feel a bit rolled off up top. HEKv2 sounds more linear to me. I didn’t mention them in my post @Preachy1 due to his stated preference for V- or W-shaped sig. For me, my planars provide a ‘laid-back’ alternative to the energetic presentations of Auteur & Utopia.
  13. CoFire
    Definitely an L-shaped signature and I'm not trying to troll on these cans. With that deep, controlled, impactful bass, I wanna love these things but something is off. I spent about 30 minutes rolling through songs since my previous post and still can't nail it down. The tone and timbre seem off.

    The E2 I have, have been burned in for at least 200 hours because they didn't sound quite right after the recommended 100 hours. Keep burning? Well, that's a whole other discussion. Of the accounted cases of burn in improvement I've heard, most change happens in first 100-200 hours or less. They just seem dull. I can understand how another person said they sounded muffled but I think that's too harsh. I do feel that if someone didn't have other exciting cans like the Autuer or HEX V2 to compare the E2 toward, they could be perfectly happy with them.
  14. LCMusicLover
    No, I don’t think you’ll hear much change after 200 hours. I burned mine in about 100 hours before listening, and haven’t heard much change since then.

    I think we’r’re saying the same thing. Your ‘dull’ is probably my ‘laid-back’.
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    I just remembered that what you’re describing is about what was said about a few sets which had production issues (wonky mids). I wonder if yours is one of those sets? Maybe contact MrSpeakers with your serial number — I recall that it was about a dozen sets and that they know which serial numbers were affected. See this post:

    CoFire and phthora like this.
  15. Preachy1
    thanks to everyone for your input, mucho appreciado!!! Someone asked if I'd heard the Empyreons. I have not. I live pretty much out in the stix with no listening options whatsoever. this is why I turn to you good folks for direction!!!!
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