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ZMF Auteur Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by PacoTaco, Oct 15, 2017.
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  1. jgwtriode
    Since we are revisiting this! I love silver gold OCC quad braid custom I got from Dave at Zenwave Audio. I have a custom carbon fiber cable from Mad Scientist Audio. Also a graphene impregnated version of the same. Carbon fiber throws the largest and most layered stage. Silver Gold has the most weight and punch in the bass. Either carbon fiber is more musical

    They both have more warmth than silver but do not have the softer slower warmth of copper, even true of OCC copper! Silver gold. I find even OCC copperc loses information, transient speed and Dynamics comparitively. Graphene has all the detail and speed of silver gold with even more musicality than copper without any of coppers drawbacks. Most tonally balanced of all and 90% of bass weight and impact of silver gold.

    Happy Listening!
  2. Velozity
    I just ordered the Silvergarde S3 for my soon to be delivered Eikon after discussion with Trevor. According to him it's endgame for what I'm looking for and I'll be done with cables forever. Pretty compelling. Send him an email before you make a decision.
    Wes S likes this.
  3. donato
    Some initial feedback on my first round of listening tests only using one average quality track of chamber music (Beaux Arts Trio - Brahms Piano Trio No. 1) (will try other genres in subsequent posts). I listened to each cable at least 3 times and changed the order around to try not to simply end up comparing one cable simply with the one before and after it. This is pretty time consuming which is why I don't really enjoy doing so many comparisons, but I do learn things, so there is some value to it all.

    My desktop setup: Roon -> Yggy A2/USB5 -> Violectric V281 XLR balanced out

    Cables tested: Stock ZMF cable, Moon Audio Black Dragon, Cardas Clear Light, ZMF Michanikos, Moon Audio Silver Dragon (note: this is double the length of the others), Silvergarde S2

    My general conclusions from this were that the more silver, the better the sound to me with the Silvergarde being the best. The detail (strings, resonance from the body of the instruments) and microdynamics (e.g. vibrato) were better. Soundstaging was also more open. The two biggest losers to me were the stock (most indistinct sound of them all) and the Cardas Clear Light (which surprised me a bit).
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    Slim1970 and koven like this.
  4. donato
    Listening to the Recognizer track on the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack different preferences:

    Silver Dragon and Silvergarde had the best soundstaging. Silvergarde seemed a little laid back relative to the Silver Dragon. Silver Dragon had the best sub bass which also gave a much fuller sound and was also more dynamic than the Silvergarde. So, the Silver Dragon was my favorite on this track. I also quite liked the tonality of the Cardas and it was the most even and balanced and the best of the copper cables. It also kept the instrumental lines more clearly separated than the other copper cables. ZMF stock still least favorite. Black Dragon was a slo a bit muddled and tonality seemed a little out of balance to me.

    One more thing to note, I did not try to level match between cables. Rather, I left the volume control set exactly the same and kept the headphones on my head and just swapped the cables with them on my head to avoid some sound changes due to repositioning.
  5. LCMusicLover
    I have several cables I can use with my Auteur. Honestly I can’t make a recommendation because ... I end up loving Auteur with every chain I plug it into. Denafrips Pontus vs Oppo Sonica, great either way. Same with Bryston BHA-1 vs Liquid Platinum. Tube swaps in LP? All good, except maybe stock tubes — I’d have to go back and check. Stock cable vs Cardas Clear vs Laz Ref vs Silver Dragon, check. I’m not saying that the sound doesn’t change. Just that I’ve never heard it sound bad. In fact, the way I can get different sound sits out of it is one reason I love Auteur.

    I will say that if the rest of your chain were bright, a silver cable might be a step too far.

    Of course: my ears, everyone else’s ears :)

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    Slim1970 likes this.
  6. Slim1970
    I agree. The cable is last tweak you should make once you get your front end to sound the way you like it. The Auteur's do seem to play well with all types of gear, tubes and solid state. It a very versatile headphone in that regard. Now I want to get a listen to the Verite :L3000:
    zach915m likes this.
  7. donato
    For this track, I used the 3rd movement of the Mravinsky recording of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique. It is a 96/24 FLAC from HDTracks.

    Here, the Silvergarde was my clear favorite. It did most everything great - resolution, tone, dynamics, soundstaging. The Silver Dragon just seemed lifeless by comparison (maybe the cable length was a factor?). For the copper, the Cardas was my favorite - it was the most evenly balanced and musical. The only other callout I had was that of the copper cables, the ZMF Michanikos had great soundstaging (maybe it was the silver plating at work?), but I prefered the tonal balance and resolution of the Cardas.
  8. donato
    For this track, I listed to a 96/24 FLAC from HDTracks of Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves. The levels run pretty high on this track so I had to adjust the volume down compared to all the other tracks I listened to so far.

    I'd say my preferences are largely the same as with the previous track. The silvers had the best soundstaging and resolution and the Silvergarde in particular seemed to do everything well. Cardas again was my favorite copper (I'm going to have to revisit why I didn't like it with the chamber music). Again, the ZMF Michankos had soundstaging like a silver, but just the tonal balance just seemed a little off to me and it's resolution seemed a bit fuzzy at times.
  9. zach915m
    The Michanikos is a silver plated copper with insulation to make it more smooth sounding which might lead to these results I suppose.

    We will be releasing a pure silver 2K hybrid cable, with the finest strands we could get for each metal in the coming week. The cable is dual conductor, and will be available to be made in pure silver or hybrid arrays. We also worked hard to get rid of all microphonics. I'll try to get a couple cables out there for feedback soon!
    ZMFheadphones ZMF headphones hand-crafts wood headphones in Chicago, USA with special attention to exceptional sound and craftsmanship. Stay updated on ZMFheadphones at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/ZMFheadphones https://twitter.com/ZMFheadphones https://www.instagram.com/zmfheadphones/?hl=en http://www.zmfheadphones.com/zmf-originals/ contactzmf@gmail.com
  10. BananaOoyoo
    I was surprised to find out that this setup actually works! (Gave me an excuse to use the 3.5mm Atmos C cable that I just kept in storage these past several months)

  11. Camper1995
    So can somebody sum it up for me please? What's the sonic difference between the stock ZMF cable and the 3 ZMF cables that they sell on their website (2K, Michanikos, Atmos)?
    I'm also planning on ordering a pair of perforated suede pads for the auteur. Thank you guys!
  12. donato
    I did one last comparison. This time with The Sidewinder from Lee Morgan from 192/24 FLAC from HDTracks. The level is pretty low on this recording so I had to turn up the volume a good amount compared to previous tracks.

    Similar to my first track on chamber music, my preference was largely the more silver the better. The silvers gave just a bit more focused and cleaner sound. This helped with the driving bass line and cymbals, esp. on the Silvergarde were rendered very delicately. Also, the more silver seemed to help with keeping the piano from sounding a little clangy which was sometimes the case with the Cardas which I otherwise liked.

    Overall, for me, the Silvergarde was my favorite. This does though make me interested in trying out some other silver cables (e.g. lazuli, dana cable lazuli, double helix, etc.) at some point to see what differences I hear.
    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  13. iamalex
    I like the Wireworld Nano-Platinum Eclipse out of silver with my Auteur. With a decent tube-amp, I don't find it to be too bright, but surely with an extended treble. Thought I was a bass-head, but I was wrong - I like a controlled bass, and you get that with a silver cable (probably without too :beyersmile:) as already said previously from other headfiers. Don't know how a silver cable behaves with SS-amps, but with a tube-amp, I don't see problems with exaggerated treble-response, and I use the Auteur-pads. My 2ct and IMHO
  14. Pharmaboy
    jinxy245 likes this.
  15. Pharmaboy
    Viablue used to pitch for the Oakland A's.
    whirlwind likes this.
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