ZMF Auteur Thread
Mar 23, 2021 at 11:21 AM Post #4,801 of 6,459

jonathan c

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Some truths are worth repeating. ZMF Auteur and output transformer less h/p/a (Woo Audio WA3) are an ideal coupling: 7F46AC4D-9311-402F-B0BB-072854791C37.jpeg
 
Mar 23, 2021 at 1:40 PM Post #4,803 of 6,459

Magol79

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My Auteur has gotten a lot more head time than my VO lately. I really like the natural tuning of the Auteur.
And that bass, what is it with the bass on Auteur and Eikon that makes it so special? It is different from what the Verite does, but I can't seem to put it into words properly. I feel it goes deeper and has a different texture compared to the VO. I would really like to hear what anyone else has to say about this.
 
Mar 23, 2021 at 1:53 PM Post #4,804 of 6,459

jonathan c

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My Auteur has gotten a lot more head time than my VO lately. I really like the natural tuning of the Auteur.
And that bass, what is it with the bass on Auteur and Eikon that makes it so special? It is different from what the Verite does, but I can't seem to put it into words properly. I feel it goes deeper and has a different texture compared to the VO. I would really like to hear what anyone else has to say about this.
I cannot compare the Auteur with the Verite Open. I do attest to what I hear in the Auteur as striking linearity across the frequency spectrum. With the absence of a mid-bass plateau, lower bass is in effect given more prominence without being overdone. I surmise that the cellulose material in the Auteur drivers is allowing transients to occur without overhang yet with natural decay. I think that the Auteur deserves the best hp cable that one can afford so as to maximise sound quality. To my ears, the Auteur matches beautifully with silver or palladium/silver hp cable.
 
Mar 23, 2021 at 2:11 PM Post #4,805 of 6,459

erics75

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My Auteur has gotten a lot more head time than my VO lately. I really like the natural tuning of the Auteur.
And that bass, what is it with the bass on Auteur and Eikon that makes it so special? It is different from what the Verite does, but I can't seem to put it into words properly. I feel it goes deeper and has a different texture compared to the VO. I would really like to hear what anyone else has to say about this.
it's the driver material. The Auteur's biocellulous driver is a more organic material vs the metal coated driver in the VO. the metal drivers always impart a bit of an unnatural hardness to notes vs more organic materials. granted the biocellulous drivers can't match harder materials for things like speed and lower distortion. but that wonderfully natural texture, especially in the bass, imo is worth the tradeoff. i'm a huge fan of the Eikon/Auteur for that reason. they have such a smooth, organic, and natural sound to them vs metal driver headphones.
 
Mar 23, 2021 at 2:29 PM Post #4,806 of 6,459

Magol79

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I cannot compare the Auteur with the Verite Open. I do attest to what I hear in the Auteur as striking linearity across the frequency spectrum. With the absence of a mid-bass plateau, lower bass is in effect given more prominence without being overdone. I surmise that the cellulose material in the Auteur drivers is allowing transients to occur without overhang yet with natural decay. I think that the Auteur deserves the best hp cable that one can afford so as to maximise sound quality. To my ears, the Auteur matches beautifully with silver or palladium/silver hp cable.
Yes, I am thinking that the Auteur has a bit more lingering decay which gives a different experience compared to the very fast metal coated drivers in the VO.
I use ZMF OFC (6.35mm) cables and FAW Hybrid Noir (XLR) cables.
it's the driver material. The Auteur's biocellulous driver is a more organic material vs the metal coated driver in the VO. the metal drivers always impart a bit of an unnatural hardness to notes vs more organic materials. granted the biocellulous drivers can't match harder materials for things like speed and lower distortion. but that wonderfully natural texture, especially in the bass, imo is worth the tradeoff. i'm a huge fan of the Eikon/Auteur for that reason. they have such a smooth, organic, and natural sound to them vs metal driver headphones.
The bass on both Auteur and Eikon is my ideal. I am tempted to go back to the Eikon again, it was my first ZMF.
The quality and properties of the bass in the bio-cellulose driver is really special. The bass on the VO/VC is different, but not necessarily better than the Eikon/Auteur.
I find that the VC is closer to the Eikon/Auteur bass than the VO, maybe more reverb is imparted by the closed cups?
 
Mar 23, 2021 at 3:10 PM Post #4,807 of 6,459

erics75

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Yes, I am thinking that the Auteur has a bit more lingering decay which gives a different experience compared to the very fast metal coated drivers in the VO.
I use ZMF OFC (6.35mm) cables and FAW Hybrid Noir (XLR) cables.

The bass on both Auteur and Eikon is my ideal. I am tempted to go back to the Eikon again, it was my first ZMF.
The quality and properties of the bass in the bio-cellulose driver is really special. The bass on the VO/VC is different, but not necessarily better than the Eikon/Auteur.
I find that the VC is closer to the Eikon/Auteur bass than the VO, maybe more reverb is imparted by the closed cups?
Honestly of all my ZMFs the VC gets the least listening time. Not that I don't like it, I do, but I like the other ZMFs more. I like the Eikon more than the VC by a decent margin. I'm with you on the bass being special on the Auteur/Eikon. To my ears it has the perfect amount of decay and reverb. Not too fast, not too slow, not too thick or thin, just right. The Atticus also has wonderful bass. Though not quite as organic as the Eikon/Auteur, it's close enough that I still love it.

I do think the cup resonance on the VC gives it a slightly softer, more organic tone vs the VO. I didn't like the VO all that much when I demo'd it. I thought the Auteur sounded much more natural in comparison, even if it lacked speed and detail in comparison.
 
Mar 23, 2021 at 3:42 PM Post #4,808 of 6,459

Magol79

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Honestly of all my ZMFs the VC gets the least listening time. Not that I don't like it, I do, but I like the other ZMFs more. I like the Eikon more than the VC by a decent margin. I'm with you on the bass being special on the Auteur/Eikon. To my ears it has the perfect amount of decay and reverb. Not too fast, not too slow, not too thick or thin, just right. The Atticus also has wonderful bass. Though not quite as organic as the Eikon/Auteur, it's close enough that I still love it.

I do think the cup resonance on the VC gives it a slightly softer, more organic tone vs the VO. I didn't like the VO all that much when I demo'd it. I thought the Auteur sounded much more natural in comparison, even if it lacked speed and detail in comparison.
I am more and more coming to the realisation that ultimate speed and detail matters less to me than tonality and timbre, which the Auteur really nails for me.
 
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Mar 23, 2021 at 4:18 PM Post #4,809 of 6,459

erics75

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I am more and more coming to the realisation that ultimate speed and detail matters less to me than tonality and timbre, which the Auteur really nails for me.
I’m coming off that realization as well after buying the VC. I’ve been dumping my technical gear for items I find engaging regardless of technical merits. Tone and timbre definitely hold a higher value for me.
 
Mar 24, 2021 at 1:58 AM Post #4,810 of 6,459

LoryWiv

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I cannot compare the Auteur with the Verite Open. I do attest to what I hear in the Auteur as striking linearity across the frequency spectrum. With the absence of a mid-bass plateau, lower bass is in effect given more prominence without being overdone. I surmise that the cellulose material in the Auteur drivers is allowing transients to occur without overhang yet with natural decay. I think that the Auteur deserves the best hp cable that one can afford so as to maximise sound quality. To my ears, the Auteur matches beautifully with silver or palladium/silver hp cable.
Norne Silvergarde S3 has brought my Auteur to the heights, really a great match.
 
Mar 24, 2021 at 9:48 AM Post #4,811 of 6,459

skhan007

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I'm continuing to do my research, regarding amps that could pair well with my Auteur. My current unit is the ADI-2 dac/amp combo and I'm really curious if a separate amp will possibly improve my listening experience. I have a desktop space, so I really don't foresee large gear working out, so a more compact option would be the best scenario. I've been researching via owner feedback, reading, and when possible listening in-person. Please let me know what you guys think.

Tube amps

LTA MicroZOTL2- heard it in person a few times and it's great! Pricey (for me), but amazingly good. Might be slightly too large for desktop.
Woo WA3- Everyone who owns/owed it, loves it. I'm understanding that OTL amps are a great match for ZMF's. Discontinued model, unfortunately.
Bottlehead Crack Speedball- Not an attractive amp, but universally loved and ZMF owners especially think it's amazing and tremendous value.

Solid state

Singxer SA1- Great reviews so far and several ADI-2 owners like the pairing. Hard to find, never in stock.
THX (887, 789, SMSL SP200)- I believe these are all pretty much the same. Some have stated it won't sound any different than my ADI-2. Great size for desktop.
Burson Soloist X3- I'm told it's one of the best solid state headphone amps. Kind of pricey (for me) and doesn't look like it will stack with my ADI-2 (minor concern).

Thoughts: Since I've got the ADI-2 and have been using the headphone out, I can consider that my solid state option, unless some of you believe that one of the solid state options will be notably better. Regarding tube amps, I understand that they will provide qualities that are not attainable in any other platform but tube.
 
Mar 24, 2021 at 11:17 AM Post #4,812 of 6,459

erics75

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I'm continuing to do my research, regarding amps that could pair well with my Auteur. My current unit is the ADI-2 dac/amp combo and I'm really curious if a separate amp will possibly improve my listening experience. I have a desktop space, so I really don't foresee large gear working out, so a more compact option would be the best scenario. I've been researching via owner feedback, reading, and when possible listening in-person. Please let me know what you guys think.

Tube amps

LTA MicroZOTL2- heard it in person a few times and it's great! Pricey (for me), but amazingly good. Might be slightly too large for desktop.
Woo WA3- Everyone who owns/owed it, loves it. I'm understanding that OTL amps are a great match for ZMF's. Discontinued model, unfortunately.
Bottlehead Crack Speedball- Not an attractive amp, but universally loved and ZMF owners especially think it's amazing and tremendous value.

Solid state

Singxer SA1- Great reviews so far and several ADI-2 owners like the pairing. Hard to find, never in stock.
THX (887, 789, SMSL SP200)- I believe these are all pretty much the same. Some have stated it won't sound any different than my ADI-2. Great size for desktop.
Burson Soloist X3- I'm told it's one of the best solid state headphone amps. Kind of pricey (for me) and doesn't look like it will stack with my ADI-2 (minor concern).

Thoughts: Since I've got the ADI-2 and have been using the headphone out, I can consider that my solid state option, unless some of you believe that one of the solid state options will be notably better. Regarding tube amps, I understand that they will provide qualities that are not attainable in any other platform but tube.
I'll add a few amps that I feel pair very well with the Auteur that are also desktop friendly: Gilmore Lite MK2, Arcam Rhead, Vali 2 (mediocre technical performance, but great tonality), Lake People lineup (RS-08, RS-02, G111, G109), Violectric V100, Asgard 3, Holo Cyan PCM (all in one unit).

Edit - As for tube vs solid state, yes I am a believer in tubes for ZMF, but that doesn't mean you won't really enjoy a good solid state amp. Tubes bring an intangible holographic element to the sound that's hard to explain, but very pleasing sounding. But imo it's more icing on the cake, not the cake itself. If you can grab a good tube amp, great, but don't think a good solid state amp won't also sound really really good. Of the list above, I really really loved the Gilmore Lite MK2 and V100 with my Auteur. The synergy was excellent. If that was my only amp for them, i'd be happy. Your dac is excellent. The built in amp is very competent. Adding an additional amp will help flesh out what the ADI is already doing. Think better dynamics, more driver control, resolution, and overall refinement of the sound. It's not, imo, going to be a night and day life changing upgrade. It will just further enhance what you already have, if that makes sense.

One final recommendation to add to the list: Feliks tube amps, they're all really nice sounding with the Auteur. I demo'd the lineup awhile back and enjoyed them all. If one shows up used don't hesitate.
 
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Mar 31, 2021 at 8:21 AM Post #4,813 of 6,459

tunes

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Man the combo of Auteur and Starlett is magical. Auteur really shines with tubes. My newly acquired Arya has been given less play time just because it doesn't have that smooth and engaging sound with the Starlett. Most noticeably, the Starlett gives Auteur a wider soundstage, and deeper bass, and smooth out occationally edgy sound from the recording. Highly recommend the combo.
0210303232459.jpg
Has anyone compared the Quicksilver to DNA Starlett?
 
Mar 31, 2021 at 10:48 AM Post #4,814 of 6,459

skhan007

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Hey gang, well I pulled the trigger on the Bottlehead Crack Speedball. There were so many overwhelmingly positive reviews of this amp, especially paired with ZMF cans. Now that I have mine, I can totally see why this is held in such high regard. Of course now, I'll need to acquire some tubes that are superior to stock (please PM me if you have any for sale) and I'm currently researching power tubes, in particular. I also think I'll get some wood stain and treat the cabinet so that it matches my beautiful teak Auteur cans!

K4fT9zih.jpg
 
Mar 31, 2021 at 12:10 PM Post #4,815 of 6,459

lalawilson168

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Let us know what you think on the auteur. Personally I didn't like my VC with it for some reason I'm not really sure why. I do have an Auteur coming my way so hopefully it's good with the crack
 

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