ZMF Auteur Thread
Jun 2, 2021 at 6:48 PM Post #4,996 of 5,362

shafat777

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Certainly way less treble perkiness than the Arya. It had everything going for it but even in the second revision they still have a annoying 5K peak. I found the Auteurs treble never bothered me because while it has awesome extension it’s very balanced.
Ive had the same experience with my auteur and Arya (now sold). The arya seemed peaky on certain hz. The auteur didnt. Whats even better is that even if you think the treble or mids or bass is too heavy/ overwhelming, it can all be changed and adjusted to your liking with a pad swap. Auteur pads if you wanna enojoy airy treble with wide deep soundstage. Eikon pads if you want intimate vocals and punchy bass. Thats the reason behind ZMF success, IMO. They give you the options to tune your hp.
 
Jun 2, 2021 at 6:51 PM Post #4,997 of 5,362

Poganin

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Btw, how is the comfort of the Auteur? Is it similar to the Atticus? Weight?
The Auteur is lighter than the Atticus, but I have no comfort issues with either of them. You may need to adjust the headband shape to your head a little, depending on how it is shaped when your receive it. I believe the Atticus has similar weight to LCD-3, but it is infinitely more comfortable. LCD-3 was so bad that wearing it for one hour was giving me headaches. Nothing of the sort with either of the ZMF headphones that I have.
 
Jun 2, 2021 at 7:02 PM Post #4,998 of 5,362

Epika07

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The Auteur is lighter than the Atticus, but I have no comfort issues with either of them. You may need to adjust the headband shape to your head a little, depending on how it is shaped when your receive it. I believe the Atticus has similar weight to LCD-3, but it is infinitely more comfortable. LCD-3 was so bad that wearing it for one hour was giving me headaches. Nothing of the sort with either of the ZMF headphones that I have.
Oh nice, it's reassuring to know the Auteur are lighter, I'm someone who is quite picky when it comes to headphone comfort but my Atticus are quite comfortable, so it seems I'd probably have no issues with the Auteur in this department
 
Jun 2, 2021 at 8:21 PM Post #4,999 of 5,362

robo24

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Btw, how is the comfort of the Auteur? Is it similar to the Atticus? Weight?
Basically the same but totally dependent on wood type and grill/rod material, with black being the lightest weight. All being equal I'd think about the same or even less for the Auteur given the wood cut out.
 
Jun 3, 2021 at 12:17 AM Post #5,000 of 5,362

erics75

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Btw, how is the comfort of the Auteur? Is it similar to the Atticus? Weight?
I find them pretty much identical on my head. The biggest difference for me was the initial frame bending out of the box. My Atticus had a pretty good peak at the very top of the headband, and a flatter slope from the peak to the cups. The Auteur has a very circular shape with no perceived peaks or flat spots. I liked the peak so I bent the Auteur to match it, and now I wouldnt be able to tell which is which in a blind test.
 
Jun 3, 2021 at 9:32 AM Post #5,004 of 5,362

srrd

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I have had my Auteur for around 2 weeks now.

Out of the box impression about the sound was positive, I was able to enjoy music on it.
Soundstage/Imaging was just right for me.

The way the headphone plays sub-bass was superb.

But, I also had a loaner unit there before. I didn't open it up because I was very careful when handling it, but I was a bit surprised how completely different these two sounded from memory.
My own Auteur seemed to have very little treble, even compared to my HD650. Everything was subdued and a bit muddy.
That was especially noticable when comparing it to an EQ'd Ananda.

I "lived" with it since the other qualities convinced me still.
I've occasionally read that the Auteur comes with a bopp mesh that introduces frontal damping.

So, I pulled off the earpads, unscrewed the bopp mesh, put everything back together and oh wow, what a difference.
The headphone "awoke" dynamically and all those details returned.

However, the treble was a bit too harsh (standard Auteur Pads, Eikon Lambskin were not in stock where I bought from).
It didn't hurt, but it was too much.
There's too much energy at 10KHz and above with damping just from the earpads.

My experience with Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro's started to weigh in and I performed the legendary 1-ply toilet paper mod on both sides.

I have, to date, never heard a headphone that plays music almost exactly like I imagine it in my head. Except for the Auteur. It does that now.
It feels decently quick in terms of transients and attack.
And it has a bit of that "coarseness" in the treble that I like which pronounces certain vocal features and instruments without becoming sibilant or disturbing.
But damn, instruments surely sound very lifelike now.
Now it sounds more like the demo unit that I had, just even more enjoyable. (Maybe that one still had the Acoustex paper, but Zach said there's no change in sound signature)
I feel like the bopp mesh "overdamps" the headphone and takes away the liveliness. It's still a very relaxed sound, just a lot more "fresh" to my ears.

Now, my question is: Why?
When the headphone is capable of this, why hide it?
It almost feels like there should be options for the frontal damping material, as it can make such a night and day difference in sound signature depending on preference.

I know that the general consensus is that pad rolling is the way to go and removing the mesh is discouraged from, but the bopp mesh seems like a very dense material. It logically makes sense to me that replacing it with something else causes this result.
 
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Jun 3, 2021 at 10:42 AM Post #5,005 of 5,362
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I have had my Auteur for around 2 weeks now.

Out of the box impression about the sound was positive, I was able to enjoy music on it.
Soundstage/Imaging was just right for me.

The way the headphone plays sub-bass was superb.

But, I also had a loaner unit there before. I didn't open it up because I was very careful when handling it, but I was a bit surprised how completely different these two sounded from memory.
My own Auteur seemed to have very little treble, even compared to my HD650. Everything was subdued and a bit muddy.
That was especially noticable when comparing it to an EQ'd Ananda.

I "lived" with it since the other qualities convinced me still.
I've occasionally read that the Auteur comes with a bopp mesh that introduces frontal damping.

So, I pulled off the earpads, unscrewed the bopp mesh, put everything back together and oh wow, what a difference.
The headphone "awoke" dynamically and all those details returned.

However, the treble was a bit too harsh (standard Auteur Pads, Eikon Lambskin were not in stock where I bought from).
It didn't hurt, but it was too much.
There's too much energy at 10KHz and above with damping just from the earpads.

My experience with Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro's started to weigh in and I performed the legendary 1-ply toilet paper mod on both sides.

I have, to date, never heard a headphone that plays music almost exactly like I imagine it in my head. Except for the Auteur. It does that now.
It feels decently quick in terms of transients and attack.
And it has a bit of that "coarseness" in the treble that I like which pronounces certain vocal features and instruments without becoming sibilant or disturbing.
But damn, instruments surely sound very lifelike now.
Now it sounds more like the demo unit that I had, just even more enjoyable. (Maybe that one still had the Acoustex paper, but Zach said there's no change in sound signature)
I feel like the bopp mesh "overdamps" the headphone and takes away the liveliness. It's still a very relaxed sound, just a lot more "fresh" to my ears.

Now, my question is: Why?
When the headphone is capable of this, why hide it?
It almost feels like there should be options for the frontal damping material, as it can make such a night and day difference in sound signature depending on preference.

I know that the general consensus is that pad rolling is the way to go and removing the mesh is discouraged from, but the bopp mesh seems like a very dense material. It logically makes sense to me that replacing it with something else causes this result.

We just recommend changing pads to universe for a more neutral/brighter sound before removing the mesh just because it's more laborious to remove the mesh or put it back on, but there's no problem in removing the mesh if you want a brighter sound.
 
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Jun 3, 2021 at 10:59 AM Post #5,006 of 5,362

skhan007

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I'm so happy with my Autuers and it's to the point where I'm curious about the VO, but think I shouldn't bother because the Aueturs meet my needs so exceedingly well. They pair incredibly well in my amp (Bottlehead Crack Speedball) and DAC (RME ADI-2). It's a strange feeling to be satisfied and brushing off curious temptation for another/different set of cans. I've never heard the VO, but have read they are on-par with the Focal Utopia, which are among the best I've ever heard.
 
Jun 3, 2021 at 12:00 PM Post #5,007 of 5,362

erics75

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I'm so happy with my Autuers and it's to the point where I'm curious about the VO, but think I shouldn't bother because the Aueturs meet my needs so exceedingly well. They pair incredibly well in my amp (Bottlehead Crack Speedball) and DAC (RME ADI-2). It's a strange feeling to be satisfied and brushing off curious temptation for another/different set of cans. I've never heard the VO, but have read they are on-par with the Focal Utopia, which are among the best I've ever heard.
It's a natural curiosity I think most ZMF owners have. I know it hit me pretty hard. I will say, my VC gets the least amount of listening time of all my ZMFs. Not that I don't like them, but I just like the others more.
 
Jun 3, 2021 at 2:23 PM Post #5,008 of 5,362

Magol79

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I'm so happy with my Autuers and it's to the point where I'm curious about the VO, but think I shouldn't bother because the Aueturs meet my needs so exceedingly well. They pair incredibly well in my amp (Bottlehead Crack Speedball) and DAC (RME ADI-2). It's a strange feeling to be satisfied and brushing off curious temptation for another/different set of cans. I've never heard the VO, but have read they are on-par with the Focal Utopia, which are among the best I've ever heard.
This is the key statement in your post. If you are really happy with how the Auteur sounds, then the VO is not a straight upgrade to the Auteur. That's also part of Zach's design philosophy, that his headphones offer something different from each other. The VO has certain strengths were it performs better than the Auteur, but that doesn't mean that it will be a better headphone for you. The VO sounds different from the Auteur, so it can be a good choice for a complementary headphone. But it isn't a better Auteur IMO, it's its own thing.

This is how I view them.

Auteur: lifelike, natural sounding presentation. Very good frequency response. Good speed and detail level. Satisfying bass.

VO: impressive speed and detail level. Enveloping soundstage. Mids are a bit drawn back, not as present as on the Auteur. Bass is very good.
 
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Jun 4, 2021 at 1:17 AM Post #5,010 of 5,362

erics75

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Sounds good and makes sense!! It's just that when you're into a hobby that traditionally has you planning your next upgrade/purchase, it feels very out of character to feel "done" with your set up. It actually feels wrong! LOL!
There's always something to upgrade haha. Bigger, badder amps, dacs, etc. Every time I think i'm done something sparks my interest, and away goes my money.
 

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