ZMF Caldera - New Planar Magnetic from ZMF!
Sep 23, 2023 at 3:02 AM Post #5,176 of 6,668
I just find it unusual that TheHeadphoneShow decided to review this before really providing any mention of ZMF in their series of videos
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 4:20 AM Post #5,178 of 6,668
I just find it unusual that TheHeadphoneShow decided to review this before really providing any mention of ZMF in their series of videos
Yeah I’m sure the politics of it are tricky since ZMF is direct to consumer. I appreciate that DMS made the point of relating it to the Caldera at least.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 7:28 AM Post #5,179 of 6,668
Personally, I'd never review nor own any headphone that got it's start by ripping off someone elses hard work. Pretty f'n vile.
My thoughts exactly.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 7:31 AM Post #5,180 of 6,668
The number of elements of ZMF headphones that I instantly recognized on a 'competing' model included:

wooden ear cups,
metal grills,
metal rods with sections,
leather or leather like headband with model/brand insignia at one end,
big round ear cups,
repeating pattern on the grill instead of plain intersecting metal a la Grado,
added colors that complement and enhance the natural wood look,
detachable cable,
removable ear pads,
what else is there?

If it's true they reached out and acknowledged possible market confusion on the part of ZMF buyers and since cut off communication, I'd at least consider some research into the matter by an expert.

Normal look alikes happen in industry, this is abby normal.

Grado has wood ear cups, rods, leather or leather like headband, metal grills, and I don't think anyone would confuse ZMF with Grado (or Meze or or Master and Dynamics or even HiFiMan which each share several design elements in various combinations) .

Compare also Grado and Spirit Torino (esp Super Leggera) where you have numerous similarities that probably aren't going to confuse the average customer these are the same brand. You might get an "inspired by" but not a total rip off.

Probably do too much brand damage to make this a huge fight, but this seems a bit over the top legality-wise.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 8:37 AM Post #5,181 of 6,668
I just find it unusual that TheHeadphoneShow decided to review this before really providing any mention of ZMF in their series of videos

Yes. Not very elegant to say the least.
I have asked both headphones.com and bloom audio not to review or cover our products because of the connection of the reviews to a sales platform and possible manufacturing platform. I take that stance with not just them too but with any conglomerate that mixes media, sales, manufacturing or any combination and the purpose is the same - so that I can spend more time on headphones and not the business side of things.

I don't know the reasoning behind the coverage.
 
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Sep 23, 2023 at 8:55 AM Post #5,182 of 6,668
I have asked both headphones.com and bloom audio not to review or cover our products because of the connection of the reviews to a sales platform and possible manufacturing platform. I take that stance with not just them too but with any conglomerate that mixes media, sales, manufacturing or any combination and the purpose is the same - so that I can spend more time on headphones and not the business side of things.

I don't know the reasoning behind the coverage.
Makes perfect sense.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 10:49 AM Post #5,183 of 6,668
That headphone looks like a clone Caldera ripoff. I think it’s for people that can’t afford the Caldera and see this for 1/6th the price. But kind of sad the reviewers would be disrespectful to ZMF, showcasing a clone. And the problem is it’s a clone of a current production headphone.

There have a been a couple Sony R10 clones. That’s ok since it’s been out of production for a long while and patent expired. The issue is one use the design to sell a totally different headphone underneath. Another tried to make a very close looking and sounding replica for a reasonable price.

For the Caldera ripoff if he would have just stuck with his other headband and different type of grill, think it would have fallen into the inspired by category. He clearly knew he was going for a copy especially with unique headband design.
 
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Sep 23, 2023 at 11:13 AM Post #5,184 of 6,668
That headphone looks like a clone Caldera ripoff. I think it’s for people that can’t afford the Caldera and see this for 1/6th the price. But kind of sad the reviewers would be disrespectful to ZMF, showcasing a clone. And the problem is it’s a clone of a current production headphone.

There have a been a couple Sony R10 clones. That’s ok since it’s been out of production for a long while and patent expired. The issue is one use the design to sell a totally different headphone underneath. Another tried to make a very close looking and sounding replica for a reasonable price.

For the Caldera ripoff if he would have just stuck with his other headband and different type of grill, think it would have fallen into the insprired by category. He clearly knew he was going for a copy especially with unique headband design.
I agree with all of this in terms of sentiment, but it’s not a clone. It’s an attempted copy. A clone is identical. There is no way this thing can even remotely touch the audio of the Caldera. And if you look at it closely, it can’t match the build quality either.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 11:19 AM Post #5,185 of 6,668
I agree with all of this in terms of sentiment, but it’s not a clone. It’s an attempted copy. A clone is identical. There is no way this thing can even remotely touch the audio of the Caldera. And if you look at it closely, it can’t match the build quality either.
Sorry, I was using the word clone as an attempted copy. But essentially this guy wanted it to look just like the Caldera to get attention and maybe sway a few people looking for a cheaper option. He could have just gain attention for having halfway decent planars that feature wooden cup for a good price. If has same materials, plenty of options to have his own unique look.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 11:58 AM Post #5,186 of 6,668
While not a justification for the review, the upside is that MANY more of us know about the product (perceived qualities/deficiencies, etc.), regardless of the intention of the manufacturer/developer. A smarter consumer is a better consumer.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 1:22 PM Post #5,187 of 6,668
But kind of sad the reviewers would be disrespectful to ZMF, showcasing a clone.
If you watch the video, at 1:58 DMS says that this one isn't as well built as the ZMFs and that he would like to see this move away from copying that and more towards doing its own style, and I also agree. While there's a sense in which a video done on a product effectively 'showcases' it, in no way is it free from criticism, which DMS was very clear about as well.


I haven't personally heard these, but when I saw them on a different channel I immediately thought this is like "ZMF at home", for those who get the meme. To me it seems like an attempt to capture the interest in build and style that ZMF has pioneered (and something that a number of other companies also try to imitate), and I wholeheartedly agree that companies should try to do their own thing instead. My two cents here is that doing the wood like this also kind of undermines what they might be doing acoustically since now the storyline for their headphones isn't about how they sound, but rather along the lines of being a clone of some sort - and given their resemblance, it was always going to be about that. Maybe something for the folks behind the SJY to consider in the future.
 
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Sep 23, 2023 at 1:57 PM Post #5,188 of 6,668
If you watch the video, at 1:58 DMS says that this one isn't as well built as the ZMFs and that he would like to see this move away from copying that and more towards doing its own style, and I also agree. While there's a sense in which a video done on a product effectively 'showcases' it, in no way is it free from criticism, which DMS was very clear about as well.


I haven't personally heard these, but when I saw them on a different channel I immediately thought this is like "ZMF at home", for those who get the meme. To me it seems like an attempt to capture the interest in build and style that ZMF has pioneered (and something that a number of other companies also try to imitate), and I wholeheartedly agree that companies should try to do their own thing instead. My two cents here is that doing the wood like this also kind of undermines what they might be doing acoustically since now the storyline for their headphones isn't about how they sound, but rather along the lines of being a clone of some sort - and given their resemblance, it was always going to be about that. Maybe something for the folks behind the SJY to consider in the future.
I personally had no issue with DMS's review. He gave a quick intro on who SJY is then gave his opinion with all the pros and cons, along with objective measurements.

Wither the design is copying ZMF in a disrespectful manner, or as a homage from an admirer, who knows.

The problem I have with copying the ZMF look is that immediately right off the bat by looks alone, the first thing that comes to mind is an Aliexpress/SendyAudio cheap knock off vibe. That in turn evokes DMSs review of the Sendy Peacock, and that in turn closes my wallet.

Whatever SJY does in the future it needs to establish its own style.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 2:12 PM Post #5,189 of 6,668
If you watch the video, at 1:58 DMS says that this one isn't as well built as the ZMFs and that he would like to see this move away from copying that and more towards doing its own style, and I also agree. While there's a sense in which a video done on a product effectively 'showcases' it, in no way is it free from criticism, which DMS was very clear about as well.


I haven't personally heard these, but when I saw them on a different channel I immediately thought this is like "ZMF at home", for those who get the meme. To me it seems like an attempt to capture the interest in build and style that ZMF has pioneered (and something that a number of other companies also try to imitate), and I wholeheartedly agree that companies should try to do their own thing instead. My two cents here is that doing the wood like this also kind of undermines what they might be doing acoustically since now the storyline for their headphones isn't about how they sound, but rather along the lines of being a clone of some sort - and given their resemblance, it was always going to be about that. Maybe something for the folks behind the SJY to consider in the future.
@Resolve - I think there may be some misunderstanding on all sides here - and since this is public I do feel the need to make one statement in clarification so you and anyone can understand my perspective.

The way I found out about the SJY headphone was from a private text from DMS telling me in his words "I'm 99% positive he just copying you at this point" followed by this image, this was on August 9th 2023:
1695491518130.png


I can't say for sure but I assume this image came from someone at SJY.

We had a further dialogue that included this and other topics, but I felt understood at the time by DMS that he got my perspective.

The release of this review on the Headphone Show Channel led by DMS blindsided me. As a self-proclaimed “media” channel, not influencer, not small time reviewer, but preeminent leading source of high end headphone content, your actions speak volumes about what is or is not accepted by our community.

Personally, I would have expected some kind of communication from your side before the review since it was DMS who came to me about it with concern in the first place. To me, that is the classy and respectful way to handle that situation. I appreciate you coming in to give the statement at large, but it would have meant much more if it was personalized to me as was the initial message. This feels like PR.
 
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 profile 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
Sep 23, 2023 at 2:13 PM Post #5,190 of 6,668

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