ZMF Caldera - New Planar Magnetic from ZMF!
Sep 23, 2023 at 2:20 PM Post #5,191 of 6,605
I did not know these existed before reading about it on this zmf thread. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but not buying or promoting in any way is my sincerest response. I’m going to mention again I would not have known of these without the last two pages on this thread.

I also got the impression (and this is imho only!) that Zach prefers a focus on the beauty and craftsmanship of his headphones and only addressed this reluctantly.

Perhaps the best I could do rather than decry the copycat is mention that my caldera are impeccably crafted, sonically brilliant, and the best headphones I’ve owned.

Edit: I wrote this before the most recent posts, please don’t let me put any words in anyone’s mouth, I speak only for myself!
 
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Sep 23, 2023 at 2:28 PM Post #5,192 of 6,605
I also got the impression (and this is imho only!) that Zach prefers a focus on the beauty and craftsmanship of his headphones and only addressed this reluctantly.

Perhaps the best I could do rather than decry the copycat is mention that my caldera are impeccably crafted, sonically brilliant, and the best headphones I’ve owned.

Yes and yes - I'm literally sitting in the shop right now with my engineer trying to work out details for the Caldera closed, Portable/Oval release, and work on many longer term projects. I am disregulated in more ways than one by this, and my engineer keeps having to call me away from my computer from this when I really should be just sitting with him as we usually do talking about all the things that make headphones cool and fun to design.

I'm beyond overjoyed that anyone uses the Caldera, it certainly is the work that took me longest and is what I set out to make when I started ZMF years ago.

I do think this discussion is important and I mean it when I saw I am as flattered as I am bewildered by all of this. I will probably butt out of this thread for a while for my own sanity and let you guys decipher the rest.
 
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Sep 23, 2023 at 2:29 PM Post #5,193 of 6,605
SJY does seem to be moving away from the design language similar to ZMF with their new headphone, so I guess thats good (or at least a step in the right direction :) )

https://sjyaudio.com/en-ca/products/umi-pre-order

Screen Shot 2023-09-23 at 11.12.46 AM.png
It’s interesting because it uses the same knockoff headband that looks little like ZMF but once you remove the wood housing, doesn’t look anything like ZMF. I still think the damage is done with him trying for a direct copy in that other headphone.

The other issue is $600 is still a lot of money and if someone thinks they’re getting the ZMF, seems like they’ll be greatly disappointed. The slamming bass is one of the highlights of the Caldera.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 2:34 PM Post #5,194 of 6,605
@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.

I was also under the impression that he had reached out, but if you'd like additional dialogue with me in future I'm happy to do so as well. To be clear, in no way would we have said to him "hey cover this product". The manufacturer was only ever in contact with him, not me or anyone else on our team. And honestly I agree with the general sentiment expressed here (and by yourself) about it. If you're asking me personally, I think he could've even been more explicit about some of this stuff. The one thing I have to push back on though is the idea (not from you) that coverage of a product entails some sort of endorsement by default, which is certainly not the case.
 
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Sep 23, 2023 at 2:41 PM Post #5,195 of 6,605
Yes and yes - I'm literally sitting in the shop right now with my engineer trying to work out details for the Caldera closed, Portable/Oval release, and work on many longer term projects. I am disregulated in more ways than one by this, and my engineer keeps having to call me away from my computer from this when I really should be just sitting with him as we usually do talking about all the things that make headphones cool and fun to design.

I'm beyond overjoyed that anyone uses the Caldera, it certainly is the work that took me longest and is what I set out to make when I started ZMF years ago.

I do think this discussion is important and I mean it when I saw I am as flattered as I am bewildered by all of this. I will probably butt out of this thread for a while for my own sanity and let you guys decipher the rest.
Lol, let's not get distracted here, you've got one week to completely blow our minds at Canjam.

No pressure, though. No really, I totally mean that.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 3:04 PM Post #5,196 of 6,605
Yes and yes - I'm literally sitting in the shop right now with my engineer trying to work out details for the Caldera closed, Portable/Oval release, and work on many longer term projects. I am disregulated in more ways than one by this, and my engineer keeps having to call me away from my computer from this when I really should be just sitting with him as we usually do talking about all the things that make headphones cool and fun to design.

I'm beyond overjoyed that anyone uses the Caldera, it certainly is the work that took me longest and is what I set out to make when I started ZMF years ago.

I do think this discussion is important and I mean it when I saw I am as flattered as I am bewildered by all of this. I will probably butt out of this thread for a while for my own sanity and let you guys decipher the rest.
After you said Caldera closed, the clouds parted, a double rainbow appeared in the sky, and I have a huge smile on my face.

Everything else about this particular subject is just noise to be ignored.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 3:41 PM Post #5,197 of 6,605
If I wanted to become the best tennis player I would try to move as... serve as... eat like... recover like... use equipment like... train like...

I would copy/try to be like not only one but many many great players before me.
Why not, right?

In sports (free market) players just find out who wins. Some even take drugs to come out on top. So one has to know how much to sacrifice, how to play "the game". Wheat/chaff type of situation.

Most realize "I don't have IT" "I can only get that far"
Many don't even become pro (ZMF), imagine that! So they have a "regular" job. Some never find a way to earn their living with something like their "hobby". Some hate their job and buy expensive Hifi stuff to balance things out.

Fans who derive enjoyment from :"product": or the feeling they get from using it (or watching them play tennis) decide who they like most/support.
Not everyone is a fan of THE#1 and we'll, the#1 doesn't care too much about that.

Why not support ZMF? Buy all their Hps, get special editions as well...
Wow🤯 one could also donate as much money as possible to secure their business for years to come independently of sales.

Seperate the wheat from the chaff... now about which HP was that video about? I don't remember exactly but my guess: Caldera 😎 will stay in mind.

WHO controls raw materials and their production into this crazy tech stuff?
nanometer thickness... lol

I guess in years to come people will happily buy AI designed HPs produced almost exclusively by machines just like they wear masks and take funny liquid right up their a**. 🐑

Support what you like/ZMF so that it doesn't go away.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 3:43 PM Post #5,198 of 6,605
I do think this discussion is important and I mean it when I saw I am as flattered as I am bewildered by all of this. I will probably butt out of this thread for a while for my own sanity and let you guys decipher the rest.
Heck yeah! CC. Already an instant classic in my mind haha. I feel guilty about creating this distraction. I shouldn’t have sounded the alarm…
 
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Sep 23, 2023 at 9:02 PM Post #5,199 of 6,605
Just to add to the discussion, hopefully without throwing any more gasoline on the flames, I went through a variety of emotions when I started reading these SJY posts. As a Caldera owner (my favorite headphone right now), and owner of many ZMF headphones, I was very annoyed at this plagiarism. And annoyed at headphones.com for supporting this plagiarism by pointing out the similarities, and then saying that it was OK because it was in a different price bracket. And annoyed that my angry comment on Youtube was rejected LOL.

And then I found out that the owner of SJY is a kid, pretty similar in age to my son. And like my son does all the time, like all of us at that age, he did something that wasn't right, and will hopefully learn from this, and do better next time.

And so I hope that someone has sat down with him and explained that he shouldn't plagiarize other people's designs, and that he's lucky that he didn't plagiarize Focal, who would have sued his ass. He appears to be a wunderkind (or for Ted Lasso fans, "wonder kid") for being able to achieve all this at such a young age, and I hope the backlash helps him travel down a better path in the future rather than shutting him down.
 
Sep 23, 2023 at 9:19 PM Post #5,200 of 6,605
Are the FRCs very similar between the two? if so then yeah it seems like he was trying to create a cheaper alternative to the real deal. That's not great but honestly I don't think it's that horrible either. IP and IP ethics is something I'm very conflicted about in general.

However, if the FRCs are really different between the two then to me it's an homage/less evil intentioned.

Again this is a college kid not some big corporation trying to drive a small business out. I see the SJY as something someone for someone who can't afford the ZMF, not as a real competitor. Anyone looking to spend ZMF money is going to be looking into the details and will appreciate the superiority of the ZMF. I don't think there's real harm and so not enough of a foul.

The only thing that still bothers me though is that he stopped talking to Zach who seemed to be offering a compromise or collaboration but that seems more like immaturity coming to fruition.

I say this all as a ACC owner and an eventual Caldera owner (waiting for those sweet stabilized options to come out).
 
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Sep 23, 2023 at 9:31 PM Post #5,201 of 6,605
There are ways to incorporate wood designs into a headphone and still be unique (ex: Kennerton, Sendy Audio, ATH-W5000, Sivga, LCD-3/4, AH-D9200, Meze 99, Audivina, etc). The SJY Umi is an interesting design and they should expand on that instead of trying to make a great-value ZMF.
 
Sep 25, 2023 at 7:18 AM Post #5,202 of 6,605
Got my Red Mallee Caldera today and I felt completely in love with it. :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: . Thanks a lot @zach915m. This is more than I expected!
Guys at SJY. You would need to born again to build a piece of art like this.

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Sep 25, 2023 at 8:00 AM Post #5,204 of 6,605
Well I never watch YouTube review channel run by dealers. What’s the point ? Better to read reviews at trusted forums
 
Sep 25, 2023 at 8:48 AM Post #5,205 of 6,605
Anyone using the Caldera with Folkvangr?
My only knowledge of that combo is that Lachlan at Passion for Sound specifically said the Folkvangr wasn't a great match for the Caldera in his experience
 

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