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ZMF Ori (Omni) - Upcoming Semi Open Flagship

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by levaix, May 28, 2015.
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  1. GarageBoy
    So which of the current in production woods would one use for the fastest sound, one that makes the bass really shine?
  2. avsmusic1
    I'm in a similar place Buddha
    I'm targeting one of each. I went through a similar exercise with amps/dacs and think I finally found my (temporary) endgame in the MJ2/Gumby stack. So now I'm in the process of selling off some that equipment before I can even look at another set of cans. The Ori and senn 58X will float me well for a while though.

    I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on the Ori vs. TH900
    BuddhaBruce likes this.
  3. BuddhaBruce
    Generally you would be looking for a hard wood like bocote, purpleheart, blackwood
    GarageBoy likes this.
  4. BuddhaBruce
    I would put the Ori and TH900 on the opposite ends of the spectrum. They are fundamentally different in the way music is presented. I see both strengths and very much comes down to preference with these 2. I need to do some serious listening to compare the 2 but I put away my TH900 so I would concentrate on using the Ori mostly.

    I'll give some impressions between the 2. But generally speaking, I see the TH900 as the more technically capable headphone with a larger sound stage that is more precise and faster in presentation while the Ori is a more cohesive headphone that bring music together while still providing great soundstage and imaging. I actually find the micro and macros more realistic on the Ori as you can distinguish where and how far instruments are compared to others and vocals.

    The TH900 is definitely V/U shaped but I don't find the mids too recessed as others claim. Instead I find the mids just lack lower mid presence which means it lacks some body. The bass on the TH900 is unbeatable. It's always there, sometimes too much. The sub bass is excellent and somewhat boosted as well as the midbass. However, they do not bleed into the mids and this makes for a very boomy yet clean sound. I find the treble to be somewhat sharp and sibilant depending on the track. The treble is definitely sparkly, which aids in the TH900's airy presentation while maintaining the strong foundation of the bass. I am usually treble sensitive and this stops me from turning up the TH900s. If you listen at low volumes, then the treble is fine - but then you miss some of those mids. I end up needing to turn up to volume to get the mids where I want them to be. The treble can be sharp but I would classify it more as exciting and edgy. Just on the brink of sibilance.

    The Ori (I've only had about 2 hours on these) at first sounded muffled and veiled compared to the clean and clear presentation the TH900 provides. This is not the case as all the detail is there with the Ori, it just takes more focus to find it. But I like that. It keeps me engaged, wanting to find and discover more of the sound. After more use, I discovered my glasses were hindering the Ori's potential. With glasses on I was losing out alot on the bass and mids the Ori provided. Glasses removed, so how are they now?

    The sub bass is evermore present and the mids become fuller. Although both headphones provide a copious amount of bass, they are very different in presentation. The Ori sounds much more coheive as the subbass and midbass play well together forming a very organic bumping bass. The TH900 and Ori both reach deep, but the Ori just some less in the midbass department. It somehow sounds more coherent on the Ori and almost too boosted on the TH900. I enjoy both immensely compared to my Hex V2 or Andromedas bass. However, I find the bass leaking into the mids (I think this is because while the TH900 does not have much lower mid presence, the Ori does. This to me is also creating the warm lush sound coming from the Ori). I find the bass quality better on the TH900 but the quantity is better on the Ori (TH900 can be too much). The mids are soooooo warm,lush,(dark?). The smoothest I've heard. Now the mids is where I have trouble with the Ori. At first I thought they were muffled/veiled but I think this is due to the greater presence of lower mids. I didn't like it at first coming off the TH900 which offered crystal clear mids (even is slightly recessed), but as I started listening more I got used to the sound signature and really took a liking to it. Such an organic sound with great warmth from the lower mids that gave it great body and presence. The treble seems somewhat rolled off as symbals don't give me that snap I look for. But the great thing is these are never sibilant. It occasionally reaches that point where it's about to become sibilant but never does. This gives great energy and excitement while still remaining polite.

    In all the TH900 is definitely U shaped with thin mids that lack some body whereas the ZMF Ori is the complete package in sound. Everything sounds together and whole but I find the mids to be slightly muffled in comparison. Now this means you may love it or hate it, but that's all preference. It's not a detail or resolution monster but that's okay. It doesn't need to be as the sound is just so involving. I need a lot more time but these are brief impressions on how I feel on the two.

    Other than sound, these 2 headphones are gorgeous. The Ori very much looks like a handmade item and has a certain charm to it. It does not look like your typical headphone and I love that. Now the TH900s I have in emerald green and those things are drop dead gorgeous. It has a more refined look to it compared to the rustic antique like Oris. I think the looks of both represent the sound signature they provide as well. Both very beautiful in its own right

    Someone help me decide between these two beauties. :)
    avsmusic1 and koover like this.
  5. Pharmaboy
    If you bought your Ori new & have only listened for 2 hrs, then you're not really hearing what it can do once fully burned in. I know burn-in is somewhat controversial here, but I do it on all HPs & electronics, and particularly w/headphones & DACs, typically hear at least some differences (usually in positive direction) post-burnin.

    But if you bought the Ori used, then ignore this...
    koover likes this.
  6. koover
    I hear ya. I wear glasses too but I'm blinder then a bat and if I take them off, I wouldn't be able to function at all. Sucks getting old ya know? Luckily my frames are very thin and doesn't affect the sound as it would with someone like you who has thick framed glasses. That does play a huge role in what we hear. Anyway.....I agree that these are different then anything I own too and I have a variety of different SS's in my stall....just take a peak at my personal info and you'll see if even interested. The closest to me is with the Atticus. At the same time they're different enough (that I'm hearing after about 8-10 hours of head-time, vacations are so nice :)) that I'm now leaning more and more towards keeping both. But I can't jump to conclusions after 10 hours of head-time. I owned the TH900 and sold them, not because I didn't like them, it's just I already own a heavily modded AH-D2000 and another very heavily modded TH-X00 Purpleheart and it was getting redundant. I kept the "cheapies" and sold off the Th900 which I now regret. From memory as it wasn't that long ago, the TH900 and Ori are night and day and other ends of the spectrum. The TH900 has even more sub-bass and goes insanely deep but the Ori is "right there" IMHO. The 900 is very V/U shaped and I couldn't handle the treble at times as it could get VERY sibilant. The music I listen too is cause and effect for this. They are thin in the mids where there was no body or weight where the Ori is much thicker, lush and warm....musical. But all of this is so subjective and we like what we like. Between the TH900 and Ori if I still had both?....I'd keep the Ori and it's more "my" type of sound and the sibilance from the TH900 at times just grinds my teeth.

    As for what I listen too and what I've been test driving the Ori with....Progressive metal, Progressive rock, Instrumental metal, classic rock and I have 1 test track that's a dance/chill/trance track. I don't listen to trance but this track will give you a good idea how this HP performs. We have just about the same exact same set-up bro so this should be easy comparing what we both hear and our differences.
    *Nigel Good...the song is "One minus space" https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...F98440D19DF070FD7E15F98440D19DF070F&FORM=VIRE
    *Haken...In Memoriam (or a track called Streams) https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=streams+haken&qpvt=streams+haken&FORM=VDRE
    *Thank you Scientist...Blood on the radio https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...scientist+blood+on+the+radio+lyrics&FORM=VDRE
    *Animals as Leaders...Cognitive Contortions https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...s+as+leaders+Cognitive+Contortions+&FORM=VDRE

    This should give you a wide variety from what I listen too.

    It's so difficult to choose, thus the reason I just keep them all. :)

    Edit: Sorry, had some trouble getting these links posted.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
    BuddhaBruce likes this.
  7. koover
    Man, we are pretty much on the same wavelength. Nice comparison.
    As for which to keep? Keep them both bro. They are different enough where they both compliment each other. I'm thinking about getting another TH900 as I now am running with the MJ2/Gumby combo whereas when I owned the TH900 before, it was off a LYR2 and Mimby. Not a bad combo but what I have now is lightyears ahead. With all the tubes I own, I could roll until I found something to fit me needs....like a nice 1950's NOS Western Electric or the 1957 NOS Foton triple mica.
    BuddhaBruce likes this.
  8. BuddhaBruce
    I bought them used!
  9. BuddhaBruce

    I have to limit myself! I have too many headphones and they don't get enough use time. Ideally, I'm going to need 1 open back and 1 closed. They are definitely different, but I do find myself leaning towards the Ori as my only closed back. Or maybe back to the campfire cascade? I love my TH900, but as you said - the treble is too much at times. Still a great sounding headphone though. And I just can't get over how good my emerald greens look.
    koover likes this.
  10. BuddhaBruce
    Thanks! I'll definitely check these songs out when I get home. Since I'm at work I can try them with my Andromedas and Periodic BEs
    koover likes this.
  11. Wes S
    To all,

    I just got my used Ori, and I went to put new pads on and I am not sure if I have the correct frontal dampening material. It only has a big gray foam circle in front, but came with a bag of extra stuff. Can someone help me?
  12. Pharmaboy
    Sure. I went through a period of thinking my new Ori was somewhat bright in upper mids/lower treble, to the point that I reached out to Zach @ZMF. He is an incredibly helpful & cooperative audio mfr, and he offered to send me some of the same 3 types of dampening materials used in production Oris. He advise me to start low/slow by adding the least intrusive of the materials, ~1" square grey dacron sheets.* So I took off my Ori's earpads and found pretty much what you did: that different kinds of materials were used, and in different quantities in each earcup.

    I was concerned that something might be amiss, so I contacted him. Zach told me that he tunes each pair of Oris individually, L earcup vs R earcup, then inserts any needed sound attenuation materials in each. It is totally normal that each earcup will have different tuning materials used.

    Back to your Ori...the simplest thing to do is simply leave whatever dampening/tuning materials are already there in each earcup. That's assuming that you like how the Ori sounds, and that you're not hearing noticeably different sound from each earcup. If you're really concerned, just ping the person who sold them to you & ask him/her whether they ever messed with dampening materials. If not, then my vote is to leave that stuff untouched.

    * in the year and a half since doing this, I've begun hearing treble somewhat different. Either my hearing is shot, or I've learned to appreciate treble more and am not as averse to it. When I listen to my Ori now, it's borderline overly damped/muted in upper mids & lower treble. One day soon I'll remove that add'l dacron square from each driver, thus reverting my Ori to its original as-sold state.

    PS: Pad rolling is another odd topic w/the Ori. If you're just putting on new(er) Ori pads, no biggie. Or if you're putting on another leather angled pad nearly identical in dimension/construction to the Ori pad (ie, Brainwavz sheepskin angled; MrSpeakers Alpha Pads), then you're probably OK. But if you deviate much in materials/shape of next pads, you may experience unwanted sonic consequences...
  13. Wes S
    It seems that I am at least the 3rd owner, and that it has seem, some tinkering. My Blackwood and Classic, both have a gray foam circle and a white foam square, in front of driver. Any body else see this?
  14. Pharmaboy
    One earcup of my Ori (new from factory had a gray foam circle (if memory serves, with center hole punched out) + a white foam circle w/no center hole. Again, if memory serves, the other earcup had just the grey foam + a dacron fabric set into the square opening over the driver. That was before I added 1 dacron fabric piece to each earcup.

    So yes, I've seen this.

    And re your Ori, we're back to the central question: how does it sound to you "as is"? If it sounds as good as the Ori does to nearly everyone here, then you probably should just leave the dampening materials be. But if you feel the sound needs adjusting, your bag of extra stuff no doubt has what you need to do that. Fabric, by itself, has the least effect on sound: the foam w/center hole gone would have more; and the solid circle of foam the most effect.
    Wes S likes this.
  15. Wes S
    Thanks! It sounds and looks freaking amazing! I just wanted, it to be exactly how it was from factory, but I guess I won't know, unless I send it off to ZMF.
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