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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. znev777
    Anyone have any experience with the ori and jds element? Would it have enough juice to get a decent amount of sound out of it? These seem to be pretty power hungry from what I've heard. The element appears to put of 1.1W at 32 ohms.

    Also how are the upper mids/lower treble? I have a touch of the tinnitus already and if there is an emphasis or any grain there then it isn't pleasant for decently long listening session... otherwise these sound like they would be amazing
    Pharmaboy likes this.
  2. Pharmaboy
    They are amazing. I love my Ori. My advice is just get them & sort out the rest later.

    1.1W might be enough. The Ori is a power hog, by far the most of any planar I've owned or heard. Even the more efficient planars tend to like some power "cushion" (ie, power above that strictly necessary to get it to X dB volume).

    The Element has a high gain feature, but the specs don't say whether power is measured at 1.0x gain or 4.7x gain.
    znev777 likes this.
  3. znev777
    That would be my impulse, but lucky for my wallet I don't have the money right now hah. They seem to be pretty cheap used though, I've seen em go for $450-600 depending on the wood which isn't bad at all. I wonder if the wood type make a real difference, the walnut seems to be on the low end of $ compared to the others. Reviews don't seem to like it quite as much, but if the difference is very small then it would be a no-brainer for me. If I could find something around $500 with a single ended cable I would have to snatch it up...

    I found a review that mentions it has a 4.7x high gain, so I might be in luck!
  4. Pharmaboy
    When the Omni (original name of this headphone) first launched, there were 3 wood choices (if my memory isn't playing trick on me): blackwood, walnut, and cherry. Blackwood is an extremely dense/hard wood, and the sound was described as faster, more impactful, with slightly deeper bass. Cherry was described as more resonant ("romantic"), with slightly less deep bass reach; and walnut was said to be in-between. Apparently it's not just the hardness of the wood, but also the pore size that affects resonance & speed.

    My Ori (2nd name for the same model headphone) is a relatively hard wood, ormosia henryi. I'm crazy for this headphone and have no real perspective on other Ori woods--because I haven't heard any.

    But I've heard a number of woods in the Eikon/Auteur model group (blackwood, padauk, teak, and cherry, in descending order of hardness). Zach, the owner of ZMF, has said the wood used for these headphones has less of an effect on sound, but I do hear padauk as faster/more impactful than cherry, which does have a bit more resonance.

    I see Ori's F.S. now and then. The last couple I saw were purpleheart. I don't admire the look of that wood (some adore it), but it is one of the hardest woods around, and I'll bet it sounds like a million bucks.

    Hope you see your way clear to getting an Ori. I have other headphones now, some said to be better in this or that technical way than the Ori. Regardless, every time I put the Ori on, it pleases me to no end.
    znev777, Wes S and Odin412 like this.
  5. whirlwind

    What he said :)

    I have seen a few Ori's for sale lately between $500-$600....some of the best bass and most musical headphones ...these hit the sweet spot and I could not live without mine...LOL
    Over and out :ksc75smile:
    rollinbr, znev777 and Wes S like this.
  6. znev777
    I was considering zmf classics too, but I've got an itch to get something real special. And these are planar to boot with some decent isolation which I'll appreciate, my neighbor in the adjacent apartment loves to sing. But he isn't very good. And I've never tried a planar before. No real way of auditioning or trying anything in a store, so I guess I'll have to take a little plunge, but I was also looking at afo and lcd2c's anyways so I think it was going to be a planar regardless. These look almost like something in between, they've got the bass and the musicality.

    Nighthawks for daily use and dropping on the floor accidentally, with the ori's for dedicated listening. By the time I get a pair I should be pretty sure on whether or not I want to keep the 6xx too, they are just a little grainy and shouty for my liking :dagger:
    great for reading comparisons though! Here's hoping something pops up somewhere soon, there was a pair of walnuts on reddit for $425 and it came with the seahorse case... still kicking myself for missing that one...
  7. whirlwind
    The Ori was my first planar also. Talk about getting hooked on the planar bass...this headphone did that to me.
    Combine it with the warm over all sound and comfort that was a big surprise to me and it was here to stay.
    Super fun and musical.
    Wes S likes this.
  8. znev777
    Planar bass sounds very appealing, I've never really experienced bass that is well textured, detailed, and extended. I really look forward to listening to the Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack with a planar in the future! Lcd2c's had that $600 promotion just about a week before I started getting into audio and I was drooling over descriptions and reviews for about a month straight after I missed them. But then I read that they clamp like 40% harder than fresh 650's which is absolutely nuts! You can just bend the little metal adjustment parts of the 650's to your liking, but the audeze have that hefty spring steel band. And I figure if I want to listen to something dark I always have the nighthawks :beyersmile:

    These sound like a better option, still good bass but overall just more versatile and musical. And I'm not too concerned about getting a used pair, Audeze seems to have some driver issues (at least in the past), and after the 3 year driver warranty repairs get real expensive. Zmf seems to have pretty reasonable out of warranty repair costs thanks to the drivers being so cheap to source. Afo's were also an option but they seem more like a 650/6xx upgrade which I'm not sure I like to much...
  9. znev777
    Snagged an Ori from another head-fier, should be coming sometime soon. Burmese padauk with copper sliders, should be pretty dang neat!

    Additionally does anybody have any input on tube amps for the ori's? I just happened to find a Elekit TU-8200 on craigslist in my area for $360 bucks, which seems like a pretty good deal, especially since it has already been assembled. It seems to have plenty of juice, 4W @ 8 ohms which should be more than enough to fill out the ori, but if it's not going to sound great then I'd probably just look at a juicy ss amp down the line instead. I'm assuming I'll be able to try it before I buy it, but would it even be worth it? Would they be compatible? I have very little amp knowledge....
  10. Pharmaboy
    The Ori is a true power hog--more so than any headphone I've tried or owned. It may not quite be in the league with legendary power-hogs like the Hifiman HE-6, it still won't pair too well with any low-power SS or tube amps. In my experience w/SS at least, anything in the 1.5W per channel range should get to liftoff with an Ori.

    Tube amps play by different rules--lower power ratings seem a lot larger in actual use. I would stay away from OTLs w/the Ori, but any well designed transformer-coupled tube amp should sound pretty good. I have yet to try my Ori on a big new (to me, anyway) tube amp, the WA22. When I try that combo I'll report back. Up to this point, I've gotten the best sound out of my Ori using SS balanced amps.

    Not familiar w/the Elekit TU-8200, though at 4W per channel, assuming all 4 watts are available via HP output, you should be fine.
    znev777 likes this.
  11. znev777
    Snagged the 8200, sounds great! My hd6XX actually sounds good now, I was going to sell them but I don't think I will anymore. They actually have some pretty nice sub-bass now and they sound more open for sure.

    There seemed to be some good experiences with this amp and other t50rp mods so I pretty confident that it will work out. And there are 3 modes, triode is 4W, ultralinear @ 8W, and pentode @8.2W, so it should have power in spades. Though changing modes is a little intensive, you have to open up the unit and wait a bit so it doesn't kill you or itself.

    It seems that it is pretty well designed for headphones and speakers, and apparently works great with low impedance headphones as well, nice for future-proofing. I just have to replace an input tube that is causing some slight hissing and it'll be gold! Just hope I don't catch tube fever....
  12. bgoods1221
    Does anyone have any experience with both the Ori and Campfire Cascade?
  13. FireLion

    Does anyone have pics of the damping arrangement? I have to buy a new plastic section for the clamp for the rails and might have to open it up.

    Has anyone tried the xduoo TA-01 on these? it's some discrete tube fun for the office.

    These have a very natural sound, seems effortless in it's presentation much different to any T50RP variant I have tried before. I like!
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  14. Pharmaboy
    BTW, this post really needs an update. Ever since posting this I did very little headphone listening. Haven't gotten around to trying the Ori on my OTL (Woo WA3). But I did recently try another low impedance planar, the Meze Empyrean, on the WA3, and was quite shocked by the excellent sound that resulted.

    I've read on Head-Fi & elsewhere that low impedance planars don't exhibit the same sonic clues of impedance mismatch as dynamics do on an OTL amp. And that seems to be correct. On the WA3, what I heard was a very flat, controlled, clean frequency response from the Empyrean...a really solid & precise sound. Yes, the dynamics are not in the league of my V281, but OTL or no, this is a radically different type of amp, not a powerhouse like the V281. Overall, it was a surprising success.

    Which leads me back to the Ori. Now I really have to try it on the WA3. Given the power demands of the Ori, this may not work. But at least now I know that simple impedance mismatching (on paper) is no reason to avoid trying this.
    Odin412 and koover like this.
  15. znev777
    I think it still holds up well, at least in my experience.

    I've also been trying to figure out the relationships between planars and tube amps. Despite my elekits 90Ω output impedance it seems to work quite well with the ori, it is not an otl tube amp though, just a plain old tube amp that can drive 8W into 8Ω (in ultralinear mode at least, triode is 4W). I'm not sure if plugging a 50Ω headphone into a 90Ω amp produces any significant downsides, but it appears to work well. I've heard that traditionally you want a 1/8 dampening factor for headphones, like a 37.5Ω output for a 300Ω can. But when you think high impedance, it's almost always a dynamic driver involved. I wish I had a decently powerful and clean ss amp to test alongside... my only ss amp has a 25Ω output impedance and 1W :dizzy_face:

    I've been looking at getting a pair of closed aeon flows, but their impedance of 13Ω is even lower than the ori's so I'm not quite sure if the total lack of anything close to a dampening factor would contribute to a noticeable noise floor. Don't want none of that tube hiss! The ori's and other t50rp seem to work well with powerful tube amps though, no audible hissing. The empyreans are pretty efficient, 100db sensitivity is fairly good, I'm not surprised an otl tube amp could drive them well, I'd just be more concerned that the low dampening factor on account of their low impedance would introduce some distortion. Otl's tend to have a decently high output impedance I think? But since planars are already pretty low distortion wise, maybe it's not enough to notice on a fancy can like that. The 92db ori might struggle with an otl amp however, hungry boy gotta eat!

    I was fiddling around in the innerfidelity headphones measurements, and planars tend to have a "flatter" distortion range, dynamics tend to distort more in peaks along the frequency range. So maybe a tube amp will just distort more evenly on a planar (and their inherit low distortion helps anyways) where an impedance mismatch with dynamic drivers will result in more obvious distortion that may even change the frequency response. My nighthawks sounded pretty pooey out of it, and they are a pretty efficient and low impedance can (and also low distortion, so I really have no real idea about anything). What is electricity even? Probably just magic of something....
    Pharmaboy likes this.
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