ZMF Eikon Measurements and Review

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Marvey, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    It's a shame too, because there are commenters on Tyll's review stating how "terrible" the performance is on the Eikon, despite not being the case when someone actually listens to the headphone.

    I'm going to be honest, and Tyll has admitted this with some things in the past, but Tyll's WoF needs a good redo. Or something. I have listened to the Ether C/Flow, and it is not anywhere near quality of the Eikon. Or the Atticus.

    That all said, the more I listen to the Eikon, the more I wonder if I should have gone with my gut and gone with the Atticus, if only because I find that bass so...awesome.
     
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  2. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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    Wasn't going to comment but okay why not...
    Muffled based on the above? fine

    Lack of dynamics compare to the best, lack of punch? inaccurate...extremely inaccurate. Hey my reviews have way more inaccuracies which is why I didn't want to comment further and regretted my first response because Tyll's (whom I owe much respect, credit, and put my hand over my brow to block the sun when I look up to him on his well deserved mountain peak of guru wisdomdom!) stuff eats mine alive as well as does yours, Marvs, bazelios, verumsonus.... on and on. But bass not punchy? good but not great dynamics? compared to what on that Closed back wall???? Driven by what triple A battery?

    Let me take for instance the HE-9. I plugged the Eikon and Atticus in that amplifier and it sounded like clear mush. Clear but all mushed on the same vertical plane lacking dynamics, yet not bass punch compared to the best. Now I plugged the Ether C Flow into that same HE-9 and the bass popped a little bit more than on lesser solid states and the pairing was better than my tube amp but still 'the best-Ether C Flow' was not even close to as dynamic in the mid range, or anywhere else. Sure the Atticus and Eikon transients lost edge and bite on what is already a 'round' and natural timbre with that solid state amp but they still revealed more contrast on that amp than the flat and hollow Ether C Flow.

    So he jumps from his Moon Neo 4k thingy (soft and boring) and plugs it into a 500 dollar bottlehead crack and says the bass gets looser on OTL...uhhhh how about a 4K OTL amp like the Teton... try that maybe, or other non OTL Tube amps?;) Maybe...just maybe he expected the bass to be looser because the Crack is not particularly tight compared to TOTL gear? I dunno I have never heard the Neo though I have owned two Cracks

    Now the preference for brighter gear is fine and dandy but again, The Ether Flow remains and all of the others like the HD800S and HE1K stays:confused:
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
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  3. Elnrik

    Elnrik Almost "Made"

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    Just watched the video.

    I'm wondering - why the comparison to the Utopia and PM3? Was that all he had on hand? Why not detailed comparisons to actual Eikon competitors like the Z1R, LCD-X, Flow C, etc... Sure, he says he likes the Eikon, I get that, but why take an open headphone which he often lauds as world's best and a very different sounding closed planar, and form a review off that? I agree with using the Ethers for comparison, but the other two leave me scratching my head.

    The earphiles, verumsonus, aornic, and enjoythemusic reviews had much more pertinent and pointed comparisons. Better written as well. (I don't agree with all of them, but that's beside the point.)

    I guess I'm a bit upset at this, not because I wanted him to cast the Eikon in a shining light, and heap praise upon it, all glory to ZMF... none of that bullshit. I'm just very disappointed in the substance and quality of the review. Good or bad, I think the Eikon - and to a greater degree, Zach - deserved more effort regardless of the outcome.

    My opinion of Tyll's review remains unchanged. Poorly executed, lacking substance, and information. Thanks for the measurements though Tyll. Hopefully next time you'll spend a week comparing them to the Ethers.
     
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  4. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    Sheesh you guys are hard on Tyll, his review was still better than 99% of the other headphone reviews floating around the web.
     
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  5. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Facebook Friend

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    The video review seemed to lack Tyll's usual excitement. I've seen him more passionate about things he definitely did not like, but then that's usually because there was something intriguing to grapple with and understand. So perhaps whether for good or ill he just didn't find the Eikon particularly interesting.

    He also seemed pretty tired, and little pale.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  6. TMRaven

    TMRaven Friend

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    And here I thought only Head-Fi went into defense-mode when somebody doesn't give the highest remarks to their favorite product.

    It is strange that Tyll only compared it to the Utopia, and not the Elear, which I thought would have been way more appropriate given its price point and tuning. PM-3 is a headphone a lot of headphones should be compared to. It has a great tuning from bass to lower treble.
     
  7. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    It would seem that Tyll is slowly moving towards brighter headphones. Could be an effect of aging and getting used to the Utopia. This backlash is a bit unwarranted though. Doing a disassembly of the driver and inspecting the design from inside out is already miles ahead of most reviews. While he does seem less enthusiastic than usual which could be skewing his subjective evaluation, his inspection and measurements are still as good as ever. Give the man a break.

    EDIT: If you set your reference point as Utopia like I think he did, it makes sense for anything warmer and less bold to sound "muffled". Ours is (and forever will be ;)) HD 650, which would put Eikon in the just right category. Perhaps he would like the more ballsy Atticus (according to people here) more. What this review makes me excited for is when he takes a look at the Z1R. He might be yawning throughout that review if that happens.

    2nd EDIT: There is a CRAP ton of damping in the Eikon enclosure. Furthermore, Zach mentioned sourcing out high-impedance bio-cellulose drivers for the Eikon to make the sound smoother a.k.a more eletrical damping (not an engineer so might be wrong on this). So damping combined with more damping. I'm actually surprised this sounds more dynamic than Z1R to people here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  8. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I think you guys are putting way too much thought into this. Tyll is just one guy, albeit super awesome and a key part of the hobby, and I think he does his best with the time and tastes that he has, as well as trying to tailor his writings for a wider audience with their own varying tastes. It isn't easy, and not everything he puts out is going to have universal agreement on the findings or the type of contents. There's a lot of good info in the review that could help a buyer, so long as they can triangulate Tyll's thoughts and tastes vs. their own. But we all know it's best to hear for ourselves and make up our own minds, right?

    But if it really must eat you up inside, do what I do: bottle it up, and cry yourself to sleep knowing he feels favorably about any of the Ether products. :)
     
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  9. Serious

    Serious Friend

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    I doubt it's age/hearing loss. Tyll has always preferred brighter phones than Marv.

    To me it looks like mostly soft foam that doesn't look like it'll damp it too much.
    Electrical damping is very different from acoustic damping and I think the main reason to go for higher voice coil resistance is to make it lighter. From what I know the voice coil moving mass matters a lot for the overall FR of a driver.

    Apart from the 1.6kHz resonance the measurements don't look too bad. (In this regard I wonder how it measures without the pipe behind the driver or without the front driver cover.) The bass distortion isn't that bad, especially considering the bassy FR which will make it look worse than other phones, the resonances in the treble could be a dummy head or earpad thing and the overall FR looks pretty good.
     
  10. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    Well he did say the lower impedance biocellulose drivers typically used had peaky treble in an interview with Tyll, which I think is true with Th-x00 and th-900 sharing the same peak but different levels, so he had to source custom high-impedance drivers. Might also be why Marv doesn't think Eikon sounds a lot like the usual Fostex bios.
     
  11. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    While talking to Zach at Canjam, he said the biocellulose drivers in the eikon are reinforced with polyethylene to make them more rigid. This could definitely be contributing to the "not fostex clone" sound.
     
  12. Audio Zenith

    Audio Zenith Friend

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    I think the main issue is; Tyll first listened and formed majority of impressions using a solid state amp (makes sense as it's his reference and every other headphone goes through the same set-up).

    He then tried recommended OTL (not the best one, far from it), noticed improvements in some areas balanced out by weaknesses in the other and that unfortunately simply couldn't change his overall perception of Eicon's character. Results could have been very different if Tyll was to listen with TOTL tube amp first.

    Eicon at Zach's table during recent SoCal CanJam sounded really well balanced, with OTL setup of a reference grade. I then took the same pair to our Rag, which immediately highlighted all the little issues barely noticeable with OTL. On top of that, high frequencies were a lot less present on our all solid state rig.

    My first thought was, such amp dependency may sooner or later backfire at Zach. Unfortunately, knowing how passionate he was tuning these, I couldn't find enough courage to openly tell him these thoughts then and there.

    Those who know me well will tell you, I am very much against such headphone/amp dependencyes and will never tolerate this coming from big guys, Sennheiser comes to mind ;-). On the other hand Zach is a different story, Tyll mentioned a few times how Eicon is handcrafted by pretty much one person. Therefore I personally think it should be judged a bit differently, using amps craftsman himself would recommend.

    Don't think Zach will ever ask but maybe we can help. Tyll once changed his mind and who knows, maybe Eicon could have a second chance too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  13. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 Friend

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    I'm in the minority here but after demoing both for an hour or so, I ultimately decided that I enjoyed the Atticus more. I believe Zach even said that the Atticus was the more "fun" headphone. Sure, its probably even less "reference" than the Eikon but during my 5 days with it it, I loved it to death and ultimately ordered my own pair. The Eikon has better technicalities but the Atticus has the slam and musicality that is more engaging to my ears.

    Also, I appreciate Tyll's review. I'd be curious to hear his thoughts on the Atticus. His site is one of the main reasons I started taking headphones more seriously. So what, he doesn't think its the second coming of headphones. Overall, I would still say that it is a positive review. We know that Zach's headphones measure super funky. He tunes by ear, not by measurements. The Atticus / Eikon are super unique, its almost unfair to compare them to assembly line headphones because its two guys in a garage making them. Anyways, I support what Zach does and I'm a proud to be in line for my personal Atticus.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  14. Drifterxny

    Drifterxny Friend

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    I read the review as pretty favorable for the Eikon. The reasoning behind the comparisons and gear used were explained. I don't see where he claims that Ethers are better (being more neutral doesn't mean better). He explains that the bottleneck crack was used because that's the only OLT tube amp he's got on hand and as expected with the crack's limitations the bass is weaker but treble actually improved. I don't get what all the anger is about, perhaps expecting a bit too much in terms of review or a bit biased?

    Personally I'm glad he compared it to the Utopia, I might give the Atticus a shot now after finding the thx-00 not satisfying enough as a complement.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  15. MattRG

    MattRG Almost "Made"

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    Tyll's a well-liked, well-respected guy around these parts and his words and opinions carry a lot of weight. ZMF and Zach are also liked and respected. What Zach has been able to do with the Eikon and Atticus is pretty amazing and they've both received pretty tremendous word of mouth support since their release but little in the way of actual journalistic reviews. I think some folks were probably waiting for Tyll to put his stamp of approval on the Eikon to really cement it as one of the best closed-back headphones available on the market.

    That's not what the review said though. The review said he liked it but stopped well short of naming it the best or even one of the best. And I think that's where some of the pushback is coming from here and elsewhere.

    Edit - And let me say that it's Tyll's site and his opinion and he's welcome to it. It doesn't change my opinion of the Eikon one bit and I am still thrilled to be receiving one soon.
     
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  16. cizx.6

    cizx.6 Just couldn't stay away...

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    I once knew someone who didn't like lobster. I scratched my head when I heard that, and I moved on. We were still able to agree on barbecue. Fuck it. People are weird.

    Plus I REALLY miss solid food.
     
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  17. GettingBuckets

    GettingBuckets Almost "Made"

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    If someone doesn't like barbecue though, then there is something really wrong, and that person is probably a psychopath. We can all agree on that.
     

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