ZMF Auteur Impressions and Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Hands, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ZMF Auteur CSDs
    AuteurL.jpg
    AuteurR.jpg
     
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I took measurements three times at three different sessions to confirm that I wasn't measuring the same side.
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Some thoughts on the measurements:
    1. Plenty of second order, even in the mids - accounts for the "wet" sound that I was describing in the other thread: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...teur-an-open-back-zmf.5088/page-7#post-178940 Probably explains why I prefer it with SS or high performance TOTL tube amps.
    2. CSD behavior from 1-2ms from 750 to 1.5 kHz seem to indicate more internal cup reverb than Eikon, but less than Atticus. I'll pull more up data to examine later.
    3. Lower treble peak is fairly broad and not that much higher in level to mids, so this really didn't stick out too much. Maybe a little bit, on the order of the Utopia; but since the Auteur just slightly bassy and less lean than Utopia, not that noticeable, even on solid-state gear. I'd think of the Auteur having a strong a 3kHz BBC dip as opposed to having a lower treble bump.
     
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  4. Eudis Fernandes

    Eudis Fernandes Acquaintance

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    Hey Marve,

    Could you put EIKON and Auteur side by side on measurements?
     
  5. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    I got you:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  6. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    Auteur is Red/Green, Eikon is Blue/Yellow:

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ^ wow. Not too much of a difference. Eikon has a narrow dip just below 2kH and a tiny bit less mid-treble, but very similar overall. I didn't quite expect that.

    Subjectively, the Eikon sounded more damped, thicker, more "boring". Auteur is closer to Atticus in the liveliness factor. I still think Atticus is faster and more resolving than the Auteur, bur the Auteur has better, more right, frequency response, including less shouty reverb, which the Atticus exhibited a little bit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Overhead view. Extended to 5ms. Atticus, Eikon, and Auteur.

    Subjective notes: among the three headphones, Atticus has the strongest mid-reverb effect, followed by Auteur. Eikon, actually seems to absorb / dampen the internal reverb / cup resonances more than the others. Auteur sounds the most open, followed by Atticus. Eikon definitely sounds closed.
    Atticus R.jpg
    Eikon L.jpg
    AuteurL.jpg
     
  9. Eudis Fernandes

    Eudis Fernandes Acquaintance

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    Anyone have Auteur measurements on stock EARS comps?
     
  10. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Loaner impression part 1.

    Frequency responses of the loaner unit of ZMF Auteur Teak (Thanks @captkirk for this opportunity!).

    Honestly, I was very surprised by BOTH how subjectively they sounded AND how they were measured. This is largely because to me Atticus (shortly heard) and Eikon (previously owned) were a clear departure from what I consider neutral. I really love how they sound though.

    Anyway, let me share my measurements. All these measurements were done with MiniDSP EARS and SBAF-compensated. See this thread for details: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...g-sbaf-compensations-from-minidsp-files.7067/

    upload_2018-11-13_12-10-6.png

    AFAIK Auteur comes with two different types of pads -- not very sure whether this is a preorder perk. Auteur pads sound livelier and more articulate while Eikon pads sound more refined and neutral. I have no particular preference. Pads choice will be a matter of personal preference and synergy with one's own rig. I found E-pad auteur had a great synergy with slightly lean and aggressive soekris dac1421. With "fairly polite" rme adi2dac, I prefer a-pads, except slight shoutiness in midrange, probably due to 800-1k small emphasis shown in FR.

    If I own or order Auteur for myself, I might ask Zach if it is possible to have both E-pads low-midrange and A-pads treble. Haha.

    One thing I want to emphasize for current or future owners (or borrowers) is that left and right pads MAY BE different to compensate LR driver imbalances (to get overall channel balance). Pads rolling/replacement without CORRECTLY identifying sides may result in off balance. Check out the discussions starting from this: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/loaner-zmf-auteur.6821/page-3#post-232446


    upload_2018-11-13_12-25-25.png

    Auteur has a better bass than HD800. Both had nearly the same ability to differentiate dynamics and details of low notes, but Auteur reproduces sub-bass better with more quantity. HD800 edges Auteur in terms of sharper imaging and wider staging. But Auteur had righter timbre and smoother tonal balance. Auteur's cohesiveness of mid to treble is just superb, only challenged by HD600/650 to my ears.

    upload_2018-11-13_12-32-43.png
    upload_2018-11-13_12-32-50.png

    Subjectively to my ears, Auteur sounds like HD600/650 with less veils and far superior bass. Depending on tracks and genres, either hd650 or hd600 sounds a bit more cohesive. But I can't call a clear winner. 600 and 650 have faster transience and decay but Auteur has more life-like attacks. It's also a bit interesting to see that hd600-650 relationship resembles apads-epads one, which mirrors my subjective impression.


    upload_2018-11-13_12-47-7.png

    I am also comparing Auteur with Elex, because @famish99 requested me to do so.

    Elex has more dynamic, faster, and punchier sound than Auteur regardless of pad types. Auteur slightly outresolves and outdetails elex and has much smoother and cohesive trebles. Needless to say that there is no metallic sounding in auteur. Strangely, unlike FRs indicate, I found elex had more naturalness -- maybe possibly because of better (physical) air-flow.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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  11. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Part 2. Distortion

    upload_2018-11-13_13-1-4.png

    upload_2018-11-13_13-1-12.png

    I found eikon pads reduced D2 around 1.3khz and 4.6khz. No idea why. And the difference keeps fairly consistent over multiple measurements.

    Also attach hd650 result for giving you better idea.

    upload_2018-11-13_13-5-24.png

    Anyway BC drivers of Auteur are very well controlled by Zach's magic. Significantly better than Eikon -- maybe semi-open structure of auteur is better than semi-closed eikon in controlling drivers.

    PS.
    THD (summation of D2~D5): black
    D2: red
    D3: orange
    D4: sage-ish color
    D5: green
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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  12. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Part 3. Spectrogram (using 1/12 resolution wavelet)

    upload_2018-11-13_13-10-25.png
    upload_2018-11-13_13-10-30.png

    upload_2018-11-13_13-10-41.png
    upload_2018-11-13_13-10-50.png

    I personally like spectrograms over csd(3d)/waterfall plots because of better readability. Careful interpretations with enough cautions may be needed.

    upload_2018-11-13_13-13-43.png
    upload_2018-11-13_13-13-49.png

    Comparing Auteur with hd650/800, my take is that cup reverberation plays a more significant and active role in auteur than in senn headphones. Subjectively I believe it was linked to both good and bad. Upside is very tasteful and unique wetness in midrange, and downside is perceptional "closedness" -- music is less breathing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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  13. westermac

    westermac Friend

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    I’ve been really intrigued by Zach’s offerings (most of all the Auteur as his first open, or semi-open design) but up until this point haven’t had the opportunity to hear one. Fortunately I was able to squeeze into the loaner tour for these (thanks to the generous @captkirk ).

    Due to the holiday and some subsequent food poisoning I wasn’t able to get as much time with these as I would have liked, but here are my thoughts - stream of consciousness style…


    BUILD QUALITY
    • These are beautiful. The craftsmanship is outstanding, and as others have said before these really do strike me as some kind of heirloom from future past. The woodwork, leather and metal accents make for some handsome cans.
    • They’re much lighter than I expected based on the size and materials. I was fully expecting Audeze amounts of heft but that’s not the case here. The moderate weight, soft ear pads and headband make for a very comfy ride.

    SOUND


    Gungnir Multibit A2 > MCTH + LPS > Auteur

    • I’m having a hard time coming up with the right words to describe the sound… The coloration of the wooden cups is evident, but very pleasant. These are possibly some of the most “lush” or “wet” sounding headphones I’ve heard. There is some noticeable resonance (especially in the lower mids) that reminds me of the way my zebrawood guitar resonates.
    • The detail retrieval is excellent. In spite of the resonant quality noted above the Auteur still comes across very nimbly and quick on its feet. It’s kind of paradoxical.
    • The soundstage is perhaps my favorite part of the Auteur. It doesn’t have a ton of width or depth (likely due to the semi-open design) but it also isn’t nearly as forward as I expected. The HD-6XX by comparison - even though the soundstage extends further back and to the sides - seems to position everything up in your face compared to the Auteur (my theory is that the HD-6XX’s bump in the presence region are the culprit, which the Auteur doesn’t emphasize).
    • The cumulative effect of the above is a really enjoyable listening experience… not in the typical, technically-impressive sense of other high end and TOTL headphones that grab you by the balls and makes you LISTEN to every detail, but more in the way that you listen to music if it’s being performed for you by a live musician. The Auteur has some technical chops for sure but I didn’t particularly notice any of them unless I really payed attention. As far as I'm concerned that's a good thing.
    Now that I’ve been sucked into the world of speakers the days of being able to justify spending $1000+ on a set of headphones are over (for now), but if my ability to listen out loud were taken away from me the Auteur would be high on my list. Kudos to Zach for doing his own thing and offering something truly unique in an increasingly noisy and crowded market. 4 out of 5 brats.
     
  14. Abhishek Chowdhary

    Abhishek Chowdhary Friend

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    Heard these today. Pretty good. Quite balanced, no major unevenness and just a hint of broad bass boost. Theres some minor hardness in upper treble.
    The best part is they do not roll off lower treble/upper mids drastically. Most headphones do that to sound smoother and hence miss lots of nuances.
    These easily scale upto a yggdrasil.
     
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  15. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    I don't know why, but I never saw this.

    I'm not a huge fan of the Kenzie/Auteur pairing honestly. I prefer the IHA-1 by a country mile. Kenzie sounds a bit too bloated and has poor separation with the Auteur. It goes better with the HD800 and the HD600. It's one of the few amps that works with the HD800 but not the Auteur.
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I dislike everything with Kenzie, but I get why people like it.
     
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  17. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Friend

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    A little too warm-poo, or something else?
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Like drowning in it. The bass and kick are nice sometimes but rest too much.
     
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  19. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    I can't speak for marv, but it seems to add a "HD650/Atticus" filter to everything. Which is great if you love that coloring. Personally, I found it too much. It also had a bit of a gray/noisy background and separation, as I said earlier, wasn't the best.
     
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  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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