ZMF Caldera Review and Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Vtory, Sep 12, 2022.

  1. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    EDIT (as of 2022-11-18)
    Caldera measurements and analysis thread (including MiniDSP EARS measurements): https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...f-caldera-measurements-and-impressions.12863/

    Marv's impressions

    Product pages
    Caldera will be officially announced on Nov 22. Zach's quotes in HF below.

    ---
    I will update the OP once Zach discloses more information. But I collected all the information I could see in various forums as of today (2022-09-12).

    ZMF's official post in the Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/CiYDFokOBuD/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Shortly speaking, ZMF Caldera is a pair of planar magnetic headphones, expected to release in Canjam Socal this week. Estimated delivery is November.

    A few highlights from what GoldenSound posted in reddit (link).
    • Atrium damping system + Caldera asymmetrical magnet structure (both patients pending)
    • 80mm diameter ortho drivers
    • Carbon fiber baffles
    • 95db/mw
    • Comply with Harman target between 1.5 and 4khz (not bass shelf)
    • Stock wood is white Oaks
    • MSRP $3500 with special release price of $3200

    Zach also shared B&K measurements in HF (link). Below are DF-compensated FR (vs Atrium) and distortion results.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2022
  2. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Yet another reason why ZMF will be my first stop!
    This is very exciting!
     
  3. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    I'm imagining the crowd around the ZMF table at Can Jam. I'll give it a shot, but likely will wait for the upcoming loaner tour.
     
  4. Gazny

    Gazny Friend

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    I read some blurbs online,
    is this an Orthodynamic? something about a asymmetrical magnet structures/arrangement and movement.
     
  5. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    If I'm not mistaken, I think so. It's highly unlikely Zach went for too much esoteric things. And because symmetrical dual-sided magnets sacrifice too much weight, FWIW almost every ortho/planar major player comes up with its own way of single-sided or asymmetrical magnet structures.
     
  6. Gazny

    Gazny Friend

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    Alright, thought the driver moved more in the center too because of it. Maybe it was rumors or miss information.
     
  7. saint.panda

    saint.panda Friend

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    Please make a closed version as well for all of us stuck in an office all day...
     
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  8. ColdsnapBry

    ColdsnapBry Almost "Made"

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    I'm really having a hard time seeing a Wavedream, Stellaris, and VC in an office. How does that work! Must be a big office!
     
  9. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    It's an isodynamic (a planar with bar magnets). Orthodynamics are planars with concentric ring magnets, like the Final D8000.
     
  10. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Zach said this on head fi:

    [​IMG]
     

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  11. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Thanks for pointing it out. I now remember ortho terminology was first used by Yamaha back then in the 1970s. I somehow think people nowadays interchangeably use planar, ortho, and iso.. I am poisoned that way, too.
     
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  12. zach915m

    zach915m MOT: ZMF Headphones

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    Yeah I think the asymmetrical thing isn't really the key to the patent we've filed when thought of in a traditional isodynamic driver sense; it's more that the magnets are angular in how they are shaped "towards" the driver. This does create an asymmetrical structure, and then when in concert with the Atrium damping system makes the structure have more pressure build up behind the driver, that then comes out much easier through the front of the driver because there's less resistance. So the asymmetry is build up both from the more traditional square/bar magnets in back, with the Atrium damping scheme, and then the "Caldera" shaped magnets in front that naturally spread out the airflow in an easier manner in the front/ear side.
     
  13. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Sounds very interesting.. although I'm still troubled in accurately understanding geometric structure.

    What I am imagining from Zach's words:

    upload_2022-9-13_17-31-39.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2022
  14. zach915m

    zach915m MOT: ZMF Headphones

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    Oh sorry, we will make some infographics soon to accurately portray them, but it the actual shape of the magnet itself, not the positioning of the magnet. So the shape of the poll facing the driver, has less surface area than the area on the adjacent and/or earside which creates the asymmeticality.
     
  15. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    [​IMG]
     
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  16. James Whiting

    James Whiting Facebook Friend

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    Hot Damn!
     
  17. Souldriver

    Souldriver Almost "Made"

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    @zach915m i know the Atrium dampening system wasnt developed solely for the Atrium, but was the Caldera in mind when you were developing the dampening or was it more of an "oh look this works darn well here too" type of discovery.
     
  18. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

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    Dampening of any kind is not driver specific. How much you use is.
     
  19. deafenears

    deafenears Almost "Made"

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    So does the Caldera also use the titanium acoustic mesh? If so, does that mean it allows swapping between a solid mesh and more vented for more treble allowing basic tuning to one's preference?
     
  20. Souldriver

    Souldriver Almost "Made"

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    Looking at the pictures, that whole baffle and the screen is now that carbon fiber. The mesh would be where you see that middle horizontal line/grid is.
     

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