ZMF New Headphones: Vérité and Aeolus

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Iirc zach said the mag chassis saves like 35g.

    It's an incremental thing rather than night and day here ya, it's like a an 8% change.
     
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  2. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Almost "Made"

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    I'm pretty sure it was not magnesium (frame of this Aeolus was black, just like the Auteur's). But I'll check on that...

    BTW, forgot to mention the person who owns this headphone is @Jinxy245, who was kind enough to drop by last night so I could hear it.
     
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  3. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Friend

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    Without....it's my (stock) Aeolus. It is very light for a wooden headphone, heck not bad for a regular headphone, but I haven't had any issue with the weight of any headphone so far (Eikon, LCD series etc).
     
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  4. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Almost "Made"

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    8% of something beats 100% of nothing...
     
  5. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Sure, and I took the option on mine, buts not like the difference between the heaviest and lightest woods on the Auteur which iirc was like 150g.
     
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  6. pure5152

    pure5152 Acquaintance

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    I think zach mentioned the weight of the magnet accounts for a significant part of the weight. The atticus/aeolus magnets are N30, and the Vérité N50 (and IIRC, the magnets in the eikon/auteur are N45). So it makes sense that the aeolus is damn light even without magnesium: it uses a lighter magnet and saves on wood weight with its open design.

    I'll fact check and edit with links below

    EDIT: Zach mentioned earlier in this thread that the N30 aeolus driver is 18 grams lighter than the N50 verite driver, which means a weight savings of 36 grams per headphone. 36g is only 8% of the total weight (447g), but when you're wearing a headphone for hours, it adds up.

    EDIT 2: Zach also mentioned that with the magnesium chassis, the aeolus would weigh only 415g. That seems freakishly light for an all-wood wmf headphone
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  7. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    after a day of 2A3 tube rolling in EC Af,
    the reason for statements "separation and staging over blown" with Verite was the effect of Sylvania dual mono plate 2A3 tubes, rather than the Amp or headphones itself.

    the massive left to right "w i d t h" of these Sylvania tubes, can at times leave the center / front space sonics rather unpopulated, to the point of appearing empty. noticed with Auteur as well.

    switching to Fivre 2A3 tubes with Auteur restores much of that "center" channel overlapping with L/R,
    at the slight reduction of width.
    didn't try 2A3 tube rolling when Verite were in my possession. ah well.
     
  8. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

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    Aeolus

    I guess I’m first up with the loaner Aeolus. It bears noting that these were provided by @Elnrik, his own personal pair. It also bears noting that he either has a spare cable, or an extremely small head. I mean GI Joe sized. The Y split in the stock cable was only separated about 3”. Regardless of head size, @Elnrik is a nice man and true gentleman for offering his personal pair up to the unwashed masses.

    My impressions will be pretty short (ok, maybe not so much), and preceded by a few comments about the Sennheiser HD800S that I’m comparing them to.

    First - why do I have the HD800S? After all I kind of hated the HD800. I typically tore a stock pair off my head in less than 2 minutes. Well, all the talk of SDR and SBAF mods got me interested again, concerns over aging of the mod pieces, and a general lack of time and interest in modding made me decide to take a flier on the HD800S. It seemed if I could live with a bit of 2nd harmonic distortion in the bass, I might like them. Turns out that this is pretty true, at least for now. They are kind of like the hottest girl (or guy, I’m not near perfect enough to judge) you ever dated. You overlook the few flaws even though they really bug you. Too thin, not enough body, lacking some fun and soul. Won’t eat barbecue with her hands. You know, all the stuff you got tired of, no matter how great she looked. Eventually, you realize you are looking for the one you want to live with, marry. Not just ear candy. That’s what I’m looking for - my open headphone wife.

    On to the Aeolus:

    Well, it is a beautiful headphone. Soul, Fun, Body and Feel. These are just awesome. They first surprised me with the level of treble detail and air. From the descriptions I’ve heard, I thought they would be more of a rolled off signature up top. Not at all. They seem to miss nothing in comparison to the HD800S. The details are instead just blended a bit more tastefully from the Aeolus. They mids are rich and full. The bass is a bit less than I expected, but still definitely there, not lacking in the least - actually better than I had expected.

    I really like the presentation, but my search for “The One” continues. The mids seem to just miss blending into the upper frequencies for me. Also, the mids and maybe midbass region are just a bit too full and rich for me, but just a touch. One of the kind of deal breakers for me, was a slight overpowering of the vocals in “Wish You Were Here” from the Pink Floyd album of the same name. Note that this was definitely song specific. In general, the tone is just beautiful. Acoustic guitar comes from blackness, and is almost palpable, touchable. Vocals are rich and present (not withstanding the WYWH issue above). The HD800S did much better with WYWH, but is in general a bit too thin and ethereal for me, unless I crank it too loud. The Aeolus failed my sibilance test* (every headphone fails it), but faired better than the HD800S. Oddly, if there is a tinge of sibilance in a song, for me, I could hear it a bit more prevalent with the Aeolus than the HD800S. Oh - for rock music (less so for hardcore metal) the Aeolus is queen (sorry, the Aeolus is a voluptuous woman to me). Just great, rich, crunchy guitar, great vocals and solid kick drums. It’s probably great for hardcore metal also, I’m just less often in the mood for that the older I get.

    My search continues. The Aeolus is really close to “The One.” Still the few issues I raise are enough for me to know it would end in a sobbing, heartbroken divorce. The Aeolus does have me looking back over my shoulder at her equally lovely sister, Auteur. I had the pleasure of the loaner, and really liked it. It solved most of the HD800S problems, and most of my minor concerns with the Aeolus. It did occasionally do this weird mids forward, treble back thing on a few poorly mastered songs though.

    Summary - The Aeolus is a beautiful, brilliant, near perfect headphone for those that love rich, full bass and surprisingly present micro details. Zack’s headphones are works of art, each and every one.


    *sibilance test - Anything from Sara McLaughlin “Mirror Ball.” I typically use “Adia” or “Angel.”


    Notes:

    I’m looking for the right ZMF for me, because I really want to own a pair. They are without a doubt the most beautiful headphones I’ve ever touched and experienced. The Aeolus is not “The One”, but the Auteur just might be. I do need to hear the Atticus and Eikon as well. Closed cans are my go to for internal and external isolation needs. I currently use the Ether C v1.1 NON flow. It has some of the same issues to me as the HD800S, along with the confusion that closed cans generally have (though less with the Ether). I might be fine with a more lush, mid-centric but still detailed closed can, and the HD800S.

    Rig: RPi with a digi-pro hat via coax to a Gungnir Multibit A1 with V5 USB to a Freya with no tubes, passive mode (overgrown attenuator) to a Cavalli Liquid Crimson with a unicorn Siemens Cca tube (note that tube rolling is discernible, but not very, in the LC).

    Music: vocals, acoustic, classic rock, 80’s and 90’s hair bands and metal (and a sudden fascination with “Black Veil Brides”), a bit of Jazz, a bit of classical leaning more to smaller string quartets, Tom Waits, you know; stuff.
     
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  9. Baten

    Baten Almost "Made"

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    That is pure poetry
     
  10. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    dude @Elnrik has a skull the size of Saturn, approaching Jupiter. my guess is he never used that cable.
     
  11. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

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    Hah! Thanks. I’m very happily married, so an easy analogy for me. And purposely cheesy. Very cheesy.

    Shame. I liked the image of a normal sized guy with a GI Joe sized head wearing full sized headphones.... I hope @Elnrik doesn’t mind our having one on him too much.
     
  12. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    @aamefford What a great poetry! Not to mention very helpful as a review post.

    Btw, is your impression from Aeolus pads, or Verite pads? I am guessing @Elnrik has both pads but not sure which one he shipped with.
     
  13. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    I have a huge head. It's like an orange on a toothpick.

    Edit: for the record, that cable was used prior to the loaner. It also happened to serve as a great chin strap for keeping the headphones on during rollercoaster rides...
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
  14. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    They were the stock pads. (Called the Universe pads by Zach, I think?)

    The Verite pads are on the Verite, which was out on loan when the Aeolus was sent out, which is why they were not included.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
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  15. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    This will probably not go well for me...
     
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  16. kashm

    kashm Rando

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    I have the Atticus, love it. Just heard about the Aeolus. Can anyone who has heard both ( A & Aeolus) compare the soundstage & imaging. Even better if you have heard it on a Tube amp.
    Cheers.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Atticus was one of my favorite cans and I would have purchased it had my house not been so cluttered with headphones and audio related crap. The main differences are as follows (subjectively speaking):
    1. Atticus has a narrow mid-bass bump. This is somewhat isolated from the rest of the spectrum. It's localized and doesn't bleed into the upper bass or lower mids. Nips is doesn't have such a mid-bass emphasis. In fact, I think the bass is just about right, and it blends into the mids smoothly. TBH, I kind of miss this Atticus coloration on the Nips.
    2. Atticus has some cup resonance. There is a sea-shell effect, like that on the Verite that can be heard in the mids. Switching from a totally open headphone with cup resonance like the HD650 to Atticus and this becomes more notable. Nips isn't quite as cup resonance free as the HD650, but this cup reverb effect is really toned down compared to Atticus.
    3. Atticus has a little bit more bite and hardness in the upper mids. The Nips has this too, but it seems toned down just a tiny bit. More similar than different really. Nips seems to be brighter overall relative to Atticus.
    4. Nips has the same "speed" and responsiveness that as the Atticus, their greatest traits.
    5. Headstage is slightly different. The cup resonance of the Atticus gives it a slightly different presentation. Both are good (deep and open) in this regard with neither one better than the other, but Aelous plays it more straight without excess which does help with localization of instruments.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  18. kashm

    kashm Rando

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    Yes, I like the atticus for the same reasons - just a beefy sound while still being very agile.
    Thanks for the notes.
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I just realized that I took measurements of Aeolus but forgot to post them. Here is some quick data. The reverb effect is sort of seen in the FR plots. CSD would probably confirm this. Pretty easy to guess which is which so I won't label them.

    Atticus vs Aeolus.png

    Aligns with my subjective observations except for the Aeolus being brighter than Atticus, but maybe it's a matter of Atticus having more mid-bass which does shift the perceived tonal balance.
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    CSDs, normalized between 500-1kHz for fairness (I should have gone higher to 1.5kHz, but you get the idea)
    Atticus shows behavior (the more evident and longer "fingers" 500-1kHz from 2-5ms) associated with more cup reverb.

    ezgif-5-091a90cdfd86.gif
     
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