Pennstac’s system

Member systems topics, an idea by @SwedishMike

SweedishMike made a suggestion from another forum that seems interesting. He’s suggesting an individual thread for each member where they can discuss their systems and have people comment. If it catches on, then they might get a category of their own.

To create this, make a new topic here, and use the tag
This will allow users to find them quickly, and/or moderators to create a category or move them if they want.

My Office System

In order to hide extra equipment from my spouse, I’ve started a headphone setup in the office. My iPad outputs bits to the old iFi xDSD. That’s in line-out mode via a single ended Pangea cable to the Eufonika H7m OTL tube amp. Right now, just a Sennheiser HD-6xx for headphones, but eventually will be the ZMF Auteeur classic when they ship.

EDIT note - @SenyorC said pics or it doesn’t happen. So I took a pic. Note Hart Audio cable on the HD-6xx. Funko Pop of Grogu “The Child” and of @pennstac as a Pop Yourself. Tivoli radio in back.

Classy desk lamp by my niece who also makes headphone stands, “Rustic Mountain Chic” google it. So far have put 5 coats of tung oil on the amplifier wood bottom. More to be done. Natural Citrine tower near lamp for Reiki wealth-creating vibes. I’m a financial advisor and it can’t hurt.

Later I’ll add the real office system, which is speaker based. This was just to start the member-systems concept going.


You know what they say… pics or it didn’t happen :wink:


Good idea! I will try to get around to making one of my own over the weekend.


OK- see the edit. Better?

The tubes in front sockets on the amp are getting broken in. Amperex 6922’s from 1967, a matched pair from Brent Jesse. They sound pretty good, NOS in original boxes.


Two questions:

  1. Why the ZMF Auteur? I’m considering a ZMF headphone next. I have an idea of which, but interested to know others’ opinions.
  2. Who is David Stabb?
1 Like

David Stabb is @pennstac’s real name.
Why the Auteur Classic LTD? Because I like mango. It’s my first ZMF.

From the write-ups, I’ll probably like it. I’d wanted to try a Verite open for a while, but never found the opportunity. It looks like an upgrade over the original Auteur and is a new(ish) model. I don’t have a high-end dynamic headphone. I’ve got planers - mid line Hifiman HE-560v2 and Rosson RAD-0, I’ve got an old mid-line STAX SR-5N and the Nectar Hive for eStats. Given the OTL tube amp, I want a nice 300 ohm model. It checks the boxes.

It’ll go in my office, so I really have limited time to use it - when there are no clients and I’m working but not on the phone. Kind of a waste of money to go for the Atrium.

It also looks very nice. I want to have things in my office that if the clients notice it will be aspirational. The brass/mango should look really nice.


Noice! Handsome dude if the Funko Pop is any indication! :sunglasses:

Me too. I’m looking at the Atrium for the similar reasons. I like cherry, I want something that will work well with my tube amps, and I haven’t heard the Verite Open. I’d prefer mango if I’m completely honest with myself though.


I saw the edit but I couldn’t re-like the post, so I was waiting for the follow up post to give you my :heart:


I didn’t notice until you pointed it out!

Never knew you could do personalized ones.


You really should hear the Verite Open. Everything in this hobby is subjective & no two people hear the same way … but for me, the VO is king of the dynamics (I either own, owned, or heard all of them at one time or other).

I also like the Auteur Classic; prefer it to the OG Auteur because of the ADS & somewhat more bass. I don’t own that one. However, though I did own the closed back sibling of the OG Auteur, the Eikon (a very impressive headphone ZMF just brought back).

As for wood, I love beautiful, perfectly finished wood, and ZMF is known for that. But I have a theory about best choice of woods:

  • For headphones described as “fast,” “accurate,” and detailed (such as the VO and Auteur), I recommend a softer, more resonant wood, ideally with larger pores. My silkwood for the VO is ideal.

  • For headphones described as “warm,” “bassy,” and “musical,” I recommend the hardest, least resonant wood possible. My blackwood for Aeolus is ideal.

Mango is a hardwood, but not one of the hardest (janka rating @1,070, a bit less than oak and maple). Mango’s a bit harder than cherry (janka rating @950). By contrast, African blackwood has a janka rating of 4,050 … one of the hardest of all hardwoods.


Zach could not locate red quebracho, which I really want for sentimental reasons. From Argentina. A wood harder than a male pornstar after a Cialis buffet.


If I have the chance before I just have to scratch that itch, I will. Not sure I can wait until CanJam SoCal and I don’t have access to one otherwise.

LMAO :rofl:

I think it’s probably a good thing Zach can’t get you that wood, given the simile above… You could order another Funko Pop along those lines though.

1 Like

The revised Eikon with the Autuer Classic drivers is indeed very impressive, with a very high “wow” factor! I’m really enjoying mine, it sounds fantastic even without the ADS. It’s definitely worth considering if you are looking for a headphone with great timbre and tonality, and one that slams really hard. Its bass extends into deeper registers than any headphone I’ve heard to date. Plus they really are quite beautiful in the woods he’s offered so far, and they are made in limited numbers. (I got a stabilized Maple from the recent ZMF November. :+1:)


It is worth mentioning that Zach himself has said to not stress overly much about getting the “right” wood, and to go with what you like the look of in the end. None of his wood selections will be a “bad” choice for any given headphone.

I have the Verite Open in African Blackwood/copper, and I love it. The wood looks amazing, and the headphone sounds fantastic.


My OG padauk Eikon had scary good soundstaging, almost disconcertingly good for a closed back. As much as I admire the ADS in the headphones I own or heard with it (Auteur Classic; Caldera; Atrium Open), the Eikon really needs no help to image & get the spatial stuff just right (IMHO).

It’s a thrilling headphone, all things considered.


I think this is a cool idea for a thread. @SwedishMike :+1:


@pennstac. Thank you for sharing all this. I love system adventurers and synergy choices. I hope more people will do this. @SwedishMike ill definitely take a cue from you in the future. Cool concept and the best part is one can receive some nice advice from this awesome community.


Tight spaces. My “Main Stack”

The Aquarium sits behind my 27 Inch 5K LG monitor in what passes for the workstation area in our spare room. At least for now. It’s a rescue aquarium, as the 44 gallon sprung a leak a month or so ago, and I haven’t gotten around to fixing it.

So, what do we have here? Left to right

Thje headphone stand my Niece made for me to match the Rosson RAD-0, which is sporting a HART cable. Next the old STAX SR-5, and the Hive nectar, sitting atop the Mjolnir-modified STAX SRM-T1S.

The silver boxes are total Schiit, of course. The Lyr 3 with LSSST instead of a tube, and the Bifrost 2/64. Said BF2 is feeding the SRM-T1S a balanced signal, and single-ended to the Lyr 3. On the same shelf is the remote for the BF2, and what appears to be a Conklin Omninib fountain pen :slight_smile:

Underneath is the MacBook Pro M1, some hubs and external storage, and on top is of course that monitor I started out mentioning.

Not in picture is. at a 90 degree angle, another monitor 24 inch and keyboard attached to my old Windows laptop , which sits just to the left of the MacBook Pro. Both computers are kept closed, and I use a Keychron Mac mechanical keyboard with the MacBook and a GMMK 1 full-size with the Sager/Clevo Win 10 machine.


Link to Portable Rig thread to show my typical portable rig.