Zähl HM1 - Reference Headphone Amplifier - Official Thread

There’s a difference between saving and starving. At least in my opinion.


Well I was getting into more on the specifics of sacrifice. :wink:

No, no… It’s not about starving. It’s about aligning your
“Beach 2023” goals with your head-fi goals. You know, synergy. It’s important.

My simple audio & other discretionary spending rule for many decades: if it went up in smoke, would I fret about the financial loss? If I would, no deal. Of course there are rare items, like irreplaceable vintage amps, which I’d be disappointed to lose, but that’s different from worrying about budget.


I’m not sure if this belongs in this thread, or the ZMF Atrium one, but at this point I would have to say that, for overall enjoyment and engagement, my overall favorite solid-state headphone listening setup to date is the Zähl HM1 (in simple Class-A mode) feeding the ZMF Atrium.


Out of all the stuff you and have tried that is a great complement. :slight_smile:

Which other headphones are in your heavy rotation to compare with? So I can get a feeling to what it beat…

Audeze LCD-5, Focal Utopia (OG), RAAL SR1a (via TI-1a), Sennheiser HD800S, ZMF Atrium and ZMF Vérité.

I’ve also had the Susvara in the mix, since I tend to try the Susvara with every amp that comes through my possession, but as good as they sound with the HM1 they still don’t do it for me.

I should note that I’m not including the Audeze CRBN, Stax SR-007MKII, SR-009S or SR-X9000 since the HM1 cannot drive them, nor the Focal Stellia, Sennheiser HD820 or ZMF Vérité Closed as I don’t really use closed-back cans anymore.


Very nice that’s a great mix.
I plan to try the HM1 feeding a ifi Pro iESL for estats when it arrives so I’ll share some impressions of that combination later this year but my main reason for getting it was always the Susvara, Mysphere and D8KPLE


the d8kp-le on the hm1 has pretty much shut down all my other chains… it’s insanely wonderful! fed off a may-kte, hqplayer upsampled to DSD1024


Starving for:

  • food?

  • affection?

  • both?

Both, but i no longer care about eating… oh wait, i dont care about either. I love getting old.

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(I’m about to discover this Forum’s policy regarding swear words…)

My wife and I joke that we live in Don’tGiveAShit Acres"


Howdy, neighbor! :cowboy_hat_face: twenty

Howdy back at you … do we know each other?

Hahahaha. I think he’s saying he lives on the same Pharm!


Nah, but i am friends with your buddy Anthony, and am a long-time resident of the aforementioned Acres. Cheers.

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Anthony’s a good person to be friends with!

And it’s nice to meet another resident of Don’tGiveAShit Acres (“where not giving a rat’s ass is a way of life”).

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Reading so much about tubes amps being ideal for ZMF, it is good to hear that a high quality solid-state amp can be excellent as well. I have the SPL Phonitor se, it should be more than adequate when I decide wich model I want to buy. As with speakers, the synergy with the amplifier is critical.

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Very nice video review @GoldenSound.
Only thing I’m missing is a few examples for one of your last sentences about high impedance low sensitivity headphones that won’t match perfectly. Which did you try and have in mind when saying that?