ZMF Headphones - Official Thread

@elliot - start reading up on the Utopias and predict your own future. It’s gonna happen.

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hahaha, that sure I will want those over the Clear?

Yes. I had the Clear MGs and loved them, until.

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Buying fast has the advantage of exposing you to the full spectrum of options before you get stuck in a non-optimal rut. However, buying fast doesn’t let you establish habits and learn your preferences or reveal what you will actually use over time.

Collecting <> Using

Regarding the Clear vs. Utopia, yes the Utopia is technically superior and not by a small margin. It has supernatural abilities with frequency range, volume differences, textures, and nuances. However, its piercing treble was too much for me and I’m fine with the Clear’s capabilities. I listen to many mediocre sources – music that was butchered in the studio or destroyed through bad remastering – and thereby prioritize avoiding hearing fatigue over pure technical performance. The Clear exceeds the potential of a lot of studio equipment, and doesn’t lead to fatigue on an appropriate DAC/amp.

I find that I return to setups that allow hours of comfortable listening. Everything else gets sold or given away.

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I am sure DNA amps are incredible and seems like that’s all the rage with this forum lately (Team Blue is becoming a bit overwhelming :wink:), however I am sure as hell enjoying my AmpsandSound made Pendant SE with my ZMF VC and Atticus. I listen loud and proud to Jazz, Bluegrass, Folk, Acoustic Guitar and Blues, and I get hours of pure listening bliss with this setup. As someone who enjoys live music and has been to a ton of shows, I prefer a warm and organic sound with good punch, and the Pendant SE with the right tubes paired up with the Sonnet Hermes/Morpheus is heaven to my ears (I am there :astonished:). Also, I love me some good wood, and ZMF and AmpsandSound sure do know how to work with it.

Long live AmpsandSound and ZMF!

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I don’t disagree with any of this at all, other than the piercing treble comment which hasn’t been my experience at all. But the idea of taking your time, while I haven’t done so myself, is advisable. Just having some fun with @elliot who, like me, wants the best now.

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We are all different and have different hearing characteristics. I demoed the Utopia in a store several years ago and it didn’t bother me (15 to 30 mins). Later, I was one of a few on a loaner tour able to spend significant time with the Utopia. I perceived random treble stabs out of the blue even with mild vocals. If not for that I’d likely have upgraded long ago.

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In a perfect world, I’d A/B side by side. Who knows, in a couple years I may be there. Justin is working on some new stuff as well, so keen to see that direction!

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This. In my experience (and many, many others), it is better to take time audition things (before purchasing) to develop a baseline and learn what you like and dislike and also to actually become educated; buying something blind simply because someone recommended it can end badly. To avoid that, becoming an experienced listener should be a goal. If you don’t, you’ll just be excited by the next “different” sounding thing, and the purchasing cycle will never end. Best to research, listen, purchase and then actually listen (for a good long while) to determine if it’s a “keeper.” With that said, some people aren’t in this hobby for the love of actually using the product, so to each their own.

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Just finished this. WOW.

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In regards to the Utopia/VO/HD800, I think it would be in your best interest to get a Utopia eventually with the Stellaris. I had a VO/Utopia/HD800 all at one time and tbh, with the Stellaris the synergy with the Utopia and HD800 really is sublime and knocks out the VO. The VO is still a great headphone, but next to the Utopia and HD800 on the DNA chain, its really no competition imo and I know others who have reflected this same sentiment.

Just something to think about for the future.

EDIT: and in regards to treble and timbre on the Utopia, both of these are a none issue on the Stellaris and Stratus that I have tried. I HATED the Utopia when I first tried it on a MHA150, thought it was the most piercing terrible headphone I had ever tried, this has changed when I decided to see the magic synergy people talk about with DNA and Utopia.

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Something to consider in a year haha. The Clears should hopefully be here in the next few weeks so will get some time spent with that first. However, a Utopia 2022/2023 may happen.

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It looks nice, some changes from older versions, especially the headband adjuster

Wes, it looks amazing.

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Awesome, looks great

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Fwiw, I just got Utopia and it is currently blowing my mind. :exploding_head:

As I understand it, though, Clear OG gives you something like 80% of Utopia. It’s that last 20% that really gets ya, though.

But take your time, don’t rush in until, as others have advised, you learn what your preferences really are. You may find they aren’t at all what you initially thought they would be.

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Haha yeah I agree - our timeline has gotten way stretched out on that one. I’m crossing my fingers I don’t sound like a liar come next august.

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You’re a lucky chap Wes. That is a truly beautiful looking setup. Thank you for sharing.

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Quick question for those with co-pilot pads and Focal hps; they don’t fit together properly correct?
Just want to make sure.
Thanks in advance!

Amplification have greater impact on utopia/800 than vo at least in my experience. It sounds great but the utopia/800 benefit way more from an amp like dna and can outright make or break the experience for me.