ZMF – Caldera
The Story of Caldera – by Zach Mehrbach
After modding, breaking, and completing hundreds of Fostex t50rp mods over the years, Zach spent a lot of time staring at planar drivers. He tried experimenting to make the drivers sound effortless, dynamic and resolving. When modding though, he was always starting backwards, reverse engineering a driver someone else created. He dreamt of making my own “from scratch” planar driver when ZMF transitioned to dynamic driver headphones, but with so many amazing planar’s out, he didn’t want to be reductive, or redundant. After a lot of failed experiments, and over 6 years of trying, the Caldera driver, CAMS (Caldera Asymmetrical Magnet Structure), and Atrium Damping System; the magic of ZMF’s proprietary planar technology has been born.
Tuning the Caldera has been a trick, in that with ADS, CAMS and pad options, there were more configurations within that system than he could wrap his brain around. With all the talk of the Harman curve in the last few years, he’s done extensive testing on what parts of the curve his particular preferences align with, and which don’t. For him, he really appreciates the upper mids of the Harman target – as the ascent of the curve from 1-3 KHZ does meet his preferences pretty closely, and seemingly even more-so with a planar driver than dynamic drivers. The toughest part of the process (with tuning in mind) , after testing about 20 materials via ADS, was the earpads. Most planar and dynamic designs are either fully perforated, or fully solid, with a number of current manufacturers using hybrid airflow design. He also realized, that with the CAMS system, that airflow was “fanned” out. With this in mind he designed the Caldera pads, to have an asymmetrical angled shape, where the thickest part of the pad in behind and under each ear, and the airflow “fans” out at a similar angle towards the ear that is imparted by the magnet design.
With so many new facets in play, the Caldera is a completely new and novel design for ZMF and the world of planar magnetics. Patent Pending CAMS technology couple with also Patent-Pending ADS forms a dynamic duo, making for the most explosive planar experience that intertwines the ZMF sound, with Dynamic and Planar technology. Hearing the Caldera for the first time is an experience like no other, and we’re excited to take that hike up the mountain with you.
The current stock wood for the Caldera is American White Oak. The Oak is finished in either a natural/black cup/grille combo or a coffee gold varnish and grille color. Limited Editions as specified.
- Impedance: 60 Ohms
- Driver: 80mm with CAMS Patent Pending technology
- Weight: 490 – 550 (weight varies depending on Chassis)
- Sensitivity: ~95dB/mW
- Oak Caldera (or limited wood as specified)
- ZMF Stock Braided Cable and OFC Cable
- ZMF Caldera and 1 set of your choice
- ZMF Owner’s Card
- Lifetime Driver Warranty