Zmf oval cowhides on audioquest nighthawks

I’m creating a new thread for this because I tried finding the answer on my own to no avail… some others tried to help in a previous post I made but no one knew the answer. So if anyone can help, please do. I’ve been asking countless Reddit communities and been searching online for hours. Please help me…

:thinking:, i have both but never put them together. I can attempt it in a day or two. What do you want to know exactly? I like the nighthawk suede combo. What is your source chain so i can replicate it approximately? What music genre? Not even sure if the pads will fit right but give me some feedback and we can do a pictoral and test run…:+1:

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I currently use an aune b1s but am planning to get a chord mojo. I just wanna see how it fits and what sound changes are there. I don’t have a dac or anything, it’s just PC to amp to headphones. I mainly listen to 70s prog rock like king crimson and yes fragile album. I currently use the normal protein leather with the nighthawks as the suedes don’t have as much bass rumble. Thanks for volunteering, this means a lot to me.

Edit: decided not to get the chord mojo cause my aune b1s is good enough for me lol.

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@MrSushi, Sorry for the long wait. I will state that your and my impressions of the nighthawk carbons are different from the start. I prefer the suede pads over the leather for more impactful bass.

I did as you asked though and put ZMF Oval leather on the HP. I only held them on by hand, i did not try and modify the plastic rings to install them, I guess you could have a pair of plastic rings 3-D modeled and printed if you find the right person to work with.
The deeper leather pads in my opinion made the sound feel a bit more distant and NOT as impactful to me. This is already a HP that adds color to the musical character and the more distant sound was not an improvement in my opinion. Also i did not find the bass as impactful with the larger ZMF Ovals as I do w/ the suede. The sound was not bad, and it was an interesting signature but I would personally not go out of my way to make this particular pad swap , I just did not feel the impact or change was worthwhile.

The ZMF’s are about $60 and a bunch of time and effort on your part to modify them to somehow stay attached. I would be more prone to suggesting saving for a decent DAC before I put the effort and funds into pads, I honestly did NOT get enough out of the combo to say it is that worthwhile. I wish I had better news but this was my impression of them. I hope this helps you.

FYSA, I used a good class A amplifier. I went direct from my laptop DAC to the amp and did not hear an impactful improvement. Next few test tracks I went back to Roon > Shiit Bifrost2 > Sugden Headmaster amp and tried that combo to see if the ZMF’s sounded much better and again just not enough to tell you it is a worthwhile investment.

What genuinely perplexes me though is that you find the leather pads offer you “more bass” than the suedes which is opposite my impression so my opinion may be skewed by my own listening abilities, so keep this in mind.

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You have helped A LOT. thank you so Musca for doing this, it’s VERY helpful. The reason why I think the protein leather is more impacting is more of a physical thing rather then sound. I like to listen to music LOUD, mainly cause I’m a hardcore drummer and just need it be that loud. When you play a really bassy track and touch the pads, you can physically FEEL more bass, and also on my face, while the suedes don’t have that feeling. I guess I’ll get the brainwavz sheepskin oval pads then lol. You saved me A LOT of time and money. The main thing I wanted from the pad swap was more clarity and detail as well as more bass, cause I did notice that the sound can get a tad bit muddy, especially in vocal harmonics, so if you know any solutions for that, let me know :+1:

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Ok, so you touched on something very particular, LOUD and the feel of the bass. I am not able to enjoy the music as loud w/ HP’s anymore because I have damaged my hearing and I tend to back off a bit on the volume for extended listening sessions. I think the leather of the ZMF’s is just a bit too deep and funnels the sound further away from your ears which is why it sounds a bit more distant to me. They did get loud but again I did not have the same amount of “ear wiggle” as i do with the slightly thinner pads. What I did prefer is that the treble was a bit more laid back on the ZMF’s and that allowed a bit more volume gain in my circumstance. I also used heavy bass music to make sure i was trying to maximize “ear wiggle” :+1:


Ok, so I just did an experiment to see how “more distant” sounds like. I push the cups an inch back and squished the pads a bit closer to my ears to make a proper seal, and I think I might actually like that better… see, the problem I had when playing at loud volumes was that when harmonics come in, they feel like they’re resonating you head, making you go “oh shit oh fuck I better turn this shit down” and then turn it back up on the next track or when the vocals pass, but after, it felt much more fine and detailed, from going to like a smoothie in consistency to pure water. It was very interesting to say the least, and the bass in the background does get a tad bit less impact full, but to counter that I just turned it up a bit higher to bring it back. I may be crazy and might be wasting my money, and it might not be as accurate of a test, but I gambled on my nighthawks and love them, so I’m gambling again to see if this will be better. Thanks for the input, it’s VERY appreciated.

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Check These out. If they are still available they should fit and work the way you were thinking. Good price and quality product. Good luck.

How do they sound on the nighthawks? I was also eyeing the lamb skin eikon as it’s smaller and flatter for an easier fit. Any thoughts?

At this point i figured if you need new pads anyway the sound signature should be fine for most listening based on that little sample test i tried and for under $30 Shipped you are not thrwoing away money on an unknown entity and the quality should be solid even if slightly worn. Hell offer $25 just because of the wear and tear…

I’m getting new pads cause my original pads are worn as SHIT. tears everywhere, scratches, really flat and not the best experience even in the comfort department, and I don’t like the feel of the suedes either.

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