ZMF New Headphones: Vérité and Aeolus

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    I think you're hitting personal definition/perception of warm, especially with Veritè's m/v/w/hadouken shaped FR.

    What is warm? Elevated bass over mids? It's got it. What is bright? Treble higher than mids and mucho air/extension? It has that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  2. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Friend

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    Maybe some not clear on audio definitions, or at least using them differently? Warmer isn't necessarily the same as darker, nor does it mean more bass, does it?

    I thought @Elnrik was pretty clear in his description a few pages back

    "My initial comparison on the Verite vs Auteur is as such: V is much more full and rich sounding on the lower end than the Au. The mids sound great on both, and it's hard for me to really recall which one had more emphasis or was more neutral in that regard. The A definitely has a more neutral treble presentation, where the V is a touch dark, but not veiled or lacking in detail."
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  3. Resolve

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    Maybe part of the reason for the confusion is that one person's impressions of "dark but not veiled or lacking in detail" resonates with someone else as "veiled and lacking detail", given that those descriptions in other headphones often redound to the same thing. Perhaps that's the Verite we're all hoping for - the separation of those two qualities of "dark" and "veiled" into attributes that don't co-exist. I'm still quite optimistic at least.
     
  4. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    The Eikon definitely hits harder down low. I think the Eikon has a little peak in the 5K range that might make it sound brighter to some, but overall treble quantity goes to the Verite, which sounds to me like it has a more even and consistent frequency response across the treble which extends father. I think the Verite is less dark, if we mean dark as a lack of treble presence.

    Both headphones are "dark" in that they have downward sloping responses, to my ears anyway.

    As for the mids, I think the two both have little peaks and valleys across this area, but in different places and different degrees. The Eikon has more 250Hz - 1KHz energy, then seems to dip and rise again around 2KHz. Again, I think the Verite has a little less energy in this range, but it's smoother (or has a flatter, or more even FR) and doesn't dip until 3KHz. The 3KHz Verite dip doesn't sound as big as the Eikon dips and valleys. To me this makes the Eikon sound meatier, but the Verite smoother and more defined.

    I think I would say this is the overall rule of thumb between the two - Eikon is more peaky in areas, and the Verite is smoother. Whether people hear this as one being darker than another probably depends on the music they listen to, and which pads they used.

    I thought someone did a FR graph of the Verite, but I couldn't find it.

    Also, the term dark is grossly overused and means such different things to different folks. So much so that I think the point of contention isn't FR, it is rather our audiophile terminology failing us. A FR graph might be the best solution here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  5. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    Are you saying that the Nighthawk, LCD-2C, and Focal Elex got crazy in a hot-tub one day, then had a baby, and its name was Verite?
     
  6. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    I gotchu fam:

    [​IMG]

    From marv's measurements, should be final tuning.
     
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  7. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Thank you!

    And here is Marv's Eikon measurements...

    ZMF Eikon frequency response.png

    Ok, there you go then. Glad I'm not deaf in the 250Hz-4KHz range (yet).
     
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  8. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    As for comparing the Auteur to the Verite, I think the Verite is the more meatier sounding of the two. The Verite sounds a touch darker here to my ears, but has better mid and bass flavor. Interpret that as you will.
     
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  9. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    I think Marv was drunk when he said things.

    (The only way the Nighthawks could have plankton is if you drowned it in the ocean.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  10. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Great cans to do your taxes by tho, super recessed presentation and really comfy means no distractions at all.

    Given the literally bizantine nature of Italian taxation I kept mine just for that.

    I guess they are kinda smooth? Maybe he meant that?
     
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  11. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Eh, I'm just giving him a hard time.
     
  12. friedrice83

    friedrice83 Almost "Made"

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    Ok, earlier I said that I would revise my impressions about the Verite after having heard it on the Cavalli Liquid Platinum. I've done so, and you can see the edited version on page 12 of this thread.

    In short, with the right chain the Verite is a more balanced headphone than I initially gave it credit for. So the Verite, at least in my experience, is quite sensitive to your chain. However, people who are treble-heads or who want a more traditional "neutral" sound signature still need not apply.

    Sorry for having responded so late, but yes the Verite will definitely give more if you use it on the Liquid Platinum and the CTH. Most noticeably, with the CTH you get a relatively balanced (at least as warmer cans go) with the Verite, but with the Liquid Platinum you get that same basic tonality but with more detail and air while not compromising on the Verite's smoothness. Less noticeably, you get a bit of a boost in the soundstage (bit wider, but mostly deeper) and a bit more precise imaging, but these differences weren't nearly as big.

    Yeah, I think you might be right about the the LC - I never really had many complaints about the sound when pairing it with my Hifiman cans or even my modded T50RP. But there was a pretty big difference when plugging in the Auteur and Verite to the Liquid Platinum over the Liquid Carbon.
     
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  13. friedrice83

    friedrice83 Almost "Made"

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    Ok, apparently I haven't been using SBAF enough so I didn't realize that I couldn't edit my old post, presumably because it's been too long. Apologies for the double post, but here are the relevant new parts of my impressions of the Verite with the Liquid Platinum. You can basically think of these as what I think of the Verite now, and replace these newly written sections over the corresponding sections of my older impressions post.

    Overall Sound Signature

    Overall, I would say that the Verité is a warmer-leaning headphone. It’s not extremely warm, because the mids are definitely very present and lively, even with the strong bass. However, to me it seems that the lower treble is somewhat relaxed, so that there is less sense of “airiness” compared to the likes of the Auteur, the HE1000, etc. However, this does not mean that there is no “airiness” to the Verité – its just what I think most people would call “smoother” in the treble than the aforementioned two headphones.

    A simple text chart, ranking the 3 ZMF open headphones from darkest to brightest in my opinion, would be this:

    Verité with Universe pads < Verité with Verité pads < Aeolus with Universe pads < Aeolus with Verité pads < Auteur with Eikon pads < Auteur with Auteur pads

    However, despite my rankings above I wouldn’t say that the Verité is extremely dark compared to the Auteur. I’ll go into more detail for my rankings in the comparisons section next.

    Noteworthy Apsects of the Verité

    Scaling and sensitivity to source – The Verité definitely can scale. It sounded much better on the CTH than on the built-in headphone amp of my UDH-100 with better dynamics, less mushy bass, more 3D soundstage, better detail retrieval, etc. The Verité also clearly illustrated the tonality differences between CTH and Liquid Carbon (more neutral for the former, warmer for the latter).

    In an earlier version of my impressions, I wrote that the Verité was on the darker side of things. I don’t think that as much anymore, mainly due to now having listened to it on the Liquid Platinum. With the Liquid Platinum, the Verité seemed to get a lot more balanced. The Verité no longer seemed to be as mids-focused as when plugged into the Liquid Carbon, and there was now more “airiness” without losing its smooth character or overall warmer nature. Bass quality/tightness and soundstage precision also seemed to improve slightly, but by a lesser amount. Overall, I would say that going from the Liquid Carbon to the Liquid Platinum on the Verité was quite transformative, and is a testament to how sensitive the Verité can be to your chain.

    Warmer tone – While the Verité does not have my most preferred tonality (even with my preferred setup with the Verité pads) as I like the more "traditional" neutral tone, I am still extremely impressed by the gobs of detail and the driver's speed, as well as just music sounding really clean in general. As to how warm it is, off of the top of my head I think I would place it around where the HD650 is, though take this with a grain of salt since I haven’t listened to the HD650 recently.

    Verité vs. Auteur, with both pads

    Verité (which either set of pads) is darker than Auteur no matter which pads are used on the Auteur, mainly because the treble is lower than on the latter headphone. In other words, the Verité does feel less “airy” than the Auteur.

    I’m going to use an analogy to give an idea of the FR difference between the Verité and Auteur - but please take this with a grain of salt though, as I have not heard the Sennheiser headphones recently. One could perhaps say that the Verité is to the Auteur like the HD650 is to the HD600. No, the ZMF headphones don’t sound exactly like the Sennheisers, but right now I can’t think of another analogy off of the top of my head.

    Speed, detail, and refinement are a noticeable step up compared to the Auteur. Bass seems to be slightly flatter than in the Auteur (which I think has a very slight mid-bass hump), with better texture and quality, despite there being more of it. Speed of bass seems to be about the same to me.

    Dynamics are definitely better than in Auteur, which was already pretty decent itself. Again, I have to note how amazing the Verité is when it comes to this aspect.

    The Verité’s soundstage width is about the same compared to the Auteur. Verité seems to have a slightly deeper stage though. However, I felt that the imaging and layering were noticeably more precise on the Verité, which has a more coherent and 3D soundstage. I believe a part of this has to do with the blacker background on the Verité.

    Conclusion

    Overall, I can’t help but be really impressed by the Verité. It is a warm headphone no matter which pads are used, but it’s not excessively so, and it’s still really a great headphone to listen to due to its world-class technical abilities.

    The Verité is a great flagship to really consider if you want a warmer and smoother presentation, and think many of the current flagships from other brands are too hot or sharp. Or if you want a top-of-the-line headphone that brings something different to the table than what many other companies are doing.
     
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  14. Meh

    Meh Friend

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    I think the chart shows the verite as being the least dark? That seems the opposite of what you wanted.

    < = less than
     
  15. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio (Thread Judge Code-6 District)

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    Over the weekend I took all 5 ZMF dynamic headphones home for extended comparison.

    I feel like there's so much to tackle I'll need more time to come up with an accurate descriptive graph. So far my impressions are similar to the previous ones in this thread from well-known Friends.

    What I did do, however, is capture binaural recordings all of the headphones I had at home - ZMFs and LFFs.

    I used a track with a fair bit of dynamic range and a multitude of textures and layered sound design elements as I feel it suited a critical analysis of tone and microdynamics. In hindsight, maybe I should have used a better-known recording as most of the elements at play are electronic in nature, so it's a bit difficult to judge timbre.

    Regardless, if the community feels this is an effective comparative method I can continue to take more recordings of this nature.

    Keep in mind when listening back that there are a few baked-in properties at play, and all of the headphones sound dramatically different (and much better) in-person. The purpose of these recordings are to make purely relative comparisons.

    Here are the things to take into consideration before passing judgement of any kind -

    1. The coloration of my binaural mic (Soundmann OKM II, basically re-branded Sennheiser omnidirectional mic capsules with a fairly flat FR terminated to a 1/8" TRS). This mic is worn at the ear-canal opening, and as such, it seems there's a bit of a suckout around 7kHz due to phase cancellation (probably related to the depth of my ear canal and the distance to the transducers?)

    2. The coloration of my recording device (Yamaha Pocketrak PR7)

    3. My HRTF

    4. The coloration of my playback system (Eitr > V800 > Feliks Elise 2018 (used as a preamp for LFFs and an amp for ZMFs) > GFA-555 for the LFFs

    5. The coloration of your playback system

    It's a well-known psychoacoustic phenomenon that a perfectly flat-measuring headphone would likely sound quite bright. Most headphones, if you calculated an average slope using the endpoints 20Hz and 20kHz, would likely go downward a few dB / octave. Hence, all of these binaural recordings, when played back on another sloped headphone, will sound quite dark compared to the actual-in person experience.

    (Edit for clarification - you will hear both the slope of the recorded headphone as well as the compounded slope of whichever headphone you're listening with. Hence, everything will sound tilted downward.)

    Anyway, despite that this is quite unscientific and subjective in nature, I feel like the recordings do offer a decent point of relative comparison. For example, it's easy to tell that X is brighter than Y is darker than Z, even though the absolute tone is impossible to decipher given the 5 uncompensated variables listed above.

    Here's a link to my files. Download for lossless quality. The raw recording is included as well.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1vVPcN4eCSod5EQWf6mW3IlZETWktgthA?usp=sharing

    FWIW I found something to enjoy switching from any one headphone to any other in this lineup. They really do all have different things to offer, and I don't feel like any is necessarily superior across the board.

    I wish I could keep all of them. More impressions to come.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  16. Resolve

    Resolve Facebook Friend

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    Wouldn't that be more than just a psychoacoustic thing too though? Like, a compounding tilt? To me even the Auteur recording sounds a bit darker than it does in real life, so I'm guessing that's what you're talking about.

    Anyways thanks for doing this though!
     
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  17. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio (Thread Judge Code-6 District)

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    Yes, that is what exactly what I meant, if that wasn't clear.

    Edited previous post for clarification
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  18. Baten

    Baten Almost "Made"

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    Awesome man. Thanks for your efforts! I actually think I prefer the HE-6 from your recordings, with the Verite and HE-5 as close second.
     
  19. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    Heard my friend's Aeolus last night on the V281 & Woo WA3 OTL & a range of music. I'm seriously impressed:
    • It's the lightest ZMF headphone I've ever tried. I own an ormosia henryi Ori & padauk Eikon, also have tried blackwood & teak Auteurs--all seem heavier than the Aeolus (no biggie for me, but some people feel that weight). IMO it's very comfortable overall
    • The stock sapele wood is very pretty & is finished perfectly. It almost seems to glow (chatoyance), an effect I can't get enough of in any wood
    • The Aeolus gives a very good account of itself on both SS & OTL amps. I prefer sound out of the OTL because it lit up the mids & treble a bit, also increased the 3D quality of notes, dimensional stuff tubes just do. Still, this headphone sounds perfectly fine on SS--something I couldn't say about the Atticus I owned briefly ~1 yr ago
    • It has great bass, including sub-bass, solid dynamics, a big, smooth midrange and above average soundstage. The highs are not spotlighted as they are on some headphones, but when the music has highs, bam--there they are
    It's an Atticus driver in a very different frame/earcup design, and IMO it's a total success. A very smooth, ear-friendly headphone. Kind of a classic ZMF sound (I say this as a major fan)...the kind you can listen to for hours.

    At that price & with that kind of wood & workmanship, this one seems like a no brainer. I hope they sell like hotcakes.
     
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  20. Baten

    Baten Almost "Made"

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    This is with or without the optional magnesium chassis? If without that's impressive (since it can be made even lighter then). Thanks for your impressions!
     

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