ZMF Verite Closed

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Vtory, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Inoculator

    Inoculator Acquaintance

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    True, I guess this is why I shouldn't try to use idioms before my morning coffee o_O

    I am full-blown ZMF obsessed at this point, so I certainly have faith Zach will deliver. Just worry about people with unrealistic expectations. The amount of Verite opens I see hitting the market to buy the closed is perplexing to me.
     
  2. crenca

    crenca Facebook Friend

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    Would you say that this is do to a change in FR as compared to VO? Perhaps voices (mids) are not as recessed as VO? Or is the "closeness" from something other than FR in your opinion?
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The Verite Closed actually sounds less in my face than Verite Open. The Verite Closed has less midrange relative to bass for Verite Closed making it sound more sedate and forward. The huge internal cups of the Verite Closed provide a bigger hall reverb effect. Open has a bit of this, but it has a smaller hall effect and a lower reverb amplitude.

    As far as any hype, I didn't know. I don't read HF or headphones.com so I wouldn't know. Not sure if selling Verite Open for Closed would make sense as they are different. I wouldn't say Verite Closed is better. However, I would say that Verite Closed takes the interpretive approach of the Verite Open to another level - namely, the bigger cups and reverb effect. At first, I was first taken aback with some recordings, but I've since adjusted. I've been going back and forth between the Open and Closed for the past two days.

    It's funny because I asked Zach months ago if it were possible for him to create a special Verite with larger cups for this reverb effect. I was thinking of the Sony R10, which is altogether different from these, but there were certain aspects that I loved about its big cup design. I guess this is it.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    P.S.

    When I opened the box and saw those big cups, I smiled because I already knew what Zach was to up. I knew how it was going to sound, and it certainly didn't disappoint. Again, I don't think these will be headphones for everyone.

    Compared to the Open, the Closed have more heft, more tactility, are a bit more sedate, are smoother in the highs (mostly a result of the pads), and have a stronger and longer reverb effect. The Open is lighter on its feet, more agile, has less reverb effect. DIfferences are not huge. I could swap Open for Closed, and very possibly forget which was which. In fact, I just did.
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    IMG_20191004_110654.jpg
     
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  6. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    I hadn't noticed before but wait those cups actually do have a similar shape to the MDR-R10's, except more modern without as sharp an edge or as extreme an angle on the outside. Please tell me this is what you thought Zach was up to because I'm really hoping for an end-game closed-back that, while not necessarily affordable, I can at least eventually buy without fear of having to source OOP parts should primitive biocell crap out.

    Also curious which is the more generous with romantic decay, this or the Auteur? Impressions by others have me think the A might be a tad overdone for my tastes (heck even the TH900 has a hair too much reverb for my tastes).
     
  7. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    Do these have a W shape frequency response like the Os (were reported to have)?
     
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  8. crenca

    crenca Facebook Friend

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    If I am following, then am I correct in saying it is less "damped" than the Eikon, giving it a more "open" sound (regardless of the relative size of the stage)?
     
  9. zach915m

    zach915m MOT: ZMF Headphones

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    FWIW - the Ironwood is like, 2 + X the density of MonkeyPod - so you lose some of that cup reverb with it for a more direct sound. As usual the LTD's will usually be harder and the stock woods like the MonkeyPod's Marv has will be lighter etc.
     
  10. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

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    I'm honestly not hearing quite the same it the same as Marv, but I am still getting my bearings....pads could also play a part here. I think the VO has the perforated Universe pads, and the closed has the non-perforated Universe pads on them. It could also be a case of my allergies kicking my ass, which has definitely been the case.

    I'm also hearing a very close sound signature between the two to be honest...I hear a bit (seriously not a lot) more clarity in the upper mids/lower treble with the VC, and the headstage does sound closer by a few rows. I wasn't taking the he clarity in relation to the bass, which the VC has a bit more of as well. I do hear the more reverb on the VC.

    I was trying to respond to your phrase (In your face) as best I could...I do have a lot more listening to do to be sure.

    I hope that helps.

    Edit: Doing a more proper A/B does help I think in clarifying...above reflects my initial impressions I heard during burn in. My apologies for any confusion.

    I've listened to a couple of tracks just now (full track, switch headphones into same cable & repeat) and I am hearing the VO as wider than the VC, hence the difference in headstage I think. The mids are more clearly toned down a bit on the VC though.

    I've heard the VC described as more "in your face" by others as well, so I imagine I was trying to wrap my head around that phrase. again, sorry for any confusion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Same or very similar frequency response more or less. More like a dark response with a strategic scoop in the upper mids (in opposition to what most IEM K-pop listeners seem to prefer). Splitting hairs, on Closed, I'm hearing smoother highs, more sedate, and more low / sub-bass compared to Open. (I never really felt the Verite open had a W response - unless you count the reverb effect - which does affect perceived frequency response over time.)

    That's the one thing about Eikon that I didn't like. It didn't want to seem to get up and go as much as the others, i.e. Atticus, Verite, Aeolus, etc. Eikon seemed to have the lowest responsiveness in terms of transient response.
     
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  12. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I don't really have the proper audiophile verbiage to describe what I heard properly, but the Verite closed might be my new favorite ZMF. I actually brought my whole rig to ZMFestivus so I was able to get a nice 7 song demo on gear I knew before things got too busy. I really liked the way a full closed back defines the space better than an open, and the reverb/concert hall effect was especially appreciated on my classical test tracks. Outside of maybe the Auteur, most of Zach's headphones are more forward and energetic than what I am used to with my modded HD650s and HD800s. I think that is why I am drawn to them as a contrast to what I normally listen to. I really like how impactful everything feels. I hear all the details with my HD800s, but the Verite C really makes them come alive. There is still something somewhere in the upper mids/lower treble that zings my ears. I don't know if it is simply an artifact of the beryllium drivers or something the way the headphones are tuned. It is a slightly metallic sounding thing. It bugged me on the open Verite, too, but is slighly less prominent on the closed. It is different than the simple forwardness of the headphones. I don't know which pads were on the pair I listened to so don't know if a pad swap would help or if it is simply part of the headphone like the HD800 6k peak. I think the tonal balance of the Aeolus is my favorite still, but there was something mesmerizing about the way the Verite C handled spatial cues and and created such a clear image in my head of the music that made me want to keep listening. I definitely want to spend more than 20 minutes with them and will try to get a local loaner from Zach. As a final note, the ironwood cups are stunning in person, but noticeably heavier than the monkeypod (which still looked great, especially with a darker finish that was on one of the demo models).
     
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  13. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    All this talk about the VC’s reverb effect brings 2 questions to my mind:

    1. How does the VC compare to the venerable Sony R10? Is it competitive enough to dethrone the R10 as the reigning king of closed-back headphones?

    2. Whenever a company releases both open and closed versions of a headphone, it’s usually the open headphone that has better technicalities (imaging, resolution, soundstage, etc) and overall considered superior sounding to its closed counterpart. People who buy closed headphones despite that are those who need isolation. Am I getting the feeling that it might not be the case here, that both are equally great but present different flavor/stroke?
     
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  14. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

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    That seems to be the general consensus, and that's what I'm hearing as well. It boils down to personal preference, audio chain & perhaps song (album) choice, not one is clearly better than the other.

    I'm definitely hearing a close similarity tone wise between the VO & VC, if you like one I'd be shocked if you hated the other.
     
  15. I_want_all_the_tacos

    I_want_all_the_tacos Friend

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    It isn't really a trade-off to me. It is just slightly different. I get what @purr1n is saying about the reverb effect playing a role as well as the bass being more forward relative to mids in VC, which to me, always makes a headphone feel more close, tactile, and "in your face". I mean that in the sense it is just very clear, present, and visceral, like the musicians/instruments are close enough to touch. But that doesn't necessarily mean the stage space is small, cramped, or congested at all. For whatever reason, I still feel VC is wider than say Utopia. I guess one could also phrase it as VC just feels like a "bigger" sound than VO, but VO is still more open, lighter, and spread out. I also want to emphasize these relative differences aren't huge and swapping pads on either/both can tilt them in different directions. I too can easily forget which one I am listening to. In fact, many people that have both VO and VC note that same thing. They are way more similar than different.

    Atticus is just a completely different sound. It is so warm and rich that it can quickly become overbearing and too thick sounding that doesn't breathe well. I found amp pairing is everything with Atticus and I really needed something like Valhalla 2 that is quick, lean, and a little bright to complement Atticus. But for VC, it is way more nimble, responsive, and airy compared to Atticus. It isn't a massive stage or anything, and the sound is big and close as I stated before, but I never feel claustrophobic in the way I do with some other closed backs or IEMs. VC is worth checking out if you know you like the ZMF sound and you have any interest in a closed back.

    And to address the hype train comments, I can tell you I had 0 interest in this headphone. In fact, I was sort of late in finding out a closed back Verite was in the works. I honestly just didn't care. I never need a closed back and I have Atticus just in case some instance comes up that I do. I already knew Verite open was the perfect fit for what I was looking for. But I am always happy to hear Zach's new stuff and I'm happy to review for him and share my experiences so I didn't mind getting in VC for review. I was absolutely stunned that a closed back Verite reproduced the same joy I found in VO and didn't have any compromises for being a closed back. It completely changed my perspective that a closed back counterpart was always going to be "less than" compared to its open back match. VO and VC are nearly the same in all aspects, with just slightly different flavors. But neither is really technically superior to the other. I really think it is that shared realization that all the early adopters are picking up on and why this hype train is full steam ahead. Basically, if you like VO, you will like VC, and you will be shocked that a closed version of VO can be just as good.
     
  16. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    Early Impressions (note that I'm still in honeymoon period with my Verite Open. Also, if I mention just 'Verite' in this post, I'm referring to the open Verite. Verite Closed will be Verite Closed. I may or may not update this post into a final iteration based on further listening.):
    20191012_003545.jpg

    I'll admit that the Verite Closed to me didn't look that great in pictures compared to its open sibling. However, seeing it in person, the simplicity of its design with its big wood cups does still look good. That being said, in looks alone I like the open ZMF stuff better than any of the closed ones; something about that trim makes it stand out more to me.

    I believe that Zach included the standard stock pads on this loaner (please correct me if I'm wrong @zach915m). Out of the two, which I believe are the Universe pads and Auteur pads, I preferred the Auteur pads, which seem to tilt the sound more neutral, similar to how the Verite pads tilt the Verite Open more neutral. Since I also prefer the Verite pads on the open Verite on my chain, this didn't surprise me.

    The biggest difference between the two is the effect of the reverberation. On the Verite Closed, it lasts a long time and makes it sound very concert hall-like. On certain songs I really like this to the point of guilty pleasure. Of course, Verite also has some reverb effects on the sound, but it's not to this extent.

    The transient performance on the closed is a little bit more defined. The attacks of notes in particular are well-defined in contrast to the Verite, where the attacks are noticeably rounded despite its speed. Like other areas, difference here is not large.

    Besides the aforementioned reverb effect, the bass on both Verite iterations are quite similar. The bass does sound louder on the Verite Closed, but that is probably because the midrange is a little more recessed compared to Verite, something I'll go into more detail below. The reverb effect probably is also in play for the perceived volume of the bass.

    I do find myself turning the volume knob a touch louder on the Verite Closed to try to bring the vocals a bit more forward. This does lead me to believe that I hear this similarly to @purr1n; the midrange does sound a bit recessed in comparison to Verite. This trait clearly manifested itself while I was exploring my songs from Evanescence, although was less noticeable on male vocals and was only noticeable in a direct A/B in classical. The difference isn't that substantial. Personally, I actually don't like this part as much, but this will come down to personal preference; a person who found the Verite too forward in the vocal region might prefer Verite Closed.

    The treble performance is similar between the two. The Verite might be a touch more peaky, but this difference is small enough for me to consider it placebo. The treble difference could also be attributed to pads; I use the Verite pads on my Verite, and I used the Auteur pads on the Verite Open.

    In terms of tonality, I hear the Verite Closed as being very similar in FR as Verite, with a slight midrange depression. Timbre is essentially the same between the two. Staging and imaging are roughly equivalent, but I think the Verite might be slightly better than the Verite Closed at localization, while the Verite Closed has a slightly stronger center focus. Verite Closed also sounds a little more relaxed and laid-back than Verite, although both are definitely firmly in the category of lively and fast-sounding.

    Honestly, I too forgot which one I had on my head....for a few songs. My biggest complaint is something that I will always complain about with closed headphones; heat build-up combined with the fact that I sweat easily. In no way is this Zach's fault; it's a consequence of being a closed-back. If your listening environment allows you to have the freedom of choice, just choose whichever you like the look of better.

    I haven't heard many closed-backs since I started this hobby, but extrapolation says these are extremely good. I've read anecdotes and some measurements showing some of the sacrifices made to make an open headphone closed (Sennheiser HD 820 *cough* *cough*). In contrast, the differences between the Verite Closed and Verite Open are not huge. They're similar enough to the point where it's easy to forget which one you're listening to. I'd go as far as to say that if you've heard the OG Verite, this isn't going to blow your mind wide open in terms of sonic performance. However, that all being said, the Verite Closed is seriously a good headphone, and the fact that you can have essentially all the charm and goodness of the Verite in a closed form is quite amazing.

    All that being said, I prefer the OG Verite.

    Yes, my photography is shit. Make fun of it as much as you want.,
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 2:06 PM
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  17. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    Here is an interesting post by @zach915m in head-fi in response to one guy who says he gets tactile experience from Verite like you can feel the sound instead of just hearing it

    Zach's response to that

    "This is an effect that I went for with both versions of the Verite - the idea that slight movement of the baffle will cause the chamber and parts around it to move giving more of a "feel" to music than just the frequency response. We do it by thinning the wood around where the driver is held to be much more thin and fragile than the rest of the baffle which in comparison is very robust. While it does lead to more wasted parts in machining and assembly, it gives a "trampoline" effect where the baffle in that area moves a little more as the driver is exercised.

    I don't have any scientific studies to prove the results, but I can tell you that when I started to do this, it could immediately be felt and the tactile response of the headphones increased.

    So anyways - the nodal response of dynamic drivers may have something to do with it, but the way the drivers are held I believe to cause this as well."
     
  18. crenca

    crenca Facebook Friend

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    I'm sure I am not the only one who cringes a little at this moving baffle novelty...:confused:
     
  19. zach915m

    zach915m MOT: ZMF Headphones

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    Instead of thinking of it as the baffle "moving" think of it like a musical instrument, many of the greatest instruments - be it violins, mandolins, guitars, banjo heads etc, utilize carefully thinned areas to create a calculated amount of vibrations. We experimented with this and specific thicknesses to get the desired effect in each headphone.

    The auteur and aeolus have this to a lesser extent but the verite (open and closed) utilizes it the most.
     
  20. pure5152

    pure5152 Acquaintance

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    I'm pretty sure it has at least an effect. If you take a look at marv's verite open measurements, you can see from the CSD that the verite does seem to have a longer sustain and higher distortion in the bass. Subjective listening impressions from multiple also people seem to point towards bass with great articulation and tactility, albeit with a sense of "roundness". Could this be from the moving baffles? This at least provides a possible explanation of why we're hearing what we're hearing.
     

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