ZMF Verite Closed

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

  1. zach915m

    zach915m MOT: ZMF Headphones

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    The reason I stated that I don't have any scientific evidence is basically that I couldn't find a large measured difference in any measurement on our AP system. When I'm designing a headphone I go by half millimeter increments (both in driver distance from the ear and baffle thickness) to see the results both in measurement and subjective impressions. This was one of those things that you can hear but the measurements don't really change much. This differs with every driver and every design as well, which is why it's hard to settle on "one" design working for every headphone and driver. It's all subjective what is "best" in the end anyways right!?

    The distortion and CSDs change much more based on airflow, cup design and driver design than anything else.

    There's also a good possibility that this thinning of the baffle around the driver causes a cumulative effect that is minor in all the measurements but can be detected in subjective listening easier.

    Here's the THD of the v closed VS the v open. The open actually has the thinner baffle around the driver - although the THD is slightly lower in the bass (dotted), it's the closed design that raises the distortion slightly in the low bass. This is measured at 94 dB.

    THD_V_Closed_OpenVerite(dotted).jpg

    EDIT: It's worth mentioning, that although the distortion in the low bass measures a touch higher on the V Closed, I don't hear a distinguishable difference in listening between open and closed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    LOL. I got lower distortion with the Closed. It's the nature of these measurements where results will vary.

    CSDs are a bad visualization for bass decay or tactility. Burst responses might be better, and for that tactile sense, there's some evidence that 200Hz, 500Hz, or higher could be a better indicator of bass tactility. Bass, after all, is supposed to be slow - waveform takes forever to rise.
     
  3. crenca

    crenca Almost "Made"

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    Thanks for the explanation @zach915m . I admit my inner objectivist still cringes for all the usual reasons, but I suspect my inner subjectivist will find much to delight in when the VC arrives at my door :)
     
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  4. pure5152

    pure5152 Friend

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    Thanks zach and purr1n for schooling me, learning a lot. Interesting that the baffle thinning is a change that doesn't really reflect in any measurements, but I supposed that's like a lot of things in audio huh :p At the end of the day, it sounds great to me, and that's all that really matters right.

    Received my verite closed (ironwood) thursday, and have been slowly burning them in. First impressions are (VO with universe pads, VC with auteur):
    • They sound a little more punchy in the bass and more forward than the verite open I have
    • Yet they don't sound as euphonic/full in the mids as the verite open
    • Electronic/rock/drum-heavy music sounds wonderful on the verite closed to me, but any music that involves vocals/live instruments just sounds richer and more involving on the verite open
    • I was expecting to like the universe pads on the VC, since I use universe with VO, yet I ended up liking the auteur pads better. Surprisingly more fuller mids, and less harsh treble with auteur pads than universe, to my ears (the treble felt a bit too peaky with universe pads to me).
    • I actually prefer the VC with the THX 789, whereas I prefer the asgard 3 with the VO. Something about the VC to me (maybe punchier/more forward sound?) makes me want to use an amp with faster transients, whereas with the VO that lovely mids/great timbre of the asgard 3 makes for a better pairing to me.
    • I think I'm feeling like the VC sounds more open/punchier with longer burn-in (they do sound more engaging today than on thursday, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (EDIT: I guess I should mention at this point my verite open has hundreds of hours on it, whereas the VC has only a few dozen)
    The wood looks darker in person, but when shown to the light has a beautiful iridescence that shows off the beautiful grain. Tried to capture it a little in photos below.

    As with the nature of anything new, probably new toy syndrome here, so take with grain of salt. I love the punchy, forward sound of the VC, but miss the kinda 3d-airiness of the VO and the VO's lovely lovely euphonic mids.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Verite Closed Loaner Impressions

    [​IMG]
    Fig 1. ZMF Monkeypod Verite Closed with ZMF OFC cable

    Doubtlessly I’ve been a huge fan of Verite Open (henceforth shortened as VO) since I got my hands on the loaner silkwood VO early this year. I ended up getting my own pairs of Ziricote VO, which I believe sounded a tad better. Shortly after my VO order, Verite Closed (henceforth VC) was announced. TBH I was a little skeptical, and didn’t regret my decision to go for VO at all. Months later, however, trusted ears began to praise VC not only as good closed headphones but also as good -- at least as good as VO -- headphones. WTH? Is that possible? I decided to pull the trigger to find the answer by myself.

    In short, I was amazed that VC maintained great characters of VO regardless of its closed back structure. Not only that, some traits making Verite sound like Verite were refined and well extended. Yes, like @purr1n said VC really out-Verite VO -- in some aspects.

    Appearance and comfort: VC shares pure (not having metal grills) wood beauty of other ZMF closed backs. No surprise. Nonetheless, Monkeypod of the loaner VC quickly allured me. It’s doubtlessly the most beautiful non-LTD wood that I’ve seen on ZMF cans.

    The loaner unit had a little stronger clamping than the two VOs I heard. Almost similar intensity with Aeolus I own. Not sure if this was intended for isolation purposes or product to product variation.

    Loaner VC (509g wo cable) was lighter than my Ziricote VO (566g) as well as Loaner silkwood VO (537g). I had zero comfort issue with any of those three.

    Sound: Base tonality/presentation/technicality are largely compatible with VO, which was almost unbelievable to me. I’ve never seen that open and closed back counterparts (with the same drivers used) sound similar. Including the most recent audition of Focal Stellia and Utopia. VC resembles VO more closely than focal BE sisters do. Is this partly because VO was indeed semi open -- not having as super low acoustic impedance as HD800 or Utopia? IDK

    There are still meaningful difference if heard side by side. Granted, VC has a little more (but extremely well controlled) cup reverberation than VO. This along with less forwarding high mid tone balance generates deeper and wider stages. Overall spatial presentation feels a little exaggerated but still believable. Boundaries of stages are more evident on VC than VO. Also I am pulled back more distantly on VC. Preference is highly dependent on genre, recording, and personal tastes. Also absolute difference is rather small if not ignorable.

    (Aside: my VO assessments come from universe lamb perforated pads equipped.)

    On the pads front, I like Auteur (non-perforated) pads over Universe ones on VC, which might be interesting because my preference was exactly the opposite on VO. Universe pads on VC feel a little tone-downed. Also note that pad difference is smaller than VC-VO difference.

    That said, I still prefer my ziricote VO if I am allowed to have only one pair of headphones. But only by a little (nearly ignorable) margin. And it’s worth mentioning that I only tested non-LTD VC. Every LTD ZMF product sounds a little better-ish to my ears than non-LTDs in transient and reverb control. Extrapolating previous experience, Ironwood VC could sound even more fantastic to my liking, as I used to prefer harder wood cup sounding.

    Safely speaking, I believe that in spite of differences discussed, VC and VO can truly replace each other. I’ve never felt this way with ANY other top-graded closed back headphones, no matter the price points they are sold. For home listening purposes, I dare to say choosing between VC or VO can remove isolation need from the decision making equation.

    Amping synergy: I’m 95% sure that what works for VO would work for VC. In addition, VC is relatively better with sub optimal pairing. I’m honestly not a big fan of headamp of Fulla 2/DX3 pro for VO driving uses. VC sounds more convincingly with them. I also enjoyed Asgard 3 + VC combo very much (this amp also works greatly with VO) -- it’s the cheapest amp among those pulling 99% of what VC is capable of. Switching to DSHA-3F didn’t immediately boost technicalities but every sonic element refined, polished, and perfected robustly.

    Closing thoughts: I don’t think VC urges current VO owners to sell or trade their babies. Having both VO and VC together doesn’t make a lot of sense either (in terms of diversification). However, IMHO those who are currently on Verite markets SHOULD consider VC as an equivalent option.

    Associated gears

    • Sources: Schiit Bifrost 2, Gustard DAC-X26, Topping DX3 pro
    • Amps: ECP DSHA-3F, Schiit Asgard 3 (on a loan), Schiit Fulla 2
    • Headphones: ZMF Ziricote Verite Open, Aurorus Australis (pre-production unit)
    • Cable: ZMF Verite Silver, ZMF Atmos-C, ZMF OFC

    Comparative EARS measurements

    upload_2019-10-30_18-1-10.png
    Fig 2. Ziricote Verite Open (Universe perforated lamb pads on) vs Monkeypod Verite Closed (Autuer solid lamb pads on)

    upload_2019-10-30_18-1-19.png
    Fig 3. Autuer solid lamb pads vs Universe solid lamb pads on Verite Closed
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
  6. crenca

    crenca Almost "Made"

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    Vtory, since I have your old EC BW2, which of these (Asgard 3 or DSHA-3F) is nearer to the BW2 sound signature/technicalities? I ask just to get a handle on your preferences around the VC...
     
  7. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Hard to clearly answer, as it depends on how "distance" is defined. But here are what I feel:
    • Asgard 3 is the least organic among the bunch. 3F and BW2 seem to take different approaches of getting organic sound -- possibly due to differing philosophies
    • BW2 is the least airy and darkest by comparison. Asgard 3 is the brightest. 3F is in between (but having more air than asgard). Closer to Asgard 3.
    • 3F is the fastest, followed by Asgard 3, then by BW2.
    VC isn't particularly bright or dark. I can enjoy all these three amps with VC. Asgard 3 is too much value-king though.
     
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  8. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Various playback sources > NAD C510 > DNA Starlett (vs SDR modded HD800)

    My experience with ZMF has been limited to briefly hearing the Aeolus and owning the Auteur, which is a headphone I consider about as close to perfect as I've heard. Its only sins being that it lacks the top tier resolution, separation and air of the HD800, a headphone I've owned several times and have with me now. But the Auteur has other things on its mind.

    The HD800 is an appropriate comparison to the Verite Closed (VC from now on) as they are both the flagships of their respective companies and are closely matched in the technicalities department.

    To use a filmmaker analogy, Verite Closed is like Wong Kar Wai to the HD800's Stanley Kubrick. Two different approaches to the same goal. HD800 is unbridled precision, accuracy and (with the right setup) often spine tingling realism. VC is all about mood, atmosphere and seduction... it works on a different part of the brain. It makes you wanna draw the curtains, turn down the lights and shut out the world to have an intimate experience with your music. I found this special intimacy more prevalent than with the Auteur, which comes off as a more jack of all trades. VC is seemingly tuned with more specific goals in mind.

    Unlike the HD800, which presents everything to you on a silver platter, VC demands you work a little bit to focus on its intentions... slow down, calm your mind and let it overtake you.

    Tuning is dark chocolate. May even be darker than the stock HD650 from memory which struck me as more of a maple syrupy brown... maybe mocha. Auteur is more neutral, but I found it to be slightly darker than the HD600, which is pretty darn close to neutral.

    The VC costs alot of money. And anyone thinking of buying it and doesn't have cash to wipe their ass with is better off going in with their eyes open.

    I don't consider VC to be an even better-er Auteur. And certainly not an "upgrade". It is way too rebellious in its tuning to be something that towers over Auteur, which is the perfect-A-student in the ZMF lineup. It is as different from Auteur as the HD800 is from the HD650 IMO. And while VC can certainly be considered a TOTL headphone worthy of the ZMF namesake and tradition of bold experimentation, it is not perfect. And in the end I did prefer the sound of Auteur. As always these things boil down to preferences. But I felt VC was aiming for something a little more ambitious than Auteur, and that's often a risky endeavor that may not work for everyone.

    To note, I tried both sets pads that came with the loaner. Flat and angled. There were some notable differences, with the angled pads alleviating some of the issues I had. The flat pads are darker and more mid-centric, more seductive. While the angled pads offer better separation, layering and a bit more air. The great thing about Zach's outfit is the ability to tune the sound using various pads without destroying what makes the headphones so great. I've tried aftermarket pads with the HD800 and 600 and felt they were uniformly awful, turning those cans into mutated zombified versions of themselves, and did not feel in line with what their creators had in mind. This is the benefit of creator generated pad variations... quality control.

    Ergonomics are similar to the rest of the ZMF lineup it seems. Like Auteur, they are on the heavy side if you're coming from Senns and can feel a little oppressive over time. I don't think I mentioned this in my Auteur review but I really hate the adjustment mechanism. It's uncooperative and I always end up wrestling with it for the slightest of adjustments. Fortunately it's a set it and forget it thing.

    The cups themselves are large and combined with the thick pads, I sometimes caught myself in the mirror with them on and felt a little ridiculous with what seemed like giant canons sticking out of my ears. I'm not at all a fashion nazi, and home listening is usually solitary anyway, but I did prefer the sleek, sci fi look of the HD800 on my head. To be fair I don't think the Auteur is much smaller.

    Where the VC redeems itself though is the aesthetic quality of the headphone. VC remains a shining example of headphone craftsmanship done right. The wood is gorgeous... lacquered and seductive. Not sure what kind of wood I got, but it's of the darker, mahogany looking variety. It does feel a bit easier to swallow the cost of such an expensive headphone when it's obvious there is such beautiful design work going on.

    With the superficial stuff out of the way, lets get down to what matters most... sound quality. Let's get the "bad" out of the way first.

    Like the Auteur, the VC took a little while to reveal it's true nature. And while that true nature is heightened musicality wrapped in a technically adept blanket, it's not perfect. Or at least I found it to have more hurdles to enjoy than I did with Auteur. But it is a headphone worthy of consideration, especially if you're already a ZMF groupie like myself.

    Initially I did notice a very faint metallic sheen to the overall sound that I did not detect on the Auteur. I believe this is the result of the Beryllium coated driver. Most people probably won't notice or care and it is very faint, but this aspect initially made it hard for me to relax into songs as it seemed omnipresent. Swapping to the angled pads eleviated this quite a bit. And after some settling in/brain burn in, the issue became mostly moot, even when swapping pads again. But this had to be noted.

    There is a bit of a wonky feel to the frequency response, a kind of W shape. This can manifest as a bit of a nasally quality to certain tracks. And there was often some upper mid shoutiness, while the lower treble seemed a bit recessed... just kind of a weird combo. Coming from the Auteur and its more balanced approach, it was honestly jarring at first. But like anything, you can grow accustomed to it... or not. It does seem purposefully integrated though, and not some fuckery in a garbage headphone. And over time it felt strategic in creating a certain mood if you could allow yourself to adjust.

    Vocals can feel a bit recessed and as a result some of my favorite vocal albums weren't as thrilling as I'm used to. On the flip side, if you're a little more willing to patiently take them in, vocals are quite fleshed out and nuanced and the headphone's excellent speed gives them a visceral quality.

    With all that negativity out of the way, let's get to the positives....

    VC has a distinct romantic flair... a kind of beauty and elegance missing from the more analytical 800. As a result, listening sessions were often very satisfying on an emotional level. Auteur is I would say on the euphonic side, less moody.

    The thing that makes this such a special headphone is how VIVID it is... creating an incredibly striking musical palette I don't think I've ever heard before. Songs can seemingly take on a phantasmagorical quality when the elements are right.

    The high musicality of the VC takes its superb microdynamics in a different direction than the 800... they are (as a result of the faster speed) more fluid, agile and more purposefully integrated into a musical tapestry. While the 800 can feel more analytical in its approach to this area.

    Macrodynamics are similarly of a high level. Plenty of slam and impact typical of ZMF, although I feel the bass texture was more satisfying on the Auteur, and although my memory is a bit hazy, I believe Auteur maybe slammed a little harder and had more visceral impact, albeit with slightly looser, less controlled bass. Bass on the VC seems tighter and digs a little deeper.

    The mids are fantastic, as seems usual with ZMF. Creamy and seductive. And on certain songs, to die for. There is a certain sweetness to the mids I did not detect on the Auteur, which has a more earthy, oaky feel to its mids.

    Speaking of sweetness, for some reason when I think of VC, I keep thinking of wine. With it's elusive flavor palette that needs careful and intentional investigation in order to appreciate. The VC feels carefully crafted to reward patient audio connoisseurs, its qualities not immediately obvious, but with a willingness to patiently take it all it, can be supremely satisfying. As I keep eluding to, there definitely seems to be a master plan to Zach's latest creation.

    There is a quite active, three dimensional soundstage, with sounds bouncing around and fluidly interacting with each other, most noticeably in electronic music. And there is excellent layering. The 800 pulls ahead here, but I'm not that picky about headstage these days. The angled pads made the layering and separation quite a bit more obvious.

    Imaging is superb, possibly the best I've ever heard. The 800 is fantastic but slightly on the diffuse side with its imaging because of the cavernous stage. There is nothing diffuse about VC. It is rock solid in presenting music to the listener.

    VC has quite a bit of speed, making the experience more liquid than the 800 and a little more than Auteur, which was no slouch in speed and liquidity. I think you are splitting hairs when comparing its speed capabilities to the Auteur.

    Transients are crisp and incisive, but well integrated into the more laid back nature of the headphone.

    It took a little while for me to appreciate what Zach was trying accomplish with VC, which sounds quite different from Auteur. It is not just a more resolving Auteur, but a deliberate attempt to provide a more moody, seductive, sophisticated listen.

    Since Zach comes from the film world, I can see VC as another attempt in "curating" a headphone series, much like one would curate a film festival. This is something I admire and am glad this point of view is being brought to the headphone world which so often feels crassly commercial and corporatized.

    While in the end I do prefer the Auteur and HD800, alot of it comes down to cost. VC (and Verite) is just a little too pricey for me and a used Auteur is more within reach and too good an opportunity to pass up when I get back up to speed financially. And a used 800 remains the best deal in the game at the moment if you are after TOTL performance and pair it with the right amp. Starlett has dethroned my old T3 as the best amp I've heard with the 800, so this combo is almost impossible to beat. Those with more financial breathing room who are already digging the ZMF house sound and want something bold could be in for a lovely purchase. But I do implore those interested to try and audition first, as VC is very specifically tuned and is not an automatic MUST BUY... something I'm more comfortable stating about the Auteur.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Phantaminum

    Phantaminum Friend

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    Verite Closed

    Chain: PC --> Bifrost 2 | Saga + --> Apex Teton| Ultra Sonic Studios Oblivion Amp

    Headphones: ZMF Verite Open | ZMF Auteur | ZMF Verite Closed

    [​IMG]

    Build: I won’t talk too much on the build. It’s a ZMF headphone and with that comes beautiful wood cups, a robust build, and a comfortable headphone. Weight comparison have my Pheasant wood VO with the magnesium chassis feeling much lighter than the VC. My Blackwood Auteur and the VC weight very close to each other.

    Sound: The pads that came installed with the headphones were quickly removed. As much as I enjoy a mid-forward sound; I found that these pads made the VC way too forward for me. It was borderline shouty. Swapping to the angled pads brought it back from Bizzaro world and into a more neutral sound signature. Instead of being in your face, the angled pads gets very close to what the VOs sound like with the Universe perforated leather pads. Everything that makes the Verite a loved headphone is all here: Speed [✓], Resolve [✓], Microdynamics [✓], Macrodynamics [✓], Punch [✓]. About the only thing you can fault it in is just that last bit of air that makes it sound like an open headphone. Before you grill me saying, “Of course because it’s a CLOSED back headphone” I’ll leave this here – it sounds as open as the E-Mu Teak/Fostex TH-X00 line of headphones. No, those are not fully closed headphones, they are semi-closed headphones and, in my opinion, sound like a super E-mu Teak while being fully closed.

    Staging and Imaging: For a close back headphone these surprisingly have a wide sound stage. It feels wider than the HD650 and getting very close to the ZMF Auteurs. The Verite Open does have a wider sound stage with more depth. Imaging is just as great as the Verite Open. The drums from Rush’s – YYZ 2:18 mark goes from top right to bottom left, as it should, and everyone is where they should be in The Beatles – Come Together.


    Headphone Comparisons


    ZMF Auteurs: The tonality and timbre of this headphone is just so damn good. I can’t seem to break down and sell them because of it. The VCs tone is spot on but loses to the Auteurs in timbre. Instruments just sound more believable on the Auteurs from harmonicas to bongos. Hell, I tube rolled several combinations on the Teton to see if I could bring it in line but the Auteur on the Oblivion amplifier (which uses tubes for voltage amplification) sounded perfect. The VCs gets closer to the cohesive sound of the Auteurs compared to the Verite Open. The VOs has a small depression in the upper mids that causes me to turn it up more compared to the Auteurs. This is a non-issue on the VCs and sounds closer to the Auteurs because of it. Extension on both ends goes to the Auteurs. Now, the VC pulls away in every other category. It’s punchy as heck, which made electronica and rock a pleasure to listen to. Songs like Trampled by Turtles – Wait So Long can sounds a bit muddy on the Auteurs. The speed of the instruments, the number of instruments, the frequent pitch changes, can confuse a headphone. The VCs just eats it up and spits it out. Instruments are clearly defined, small gradients in instrument volume are easily picked out, and it has a blacker background even with it being a closed back. The VC easily pulls ahead in voice, instrument, and bass texture.

    Verite Open: They are much more alike than different. The few differences that I found were the brighter signature of the VCs, a more forward sound, satisfyingly punchier bass, cup resonance of the closed back design, and a more even sound compared to the VOs. The VOs obviously breathes easier, but I’m really surprised by how close the VCs gets to the Opens being closed.

    Isolation: One of the biggest complaints from the wife is that my headphones bleed out too much noise. The VCs isolate extremely well. With them on, I never heard the living room tv, upstairs neighbors, or even the wife talking to me a few feet away until she started screaming at me. I told her they were closed back headphones that isolated sound. She said that it was great that she couldn’t hear my music anymore but didn’t appreciate the fact that I could no longer hear her. Well, you win some, you lose some.

    Cup Resonance: I wanted to talk a about cup resonance last. I’m not sure what frequency was causing my ears discomfort, but I did find myself turning it down because of it. In tracks like Rufus – Bloom I found that around the mids to high mids something was just not agreeing with me. It wasn’t in every track, but it did come up in every third/fourth track. This a YMMV and wanted to point it out as some people may be affected by it. Who knows, it could all be psychosomatic (lol) but I’ve just never experienced this with any of my other headphones.


    Conclusion: I think these are great headphones and really do a damn good job of getting close to what the VOs sound like. There is a long list of things to like that these headphones do with few drawbacks for it being a closed back. You get some serious punch, clarity, speed, micro and macro dynamics, while being isolated from the world. Electronica/Dubstep/Rock/Metal is just so much fun out of these. Personally, I was interested in buying these but whatever is not agreeing with me is holding me back. Would I trade my VOs for the VCS? No, I really enjoy what the open backs have to offer more. On the other hand they're both so similar that it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    Thanks to the SBAF forum and members who made this loaner happen.
     
  10. zach915m

    zach915m MOT: ZMF Headphones

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    FWIW - the Monkeypod (and any other lighter weight wood) will have that cup resonance that also adds decay, where-as the harder woods don't have that as much, but the headphone sounds a touch faster and maybe a touch more closed in because of it. So - trade offs!
     
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  11. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    Obligatory post-loaner impressions: I would summarize my time with the Verite Closed as interesting but not enjoyable. This sentiment came to me when I bought a new rum for our mini-meet last night and I decided to try a Rhum Agricole (Rhum JM) which tends to use whole sugarcane to produce the distillate instead of molasses. It has a great nose and many different notes hit you on the palate, especially grassy notes and was rather intellectually stimulating but wasn't that fun to drink.

    My time with the VC echos drinking the rhum; there were interesting bits like the speed of the driver and it's relatively large stage for a closed headphone, but I could never get into the music. I couldn't seem to get over the recessed mids and what it did to vocals as well as a low level haze most likely caused by the cup reverb. I felt the flat pads traded off too much timbre and layering to get a more even FR and the angled pads were a bit too bright and too mid recessed for my liking, but had the slightly more natural timbre and better microdynamics. I also felt the VC was a bit more placement sensitive than any of the other ZMF cans I had tried in the past, but that's likely because I'm a glasses wearer. Isolation was good, better than the Atticus/Eikon, but not as good as the Elegia. I had used the VC out of both the SW51 and Af with Gungnir Multibit A1 and I'd say it pairs a little better with the SW51 than it did the Af. Perhaps I'm used to it due to the Clear, but I wasn't as bothered by the metallic sheen as @ColtMrFire but I did feel it did sometimes make vocals sound unnatural when side by side with the Senns.

    When compared against its closed siblings (Atticus/Eikon), I'd say the VC is nicer in that it isolates the best and has the least cup resonance of the 3 (from memory anyway), but I think where it's currently priced at makes it a tough sell, especially if your circumstances allow it, the Aeolus/Auteur are much better at the mixing technicalities and fun for half the price.
     
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  12. crenca

    crenca Almost "Made"

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    As a fellow Clear user, where would you put the VC compared to Clear on the transient attack/speed scale @famish99 ?
     
  13. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    Verite is fast as F. The only headphone I’ve personally heard that is in the same ballpark is HD800. Clears are quick but on the JV squad of this track team.
     
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  14. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    Verite is faster, but doesn't have as much weight as the Clear. It almost crosses into the planar/BA timbre for that kind of thing, which is probably what killed the VC for me.
     
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  15. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I can only give impressions based on meet conditions, but Verite closed is definitely in the "startlingly quick" camp when compared to Clear and Utopia. Like, oops-i-shit-my-pants fast. It reminds me of the difference between a 650hp 2JZ single big turbo Supra and a 650hp 4th Gen Camaro on NOS. The fast gets fast faster with the Verite, and this is likely partially a macrodynamic thing.

    Edit for some additional thoughts:

    So, again, meet conditions, so caveats. But, one thing that really jumped out at me as something that made me question VC tuning was listening back to back between Borealis and VC. Initially, that quickness of the VC was kind of (well, really!) enthralling, but after switching back and forth between some Chris Thile tracks and then The Prodigy Smack My Bitch Up I definitely found the VC to present things a little unrealistically, to me. imho. ymmv. or whatever. It seemed so dependent on the recording that I kinda thought VC was adding something that isn't there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
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  16. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    What amp is this on? Not Af, right? VO hits pretty hard with tertiary feedback and is too bassy with NFB with my current setup (0.22uF Audiocap PPT Theta, not Jupiters). I’m running EML solid plates too. VC has more bass presence than VO, at least under show conditions I heard it in.

    I also suspect in your remarks above that the low level haze may be from the Gungnir Multibit A1. Do you hear it with HD800S?
     
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  17. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    VC is just as fast as Verite, which is equal to the Utopia. Both Verite versions have rounder transients than the Utopia, which has more immediacy and squareness in attacks.

    The Clear is fast, but not as fast as either Verite or Utopia.

    Squareness/roundness in attacks has nothing to do with speed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
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  18. pure5152

    pure5152 Friend

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    Yep, as a clear and verite closed owner, I find the verite closed (with ironwood) faster, but the closed actually having sharper attacks/transients, like chacha said. I prefer the closed verite because it sounds more tonally "right" to me and I appreciate the better resolution/speed, but every so often I like listening to the clear for a complementary sound (very open-sounding, sharper attacks).

    A little tangential, but just wanted to give an update after extensively using the verite closed for close to a month, as some of my impressions have changed:

    (Chain: 2019 gungnir MB -> Asgard 3 -> Ironwood VC w/ universe pads, and Pheasantwood VO w/ universe pads)
    • After close to a couple hundred hours of burn-in/use, the bass definitely seems more defined/tighter, and I feel the midrange has opened up a bit as a result; this matches my experience with burn-in on the verite open. It just sounds a bit more cohesive sounding now.
    • I swapped with pad preference, and now prefer the universe pads to the auteur pads. With universe pads just tonality just sounds better to me, imaging is insane and 3D sounding (panning effects in infected mushroom songs are an absolutely mind-fuck experience), I don't notice any peaky treble to me anymore (did burn-in smooth the highs or something?). The sound is also more dynamic sounding with the universe pads, and with the auteur pads it just sounds a little sedate/off tonality-wise to me now. (Very curious about how the hybrid pads will sound like.)
    • With the universe pads now being my preference, mids are closer to the lovely verite open mids to me, and I don't really find myself missing the verite open as much when listening to female vocals and instrumentals (my test of midrange loveliness) anymore (especially since I find the imaging on the closed to be better).
    • I no longer prefer the THX 789 with the VC, and listen to the VC almost exclusively with the Asgard 3 (very occasionally using the THX for the sharper transients/speed sometimes, but the A3 is almost always more euphonic/engaging to me.)
    • Weight with extended listening hasn't been an issue (I have a pilot pad on it though). I actually like how it seems to hug my ears more closely because of the cup weight - I can usually get a more consistent fit/seal than with the lighter pheasantwood VO. Maybe it's just me here haha, YMMV.

    The verite closed has made me not really miss my verite open at all and actually consider selling it, something I never would have thought possible a few months ago. The mids are only just a touch less euphonic than on my VO, and I find the tighter/more-precise imaging* on the verite closed a defining/preferable improvement for me.

    *Note I use universe pads on the VO; while I've heard the verite pads have better imaging, I find those pads uncomfortable, and prefer the tonality/comfort of the unvierse pads with VO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
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  19. mkozlows

    mkozlows Friend

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    So a while back, I brought my work headphones (Aeon Flow Closed) home, which means that when I've been listening to music, I've been able to choose freely between the AFC and my "good" headphones, the LCD-X. It's pretty clear that the LCD-X sound a lot better, but the vastly better comfort of the AFC and their closed nature (which I didn't think I'd value at home, but which ends up being really convenient even when it's not strictly needed) has meant that I've mostly used them. But I wanted something that had all the good things, so went looking for a headphone that'd give me the high-end sound quality of the LCD-X with AFC-like comfort in a closed headphone.

    Given the thread I'm posting in, it's pretty obvious that I decided to see if the Verite Closed met my goals. My preorder arrived this past weekend, and I've been listening pretty intensively for the past few days. I know that they're supposed to change with burn-in (and I feel like they already have somewhat), so consider this tentative early impressions, but:

    On the comfort front, they're good -- I can wear them for hours without them being uncomfortable -- but they don't have that AFC magic. If I were looking for a work headphone that I could put on in the morning and take off in the evening, I'd probably still go with the AFC over these. But for any normal listening situation, these are more than good enough, light years ahead of the actively-uncomfortable LCD-X. (And as much as I might trust my coworkers in general, no way would I take these into the office anyway.)

    As for the sound, the main thing I was worried about was the bass. The dynamics I've used in the past have either been rolled-off (HD-580/650) or sloppy and boomy (NAD HP50), so I was worried that I wouldn't get the deep, taut, articulate planar bass that the LCD-X has. In fact, the bass is... well, it's different than anything I've heard before. It has the articulation and extension that I get in the LCD-X, but it has none of the tautness -- this is a bloomy, expansive bass. It's probably "bigger" than is strictly neutral, and I can definitely see someone preferring the LCD-X bass. But it's not boomy or sloppy, it really is well-defined, it's just... more. I find myself liking it in a guilty pleasure sort of way. As much shit as the Harman curve gets, the degree to which I like this somewhat-overdone bass makes me think that maybe there's something to that elevated bass preference after all.

    And for the non-bass sound, it's honestly surprising to me how much better it is than the LCD-X. Everyone remarks about Verite's speed; I didn't really understand what was meant by that, but very quickly after listening to it, it became apparent -- it feels like it's dancing lightly over the music rather than hammering it home, just this kind of light touch to things. That delicacy apparently lets it present details that would otherwise be missed, which is where the "resolving" part that everyone mentions comes into play. I've loved the LCD-X, but there's no question this is just flat-out better in the technicalities.

    The thing that really shocked me was putting on the Hamilton soundtrack. You know how when you watch a 4K/60fps movie, things sometimes are so realistic that they stop being a movie entirely, and end up looking like you're watching actors in costumes on a set? Like you've gone straight through the uncanny valley into a place where there's no pretense or artifice at all? That's what happened here: Suddenly I wasn't just listening to a well-known soundtrack, I could hear Lin-Manuel Miranda singing into a microphone in hyper-real detail.

    Hype train, new toy syndrome, all that, I know. But after a day and a half of owning these, I put the LCD-X and AFC both away; this is just so much better that there's no reason to use either of those again (although the AFC should still do great as work headphones if and when I need those again).

    Also, they're so friggin' gorgeous, and their packaging is such ridiculous overkill. The internet is way too full of ZMF porn, but I can't resist adding one more piece to the collection.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. crenca

    crenca Almost "Made"

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    I have had been listening to the VC closed (monkeypod wood - so far exclusively with the Universal pads) for a few days now. Quick "first impression" notes:

    1) I prefer my Gungnir MB A2 > Saga > EC BW2 chain. The Gungnir direct (balanced) to Jot brings out a slight "tinny" character from the VC.
    2) Yes, the VC brings Focal like technicalities (transient speed, etc.) to the ZMF house sound. It's taking a bit of getting used to actually which surprised me, and is in part the source of a "liquidity" (I believe) that is a very positive on 92.534% of the music I listen too, but comes across as a touch too colored on a small minority of selections.
    3) Besides bringing a speed missing from the Eikon, the VC isolates noticeably better than the Eikon, more than I expected. This combined with the better driver really has me noticing the superior micro dynamics/detail compared to the Eikon.
    4) Still trying to wrap my head around the tonality. Sometimes (on some tracks) I think the dark(er) ZMF house sound swamps the technicalities of the driver, making it seem a touch congested when comparing the same track to the Focal Clear for example.
    5) Wow on the stage (placement, seperation, width & depth). I thought the BW2 > Clear was good, but wow.
    6) Wow on the whole "liquid" presentation. The Clear/Eikon are like having your favorite model standing before you in a tank top and cutoffs. The VC has her taking off her top and pouring clear liquid baby oil all over her...tracks of land...and giving you a smile and a wink and you just want to reach out and....say wow.
     

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