ZMF Verite Closed

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

  1. SmashBruh

    SmashBruh Rando

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Likes Received:
    9
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    CA
    I too have an Ironwood VC and was very surprised to read people felt the VC had more reverb. Wood densities altering this makes a lot of sense to me, since to my ears the way my collection goes in terms of reverb:

    Black Limba Atticus>>>>>>> Teak Auteur> Ironwood VC>>> Cocobolo VO

    In fact, the only reason I haven't sold my VO is because of the incredible lack of reverb. Everything is just SO immediate, from the attack to the decay!

    EDit: All this said, I would like to make a note for readers who might be new to ZMFs: We're making purely direct comparisons here, and the whole "reverb" thing really isn't something you need to worry all that much about. It's quite subtle on most of the headphones, and imo, it's a very pleasing effect.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
  2. crenca

    crenca Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,874
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Southern New Mexico
    Specifically on the Verite Closed (using Verite pads), depending upon your preferences (as always), it might be something you need to worry about. For example when I use a Gungnir A2 (so not dark or congested) > Jotunheim (again, not dark/congested) > VC monkeypod, there is what I believe to be cup reverb/reflections at various frequencies. For example, I believe I hear it in the vocal range (bottom of typical female, high/mid of many male range), such that it can add a trail that causes a bit of congestion and artificially long decay. When I use Gungnir A2 > BW2 it is a bit more noticeable, though different as well in the sense of how it fits into the BW2 overall character.

    If a person was coming from open headphones with little of this undamped cup reverb effect(s), say a Focal or a open back ortho, I would think this is something they would have to account for preference wise...
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
    obsiCO and BentFlowers like this.
  3. MakubeX

    MakubeX Rando

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2020
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    USA
    Well damn. I'm that person. I currently have the Focal Elegia and am soon receiving (probably by the end of the week) a pair of VC Monkeypod. I'm driving them with a modius/magnius balanced stack. I'll keep an ear out for that reverb.
     
  4. Roasty

    Roasty Rando

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2019
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Singapore
    Regarding reverb on the VC. Based on my own experience, the monkeypod VC had rather audible reverb. It was one of the first things I noticed, was quite distracting, and unfortunately I never got used to it. My second VC was leopardwood and it had extemely little reverb. In contrast, I could not detect any reverb with the Focal Stellia. Am curious how the reverb is with the new camphor burl VC.
     
  5. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 7, 2019
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NY
    Below link may help.
    https://www.wood-database.com
    Just remember harder the wood lesser is the reverb. I have Ironwood VC and I can’t detect any reverb in that. So you can check out where camphor burl is among hardness and then you can draw that as a parameter to reverb.
     
    Don Miller likes this.
  6. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,764
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Montgomery, New York
    That's interesting, I would expect the opposite...the softer wood absorbing more reverb.
    You live, you learn.
     
  7. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Likes Received:
    5,064
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    NOVA
    Home Page:
    More rigid cup means the resonant frequency is higher, and therefore easier to damp as the total system resonant amplitude is less. Highly rigid structures have less "total energy".
     
    will_f, ckhirnigs, pure5152 and 4 others like this.
  8. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    435
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Somewhere in the North Pole
    It's been 3 weeks since I had the Verite Closed, and so far I still prefer the Aeolus for pure musical enjoyment out of my setup. Don't get me wrong, the VC are better than the Aeolus technically, but I have more fun with the Aeolus.

    I almost sold the VC recently because I was not able to enjoy most of my music when I'm using the Auteur leather pads. With the Auteur leather pads, I can hear a slight harshness in the upper-mids and the treble is also slightly spiky most of the time. (And I'm not talking about albums that are not well mastered/produced.)

    I don't know if there is something wrong with my setup, but I had the same issues after swapping different tubes and changing the interconnect cables in between my amp and my DAC. (My setup is: Tidal exclusive mode → Denafrips Ares II → Liquid Platinum). I got frustrated to the point where I have decided to order a Schiit Bifrost 2 to see if the problem could be related with the Ares II.

    In the meantime and since I'm still waiting for delivery of the Bifrost 2, I have decided to give the VC another chance with the Auteur hybrid pads and all the issues that I had with the leather pads have disappeared. But I'm still not 100% happy with my setup.

    I know that the LP is probably not the best amp for the Verite Closed, but since I'm not willing to spend $3000 CAD for a tube amp, I'm hoping that the SW51+ will give me at least 80/90% of the performance that I would get with an amp like the Pendant. I'm also hoping that the Bifrost 2 will be a step above the Ares II.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
    dematted and Jinxy245 like this.
  9. rott

    rott Secretly hates other millenials - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Likes Received:
    876
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Nation's Capital of failure
    I received my Vérité Closed stabilized maple burl last week and have been listening to them as they've been burning in (Zach recommends 200 hours).

    TL;DR - they sound great, provide the zing the Auteur lack, this is not a detailed review.

    Backstory - these were a gift to myself to mark the occasion of a professional milestone (one of the few bright spots in 2020), and was definitely not a spur of the moment thing - I have been yearning for something greater to augment my Auteur, which has been the HD650 (2nd pair bought in 2015) and to lesser extent LCD-X. I was a bit hesitant to take a chance on the non-returnable VC considering their considerable cost, but in general I do place a good deal of value on the reviews/comments/suggestions I read on SBAF, both hype as well as contrarian, and to a lesser degree HF and elsewhere. I emailed Zach and based upon what I was looking for he recommended the Closed rather than Open to complement the Auteur. I was initially going for the Camphor Burl (denser wood to mitigate anecdotal reverb issue) but then decided to take my chances with the Stabilized Maple when I saw the teasers for the first batch (wife helped to nudge me in this direction when she saw the pictures). They are just slightly denser than Camphor Burl.

    As some may know, during the ZMF November stabilized VC launch there was a web storefront glitch in which several customers were allowed to complete transactions for model stock that had already been allocated to the very first to complete the transaction for a given model (over-sold). I don't think anybody anticipated how popular these turned out to be - the first batch of about 15 unique sets sold out literally within minutes. Joy turned to gloom when I found out I was one of those affected, but kudos to ZMF/Bevin for the accommodation and communication over the course of the next 2 batches in which I ended up with mine; not my first or second choice in design, but I do absolutely love them, more-so when I see how they subtly change appearance depending on how the light hits them. Hard to convey their beauty in pictures but they do have a 3D-like effect.

    I don't find them to be too heavy, feel just a tad more weight than my Teak Auteur. Still figuring out the best adjustment of the headband - my ears are brushing against the drivers which is weird because these are similar Auteur leather pads that are also on my Auteur, which I believe are the same thickness. I also find more sensitivity of ear positioning within the pad to slight change in sound, compared to Auteur.

    As to the sound, good Lord the speed, resolution, and bass impact - just what I was hoping for. I've gotten so used to Auteur/HD650 timbre that there is some adjustment to the Beryllium-coated influence on especially cymbals which initially comes across more splashy than accurate. However the more I listen, in totality the music/performances which are comparatively boring/bland via Auteur are now much more enjoyable and immersive. For me that means Rock/Metal. Reproduction of guitars, bass, drums - it's like the old Memorex ad:



    The little bit of Electronica that I listen to is also much better on these. Still need to go through Classical pieces, but would assume that those would be similarly improved due to enhanced speed & resolution.

    Crappy recordings sound really crappy, and bass-light recordings tend to sound too bright. They do okay for popular/trending "hits" via Apple Music, though I'd still prefer my lifestyle headphones straight out of iPhone for most of that since they're designed to accentuate modern production/mastering. However, Daft Punk does sound fantastic on the VC.

    I'm no good as a reviewer, so cannot give detailed impressions & comparisons, nor have I sampled HD800, Focals, or anything else in this tier. I can add my voice to what an incredible bargain the HD650/HD600 prove to be (my pendulum has swung from 600 to 650 this past year). They're great all-rounders and if I had to sell off everything else I'd still try to keep them. I also admire what the Auteur brings to the table. They and the HD650 provide a kind of truth (in different ways) about recordings, which I value. I like the Auteur for 80s & 90s pop/new wave music, which even I'm shocked that I listen to so frequently. Must be the comfort factor of growing up listening to it when my older sister controlled the radio.

    Gone are the days when I'd switch from can to can on single tracks on selected CDs as part of the "auditioning" process. I look forward to figuring out what's the best choice for a given album. These days it primarily comes down to mood. It's no doubt a luxury to have this choice, and I'm glad I started from the basics and worked up slowly over time. I think the VC fills a void I've felt since buying and ultimately returning the Denon HD7000, twice. Loved them at the time (even with wonky mids), but couldn't justify the cost back then. These are practically 3x the cost, but worth it to me, now. Maybe clichéd, but these really are handcrafted pieces of art that sound great, produced by a small boutique company with fantastic customer service.

    Using CDP --> Gungnir MB A1 --> Lyr 3 (primary) and Bifrost 2 Unison --> HeadAmp GLMk2 chains. I'm satisfied with those, knowing incremental chain improvements going forward will not be as cost effective and/or dramatic as finding the "right" headphones in the first place. Will give it another year to see if an amp upgrade is in order. I feel more comfortable breaking the bank on headphones rather than on an amp.

    These are surprisingly a bitch to photograph properly, especially for a novice like me:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,566
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Goshen, NY
    That VC is flat-out beautiful. Congratulations on your new headphones!

    PS: I know it's a semi-controversial topic here, but in my experience w/ZMF dynamics, until you burn these in at least 100 hrs, better yet, 150 hrs, you're not fully hearing what they can do.
     
    ColtMrFire and Elnrik like this.
  11. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    435
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Somewhere in the North Pole
    Welcome to the club, they are beautiful!

    Did you have the chance to try different ear pads so far? I highly recommend you to try the Universe hybrid, these are my favorite pads so far. Especially with Rock and Metal.
     
    Cryptowolf likes this.
  12. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    491
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Texas
    Is there a Verite Closed pad compendium anywhere online? I'm really enjoying Auteur Lamb best so far. Bought some Auteur Hybrid but the treble was too hot. I almost like the be2 Lamb but same problem with too much energy up top.
    With I think 7 different pads and 3 variations of each it would be amazing to not need to spend $1k on pads to find the best for my tastes.
    Sure you could say ask Zach, but he recommended the be2 to me as a 3rd pad and naaah. I want that 3D IMAX stuff someone mentioned somewhere around here.
    So far that's the Auteur Lamb for me but if there's another pad that brings it harder then I'm placing my order tomorrow.
     
  13. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    435
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Somewhere in the North Pole
    So far my favorite pads for the VC are the Universe hybrid pads.

    I found a couple of very good pads reviews here and here.
     
    Cryptowolf, yotacowboy and Erroneous like this.
  14. zach915m

    zach915m MOT: ZMF Headphones

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,594
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    If it were up to me I'd tell everyone they only need auteur lamb as their only pad - because it's my favorite.

    But at the end of the day we all hear differently and have different moods. So I guess the pads will stay!
     
  15. crenca

    crenca Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,874
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Southern New Mexico
    My experience with the VC was that as you moved from eikon>universe>auteur>verite (lamb), obviously the driver got closer to the ear and two things happen: the W shaped FR and "bbc dip" became more normal/less noticeable (which I liked) and the 3D/holographic stage and resultant euphonic-ZMF-special-sauce was reduced (this I did not like). Suede of any pad also pushed the headphone towards "neutral" a bit. Soooo, the flatter the pad the more "normal" the headphone becomes, so I ended up sticking with universe lamb most of the time because I felt the special sauce outweighed normal. YMMV
     
  16. zach915m

    zach915m MOT: ZMF Headphones

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,594
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    This is very true! I guess the most middle pad to balance all the possibilities out would be universe hybrid.
     
    Jinxy245, Baten, will_f and 1 other person like this.
  17. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    435
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Somewhere in the North Pole
    I have received the Universe hybrid pads yesterday, and so far these pads have totally changed my appreciation of the Verite Closed. For the first time since I had the VC (1 month), I'm totally blown away and speechless songs after songs. I had the exact same reaction when I heard the Aeolus for the first time with the Universe suede pads. There's something magical happening with the VC and these pads. The sound is way more engaging and punchy now, the electric guitars have all the bite that I always wanted. WOW!
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
    Cryptowolf and Jinxy245 like this.
  18. will_f

    will_f Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Likes Received:
    924
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    USA
    So I bought a Camphor Burl VC 2nd hand and they finally arrived today. First, they’re beautiful. I’ll include some pictures when I write up a review. Second, I just got them so I can’t say I really have a grip on how they sound, but it’s pretty apparent that they are REALLY good at reproducing subtle details. Easily the best I’ve ever heard in that respect. Third, they shine with quality recordings. Spotify disappoints compared to red book or better. Finally, and this is annoying, my heartbeat sets the noise floor. In quiet passages it comes through quite clearly. Blood pressure must be high

    That’s it for now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  19. will_f

    will_f Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Likes Received:
    924
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    USA
    [​IMG]

    Below are my opinions on the ZMF Verite Closed (Unfigured Camphor Burl). Keep in mind that I’m not a professional musician, recording engineer, or anything other than a middle aged audiophile. My hearing is a little above average for my age but nothing to brag about.


    Why a Verite?

    I love my ZMF Auteur and could easily live with it as my only headphone. The tonality is perfect for me and I find the sound dynamic and engaging when powered by my Woo WA-6SE. However, Uncle Sam gave me some stimulus money, my birthday was coming up, and so I bought a new pair of headphones. That, and someone described the Verite Closed as Acid Trip Realism. In other words this was totally an impulse buy.

    [​IMG]
    What I look for in headphones?

    Broadly speaking, I look for two things: One- the illusion of being there. I look for headphones that make it easy for me to imagine I’m experiencing the music live and in person instead of through a pair of headphones. Two, I look for a euphonic sound- one that tickles my pleasure center. I’m not so much looking for neutrality and accuracy as a vivid and engaging sonic picture in my head.


    Verite Closed (VC) details:

    This particular VC is made from Camphor Burl. It’s not super hard like Ironwood nor is it relatively soft like silk wood. I guess midrange hardness. It came with the Universe and the Auteur pads.


    What am I Comparing it to?

    My ZMF Auteur and Focal Clear. Neither headphone is in the same price bracket as the VC, but a lot of people have heard these so they make a decent comparison. The Auteur is Bocote wood with Auteur standard pads, so upper mid range hardness wood and fairly neutral pads. The DAC is a Bifrost2 and the amp is a Woo WA6-SE. The Clear is pretty much bone stock except for an aftermarket cable. I used a Lyr3 with the Clear since it sounds better with the Clear than the Woo (tighter, cleaner bass).


    Testing Method:

    My listening on the Woo was with the low impedance (15 ohm) output since to my ears it sounded the most neutral. I used the high gain setting on the Lyr.


    My evaluation method was as follows: I listened exclusively to the VC for a while, occasionally changing pads. Then I listened to my other headphones and made note of the differences. After that I put together a list of some of my favorite music for the week and periodically switched between headphones as I played passages over and over to verify my impressions. It didn’t take long before I decided I prefer the Universe pads. Past experience suggests I’m likely to change my mind at some point, but for now I strongly prefer the Universe pads for the improved imaging and what to me is the more euphonic sound. The below review is based on the Universe pads.


    How does it Sound?

    Initial impression: Fast and detailed. Quite a bit of slam, effortless layering and really fine microdynamics. No annoying treble peaks and overall a W shaped euphonic tonality which(with the Universe pads) sounds like an improved Auteur. There’s a lot more going on in the recordings than I can hear with the Clear or the Auteur. Definitely benefits from lossless recordings- Spotify doesn’t really show what they can do. Notes seem to linger without getting muddy.



    When compared to other phones:


    Euphonic: By this, I mean engaging with a sense of sonic richness, non fatiguing. Note that all three headphones sound great and the difference is small. All three are very enjoyable to listen to but I have to say I really like the ZMF house sound and prefer it to the Clear..


    Vc = Auteur > Clear


    Slam: For me slam is the ability to deliver wide dynamic range and reproduce big changes in loudness without compression. Its the thump of a kick or kettle drum, the firing of cannons or the crunch of a car crash. None of these do poorly IMHO (at least compared to planars)


    VC > Clear > Auteur


    Clarity: An absence of haziness. Each instrument or voice occupies its own space and is easily perceived. Both the Clear and the Auteur have some emphasis in the lower treble compared to the VC that helps them sound clear, but once your ears adapt to the different sound signature, they ultimately sound less clear to me


    VC > Clear =Auteur


    Microdynamics: I like the definition in the SBAF subjective audio terms glossary for this one- tiny gradations in volume. It’s the lingering echo of a note or the breathing of a flutist in the background. For me, great microdynamics add depth and dimension to voices and instruments. The VC is heads and shoulders ahead of the other two on this. The Clear may be losing out here because it’s on a different amp. Here I’ll note that the Auteur pads seemed to do better than the Universe pads.


    VC >> Auteur > Clear


    Detail: Macro Detail I define as being able easily hear each sound in the mix, which is different from micro detail which adds color, texture and subtlety. For me, clarity and macrodetail overlap. I can’t really percieve good macro detail without clarity and I can’t think of a headphone I’ve heard that had good clarity and didn’t also have good macro detail. Micro detail is harder to pin down, but easy enough to hear when it’s there. All three headphones do well at macro detail and it’s hard to say which is better. On micro detail it’s a lot less ambiguous:


    VC>>Clear > Auteur


    Soundstage: soundstage to me is the perception of separation from the musicians, both in terms of horizontal spread and perceived distance. There’s really no best here for me. It’s just how it sounds. The VC sounds closer to a fairly wide stage than the Clear or Auteur, with the Auteur stage sounding the furthest and the narrowest and the Clear splitting the difference.


    Imaging: Imaging is being able to locate instruments, musicians, walls and possibly audience members in space when you close your eyes. Ideally, it leads to a suspension of disbelief and you feel like you are in the audience. This varies tremendously depending on the recording (with Chesky binaural recordings being positively freaky sometimes). I wasn’t all that impressed with the VC imaging when using the Auteur lamb skin pads but really enjoyed the Universe pads.


    VC (Universe pads) > Auteur = Clear > VC (Auteur pads)


    Speed / Attack: How fast does the driver get moving and start making sound. I didn’t hear a ton of difference between the Clear and the VC, but the Auteur definitely was softer.

    VC>Clear>Auteur


    Decay: How damped is the sound? Does it ring or drop off quickly. Some of this may be the superior microdynamics of the VC vs Auteur, but definitely there’s a little wetness to the VC.

    Slower decay => Faster decay
    VC >Auteur>Clear.


    In Summary:

    Fantastic, TOTL headphones for sure and definitely keepers, but the law of diminishing returns applies. While generally superior to the Auteur and Clear, the sound difference is not as big as the price difference. I don’t think I’ll be selling either the Clear or the Auteur any time soon because they still make for a nice change of pace. That said, these are just a blast to listen to.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  20. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    435
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Somewhere in the North Pole
    @will_f This is one of the most well-written review of the VC I've read so far.
     
    zach915m, Elnrik and will_f like this.

Share This Page