2 pads came with my Verite. Of the 2, I prefer the Verite flat lambskin pads because of the better high end extensions and treble sweetness, airiness and wider soundstage. Feels lighter too. So yeah I've not been using the Universe pads for a while but rather using the thinner Verite flat pads. Whilst it's not totally accurate, Verite Open does seem to encompass the best of HD800, LCD-3f and Focal Uotpia. I still have the HD800, have owned the LCD-3f and heard the Utopia multiple times. Some of the bass heavy headphones like the Fostex- TH900, are just not for me. Did like the LCD4 though because it's clearer at the top end and not so skewed bass heavy. Can't make up my mind on the Abyss though. Did like it on the Woo WA5. Heard the Susvara with WA33 once - very different and an impressive tone. Need to hear it again because it was too short an audition. Did like the Verite now though after having it for 3 months now. Like it with all my 3 tube amps. Occasionally I still use the HD800.