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Verum Audio - Exciting high performance DIY planar

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by cskippy, Aug 22, 2018.
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  1. abm0
    Break-in works with music and pink noise just fine, but it should be faster with 20-20k frequency sweeps at high loudness (below painful loudness though, just to make sure you're not ripping the membrane out).
  2. Mr B1
    I got my pair a week ago, so here's my thoughts on them. It looks better in person than in photos! I won't go into the build - enough reviews got that covered: I'll mostly stick to sound, a bit about amping and some comparisons.

    First though - initially, there was a channel imbalance and it may have been bad contact with the connector - but it completely went away. I pm-ed Garuspik and he immediately got back to me which I appreciate a lot - but as said, it went away.

    The short of it that these are GREAT headphones. I don't need to add 'for the money'. Yes, they're not absolute top-end-of-the-market in detail retrieval, finer nuances and emotional connection, but they sound unbelievably natural and real. Having said that, compared to the LCD2C (my previous favourite within my budget), it was still like a veil was lifted with much more detail, less grain in treble and more fine nuance, no more what now sounds like a tricked-up bass slam. With the Verum 1, everything gets presented in a black background.. the layering in the low and mids is good. It has very nice separation, all sounds are just very easy to hear, not so much spatially but you can just hear them individually effortlessly. There may be a limit when it get's complex but it's one of the things that struck me early on.

    My listening preference is to have true-to-life dynamics, emotion, cohesion rather than looking for details - and especially the dynamics is what really appeals in the Verum1: a piano sounds like one with proper attack and decay, as do plucked guitars, voices are tangible in front of you. There's even some detail within the attack. There's enough speed and impact. There's no Audeze-type slam in bass, but the bass is solid, and goes deep. It's not a 4 cylinder with resonator, it's an 8 cylinder - it has the goods, and it doesn't need to fluff it up. Sometimes I'm just so surprised how understated but deep and solid a bass is. I think even reasonably textured and no bloom. The 'understated' experience goes a bit for the entire frequency spectrum. It's all quite evenly presented without harsness or issues. Someone said it probably does about everything 90% right.. and it does feel that way. Personally, I've added a bit of lift in the highs to add a bit more sparkle, but that's it.

    Amping. Well these headphones are good enough to show you what's what up-stream well beyond it's price. They never seem to sound bad (I tried my phone), but they will enjoy a good source and amp.. my solid state Violectric 220 makes the Verum1 slam and quick but also ever so slightly metalic bright at times. Generally I prefer listening to my McChanson single ended, no caps in signal, Tube Amp.. it reveals finer nuances and much better spatial presentation. I had not been able to do this before, but the premium tubes I got from it's maker, Japanese 'El Manco' branded 6EM7'sm sounded best and to my shock by quite a margin. The differences between tubes were so clear: the RCA 6EM7 and Philco 6FD7's just didn't get close. These Verum1's ruined my perfect ignorance thinking they were good!!

    Up to comparisons.. well my 'local' shop had Mr Speakers Ether 2 'demo'-units on a 40% off last weekend.. and I couldn't help myself. This is a headphone costing multiples of these Verum1's.. and my top-end remarks at the start are derived from that. So yes the Verum1 does lack some qualities from an Ether 2, but holds its own in and even exceeds in some: instruments and voices to me still sound more lively, dynamic and are more physically there than the Ether 2. But with the Ether 2 harmonising voices really seem in sync with each other, fine details comes through without any effort - I suddenly heard harmonising strings in a piano that weren't just struck .. extra character comes through with the result that voices carry more emotion .. the Verum doesn't reach that kind of refinement.. but it beats anything $1K eastily - so don't think it's bad. In the end, it's simply not a slam dunk for the Ether 2 - which should indicate somewhat how good this Verum headphone is. And then there's the price to consider!

    Now if you are a Sennheiser HD600 fan or a fan of lots of detail, I don't know - I probably can't relate too well. I for example really didn't like my Focal Clears, I can hear they have a certain quality - but I'd have the Verum1's all the time. My Hifiman Hex V2 does very little wrong, but again, I haven't had a situation where I'd choose it now. Nor a Aeon Flow, closed or open which I have owned - too polite, too few redeeming qualities even though I quite liked the closed. Massdrop's HE4XX.. not even close and that seemed like a bargain a year ago. I can still happily listen to the LCD2C even though the Verum beats it in about everything.

    In closing, I just love the articulation of the Verum1 and how it's impressive it sounds without any fatique setting in: EDM, Jazz, Metal, Rock, Alternative.. instruments, voices, guitars, drums, it's very articulated - sorry it's not a term 'audio' people tend to use, but I feel it does cover quite what the Verum does. I hope a 'Verum2' will have more 'plankton' and the nuances of the Ether 2, perhaps a little less physical weight .. but I know from other forums that Garuspik wants to serve the order queue first before moving on to a next project. That's a good sign that a solid business is being build.

    So should you send off 350usd to an unknown Ukranian with a website? Up to you and we don't all have the same listening preference! I myself did - and some months later a box with cyrillic lettering and Ukranian stamps showed up with a terribly enjoyable headphone - well beyond expectation. I just don't know of anything 1K or under that sounds that good (out of the box).

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    gibsonsg87, hakuzen, CoFire and 5 others like this.
  3. will f
    Pretty much matches my experience with them.
    jaco61 likes this.
  4. kelvinwsy
    May order mine just arrived Burning in now.. Packing box crushed.. Testing it for shipping damage too
  5. CoFire
    Great review. Can you provide a more in depth comparison between the HEX V2 and Verum One? I'm interested in how the signatures are different, not necessarily that one is better than the other but ultimately, based on our personal preferences, that choice will be made. Thanks.

    Really enjoyed your comparison to the LCD2. Do you miss the slam of the LCD2 when listening to the Verum One? Does the change in bass turn you off the Verum One in any listening or with any genres?
  6. muths66
    Finally is here!! IMG_20190824_015004.jpg
    doctorjuggles, hakuzen and jaco61 like this.
  7. Mr B1
    Thank you. I brought my Hifiman HEX V2 home from work, so I could do a real A/B comparison. I was thin-slicing it which is not ideal in reviewing headphones.

    LCD2C Slam - so regarding the 2C slam, there's two parts to that I feel.. One there's a certain bass / pressure / vibration that makes low notes appear very physical, but it's sort of an 'effect'. Very impressive, exciting, but bit 'tricked'. I do miss it somewhat, but there's a lot on the upside with the Verum1. The second part is the physical experience, the speed and impact. On that part, I think the Verum passes the 2C and does so over large frequency range. I'll have to do another 2C comparison (it's now at work) to check out the very low (20-30Hz) frequencies as the Verum 1 looses it's impact there.

    This is a jump to a conclusion without having gone into anything, but with having the Verum 1 around, I find the Hex V2 brings more of it's own, complimentary, qualities than the LCD2C. So while at work, with a lower quality chain (which really ****s me now).. I would pick the LCD2C over the Hex V2. But on a collection level, it doesn't make sense to keep the 2C, so I may just have to rid myself of the Aune X7s and upgrade the chain at work.

    The more notable impressions between Verum1 / Hex V2:
    - Verum1 adds the least to the sound, meaning also, that the difference in amp (solid state/tube) comes through the most.
    - Another way of saying it: the Hex v2 enforces it's own signature more.
    - The Verum 1 sounds more romantic and goes towards the Hex signature on my tube amp, the Hex v2 changes little
    - The Hex v2 now sounds poor on Aune X7s
    - Verum1 has a very clean (very articulated) leading edge, macro-dynamics are very good. It sounds so natural.
    - Hex v2 has better micro dynamics, especially in the highs: echo's, details in decay are present and easy to hear
    - Hex v2 is a bit more comfortable to wear - especially when bobbing your head :)
    - Hex v2 has a more spacious feel in soundstage as in depth and space around voices and instruments
    - Verum 1 has a wider soundstage.
    - Hex v2 seemingly has less roll-of 20-40Hz; Organs came trough better on E2 and Hex
    - Hex v2 does the track 'Forever Autumn' from Jeff Wayne and Amy Winehouse's album 'Back to Black' better than anything I've heard.
    - Hex v2 can sound congested in busy tracks, gets somewhat of a grey background
    - Verum 1 has a black background, perhaps the decay is just stronger, ringing less and that's one reason for loosing some detail
    - Hex v2 has more refined snare drums, hi hats but misses the leading edge livelyness of the Verum 1
    - Verum 1 has much more impact in drums, electric and acoustic guitars, piano, hi-hats, EDM, hard rock / metal..
    - Hex v2 has more refinement in hi hats, but looses the 'real' qualit; it's more 'described' music
    - Verum 1 separate sounds better than Hex v2, yet has less space/air around voices and instruments
    - Ether 2 is the only one that really does emotion well.. and pull you in with addictive detail..'My heart is in the highland (Arvo Part Creator Spiritus) and Tom Chaplin's 'Walking in the Air' shine.
    - Both Verum 1 and Hex V2 come with pretty average cables. I bought a silver plated OFC cable from Aliexpress for $18... much better detail.

    In the end, if I would poetically describe the nature of the Hex v2 and Verum 1
    - The Hex v2 is slightly romantic, it's gentle, it's a massage after a long day.. it's looking for harmony, it's refined, broadly capable but also restrained and conformist.
    - The Verum 1 is more uninhabited and youthful but with a wise family to fall back on. It's excitable and confident. It refers to truth itself to see it's position.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
    CoFire, Fegefeuer and hakuzen like this.
  8. fpantalone
    Just trying to help here ... there is 'lose' and then there is 'loose'. Do you have a link for the OFC cable? thanks
  9. jaco61
    ...the link would be interesting, thanks!
  10. abm0
    Yeah, same here, surprisingly stiff pads. Long-term I will absolutely have to find thinner/softer options - mine are visibly thicker than the cups/housings, unlike some recent photos I've seen on here where the pads are about the same thickness as the housing. Hopefully the thinner pads will also help with some missing air, which I'm willing to bet is what makes these seem less detailed, even though the attacks I'm hearing clearly show these have what it takes for high resolution, they just need some FR fixes to qualify as "detailed" as well.
  11. Garuspik
    Optional perforated pads are thinner.
  12. Mr B1
    Hi - I had update the review with the link, but here's the link as well: Silver plated Hifiman cable
    jaco61 likes this.
  13. Cho Worsh
    Got mine yesterday.

    Right out of the box they sound great with the Woo WA6SE and from the balanced outputs of the Monoprice LP.

    I listened to classical, rock, EDM, metal, jazz and other types of music for hours.

    These are amazing headphones.

    Suggest using an inexpensive Canare L4E6S DIY cable with Neutrik plugs in place of the stock cable for much better sound.
  14. Khommander
    So I got my Zebranos two days ago (ordered May), and I'm pretty damn impressed so far.

    My only problem is pretty much 100% on me. I'm driving them off an LG V30 tricked into aux mode. They sound pretty great for the most part, though definitely not their full potential. A few of my favorite tracks have horrible distortion at higher volume, and I'd guess that's an amp issue. Can anyone recommend budget amps/dacs (preferably portable) that would work well with the Verum? I've been looking at the Fiio K3.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  15. fpantalone
    Not sure what your budget is, but the Mojo is wicked with them. I mean good wicked :)
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