I'm almost certain its the pads.Are there a few headphones you feel do those things better? The VC is generally considered to be very strong in terms of detail, clarity, separation, etc. But if you're coming from stuff like Stax or some planars I could see how you'd find them veiled. This would be helpful for those considering the VC.
What kind of wood is your VC? Please, for science. . I'm going to assume your VC is a high density wood.I've used it with hugo 2, bifrost 2, and d90 for dacs and jot2, 789, Elise, wa22, d90 and hpa4 for amps