ZMF Verite
Jun 13, 2021 at 1:15 PM Post #6,466 of 7,094

Pharmaboy

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Thanks both, for your input!

I did a lot of research before buying this headphones, and from all reviews/comments, I believe this headphones should have the sound that I like.

It's good to hear that breaking it in would help and I will also try swapping pads. Now I have Verite Perf Pads, Universe Lambskin Perf, and BE2 Hybrid Suede/Leather pads (currently installed).

About my amp, it's V281 (not a tube amp), and based on my research, this amp should have more then enough power to drive the VO, and from many people's comments, it also has good synergy with the VO.

I also have a very good/custom made 300B based tube amp but have yet to try it with the VO (have no desk space left).

IMHO the V281 is about as good a SS match as you'll ever find for any of the ZMFs. At one time or other I've tried them all of the current models on it & currently own 3 (silkwood VO; blackwood Aeolus; ormosia henryi Ori).
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 1:19 PM Post #6,467 of 7,094

robo24

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From the manual that comes with the headphones, it said the headphones need around 200hrs of breaking in. Based on you guy's experience, how the headphones changed after breaking in?

Now my pair has around 20-22 hours with BE2 Hybrid Suede/Leather pads, and I must say I'm underwhelmed. I tried both stock ZMF's XLR cable (yet to be broken in) and my Silver Dragon XLR (fully broken in) and with both cables, the headphones sound kinda dull and recessed on both high and low ends, which is miles... miles away from my Utopia (with Dana's LR) / Empy (with SD). Really want to keep them as I love the look and comfort, so I really hope they will improve when I put more hours on them (my system should have decent synergy).

So I will hold of on the purchase of a new cable until I'm sure I want to keep them.
I've tried a number of pads and always go back to the Universe Suede pads so would suggest those. With some amps (Tuba, Pendant), I've not experienced any of the vocal recession that I had from prior amps. I bought mine used and broken in so can't comment on the changes, but dull is never a word I would use.
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 1:28 PM Post #6,468 of 7,094

Paladin79

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Not to mention, the larger gauge on the Norne. Forza’s flagship Noir Hybrid is 26 awg and is a copper and silver configuration vs Norne Silvergarde S3 starts at 21 awg for all silver. Cable thickness gets larger the closer it gets to zero.
Their prices are reasonable, and I have done a lot of work with litz wire so I know it pretty well. I just skimmed their website and I did not happen to see strand count listed but it may be in there somewhere.
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 3:45 PM Post #6,469 of 7,094

Mike C

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Hi folks,
I'm new here but hang around a lot on the Empyrean thread for obvious reasons. I'm considering a Verite open but have some issues that a detailed reading/searching of this thread have not resolved, hence this post. Sorry if it gets long ....

I love my Empyrean system:
Source CD with a top Pro-ject transport into either Lector Digicode multibit/valve dac, or ANK DAC 4.1x multibit/valve NOS, both excellent and very similar, currently slight preference for the Lector.
High Fidelity Cables CT-1U interconnect (stupidly expensive ... till you hear it; stupidly good)
My own valve amp, a good one after years of development, with OPTs for the 32 ohm Empyrean. This amp seems to remove most of the issues that some people find with the Empy.
Plussound palladium plated hybrid cable (same comment as for CT-1U); also Forza Noir hybrid and various quite good DIY cables.
It's a very nice system, highly musical and enjoyable.

So why am I here? Because I've seen several positive comments about ZMF VO from Empy owners, in particular noting the generally similar nature such as a focus on enjoyment. I'm considering trying them.

Now the issues.
I have a particular liking for female vocals, e.g. 'accessible' jazz. Some specifics: Laurie Allyn, Lucky Lucy Ann, Embraceable Lisa, Halie Loren, Amber Rubarth, some Patricia Barber, Sharon Robinson, Cheryl Bentyne, Rhiannon Giddens, Sarah Alainn; all class acts, and that's just a small selection, not necessarily my best or favourites. I do like other things e.g. classical .... I love Mozart!

So I'm concerned at some adverse comments here about female vocals due to the FR recess at about 3 to 5 kHz, from several people. I note that some equalisation can fix it but I'm not able to do this.
I have of course read all the many reviews I can find, generally both highly positive and suggesting a quality and nature that would suit me; but female vocals are not often mentioned in these reviews. Perhaps I'm over cynical, but I often (not always!) find that reviewers rave about the positives of a component and mention the things it does well, but avoid being controversial or offending the maker but simply omitting to mention the things not done well. See Arthur Salvatore on this subject. So something of a lack of positive comments on female vocals is a concern.
Putting it all together, I have a concern and would appreciate comments from you experts.
E.g. is it likely that a high quality valve amp might reduce the problem?

The amp is not a concern as I have some spare development units and can easily replace the OPTs with a suitable ratio unit. And if I did get the VO I'd fancy making an OTL one just for the fun of it, as the VO seems to work well with this.

I note comments about the VC, but my experience with closed (an AT, and a top Sony of a friend) was not good, generally I prefer open.

I'm still interested in this great headphone, but I see buying unheard as a definite risk, and that's another problem!

I can buy from the UK dealer with option to return, but after using them they charge 25% restocking fee! Geez, I'd lose £625 !!!!!
My usual fix for this problem is to buy used, but these seem very rare indeed.

Any comments welcomed.
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 4:45 PM Post #6,470 of 7,094

RobertSM

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Hi folks,
I'm new here but hang around a lot on the Empyrean thread for obvious reasons. I'm considering a Verite open but have some issues that a detailed reading/searching of this thread have not resolved, hence this post. Sorry if it gets long ....

I love my Empyrean system:
Source CD with a top Pro-ject transport into either Lector Digicode multibit/valve dac, or ANK DAC 4.1x multibit/valve NOS, both excellent and very similar, currently slight preference for the Lector.
High Fidelity Cables CT-1U interconnect (stupidly expensive ... till you hear it; stupidly good)
My own valve amp, a good one after years of development, with OPTs for the 32 ohm Empyrean. This amp seems to remove most of the issues that some people find with the Empy.
Plussound palladium plated hybrid cable (same comment as for CT-1U); also Forza Noir hybrid and various quite good DIY cables.
It's a very nice system, highly musical and enjoyable.

So why am I here? Because I've seen several positive comments about ZMF VO from Empy owners, in particular noting the generally similar nature such as a focus on enjoyment. I'm considering trying them.

Now the issues.
I have a particular liking for female vocals, e.g. 'accessible' jazz. Some specifics: Laurie Allyn, Lucky Lucy Ann, Embraceable Lisa, Halie Loren, Amber Rubarth, some Patricia Barber, Sharon Robinson, Cheryl Bentyne, Rhiannon Giddens, Sarah Alainn; all class acts, and that's just a small selection, not necessarily my best or favourites. I do like other things e.g. classical .... I love Mozart!

So I'm concerned at some adverse comments here about female vocals due to the FR recess at about 3 to 5 kHz, from several people. I note that some equalisation can fix it but I'm not able to do this.
I have of course read all the many reviews I can find, generally both highly positive and suggesting a quality and nature that would suit me; but female vocals are not often mentioned in these reviews. Perhaps I'm over cynical, but I often (not always!) find that reviewers rave about the positives of a component and mention the things it does well, but avoid being controversial or offending the maker but simply omitting to mention the things not done well. See Arthur Salvatore on this subject. So something of a lack of positive comments on female vocals is a concern.
Putting it all together, I have a concern and would appreciate comments from you experts.
E.g. is it likely that a high quality valve amp might reduce the problem?

The amp is not a concern as I have some spare development units and can easily replace the OPTs with a suitable ratio unit. And if I did get the VO I'd fancy making an OTL one just for the fun of it, as the VO seems to work well with this.

I note comments about the VC, but my experience with closed (an AT, and a top Sony of a friend) was not good, generally I prefer open.

I'm still interested in this great headphone, but I see buying unheard as a definite risk, and that's another problem!

I can buy from the UK dealer with option to return, but after using them they charge 25% restocking fee! Geez, I'd lose £625 !!!!!
My usual fix for this problem is to buy used, but these seem very rare indeed.

Any comments welcomed.

Welcome.

Your question regarding female vocals in a good one. I think so much music that's made does tend to be male vocals dominate that I can see why female vocal music tends to be forgotten about. On that note I did a quick female artist search of the most recently listened to music in one my playlist. Please take a look at my female artists list.

Abigail Washburn
Diana Ross
Bebel Gilberto
Kate Bush
Björk
Ceraria Evora(the Latin Arthea Franklin, IMHO)
Aldous Harding
Vyvienne Long
Sarah Vaughan
Joni Mitchell
Amy Winehouse
Joyti
Sarah Jarosz
Ailbhe Reddy
Sharon Von Etten
Girl in red

I don't know how many of these artist you're familiar with but I can assure you that they run the gamut of styles. From folk to jazz to more produced contemporary styles. But the one thing they all have in common is that all of these artist are vocal heavy, female vocal first artists. So I guess the question is how does the Verite render these artists? With aplomb! To that point, I've never really specifically thought about how the Verite plays with female vocals because, well it just plays them as they sound. Nothing out of place. Perfectly, frankly.

On the subject of tube amps. You can never go wrong with a tube amp and the Verite. It plays well with both the transformer coupled designs and the OTL designs. You pick what you like but the Verite isn't picky with tubes. It actually loves tube amps. And of course with the tube amps comes the option to season the sound so to speak with rolling different tubes to achieve different sonic profiles if you like.

The Verite is really a well rounded headphone that actually does a great job with all styles of music. You mentioned classical. I too am a lover of classical. Igor Stravinsky is my personal favorite but I too on occasion listen to Mozart. The Verite handles classical with ease. Really a beautiful headphone!

Hope this was helpful.

One more thing I wanted to add. I own a pair of Verites. I love them, so much so that I placed an order this week for another pair made from a different wood. This isn't actually uncommon with ZMF owners. Many of us have either different models and/or different woods of the same model. So on that level you can tell that the love for these things runs deep. Another cool and important point is that you deal with a small artisan company. I actually got an email this morning from Zach aka Mr. ZMF himself. Just saying hey, I'm excited about your order and I'll make sure we handle a few small but important to me points regarding my build. I mean, he's a busy guy...but he still finds time to get back to his customers. Another reason why I love this company and the people that build our headphones.
 
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Jun 13, 2021 at 5:40 PM Post #6,471 of 7,094

robo24

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Certainly with some amps, the slightly recessed vocals on the Verite sound just right to me, so EQ isn’t the only option to address that if one considers it a flaw. Their Pendant amp being an obvious choice. The only OTL I’ve tried with it is the Valhalla 2 (with WE 396A tubes and adapters) which was fine but certainly reflective of the price compared to better non-OTL amps I’ve used. It’s always detailed and with my latest tube combo in their Pendant, the soundstage sounds as wide as the HD800 to me. They’re incredibly versatile.
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 8:07 PM Post #6,472 of 7,094

Mike C

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Welcome.

Your question regarding female vocals in a good one. I think so much music that's made does tend to be male vocals dominate that I can see why female vocal music tends to be forgotten about. On that note I did a quick female artist search of the most recently listened to music in one my playlist. Please take a look at my female artists list.

Abigail Washburn
Diana Ross
Bebel Gilberto
Kate Bush
Björk
Ceraria Evora(the Latin Arthea Franklin, IMHO)
Aldous Harding
Vyvienne Long
Sarah Vaughan
Joni Mitchell
Amy Winehouse
Joyti
Sarah Jarosz
Alibhe Reddy
Sharon Von Etten
Girl in red

I don't know how many of these artist you're familiar with but I can assure you that they run the gamut of styles. From folk to jazz to more produced contemporary styles. But the one thing they all have in common is that all of these artist are vocal heavy, female vocal first artists. So I guess the question is how does the Verite render these artists? With aplomb! To that point, I've never really specifically thought about how the Verite plays with female vocals because, well it just plays them as they sound. Nothing out of place. Perfectly, frankly.

On the subject of tube amps. You can never go wrong with a tube amp and the Verite. It plays well with both the transformer coupled designs and the OTL designs. You pick what you like but the Verite isn't picky with tubes. It actually loves tube amps. And of course with the tube amps comes the option to season the sound so to speak with rolling different tubes to achieve different sonic profiles if you like.

The Verite is really a well rounded headphone that actually does a great job with all styles of music. You mentioned classical. I too am a lover of classical. Igor Stravinsky is my personal favorite but I too on occasion listen to Mozart. The Verite handles classical with ease. Really a beautiful headphone!

Hope this was helpful.

One more thing I wanted to add. I own a pair of Verites. I love them, so much so that I placed an order this week for another pair made from a different wood. This isn't actually uncommon with ZMF owners. Many of us have either different models and/or different woods of the same model. So on that level you can tell that the love for these things runs deep. Another cool and important point is that you deal with a small artisan company. I actually got an email this morning from Zach aka Mr. ZMF himself. Just saying hey, I'm excited about your order and I'll make sure we handle a few small but important to me points regarding my build. I mean, he's a busy guy...but he still finds time to get back to his customers. Another reason why I love this company and the people that build our headphones.
Sincere thanks for a most informative and useful response!

I am not familiar with many artists on your list, but I do have CDs by Bebel Gilberto and Sarah Jarosz and love them; they are in my favourites pile. I know of several such as Aldous and Sharon but not yet got round to getting their music. I'll also look into all those I don't know. Without going too OT and turning this into a music thread, as you mention Joni Mitchell I recommend Tierney Sutton's After Blue.

Your comment 'just plays them as they sound' is music to my ears; this and 'does a great job with all styles of music' seems to agree with very many user reports and enough reviews to give me a high level of confidence. I think I've been analyzing and agonising perhaps a bit too much.

I'll sleep on it for a week or two but I expect I'll order them.

Thanks to you and to Robo for comments about tube amps, which I note, but I already found lots of info in this thread.
My amps are simple but good (great care taken over power supplies). I have a spare one of almost my top spec and I have in stock a pair of OPTs that will run fine into 300 ohms, not the best but will do while I wait for a nice custom pair from Dave Slagle (assuming I get the VO). And I'm already thinking about making an OTL ...
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 8:44 PM Post #6,473 of 7,094

PrTv

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Thanks so much for all you guy’s comments. It’s very assuring that there’s hope at the end of the tunnel.
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 10:14 PM Post #6,474 of 7,094

helljudgement

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I have a particular liking for female vocals, e.g. 'accessible' jazz. Some specifics: Laurie Allyn, Lucky Lucy Ann, Embraceable Lisa, Halie Loren, Amber Rubarth, some Patricia Barber, Sharon Robinson, Cheryl Bentyne, Rhiannon Giddens, Sarah Alainn; all class acts, and that's just a small selection, not necessarily my best or favourites. I do like other things e.g. classical .... I love Mozart!

So I'm concerned at some adverse comments here about female vocals due to the FR recess at about 3 to 5 kHz, from several people. I note that some equalisation can fix it but I'm not able to do this.
The verite does have a bit of a closed in sound on the upper midrange and is becomes apparent when compared to other headphones like the adx5000, utopia and hd800. FR wise, the verite closed sounds more even in that range so you can consider this as an alternative.
I note comments about the VC, but my experience with closed (an AT, and a top Sony of a friend) was not good, generally I prefer open.
Both VO and VC sound fantastic it is the only closed back I ever considered buying and if I could do it over again I'll probably get the closed version as I already have other open back headphones. Apart from some differences in tuning, they are very similar.
 
Jun 13, 2021 at 11:18 PM Post #6,475 of 7,094

Fatdoi

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Hi folks,
I'm new here but hang around a lot on the Empyrean thread for obvious reasons. I'm considering a Verite open but have some issues that a detailed reading/searching of this thread have not resolved, hence this post. Sorry if it gets long ....

I love my Empyrean system:
Source CD with a top Pro-ject transport into either Lector Digicode multibit/valve dac, or ANK DAC 4.1x multibit/valve NOS, both excellent and very similar, currently slight preference for the Lector.
High Fidelity Cables CT-1U interconnect (stupidly expensive ... till you hear it; stupidly good)
My own valve amp, a good one after years of development, with OPTs for the 32 ohm Empyrean. This amp seems to remove most of the issues that some people find with the Empy.
Plussound palladium plated hybrid cable (same comment as for CT-1U); also Forza Noir hybrid and various quite good DIY cables.
It's a very nice system, highly musical and enjoyable.

So why am I here? Because I've seen several positive comments about ZMF VO from Empy owners, in particular noting the generally similar nature such as a focus on enjoyment. I'm considering trying them.

Now the issues.
I have a particular liking for female vocals, e.g. 'accessible' jazz. Some specifics: Laurie Allyn, Lucky Lucy Ann, Embraceable Lisa, Halie Loren, Amber Rubarth, some Patricia Barber, Sharon Robinson, Cheryl Bentyne, Rhiannon Giddens, Sarah Alainn; all class acts, and that's just a small selection, not necessarily my best or favourites. I do like other things e.g. classical .... I love Mozart!

So I'm concerned at some adverse comments here about female vocals due to the FR recess at about 3 to 5 kHz, from several people. I note that some equalisation can fix it but I'm not able to do this.
I have of course read all the many reviews I can find, generally both highly positive and suggesting a quality and nature that would suit me; but female vocals are not often mentioned in these reviews. Perhaps I'm over cynical, but I often (not always!) find that reviewers rave about the positives of a component and mention the things it does well, but avoid being controversial or offending the maker but simply omitting to mention the things not done well. See Arthur Salvatore on this subject. So something of a lack of positive comments on female vocals is a concern.
Putting it all together, I have a concern and would appreciate comments from you experts.
E.g. is it likely that a high quality valve amp might reduce the problem?

The amp is not a concern as I have some spare development units and can easily replace the OPTs with a suitable ratio unit. And if I did get the VO I'd fancy making an OTL one just for the fun of it, as the VO seems to work well with this.

I note comments about the VC, but my experience with closed (an AT, and a top Sony of a friend) was not good, generally I prefer open.

I'm still interested in this great headphone, but I see buying unheard as a definite risk, and that's another problem!

I can buy from the UK dealer with option to return, but after using them they charge 25% restocking fee! Geez, I'd lose £625 !!!!!
My usual fix for this problem is to buy used, but these seem very rare indeed.

Any comments welcomed.
Hi.... for Jazz vocals and smaller scale classical like Mozart, I will go for Utopia..... large scale classical like Beethoven/Mahler symphonies, chorals, requiems VO is my choice
 
Jun 14, 2021 at 4:11 AM Post #6,476 of 7,094

Mike C

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The verite does have a bit of a closed in sound on the upper midrange and is becomes apparent when compared to other headphones like the adx5000, utopia and hd800. FR wise, the verite closed sounds more even in that range so you can consider this as an alternative.

Both VO and VC sound fantastic it is the only closed back I ever considered buying and if I could do it over again I'll probably get the closed version as I already have other open back headphones. Apart from some differences in tuning, they are very similar.
Thanks, this adds to my confidence for this reason; like many (but not all!) people I like the Empyrean because it doesn't sound like the HD800!

I note your comments on VC and I will revisit this question .....
 
Jun 15, 2021 at 6:32 AM Post #6,477 of 7,094

Mike C

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as you mention Joni Mitchell I recommend Tierney Sutton's After Blue.

So I got it out that night; via the Empyrean it was totally fabulous - the first time I'd played it with my latest version amp. Everything about the music and performance just sounded right, making me think ... why on earth am I looking elsewhere?

Now I accept that the Verite may very well be even better - but to me, at present, it doesn't matter as I'm so enjoying what I have. Perhaps a degree of sanity rules?

I'm still very interested to try a Verite, but no need to rush to do so. I'll wait and see if a good deal comes along allowing me to try at no risk, or perhaps see if I can get a demo.

Thanks for your support, as usual I find it great here on this forum. Expect an update sometime.
 
Jun 15, 2021 at 12:37 PM Post #6,478 of 7,094

Galapac

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So I got it out that night; via the Empyrean it was totally fabulous - the first time I'd played it with my latest version amp. Everything about the music and performance just sounded right, making me think ... why on earth am I looking elsewhere?

Now I accept that the Verite may very well be even better - but to me, at present, it doesn't matter as I'm so enjoying what I have. Perhaps a degree of sanity rules?

I'm still very interested to try a Verite, but no need to rush to do so. I'll wait and see if a good deal comes along allowing me to try at no risk, or perhaps see if I can get a demo.

Thanks for your support, as usual I find it great here on this forum. Expect an update sometime.
Since you are based in the U.K. you can do what another Head-Fier is doing and get a loaner to try before you buy.

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/zmf-verite-closed-new-closed-back-zmf-flagship.911505/post-16409118
 
Jun 15, 2021 at 8:45 PM Post #6,479 of 7,094

chrisnyc75

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So I got it out that night; via the Empyrean it was totally fabulous - the first time I'd played it with my latest version amp. Everything about the music and performance just sounded right, making me think ... why on earth am I looking elsewhere?

Now I accept that the Verite may very well be even better - but to me, at present, it doesn't matter as I'm so enjoying what I have. Perhaps a degree of sanity rules?

I'm still very interested to try a Verite, but no need to rush to do so. I'll wait and see if a good deal comes along allowing me to try at no risk, or perhaps see if I can get a demo.

Thanks for your support, as usual I find it great here on this forum. Expect an update sometime.
I feel the same way about my Verite - I'm so blissfully happy with it that even if there is something better out there for my preferences I really don't want to know about it because that would just spoil my Verite bliss. Sometimes it's good to take some time to just be happy and not chase the next high.
 
Jun 15, 2021 at 9:58 PM Post #6,480 of 7,094

Galapac

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I feel the same way about my Verite - I'm so blissfully happy with it that even if there is something better out there for my preferences I really don't want to know about it because that would just spoil my Verite bliss. Sometimes it's good to take some time to just be happy and not chase the next high.
Wise words…it’s nice to enjoy what you have and not always chase the FOMO.
 

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