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ZMF Verite

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by heliosphann, Oct 3, 2018.
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  1. Hansotek
    Auteur and Atticus love the 6bx7s. I know Monster likes those 6080s on Verite. I would imagine a Centron 6336B / C3G / 5CU4 roll would be really good with Verite. Let me drop that in tonight, now that I am thinking about it...
  2. FunctionalDoc
    Thanks Dave .
  3. Monsterzero
    Mordy also recommended for me to try the Centron 6336B. When funds permit...

    I had to send all three back today,so I didnt have time to give the Auteur enough attention. I heard it enough to place an order for one,and will do a review once I get it.
    jinxy245 and Bern2 like this.
  4. Monsterzero
    Watch the review I posted 2 spots above your post. I literally discuss tubes vs. solid state,and the differences.
    jinxy245 likes this.
  5. ericx85
    Has anyone been able to compare the Pheasantwood vs the stock version?
  6. Hansotek
    Yup. C3G / Centron 6336B / Raytheon 5CU4 is super nice. This is my other go-to roll on the Glenn. My usual Mullard ECC31 / 4x RCA 6BX7 / Cossor 45IU roll is super warm and spacious, and in spite of the warmth, works like a charm with Atty and Aeolus - makes them very dynamic and wide and the warmth feels very sonically cohesive... those drivers just seem to love that roll. Obviously, that's a killer match with more neutral stuff like Auteur and HD800 too. The C3G/6336/5CU4 combo is just a little more linear and I think the 6336s have a little lower output impedance and a little higher current, which Verite seems to like. Frequency balance is really good with this combo. You could probably also sub in one of @2359glenn 's HEXFRED rectifiers for the high current Raytheon 5CU4, as those can also drive the 6336. I believe 5AW4 rectifiers can drive them as well, but the 5CU4 sounds better than the 5AW4, IME, and they're only like $20.
    Monsterzero likes this.
  7. ProfFalkin
    Yes, for a short time I had the Silkwood with Verite pads. It was way more neutral tonally than pheasant wood w/ Universe pads. Bass was much less. Seemed treble centric. Seemed more flat FR than Auteur. You would think they were completely different headphones.

    Edit: I also am not 100% sure if those were preproduction or not, so take it with a grain of salt.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  8. koven Contributor
    I wonder how Verite may sound on the DAVE. :)
  9. jinxy245
    It sounds like it could also be different pads, aren't on set supposed to be more neutral? But yeah could also be preproduction. I don't think I've ever heard Verite called more neutral than Auteur.

    Damn I gotta hear these things.
    pure5152 likes this.
  10. Hansotek
    It sounds real nice out of the Hugo 2. I would imagine it’s even better out of the DAVE.
  11. heliosphann
    I agree with this.
  12. heliosphann
    I wrote about some tube/ss pairings in my lengthy post earlier in the thread. I think it ultimately depends on what kind of sound you're looking for. And as I said before, the Verite sounds pretty damn good on most any quality amp.

    Personally, I liked the synergy from my solid state amps as I felt it really brought forth the dynamics and finesse which makes the Verite great. At the same time, I also really enjoyed the Verite out of my OTL amp (WA2) when I rolled some tubes that helped highlight it's strengths. Dynamics were mostly retained, while adding some of that special tube mojo. There's also quite a few tube amps out there that I'm sure can bring the best out of the Verite. I hear good things about @2359glenn amps and the @ampsandsound amps are stellar. As I'm writing this, I just rolled some different tubes into my Liquid Platinum and they immediately improved the pairing with the Verite. So much this might be my favorite match for the Verite. We'll see. A good tube-hybrid could potentially be a perfect pairing with the Verite, but I've only got the LP and the MCTH to test.
    jinxy245 likes this.
  13. chowmein83

    ZMF Verité Impressions Part 1 – General

    I was fortunate enough to somehow convince Zach into letting me check out the Verité and Aeolus. So even though much has been said about the two headphones already, here are my impressions on the Verité specifically. You can see my impressions on the Aeolus here.

    General Background
    A little background on me, since I’ve been more of a lurker than an active poster on this forum. I prefer a mostly neutral signature, with a slight warmth. I also highly value soundstage size and imaging/layering. The ZMF Auteur teak is what I mostly listen to now – hopefully that gives you a better idea of what I like. Other headphones that I own or have owned can be found in my profile page.

    I don’t have the best setup for driving the Verité, but the following is what I used for my impressions:

    DAC: NuForce UDH-100 (pretty unknown, basically it’s a USB-only version of the DAC-80, which uses an AKM AK4390 chip)

    Amp: Cavalli Liquid Carbon v1, Massdrop CTH, Cavalli/Monoprice Liquid Platinum with stock tubes

    Overall Sound Signature
    Overall, I would say that the Verité is a warmer-leaning headphone. It’s not extremely warm, because the mids are definitely very present and lively, even with the strong bass. However, to me it seems that the lower treble is somewhat relaxed, so that there is less sense of “airiness” compared to the likes of the Auteur, the HE1000, etc. However, this does not mean that there is no “airiness” to the Verité – it’s just what I think most people would call “smoother” in the treble than the aforementioned two headphones.

    A simple text chart, ranking the 3 ZMF open headphones from darkest to brightest in my opinion, would be this:

    Verité with Universe pads < Verité with Verité pads < Aeolus with Universe pads < Aeolus with Verité pads < Auteur with Eikon pads < Auteur with Auteur pads

    However, despite my rankings above I wouldn’t say that the Verité is extremely dark compared to the Auteur. I’ll go into more detail for my rankings in the comparisons section next post.

    Pad Comparison – Universe vs. Verité
    Universe pads: have more of a bass and mids emphasis, and less of a treble emphasis. This makes it sound less “airy” and darker than the Verité pads. Also, I thought the soundstage width was about the same between the two pads, but the universe pads had a very slightly deeper stage which gave it a bit more of a 3D feeling. Also, since these are the thicker pads, they were more comfortable to me than the Verité pads.

    Verité pads: they’re more neutral than the Universe pads, mainly because I think the mids are less present so that the treble relatively comes up a bit. While I did say that the Universe pads were more comfortable, the Verité pads are still pretty good in this area and definitely aren’t lacking.

    Noteworthy aspects of the Verité
    Speed and detail – On the Verité, this is easily better than that of Auteur and Aeolus (which are no slouches themselves). I think the Verité is actually competitive with good planars in this aspect.

    Very good imaging and layering – I think the Verité is a noticeable step up in precision of its soundstage compared to Auteur and Aeolus. The Verité has a very coherent and very 3D soundstage.

    Sounds very open – I think it sounds more open than Auteur, though I don’t think the soundstage is actually that much larger than the Auteur’s.

    Bass quality – is excellent. It’s extremely well controlled, while being very punchy and extended at the same time.

    Dynamics - are outstanding. The Verité effortlessly nails macro and micro-dynamics without ever sounding out of control. It really made me realize how dynamic some of my music really was. Also, the crazy good dynamics actually makes the Verité good for classical music, despite its darker nature. Imagine the great dynamics of like the TH-X00, but with even more precision, control, and even more dynamic range on the Verité. This is absolutely one of the highlights of the ZMF flagship.

    Scaling and sensitivity to source – The Verité definitely can scale. It sounded much better on the CTH than on the built-in headphone amp of my UDH-100 with better dynamics, less mushy bass, more 3D soundstage, better detail retrieval, etc. The Verité also clearly illustrated the tonality differences between CTH and Liquid Carbon (more neutral for the former, warmer for the latter).

    In an earlier version of my impressions, I wrote that the Verité was on the darker side of things. I don’t think that as much anymore, mainly due to now having listened to it on the Liquid Platinum. With the Liquid Platinum, the Verité seemed to get a lot more balanced. The Verité no longer seemed to be as mids-focused as when plugged into the Liquid Carbon, and there was now more “airiness” without losing its smooth character or overall warmer nature. Bass quality/tightness and soundstage precision also seemed to improve slightly, but by a lesser amount. Overall, I would say that going from the Liquid Carbon to the Liquid Platinum on the Verité was quite transformative, and is a testament to how sensitive the Verité can be to your chain.

    Warmer tone – While the Verité does not have my most preferred tonality (even with my preferred setup with the Verité pads), I am still extremely impressed by the gobs of detail and the driver's speed, as well as just music sounding really clean in general. As to how warm it is, off of the top of my head I think I would place it around where the HD650 is, though take this with a grain of salt since I haven’t listened to the HD650 recently.

    Overall, I can’t help but be really impressed by the Verité. It is a warm headphone no matter which pads are used, but it’s not excessively so, and it’s still really a great headphone to listen to due to its world-class technical abilities.

    The Verité is a great flagship to really consider if you want a warmer and smoother presentation, and think many of the current flagships from other brands are too hot or sharp. Or if you want a top-of-the-line headphone that brings something different to the table than what many other companies are doing.

    Part 2 of my Verité impressions continues below, where I do multiple comparisons.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
    nishan99, JTon, phthora and 12 others like this.
  14. chowmein83
    ZMF Verité Impressions Part 2 – Comparisons

    At least for me, the most useful headphone impressions are the ones in which different models are being compared. So, after a lot of pad swapping, here are my comparisons between the Verité some of the headphones I had access to.

    Verité vs. Auteur, with both pads
    Verité (which either set of pads) is darker than Auteur no matter which pads are used on the Auteur, mainly because the treble is noticeably lower than on the latter headphone. In other words, the Verité definitely feels less “airy” than the Auteur.

    I’m going to use an analogy to give an idea of the FR difference between the Verité and Auteur - but please take this with a grain of salt though, as I have not heard the Sennheiser headphones recently. One could perhaps say that the Verité is to the Auteur like the HD650 is to the HD600. No, the ZMF headphones don’t sound exactly like the Sennheisers, but right now I can’t think of another analogy off of the top of my head.

    Speed, detail, and refinement are a noticeable step up compared to the Auteur. Bass seems to be slightly flatter than in the Auteur (which I think has a very slight mid-bass hump), with better texture and quality. Speed of bass seems to be about the same to me.

    Dynamics are definitely better than in Auteur, which was already pretty decent itself. Again, I have to note how amazing the Verité is when it comes to this aspect.

    The Verité’s soundstage width is about the same compared to the Auteur. Verité seems to have a slightly deeper stage though. However, I felt that the imaging and layering were noticeably more precise on the Verité, which has a more coherent and 3D soundstage. I believe a part of this has to do with the blacker background on the Verité.

    Verité vs. Aeolus, with both pads
    Verité (with either set of pads) is darker in a sense than Aeolus with either pads despite the latter's bass boost, mainly because the lower treble is lower on Verité. Speed, detail, and refinement are noticeably up compared to Aeolus. Also, the Verité sounds a lot more open than the Aeolus.

    Verité has a noticeably deeper soundstage then Aeolus, but the width is only slightly more than that of the Aeolus with Verité pads. The Verité seems to have a somewhat wider soundstage than the Aeolus with Universe pads, though I think that might be somewhat due to the bigger bass emphasis on those pads.

    More sub-bass extension on the Verité, for an overall flatter bass. However, Verité slams (at least nearly) as hard as the Aeolus, with better speed and texture.

    Verité vs. HE1000 v1 and v2
    Verité frequency response-wise sounds kind of like the HE1000 v1 but with less treble. Verité just sounds darker than the HE1000 v2.

    Soundstage is definitely wider on either HE1000, and slightly deeper on either HE1000. However, the HE1000 has more "separation" of sounds because images are smaller, at least to me. Imaging-wise, the placement of instruments is perhaps slightly less precise on Verité, if not on par with HE1000 v1 and v2.

    Verité is the only dynamic I've heard, besides Utopia, where I feel that its speed is not really less than that of HE1000. That’s saying a lot to what I think about the Verité’s speed.

    Finally, I actually like bass on Verité better - extends as deep as the HE1000 and overall is kind of like that headphone's bass, but with more slam and slightly more control. The distortion measurements (at least the ones I’ve seen) don’t seem to match up with my impressions, but hey that’s how I hear it.

    Hopefully these impressions will be of use to somebody. All-in-all, the Verité is a damn fine headphone worthy of being the ZMF flagship.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
    Gibson59, nishan99, JTon and 11 others like this.
  15. yates7592
    Is it easy to swap out the pads?
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