Disruptive Forces - Liberators & Destroyers of Worlds

ARGH! So there really is no clear decision/choice. Thanks Darthpool!


@PapaEmeritus, @MartinTransporter,

The Elegia gets most of my head time, just plain fact, I use it at work so I have the most opportunity to use it there. Depending on how much I want to transport around the Verite C, will impact the sale of my Elegia…but honestly probably not… the aesthetics, sound quality and low power requirements, really make it a keeper.

I think the only thing that would have me move it along is the purchase of the Stellia, as that is an obvious upgrade across the board for the Elegia, but it has a premium price tag and build that I would feel bad throwing around during transport or travel. Where as the Elegia isn’t so bad in that regard.


Exactly my thoughts on the Elegia. It’s a fantastic closed back headphone for an office environment and not too expensive that you don’t mind transporting it around. It’s comfortable for long listening periods and durable that it shouldn’t be damaged from normal wear & tear. The Verite C on the other hand i would hate to drop even a foot, or ding into something by mistake. I’m also not a fan of the aesthetic of the Stellia, but I’m afraid its tonal balance is probably pretty perfect for my tastes.

The Elegia for me is a keeper.


forget the … sound… I can say this, cause the moment I have the budget for Verité C or Stellia, there is a few new Focal and ZMF generations out

the Elegia is ok to drag around + if you sit outside, for yourself it is not screaming anything to strangers
the plastic cups take a beating…

the Stellia is like a purple Elefant - may be ok for in office use for me - Me, I give a sh… on peoples opinions about me - don´t get me wrong :slight_smile:
I said it before elsewhere - this thing belongs in a Masters Home with big fat old brown leather sofas and cigars…whiskey…
I don´t get warm with the design of the Stellia

The Verité C design is what I would love - would go everywhere with it. Would even use public transport to show off


HD800S work really well for me. I place a premium on a wide and deep soundstage and sure, the phones have their faults but they are very lightweight, with the velour pads I can wear them all day with no fatigue or sweaty ears like I get with leather pads. I built my system around them and have gotten my money’s worth of musical enjoyment from them. I could live with them for a few more years no problem.

The only phones that are tempting me away are the SR1a’s. No rush to buy as I want to see if Schiit puts the Weldenheim in production. Plus it never hurts to hold off on an expensive purchase until the phones have been around for awhile to get any new production updates.


For me it depends on if you mean “could only have one headphone that had to cover as many bases as possible” or “can have other headphones, but only one of the two Vérité open/closed options”.

If it’s the former, then the Vérité Closed would likely be my choice - since I do need isolation from time to time. If it’s the latter then the Vérité (open) would be how I’d go.

The Vérité open and closed sound far more alike than they do different. The closed has a bit more tonal weight and a bit more sub-bass energy (depending on pads), which results in a slightly warmer overall sound and a bit more perceived punch, but doesn’t sound “closed” at all, and actually seems to present a more vividly dimensional, and expansive, stage.

Now, Vérité Closed vs. Stellia is going to take more listening to finalize a decision on, and may simply come down to which pads are on the Vérité - but what I can say already is that those are the two headphones in contention for my personal choice for “best closed back headphone, period”.

I posted a frequency response comparison between these two here.


Thank you @Torq I was trying to come up with a way to say this more or less but my brain no play nice. You said it way more eloquently than I would have in neanderthal :wink:

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OK! Now we’re talking. Thank you so much for your insights Torq! Per your description, you are directing me into a Verite C with my personal preferences…

This is ticking all my personal check marks I want to hear. As for your insights into the Verite vs the Stellia, I will be impatiently waiting. :slight_smile:

Thanks again!


Ok, this is based on limited listening of both the Stellia and Verite C; I think that they are both enjoyable listens…but “I” feel like they are approaching things slightly different. For me the Stellia is just at the 3/4th analytical to 1/4 fun…while the Verite C is 1/2 and 1/2 while not losing the analytical side of things. Analytical in the sense of detail, imaging etc.

In another apples to oranges type thing… seriously I was up to late listening to the Verite C so brain isn’t behaving. Anyhow, if these were chairs lol:

Stellia is a nice expensive ergonomic leather office chair with all the bells and whistles: https://www.humanscale.com/products/freedom-task-chair-headrest-configurator.cfm?configuration=F21CMR2E8C-RK---

Verite C is all the detail and comfort of a high end hand made lounger, with extreme attention to detail, that you feel like home when you sit in (I’m being super biased here sorry take with grain/s of salt lol):http://www.gamutaudio.com/the-gamut-hi-fi-lobster-chair/

Edit: I just found this “lobster chair” today… damn that is a beautiful chair…Maybe we could convince ZMF to make a ZMF listening chair…It could be named Compordach (gaelic for comfortable) :wink: I’m going to email Zach now!!! Brilliant!!! now where is my Guiness!!!


So my interpretation is this:


Vérité C

Love the analogy. :+1:t4:


It seems ZMF is the way to look at for end game cans!! My interest/curiosity grows more every time!!
They are without a doubt beautiful pieces!!


Interesting … I had the Clears for a couple of weeks and I love them, more than HD800 (before Sonarworks), they were the most musical headphones I ever had ( not many tho). Could you please post more details about the Aeolus being superior to the Clears? Aesthetically is obvious, I wanna know about sound!! Thanks!


Post I made, I believe I comment on the Clears in comparison… but this was still during break in period, but more or less stays the same. I prefer the Aeolus over the Clears in pretty much every aspect…the Clears might be more comfortable though…but minimally speaking.

Oops I meant this post:

ZMF Headphones - Official Thread - #62 by TylersEclectic

but if you go through from the above post there is a string of comments regarding the Aeolus.


I concur with DarthPool.


I’d like to try and steer the conversation back to more disruptive factors rather than why one headphone was preferable to another one … for example, where one headphone, or other piece of gear, has resulted in multiple others being put aside - or has spurred a very different direction for one or more aspects of one’s engagement in/approach to the hobby.

Not that it isn’t interesting discussion, but those sort of direction one-to-one comparisons are probably more appropriate for the relevant product threads.


And in the vein of my prior post:

The combination of the SR1a, the Vérité and, to a somewhat lesser extent, the Stellia (though it could easily have been the Vérité Closed if the timing were switched around) … was the catalyst towards affecting a complete shift in my overall thoughts and desires as they relate to the personal-audio/headphone hobby.

The arrival of the Cayin N8 was another factor, bringing desktop-level performance to a properly portable device, and giving both “tube” and solid-sate amplification as it did so.

So, the resultant disruption, is that I have lost interest in spending time with stuff that isn’t at least a potential upgrade, or useful alternative, for one of my rigs.

And the SR1a, especially, prompted a major upgrade of my primary rig, to the point where I literally have no idea how I’d make that sound better at the moment (nothing I’ve heard, or am aware of, is an improvement).

I had a lot of fun with very inexpensive gear, the performance of which (objective and subjective) has come a huge way in a short time. Much of it is genuinely excellent with no need of “for the price” qualifiers. But it’s not what I want to use to get the most enjoyable listening time I can get and, the jump in capabilities these recent arrivals have spurred, means I just want to focus my time on the “best I can get”.

The resultant upheaval here is even larger than to my headphone collection, and this is still a view limited to this year:

Again, the struck-out, red, items are ones that have gone by the wayside as a result of the changes in overall approach. The items in black are pieces that either were already in place and are, so far, not directly affected (though not necessarily “safe” yet). And the items in green are additions since all this started.

The Crack is a special piece … and will likely stick around until I start my “world tour”. The Pro iCAN, while excellent, powerful, and very flexible, probably goes once I am back from vacation.

The RME ADI-2 DAC fs and Phonitor X combination will remain, at least for now, for the purposes of a neutral, resolving, capable and powerful platform for reviewing headphones.

The bulk of my at-home listening-for-pleasure is currently via the SR1a. The remainder is split between direct output from DAVE or via the Woo WA234 MKII Mono (depending on mood and which headphone). With most of my closed-back time coming via the Cayin N8 or Hugo 2 into the Stellia (or the Eikon depending on mood).

A Vérité Closed will join or replace those closed-back cans, and possibly as a “one can for the world-tour” when the time comes … though first I have to settle on what wood/finish to have them in!

My secondary rigs is for the office and comprises the Hugo M-Scaler -> Hugo TT 2, and drives the Vérité Ziricote, the Rosson RAD-0 or the HD820. HD820 may get displaced by either Vérité Closed or Stellia, so I have just one closed back for home and one for the office.

I am contemplating putting in a “fixed” bedside rig again … right now I am using the Cayin N8 (directly) or the Hugo 2 (via my laptop) … and that’ll probably come down to being either a Matrix Element:X (once it can be configured for WiFi via iOS and they commit to on-going Roon support) or a Focal Arche (with one of my custom streamer builds feeding it).

But, otherwise, it surprises me to be able to say “I’m done.

Which is about as big a disruption as I can imagine … coming from a place where for ages there has been a constant influx of new gear …


While it hasn’t prompted me to sell anything (yet), the KZ ZS10 Pro has been mildly disruptive. It’s not anything about this model specifically, I think I can say the same for decent IEMs in general. While I haven’t found any perfect IEMs out of the box, the ZS10 pro is pretty close, and with accurate measurements available thanks to crinacle, I have a good basis on which to dial them in with EQ. I think IEMs often get a bad rap for sounding less “realistic”, “open” or “wide” than full size cans, but I’ve found that this mostly comes down to the difficulty of tuning them just right given people’s differing HRTFs. On the technicalities (distortion, damping), I would put most of the $50 IEMs I’ve heard up against any of the considerably more expensive full size open backs that I own and have heard. IEMs are also disruptive in that they’re typically much less demanding of source gear and sound as great on portable devices as on desktop systems.

There are, however, four things that prevent me from going exclusively to IEMs:

  1. My ears don’t like having stuff in them for long periods of time (Spinfit tips have been a big improvement here, but after a while I’m bothered by either pressure, itching or both).
  2. Sometimes I need less isolation so that I can hear what’s happening in my environment.
  3. I don’t love IEMs when stationary at my computer. The cables are too short and most IEMs are a bit of a hassle to insert and remove when I’m constantly being interrupted.
  4. Because of their isolation and my inability to measure them with a standard SPL meter, I have a hard time assuring myself that I’m listening at reasonable volumes. I can probably resolve this by pulling out my multimeter and doing some math, but I’ve been too lazy to do that so far.

So . . . what about IEMs?

Looking over your list, I don’t see anything that’s nice tubey amplification. While I’m happy with my Class D Wyred4Sound STI-1000, and will probably keep it a long time, I have long considered adding something to replace the old Dynaco Mark III’s that I used to have and love so much.

At times I gazed at the Antique Sound Labs Hurricaines, and now, I look at these:

Bob Latino’s M-125 inspired by Dynaco mono amps at

I could see something like this in my future.


Well, it’s not as many tubes as those in your picture, but I think my Woo WA234 MKII Mono blocks count as being fairly tubey …

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