At first I didnt like these headphones. The pads I got with the headphone was the all leather Verite pads. I did not like these at all and they prevented me from appreciating the headphone. I was very disappointed with them. They sounded much too bright and thin. I was recommend the Eikon all suede and Auteur hybrid pads.
I tried the Eikon’s suede first and this was a vast improvement to the full leather Verite pads. These seemed more suitable. Still a little bright to the point of a tiny amount of sibilance. Seems like the same amount of brightness as the Susvara. Makes sense that I favor these as I did on the Aeolus when I had it. So now with decent pads and decent sound how do these headphones sound? Good, damn good. Something about Zack’s headphones effect me. Makes me move. Makes want to dance! Maybe its the slam, maybe the dynamics, but my god it moves me. Same with the Auteur. I dont know what kind of voodoo Zack is performing on his headphones but it is potent. Surprisingly they are very similar to the Utopia. But the world it presents seems more closed in and insular, like a place you just walked into. Like youre in their room now.
The detail is high and almost on par with the Utopia. Not the Susvara. Its brightness is close to Susvara’s brightness. The Utopia has more controlled treble. There’s a slight warmth to the Verite closed. I’d say its bass is similar to the Susvara too except for the differences of planar and dynamic drivers. The Utopia has the most bass of them both.
I love the VC’s closer soundstage just like I love the closer soundstage of the Utopia. they both have a decent amount of space, but sometimes I wonder if audiophilia’s obsession with super wide soundstage is good thing. I love soundstage that brings everything close to intoxicate. All three headphones are powerful creations, and if you can manage to bring all three together a bright sublime light will surround them they will combine and create a beautiful multi-colored Sapphire called the Vertopvara. This gem can open a gateway to Nirvana (not the band). That is if you survive the meld. I’m very fortunate to own all 3 headphones. They are all unique, wonderful fantastic headphones.
I said earlier that maybe the Susvara didnt deserve to be amongst the totl headphones. I was so very wrong. Zack deserves a lot of credit for selling these for the price he does and not the typical tolt 4000$, but you can get the Utopia for 2000$ used. The Susvara for 3600$ used. The Verite closed holds it value and you can only find it for maybe 2-300$ cheaper used.
All three headphone pull off the trick of making the music sound very real and authentic. Almost like you’re there in the room with them. I think its true that the Verite may have better timbre than the Utopia. And it may beat it out in terms of realism and overall sound. If I had to choose between the 2 I think I would go with the Verite. It just sounds so good. Bass on the Utopia is very nice though. But it doesn’t compensate for the other features of the VC that beat it out.
BTW Auteur hybrid pads where similar to the Eikon’s but a little brighter. Also the Vocals seemed a little nasal. When the backup singers kicked in on Talking Heads “Nothing but flowers” seemed a little odd. But what was really odd with them was they also seemed darker at the same time. Brighter and darker? Welcome to the wonders of midrange. Yeah I really didnt like these.