I thought I’d write some more about what I mean with the ability to scale. One part is the VO’s technical abilities, and it’s VERY capable. An example of another phone that I also feel have great technical abilities are the Focal Utopia. (Of course there are others but these are the two I’ve had the opportunity to try/own). As your chain improves you make greater usage of those abilities, but…
On problem that occurs when improving the chain is that it often also changes the ”musical qualities”, like tonality and timbre. When before instruments were easy to differentiate or sounded ”correct” all of the sudden things sound different or wrong. And a search for a new and better headphone thus begins
What makes the VO so interesting IMHO is that you can swap pads to better match the sound of your improved chain. When you can combine different pads with excellent technical capabilites and EQ then you have a headphone that scales very well. No need to swap phones (expensive!) when you only need to swap pads (much less expensive!).
@Resolve just joined the verite club. Enjoying it immensely through my wooaudio wa2. Wondering did you post you eq settings for the verite in this forum? Trying to find it yet i cant seem to find it. It would be so helpful if you could post your eq setting for the pads you are using since your eq are always good to my ear. Thank you. This is my EQ setting for now in equaliser APO
Preamp: -3 dB
Filter: ON LS Fc 90 Hz Gain 3 dB
Filter: ON PK Fc 1800 Hz Gain 2 dB Q 2.5
Filter: ON PK Fc 4000 Hz Gain 3.0 dB Q 2.5
Filter: ON PK Fc 6200 Hz Gain -1.5 dB Q 5
Filter: ON PK Fc 9000 Hz Gain 3 dB Q 2
If someones interested I’ve been trying out different headphones in recent months. Some good, some not so good and one almost perfect.
My conclusion: ZMF VO isn’t perfect but very charming and a joy to live with. A keeper.
Just a quick note on ”one almost perfect”. For me, the Hifiman Susvara is a revelation. Nothing I’ve heard comes close to the way it combines technical capability with musical abillity, nothing. The first headphone I ever heard without feeling the need to adjust or change anything with eq…
It’s just too expensive (for me), and therefore almost perfect.
Not to mention the quest to find the perfect system for it. As good as the Susvara is (I’ve heard one as well and it’s jaw dropping), the quest never ends!
Speaking of which, I’m quite happy with my VO and Kinki Studios THR-1 Highly recommended for all those VO owners out there.
Always important to enjoy what you have. Nice amp
Interesting (I think?) anecdote to share… I have owned Verite Open for almost 2 years now. I love it, but over time, and with increased exposure to other TOTL headphones I have come to find that I prefer VO with a bit of EQ. I have generally found its stock tuning a bit on the wonky side - it rises where I don’t expect it to rise and dips where I really don’t expect it to dip. I even take some pride in having dialied in a very specific eq that corrects some of the weirdness in the FR without completely changing the character of the headphone.
Then, about 3 months ago I was temporarily without any of my headphones or hifi gear for a period of about 2 months (moving difficulties in NYC…long story. Don’t worry, everything worked out beautifully in the end). Then, upon first listen to my system after a fairly extended time away from it I found something remarkable: I really appreciate Verite’s unique coloration and PREFER it to the more normalized EQ I had spent so long perfecting. Why was I trying to make Verite sound like anything other than what it is to begin with? Is that “better”?
I know, I was shocked too.
I think the moral of the story is that your brain tells you a story, whether that story is based on what it is hearing or seeing or reading, and once that story takes hold in your mind it’s hard to move away from it. But with a fresh perspective you may find that the story changes. I am going to spend some time focusing on appreciating everything for what it is instead of trying to correct for what it isn’t.
YMMV. I just thought it was worth sharing my experience.
Wonderful story and lesson. I think “Embracing the Wonky” could be the title of my autobiography!
What pads are you using by the way? I’m new to the VO’s sound still, and switching back and forth between a few.
I like the Universe fenestrated lambskin. I’ve tried the Verite lambskin (too sharp), BE2 hybrid (too neutral?), and Universe suede (too blunted). IMO Universe lamb emphasizes what is best about VO - its warm coloration.
This really struck a chord with me. Maybe we should view a headphone as a work of art and enjoy it as the ”artist” intended?
So right now I’m enjoying my VO without any eq
Don’t get me wrong, I see the value in EQ, it’s just that after coming back to VO with a fresh perspective after some time away from all of my hifi gear I think I realized that I hadn’t been using EQ because I didn’t like the sound of VO, I had been using it to normalize to what my brain was telling me was the “right” (more neutral) sound. But why was I trying to make VO sound more neutral when its warm coloration is what makes it so unique to begin with?
I may return to EQ, but for now I’m really enjoying that Verite secret sauce just as the chef intended.
Now that I’m running without eq it seems to improve imaging and soundstage. Am I going insane?
So I’ll answer my own question, no I’m not going insane
It seems that soundstage height (and depth) was wrecked by my midrange eq settings. A little is good, alot may move the headphone closer to ”ideal” but you may ruin the soundstage doing it. Lesson learned.
I too have found that EQ can effect the perceived soundstage height and width - with most all headphones I’ve tried it with actually. You’re not going insane.
Exactly! Sometimes I now wonder how much of a headphones perceived (in)abilities regarding soundstage are down to tuning w/o eq. Maybe Harman is part of the problem?
Hard to say for sure. I have noticed that some headphones with a perceived large soundstage - like the HD 800S, Verite and various HiFiMan headphones - don’t start their midrange rise until after 1000 Hz, sometimes closer to 2000 Hz. If you boost that range to achieve Harman Target specifications on the Verite, it could be reducing the soundstage size.
So, just when I had resolved that I reach for Utopia 99% of the time and maybe, just maybe, I should consider selling Verite, I queue up an album that just didn’t hit right on Utopia. So I switched to Verite, and then all was right with the world. Just when you think you’re out, that ZMF warmth GETS YA BACK IN.
I can’t believe someone hasn’t sent an offer on these. Not my listing but they are gorgeous and I’m sure the seller would take 1,800ish for it which is a deal. There are some great stuff popping up on the used market and sitting there for awhile.
The days of getting close to full price on your verites have come and gone now. Which is great for deal hunters!!
Now I’ll I need is some patience for a few years for a Atrium for under $2k fingers crossed. Probably not until a couple years past and the next new hyped up model drops. Patience is indeed a wonderful virtue!