Verum Audio - Exciting high performance DIY planar

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by cskippy, May 24, 2018.

  1. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,621
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tempe, Arizona
    Kickstarter page:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/verumaudio/verum-audiophile-planar-magnetic-headphones

    I reached out to @Garuspik when I came across his DIY planar build on Head-Fi. I was really curious to see if someone could pull off good sound for a reasonable price, since the ToTL price wars was making me depressed. A couple weeks later I had a sample in my hands. My work schedule has been hectic and I just haven't had time to do a full review but I did want to share full measurements and answer questions to the best of my abilities.

    Quick impressions on sound and build:
    • Wow, dynamics are very good
    • That bass extends REALLY low
    • Very speaker like presentation
    • There is a slight haze to the presentation
    • Imaging is good but not excellent
    • Distortion might be causing the haze in the mid range
    • The swivel adjustment is uses a similar screw and bolt system that is very user friendly.
    • The headband adjustment is done using the left and right markers which thread in to the headband.
    • The magnetic pad attachment is very simple yet effective. More companies should use a system like this.
    • Size is large but construction is robust. I don't think they would break if they fell off a desk.
    The sound quality of these headphones is pretty remarkable. As you can see by the very even frequency response, they have no glaring peaks or dips which would color the sound. They seem to sit pretty much dead neutral as changing sources and amps could shift them from dark to bright.

    Tonally they are very agreeable. I find the slight 1kHz push accentuates reverb and creates more of a room feel like listening to speakers. Presentation of the sound is typical planar. For me, it's not as natural as a dynamic headphone but the excellent FR make up for this.

    Channel matching:
    [​IMG]
    Channel matching is fantastic! Really amazing results here.

    Right channel Impulse Response:
    [​IMG]
    Very clean impulse response with no errant peaks rising up in the decay.

    Right Channel Distortion:
    [​IMG]
    Distortion is very good except for the spikes in the midrange. I've communicated with @Garuspik and he already has plans to address the distortion.

    Right Channel CSD
    [​IMG]
    CSD is clean but has some "cup verb" with the trail at 1.25kHz. This varies by headphone but is common in many planars such as the HE-500 and some Audeze headphones.

    Left Channel Impulse Response:
    [​IMG]
    Left Channel Distortion:
    [​IMG]

    Left Channel CSD:
    [​IMG]


    The stock pads seal so well it actually creates a vacuum with my left ear. It's a little disorienting but you get used to it. I think the Audeze LCD2C did this as well.

    Here is a comparison to LCD2C:
    [​IMG]

    Ultimate resolution and detail does seem a little behind ~$800 and up headphones but I think at the price point @Garuspik is targeting these will be an easy recommendation.

    Some notes on build quality:
    Large headphones. Some might not like the size but for a full size desktop headphone it shouldn't be a problem.

    Here is a comparison to HE-500:
    [​IMG]

    I think @Garuspik nailed what he was trying to achieve. Congrats man!
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    Headroll, Halaudio, Jerry and 36 others like this.
  2. Garuspik

    Garuspik Tovarisch Ukrainian Terminator MOT - Verum

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ukraine
    Thanks @cskippy ! Communication with you is very useful in understanding issues and ways to improve and pleasant in common sense ;)
    If I can improve without significant rise in price - I'll do that. And I know how to to lower THD. Those two narrow spikes on THD graph are caused by reflections from magnets and they will be eliminated.

    About imaging and speaker like presentation... you know I'm a speaker guy ;) And when I tuned those headphones I've used my speaker as a reference. Might not be a popular point of view here, I understand. Virtual width of audio imaging as we all know depends greatly on damping. I'm even thinking of making a possibility for a user to change damping without disassembling headphones. Similar to the way I've attached earpads via magnets. But in such a case someone can damage a membrane when removing a damping. Need to think about it...

    Also @cskippy can you tell the community whether it was difficult task to drive those headphones and a few words about overall comfort?
    Thanks again!
     
    Jerry, Lyer25, Riotvan and 6 others like this.
  3. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,621
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tempe, Arizona
    Speakers are always a good reference. :headbang:

    They were harder to drive than Utopia but easier to drive than HE-6....

    I wish I spent some time finding out exactly how hard they were to drive but it seemed they were around the same level as HE-500 on Aficionado and DSHA-1. Relative levels will vary depending on amplifiers of course but I didn't have any problems at all driving them so that should be put to rest.

    Comfort was pretty good for me. They felt a little stiff compared to something like HD800 but they are larger and heavier so that's to be given. I had plenty of play with the headband to fit my head and I could adjust the top band to widen the cups a touch to put less clamp on my head. It's a very nifty design!

    Pad rolling with the magnetic pads will allow an even greater opportunity for comfort as some people prefer velour or microfiber pads.
     
  4. Garuspik

    Garuspik Tovarisch Ukrainian Terminator MOT - Verum

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ukraine
    Pleasant to hear this! By the way, final product will be ~70 grams lighter. I can't achieve this right now but If I make moulds for plastic parts that will be done.
     
    9suns and Thad E Ginathom like this.
  5. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    943
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Rapallo, Italy
    Nice FR!

    And no audeze cliff, big plus. On some records that 5-6k thrust fault is noticeable and annoying.

    @cskippy how's the stage proportions?
     
  6. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,621
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tempe, Arizona
    Sound stage was very wide but in your head like most planar presentation. Depth was okay but placement was a little muddy. These are nitpicks and compared to my highly modified HE-500 so not a fair fight.

    Overall, there was more width than depth so there is an eliptical presentation to the sound.
     
  7. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich Rando

    Joined:
    May 8, 2018
    Likes Received:
    15
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    USA
    Nice post those graphs are really helpful thank you. I'm not familiar with the "resolution" and "detail" that's normal for eight hundred dollar headphones, but if you feel that these for the price do well then I am all the more excited to hear them

    the distortion peaks I think I can understand a little more, so I am happy to hear that you plan to address them and ever curious to see what happens when you correct this. Maybe the next person to post some graphs will have a pair with the improvements
     
  8. Garuspik

    Garuspik Tovarisch Ukrainian Terminator MOT - Verum

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ukraine
    I guess only @cskippy will be so detailed in measurements. Others will post (someday! :mad:) their subjective opinions. At least I think so.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  9. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,080
    Dislikes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    I'd be happy to measure them on my rig if sent a pair to test.
     
  10. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,890
    Dislikes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    London, UK
    The FR looks really interesting, these definitely pique my interest. It'd be fun to hear what they do with string harmonics, as well as seeing how they cope with sibilant recordings.
     
  11. Garuspik

    Garuspik Tovarisch Ukrainian Terminator MOT - Verum

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ukraine
    No problem. But what's new on measurements you want to see? ;) It'll be the same but without those peaks on THD and in general a bit lower THD in other region. I'm making measurements by myself but don't want to show them cause I can be blamed that I manipulate graphs as a manufacturer.
    If you want to hear how they sound - that's another pair of shoes.

    @cskippy noted 3 main principles I've tried to achieve:

    That's a bit unusual construction in comparison with Audeze or Hifiman. Main feature is huge square of membrane and oversized magnet structure. It's like precise bookshelf speakers with excellent microdynamics vs big floorstanders with 15'' woofers. They can have some issues in micro-details ( and I'm working on minimizing this effect) but even if you''re in the another room you always know what's playing - small or big speakers. Even if they have equal bass extension. I'm sure you understand about what I'm talking about.
    One of the benefits of big membrane and powerful magnets is transient attack. Look at impulse response and compare it to other headphones.
     
  12. Garuspik

    Garuspik Tovarisch Ukrainian Terminator MOT - Verum

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ukraine
    One of the thing I've paid additional attention to is sibilants. I think you agree that on most good speakers they are less audible in comparison with good and resolving headphones?
    Speaker-like presentation means speaker-like playing of sibilants ;)
     
    raducutzu and Kattefjaes like this.
  13. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,080
    Dislikes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    More data points to triangulate how the headphone will truly perform on average, from person to person. Some people might hear it more like how @cskippy measured it, and some might hear it more like how I measure it. Different rigs, different results. The more data, the better, so long as each source has a history of results and analysis for both internal and external comparison.

    Of course, the main goal will be listening. Obviously I want to hear them for myself! Subjective impressions always come first, then measurements. Again, the more data from reliable, consistent, reputable sources, the better.
     
  14. Garuspik

    Garuspik Tovarisch Ukrainian Terminator MOT - Verum

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ukraine
    @Hands sure, why not? I've received today more parts for future samples and will make 5-6 pieces within 2-3 weeks. Return shipping to Ukraine is for your cost. If you're interested - pm me your shipping address.
     
  15. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,017
    Dislikes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    CO
    @Hands if you ship or hand deliver the Verum up to Boulder for @zerodeefex and myself to hear, we can split the shipping costs back to Ukraine?
     
    Jinxy245 likes this.
  16. Garuspik

    Garuspik Tovarisch Ukrainian Terminator MOT - Verum

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ukraine
    I'll explain why I've mentioned shipping costs. It will be insignificant amount of money. Neither for me, nor for anyone from this forum. But! From my experience if someone is ready to pay a few bucks to test-drive something then it's something more than a light curiosity.
     
    Thad E Ginathom likes this.
  17. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,080
    Dislikes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    @Garuspik Sure, return shipment shouldn't be an issue. I'll PM you my address.

    If I hand deliver it, you'll be shipping it yourself and paying for it. :) Maybe we'll finally have that micro meet I've been dreaming of?
     
  18. Garuspik

    Garuspik Tovarisch Ukrainian Terminator MOT - Verum

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ukraine
    Got @Hands address and will try to assemble and send new sample next week.
     
    Thad E Ginathom likes this.
  19. spoony

    spoony Spooky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    190
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Why not setup a loaner program in SBAF typical fashion?, return and insurance costs will be covered by those involved.
     
  20. Garuspik

    Garuspik Tovarisch Ukrainian Terminator MOT - Verum

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ukraine
    I'm not familiar with that program and this is a very cheap thing to make things such complex. Also I don't want headphones to travel lengthwise and crosswise the world for years cause it won't bring production closer. I want several people who has authority to listen to them and tell their opinions to potential customers. And they'll decide whether to invest or not in this product.
    Fortunately, here on SBAF several of such people are interested and willing to help. I really appreciate that.
     

Share This Page