Verum 1 Amp Pairing Help

Hey guys, I got my Verum 1 a few days ago. I plugged it into my Schiit Magni 3/Modi 3 stack and…disappointment. I was so hyped for this since watching Z’s review and hearing so much good feedback from the community. I didn’t hear the big punchy bass that everyone was talking about (which was odd since the drivers are F-ing huge). My other headphones are SHP 9500s and Monolith M560. Both of those sound awesome to me on the Schiit stack, but for some reason the Verums sound kinda flat/dull. The bass is definitely present but it doesn’t even hit as hard as the M560. The drivers themselves feel very slow which is odd as well. Not out of time slow but just slightly behind the beat (drummer term) like the drivers don’t have any urgency to them. I plugged them into the Syba Sonic $40 cheapo amp and the sound signature is much better to my ears but definitely not where I want it. Can someone please educate me on amp pairing in general and help me find an amp that pairs well with these please? I’ve looked at the JDS Atom and Liquid Spark as well. I don’t completely care as much about numbers and graphs I just want to experience the sound that I keep hearing about. Before anyone asks I burned them in for about 4 hours or so and the sound got better but not close to the hype. If a lot more is needed in anyone’s experience please lemme know. Thanks in advance for any and all help!

(I wasn’t sure if I should put this under headphones or amps so feel free to move this post if needed)

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The atom is probably your best bet. I’ve had good results using the THX 789 and the FiiO BTR-3.

What’s the sound signature of the atom compared with the 789?

I think both are very transparent, no coloration.

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Interesting. I’m super tempted by the portable monotlith AAA portable. It’s got a dac, it has cross play and it’s affordable. Is there a reason to wait for the Massdrop one over the portable one?

Jesus Lord, if one owner says they don’t slam with the Magni 3, which puts 3 W into 16 ohms, while another owner says they work fine from the BTR3… the unit-to-unit variation must be off the charts. o_O

I think the variation is because of the low impedance the headphones have (6 ohm and 8 ohm with the supplied cable). Some amps don’t like that low impedance.

Well, there’s electrical science we can use to unravel that mystery. The amps that don’t “like” low-ohm loads are amps with low maximum current and/or high output impedance. The Magni 3 has excellent output impedance (under 0.3 ohms) and excellent current output, going up in power as the headphone impedance goes down (like I quoted, 3 W into 16 ohms, probably something not too far from that into 8 ohms). It should drive the V1 like a champ.

Only explanation I can find is if I look back at DMS’ review of the Magni 3 he said it sounded compressed. Meaning everything hooked up to it should sound compressed (at least compared to better amps), not just the V1.

It’s not the same to produce 3W in a sine wave to do it with music, and it’s not the same 16ohms than 8 ohms. My guess is that the amp might not be fast enough to produce enough power at low impedances. High impedance headphones require less current, so the amp just needs to provide a big enough voltage swing with little current. In the case of the Verum 1, the amp needs to produce way more current with small voltage. Amps are a complex thing that cannot be reduced to power at certain impedance.

Honestly, after burning the V1’s in they do sound great on my magni 3 (mostly). I was expecting a massive impact because of the driver size, but they are much more neutral than I was expecting. Z made it sound like the bass was boosted a bit, but to my ears they are pretty neutral. They do give a much more 3d sound presentation (on well recorded tracks). On some tracks on the Akira OST sounds went 360 degrees around my head. Macro detail is fantastic, not the best micro detail ever, but sound insanely good in the price bracket. Atleast on the Magni 3 these headphones do not like modern music at all. If I put on well recorded stuff like sound tracks these things come alive. I dont have a better amp to try with and I don’t want to buy another $100 amp right now. If I’m gonna upgrade I’m going up a tier. The V1s on the magni 3 feel a hair slow at times. My m560s feel faster. I test this on Michael Jackson’s Speed Demon. It isnt that its “slow” it just doesnt feel like the beat is pushing forward, more like it’s just relaxing in the pocket of the beat, which is not what the magni 3 is known for. This thing does change frequencies like butter though. This is incredibly awesome compared to my m560. Since the driver is so much smaller it stops on a dime which is great for detail but sometimes doesn’t let the music flow. I think I just expected the headphones to sound a lot more low end heavy than they are. After adjusting over a few weeks I really really like them. I don’t have audeze LCD2c’s to compare to, but from what I’ve heard these scale great with better gear so they should grow with your collection, not bottleneck your future gear. I hope this clears up my first impression of them. I will say though these things DO need some power. Running off a phone is no way near good enough for me on my S8+ you can hear the lower frequencies but, atleast for me, you dont feel them. And my portable DAP has no chance of driving the massive magnets. I actually have to turn the knob twice as far on the magni 3 over my m560. These headphones DO not sound great quiet to me though, they like some volume for sure. My next planar will most likely be the sendyaivas if the vokyl erupts coming dont cut it. Cheers guys!

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I have the schiit stack 2U, I find it to be a little dry next to my other amps.
For the size of the drivers I find the Verums to be more towards “neutral” than i would have thought,
I did a pad swap with ZMF universal microfiber and it brought them to life, not to mention stupid levels of comfort. really not a fan of the stock pads.
I have the Monoprice THX 788 and she’s a beaut. Basically all I use since i got them.

So in case anyone wants to solve this with numbers (like if they’re trying to get a just-powerful-enough amp without going too crazy), the math looks like this:

  • Garuspik said they can do 117 dB/V, which comes out as approx. 96 dB/mW
  • in order to have it produce the loudest peaks in your music without damaging your hearing, the amp has to be able to push them to 120 dB, meaning +24 dB over their 1 mW output
  • 24 dB = 8 * 3 dB = 8 doublings of the power = 256 mW
  • so the amp you need has to be capable of putting enough (peak) current into an 8-ohm load to end up dissipating 256 mW of (peak) power over it (not just any amp that can do 256 mW will be enough, it has to be able to do this with low-ohm loads, i.e. at high current).

The only problem with this approach is that typical amp specs - even those presented professionally, i.e. at multiple impedances - don’t go down as far as 8 ohms, at best you will see a 16-ohm figure and usually no lower than 30. So at that point all you can do is guesstimate based on the 16-ohm power or the 32-ohm power. It’s not a bulletproof method, but at least we have a ballpark number to be looking out for.

Thank you for doing the math for those who take the more number cruncher approach. I am not a math guy for sure, do you by any chance have any recommendations off the top of your head?

What do the ZMF microfiber pads do for the sound (soundstage, bass extension/impact, mids, highs etc)? I actually quite like the pads accept they get a bit warm on my ears. I have the same impression (as my above novel stated) with the bass not being as punchy as I expected for the ginormous sized drivers.

The biggest change is comfort, that’s top of the list for me.
my big ass ears fully sit inside the pads and of the drivers.
Sound wise, sound stage is bigger, tunes “breathe” more. Sonics are def relaxed on verums and others
I’ve tried them on (predictable though with that type of fabric)

Still waiting for my Verums, can’t really make recommendations yet. I was just tweaking my expectations for whether the Oppo HA-2 will be able to drive them properly, and with the above math it definitely should: since I expect to be listening typically at 60 dB_SPL RMS with peaks of mayybe 90 dB, this only requires about 0.25 mW. And since the HA-2 can put 277 mW into 25 ohms in high-gain, I guesstimate it’s perfectly capable of doing 0.25 mW into 8 ohms. :slight_smile: Even if I’m occasionally going to listen at 70/100 dB, that still only takes a little over 2 mW, which again doesn’t seem like a lot to ask from the HA-2.

In fact, with these same numbers it comes out that the FiiO BTR3 should also handle them just fine, seeing as it’s capable of putting 33 mW into 16 ohms. :slight_smile: By the numbers it’s looking like there’s no exaggeration in Garuspik’s claim that you can drive them with a potato (not quoting him, but it’s the same idea).

I gotcha, I will try high again when I get home and check that out on the magni 3. I still dont think that it’s the best pairing for these headphones, but hopefully that will help speed the bass response up. I just wanted to keep distortion to a mininum…however you obviously know more about how amps work a lot more than me. When you get yours hopefully you can come back and let me know how it turns out for you!

I did want to ask, since the bass on these is already not monstrously punchy do those pads make the bass incredibly anemic?

No not anemic at all, just not cannons either
I think there full and balanced.
But it’s hard to compare without knowing your tastes better, I’ve never heard the m560.
I had the 9500’s but verum’s in another league.
I also threw the Shure 1540 alcantara pads on the Verum’s those def bring more bass, a tad
bloaty though.

I gotcha. The v1’s are most definitely a step up from the 9500s, I only use them for gaming until the vokyl erupts come in the mail. The M560s are neutral. They have less bass impact than the 9500s. They are much more detailed than the 9500s though. To my ears they have more micro detail than the v1’s. I dont need my head to rattle from bass but I do like to FEEL the bass not just hear it if that makes sense. My tastes very a lot, I like a lot of different music but I like my music to sound realistic, not overly emphasized.