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  1. #1
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    How do Focal Stellias compare to closed back ZMF Verite phones?

    It would be nice to hear from owners of both phones. But I know that would be a long shot. So I'd still appreciate hearing from owners of either. I saw a Youtube video comparison of both phones. Both phones are closed back. The reviewer favored the ZMF Verite closed phones.

    However, he didn't listen to any of the genres I listen to. I listen to big band jazz, small combo jazz, bop, swing and bluegrass. My dealer, Mike Bovaird, sent me a loaner set of (brand new) Focal Clear Mg phones to listen to while I wait for my Focal Stellias to arrive. The Clear Mg phones sound luscious. Just superb. Hope the Stellias sound as good.

    So, how do the ZMF Verite Closed Backs and Focal Stellias compare? I might eventually pick up a set of open back phones. But for now I need the closed phones.
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

    DAC/Streamer: MSB Discrete Dual Power Supply.

    Server: Roon Nucleus with lifetime subscription.

    Speakers: Harbeth Super HL 5+ 40th Anniversary
    Model.

    Headphones/Amp: Focal Stellia phones, NAIM Uniti Atom Headphone Edition headphone amp/music player/server/streamer.

    Cables: AudioQuest Rocket 88 speaker cables,
    Mackenzie interconnects.

    Speaker Stands: HiFi Man.

  2. #2
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    Re: How do Focal Stellias compare to closed back ZMF Verite phones?

    I have never heard the ZMF, but I agree with you about the Focal. I really like my Clear MG. I totally believe you will be thrill with your new phones when they arrive.

    If/when you look at open back headsets I highly recommend you consider the Abyss, although they are on the pricier side then are simply amazing in my view.
    Hattor; NAD; MBL; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; T+A; Woo; Astell&Kern; Abyss; Focal; KEF; Rythmik; Oppo; Magnum Dynalab

  3. #3
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    Re: How do Focal Stellias compare to closed back ZMF Verite phones?

    Randy, when I first started researching headphones Abyss was at the top of my list. At that time I decided my current needs would be better served with closed phones. But my next phones will be open back to complement my closed phones and Abyss is at the top of the list, along with???

    My only concern with my current choice for closed phones is the Stellias have been around for awhile now and I'm afraid they'll be replaced by something new within a few months. OTOH, that may not happen for another year or two. I know new things are inevitable but I'd like to have the Stellias for at least a couple years before they become "obsolete" and are replaced by the "latest and greatest."
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

    DAC/Streamer: MSB Discrete Dual Power Supply.

    Server: Roon Nucleus with lifetime subscription.

    Speakers: Harbeth Super HL 5+ 40th Anniversary
    Model.

    Headphones/Amp: Focal Stellia phones, NAIM Uniti Atom Headphone Edition headphone amp/music player/server/streamer.

    Cables: AudioQuest Rocket 88 speaker cables,
    Mackenzie interconnects.

    Speaker Stands: HiFi Man.

  4. #4
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    Re: How do Focal Stellias compare to closed back ZMF Verite phones?

    The latest greatest is not always better. I had a pair of the Focal Clear a few years ago. They were excellent. The new Focal Clear MG are only slightly better... nothing to write home about. I don't believe that the Stellia have been out that long, however knowing a new model is going to eventually come out should not be a detriment. New models are always going to be coming out, but it is at least not how it used to be. I remember selling Yamaha years ago. I always thought it was really good gear, but they did tend to come out with new models virtually every year or two. It really got to a point of nutsey .
    Hattor; NAD; MBL; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; T+A; Woo; Astell&Kern; Abyss; Focal; KEF; Rythmik; Oppo; Magnum Dynalab

  5. #5

    Re: How do Focal Stellias compare to closed back ZMF Verite phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassphile View Post
    It would be nice to hear from owners of both phones. But I know that would be a long shot. So I'd still appreciate hearing from owners of either. I saw a Youtube video comparison of both phones. Both phones are closed back. The reviewer favored the ZMF Verite closed phones.

    However, he didn't listen to any of the genres I listen to. I listen to big band jazz, small combo jazz, bop, swing and bluegrass. My dealer, Mike Bovaird, sent me a loaner set of (brand new) Focal Clear Mg phones to listen to while I wait for my Focal Stellias to arrive. The Clear Mg phones sound luscious. Just superb. Hope the Stellias sound as good.

    So, how do the ZMF Verite Closed Backs and Focal Stellias compare? I might eventually pick up a set of open back phones. But for now I need the closed phones.
    I have not auditioned the Verite but do own ZMF Auteur and have spent significant time with a pair of Focal Utopia driving both with solid state, Class A solid state as well as various tubes. The Verite differs from some of the other ZMF with the fact that it uses Beryllium vapor deposit PEN drivers for more neutrality, accuracy, speed and dynamics. The Focal is also designed with linearity and accuracy in mind, hence the pure Beryllium dome drivers. Is that the kind of sonic signature you are looking for?

    I am enjoying the Auteur biocellulose driver myself, they have a warmer and more romantic presentation at the slight expense of linearity and accuracy. In the long run, I can listen to my ZMF for hours on end and never get fatigued. Could not say the same about Utopia and Clear with their ultra accurate Beryllium driver. Sure, one can blame the recording quality and music and that would be true but it is what it is and I do not like to pick and choose music based on my drivers/headphones but instead use headphones with a more forgiving sonic signature.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either Focal or ZMF. Both are highly regarded and respected manufacturers.
    Serge

  6. #6
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    Re: How do Focal Stellias compare to closed back ZMF Verite phones?

    maybe the specs and what equipment you may pair with these headphones can help you decided
    ZMF closed Verite weight 500gms/Impedance 300ohm,, Focal Stellia 435gms. 35 ohm impedance. Also check head-fi.org for reviews and classifieds ads reveal how many are happy or selling these and how they retain their value should you move on.
    Nick
    Nick



    Main system :TAD CR1 speakers, Viola Labs Symphony amp,Pass XP-20 preamp., MSB Discrete DAC with twin power supplies and V2 Renderer module, Gigafoil V4 inline ethernet filter with uptone LPS-1 power supply with Ghent audio Gotham 2.1mm to 2.5mm cable and AG diamond ethernet cable, Sonicorbitor Roon Audiophile 6 TB network server-player , MG Audio Design Planus III jumpers & speaker cables, Zitron Cobra power cords, Shunyata Hydra AV, and acoustic zen absolute copper IC,. Room treatment ASC tower traps, Vicoustic absorber premium cinema wall and ceiling panels, and MSR acoustic trifusser side wall panel

  7. #7
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    Re: How do Focal Stellias compare to closed back ZMF Verite phones?

    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Bryston CD, BHA-1, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, OPPO 203, 105.

  8. #8
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    Re: How do Focal Stellias compare to closed back ZMF Verite phones?

    Not sure I would call it a comparison. It read more like a review/advertisement of ZMF by a long time ZMF fan/customer. He threw in a quick comparison at the end, but again seemed to be just to justify his choice of ZMF to me. Maybe I read it wrong, but being that I do not have a pony in the race, so to speak, I think I was objective.
    Hattor; NAD; MBL; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; T+A; Woo; Astell&Kern; Abyss; Focal; KEF; Rythmik; Oppo; Magnum Dynalab

  9. #9
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    Re: How do Focal Stellias compare to closed back ZMF Verite phones?

    I think you read it right. Randy. Read more like a commercial for ZMF to me. I read another review by a guy who owned both a set of ZMF Verite closed and a pair of Stellias. He said at first he spent most of his time with the ZMF Verite closed. But the Stellias slowly won him over in the end and he now uses the Stellias much more vs the ZMFs.
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

    DAC/Streamer: MSB Discrete Dual Power Supply.

    Server: Roon Nucleus with lifetime subscription.

    Speakers: Harbeth Super HL 5+ 40th Anniversary
    Model.

    Headphones/Amp: Focal Stellia phones, NAIM Uniti Atom Headphone Edition headphone amp/music player/server/streamer.

    Cables: AudioQuest Rocket 88 speaker cables,
    Mackenzie interconnects.

    Speaker Stands: HiFi Man.

  10. #10
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    Re: How do Focal Stellias compare to closed back ZMF Verite phones?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassphile View Post
    I think you read it right. Randy. Read more like a commercial for ZMF to me. I read another review by a guy who owned both a set of ZMF Verite closed and a pair of Stellias. He said at first he spent most of his time with the ZMF Verite closed. But the Stellias slowly won him over in the end and he now uses the Stellias much more vs the ZMFs.
    That's why I have the Stellias and the HD820's. Both do something a little different and both benefit from the extra power of the Balanced connections of my BHA-1. I've only had the Stellias about a month but so far their decent. One articles like that you have to learn to read between the BS and do a little more research. I recommend over all suggestions but anyone, DEMO since we all hear differently and our setups and comfort levels are different.
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Bryston CD, BHA-1, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, OPPO 203, 105.

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How do Focal Stellias compare to closed back ZMF Verite phones?

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