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L3000 - Way Overrated?

post #1 of 160
Thread Starter 
since the start of the year, about 20 L3000s, if not a few more, have been sold in the FS forum. that is roughly 2 per month. for such a rare headphone, this seems a bit excessive. i am starting to think that the people who acquire this headphone eventually conclude that when compared to headphones readily available, the L3000s are either only as good as or marginally better than them - which makes their current price tag of $2000+ vastly overpriced and hence the reason for the unusual high number of FS ads. another thing i noticed is it seems that more than a small handful of people who acquired the L3000 sold it within 4-6 months, which tells me that they probably saw the purchase as - to put it bluntly - a mistake.

anyone think this is way off base?
post #2 of 160
I think they are overrated based on what I heard when listening to them in person

Though, it's no joke the bass is speakerlike, and increases as the volume goes up.
post #3 of 160
Shrug, the headphone is worth whatever people are willing to pay. I sold mine because I need the cash to close another deal and between it/w5000s/hd650s/Qualias (Other headphones I owned at the time). Qualias are a level up on the L3000s by my tastes... hd650s are so good for the money that it is folly to sell them especially when balanced... w5000s well it was between w5000s and the L3000s for a closed can at work and I didn't feel altogether comfortable using the L3000s at work especially when I couldn't source them to the level they deserve so it was the L3000 to go. Besides they brought in nearly 4x the money selling the w5000s would have brought. Which was the kind of money I needed to make the deal happen.
post #4 of 160
Anyone that sells something obviously wishes that they didn't have it or would rather have cash for it, and the L3000 sales are no different. I think many of the people that have a couple thousand dollars or more to buy a headhphone to try it out long term may well have the cash flexibility to do so, and they probably don't loose much in doing so as the price has been pretty stable. Headphones are a very personal thing, so I wouldn't draw too many conclusions about the sales. For the price, you should really like it and not everyone will as people have different tastes. Personally, I think the L3000 is the best headphone in its price range, and I would only sell mine if I was really desperate for the money. Any headphone at this cost will be hard pressed to qualify as a good value. I don't like the Qualias at all, but I think that its because of a poor fit for my head.
post #5 of 160
There is no substitute for L3000, probably only Edition 9 or PS-1 come close. Its bass and musicality is incredible and it well worth of long term collection IMO.
post #6 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
since the start of the year, about 20 L3000s, if not a few more, have been sold in the FS forum. that is roughly 2 per month. for such a rare headphone, this seems a bit excessive. i am starting to think that the people who acquire this headphone eventually conclude that when compared to headphones readily available, the L3000s are either only as good as or marginally better than them - which makes their current price tag of $2000+ vastly overpriced and hence the reason for the unusual high number of FS ads. another thing i noticed is it seems that more than a small handful of people who acquired the L3000 sold it within 4-6 months, which tells me that they probably saw the purchase as - to put it bluntly - a mistake.

anyone think this is way off base?
This is kind of a strange thing to start a thread with. Have you listened to L3000 and didn't think it was worth it?

For me personally, there are very few more dynamic cans left on my "Want-to-own" list, and L3000 happens to be on that list, whereas many others aren't, i.e. Qualias, R10, etc. Whether it's worth the going price is a whole another matter as usual and subject to one's preferences.
post #7 of 160
Thread Starter 
i've heard the L3000 a few times and liked it. i have not had any long auditions with it. but i have always been very interested in this headphone and have watched and read threads about it very closely for at least the past 6-8 months and probably more. and it seems to me that for such a prized headphone it has an unusual amount of turnover. there has to be a reason why. that reason i'm starting to think is general disappointment.
post #8 of 160
I could also see someone considering the L3000 overrated or overpriced, depending on the synergy with their system and/or music preferences. There are many headphones with a larger, airier soundstage, so if one places a lot of importance on that quality, listens to a lot of music which emphasizes it, or has a system lacking in it, they would likely not be too happy with the L3000. Likewise, if the had an overly warm, thick sounding system, the L3000 might not get along too well.

Of course such arguments are true for any high-end headphones, as none perform flawlessly in any system or with any music. They all have weaknesses, or at least valleys relative to their peaks.
post #9 of 160
I think they're priced about right, and I say that based on having owned many upper level headphones (and still owning most of them). In fact, when you consider the wonderful fit and finish on top of the excellent sonics, they might even be a relative bargain (as compared to the Qualia, R10, HE90 and the like).

Like others have said, people buy and sell headphones for all sorts of reasons. To each is own in terms of sonic tastes and preferences, but it even goes beyond that when you're talking about the more high priced items. A lot of people need to sell them to fund other things, not always replacement audio purchases.

I haven't noticed the rush of L3000 sales that you're referring to but I suspect it's not that many (at least I wouldn't think it was 20 this year alone). It would be interesting to do a search in the FS subforum to see how prevalent the L3000 sales have actaully been.

But that's sort of besides the point really. Even when we see a rash of sales of something like the L3000 or PS1 or Omega II for a 6 month period, it may well be followed with a completely dead 6 month period where it's really hard to find an item like this in the used market. Thus, I think people here tend to make too much out these mini and micro trends they're observing.
post #10 of 160
For my use they're perfect and I highly doubt I'll sell them even with an expensive speaker purchase on the way.

The same could be said about the HP-1000 being overhyped with all the recent sales. I did sell my HP-1000 after being able to compare it with the L3000 for a month.

There was a time between February and summer time when it was really hard to get an L3000, and there were a few WTB threads on the first page at any given time. I put up my WTB right after that period and it still took me about 3 weeks to find one. So I think these things come and go in waves.

I can understand why people wouldn't like them. With the amp I have them with right now (solid state M^3) they sound less than what I've heard them capable of, and such I'm looking to get a very high end single ended or push pull tube amp built for them.

But everyone I know that has the right gear to back them with (source and amp) has held onto them for a really long time. And if I had to buy them again I can honestly say that I'd have no problem paying up to $3000 for a pair, because like some people mentioned there is no other headphone in that price range that does it for me like the L3000 does. I hated the Edition 9. I'm luke warm about the PS-1. The next headphone I would consider would be paying a lot more for a bass heavy R10 and trying to get an amp that really extracts the most from its lower end/slam.
post #11 of 160
I have heard, from someone who owns L3k and K340 ( fully modded ), that those two are very close in sound sig.
post #12 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackmore View Post
I have heard, from someone who owns L3k and K340 ( fully modded ), that those two are very close in sound sig.
Hey... It's leather. I must sounds better.
post #13 of 160
I recently got to spend some time witht he L3000. Bear in mind the following may be a little skewed as they are balanced with APS cables, and I am using an APS XLR --> 1/4" adaptor with my GS1. I wrote some impressions which may be useful here:

***

The L3000 is very difficult to assess for a number of reasons. Firstly, I (and others) have many preconceptions. And unlike many other headphones which get tested by a large portion of the Head-Fi community (e.g. K701, HD650, DT880), the L3000 usually gets talked about by a select few....and most of those who comment are often experienced with excellent ancilary equipment. In other words, their judgement holds more weight than the "average Joe" reviewer or review .

My impressions so far:
- where is the "monstrous" bass people talk about? Could it be the GS-1's iron grip taming it? It is certainly phenomenally tuneful, accurate, quick, and most significantly - delineated. I listened to a lot of songs which I always thought has a singular bass line, realizing that they actually have multiple "themes" of bass running through them. The bass is textured and clean.
- pretty laid back but even keeled / balacned...I was expecting it to be more up front like the AD2000 or W5000....I think they got it almost spot on - some songs can have an excess of instrument information enveloping the vocalist which should take center stage
- it sounds balanced, in that everything seems to be coherent. Detail more than ample, dynamics there when you need them, amicable soundstage that is neither compressed nor too "infinite"
- female vocals are a bit of an oddity though...many songs sound phenomenal....but some sound thin, lacking some warmth/luxury. Might be the GS-1's neutral tone but doubt it - the owner of this pair had similar experiences with his Apache and his HP-4. It is a quirk as it may be the same artists, same album, with some song glorious and others not. I have a sneaking suspicion that AT made headphones that do not work optimally with amps other than their offerings on which they have most likely hard encoded some EQ. As may have been noticed, each of their flagship offerings has a specific AT amp as well.
- very comfortable....a big issue in big-ticket cans and something I have not had much luck with in AT headphones, with my small/narrow dome. Zero fitment issues here, no squeeking, no over clamping, no falling off or swaying on head. However I feel the driver sitting right on the ear can be troublesome after a while. I think that, much like the AD2000, it would benefit greatly from the phatpad mod.
- the way the details are so well presented and the speed of the bass is giving me flashbacks of the HE60/SRM-717 combo. It is just flashbacks though....the Baby Orpheus was more magical, and sweeter. It also got the vocals spot on with virtually everything I tried.
- Overall I do think it is the best AT I have heard. It is not my favorite, but the best - its extraction and portayal of detail; the (I must say astounding) speed of its bass is great. Pretty neutral especially for an AT.

As mentioned though it is not my favorite - that remains the W11JPN I used to own. It was certainly a colored, a little euphonic and warm, perhaps even a bit rolled off. But it was the most musical AT can I have ever had the joy of listening to. Again, it was tough assessing these due to preconcetions....I keep on thinking "where is the monster bass, and what is the occassional but odd wrinkle in the mids".

A final word of that engima of a word - value. You won't find it here, period. That said, you won't find it in ANY of the upper-tier, statement headphones, and especially in limited production cans like the L3000. No doubt that exclusivity adds both a certain appeal and a big bump in asking price. $2500 worth - no; but neither (I doubt) are $6k MDR-R10's or $2k PS-1's or $1k CD3000s. IMO though it would probably outperform any of the modern $1k-$1.5k contenders, which is about what I think they are actually worth.

***
post #14 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenithon View Post
A final word of that engima of a word - value. You won't find it here, period. That said, you won't find it in ANY of the upper-tier, statement headphones, and especially in limited production cans like the L3000. No doubt that exclusivity adds both a certain appeal and a big bump in asking price. $2500 worth - no; but neither (I doubt) are $6k MDR-R10's or $2k PS-1's or $1k CD3000s. IMO though it would probably outperform any of the modern $1k-$1.5k contenders, which is about what I think they are actually worth.
We're in collector's territory.
post #15 of 160
For an out of production headphone the L3k isn't a bad deal. I personally think it's the best rock headphone around. Granted, it isn't what you would call neutral, but I can see how it is worth $2000 to someone who likes the sound.
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