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L3000 - Way Overrated? - Page 8

post #106 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
that's definitely a different perspective. your description of the L3000 sounds closer to how one may view the HD650.
From what I recall, the HD650 and L3000 are tonally somewhat similar, with the L3000 having a little more treble, of course better quality bass, more coherent soundstage and superior imaging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
it really sounds like the L3000 is not your cup of tea. it seems like you prefer a more forward and somewhat bright punchy sound, which is a grado, and i suppose with a better soundstage is the AD2000.

so what in your opinion - music or qualities - does the L3000 excel at, if anything.
Yeah, it would seem that the L3000 isn't really 100% the cup of tea for my main music genre Metal, but it nevertheless has its place for other genres.
To answer your question, I think it excels at Jazz, acoustic and bass focused music like for example Drum and Bass (Concord Dawn and High Contrast just to name a few). I think it's pretty good with any sort of music that has a sense of air and space. There also a few lighter rock recordings I like with the L3000, but those are mostly well-mastered and bass light recordings.
I've come a long way from being a basshead (EQing my DT911 to be an extremely bass heavy can) to now preferring bass lighter and crisper sound. I've been a former HD650 owner but preferred the AD2000 in the end.
A few months ago I've begun to develop some sort of fatigue when listening to bassy cans. I can't really say why that is, but somehow the L3000 pronounces the effect and it makes me either turn down the volume massively or stop listening to music because I feel somehow uneasy or nauseus. There are days when it doesn't happen and I don't get annoyed by the bass, and there's those days when I grab some bass lighter cans instead.
So yes, I prefer quick and punchy bass over (even marginally) boomy and slow bass.
The fact that I don't really like the L3000 most of the time for metal is mostly down to my preference and to my recent intolerance for bassy sound.
Leaving my personal preference aside, I think that Metal doesn't really need the amount of bass the L3000 produces to sound good, the AD2000 just sounds more "right" to me. It renders kickdrums with a nigh perfect balance of weight and attack. Guitars sound nicely fuzzy and pronounced, but you neither have the Grado-in-your-brain-effect nor the K701-detached-boring-yawn-effect. It's just a great crossing of multiple headphones' qualitites to my ears.
I know there's a quite few people who dislike the AD2000 for its somewhat spikey upper midrange coloration, but personally it doesn't bother me the slightest. Quite on the contrary.
post #107 of 160
It is quite interesting, though all opinions are valid, to note the source being used to drive the L3000. This makes a large difference. Certainly a computer soundcard compared to a stand-alone CDP can account for a lot. (I have heard the L3000 from both types). These higher-end phones do not shine without a higher-end source.

In my system, the L3000 is far beyond the HD650, not even close. It does everything better. Yes, on some recordings the bass is a bit heavy, but tubes can rectify this. It is definitely not a refined phone like the R10 so is better suited for rock, jazz, etc. Vocals can also be quite nice.

Just my thoughts.
post #108 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by big-ban View Post
I cannot really agree on the "king of rock" part. I've been kind of mislead by the almost unanimous opinion here at head-fi stating that there's hardly any better phone for rock, but my very personal experience with them has proven quite the contrary.
agree to disagree, sorry you feel misled..preferences are different. The L3000 is the king of rock, period. Maybe try different source and amp, or try another phone perhaps.

I am sure you would not have a hard time selling if you decide to unload
post #109 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by blubliss View Post
It is quite interesting, though all opinions are valid, to note the source being used to drive the L3000. This makes a large difference. Certainly a computer soundcard compared to a stand-alone CDP can account for a lot. (I have heard the L3000 from both types). These higher-end phones do not shine without a higher-end source.

In my system, the L3000 is far beyond the HD650, not even close. It does everything better. Yes, on some recordings the bass is a bit heavy, but tubes can rectify this. It is definitely not a refined phone like the R10 so is better suited for rock, jazz, etc. Vocals can also be quite nice.

Just my thoughts.
I've never compared them directly but from memory I would agree that the L3000 is a much better HD650.
I also agree the source is important and I've owned much worse sound cards in my past (SB Live Value! and the not-so-bad Terratec Aureon 5.1 Sky). I currently use the Terratec X24FW as my source which has a high quality DAC built-in. I also own the Corda Aria and since it has a source input switch, it's quite easy to compare the Phase's DAC to the Aria's DAC. After careful sound level matching and playing the same song on two different Winamps (ASIO) at the same time, using the two sources each, I could find exactly 0.00% difference between the two DACs. The day I did that test made me realize that the differences between DACs above a certain quality level are highly exaggerated or can be attributed to psychoacoustic effects.
I won't claim that there can't possibly be any better DAC out there, but I just don't think that there's much room for improvement left, even spending a few thousand dollars.
So the source is most certainly not my problem with the L3000, neither is the amp. There might well be amps that would slightly tone down the bass on the L3000, but I don't think that any amp would change its tonality completely to fit my tastes perfectly.
I'm not saying the L3000 is bad, has flabby bass, compressed soundstage or isn't really resolving. It a very very fine headphone, technically one of the best I've heard, but its tonality doesn't seem to suit me with my main genres.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiofiler
agree to disagree, sorry you feel misled..preferences are different.
No need to feel sorry, I don't regret anything as I said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiofiler
The L3000 is the king of rock, period.
Says who? Just you or are you speaking for the majority of head-fiers? Is this a democratic vote? :P Have you, or have all the head-fiers who unanimously state this, heard the AD2000 or most of the higher end Grados?
I think it's hard to make that generalization because you never know where people are coming from in terms of experience or preference. To me, the king of rock/metal (so far) is the AD2000. Period. But that doesn't need to be true for others, just my preference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiofiler
Maybe try different source
I would, if there was a chance to do so without buying various sources. But it would have to withstand some critical A/B'ing. That said, I'm pretty convinced it wouldn't be worth it
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiofiler
and amp
I'd have to try those supposed better amps first before buying blind, but I'm pretty certain the improvement also wouldn't be big enough to justify spending the extra.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiofiler
or try another phone perhaps.
Been there, done that. But just about the only phones left that could be for me are the PS-1, HP1000, GS-1000, maybe some underappreciated low-end/mid-fi phones or even rare vintage phones.
Actually, I'm pretty happy with the phones I have, there's not really a need to upgrade. Just some curiosity left.
post #110 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by big-ban View Post

Says who? Just you or are you speaking for the majority of head-fiers? Is this a democratic vote? :P Have you, or have all the head-fiers who unanimously state this, heard the AD2000 or most of the higher end Grados?
I think it's hard to make that generalization because you never know where people are coming from in terms of experience or preference. To me, the king of rock/metal (so far) is the AD2000. Period. But that doesn't need to be true for others, just my preference.

I'd have to try those supposed better amps first before buying blind, but I'm pretty certain the improvement also wouldn't be big enough to justify spending the extra.

Been there, done that. But just about the only phones left that could be for me are the PS-1, HP1000, GS-1000, maybe some underappreciated low-end/mid-fi phones or even rare vintage phones.
Actually, I'm pretty happy with the phones I have, there's not really a need to upgrade. Just some curiosity left.
Yeah, I have heard and owned every phone you mentioned in multiple rigs. "says who?" - says me Just my opinion, again I also emphasized preferences coming in to play, so I respect your opinion as anyone elses. Yeah, I think the L3000 are the best for rock, many would agree, on headfi and elsewhere. Just my findings. I have owned 2 GS1000's 2 Black Dragon GS', 2 PS-1's, and 3 different HP1000's as well as 2 AD2000's so am quite familiar with those too. No worries, to each his/her own. For the record, I have heard pretty much all the great ones, and owned them too. These are just my opinions as far as what I like -what not. The only regrets I have for selling is the K1000 (bought it brand new), r10 (bought brand new, 2 different pairs), Sony 010-mdr1 Qualia (bought brand new, blue), and the he90 (bought it brand new too)

cheers,
post #111 of 160
Yeah, I think source and amp can really change the L3000. My previous setup was slower and the bass didn't seem as defined. I noticed on the faster recordings, I remembered the PS-1 was being better. With the current setup, it seems just as quick as the PS-1 without just a little less impact, which is actually a good thing. The PS-1 sounded too tight on some music.

I feel they are a huge improvement over the hd650. The drums have much more weight to them and the electric guitars sound real. I heard a balanced hd600 in the same setup with my single ended L3000 and the L3000 still sounded much better. Balanced seemed to improve the speed of the hd600 though.

I think the advantage of the PS-1 might be that its easier to power them and make them sound good. Their disadvantage is their comfort and lack of texture. I can see if you're just into hard rock, they could be the better choice though. I personally wouldn't recommend the HP1000 or GS1000 for that type of music. I've liked the HP1000 before, but at the last meet, I found I like all the other headphones better (RS-1, hd600, and L3000) with what we were listening to. The HP1000 just seemed a little boring. Most people seem to like them though, so I could be the exception.
post #112 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiofiler View Post
Yeah, I have heard and owned every phone you mentioned in multiple rigs. "says who?" - says me Just my opinion, again I also emphasized preferences coming in to play, so I respect your opinion as anyone elses. Yeah, I think the L3000 are the best for rock, many would agree, on headfi and elsewhere. Just my findings. I have owned 2 GS1000's 2 Black Dragon GS', 2 PS-1's, and 3 different HP1000's as well as 2 AD2000's so am quite familiar with those too. No worries, to each his/her own. For the record, I have heard pretty much all the great ones, and owned them too. These are just my opinions as far as what I like -what not. The only regrets I have for selling is the K1000 (bought it brand new), r10 (bought brand new, 2 different pairs), Sony 010-mdr1 Qualia (bought brand new, blue), and the he90 (bought it brand new too)
cheers,
Okay, fair enough I have to admit, I haven't heard the Qualia and the HE90, but I doubt I'd like them better overall. I also liked the Omega II and while I could appreciate its technical abilities (and advantages), it wasn't really a must-have coming from my ATs. Also, I'm not so much into the multiple-thousand-dollar-setups, seems a little over the top in the price/performance ratio. The L3000 was a big leap forward in terms of expenses, but I think I had to take that step to see just how much more is possible with high end headphones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamoneagain View Post
Yeah, I think source and amp can really change the L3000. My previous setup was slower and the bass didn't seem as defined. I noticed on the faster recordings, I remembered the PS-1 was being better. With the current setup, it seems just as quick as the PS-1 without just a little less impact, which is actually a good thing. The PS-1 sounded too tight on some music.
That greatly depends on your previous setup I agree that the source can change a headphone, so did my previous soundcard Terrate Aureon 5.1 Sky. It had some kind of upper midrange emphasis which made my AD2000 sound overly bright and harsh. That tonal imbalance was totally alleviated with my X24FW (or any other $200+ DAC I've heard for that matter).

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamoneagain View Post
I feel they are a huge improvement over the hd650. The drums have much more weight to them and the electric guitars sound real. I heard a balanced hd600 in the same setup with my single ended L3000 and the L3000 still sounded much better. Balanced seemed to improve the speed of the hd600 though.
I'm extremely sceptical when it comes to cables, but I've yet to hear a balanced setup. Part of the problem is that you can hardly compare a balanced recable objectively, because once it's done, you can't just switch back and forth (except for the Senns which have detachable cables).
So of course one would always assume - after taking on the hassle of a recable - that the new version must sound better. I'd like to know just how much of these impressions would still hold true if more people did A/B blind tests with proper level matching and tried to be unbiased.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamoneagain View Post
I think the advantage of the PS-1 might be that its easier to power them and make them sound good. Their disadvantage is their comfort and lack of texture. I can see if you're just into hard rock, they could be the better choice though. I personally wouldn't recommend the HP1000 or GS1000 for that type of music. I've liked the HP1000 before, but at the last meet, I found I like all the other headphones better (RS-1, hd600, and L3000) with what we were listening to. The HP1000 just seemed a little boring. Most people seem to like them though, so I could be the exception.
Okay, thanks for the info. Well, you know, my opinion is that the L3000 isn't particularly hard to power either. It doesn't change much going from my HA20 to the Aria or the simple headphone out of the X24FW. The only thing that changes might be a few db more or less in the bass department, the soundstage remains more or less the same. But this is hardly noticable and I have not verified this with a blind test, so it might well just be preconception.
You know, I'm not someone who's out to look for nuances and readily spends a few grands on gaining those last few nuances. For me, an investment (a significant one) is only worth it if it greatly improves my enjoyment.
The thing is, I do not find enjoyment in getting 1% more soundstage width or 0.5% more detail. If I really decide to spend $500 on a DAC or Amp, it better be close to 20 or 30% improvement, or it just isn't worth it for me.
I think that my current setup sounds fantastic already and I highly doubt there's that much improvement left by means of upgrading DACs/Amps. So basically I think I'll limit my remaining journey finding another headphone I might like.
post #113 of 160
As far as a recable, we did try the hd580 & hd600 both balanced and unbalanced. Some didn't hear too much difference by I enjoyed the balanced better since it seemed more dynamic. The source wasn't balanced, so I don't know what the result of a fully balanced setup would sound like.

I listened to the the Qualia and the HE90 at the international meet using an album (Grinderman) that had noisy electric guitars. I thought both failed pretty bad with this test. They just couldn't get that fuzzy guitar sound right. Seemed way too polite.

The PS-1 and L3000 were only ones I thought sounded great with this album. There was a few other that got the guitars right but seemed too light in the bass for my taste. The next runner up would have been the RS-1. When I last heard the RS-1 against the L3000, I was amazed at how much better the L3000 sounded.

I don't think the L3000 is hard to power to sound good but to get it to have that quick punchy sound is the problem. If the bass isn't controlled, it could also make it sound too think and take away from the highs. Anyway, maybe the L3000 is not for you. Everyone has different tastes.
post #114 of 160
Iamonegain,

Quote:
think the advantage of the PS-1 might be that its easier to power them and make them sound good. Their disadvantage is their comfort and lack of texture. I can see if you're just into hard rock, they could be the better choice though.
I agree with the way you describe the PS-1 here. I also want to add that the bass on the PS-1 can be a bit much and the texture and controlled of the bass is not as good as wha the L3000 has to offer.


Big-ban,

Quote:
Okay, thanks for the info. Well, you know, my opinion is that the L3000 isn't particularly hard to power either. It doesn't change much going from my HA20 to the Aria or the simple headphone out of the X24FW. The only thing that changes might be a few db more or less in the bass department, the soundstage remains more or less the same. But this is hardly noticable and I have not verified this with a blind test, so it might well just be preconception.
You know, I'm not someone who's out to look for nuances and readily spends a few grands on gaining those last few nuances. For me, an investment (a significant one) is only worth it if it greatly improves my enjoyment.
The thing is, I do not find enjoyment in getting 1% more soundstage width or 0.5% more detail. If I really decide to spend $500 on a DAC or Amp, it better be close to 20 or 30% improvement, or it just isn't worth it for me.
I think that my current setup sounds fantastic already and I highly doubt there's that much improvement left by means of upgrading DACs/Amps. So basically I think I'll limit my remaining journey finding another headphone I might like.
You will get more than 20 to 30% of improvement on the L3000 if you use a much better source, and amp for the L3000. Nothing against the Corda Aria, but it is far from being the last word in source and amplification for the L3000. I had the Aria awhile back and thought it was a good sounding DAC/Amp but it can't be compared to something like the DHA3000 or Benchmark DAC1 + MPX3 SE, heck I even prefer the sound of my L3000 + Maxed PPA + Toshiba 9200 to it by a good bit. In fact, spend $500 on a Pico and see what the L3000 can do. I've been pretty impress by the Pico lately but then again.....it still has a good way to go to match the DHA3000.
post #115 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by big-ban View Post
Okay, fair enough I have to admit, I haven't heard the Qualia and the HE90, but I doubt I'd like them better overall. I also liked the Omega II and while I could appreciate its technical abilities (and advantages), it wasn't really a must-have coming from my ATs. Also, I'm not so much into the multiple-thousand-dollar-setups, seems a little over the top in the price/performance ratio. The L3000 was a big leap forward in terms of expenses, but I think I had to take that step to see just how much more is possible with high end headphones.
I actually loved the OII and may one day again have one, perhaps with a KGBH se..also worthy of mention is the 4070 and other older Stax ear speakers too. I like the Omega as well, but just as with many of the Stax phones, amplification is pivotal with this model as well. The HE90 is a superior phone in my experience, and although colored in the MR, this is for the better as it too offers the most slam and dynamic range I have heard on a headphone. I would like to hear again one day the HE90 side by side with the Qualia and a new ES2 to compare detail retrieval. The HE90 I liked a bit better with the ES1 VS the HEV90, but for dynamics the L3000 is a very close contender in terms of impact/slam. I think the build quality of AT phones are great, and the L3000's is world class in this respect. Too with the L3000, amp and source really scales the performance up.
post #116 of 160
The L3000 is certainly the king of rock in my book. A quick overview of the possible candidates: PS1 - slightly too bassy and forward. Ed9 - significantly too bassy, somewhat odd midrange. HE90 - too polite, romantic, and diffuse. SR007 - leans too far to the analytical side. 4070 - ditto. Qualia - a bit too brutally revealing and demanding of recordings. R10 - ditto, and lacking sufficient bass volume. K1000 - ditto, and that bass roll-off to boot.

The L3000 strikes a nice balance between the "excitement at all costs" crowd and the "track the recording precisely, or be damned" crowed. The former are just too over the top in their colorations for me to tolerate. The latter simply aren't as suited to having fun listening to rock and metal. Not to say I haven't enjoyed doing so on even an EXTREMELY analytical phone, like the 4070, but the L3000 is just more fun. The Qualia also somewhat strikes a balance between being fun and analytical, yet is just too tough on too many recordings to be a real rock king (unless perhaps hooked up to the ultimate limp noodle of tube amps).

I'm not sure that I'd want to "improve" the L3000 in areas I find it lacking, because that could cause it to loose the synergy it displays with the music in question. I'd much rather just add an SR007 or 4070, and appreciate each for what they are, than "fix" the L3000's "flaws," comparatively speaking.
post #117 of 160
King of Rock?

RS1 (with reversed bowls) + LisaIIIXP/LLP (bass boost at max, ok that's cheating but so what?). Seriously (I've owned L3000/PS1 before)

See my impressions on page 9 of this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/can...35/index9.html

(ducks and runs)
post #118 of 160
I would agree that the L3k is a great rock/metal can. I can't say for sure if it is 'the' rock can since I have not heard the PS-1 or the Ed. 9 out of those mentioned previously. My main source is an Adcom GDA-700 dac with a Zapfilter 2 analog stage and the amp is a Single Power Extreme Platinum. In addition, I don't feel that they have much in common with the HD-650. IMHO, the O2 is also a great rock/metal can with an ES-1. I don't find them too analytical with my setup.

Happy Listening!
post #119 of 160
Is it overrated : YES! I couldn't stand the L3000, sounded like crap compared to the HD600 / HD650 I had with me. Bass sounded muddied and completely off, overall it was like everything was coated in slimy syrup.

I tried them with my maxed PPAv2, definitely tried them off the Pico (can you say underpowered!), PPAS and a Millet MAX.

Sure, lots of people like them, but at the FairFax meet where I tried them, I saw almost as many people who said they didn't sound too good.
post #120 of 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
The L3000 is certainly the king of rock in my book. A quick overview of the possible candidates: PS1 - slightly too bassy and forward. Ed9 - significantly too bassy, somewhat odd midrange. HE90 - too polite, romantic, and diffuse. SR007 - leans too far to the analytical side. 4070 - ditto. Qualia - a bit too brutally revealing and demanding of recordings. R10 - ditto, and lacking sufficient bass volume. K1000 - ditto, and that bass roll-off to boot.

The L3000 strikes a nice balance between the "excitement at all costs" crowd and the "track the recording precisely, or be damned" crowed. The former are just too over the top in their colorations for me to tolerate. The latter simply aren't as suited to having fun listening to rock and metal. Not to say I haven't enjoyed doing so on even an EXTREMELY analytical phone, like the 4070, but the L3000 is just more fun. The Qualia also somewhat strikes a balance between being fun and analytical, yet is just too tough on too many recordings to be a real rock king (unless perhaps hooked up to the ultimate limp noodle of tube amps).

I'm not sure that I'd want to "improve" the L3000 in areas I find it lacking, because that could cause it to loose the synergy it displays with the music in question. I'd much rather just add an SR007 or 4070, and appreciate each for what they are, than "fix" the L3000's "flaws," comparatively speaking.
I agree with this completely, except for the Ed. 9 which I haven't heard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenAngel View Post
Is it overrated : YES! I couldn't stand the L3000, sounded like crap compared to the HD600 / HD650 I had with me. Bass sounded muddied and completely off, overall it was like everything was coated in slimy syrup.
Not my experience at all. The L3000's bass is the best quality and quantity I've heard with a headphone, better than the HD600 or HD650.
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