Originally Posted by vcoheda
some more impressions.
the L3000 is a very good headphone. the hype surrounding them is not entirely unjustified. for rock, they possibly are the best dynamic headphone currently available. the sound on these things is just gorgeous - so smooth. of all the headphones i own (or have owned) the L3000 strikes me as being able to reproduce the music the most faithfully. the quality or timber of the sound of voices, piano, guitar, and drums just sounds right. i know ATH headphones are known for their colorations, but the L3000 is different. they sound very natural and without emphasis. another key component is that the placement of listener in relation to instruments/voices appears to be dead center (or almost). you are neither too forward (like a grado) nor too far back (like the 650). a correct tone, or a very good one, and excellent imaging is primarily, i believe, what makes the L3000 such a competent headphone. it also has a nice full sound with good body/texture and bass which gives life to all percussion instruments, from hand claps to bass drums. another thing to add is low level listening. i barely have to move the dial before everything comes in full and clearly.
as for criticisms, there are some. this L3000 is a rock headphone. it is not ideal for classical (jazz seems to fair okay though). the highs are a bit tame or subdued and soprano/violin lacks brilliance and sparkle. and in general the sound stage is just not large enough for this type of music. another thing is that although the L3000 sounds better overall than my other headphones (for rock, that is), it certainly does not blow them away. you are paying a premium for that extra 10 percent improvement (or whatever the number is). also, they are very comfortable but the fit is not as snug as i would like it. they are in no danger of falling off, but a tighter fit would be preferred.
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. I find them too bassy and laid-back for rock which leaves the midrange and particularly upper midrange a bit on the underrepresented side. Rock/Metal requires quickness, punch and aggressiveness, while the L3000 makes everything a tad too smooth, very much like the HD650. That said, I don't regret anything because I'm quite happy to have the opportunity of owning this beautiful and exclusive headphone and being able to test and compare it thoroughly.
I currently own various AT headphones (as can be seen in my sig) and will not go as far as to say I don't like the L3000, because in fact I do, but I cannot say its better than any other AT phone per say. And here, vcoheda, we agree in that it certainly doesn't blow all other cans away.
Leaving the build quality and finish aside, I'd say that soundwise it's definitely not worth much more than a W5000 (which in itself is overpriced regarding the price/performance ratio of the W1000). It just has a different flavour and a distinct dark coloration that separates if from any other AT phone I've heard. You either like it or not, it's definitely not the be-all-end-all solution for everyone.
The imaging is excellent, I agree, but my F5005 or the recently acquired W1000 aren't too far behind in terms of imaging and detailing. The W1000 of course seems
more detailed because of its brighter tonality, and for the price, I've been kind of impressed with its layering and imaging abilities. So even the lowly and "cheap" W1000 doesn't have to hide in shame next to the glory of the almighty L3000. It's just different and not necessarily and ultimately inferior.
Long story short: to date, I prefer most of my other phones for rock/metal to the L3000, especially the AD2000. Its kind of a special headphone in terms of soundstage but its tonality is just a perfect match for this genre, I even like it better than all the Grados I've heard.
It might not be the technically best headphone around, but it's just so very good in its own right that I couldn't care less about the last bit of detail or soundstage width/depth. It simply rocks
and makes my foot tap every time.