I've heard the HE-X and didn't feel it was worth the cost. I'd sooner grab another HE-6 than get the HE-X or 1000.
The Ether is... well, let's just say there are many things that I can tell you in person that I can't say on headfi about a sponsor.
LCD-3 was not an improvement over the LCD-2. I haven't heard the 4, but at those rocketing prices... Heck, I'd grab an Oppo PM-2 or 3 before another Audeze. I might consider a Sine though, out of curiosity.
Ooh active monitors are a whole 'nuther ballgame. What's your room size and intended placement? How big are you willing to go?
Yup - you gave me the HE-X and while i felt they were better than my then Anax modded HD800, it wasnt by much and it wasnt as comfortable...loss of soundstage kind of sucked too
Your HE-6 sounded great, but i had the HE-400 a few years ago and theyre a bit heavy/cumbersome...maybe a HE-560 suspension mod would be in order..but kinda scary
I wonder if Hifiman is releasing a new headphone, maybe drive the HE-1000 used prices further down..they just look so ugly imo
As for monitors, I've had ADAM F5s that i got for less than $400 for a pair...then returned it....what a dumb move. Right now i have these Kanto YU5 monitors, and theyre not that good - maybe sell then and look at something like Emotiva or even ADAM again. It'll be in the basement, one wing of it - room size is about 12x30 where my desk is on the narrow side and the other end opens up to the living room
Itll be near field - and no treatment hehe