Am going to dribble impressions bit by bit rather than do a huge post. First - LCD-2s - what a wonderful headphone!
It was funny seeing people do what I thought of as "the LCD-2 face" - eyes closed or half close, slightly hunched, curled finger over lips - all around the room.
Full bodied, rich, speaker-like authority on the bass. Rolled off treble? Sure, but that was just a part of its character and would make it a great companion in a small collection with a couple of other phones of different characters.
Soundstage, as is the case with pretty much every ortho I've heard, is just not part of the nature of those phones. You can widen the walls of sound either side of your ears but you no one has yet seemed to manage real 3D-like imaging or depth yet.
They were also very insistent on themselves. I think it was Mr Q who commented that while the beyer T1 has a great transparency and allows the music to dictate the sound, the LCD-2 give you their own unstoppable sound which permeates every track.
Of all the LCD2 set ups I heard Mr Q's was the best for me, and was the only balanced one I tried in the room, I've never been certain about whether balanced cables were real or hype, and the jury is still not in as it could just have been the roc he had was the best for the LCD-2 - but out of the balanced out of that amp the LCD-2 (to my ear) were cleaner, more precise in the separation and generally more articulate.
ETA: They also look a lot classier in the flesh than they do in photographs. Up close and personal they reek of high quality build construction, although I maintain that the open cell foam on the headband is a mistake. If I got a pair I would commission a leather worker to make a snap-on leather covering for the whole headband, or at least replace the foam with a velour or leather coated pad.
Agree with all your comments. IMHO the LCD-2's stole the show. I ended up loving them so much that I purchased them from Audeze rep and walked away with brand new pair. Much better than waiting for your turn in the pre-order queue . I still don't have a balanced cable to unleash their full potential but I'm still blown away. As many have said before, they sound like supercharged HD650's. By the way, you were listening to Mr.Q's NFB-10ES and not the Roc (the early batches of NFB-10 used Roc's chasis)
The surprise of the event was the HE-500 prototype. I preferred their sound and signature compared to HE-5/HE-6's. Again IMHO I felt they overall superior in their presentation and much more balanced than the other two.
HD800's didn't do much for me. The build quality is awesome and they were deceptively light. Comfort levels were also spectacular but for some reason the presentation was more in your face. Don't know if it was the setup or the music but I just felt a bit overwhelmed by its presentation.
HE-6 were again not my cup of tea. Some may call it detailed and balanced, others treble-focussed but there is no denying that it has a love it-hate it treble presentation. I was quite surprised by it bass. Almost felt like it went slightly deeper than the LCD-2's.
Stax Omega MK2 were my dream headphones even before ever got a chance to listen to one and listening to it in the meet just reinforced my belief. Nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing comes close to them. The words "life like" are often thrown around when describing headphones but its true meaning dawned upon me when I listened to them. No words can describe what appears to be their unique sound quality/signature. Superb treble, brilliant mid range and surprisingly strong bass representation (I've read about how they are bass light and it was nothing like that)
Thanks to the organisers (jr41, nuwidol and EddieE), sponsors and to everyone who were kind enough to let me try out their gear.
Edited by hardtarget666 - 4/3/11 at 5:13am