I auditioned The X and 3(f) side by side a few weeks ago. I only spent maybe 30 minutes with each and I think that the X will be a more successful product. I get the feeling that the 3's are still the Audeze statement product: the splashy wood and lamb skin combo, the propriety sound, etc. The LCD3 just feels like a headphone that was built by them for themselves and they worried less about mass appeal. The LCD-X feels more like they understand the market and their customers and built a product for them.
Either way, both are excellent and if I did not own the HD800's, I would have left with the X's.
I think you are spot on. I also feel that LCD X is really targeted to those who don't really like the Audeze house sound from LCD2 to LCD3. Personally if I can have only 1 pair of totl headphone I would opt for LCD X.
There are quite a few people with LCD-3 + HD800. The HD800 is much more in the reference direction and the LCD-3 that deep warm smooth voicing. So for those can afford such an indulgence, the marriage of those two headphones is quite something depending on what you are listening to, or your mood. The LCD-Xs are more in the direction of an HD800, as you said, if you already have the HD800 you are less likely to choose the X over the 3 for a second pairing.
Yes! I'd rather have (and I have) LCD3 + HD800 than just having LCD X
Being part of Justin's recent LCD-X tour, I got to spend a good deal of time with it at home and compare it extensively to my LCD2.2 as well as a friends LCD3 and played with it on a full range of setups from very high end to portable. Overall, the X was unquestionably my favorite headphone, but IMO was still very much the Audeze house sound. It was the most different in the group, but in a blind lineup of planers, I'm confident that i could pick it out as an Audeze.
To me the key to the Audeze house sound is a fun euphonic (or even euphoric) quality to the sound. My LCD2 has a very euphonic lower end to it that makes it sound great on every system that I have heard it on. My friends LCD3 adds a bit of euphonic flavor to a slightly extended treble energy, but IMO is a very slight improvement over my LCD2 making it hard to justify at twice the cost. Please don't hate me for my personal opinion as I agree the 3 is awesome but the pricing is off. Now the X seems to shift the whole sound spectrum up a notch with a little brighter signature, but retains the euphonic lows, highs, and adds a very euphonic mid to the equation. The euphonic mids are what make the X sing for me, but the frequency shift separates the mids better and tightens up the bass somewhat so that the highs can give the typically congested presentation some room and a little air. Obviously there is more to it than that, but that was the key to my opinion of the X. Oh, and what was really remarkable with the X was how well it scaled down to make my X5 and DX90 sound stellar. While the X5 and DX90 cannot drive the X to its full capabilities, the X absolutely can drive the X5 and the DX90 to their full capabilities.
I think they nailed it on the LCD-X, but like you, I am getting the HD800 next instead for more variety. Now I have to figure out how to properly drive the HD800 on my Mjolnir setup since the Audeze and HD800s don't tend to play nice on the same amp. Maybe its time to get an Eddie Current Zana Deux SE like my friends.