Thanks for your thoughts, Gentleman, especially Arnaud. Without getting into a technical discussion, which in any case I'm far from qualified to do, and to reduce the whole discussion to its most basic and, dare I say it, only important element, I go frequently to the concert hall and what I hear, in different seating positions, equates well with what I hear from my LCD-2s; whereas it bears little or no relationship with what I have heard from the likes of AKG702, DT880, D2000, SR80...the list goes on (I've been listening to headphones almost exclusively for 40 years). So you can quote shelved treble, near field responses etc ad infinitum, but if a headphone sounds unrealistically bright and shouty you have to assume it's not a very good headphone, and, flat FR or not, I've made that presumptuous assumption many, many times. (Just as an aside, the AKG601 has one of the flattest FRs, yet to me sounded distinctly bright--and quite plasticky). Of course everyone has to make his own choice, and no one's saying anyone has to choose a certain headphone (god forbid), but I can't help being irritated when I read that a headphone that to me accords well with live sound is "dark, muted, shelved" etc. Subjectively it isn't, not to these ears (or not at least with the right amp and cable--there's always that variable). Likewise I can't help feeling peived when I see newbies being recommended phones that to me are a travesty of real life, even if to the owners they're "fun". It's not that the owners aren't allowed to be proud of their possessions, just that they seem completely oblivious of its divergence from any standard of neutrality. And that is why I say comparing phones is not a legitimate step on the path to "hi-fi". It would be like surveyors trying to define the boundaries of a property without instruments.
I remember when I first started going to concerts. My first thought was, "Where's the treble?" I wanted to turn the treble up. I missed that extreme treble that so defines details, what enthusiasts here lovingly call "air". I was shocked. I began to realize that I'd have to re-define my ideas about true hi-fi or else just go over to the "fun" side of the hobby--the bright side, as it were. Trouble was, I was already hooked on live sound, on the sweet smoothness of it compared to the glaring harshness of most "hi-fi", to the clear delineation of instrumental texture without any extreme treble exaggeration. I was a hopeless junkie.
So, that's my life story. (I was born on stormy December night...no..no!). Not sure what more I can add to the subject. I may have already begun to subtract from it.
Edited by pp312 - 9/21/12 at 7:21pm