I thought I would post my impressions after having had my pair for a couple of weeks now. I gave it a bit of time as I wanted to be sure it wasn't a cognitive bias after spending a reasonable amount of money on the mod.
By way of introduction I'm a long term headphone geek and I've been reading head fi for years without posting much. I have made the mistake of seriously listening to really good speakers up to the $10k price range (VAF Signature Series, Ribbons, Electrostatics) which have informed my expectations of what's possible (e.g. closing my eyes and getting the impression that an artist is actually standing in front of me performing) and I also quite like Mackie HR-824 monitors.
Headphones I own in order of purchase:
Fostex T50RP stock pleather pads self DIY (bought as mk2 but became convinced they were mk1 due to inferior bass response)
Fostex T50RP stock leather pads self DIY replaced with comfy plush pads
Some canalphones hardly worth mentioning
LFF Paradox Fostex T50RP mod in lovely red custom paint:
For headphone amp / DAC duties I currently use a FiiO E10 which seems to be roughly on par with my Pioneer VSX-AX-S headphone out and I am currently fairly happy with, although I'm eyeing off the O2 DAC/AMP combo as my next purchase.
So I contacted LFF asking if he did mods for randoms like me who'd cyber stalked him. I'd been reading about how great the Paradox was on here for months and finally decided to find out for myself whether they were that much better than the DIY mods I'd done. I thought my own DIYs were pretty great, even though I used heavy EQ to tame some of their issues.
A few weeks later my shiny new Paradox pair arrived and the serious listening began.
I listen to a wide variety of music. A few examples in a genre-spanning-arc include David Gray, Coldplay, Megadeth, Morbid Angel, Carcass, Anthrax, Better Than Ezra, Kings of Leon, Harry Manx, Stephen Fearing, Kelly Joe Phelps, Ry Cooder, Eric Bibb, Dire Straits, Steely Dan, Chicago, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Eminem, Bad Meets Evil, KRS One, Beastie Boys, Falco, Queen, Paul McCartney & Wings, Jon Anderson, Jean Michel Jarre, John Williams (Star Wars), Holst (The Planets), Alphaville, Erasure, David Guetta, Infected Mushroom, Skrillex.
Everything I've thrown at them including the above artists, the Paradox does great justice to. They seem to do the things well that all of my good headphones do, without any of the drawbacks. I have yet to find any overt weakness with them.
The sound balanced and flat without sounding analytical and boring. They're pretty revealing. Recordings like Steely Dan which are overly bright sound that way. Recordings like Better Than Ezra's early stuff which wasn't recorded well sound that way. They're not fatiguing the way revealing gear sometimes is.
My test for accuracy has always been acoustic stuff. As an example John Doan creates celtic guitar records and wow does Wayfarer sound magical on these Paradoxes. Similarly anything acoustic, voice, drums, guitars, strings, horns... they all just sound right. They sound as accurate as my mind can imagine them sounding.
Steely Dan's Haitian Divorce sounds incredible as always, and a tiny bit bright ... true to the recording.
That said, these do an admirable job with electronic music too. Skrillex makes me feel like life is awesome, Stanton Warriors mixes make me feel like I'm in a club with a sound system out of this world. (I didn't actually realise their mixes sounded this good).
Moving more into the popular domain Sweet Billy Pilgrim sounds magically melancholy. Switchfoot I Dare You to Move clearly has a lot of post-processing applied because the drums have reverb and other sounds are coming from everywhere. I guess that's testament to a very wide soundstage. (Normally I'm not a soundstage-noticing kinda guy). Tenacious D sounds amazing and I can hear the characteristics of how the vocals were mastered to sound in the middle of the mix set back a bit, they're not up front right in your face the way Taylor Swift or Tahiti 80's vocals are. I've never noticed anything like this before. Thom Yorke low-fi masterpiece The Eraser gets another tick, as does White Stripes Icky Thump. All of my favourite music sounds great with them. It doesn't get much better than that from a subjective point of view.
If you've heard the Fostex T50RP in any form you know it does drums incredibly lifelike due to the speed. The Paradox retains that speed and the best qualities of the T50RP while resolving all of the issues in the sound that I can identify in my custom DIY pairs and that I remember from the stock set.
It might get better than this but I haven't heard it yet in a pair of headphones. In terms of what the best is I've heard, I heard the Sennheiser HD800 earlier this year and while I recognised some impressive detail they had clear gaps in the sound which prevented me from buying them at the time. That was before I came across the Fostex modding scene, and I haven't A/B'd the HD800s against the Paradox since.
A friend at work has a pair of Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro's and both of us independently came to the conclusion that the Paradox shares a lot with the DT-770 Pros in terms of sound signature. There was a lot more clarity with the Paradoxes though. The Beyers sounded veiled though by comparison.
Apologies for being so giddy in my praise but to wrap up, I could not be happier with my new LFF Paradox headphones. Thanks Luis, you're a genius.