You mentioned that your preference in music are along the lines of mainstream music such as hip hop, rnb, drum n bass, dubstep, pop, rock, house, dance which you also agree do not have the best mastering altogether. Mainstream music are typically produced to sound good over the radio (i.e. excessive treble, muddy bass, etc). Hence, I suggested the LCD-2 as, given your preference for mainstream music, you will not need a more resolving headphone as it will not sound any better. Hence, the LCD-2 is more than sufficient for your current requirements. However, if you intend to listen to more resolving and HD tracks in future, then you can consider the LCD-3.
I have the WA22 paired with the LCD-3 and they are an excellent combo (with the right tubes of course).
For now, I would advise you to settle for something which your budget allows. If you want to go with the LCD-3 and top tier amps, be prepared to spend north of $6000 (at least - for quality amp / dacs / tubes). Anything less and you will not notice much of a difference between the LCD-2 and LCD-3. Just my humble opinion of course.
Well I very humbly disagree. Why are you so hung on the "resolving" bit, whatever that means? All that "mainstream" mastering is also a terrible generalization.
LCD-2 and LCD-3 have a different sound signatures, which have been documented here over and over. You should choose the one you like more. I have no problem running my LCD-3 on a lowly Lake People amp. I wouldn't have chosen LCD-3 unless it sounded (much) better to me, not to mention the comfort? It's ridiculous suggesting that I should have not chosen LCD-3 since it's "not much different" to LCD-2 on the same amp?
Edited by hekeli - 7/30/12 at 6:50am