Just found this thread after reading tons of "appreciation" threads/posts and have realized that so many people essentially regurgitate, almost verbatim, what the OP has written, and then pass it off as an original thought. Some of the posts are literally word for word, without quotations or reference to the OP. This is why I don't read reviews for movies before I see them, easier to keep an open-mind that way and then you know that your critique is honest, unbiased or less biased, and truly your own thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately I have no way to demo any headphones, so I have to rely on other people's reviews.
Yeah, the part in bold is the killer. I would love to have my own informed opinions on everything, but that is not financially feasible. I would love to hear the difference between a $40000 DAC and the one in my Marantz SACD8004.
My most important takeaway from this thread is that the HE-6, LCD-3 and HD800 are probably the big 3 non-electrostatic headphones still being made, while the SR-009 is the "big 1" still being made (at an insane premium compared to the other 3). Secondarily, there are a number of legitimate bang-for-the-buck headphones. For people that are new to the headphone scene, that is a good point of reference. Others like the DT-660 (a great personal purchase, based on this article, but is pretty much only good for classical), the Ultrasones (David is WAY too generous to the Edition 10, IMO) or all of the expensive out of production models (I'm not paying thousands of dollars for a headphone that can't be serviced anymore) are more likely just curiousities to most people, but are good and informative (and to me, largely unbiased*) reads nonetheless.
*okay, they are a LITTLE Sennheiser friendly, but he points out the bad in them too. I'm one of the veil-haters. I do see his point about IEM's vs headphones too.