Impressions for Burson Soloist SL / Audez'e LCD-3:
Aesthetics: Firstly, the Burson Soloist SL is absolutely beautiful, it looks fantastic on my desk. The brushed aluminum is absolutely stunning, and its small enough to fit onto a small desk, like mine. Rather, not a small desk, but one with too many things on it.
The LCD-3 is not too shabby in this department either, the wood is beautiful, and the leather is a very nice added touch. The LCD-3 feels like its price tag, $1945.
Comfort: This will only apply to the LCD-3(at least, I hope)
The LCD-3 is by no means comfortable. The clamp, and the weight, make this thing absolutely unbearable. The weight isn't even that bad, its the clamp, and the part that the front of the pads, where its smaller, you can feel the actual metal/wood part of the headphone. It pushes up against the side of your face and frankly, it hurts. Also, the LCD-3 has given me numerous headaches over the last 2 weeks.
Durability: I can't really comment, as I only have the combo for 2 weeks, but from what I can see, these couldn't break for a long time.
Volume pot and buttons on SL: The buttons are very easy to press, but not too easy. Its a very satisfying touch. The volume pot, is among the smoothest I have used, and I love it. Also, I love how there are two inputs on the SL, so than two DACs can be used at the same time.
Sound, the most important part of this, right?
I am going to name a few songs, and write my impressions on it, with the LCD-3 and SL. So here it goes!
The first song is, Neutral Milk Hotel- In The Aeroplane Over The Sea-
Mmm, the acoustic guitar sounds absolutely beautiful in this song. Smooth, detailed, and is the forefront of this song, a good thing. Liquid smooth. The trumpet sounds amazing, full and rich. The voice, Jeff Mangum, is full bodied, and isn't harsh, like on some headphones. Its hard to hear all the instruments in this song, as the LCD-3 sounds like a closed headphone, in the soundstage department. For a $1945 headphone, it should have a bigger soundstage.
The Smiths- Frankly, Mr. Shankly-
The timpani's at the start of this song, absolutely fantastic. Deep, and detailed. Perfect. The guitar, super smooth. No wonder everybody talks about the mids on the LCD-3. Man. The bass is thumping, not too much, perfect volume to hear it, but not over take the song. The soundstage, does not help the LCD-3 on this song. With some parts of the song, with a good amount of instruments in the mix, the soundstage doesn't help. I have heard a lot of comments on the soundstage of this headphone, most are not impressed by it. The voice, is smooth and the forefront of the song, the electric guitar sounds a bit distant in the song, almost making the voice too loud. The bass, is very, very deep, and sounds extremely real.
Pink Floyd- Time-
I have to say, this song makes me notice a good part of the soundstage, its height. The different parts of percussion at the start of the song, are coming at different angles, very nice. The voice is beautiful, all the detail is there. The female voices in the background, are there, but not there, which is what I think Pink Floyd intended it to be. The guitar, wow, it sounds realistic, and is super-textured. The imaging on this headphone is fantastic, it lets you focus on different parts of the music better. Female voices on this combo, is fantastic. Their very light, and display the woman's voices in this song beautifully. The bass drum is very deep, as I've said before. I have heard many people rave about the bass on the LCD-3 so this is what they are talking about.
I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed with this song. It was quite splendid. Everything came together in this song, and this seems to be what type of music this combo excels with, rock.
The National- Pink Rabbits-
The bass sounds extremely deep, amazingly real. The voice is very different than my other headphones. It sounds correct though, not as deep as it does on my HD650, but this sounds better to my ears. The piano is fantastic, I have found that about the LCD-3/SL, its very light and detailed. The soundstage on the LCD-3 is lackluster, its hard to hear everything as clear as I would like it.
On different headphones(Paradox, HD650 --> SL):
The SL greatly improves these headphones, compared to the Objective 2 solid state amp. The Burson on the HD650, makes the soundstage much bigger(a caveat of mine with the HD650 and O2 pairing) leading to a much more involving experience. With the sound sweeping every which way, but the soundstage is not that big though. The Beyerdynamic DT880 destroys the HD650 in this region. The SL also makes the HD650 a whole lot faster. It can now make a lot of more songs enjoyable on the HD650, as its not held back by faults caused by the amp/DAC combo being inferior to many other amp/DAC combos.
Onto the Paradox, these were improved less so(the creator actually tuned these with the O2/ODAC, so it was kind of made for the O2/ODAC, for reference, the Paradox is a modded T50RP). The soundstage was the biggest thing for me that was improved, not too much, but it counted for something. Not much to report here, given the info a couple sentences back.
Conclusion: Honestly, I was not impressed with the LCD-3 as I was expecting to be. The soundstage and the comfort really killed it for me. It sounds like a closed headphone, honestly. To compare to my DT880, the DT880 has a much bigger soundstage($350 to $1945). The LCD-3 excelled with rock though, and I enjoyed the sound with rock very much.
The SL was fantastic on the other hand, its beautiful and made my headphones sound much better. I will not comment on my DT880s as I got them a couple days and have to get accustomed to the sound. Otherwise, it improved all areas of my headphones, and I really enjoyed it.