Originally Posted by BournePerfect
And LOL at any meet impressions also. My .02.
I'd agree that meet impressions do not give the whole story, but I believe that they can be valuable and are generally accurate in the larger sense. For example, if I don't like the way a headphone sounds at a meet, I can be confident that I wouldn't like it in my own home either. But as far as hearing subtle differences and nuances (between amps or sources, for example, or cables, if you believe in such a thing), meet conditions are certainly not ideal.
That being said, I agree pretty completely with Maxvla's review, based on both meet impressions, and listening impressions at home. I've owned both the HD800 and LCD2 Rev 1, and I vastly preferred the former. The LCD2 just lacked air and space in a serious way -- nothing subtle about it. Whenever I tried to express that opinion back when the LCD2 was the new FOTM, I was always told I wasn't amping them properly. Meet impressions at RMAF confirmed this wasn't the case, though -- I heard the LCD2 Rev 1, Rev 2, and the LCD3 on some of the most highly-recommended amplification for those headphones, and to my ears the same obvious spatial reproduction problems still persisted. I don't necessarily think the spatial problems are specific to planar drivers, though -- the SR-009 sounded just fine to me in that regard.
On the other hand, I very much like the HD800, though I don't believe it to be perfect. The treble is somewhat elevated, and I think the sharpness of the imaging is sacrificed somewhat for the exceptionally large and slightly diffuse soundstage. But overall, I find the tonal and spatial presentation of this headphone to be very good, dynamics and detail are great, and comfort is unsurpassed. The HD800 is my pick for the best dynamic or orthodynamic headphone on the market right now. It just sounds natural to my ears.
On another note, am I the only person who doesn't find the HD800 to be finicky about amplification? I've tried the HD800 at home on an Asgard, Valhalla, Lyr, WA2, Sonett, and GS-1 -- they all certainly sounded different, but the core HD800 sound was still there. I think the headphone sounded good on all of those amps. In meet listening, I've also heard the HD800 on other highly-regarded amps like the ZDSE, Mjolnir, and BHA-1 -- these amps may offer subtle, definitive improvements, but I didn't hear anything dramatic. I really don't think it takes a zillion-dollar amp to make the HD800 sound great.
Conversely, I find the LCD headphones seriously lacking no matter what you plug them into -- there's no magic bullet for amplification. All IMHO, etc.