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Grace m903 report with HD800, LCD-2, LCD-3, T5P. - Page 2

post #16 of 123
Thread Starter 

Yea, I immediately fell in love with the LCD-2 sound - I don't think I could ask for more. UPS got delayed so the LCD-3 will now be here either tomorrow or monday. I'll let you guys know.

post #17 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

From your descriptions, the Grace must have a forward mid to highs sound. That would make the 800s sound bad. Conversely, that would wake the 2s up. I'm thinking a HE-500 would also sound good on it. The 800s on the GS-X II and Master 7 or speaker amp and Hilo, they sound very good with no lack of bass. The detailed bass sounds less than the LCD twack for sure but I get tired of that all the time. When the material has it to offer, the 800s can put it out.

 

The Grace does not really do much with the sound. As a DAC, it's actually quite neutral with maybe a smidge of warmth as opposed to the Benchmark sound which is neutral with a slightly brighter tint. I preferred the m903 to the Hilo overall when using as a DAC with the Stratus in the chain. I do think the Hilo sounded slightly better running the HD800 directly but also far from optimal.


Edited by third_eye - 8/16/13 at 9:00pm
post #18 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by delano22 View Post

Yea, I immediately fell in love with the LCD-2 sound - I don't think I could ask for more. UPS got delayed so the LCD-3 will now be here either tomorrow or monday. I'll let you guys know.

I think if you like the LCD2, you will love the LCD3......it really does take it to the next level. My guess is that the TH900 would also be amazing with the m903, that one's on my shortlist too.

post #19 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by third_eye View Post

I think if you like the LCD2, you will love the LCD3......it really does take it to the next level. My guess is that the TH900 would also be amazing with the m903, that one's on my shortlist too.

 

How do you like the HD800 with the Stratus and Grace as compared to the LCD-2 or 3 straight from the Grace?

post #20 of 123
Thread Starter 

I want to revise my original reviews now that I've spent more time with the headphones (keep in mind these are all still with the Grace m903).

 

Audeze LCD-2:

 

- I am going to bump this down from a 9.5 to an 8.5. They are now seeming a bit more "scooped" in the middle to me than I was aware of before. The bass and the highs are becoming a bit more overpowering on the mids and I feel like there is a little lack of detail in that area. I also feel the bass notes sustaining a bit too long. I listened to several bass-heavy songs that I know very well from listening on my main genelec monitors. The LCD-2s seems like on the lowest of notes that there is a short decay that it doesn't recover very quickly from.

 

 

HD800:

 

- I'll bump these up from a 4 to a 6. On the very best recordings, mixed by the very best engineers, these sound okay. They are very very unforgiving if anything is even slightly askew in the 7-10k range and it can be painful, but if there is not a lot of information up there then they do sound okay. The bass is still lacking for me, though.

 

 

BeyerDynamic Tesla T5P:

 

I would like to bump these up from a 7.5 to an 8.5. These keep sounding better and better. I also think they are the most comfortable of the 3 headphones, and arguably the most stylish if you like to have a low-key look. They are really f'n detailed in the lows, mids, and highs. The only complaint I have is still about the soundstage - that it seems "closer" to my head than open headphones. After listening for a long time that actually stopped bothering me and I think it was more a question of relativity rather than an actual flaw. Another big plus is that the sound is 99% the same regardless of whether they are plugged into the m903 or into my rMBP headphone jack (obviously not a scientific figure). To me, that extra 1% is definitely not worth the $2k price tag of the m903 - no way in hell - especially since I wouldn't do a final mix on any headphones without going over it again on some main studio monitors. All of this, plus the fact that they actually isolate well may very well lead me to choose these over the LCD-2s now. I still have yet to receive the LCD-3s, but so far this is a really strong contender for my pick.


Edited by delano22 - 8/17/13 at 9:10pm
post #21 of 123

One month and a great amp later...

 

LCD-2=7.5

HD800=9.5-10

T5P=6-7

 

 

...everyone comes full circle eventually.

 

-Daniel

post #22 of 123
Thread Starter 

Are you using the m903? Otherwise your rating is irrelevant, because it's only about this combination, not the individual headphones all around. I don't see it in your profile...

 

Maybe everyone listens to the shrill highs of the HD800 so much that they lose they're hearing and then they come around. tongue.gif

post #23 of 123

You sure have a lot of headphone advice for such incredibly limited headphone experience. I'm sorry if my subtle humor was lost on you-but everybody tends to hate the HD800 until they get a suitable amp for it. You do not have a suitable amp for it. Period.

 

So I put some ATV tires on my Enzo today and...meh-Ferraris SUCK. ph34r.gif

 

-Daniel

post #24 of 123
Thread Starter 

Wow...Daniel...you obviously didn't read the thread.

 

 > I'm sorry if my subtle humor was lost on you-but everybody tends to hate the HD800 until they get a suitable amp for it. You do not have a suitable amp for it. Period.

 

No joke. That's the whole point of my review. Thank you for agreeing with me. This amp + headphone combo does not work well. I have made it VERY clear multiple times in the thread that I am not judging the HD800 as an overall headphone. I AM JUDGING VARIOUS M903 COMBINATIONS.

 

Thanks for chiming in, you've been super helpful and totally on topic rolleyes.gif

 

EDIT: Also your assertion that the m903 is equivalent to ATV tires is laughable. Stop posting here man if all you're going to do is have a superiority complex and not even read what I wrote.


Edited by delano22 - 8/17/13 at 10:57pm
post #25 of 123

I read the entire thread-and I want my 5 minutes back. Problem is-people will come in here and see your ratings and take them out of context (it seems I have a bit). OTOH, writing an in depth review with a SERIOUS flaw imo (the AMP factor), doesn't really benefit people looking into these highend headphones. They (HD800 first and foremost) absolutely need the entire chain up to snuff to even be par for the course-let alone excel. I assume if you were really willing to shell out $1500 for them-the common sense to do your research in advance would convince you that the HD800s are high end, finnicky SOBs-and are a chore to get the most out of them. A built in amp just isn't gonna cut it in this case. Hope you don't take too much of a loss on those due to your short-sightedness.

 

But yes-I'm a prick lately it seems. But I also want to give some counter-weight to the pool here for the newer Headfiers that may not be seeing the whole picture here. I appreciate your attempt though!

 

-Daniel

post #26 of 123
Thread Starter 

I understand that. It's just that I wrote MULTIPLE times that this is for the m903 ONLY and this review is for people with an m903 or for people who want a 1 box solution.

 

I need a 1 box solution. That's why I did this experiment. I'm not interested in the best headphone/amp/DAC combo on the planet. I am interested in the best 1 box setup. This review will help those people. If they don't read the thread to find out what the ratings mean and why I made them, then they deserve the misinformation that they receive.

 

BUT ANYWAY.

 

If you still want to talk about 1 box DAC/AMPs, the Grace m903 and the best headphone for it, then I am game. beerchug.gif

 

Here are some more details about my situation...

 

The only other combo boxes anyone could think to recommend for me were the Benchmark and the Invicta. The Invicta was unnecessarily expensive, and I know Benchmarks converters are not as good as Grace from my studio monitor experience, so I went with Grace.

 

Not wanting to read the 1000+ page thread on the HD800s, I just went for them, and the only cost I'll lose is the shipping, which isn't much. I've got 7 headphones out right now and I can return them all because I bought them from different companies biggrin.gif. I've got the AKG k550, AKG k702, Sony MD-7506, HD800, LCD-2, LCD-3, and Beyer T5P. I wanted a wide range of cheap to expensive so that I could really evalute the cost-to-benefit ratio. I've only got a couple weeks to make this decision before I leave the country...which is the whole point for this "mobile" setup.

 

So far...cost to benefit ratio seems the best with the Beyer T5P powered by the rMBP stock amp. That's a $1,300 setup with NO box and it rivals my other favorite so far, the LCD-2 + m903 which is a $3,200 setup with a extra box, headphones that don't fit in a standard case, and the sound isn't necessarily "better" than the T5P...just different. I also will enjoy the isolation so that I can use them in the airport and other various public places - which isn't necessary, but a nice bonus.

post #27 of 123

The only one-box-solution that does the HD800 justice is the Burson Conductor. Some would say the Invicta-others disagree. Not sure how the other headphones would fair on the Burson-the Audeze should rock, and I know next to nothing about that particular Beyer.

 

I really didn't mean to thread crap (ok maybe a little), but things are RARELY simple with the HD800s and I just wanted to point that out. I was actually looking at the m903 quite a bit-which is why I stopped in here in the first place. I think Ima go full monty though and grab an MSB or Empirical Overdrive so my Grace thoughts were pretty short-lived. Hope you find the rig that suits your preferences the best. atsmile.gif

 

-Daniel

post #28 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

The only one-box-solution that does the HD800 justice is the Burson Conductor. Some would say the Invicta-others disagree. Not sure how the other headphones would fair on the Burson-the Audeze should rock, and I know next to nothing about that particular Beyer.

 

I really didn't mean to thread crap (ok maybe a little), but things are RARELY simple with the HD800s and I just wanted to point that out. I was actually looking at the m903 quite a bit-which is why I stopped in here in the first place. I think Ima go full monty though and grab an MSB or Empirical Overdrive so my Grace thoughts were pretty short-lived. Hope you find the rig that suits your preferences the best. atsmile.gif

 

-Daniel

 

+1

 

Conductor and LCD-2 is one of the best systems i've heard yet. extremely transparent, great detail, really makes them come alive. im sure it'll be good with HD 800 as well. 

 

my mytek 192 sounds great with HD 800, but they definitely need an amp rather than an all in one to sound their best. most dacs don't have that great of an amp built in.

 

anyways, i'm curious as to the T5p, one headphone i haven't heard yet, wonder how it would compare to the T1, which is still my favorite headphone.

post #29 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

 

+1

 

Conductor and LCD-2 is one of the best systems i've heard yet. extremely transparent, great detail, really makes them come alive. im sure it'll be good with HD 800 as well. 

 

my mytek 192 sounds great with HD 800, but they definitely need an amp rather than an all in one to sound their best. most dacs don't have that great of an amp built in.

 

anyways, i'm curious as to the T5p, one headphone i haven't heard yet, wonder how it would compare to the T1, which is still my favorite headphone.

 

Okay, I'm going to buy a Conductor and report back.

 

Try the T5P if you want a closed pair. They sound great to my ears.


Edited by delano22 - 8/18/13 at 12:32am
post #30 of 123

See-now were getting somewhere! OTOH-maybe you just don't like the HD800s either. OTOH (3 hands here, Total Recall-style), it isn't so much liking the HD800 as it is liking the entire chain-they will reveal EVERYTHNG. Properly amped, of course. ;) That Conductor is definitely the surest bet for an all-in-one that can do both the HD800 and Audezes justice though-NOT and easy feat! Can't wait for your updated impressions. Would be inteesting to hear your thoughts of the Grace dac feeding the Conductor as well. If you prefer that-you might as well get a Burson Soloist to pair with the m903-unless you insist on an all in one. Fun times ahead for you-either way!

 

-Daniel

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