Originally Posted by figaro69
Okay...so today I received the LCD-Xs. I listened to them for approximately three hours. The gear I used: Oppo BDP-95 Universal Player; Ray Samuels Darkstar Headphone Amp (connected by balanced Black Dragon [copper] Moon Audio interconnect cables); Moon Audio Silver Dragon replacement headphone cable (balanced, 4-pin).
Only three hours listening to them (listened to both classical and rock, more specifically the Mahler 6th symphony SACD recording conducted by Ivan Fischer and Dire Straits Greatest Hits double album). Since I just got them, no burning time was given to the headphones. The Silver Dragon cable arrived today with the headphones, so they have not been burned either. Just as a point of reference, I own multiple headamps besides the Darkstar (i.e., CSP2; Taboo; Headroom Ultra Desktop Amp; Burson Soloist; Grace 902B). I also have a large collection of top-of-the-line headphones that include the HD800, HE-6, T1, Ultrasone ed. 8, Ultrason ed. 12, Fostex TH900, Audio Technica's Raffinato and ATH3000anv, AKG 701, Beyer T5p, Audeze LCD2, Grado PS-1000, and Grado RS1. The ones I've never heard are the SR009, LCD3, Sennheiser Orfeus (or for that matter, I've never heard an electrostatic headphone). I am prefacing my impressions of the LCD-Xs with this information so that you are aware about my experience regarding headphone listening and where I am coming from with regard to what I hear from the LCD-Xs.
Let me start by saying that these are, without a doubt, the most perfect pair of headphones I've heard in my life. Mind you, I haven't burned these, and I don't truly expect them to get any better than the way the sound right out of the box. It is, in my opinion, not even close...these are the best I've heard, PERIOD! One can always say with a pair of headphones something like..."it has great treble, but...", "it had great mids, but..", "it has great bass, but...", "it has a big soundstage, but...", etc. Believe me when I say that the LCD-Xs are the first pair of headphones with which I found myself saying, "there is nothing to fault...there is nothing to nitpick at...this is perfection!". Even though there is a somewhat dark mahogany hue to the sound that is extremely seductive and addictive, nothing is really colored or overly prominent with these miraculous headphones. I guess this is what they call "neutral" or "monitor-like".
These headphones sound amazing with large orchestral classical; they also sound amazing with Rock. Three hours listening to them and I could have gone 10 straight hours without experiencing ear fatigue. There is no sibilance, period. The bass is there with just the right amount and quality; the mids are liquid and creamy, the treble is extended, yet never fatiguing; the soundstage is large, but not unnatural so or artificial/cavernous like I feel that of the HD800s can sound at times; they are detailed, but the details do not distract you from the gestalt of the music. This is not a U-shaped sounding headphone, yet it is still a supremely FUN pair of headphones to listen to. Everything is just in the right place...they give the listener (or at least this listener) everything he/she wishes for. Even though the reviews at Head-Fi have been virtually unanimous in praising these headphones, they have been, if anything rather tame considering what I heard tonight.
Since my LCD2s are probably my least favorite pair of headphones in my stable, I was definitely not expecting the LCD-X to floor me the way they did. This is a mixture of clinical and romantic sound, blended together, that I just thought would be impossible to produce in a pair of headphones. You just sit there, with the headphones on top of your head, and you just forget about the gear...you are simply there in a real venue listening to the musicians...nothing is highlighted; nothing is intrusive...you are just there enjoying the performance. Not a cacophonous, piercing, or flabby sound emanates from these headphones. It is just sublime perfection.
It is worth mentioning that the LCD-Xs feel, if anything, less heavy than the LCD2s. I think the engineers and designers at Audeze have done a remarkable job at evenly distributing the weight of these headphones in a way that they just simply disappear from one's head after a while despite their weight. Moreover, the pads are very comfortable (and they have that lovely smell of new car to them) and cushy. I was afraid about weight and fit since the Audeze LCD2s are, probably, the most uncomfortable pair of headphones I have in my stable - the HE-6s running a close second in that regard - and I can't even wear them for more than 30 minutes without feeling like my head is inside a vise and holding the weight of the world.
I have no idea how the Audeze engineers were able to come up with perfection. Maybe the Orpheus and SR009 are even better than the LCD-Xs, but I find it just impossible to think that anything can sound better than these. I am just in awe of these headphones...it sounds like they have been designed by God himself. Maybe my Darkstar and balanced cables are major contributors to the magic I am experiencing...who knows. Are these supposed to get better following a burn-in period...I can't truly imagine that perfection can get any more perfect. Oh, my goodness....We have a new King of Kings. This is not hyperbole, new toy syndrome, or me wanting to like them because I just spent $1,700 and they are being driven by a trophy headamp. I had never experienced this feeling, with regard to headphones, before in my life. I just feel like I have just reached the apex of Mount Everest...and when I look around I see much smaller mountains each bearing the names of the rest of the headphones in my collection. You owe it to yourself to listen to these. Words cannot describe what I experienced tonight...Figaro is in a trance...in ecstasy!