Originally Posted by onlychild
Did you get a chance to use the bass adjust on the Roxxane? Any impressions on that?
When I listened to the Roxxane the bass was turned up, and it was easy to decrease the bass level without affecting the overall sound signature at all, so the bass adjustment didn't affect the lower mids like some bass controls - very nice feature to have for sure! When I showed up at RMAF I had little interest in improving upon my JH16Pro Freqphase, but I was drooling over the Roxxane after the demo.
In my experience the universal demos of a custom IEM are never as good as the actual custom fit version after I get them. But in the case of the Roxxane I was surprised with the fit and seal I got with the Complys tips and that they performed as well as I could desire, on a similar level to my JH16Pro FP with a smoother treble. Because of the level of performance I heard from the demos, I'm fairly certain when I get my own set that the final custom fit version will outperform my JH16Pro Freqphase. Unfortunately I'm still dealing with house damage from the Colorado flood of 2013, so I'm not sure how soon I can order a set.
Originally Posted by ethan7000
Definitely apples to oranges. XC sounds more closed, more balanced across the FR, thicker, with greater texture. 900 sounds more open, more "fun" with sub bass emphasis, and has a better treble presentation in my opinion. The 900 has a signature that makes me tap my feet, one that I personally prefer.
While the LCD-XC sounded a little more closed than the open X, it was fairly close to my LCD-2 rev2 which has a nice soundstage (but not as huge as the HD800 or SR-009). In comparison to my LCD-2 rev2, the LCD-X struck me as having a similarly enveloping soundstage to my HD800. I did have to lose time to volume match because the LCD-X a noticeably more efficient than my LCD-2 rev2 that I brought with me. Still, the XC didn't give that "closed headphone" sound that you get from many others (D2000/5000 or Beyer Custom One).
The Fostex TH-900 have a fairly open sound like the XC, but with richer bass and impact than the XC, and they also sounded more like an open phone but one that was tuned more for the "fun" side of things. I'd love to compare the TH-900 to the old Sony MDR-10 someday, both of which sound slightly warmer than my LA7000. The XC seemed tuned more for "studio" than fun, but they were in no way boring or constricted at all. I'd still likely buy the LCD-X over the XC, unless I didn't have my LA7000 and then I'd want to compare the XC to the TH-900 side-by-side before I bought one. The TH-900 are definitely a "foot tapper", and much better than at the 2011 RMAF when it was still a pre-production version.
Two things I loved the most about the LCD-X were (1) the larger soundstage or outside of head sound, and (2) their much greater efficiency so that they can be powered by portable amps better. My Pico Slim has to be maxed out to listen to LCD-2 rev2 in a noisy CanJam room, while the LCD-X were too loud at the same volume setting. The LCD-X make the Pico Slim feel more like a desktop amp.
Originally Posted by Girls Generation
I actually prefer less isolation because I use them outside of my house as well... I get uneasy when I can't hear my surroundings or people talking to me, and always have to check. If these don't leak sound that's great! TH900 bleeds quite a bit meaning I can't use them in a library... Now it's just the Alpha Dogs against the XC before I decide.
I was going to comment above about the Mr Speakers Alpha Dog 3D, that if one is considering a closed phone to be sure to include the Alpha Dog 3D in the comparison between the LCD-XC and TH-900, as I think these may be the best three closed dynamic headphones currently in production (never heard the Stax 4070, which have much different amping requirements.) However, the 3D have to be one of the best bangs for the buck for a closed audiophile headphone. These could be studio monitors or fun phones. I wish I had tried them with a portable amp though.
The XC and TH-900 both let in more sound than the Alpha Dog 3D, but i didn't hear the music leak to the outside when any of them were being listened to by someone else who claimed the volume was moderately high. My LA7000 are the same way, more sound comes in than gets out. But the Alpha Dog 3D isolated the outside noise from the listener about as well as an HD25 or M-100.
I preferred the Burson DAC/amp at the Mr Speakers table with the Alpha Dog 3D, over the Schitt Audio Mjolnir and Cavalli Liquid Glass that were there at the table (one brought, one bland).
FOCAL - I listened to the Spirit Pro via my CEntrance HiFi-M8 with lossless music on iPhone 5s, and thought they were pretty good. They are pretty neutral and detailed, but not nearly as efficient as my V-MODA M-100 which we drove simultaneously with the HiFi-M8 and compared side-by-side. Nevertheless, the M8 was easily powerful enough for the Focal's lower efficiency, but when set at normal volumes for the Focal then the M-100 were too loud.
The Spirit's bass impact could not match the M-100, but their deep bass extension was still quite good. The Spirit are probably more accurate than any of the closed portable Sennheiser headphones my son and I tried, including the aluminum HD25 (too bright), Momentum over-the-ear (too boomy), or Momentum on-ear (more forward mids but pretty nice like the smaller V-MODA M-80). This year I didn't try the Fostex T50RP, DT-1350, or MDR-1, so I can't comment on how they would compare to the Spirit or V-MODA.
I can't say that my V-MODA M-100 are studio monitors like the Focal, but they do hit much harder and are more fun most of the time. The M-100 to me are kinda like an HD650 with a strong amp, and the Focal are more like an HD600 with similar neutrality and balance (but flatter soundstage). Keith seemed to enjoy them: