Originally Posted by ag8908
Enjoy your LCD XC. I had no issues with the sound quality and would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. The problem was that for all of my music, I would prefer the HD800's sound signature (subjective) and so there was no need to keep the LCD XC around as a decoration. I saw a video of Aude'ze at the Colorado convention touting the fact that the XC can be driven by an Iphone, which is also what they told me, so all that amplification should not have a huge impact.
I feel they are doing their customers a dis-service by making this claim. While an iPhone may have enough amplitude to drive it, you are not going to get satisfactory performance out of it under those conditions.
I have had my pair at the office for about a month now, and contrary to some other observations, I have noticed them mellowing over time (or else I simply became more used to them). There was still a little of a "shouty" quality as others have observed, but I know from long experience that I feel the Asgard (and other Schiit amps I have heard) are marginal with planars, so I brought them home and tried them out with the rig I use for Head-Fi meets. They completely smoothed out, and I am very happy with the sound. I still need to find a desktop rig that works as well, I have high hopes for the Geek Pulse when it comes out. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of proper amplification with planars. Spend your money first on the best electronics you can afford, and only then worry about cables, which make more subtle differences IMO.
It took a fair amount of switching back and forth with my Thunderpants to identify the differences. The Audeze has better defined (and often deeper) bass, and better resolution throughout. The Thunderpants are considerably more recessed in the mids. But the phones were more similar than different. It was not like switching back and forth between the 'pants and the LCD2.2 which are my favorites, more of a difference there. While I prefer the LCD-XC over the 'Pants, based on a year old memory of the LCD2.2, I think they are better yet. Looking forward to doing a direct comparo at the next Portland meet. Too bad open 'phones are a non-starter for me. But for now I am a happy customer.