I'm starting to wonder what I got myself into creating this thread. So much information to compile, and I'll need a whole day to comple various impressions accurately. It's fantastic really hearing different people comment on different things.
I've just added the Stax 404 LE, a proper limited edition which I'm trying to add to my collection. Don't know too much about it as yet. I've also picked up a new Fischer Audio headphone (the non LE), as well as a Smyth Realiser - which is on the way to me from the states to Asia.
It'll be interesting seeing how it adds a dimension to the mix. I'll keep trying my best to update the original post, which is dated, I know and I'll try to clear some time to do so.
Few thoughts I have for the kind contributors/readers of this thread:
Originally Posted by Loquah
I haven't spent any time with the LCDs to provide clear comparisons, but I think they're quite different from everything I've read. The LEs will definitely have more treble energy than the LCDs and I wouldn't describe the LEs as liquid. They're really dynamic and punchy with great detail retrieval, but I don't know that they are on quite the same level as LCDs based on what I've read. Having said that, the LEs are also around half the price (or maybe a bit less) than the LCDs and provide incredible bass, great detail and a nicely balanced sound given their slight bass emphasis (i.e. they are not a truly natural sounding can, but still manage to not sound dark or boomy, just natural with a bit of extra bass that stays out of the way of everything else).
In terms of comparisons, there is no doubt that the FA-011s and FA-011LEs are related. If you listen to both from an average source they sound very similar, but the LEs continue to scale up with better equipment well after the standard version runs out of improvements. To my ears, the LEs are a slightly more polite, but no less exciting and fun headphone when compared with the standard version. For their price, I think they're a no brainer addition to any collection and they displaced my HD650s and still regularly get head time instead of my overall favourite T1s.
I've just received my FA-011s, non LE. It isn't bad for the price, but I'm afraid I have been spoiled. The Beyer 770 actually outclasses it in every way, even bass - wherein I find more controlled, and less boomy. This is of course to my ears and how I feel. It is also not representative of the LE version which seems to be much better and I hope to someday try.
My FA-11s are also fitted with FA-03 pads, and that maybe affecting the signature. I'll have a go at switching pads and reverting back.The non LEs are definitely the most boomy headphones in my collection, but I suppose it is what it is, and it could appeal to some (?).
Originally Posted by 3X0
I've owned the DT 770 LE, HF-2, D7000, W3000ANV, and HE60.
I thought the DT 770 LE were appalling. The DT 770-32 now exists, which makes the LE pretty pointless.
The HF-2 were pretty good, but the PS500 makes the HF-2 less desirable.
The D7000 were good, but nothing special.
The W3000ANV were quite special, but maybe overpriced for the level of quality provided.
The HE60 were spectacular.
I now own the SR-Omega and have fond memories of the MDR-R10, and consider these to be a level apart from the other headphones (HE90 notwithstanding).
The Stax Omega seems to be in my "wish list" and I hope to someday own them. How does it compare to the Stax 009 and the Lambadas?
I keep hearing people say the HE60 are "fantastic/ spectacular/ amazing" - but it would be interesting hearing how they compare to the other electrostats, and top level planars and dynamics. I personally feel they have more "collectors value" - but that's me, being a half audiophile/ half collector.
Interesting thoughts on the HF2 comparison with the PS500. Do you consider them to have similar sound signatures? Again, I'd love to own one, but it would be from a more collectors point of view than actual sonics (based on what I'm hearing).
Originally Posted by TheMiddleSky
Well, DT770LE has slight different sound compare to regular 770/32, so the LE is still special.
For me HF2>PS500, ymmv of course
W3000 has very unique "honey alike" vocal, and for me that's the point of limited edition: unique sound
agree with the rest
I own the DT770 LEs, and have not heard the other versions of the 770s. Comparing them to other similarly priced headphones, they blow them away, and they are actually in my main setup at work. They can't compare/ measure up to a Fostex 900,Senn HD 700 or 3000 ANV, but I'm being unfair, those are top flight headphones for their brands. The bass is lose and uncontrolled in comparison, but when I compare them to my Fischers, they own them in all ways, all genres. They sound really good out of my Fiio X3 for what they are.
Love my 3000 Anvs - and we both agree on that.
Love to hear more about why you think the HF2 owns the PS500. I'd like to eventually own a grado, but it's not high on the list right now. I'll go Stax first, I reckon - and come back to dynamics.