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Audeze LCD-3. Newcomer the Toxic Silver Widow cable takes on the incumbent king the Qaudio cable...

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

Well folks I have had my Audeze LCD-3 for some time now and have never been truly happy with the sound, too dark I thought at first so they went back to Audeze for a check up and came back with new drivers and a new sound graph, a vast improvement giving more air to the sound and greater definition at the top which had sounded veiled before, a great sound all round but still not quite the sparkle that I wanted especially for classical music. I had been using them with Qaudio copper cable and having read so much positivity about Franks silver cables at Toxic decided to mail him with my thoughts and ask for his opinion, his response was to recommend his Silver Widow cable which duly arrived early January. So here are my thoughts on that cable with the Audeze LCD-3 compared to the stock cable and Qaudio cable.

 

A little context before I begin which will help explain my expectations, I have spent the last few years listening to a room system comprising, Meridian 800, Krell FPB amplification and B&W 801 speakers, a big, open and detailed sound of the highest quality.  I have broad musical taste but in the main female vocals, jazz blues, and classical including opera. I get to go to 20 odd live concerts a year, mainly classical but also rock, blues and jazz, I believe my ear for music to be quite good so my expectations are pretty high. I don't listen to metal, electronica or similar but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the odd track. Circumstances have pushed me towards headphones as my room system is now in storage and I have put together my rig over the past couple of years. Currently I'm listening to AIIF files created from my CD collection streamed from a NAS drive via a Sonos Connect linked to a Bel Canto V3 DAC by a DH Labs D75 coax, this in turn is connected to a Fosgate Signature headphone amp using Chord Indigo interconnects. The Fosgate is single ended (RCA) and has been tube rolled with a pair of 1950's Mullard 12AX7 long plates.

 

 

I didn't buy Franks standard SW as he had the option of the cable fitted with a carbon fibre, Rhodium plated, Furutech jack and Furutech connectors at the headphones which I preferred although this did add an additional £95uk to the cost which I thought was quite a premium but I went for it because I like the quality of Furutech products, they are well made and in this case great to look at, consequently what I can't do is comment on any difference they make to the sound, if any, over the standard connectors as I have not heard those. The Qaudio has a gold plated Neutrik jack and standard Rean mini xlr at the phones, it has the cloth sheathing which has been out of production for 12 months now and has been replaced with the much classier silk sheathing, the stock cable connections are unbranded. The Toxic and Qaudio cables are similarly priced in their standard form, both are as light as a feather and comfortable to wear. The Toxic SW is beautifully put together with an eye for detail and durability. So there you have it lets get started.

 

Having given the SW cable around 80 hours burn in I set myself a rigid routine for listening based around known recordings and a set number of tracks as listed below, my choice was based on my own musical tastes but hopefully broad enough to give a full range to include depth, punch and subtlety, I ran through each cable in the same order track by track, stock, Q, SW.

 

Uranus from The Planets by Holst which is a DG recording, Karajan, Berlin Phil.
Hunter from Bjorks album Homogenic.
Angel Eyes from the movie soundtrack to Leaving Las Vegas, sung by Sting.
When I Fall from Liz Wrights album Orchard.
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues from Performing This Week Live At Ronnie Scott's by Jeff Beck.
Songbird by Eva Cassidy from the album Songbird.
Bolivia'95 from Scott Walkers album Tilt.

 

I'm not going to give a track by track review as it would be too long and probably repetitive so I'm going to give my general comments with some detail. I ran the listening tests in the following order, stock, Qaudio, Toxic SW.

 

I have to say that the stock cable isn't all that bad it made a decent fist of most of the tracks especially Bjork with reasonable weight/slam and detail but what it ultimately lacked was refinement, it lost it on occasion at the top which became aggressive and sometimes edgy and it had a lack of mid range which made it sound thin and occasionally hollow, it became blurred and confused with loud busy passages of music and ultimately it lacked musicality which failed to immerse me in the music, this sound signature could well become fatiguing depending on your flavour of sounds. None of this was a great surprise as the recabling of my other headphones, Beyer T1 and Grado GS1000, had also proven to be an improvement on the stock cables so it's fairly par for the course.

 

 

So lets move onto the Qaudio v Toxic SW. The Qaudio was a positive step up from the stock cable filling out the mid range, smoothing the top and rebuilding the soundstage with better instrument placement and refinement with greater subtlety and control. The orchestra especially the strings on the classical track by Holst sounded smoother with greater layering and greater realism, it was easier to position instruments in the soundstage. The Bjork track which the stock cable had handled reasonably well now had a deeper more resonant appeal, greater snap, bass, clarification of detail and sound staging, her voice moved away a degree and lost some of it's edge, but there was still a degree of blurring of instruments in loud busy passages. Sting improved in a similar manner, you gained a greater sense of the room this track was recorded in, the small ensemble and the mellowness of his voice,  I have read that this was recorded at the producers home and that you can hear the crackling of the log fire in the background with a revealing system, I'm still waiting for this revelation. Liz Wright has a husky breathy vocal and this became much more apparent with the Q cable, there was layering to the bass and the soundstage moved away from me with greater instrument separation and refinement. The Jeff Beck instrumental had a greater sense of reverb but sometimes at the cost of woolliness in the bass but the edginess of the stock cable had disappeared. The Eva Cassidy track is really difficult to reproduce well, it can be bright and up front but has very detailed instrumental and vocal definition, the Q cable refined this over the stock cable with an improved soundstage and greater control of the vocals but it remained slightly harsh at times and a little confused at others and on occasions suffered from boom. The Q performed very well with the Scott Walker track which is a superb recording, bringing out the mid range, improving the soundstage and detail and presenting his voice with a deeper resonance, this probably more than any other of the tracks typifies the characteristics of this cable which is a positive improvement over the stock cable and a perfectly acceptable replacement.

 

 

So the Toxic SW, I had a degree of trepidation when I shelled out around £350uk for this cable with the carbon fibre Furutech plugs as the Qaudio cable sounded pretty good just lacking a little sparkle which might in fact be the headphones sound signature and something that I'd never be able to resolve to my satisfaction by recabling. If it was just about looks it would have been my winner straight up but this is about sound reproduction first and looks second so it needed to perform, I wasn't to be disappointed, looking back through my notes I have written "wow" under the Liz Wright and Eva Cassidy tracks and "best sound by far" under others. You can remove almost all of the negatives previously mentioned, this cable is not harsh or edgy, it copes well with complex and loud passages controlling them well and although sometimes the change is subtle it improves in every way on the copper Qaudio cable and totally buries the stock cable. The SW is a silver cable with a gold additive, previous experience of silver cables had left me unconvinced as they had been harsh and bright, cable has obviously moved on from then as this cable exhibits little or non of those traits, the sound is smooth at the top but does not lack detail, it offers a full range and has good deep base when it is present plus a great soundstage with refined detail and lots of it, a great combination with the LCD-3 for a non fatiguing listen with musicality. The only disappointment is that this combination still doesn't give me the air and sparkle that I'd like when listening to classical music but I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that this is more to do with the sound signature of the LCD-3's, my Beyer T1 recabled with Apuresound copper/Burson combo just sound more natural with this type of music, needless to say the LCD-3 Toxic Silver Widow pairing sounded excellent with everything else I played and is now my preferred combination and that's by quite a margin. The greatest compliment I can pay it is to say it has added greater enjoyment and musicality to my listening and I now find myself listening for extended periods forgetting that I am wearing the headphones which is no mean feat considering the weight of the LCD-3's, so it looks as if Frank was right, Silver Widow has done the job.

 

All images show the Toxic Silver Widow cable.

 

Caveat emptor: The views expressed above are my personal opinions based on this headphone/cable combination played through my rig and your own experience will differ, we all have differing hearing, different expectations, different rigs and even different sounding LCD-3's, there's no substitute for auditioning kit before committing to a purchase.


Edited by sam1e - 1/24/14 at 9:10am
post #2 of 52

Congratulations on your SW cable.

 

I have 3 of them on my phones and concur that they are excellent cables.

post #3 of 52
Quote:

Originally Posted by sam1e View Post

 

Well folks I have had my Audeze LCD-3 for some time now and have never been truly happy with the sound, too dark I thought at first so they went back to Audeze for a check up and came back with new drivers and a new sound graph, a vast improvement giving more air to the sound and greater definition at the top which had sounded veiled before, a great sound all round but still not quite the sparkle that I wanted especially for classical music. I had been using them with Qaudio copper cable and having read so much positivity about Franks silver cables at Toxic decided to mail him with my thoughts and ask for his opinion, his response was to recommend his Silver Widow cable which duly arrived early January. So here are my thoughts on that cable with the Audeze LCD-3 compared to the stock cable and Qaudio cable.

 

A little context before I begin which will help explain my expectations, I have spent the last few years listening to a room system comprising, Meridian 800, Krell FPB amplification and B&W 801 speakers, a big, open and detailed sound of the highest quality.  I have broad musical taste but in the main female vocals, jazz blues, and classical including opera. I get to go to 20 odd live concerts a year, mainly classical but also rock, blues and jazz, I believe my ear for music to be quite good so my expectations are pretty high. I don't listen to metal, electronica or similar but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the odd track. Circumstances have pushed me towards headphones as my room system is now in storage and I have put together my rig over the past couple of years. Currently I'm listening to AIIF files created from my CD collection streamed from a NAS drive via a Sonos Connect linked to a Bel Canto V3 DAC by a DH Labs D75 coax, this in turn is connected to a Fosgate Signature headphone amp using Chord Indigo interconnects. The Fosgate is single ended (RCA) and has been tube rolled with a pair of 1950's Mullard 12AX7 long plates.

 

 

 

I didn't buy Franks standard SW as he had the option of the cable fitted with a carbon fibre, Rhodium plated, Furutech jack and Furutech connectors at the headphones which I preferred although this did add an additional £95uk to the cost which I thought was quite a premium but I went for it because I like the quality of Furutech products, they are well made and in this case great to look at, consequently what I can't do is comment on any difference they make to the sound, if any, over the standard connectors as I have not heard those. The Qaudio has a gold plated Neutrik jack and standard Rean mini xlr at the phones, it has the cloth sheathing which has been out of production for 12 months now and has been replaced with the much classier silk sheathing, the stock cable connections are unbranded. The Toxic and Qaudio cables are similarly priced in their standard form, both are as light as a feather and comfortable to wear. The Toxic SW is beautifully put together with an eye for detail and durability. So there you have it lets get started.

 

Having given the SW cable around 80 hours burn in I set myself a rigid routine for listening based around known recordings and a set number of tracks as listed below, my choice was based on my own musical tastes but hopefully broad enough to give a full range to include depth, punch and subtlety, I ran through each cable in the same order track by track, stock, Q, SW.

 

Uranus from The Planets by Holst which is a DG recording, Karajan, Berlin Phil.
Hunter from Bjorks album Homogenic.
Angel Eyes from the movie soundtrack to Leaving Las Vegas, sung by Sting.
When I Fall from Liz Wrights album Orchard.
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues from Performing This Week Live At Ronnie Scott's by Jeff Beck.
Songbird by Eva Cassidy from the album Songbird.
Bolivia'95 from Scott Walkers album Tilt.

 

I'm not going to give a track by track review as it would be too long and probably repetitive so I'm going to give my general comments with some detail. I ran the listening tests in the following order, stock, Qaudio, Toxic SW.

 

I have to say that the stock cable isn't all that bad it made a decent fist of most of the tracks especially Bjork with reasonable weight/slam and detail but what it ultimately lacked was refinement, it lost it on occasion at the top which became aggressive and sometimes edgy and it had a lack of mid range which made it sound thin and occasionally hollow, it became blurred and confused with loud busy passages of music and ultimately it lacked musicality which failed to immerse me in the music, this sound signature could well become fatiguing depending on your flavour of sounds. None of this was a great surprise as the recabling of my other headphones, Beyer T1 and Grado GS1000, had also proven to be an improvement on the stock cables so it's fairly par for the course.

 

 

 

So lets move onto the Qaudio v Toxic SW. The Qaudio was a positive step up from the stock cable filling out the mid range, smoothing the top and rebuilding the soundstage with better instrument placement and refinement with greater subtlety and control. The orchestra especially the strings on the classical track by Holst sounded smoother with greater layering and greater realism, it was easier to position instruments in the soundstage. The Bjork track which the stock cable had handled reasonably well now had a deeper more resonant appeal, greater snap, bass, clarification of detail and sound staging, her voice moved away a degree and lost some of it's edge, but there was still a degree of blurring of instruments in loud busy passages. Sting improved in a similar manner, you gained a greater sense of the room this track was recorded in, the small ensemble and the mellowness of his voice,  I have read that this was recorded at the producers home and that you can hear the crackling of the log fire in the background with a revealing system, I'm still waiting for this revelation. Liz Wright has a husky breathy vocal and this became much more apparent with the Q cable, there was layering to the bass and the soundstage moved away from me with greater instrument separation and refinement. The Jeff Beck instrumental had a greater sense of reverb but sometimes at the cost of woolliness in the bass but the edginess of the stock cable had disappeared. The Eva Cassidy track is really difficult to reproduce well, it can be bright and up front but has very detailed instrumental and vocal definition, the Q cable refined this over the stock cable with an improved soundstage and greater control of the vocals but it remained slightly harsh at times and a little confused at others and on occasions suffered from boom. The Q performed very well with the Scott Walker track which is a superb recording, bringing out the mid range, improving the soundstage and detail and presenting his voice with a deeper resonance, this probably more than any other of the tracks typifies the characteristics of this cable which is a positive improvement over the stock cable and a perfectly acceptable replacement.

 

 

So the Toxic SW, I had a degree of trepidation when I shelled out around £350uk for this cable with the carbon fibre Furutech plugs as the Qaudio cable sounded pretty good just lacking a little sparkle which might in fact be the headphones sound signature and something that I'd never be able to resolve to my satisfaction by recabling. If it was just about looks it would have been my winner straight up but this is about sound reproduction first and looks second so it needed to perform, I wasn't to be disappointed, looking back through my notes I have written "wow" under the Liz Wright and Eva Cassidy tracks and "best sound by far" under others. You can remove almost all of the negatives previously mentioned, this cable is not harsh or edgy, it copes well with complex and loud passages controlling them well and although sometimes the change is subtle it improves in every way on the copper Qaudio cable and totally buries the stock cable. The SW is a silver cable with a gold additive, previous experience of silver cables had left me unconvinced as they had been harsh and bright, cable has obviously moved on from then as this cable exhibits little or non of those traits, the sound is smooth at the top but does not lack detail, it offers a full range and has good deep base when it is present plus a great soundstage with refined detail and lots of it, a great combination with the LCD-3 for a non fatiguing listen with musicality. The only disappointment is that this combination still doesn't give me the air and sparkle that I'd like when listening to classical music but I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that this is more to do with the sound signature of the LCD-3's, my Beyer T1 recabled with Apuresound copper/Burson combo just sound more natural with this type of music, needless to say the LCD-3 Toxic Silver Widow pairing sounded excellent with everything else I played and is now my preferred combination and that's by quite a margin. The greatest compliment I can pay it is to say it has added greater enjoyment and musicality to my listening and I now find myself listening for extended periods forgetting that I am wearing the headphones which is no mean feat considering the weight of the LCD-3's, so it looks as if Frank was right, Silver Widow has done the job.

 

All images show the Toxic Silver Widow cable.

 

Caveat emptor: The views expressed above are my personal opinions based on this headphone/cable combination played through my rig and your own experience will differ, we all have differing hearing, different expectations, different rigs and even different sounding LCD-3's, there's no substitute for auditioning kit before committing to a purchase.

 

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to write the review/comparrison, i really enjoyed the read. 

 

The Furutech connectors do look awesome with this cable.

 

Enjoy, and let us know how you get on after some more use.


Edited by Toxic Cables - 1/25/14 at 2:46pm

http://www.toxic-cables.co.uk                  PREPARE TO BE INTOXICATED

 

 

Reply
post #4 of 52

I also have just got the SW fixed to the LCD 3's but with standard plugs and agree with your comments over the stock cables. The SW certainly delivers a cleaner sound, maybe not quite as deep in the bass but with better definition. The very high frequencies are improved but still a little shy - I guess this is the Audeze sound. Interested in the Fosgate headamp - does it have enough power to drive the LCD cans correctly? I'm using the NJC audio at present, made in Cornwall.

post #5 of 52
Great reading..congrats on ur SW..let us know how the sound changes after 100 hours burn in time or more use.
post #6 of 52

Sam, well done on your review, the Silver Widow I have is on an IEM, UM Merlin.

 I also found my Merlin to be a bit wanting for sparle up top, but I certainly didn't want anything taken away from the bass slam it could produce. I too found that the SW was the best at doing this very thing.

post #7 of 52

Now...... go on an put on "Get Yer Ya Ya's Out " & crank that wick would ya's......:biggrin:

post #8 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by walakalulu View Post

I also have just got the SW fixed to the LCD 3's but with standard plugs and agree with your comments over the stock cables. The SW certainly delivers a cleaner sound, maybe not quite as deep in the bass but with better definition. The very high frequencies are improved but still a little shy - I guess this is the Audeze sound. Interested in the Fosgate headamp - does it have enough power to drive the LCD cans correctly? I'm using the NJC audio at present, made in Cornwall.

The Fosgate is a bit of a conundrum, I love the sound and refinement it delivers but the spec would suggest that it needs very efficient phones. I have also read reviews that suggest that it's output is insufficient to drive the LCD-3's but that's not my experience, delivers great sound without having to be cranked up high and in my opinion sounds great with the LCD-3's, I have also used it with Grado GS1000's and Beyerdynamic T1 although I prefer the sound of those through my Burson HA160 D. No problem with the bass for me using the SW with the LCD-3's but that might be down to music preference.
post #9 of 52

A very interesting review and an article to read with pleasure.  My taste of music is very similar to yours.  I can also agree that actually the stock cable is not that bad at all but of course it is not as good as the SW after all.

 

I fully endorsed with your findings of SW with LCD and I have very similar impressions.  I am using LCD-X with SW and I found it is a perfect match.  I also agreed with Walakalulu that "The very high frequencies are improved but still a little shy - I guess this is the Audeze sound."

 

I have auditioned LCD-3 and LCD-X using stock cables before deciding to buy the X as I found the LCD-X has better sound staging, music is more clear and has a bit more HF than LCD-3.  That might only be my impression :wink_face:.


Edited by inter voice - 1/26/14 at 4:52am
post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by inter voice View Post

A very interesting review and an article to read with pleasure.  My taste of music is very similar to yours.  I can also agree that actually the stock cable is not that bad at all but of course it is not as good as the SW after all.

I fully endorsed with your findings of SW with LCD and I have very similar impressions.  I am using LCD-X with SW and I found it is a perfect match.  I also agreed with Walakalulu that "The very high frequencies are improved but still a little shy - I guess this is the Audeze sound."

I have auditioned LCD-3 and LCD-X using stock cables before deciding to buy the X as I found the LCD-X has better sound staging, music is more clear and has a bit more HF than LCD-3.  That might only be my impression wink_face.gif .

That's quite interesting as the LCD-X wasn't in production when I purchased the LCD-3's and I haven't been able to audition them, are you saying that you still feel the X to be shy with high frequencies but less so than the 3's? As a matter of interest what amp are you using and what's your source?
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam1e View Post


That's quite interesting as the LCD-X wasn't in production when I purchased the LCD-3's and I haven't been able to audition them, are you saying that you still feel the X to be shy with high frequencies but less so than the 3's? As a matter of interest what amp are you using and what's your source?

Yes, I still found the HF of LCD-X a little bit shy even with SW fitted.  I also got two pairs of HD800s (fitted with BW and Scorpion Toxics) and the HD800 has much better HF which is not fatiguing.  I found overall LCD is more musical and has fully body than HD800 and my only complain is it is still lacking a bit of HF, otherwise it is perfect.

 

I have posted my LCD-X Frequency Response Graph and you may compare it with your LCD-3 graph:

  http://www.head-fi.org/t/702003/audeze-lcd-x-frequency-response-graph-arrived#post_10201088

 

My headphone amp. might not be as good as yours but I think they are also very good (like you I have a pair of good ears and I have been playing violin for years).

 

The source is from two heavily modded Marantz CD63 MKII KI CDPs (component costed over £1000 each excluding labour) and I have two headphone amplifiers, one is Fidelity Audio's HP-200SE ( http://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/hi-fi-products/headphone-amplifiers/fidelity-audio-hpa-200-se/ ) while the other is Yulong A18 over Yulong D18 DAC.

 

I noticed that you are using a tube Amp. and your LCD-3's HF and clarity could be better if you use a good quality solid state amp.


Edited by inter voice - 1/26/14 at 5:45am
post #12 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by inter voice View Post

Yes, I still found the HF of LCD-X a little bit shy even with SW fitted.  I also got two pairs of HD800s (fitted with BW and Scorpion Toxics) and the HD800 has much better HF which is not fatiguing.  I found overall LCD is more musical and has fully body than HD800 and my only complain is it is still lacking a bit of HF, otherwise it is perfect.

I have posted my LCD-X Frequency Response Graph and you may compare it with your LCD-3 graph:
  http://www.head-fi.org/t/702003/audeze-lcd-x-frequency-response-graph-arrived#post_10201088

My headphone amp. might not be as good as yours but I think they are also very good (like you I have a pair of good ears and I have been playing violin for years).

The source is from two heavily modded Marantz CD63 MKII KI CDPs (component costed over £1000 each excluding labour) and I have two headphone amplifiers, one is Fidelity Audio's HP-200SE ( http://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/hi-fi-products/headphone-amplifiers/fidelity-audio-hpa-200-se/ ) while the other is Yulong A18 over Yulong D18 DAC.

No great surprise that the HD800 outperforms the LCD-3 with higher frequencies, I think that has been fairly well documented as has the need for many to tone it down a touch usually with a replacement copper cable. I agree however that overall the LCD-3 is full bodied and very satisfying to listen to especially if you are in the zone it just doesn't quite do it for me with classical, just seems to lack air but I now believe that to be it's sound signature. But then I have been to many concerts with friends where we had different opinions on what we had heard when discussing it over a pint.

I have no idea whether or not my amp/source/DAC is any better than the one you are using, it's so subjective, there are so many variables. In theory price point should be an indicator but as you go up the scale you reach the point of diminishing returns and maybe have a desire for it to sound better regardless, there's no greater fool than an audiophile and I should know biggrin.gif

I was really wondering if you were listening to CD via a DAC or streaming by USB straight to an amp from a computer.
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam1e View Post


I was really wondering if you were listening to CD via a DAC or streaming by USB straight to an amp from a computer.

I still use CDs directly for my music and I don't use DAC at all for the headphones and I prefer a short signal path as far as possible.  I use my two CD63s and couple them directly to the two headphone amplifiers for my HD800 and LCD-X.  The on the board DAC of the heavily modded CD63 has excellent performance which is equivalent to the Yulong D18 DAC (confirmed after A/B testing and comparison).  The DAC mainly outputs to my main amplifier (Leema Tucana IIs) using coaxial cable from the CD63 for my Spendor speakers. 

 

IMHO and impression, I would say HD800 is more suitable for classical music (because it has more air, reacts faster and more dynamic, better sound staging, much better instrument separations and the background is much clearer than LCD-X) while LCD-X performs better on Jazz in particular on vocals.  Therefore I will keep both CANs for different kinds of music.

 

People say HD800's bass is too lean and the HF is fatiguing but I do not have that impression.  When I compared the bass between HD800 and LCD-X actually HD800's bass is not too far off while the HF is not fatiguing at all after fitting Scorpion and Black Widow from Frank.  But this also very much depends on the right headphone amplifier you are using.  It is well know that HD800 is difficult to match with a lot of headphone amplifiers.  Headphone amplifier needs to have sufficient power to provide the current in order to make the HD800 performs its best, in particular on its bass department. To my understanding when Yulong designed its A18 it used HD800 as its reference headphones and that is why it matches excellently with HD800.

 

If you ask me my preference between HD800 and LCD-X I can tell you that overall I like HD800 a little bit more.

 

Why not borrow a pair of HD800 and have an audition with your tube amp and like me you may like HD800 for classical music listening at the end of the day:wink_face:.


Edited by inter voice - 1/26/14 at 9:49am
post #14 of 52

Okay, to ensure what I have mentioned in my previous thread is correct, just now I listened to the last movement of Beethoven Symphony No. 9 by Bernard Haitink of the London Symphony Orchestra using my HD800 and LCD-X for a comparison.

 
With HD800 over my head I can hear clearly all the distinctive voices of the Chorus, the soprano, the mezzo-soprano, the tenor and the bass (left and right as well as front and rear positions can be identified clearly).  All the musical instruments are correctly positioned and with excellent sound staging and atmosphere.  I can hear all the minute details of the musical instruments, especially in the HF spectrum.  I just like listening to a life performance sitting in the middle of the concert hall.   
 
However with the LCD-X on the entire orchestra seemed to pack closely together and the orchestra is very closed to me.  Though closer it does not mean I can hear everything clearer and unfortunately I could not distinctively separate different voices in the chorus as in the HD800.  The HF are rolled off and the details of the instruments, in particular, in the HF department are not prominent.  It makes the entire music muddy and I have no three dimensional feeling and the music is plain to my ears.
 
I am not saying LCD-X is bad but certainly it is not good for very complex music such as Symphony No.9.  LCD-X IMHO is perfect for relatively slower and less complex music such as jazz vocals and blues.  That is why I only use my HD800 for classical music and the LCD-X for jazz vocals and other slow music.
 
Some of you might not agree with me but that is what I have experienced and heard using my gears. 
 
Remark:  Sorry that my post might be off the topic.     

Edited by inter voice - 1/26/14 at 9:55am
post #15 of 52

Sam1e@  I noticed the recommended operating impedance range of your Fosgate Signature headphone amp is from 50-500 ohm but your LCD-3's impedance is only 45 ohm .  I have the feeling that your LCD-3 may not work at its best with Fosgate. Incorrect impedance will affect the overall frequency response and cause some distortion. However HD800 has an impedance of 300 ohm which should work better.  May be I am wrong.   

 

LCD-X has an impedance of 22 ohm which is even lower than LCD-3 but my HPA-200SE can cope with headphone impedance from 12-600 ohms while Yulong A18 can work with 16-600 ohms.

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