Currently Genelec 8020´s in a nearfield setup, soon Genelec 8040 or 8050. Haven´t decided which ones yet... They are pretty cheap here in Finland and I like their honest effortless sound signature where nothing is rolled off. As for the STAX amp, that´s very interesting! In a dream world, I guess my ideal would be the Omega-mk2 with an amp that also has balanced preamp output
I agree on all accounts, particularly in terms of "effort". The LCD-2 comes across as a very heavy sounding headphone, and lacks some of the more graceful sounds (which stax is very good at IMO). It's visceral, but I'm not a huge fan. I also agree with what you said about balanced armatures (sometimes), although they frequently share soundstage characteristics with the LCD-2
I think the Shure 530 actually has a better soundstage than the LCD-2... It´s smaller, but it´s very logical. The LCD-2 tries to extend out of the head, but doesn´t make it. It´s in an odd limbo soundstage wise. I´d prefer a straight "in head sound" (IEM) or a speaker-wannabe (HD 800)
The Lyr looks awesome. I might get one for my PC rig, but for my main rig I´ll need balanced (it´s mostly for active monitors). One of the Schiit guys said on their thread that a balanced version might come out later. That would be my dream come true! I have serious doubts orthos can pull the soundstage I´m after though. Maybe if the highs would be more apparent the soundstage would sound more complete though?
As I mentioned, it´s not better in the objective sense, but I just personally dislike the "limbo state" soundstage in the LCD-2. It´s not that bad, but it´s a clear shortcoming after HD 800. Overall because of the non-sibilant sound signature and liquid midrange/neutral bassI still think the LCD-2 are a good headphone.
Seems about right to me PS I'm pretty sure it's awful reasoning to say that a particular source is going to do something well with one headphone and badly with another. It's a source. It doesn't change anything between headphones, just the quality of the initial analog signal.