Lawton Audio LA2000 impressions
Jan 15, 2009 at 4:21 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 55

struts

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Just received my LA2000s, had them about 72 hours now and had to share my initial impressions with you all.

In short, these are quite simply the best cans I have ever heard. For me at least they make discussions of Sennheiser-versus-AKG completely moot.

I ordered them unheard based on a lot of research and a very reassuring email exchange with Mark, but I'm used to that. Here in Sweden it is often impossible to audition better or more esoteric gear before buying. Anyway, I figured that if I didn't like them I would just sell them on at cost. Someone was bound to have read about them and want them.

Well, these aren't going anywhere, no siree! But all my other cans are. I put them all up for sale this morning* and some of them are gone already (it will keep my template nice and short if nothing else). Sennheiser HD650, along with a fistfull of aftermarket cables. Gone. AKG K701 on dual-entry Black Dragon. Gone. ATH-W1000. Gone.

Funny, when I first contacted Mark I said I had the above cans but was looking for something that combined all their strengths. I was almost joking. Mark said he would put his cans up against any others, past or present. I pretty much dismissed it as hyperbole or vendor bias.

Well, now I know better. The LA2000s are just such a considerable improvement on all of them, in just about every 'audiophile' parameter you can name, that it just seemed completely irrelevant keeping them. The LA2000s are musical, seamless top-to-bottom and shockingly transparent. Goosebumps transparent. And they're comfortable too, no more enduring the "AKG pressure-point". In fact I can only think of one caveat: with am impedance of only 25 ohms weedy tube amps need not apply.

Bought these to use in my study but it just won't work. I can't get anything done wearing these cans!

I am not hoping to convert any skeptics, ymmv etc. However I would simply urge anyone considering LA2000s, but wavering, to pull the trigger. Just don't say I didn't warn you!

o2smile.gif


* by the way, if you're interested please see my ad here. Unfortunately I can't advertize on Head-fi as I am under 50 posts.
 
Jan 15, 2009 at 4:39 PM Post #2 of 55

suikodenii

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thanks for posting your impressions - as there aren't many listening impressions on those yet.
One question, which wood did you get for the cups?
I just received mine with Bubinga cups and they are in the burning in process. I haven't had much time yet to listen in but what I got was very promising so far.
 
Jan 15, 2009 at 4:46 PM Post #3 of 55

struts

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I chose Tasmanian Blackwood (the set shown as SOLD on his site) but Mark only had one set and unfortunately they broke during assembly. After discussing with Mark I went with his recommendation of Mahogany (damped) which he thought would suit my musical taste. I think the sonic differences are all on the website.
 
Jan 15, 2009 at 6:29 PM Post #7 of 55

Shahrose

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can you give us a general idea of the total cost of these?
 
Jan 15, 2009 at 6:42 PM Post #9 of 55

mbd2884

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Too bad they use Jen Lab cables, would have preferred from Moon Audio or APureSound. Don't think I would want any product with Jen Lab parts.

Which means, if I was to get woodied, I would just go to Headphile instead, screw Jen Labs.
 
Jan 15, 2009 at 7:00 PM Post #10 of 55

jpelg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Shahrose /img/forum/go_quote.gif
can you give us a general idea of the total cost of these?


The pair of LA2000's I ordered in December (but later cancelled), with 7.5ft Jena cable & African Sepele mahogany earcups were around $1160 shipped. Different cable lengths, and wood materials will cause this to vary a bit (+ or -).
 
Jan 15, 2009 at 7:06 PM Post #11 of 55

struts

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Bojamijams,

Lynx L22 driving a Grace m902. Material is mostly 24/96 and 24/88 studio masters but also CDs ripped to FLAC with dbpoweramp R13 and replayed via foobar2000. Rudistor RPX-33 on order, I'll report back with impressions when I receive it.

Shahrose,

A whisker under $1200.

powertoold,

I know, I sound like a doe-eyed newbie. Rest assured I'm not as young as I look
wink.gif
. All I can say is I listen thru cans a lot and I know the sound of my "babies" inside-out. If the differences weren't night-and-day I wouldn't have sold them all. I didn't need to do any A-Bs or strain to hear this-that-or-the-other subtle difference. It just hits you straight between the eyes (ears). If anything changes as they burn in, my ears recalibrate (or I sober - or wake- up) I'll be sure to let you know!

mbd2884,

Your religion your dollars, man. I have no idea what the contribution of the individual components of the mod is, I can only call what I hear from the resulting whole.
 
Jan 15, 2009 at 7:41 PM Post #12 of 55

kool bubba ice

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mbd2884 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Too bad they use Jen Lab cables, would have preferred from Moon Audio or APureSound. Don't think I would want any product with Jen Lab parts.

Which means, if I was to get woodied, I would just go to Headphile instead, screw Jen Labs.



Yep. How soon people forget..Why support a company that tells one of their customers to F off..
 
Jan 15, 2009 at 7:45 PM Post #13 of 55

markl

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Jena Labs supplies the wire, we have our own experienced tech who does the installation. He's been re-wiring headphones for folks and building cables for years. If you look at the quality of his braiding compared to others, you can get some sense of how meticulous his work is. We're lucky to have him.
smily_headphones1.gif


We tried the other cables mentioned here, we ended up with Jena.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jan 15, 2009 at 8:06 PM Post #14 of 55

struts

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kool_bubba_ice,

I know, I would never have chosen Jena myself. Check out the links showing what a pig's ear they made of an R10 over at Moon Audio (I think). However Jena is the wire that Mark uses and that is good enough for me. I have been a customer of both APS and Moon, coincidentally they were my two favourite Sennie cables, and both are completely stand-up companies. So is Lawton.

Personally I think it is a shame if folks are put off Mark's cans by the association with Jena Labs but that's their call, everyone gets to vote with their own wallet.
 
Jan 15, 2009 at 9:13 PM Post #15 of 55

ghostmusic

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I'm going to hop in here to back up Struts' listening impressions, because I had the good fortune to listen to the LA2000s before Struts picked them up. I have no horse in this race, as I didn't buy them. But LA2000s were really impressive in how they evoked the musical soundscape. And this is despite the fact that they were clearly not burned in yet, as the cans still had moments of sounding diffuse on some tracks. I admit I had my own doubts, too, because I read some posts here that seemed detrimental to the LA2000, but pure and simple: the music I heard out of LA2000 was truly some of the best sound I've ever heard out of headphones. So it does seem weird when I read all these posts with some axe to grind. I do get that some people might be irked by the Jena cables' usage, but why should that count against how the LA2000 make music? We should just make the criterion simple: only listen with our ears.

Although MarkL advises against amping them with tube amps on account of 25 ohms impedance level, the combination of LA2000 and WA2 was to die for. The bass authority and grip were still there, but with OTL/SET sound of the WA2, the LA2000 sounded golden.

fyi: I'll have proper reviews of WA2 and (hopefully) LA7000 up on one of the audio webzines soon. I'll make sure to link them when they're up, guys.
 

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