I had a second round of auditions with the Stealth and the LIRIC today. I had a great time comparing the 2 last Friday, I knew I had to go for a second bite.
This time around, I used a Chord Hugo TT 2, and my own Hugo 2, to drive the 2 headphones. Don't mind the DAVE in the photo, though; it was stacked in this manner as an earlier customer was having a go comparing the Qutest, the Hugo TT 2, and Chord's flagship. An aside: I think that particular customer was this close
to getting the DAVE.
In any case, my impressions from the first set were well-and-truly confirmed today - the LIRIC retains its musical and engaging streak across both the Hugo 2 and the Hugo TT 2. It's still a fun, yet relatively detailed, headphone that you'd be happy to listen to your tunes - and enjoy them - with. It's not a tool for the critical listener, though; it's no surgeon's scalpel where absolute resolving ability is concerned. With that in mind, if you enjoy tight, slightly-elevated bass, with good impact and rumble, and a spicy, crispy treble that has good prominence and attack, but remains 1 or 2 rungs below the harsh and strident planes, the LIRIC would certainly tick your respective boxes.
On the other side of the coin, the Stealth still failed, in most parts, to conjure a magical and immersive listening experience. In my earlier post, I detailed how lackluster it appeared; this time around, with the help of the Hugo TT 2, the Stealth unveiled a sense of greater body and fullness in its tone. This afforded a meatier sound that added a touch of authority and warmth. Sadly, these improved aspects weren't enough to elevate the Stealth to a level that was exciting or musical. Rather, it remained somewhat dull, especially for EDM.
Don't get me wrong, though - the Stealth has its fans, and I can see its appeal, however niche it may seem from my perspective. Still, if you are a dance music fan, you would be hard pressed to derive high levels of emotion and passion from the Dan Clark Audio flagship. Rather, it presents the music like an artist would the many colors used to craft an art masterpiece - you spot the individual hues and strokes in vivid detail; however, the sum of its parts are less appealing than the micro-level examination of its composite units.
Consequently, after 2 auditions, I was sold on the LIRIC. I've purchased my own unit, and it should, hopefully, arrive within the next 2 weeks.