Out of pure interest, I'm posting my impressions of my current two favourite headphones with different types of music. I'd previously pegged the LCD-2s as being great with hotter recordings, such as pop music and less great with violin-laden classical, purely due to the frequency response. Now, with a new God to bow down to top-tier contender at around 4-5x the price, I wanted to see how they compared. Initial impressions were that the Stax are, when it comes to detail and naturalness, on another plane from the LCD-2s (which is saying A LOT), but not everything I listen to is un-compressed jazz or classical. The Stax do have an ability at detail retrieval and imaging precision that is phenomenally good, while the LCD-2s have a lot of punch while retaining detail and are capable of bringing you into the music without frequency-response trickery. Rig: Mac > Audiophilleo 1 > Audio-gd Reference 1 > Audio-gd Phoenix or Stax SRM-007t (with Herbies tube dampers). Rig summary: Detailed with very low distortion and dead-neutral with a wide sound-stage going through to the LCD-2s. The Stax amp has tube dampers which bring out the bass*, while retaining just a touch of tube flavour. The Phoenix is technically probably a better amp than the SRM-007t, so the LCD-2s probably have an advantage here until I can get a better 'stat amp. *Yes, tube dampers really can do that. LCD-2s with original pads and a Norse Audio 8-wire cable. Stax SR-009 stock. Norah Jones - Above Ground LCD-2s: Norah is seductive as ever, though the bass and guitar drone somewhat in the background. A little bit of sibilance on S-sounds is noticeable in the recording, but is not annoying in the slightest. Despite the equipment tending to throw a wide headstage, the overall sound is club-like intimate with instrument sound being less precise and filling the imagined soundstage. Norah's voice is punchy and in-your-face. SR-009s: Norah’s voice jumps out, clearly separate from the instruments around around her, which in turn seem to have more distinct places. Whereas the LCD-2s with their particular FR tend to give Norah a more husky presentation, being more focussed towards the lower end of the vocal spectrum. The notes that punched with the LCD-2s are caressed over you with the 009s. The Stax seem to show you all the finest textures and details where the LCD-2s are more like a photo with the contrast turned up a bit too much, washing out some of the finer detail in exchange for greater impact. Jack Johnson - Dreams be Dreams Jack Johnson - Holes to Heaven JJ's tracks are great, high-quality, high-contrast tracks to listen to gear with. They make everything sound great. LCD-2s: The cymbols and upper registers of his guitar stick out here, presumably due to the treble peak around 10k. The magnificient bass really sticks out here, bringing a lot of body to the music when the bass is playing without overdoing it. The LCD-2s here remind me a little of some IEMs such as the AT CK-100s which can sound somewhat wrong in absence of sufficient lower treble. Being full-sized headphones though, in the absence of headphones with a more V-shaped FR to compare with, it sounds right, unless you are a bass- or treble-head. 009s: With a more filled-out treble, this pseudo-pop can be a tad overwhelming with even some guitar sounds being a little too hot, though not harsh. The bass guitar, in contrast, sits more "there" than "everywhere" as an just another instrument in the recording. Jack's voice is heading a bit more towards being "tinny", though it isn't. Massive Attack - Protection 009s: Tracey Thorn's voice has a delicacy and naturalness that is addictive, with all the subtle reverb she puts at the end of the word "protection" coming through. The recording is on the very edge of sibilance and this is very apparent. The back-beat of the track is in the background, not the foreground as it is with many headphones. LCD-2s: The backbeat is more prominent here. The less forward treble gives the impression of a blacker background around Tracey. Michael Jackson - Liberian Girl LCD-2s: The impact, being pop music, is delicious here. The voice over-dubs fill the sound and the electronic beat punches beautifully. Michael's voice is done great justice with the detail and feeling coming through. 009s: The electronic beat still punches, but not as deep and hard as it does with the LCD-2s. With the 009s it is more around the mids and treble. Despite volume-matching roughly using Sound Meter on my iPhone, I had to turn the volume down on the 009s as the greater treble can make pop, which tends to be bright, a little unpleasant.