Interesting point between the UK and US prices though.......I was looking at a pair of 1964 Ears Custom IEMs yesterday. In the UK they retail for about £450.00 if you buy direct from them in the USA they would cost you £300.00. Even with Import tax you are better off.
Bloody Tax Man!!!
Totally agreed !! Here in the UK everything is expensive. Apart from the Tax Man dealers/distributors also ripped us off
Enjoying music from a dream hi-fi system in a well treated room.
Well that is a valid point you make there mate, I forgot that point.
In a lot of cases though it is still cheaper to buy from the states and pay the import tax...especially for products that are domestically made in the US.
I have been looking at ALO Audio portable amps, the closest distributor in Europe is in the Netherlands, Yet with the conversion rates between € / $ / £ it was cheaper for me to go direct to ALO and buy off their website and pay the extra shipping and import tax.
I am now just waiting for my ALO Audio The National amp to be delivered to go with my modded iPod and A.4i
Portable: iBasso DX50 / iPhone 5 / iPad 4
Amps / DACS: Mayflower O2/ODAC
Headphones / IEMs: DreamEarz AUD-8x / Sennheiser Momentum
I hope this isn't breaking any forum rules if so I aplogise.
But I'm a big headphone fan, it's a great way to listen to music in my opinion so when setting up HiFi lounge a couple of months ago I had the idea that I would have a dedicated headphone room with what I consider to be the best headphones all under one roof for like minded people to audition, as I know when I was looking for quality headphones last year I struggled with this very problem.
At the moment I have the following on demo, I'm just waiting for the UK distributor to get the LCD3's in then I'll add them, the final piece of the jigsaw will be adding Stax hopefully as most will agree they make some of the best headphones on the planet,
I've got models under these but these are the motley crew I have put together so far for demo all running of a selection of headphone amps but my reference being the Bryston BHA-1-
Audeze LCD2/LCD3 coming shortly
So if anyone fancies to come and have a listen please feel free, I've got them running 24/7 at the moment as I try to run them all in
HiFi Lounge (Bedfordshire)
Specialists in the brands that we are passionate about!
I was lucky enough to be stateside last week, and auditioned the LCD-2s outside. The other set I was considering was the Grado GS1000i, which they did not have in stock, so comparison was with a PS500.So I'll say first off, that the PS500 were a good fun listen, but when I changed over to the LCD-2s there was no comparison. The LCD-2s offer a very speaker-like experience, and in comparison the Grados felt very much "in your head" and trebly. The LCD-2s are definitely not a bass monster, but it is very controlled and authoritative. A very relaxed listen that wasn't at all fatiguing. I was totally sold at that point.As an object of desire, the Audeze set are lovely - well made, rich rosewood patina, and quite weighty, but not uncomfortable. Just a good heft that makes them feel like objects of substance and durability.So at this point I decided to try out the LCD-3s. My hope was that the difference would not be discernible to me, just being more expensive materials intended to create a higher margin item (ultrasone...).
They do have a distinctly different signature. The most obvious indication is the handling of high frequencies, which ultimately infuses sound across the spectrum. So at the top end, sibillants lose that harsh lispy rasp I'd thought was a fact of hi-fi life, and resolve correctly. Suddenly listening to voices like Dylan becomes much more comfortable. Rolling with a bit of Stravinsky, bass drum notes in Rite of Spring lose any of that slapping thud, and round out properly. I was deeply impressed.I'll point out that all of this was driven by a meridian dac off a pc source - not what I'd call rolls royce set up, but there was no indication that the signal was breaking up or struggling, although if you want to drive very loud it won't do.Moving onto a higher powered source - in this case a McIntosh D100 digital preamp - and it's really lovely. You know when you get the tingle back from a piece of music you've heard a 100 times. I was listening to LA woman by the Doors, and it struck me in ways I can't describe. Makes your eyes water. I ended up buying the shop's demo pair, and back at home now, couldn't be happier, with it being driven from Sonos->Violectric V800 DAC->Violectric V200Yes - it's a lot of $, but in answer to earlier comments about headphone listening, I rationalise it like this:1) I love music. It's my vice, if you like. People spend their money on all sorts of things - this is where it goes for me. Shutting my eyes and letting the music carry me away - a private pleasure. There are worse, and more costly vices!2) To replicate the quality of listening with a "through the air" set-up would be an order of magnitude more costly. I won't get there any time soon! While Closed can listening I feel iis for private listening in public situations. Open cans give you a speaker-like sound, but at a fraction of the price of a speaker set-up. You need quiet space to do this in - it's not a private way to listen.
This is a great read - thanks. The details about the lispy rasp and slapping thud etc. are all too familiar, and I would very much like to hear this LCD3 myself.
KRK KNS8400, B&O H6 (Green), B&W P7, Shure SRH1540, Bose OE2i, Audioengine D3/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Zen Head amp.
Ratbag_77@ Thank you for sharing your experience. BTW have you ever compared LCD-3s with HD800 ?
I have requested my frined to purchase a pair of LCD-3s for me if he goes to the state on his business trip. Presently I am using HD800.
@inter_voice I actually owned the HD800s, and have since sold them on. They are a high quality headphone, and what put me onto them originally was the extreme detail they eked out of every recording - incredibly revealing, very fast. Very persuasive in the salesroom! Again not monstrous bass, but very accurate. However, once home I never really found them a satisfying listen, a bit fatiguing and underexpressive; impressive but not immersive. Notably, treatment of lower quality recordings (or DAB radio quality) featuring compression or natural grain was unforgiving and glaring. You could say "improve your source", but older recordings and artists who go for lo fi grain are a reality, and ultimately it's the music you're there for, right? And if it's not fatiguing listening to rawer mixes live, I don't see that grain has to be gruelling in a recorded context. This is what put me on a bit of a quest.
I thought I was after warmth and softness, which I tried to achieve by adding in a tube stage (from a peachtree nova) but really this didn't work for me, and felt like coloration and rhythmic sloppiness. The other alternative was softer digital filter selection or higher upsampling in conversion - similarly unsatisfactory for me - I felt like I was ironing out essential, characteristic rough edges and losing fidelity when all I wanted was more sympathetic presentation.
So where the lcd 3s excel for me is in two areas, first that uncoloured neutral extension of the range up and down that I referred to earlier - rounding out grain and contextualising rather than exacerbating flaws (hope that makes sense!), and second the amount of contrast they achieve. Sounds silly to say, but silence really is silent, which gives that obvious impact when a track begins, but also a massive boost to dynamic impact during tracks. Listen to something like Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit, and rendering these emotive dynamics is all-important.
My analogy would be the superior black levels on an oled display which has quite a separate impact to high resolution. Both important, but excelling in one department doesn't make up for a deficit in another. So for me the HD800s are the sonic equivalent of Apple's pin sharp retina display. I won't knock the HD800s for a second, but if like me you've been struggling with the issue of the fidelity being there but somehow it not working for you, you may find the liquidity, neutrality, range and contrast of the planars provide the answer.
Got to be worth a listen if you have the chance, anyway!
Thanks Ratbag_77 for the sharing. TBH I don't find my HD800 fatiguing and I can enjoy my music for a few hours without any problem. I have previously owned AKG Q701 and Senn H650 but they cannot compete with my present HD800. I sold these two headphones in the Bay. As you said HD800 is very detailed and the soundstaging is particularily good. I don't feel I am using my headphones at all. Having said as there are so many good comments on LCD3 so I take a chance to buy one without audition. As the cost of LCD3 in the US is much cheaper than the UK and if I don't like it I can sell it in the Bay without too much of a lost.
BTW I am using Yulong D18 DAC and its headphone amp A18 to push my HD800. IMHO they are really perfect matches.
Well if you can get hold of a pair (they're in pretty short supply) you really can't miss: selling them on should be no problem, maybe even at profit in the UK, if they're not for you.
I'd love to hear how you get on with them.
This is just a quick post to let everyone know that we have just added the Audeze LCD-3’s to our line up in our headphone room for permanent demo if anyone would like to pop in for a listen.
I have always wanted to spend some time listening to the LCD-3’s after being won over our LCD-2’s and after borrowing a pair of LCD-3’s from Audeze for a customer to listen to I think it is fair to say that I have now been ruined and there was just no way I could send them back, so we now have both the Audeze LCD-2’s and LCD-3’s on demonstration with a selection of high end amps and a top quality sources so you can really hear them at their best and what they have to offer.
I had always read that the gap between the LCD-2’s and LCD-3’s was quite small with a little more top end detail, generally it was said that they were about 10% better for twice the price, well I have to say that is absolute rubbish, with the LCD-3’s you do get more detail but what really struck me was how rich, full and organic the sound was, extremely lifelike. I spoke to Audeze and apparently early LCD-3’s weren’t quite at the level they are now as they are now using a thinner membrane making the difference between the 2’s and 3’s far wider.
This isn’t to take anything away from the LCD-2’s, they are still one of my favourite headphones, but the LCD-3’s are very special indeed, tonality they rival speakers that cost £10,000+ and for what you loose in scale with a speaker you more than make up for with detail and intimacy.
Budget permitting, I would say that you almost could do with a pair of HD800 and a pair of LCD-3's as they both offer very different presentations but both offer the best headphone listening experiences available depending on what music you are listening too, I guess this is the beauty of headphones, you can easily have a couple of pairs of headphones offering different presentations, this isn't so easy with traditional HiFi listening with speakers.
Here are a few pictures of the LCD-3’s -
Niceeeeee...I want one
HiFi: ClearAudio Concept TT, Musical Fidelity M6i and M6 DAC, M1s (CDT, CLiC, ViNL), Onkyo TA2600, SONY MDSJA20ES MDP, ProAc D18 with full Siltech cabling.
HT: Samsung UA55B7000 LED, OPPO BDP 95-EU,Marantz DV4003, Yamaha RX-V2067, Philips DVDR7300H, Infinity Primus Center, Wharfedale WH2, SW15 Sub, Mission M34i with full QED cabling
Bedroom: Apple AE, Bose WAVE Music Sytem III, Musical Fidelity M1 HPA headphone amp, Bose Over the Ear
HeadFi: Alessandro Grado MS Pro, Beyerdynamic T1, Bryston BHA-1 headphone Amp.
Office: iTunes, UD110 USB DAC, Bose Companion II, Bose AE2w
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