First time at the HeadFi Show: toting stock and modified LP12s and a host of DACs and amplifiers: amazingly, no computers. Obviously an Aurender S10. A roster of headphones were scrabbled together at the eleventh hour: Grado SR125i, SR325i and PS1000 demonstrators arrived just in the nick of time (Friday for Saturday), coincident with the Fostex TH-900. Audeze USA came through for us with a rush shipment of LCD2 that allowed us the luxury of a week’s running in of a demo unit.
The upshot of all this rush was that we didn’t get the chance to audition what we’d bought until actually at the HeadFi UK show in Bar Hill, Cambridge, on the morning of September 15th.
Salient Gary had his pointy ears in them all before I’d finished unpacking. “@?*££& hell – they’re good!” was his reaction to the Fostex. “Sound like Grados” was pronounced on the PS1000. And the Audeze LCD3s received no more than a gallic moue downturn of the mouth.
But indeed, the Fostex TH900 turns out to be a fantastic thing: a closed-ish headphone that doesn’t sound like a literal pair of cans; the most beautifully extended frequency response at both ends this side of the Stax SR009 and a really satisfying quality of resolution, speed and agility. These are special.
Quickly, with honeymoon enthusiasm, we pressed them onto the most available passing heads. At the end of a day of that, the TH900 had become (for us) the most popular and highly regarded transducers of the show. Frequently they received ‘second best in the room’ plaudits.
Inevitably the consensus wasn’t complete: two customers in particular had lengthy auditions of the LCD3 and our new favourite red lacquered Fostex gems and strongly favoured the mellow, liquid rendition of the Audeze cans.
A more detailed comparison of the three headphones followed . . .