Disclaimer: I am not a reviewer with extensive TOTL experience (had utopia shortly, but diana v2 is the next higher can I’ve owned) and am almost exclusively portable further hampering the stuff I do have (though I have a plethora of totl portable sources and several portable amps that well outperform the GSX-mini i owned previously). On top of that, as much as I try not to be biased, these are $2.5k (may actualy be a negative?) and extremely fucking pretty. I’m sure thats biasing me some how. Now onto my thoughts.
Got about 7 hours of listening in today. Its amazing how fast you get use to new SQ gains. It was about an hour before I could concentrate on my work and about 1 more before it sounded completely normal. My listening today was mostly weeby edm (porter Robinson radio on roon) in the morning finished off with some relaxing bosa nova style jazz after lunch (last about hour and a half of my day) out of a hugo 2 rca → jot a.
I am currently fully convinced this is the highest-fi experience I have had. Seperation and layering are amazing. The imaging could be better (far shaper image on utopia) but it never once felt smeared at all and movement was well tracked. The instrument texture was on the level of diana V2 and the raw resolution is distinctly a step higher. I’d love to comapire the resolution to utopia but tbh its just been too long since I’ve listened to them so I dont have a high confidence in my feeling.
All that is great, but what realy stands out to me is the timbre. It truly is exceptional at strings and drums. Indont trust my ears on vocal timbre so I won’t comment on the naturalness there, but violin, guitar (acoustic and electric), bass (upright and electric), banjo (if yall have any electric banjo let me know), and drums are truly amazing. The only thing I have heard that had a similar level of realism here is the raal on an mha150 (severly underpowered).
My only real complaint here so far is bass slam/impact. I dont want anyone to take this like the LCD-R doesn’t have bass. It absalutely does. The extension is realy damn solid, the presence is excelent, the texture/control is easily on par with diana v2, and the bass presentation is extremely reminiscent of LCD-X. I just listen at an average of 55-60 dB SPL (yes, I did type that right) and want to feel like I have a bazooka tube lodged in my colon. The LCD-R does not deliver there bass boost on or off (doesn’t change slam at all, just presence). That said, the only cans I’ve ever had that do hit hard enough where I like to listen are t50 mk3 argons and I’m fairly certain that’s just because I could use them higher in volume from a non-existant trebble extension. I have some vauge hope susvara would make that happen, but over all I’m actualy very very satisfied now.
I was actualy gearing up to buy myself a holo may, Rivera AIC-10 and susvara some time in the next month or so. These legitimately have me rethinking that plan. I expect that chain to be better than this one, but I’m just not sure I care. We will see how the feeling develops over the next several weeks, but as of right this second, I want to buy more audio gear to play, not because I’m unsatisfied like I have been since I started my journey. Honestly, its a bit of a wierd feeling. Its safe to say though that I enjoy these quite a bit.