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California Audio Show: Elite Audio, Audeze, and SPL

San Francisco retailer Elite Audio was offering attendees a full Audeze servicing at the California Audio Show yesterday. All four headphone models were hooked up to high-end amps and source devices. My favorite pairing was the LCD-X ($1699) with the German-made SPL Phonitor 2 ($1899) playing CDs from a older Meridian unit. I was, of course, wanting it louder, and the more I turned the SPL knob clockwise, the better the rig sounded. No break-up, just clean decibels, with just-right, taut bass, neutral midrange you could almost touch, and highs you could both feel and see through. Gosh.

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I loved Audeze’s LCD-XCs ($1799), too. I’m just thinking that the XC’s closed cups might forge more bass oomph than is appropriate for extended listening sessions.The XC model could excel with rock and electronic fodder, while the LCD-X seems better suited to classical, jazz, vocal and acoustic musics. I’d love to hear what both can do with a varied palette of high-resolution FLACS. Further research is required. Such a burden.

The Phonitor 2 has some complex stuff going on behind a relatively simple front panel. There’s other people better at explaining this stuff than I:

Bart from Elite was gracious, helpful and informative throughout the demo at CAS yesterday. As Elite is the San Francisco dealer for Zesto, as well, a visit to Elite’s combined coffee shop and audio showroom is inevitable over the next month or so.

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