Here are my impressions of the LCD-2 r.2 I will refer to the latest LCD-2 Revision2 as r.2 from this point on.
The r.2 has a thinner newly developed faster diaphragm and this new development has impacted the LCD in very beneficial ways in every aspect of its performance. There is now more upper frequency extension than previous, this does not appear to be an increase or boost in treble amplitude but more an increase in the range of the r.2 itself in terms of portrayal and response. Tonal characteristics of the r.2 are the same but the tonal range has been extended into the upper frequencies. This upper frequency extension means more noticeability in that area and the key here is not an increase in treble amplitude, not an infringement of treble upon the sonic characteristic of the LCD as many have feared and speculated, but an increase in resolution and clarity from the new driver. The frequency extension does not translate into a more forward sonic character, it hasn't created glare, edginess, artificial brightness, or a hardness to the delivery. There is more air now to this region and overall detail. This detail does not create any hardness or bring to the r.2 an analytical nature. Audeze has described the upper range as more pronounced but I believe they have used the wrong term to describe what has happened in this region. "More pronounced" can be misconstrued perhaps as forward or aggressive and this is not the case at all. The upper range is simply more defined now with more access to inner detail. A veil has been lifted and there is more focus and speed to the detail, all of this seems natural and not analytical or cold.
Sonic elements in the upper region are approached with more realism than before. Cymbals, chimes, cowbells, tambourines, are now better represented and reproduced. They have a more natural and metallic shimmer with more air. The shimmer has quicker speed now and a more effortless and natural deliverance, a more realistic metallic timbre which is fast and delicate as it decays. They are simply more convincing and have more micro dynamics and frequency extension.
The r.2 is simply quicker overall. There is more resolution of low level detail, micro dynamics, and more clarity to the detail which is more accessible and easier to discern giving the r.2 a more effortless sense of delivery.
This refinement in detail, clarity, micro dynamics, and overall resolution provides the r.2 with better focus, imaging and an improved soundstage. The soundstage is more dimensional with more apparent depth from front to back and is more layered in it's defining presentation. This improvement comes from the cues derived from the speed of the new drivers. That extra resolution to the low level detail and micro dynamic detail gives instruments more of a physical embodiment, a touch more air around them and a touch more dimensional realism. These cues allow for that ever small amount of detail to be separated in the soundfield and it adds to the overall realism. A small triangle in the back of the mix when struck now seems to have more space and air around it and the extra bit of low level detail gives the instrument more of a physical embodiment and location in the space of the soundfield.
Overall the soundstage has improved in dimensionality and seems wider. Not wider in terms of more seemingly extended distance in physical separation of instruments than before but that there no longer seems to be a constriction at the edges as there once was. You don't get that sense that there is something restricting the edge of the soundstage, truncating it and reflecting it back closing it in. Now the soundstage seems to gently fall away at the edges leaving more of an impression that there is a natural unconstrained space for the instruments and music to sit within rather than be walled in by some sort of containment. Before this restraint at the edges was a distraction but now with the gentle release at the edges of the soundstage the listener is free to enjoy the soundstage in a more natural presentation. There is also an improved height to the soundstage as well.
Midrange tonality remains the same but the added resolution has improved its definition and dimensionality. Bass is a bit deeper and seems to have more extension to its depth than obtrusive amplitude. The entire spectrum seems to have benefited from a little more dynamic low level detail and resolution which adds an extra small amount of realism to the surface of a drum being hit with the drumstick, the pluck of a guitar string, or a cymbal being struck. Instruments are just a bit more palpable where it counts.
I am enjoying the new leather headband. I do not notice its presence at all while listening and I don't think it adds more weight to the LCD. The latest LCD comes with the drivers secured with a plastic tie wrap so be forewarned to remove it before you try to adjust the height of the cans. I didn't see them at first and couldn't figure out for a minute why they would not adjust.