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Audeze LCD-2 Impressions Thread - Page 78

post #1156 of 4520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenleaf7 View Post

Thanks for your feedback, that's a really informative post.

 

It seems like you and most others who have either owned of tried both agree that the HD 800 offers more in terms of technical capabilities and comfort, and the LCDs providing better "musicality". The LCD 3 is unfortunately over my budget so i won't be looking into that for now, though i certainly hope to own one in the future. As far as i know, you're the first I know who's pointed out the headband getting disconnected and subsequently scratching the wooden cups during shipping, so that's certainly something I'd wouldn't overlook in the event i choose the LCDs. I shall decide on either of these two awesome phones after properly auditioning them, and I'd definitely pay more attention to the comfort side of things since you've mentioned the HD 800 far outperforms the LCDs in that aspect.

 

On a side note, I also intend to use the headphones with movies. Which of these, in your opinion, would be better suited for that?

 

Cheers.

 

I actually watched a movie or two with both... Well, for me, there is no contest - HD800 all the way. The soundstage and precise imaging they provide is impossible to beat. Also, their bass is surprisingly visceral which is most probably emphasised through the excellent soundstaging (near-to-holographic soundstaging!).

 

I understand that I am at "LCD-2 appreciation thread" but unless you really want a bit dark and calm sound where bass and mids are dominating, I would definitely go for HD800 if possible. LCD-2's strongest point is the bass and midrange, their cooperation, just the frequency response curve itself is what makes LCD-2 as enjoyable and popular as they are. The strongest points of HD800 are soundstage, imaging, separation, microdetail, neutrality... I think you can see the difference.


Edited by RustA - 5/20/13 at 7:55pm
post #1157 of 4520

One this is for sure whatever you like to do be it listen to music, pro recording/edit, watch movies, any of the hi fi cans LCD 2 Rev 1, Rev 2, LCD 3, T1, HD800 are all just a budget transition into eventually electrostatics. 

post #1158 of 4520
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustA View Post

 

I actually watched a movie or two with both... Well, for me, there is no contest - HD800 all the way. The soundstage and precise imaging they provide is impossible to beat. Also, their bass is surprisingly visceral which is most probably emphasised through the excellent soundstaging (near-to-holographic soundstaging!).

 

I understand that I am at "LCD-2 appreciation thread" but unless you really want a bit dark and calm sound where bass and mids are dominating, I would definitely go for HD800 if possible. LCD-2's strongest point is the bass and midrange, their cooperation, just the frequency response curve itself is what makes LCD-2 as enjoyable and popular as they are. The strongest points of HD800 are soundstage, imaging, separation, microdetail, neutrality... I think you can see the difference.

Point taken, thanks for clearly highlighting the differences between the two, though i admit i might never get to watch a movie when i audition them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustA View Post

Btw, if you really want to try Audeze, I would go for LCD-3... I really enjoyed LCD-2 rev2 (the newest version with leather pads) but there is no doubt HD800 are better (compared side by side at home, owned both). They really are and it's even measurable (innerfidelity for example). HD800 have much much much better soundstaging, instrument separation and imaging, along with better microdetail (though LCD-2 are already great here) and frequency response balance. HD800 better handle difficult/busy passages in music... People often mention that HD800 sound bright but I don't think so. They are actually pretty near to neutral. But I guess they are not "as fun" for the majority of people.

 

What do you mean by difficult passages in music? I've heard this term used before but I never really knew what it meant. Also, what are examples of "difficult music"?

post #1159 of 4520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenleaf7 View Post

What do you mean by difficult passages in music? I've heard this term used before but I never really knew what it meant. Also, what are examples of "difficult music"?

 

At first, I would like to stress that this all is only MY OPINION. I definitely don't wanna people think that LCD-2 are not a great headphone or that I have the ultimate truth :-) Also, I feel the need to complete what I've said about LCD-2. Their strong points are the frequency response graph itself, especially cooperation of bass and mids (beautiful, enjoyable), AND clarity with reasonable speed. LCD-2 have low distortion levels and therefore, especially with proper amplification, they must sound very transparent and solid.

 

That said, they cannot quite match HD800, at least not if high-end means high-fidelity or technical brillance. This is also possible to spot when listening through difficult passages which basically means that your music makes your headphone very busy - a lot of instruments at once, badly-mastered recordings or many layers of the same instrument, fast tempo - simply situations where you need balanced frequency response, fast impulse response and precise imaging/separation in order to still get a clear picture with all the microdetails of what is happening in front of you. HD800 are fast and advanced enough to handle everything, from metal to classical. LCD-2 are also very good but their lack or air and a bit worse impulse response plus not very good imaging, only in comparison to HD800, is quite obvious.

 

Another great way to illustrate what difficult music means is when you take a solo record - just one voice or one instrument. Imagine headphones playing just this one instrument... Do you need them to be fast or precise, to image accurately? No, because all the space and time are reserved for just this one instrument... On the other hand, listen to some indie/metal record where you have several instruments and all of them can play in a very fast tempo - well, in order to not get an unlistenable mess, you need headphones which are able to distinguish every single nuance and be fast enough to separate notes in time (fast decay).

 

============================================================================================

 

Generally speaking, responding to the reaction above, the highest models of Stax are considered to be one of the greatest headphones ever created. That said, from what I've read, you just cannot say that Stax is going to be the very best for any single person on this planet. Haven't heard any Stax model yet unfortunately :-) But you can be sure that I have zero intensions to switch to any other dynamic headphones... HD800 are perfect for me. But again, it's only my take on how I want to listen to headphones - I just prefer to be able to visualise the stage in front of me... I just love to listen to live recordings with HD800's semicircular and incredibly deep plus wide soundstage, especially in cooperation with quality hardware crossfeed, which will simply take you there. It's a 3D experience, as much as it gets with headphones. Even SR-009 is not supposed to match HD800 in terms of imaging and holographic soundstage.

 

It all definitely depends on your preference... I've tried to explain as much as I could why I prefer HD800 over LCD-2. However, you must realise that we are comparing two the most popular high-end offerings. Yes, people buy HD800 and LCD-2 the most, as far as I know (along with Beyerdynamic T1 I think).


Edited by RustA - 5/21/13 at 3:50am
post #1160 of 4520

While I think the HD800 is a great phone, I prefer the LCD-2, especially with under $1k amplifiers.  To get the best out of the HD800, I think you need something like a DNA Stratus or Taboo III, if not a Eddie Current BA.  I think it scales better than the LCD-2 does, but conversely, the LCD-2 can sound fantastic with lesser amplification.  Source has to be impeccable for either one, although the LCD-2 is a bit more forgiving of hot/bright recordings, such as early digital from the 70's.  With a hi-rez 192/24 recording, they both can sound wonderful.

 

For me the HD800's biggest advantage is comfort.  I've never spent 10 hours straight with a more comfortable headphone.  But for the kinds of music I listen to, and the times I listen (mostly while working on computer during the day), the LCD-2 is a better choice.  For one thing, I think it does intimacy a lot better, so small chamber orchestra, girl-with-piano or girl-with-guitar, most jazz ensembles, blues, I strongly prefer the presentation and depth of emotional connection I get with the LCD-2.  I disagree that the HD800 does detail better. In fact, I feel that I get a lot more texture and timbre information from the LCD-2's.  The HD800 to my ear is a bit more clinical, and does not move me as much with this kind of music. 

 

Ideally you'd be able to own both! 

 

The HD800 does soundstage and breadth, sounds more open and airy, but unless using a high-end amp, I find it lacking in warmth and emotional appeal.  I grew up with Stax in the house, so I appreciate clean and fast presentation, and the HD800 do a darn fine job for a dynamic phone.  I listen to tons of large orchestral works in the evenings via a high-end system with planar speakers and a distributed subwoofer system.  I'm sure I'd rather listen to these works with speakers, but if I were listening with headphones, the HD800 would be my choice over the LCD-2.  But frankly, I do NOT listen to these kinds of works during the day.  They'd be too distracting and suck me away from thinking/solving work problems.  And speakers are better and deliver the full concert hall experience, deep bass and layered orchestral/choral sound that hits you in the gut. 

 

I get little, intense emotional rushes with the LCD-2's and that makes me happy.  Horses for courses, I guess.

post #1161 of 4520

"One this is for sure whatever you like to do be it listen to music, pro recording/edit, watch movies, any of the hi fi cans LCD 2 Rev 1, Rev 2, LCD 3, T1, HD800 are all just a budget transition into eventually electrostatics."

 

 

 

Disagree completely!  Electrostatics are wonderful.  I've listened to them for more than 30 years.  But they are not the be-all and end-all of music reproduction.  I think each type (planar magnetic, dynamic, electrostatic) can present a different window on the music, some of which are more emotionally valid than others.  Please remember, these are subjective realities.  You are recreating a musical event in your head, but it's all an illusion.  Who is to say that the illusion I form in my head is any less real or compelling than the illusion you form? 

 

Yes there are objective measurements that can be made, but there are so many intervening variables, from the shape of your ears, your hearing acuity, your musical experience, the fit of the pads around your ears, the age of the drivers, the quality of the amplification, etc. that it is impossible to definitively state that one technology is better than another in actual practice. 

 

Anyway, that's my $.02.  YMMV


Edited by DeadEars - 5/21/13 at 7:01am
post #1162 of 4520
Speaking on behalf of all of us who unfortunately purchased the LCD2s we apologize to the purists who are clearly superior musical connoisseurs and who so wisely chose the Senn HD800 phones... Initial research without benefit of being able to audition first indicated many who were happy with the Audeze products. My LCD2.2s may not be all that, but they sound pretty darned good to me. Probably going to have and use them for a long time too. If I can listen to some HD800 may try to get a pair but until then I will just struggle by with my LCD2.2 phones. O the anguish of knowing I am listening on such inferior cans! Woe is me... NOT
post #1163 of 4520
Quote:
Originally Posted by commtrd View Post

Speaking on behalf of all of us who unfortunately purchased the LCD2s we apologize to the purists who are clearly superior musical connoisseurs and who so wisely chose the Senn HD800 phones... Initial research without benefit of being able to audition first indicated many who were happy with the Audeze products. My LCD2.2s may not be all that, but they sound pretty darned good to me. Probably going to have and use them for a long time too. If I can listen to some HD800 may try to get a pair but until then I will just struggle by with my LCD2.2 phones. O the anguish of knowing I am listening on such inferior cans! Woe is me... NOT

 

 

 

 

 

Grins!  Those guys are just trying to help us see the error of our ways.  Obviously if they made a choice they like, it must be a good one for everyone else too, right?

post #1164 of 4520
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadEars View Post

While I think the HD800 is a great phone, I prefer the LCD-2, especially with under $1k amplifiers.  To get the best out of the HD800, I think you need something like a DNA Stratus or Taboo III, if not a Eddie Current BA.  I think it scales better than the LCD-2 does, but conversely, the LCD-2 can sound fantastic with lesser amplification.  Source has to be impeccable for either one, although the LCD-2 is a bit more forgiving of hot/bright recordings, such as early digital from the 70's.  With a hi-rez 192/24 recording, they both can sound wonderful.

 

For me the HD800's biggest advantage is comfort.  I've never spent 10 hours straight with a more comfortable headphone.  But for the kinds of music I listen to, and the times I listen (mostly while working on computer during the day), the LCD-2 is a better choice.  For one thing, I think it does intimacy a lot better, so small chamber orchestra, girl-with-piano or girl-with-guitar, most jazz ensembles, blues, I strongly prefer the presentation and depth of emotional connection I get with the LCD-2.  I disagree that the HD800 does detail better. In fact, I feel that I get a lot more texture and timbre information from the LCD-2's.  The HD800 to my ear is a bit more clinical, and does not move me as much with this kind of music. 

 

Ideally you'd be able to own both! 

 

The HD800 does soundstage and breadth, sounds more open and airy, but unless using a high-end amp, I find it lacking in warmth and emotional appeal.  I grew up with Stax in the house, so I appreciate clean and fast presentation, and the HD800 do a darn fine job for a dynamic phone.  I listen to tons of large orchestral works in the evenings via a high-end system with planar speakers and a distributed subwoofer system.  I'm sure I'd rather listen to these works with speakers, but if I were listening with headphones, the HD800 would be my choice over the LCD-2.  But frankly, I do NOT listen to these kinds of works during the day.  They'd be too distracting and suck me away from thinking/solving work problems.  And speakers are better and deliver the full concert hall experience, deep bass and layered orchestral/choral sound that hits you in the gut. 

 

I get little, intense emotional rushes with the LCD-2's and that makes me happy.  Horses for courses, I guess.

 

Well my HD800's sound pretty damm special out of my Audio-gd Master-6 bigsmile_face.gif


Edited by nigeljames - 5/21/13 at 7:27am
post #1165 of 4520
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadEars View Post

While I think the HD800 is a great phone, I prefer the LCD-2, especially with under $1k amplifiers.  To get the best out of the HD800, I think you need something like a DNA Stratus or Taboo III, if not a Eddie Current BA.  I think it scales better than the LCD-2 does, but conversely, the LCD-2 can sound fantastic with lesser amplification.  Source has to be impeccable for either one, although the LCD-2 is a bit more forgiving of hot/bright recordings, such as early digital from the 70's.  With a hi-rez 192/24 recording, they both can sound wonderful.

 

For me the HD800's biggest advantage is comfort.  I've never spent 10 hours straight with a more comfortable headphone.  But for the kinds of music I listen to, and the times I listen (mostly while working on computer during the day), the LCD-2 is a better choice.  For one thing, I think it does intimacy a lot better, so small chamber orchestra, girl-with-piano or girl-with-guitar, most jazz ensembles, blues, I strongly prefer the presentation and depth of emotional connection I get with the LCD-2.  I disagree that the HD800 does detail better. In fact, I feel that I get a lot more texture and timbre information from the LCD-2's.  The HD800 to my ear is a bit more clinical, and does not move me as much with this kind of music. 

 

Ideally you'd be able to own both! 

 

The HD800 does soundstage and breadth, sounds more open and airy, but unless using a high-end amp, I find it lacking in warmth and emotional appeal.  I grew up with Stax in the house, so I appreciate clean and fast presentation, and the HD800 do a darn fine job for a dynamic phone.  I listen to tons of large orchestral works in the evenings via a high-end system with planar speakers and a distributed subwoofer system.  I'm sure I'd rather listen to these works with speakers, but if I were listening with headphones, the HD800 would be my choice over the LCD-2.  But frankly, I do NOT listen to these kinds of works during the day.  They'd be too distracting and suck me away from thinking/solving work problems.  And speakers are better and deliver the full concert hall experience, deep bass and layered orchestral/choral sound that hits you in the gut. 

 

I get little, intense emotional rushes with the LCD-2's and that makes me happy.  Horses for courses, I guess.

 

Great to see an opinion from a different perspective!

 

I would say that HD800 are the easier headphones to drive, if we talk about the technical side of things only. What is "difficult" about HD800 for the majority of people is a fact that those are very neutral-sounding headphones that certainly "lack" complete smoothness in treble and weight in bass ( = while the bass of HD800 is perfect for me, people like to add more weight to it through tubes usually). That said, treble section of LCD-2 is not completely smooth either and I know what I am talking about. Improving your chain definitely helps both (HD800 benefit from it more IMHO due to their significantly more revealing nature), and not only talking about DAC or amplification.

 

Good that you mention comfort - while it was impossible for me to work with LCD.2 on my head, HD800 are the only high-end headphones which provide me with a level of comfort needed to be able to focus on work fully. That said, I still prefer to switch to my MX-980s if I need an ultimate comfort and be able to focus on something important.

 

We definitely disagree with each other about the detail... While LCD-2 are already pretty good and have a good texture, there is no way you could call vocals of LCD-2 more detailed or realistic than those of HD800. LCD-2 have their smoothness and provide you with a "musical" interpretation but they simply cannot match the microdetail (microdetail =/= forcing you to hear something here) of HD800.  Voices are definitely the first category that comes to my mind but all the acoustic instruments follow. I must say that I maybe prefer how LCD-2 renders electric guitars since there is something about orthos and electric instruments but HD800 do them great as well. Compare those two carefully side by side and unless we have heard some completely different versions of LCD-2, I don't you'll find HD800 worse than LCD-2 in terms of detail. Actually, folks who own LCD-2/LCD-3/HE-6/HD800 would tell you that HD800 lead in terms of detail over all (maybe with HE-6 for some, at least this is an impression I've got).

 

Btw, I think you've mentioned another great point. You regularly listen to your speakers which are most probably of a great quality and therefore you are only searching for relaxing and "enjoyable" signature with your headphones. My journey is for sure different - while I do own speakers and listen to them quite often, they are completely low-end and therefore for music playback, I strictly use my headphones since it is much much much cheaper to get a quality headphones system than going for speakers. You also don't have to treat your room and you can listen to them whenever you want (I prefer listening during nights personally). For me, LCD-2 definitely lack in interpretation of space in front of you... Maybe they are good enough for you and I completely understand why but for someone like me, if I sum up imaging, separation, holographic soundstage and technical brillance of HD800 together, those Senns provide me with a performance that is not in a different galaxy, but several leagues above LCD-2. My favourite sentence on HD800 is that "those definitely aren't your ordinary audiophile headphone..." and that's definitely true - while you have a lot of headphones which are like LCD-2 in terms of technical ability (just a normal soundstage, normal imaging, normal separation, normal decay), HD800 are definitely unique. LCD-2 are great for their very low distortion across the frequency spectrum along with very tight bass but HD800 simply shine in a lot more categories compared to other high-end headphones.

 

I personally don't understand why many people want their headphones to sound only "warm" or "musical". Maybe they just prefer to turn the volume up and be blown away? I personally prefer to listen on low to moderate loudness, having the sounds in a bigger distance from my head. I also use hardware crossfeed in order to even improve that 3D effect. I enjoy the feeling that the band really stands in front of me and I can point to each player. I think you understand why I love HD800 so much... I simply don't need warmth anymore, I don't enjoy it. I simply want balance and after getting HD800, I immediately understood that LCD-2 are lacking in treble department to be called neutral. HD800 do not lack anywhere (maybe in midrange for someone who likes things more lush but for me, their mids are as neutral as it gets).


Edited by RustA - 5/21/13 at 8:35am
post #1166 of 4520

I don't find the HD 800 more detailed than the LCD-2. The HD 800 gives the initial impression of great detail retrieval/resolution by boosting the treble. The LCD-2 let's you hear details through transparency. 

post #1167 of 4520
Well my LCD2.2s sound pretty darned nice out of my Schiit Mjolnir amp and Gungnir dac!
Just purchased a Toxic Cable Silver Widow to use with these cans maybe that will assist with a bit more airy presentation and sound staging.
There is a very pervasive condition most of us unfortunately have to deal with and that is a real lack of ability to listen to new items first and having to purchase to audition. It is impossible to have five or more different amps and dacs and cables both single ended and balanced and the select few phones available to audition at home all at once. This means we just have to go on totally subjective feedback from others to try to decide on equipment that easily can end up costing several thousands of dollars. Not a very good way to do this but in many cases that is all we can do. That is exactly how I ended up with the gear that I have. I know it's not the best but it darn sure isn't the worst either.
post #1168 of 4520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post

I don't find the HD 800 more detailed than the LCD-2. The HD 800 gives the initial impression of great detail retrieval/resolution by boosting the treble. The LCD-2 let's you hear details through transparency. 

 

Interesting... I've extensively compared both side by side and LCD-2 simply lacked microdetail and their treble was too shelved down to offer me all information stored in my music files, in comparison to HD800. That said, I must agree that LCD-2 are already great here and I could certainly live even with LCD-2's level of detail!

 

I must also agree that LCD-2 are a bit more transparent than HD800... However, even LCD-2 are not completely transparent due to their not perfect treble response (there are some peaks from 6 - 10 khz which are possible to hear).

post #1169 of 4520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post

I don't find the HD 800 more detailed than the LCD-2. The HD 800 gives the initial impression of great detail retrieval/resolution by boosting the treble. The LCD-2 let's you hear details through transparency. 

How can a headphone with less retrieval of details be more transparent than the 800? Im sorry if we use the term "transparency" differently… LCD2 is no question a great can but its nowhere near HD800 in detail retrieval IMO, let along the T1...

post #1170 of 4520
Quote:
Originally Posted by knights View Post

How can a headphone with less retrieval of details be more transparent than the 800? Im sorry if we use the term "transparency" differently… LCD2 is no question a great can but its nowhere near HD800 in detail retrieval IMO, let along the T1...

 

I think he means that LCD-2 provide you with more blackness... With a better contrast between silence and music being played. That said, LCD-2 have significantly worse impulse response along with other aspects and yeah, as a result, there is no contest IMHO which headphone provide you with more detail.

 

I agree that LCD-2 are more transparent but it's rather a subtle difference than something trully appreciable. At least IMHO.

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