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Audeze LCD-2 Impressions Thread - Page 62

post #916 of 4498
I read the comments in the HD800 thread, and while the HD600 and LCD-2 have similarities, they are very different headphones. The HD650 is much more similar to the LCD-2 than the HD600. HD600 has frequency balance that is closer to HD800. These 4 headphones are on www.headphone.com for easy access to response graphs. The main differences between the HD600 and HD800 (I've owned both for quite a while) is that HD600 lacks extension on both ends (bass and treble) that the HD800 fills in. The HD800 closes the gap in the center of the sound stage with the angled drivers and their sense of sheer space gives them a presence both intimate and speaker like at the same time. The HD600 has a medium sized sound stage with average imaging and poor to fair center image leading to a slightly separated sound stage that is common to full size headphones. Tonally the HD600 is a bit less bright than the HD800 and is more forgiving of poorer recordings. The feeling of air is diminished but still good. The most interesting thing about the HD600 (and HD650) is how they scale with gear, especially going to a balanced configuration. These 2 headphones change so much they are almost completely different with contrasting levels of accompanying gear.

I have an LCD-2 on order at the moment so I don't have extensive experience with them, but I have heard them on several different systems over the last few years and while they don't seem to change as much from simple gear quality differences as the HD600/650 does, they can radically change their sound based on the gear they are connected to. I heard cheaper systems that sounded better than more expensive and backwards again with LCD-2. With the LCD-2 it seems it's more of a game of finding the synergy rather than simply buying 'better' gear.

As to your question about rock, if you like rock with the HD600, chances are you will like rock with just about anything. The HD600 is a generally good all-rounder, but certainly is more geared towards classical, acoustic, vocal, jazz type music where there is more emphasis on accuracy of sound and less emphasis on presence (the feeling of the bass, the sense of space). Rock with the HD800, coming from the HD600, will be much more detailed and have a feeling of being larger. Depending on the recording it could be intimate or a bit further away. Bass will be stronger and deeper, but extremely well controlled. Nothing flabby or resonant. Soundstaging will be more precise, meaning you will really feel like the band is lined up in front of you, playing for you. You will be able to 'see' where each member is standing and likely be able to tell if there is anyone standing behind another person (drums/rhythm guitar/backup vocals/etc). Rock will be exciting and edgy, but not in a painful way, generally. Bad recordings will be exposed, low bitrate files will give you problems. This is all part of the HD800 microscope.

From the HD600 to LCD-2 rock will feel much more solid, more visceral. Bass will have substantially more impact and volume. Bass control is very good, perhaps not quite as good as HD800. Vocals will be clean and smooth, a slightly romantic, human feel to them. The trade off for this solid, silky sound is less detail compared to the HD800, but not too different from the HD600. I feel the LCD-2 is actually more resolving than the HD600, but the overall feeling of detail is similar due to the HD600 sounding brighter. Imaging on the LCD-2 depends greatly on your gear synergy. I've heard these with virtually no center image, and with near perfect center image. It will be difficult to know what to pair them with, but generally I would aim for low output impedance, ultra clean output, and if anything slightly bright equipment. I've heard the LCD-2 on darker sounding gear (of which all were tube amps) and all but one just seemed too dark. The only one that wasn't too dark, was just as dark as the others, but for some reason the overall sound was just so relaxing it sounded very nice. The others were just dark to be dark. I've heard the LCD-2 on a hybrid and solid state amp that were tuned brighter and both of those were where I found the best results. One of those is the Schiit Lyr, which can be in your budget pretty easily so long as you avoid excessive tube rolling.

I haven't seen anyone speak of synergy combinations of M-Stage and LCD-2, but it might work alright. I have seen people mention M-Stage as being one of the best lesser expensive HD800 amps, but have not heard it myself.

Both the LCD-2 and HD800 will be a significant upgrade, and there is really no wrong choice here. The comfort of both headphones is very good with the HD800 being the best I've ever worn and the LCD-2 being merely good. The HD800 is lighter and has more contact area to spread the weight and clamping force. The LCD-2 has thicker pads and is a good bit heavier, but spreads it's weight well enough. The HD800 looks like a space ship and the LCD-2 is not far removed from steampunk. LCD-2 is currently in it's 2.2 official revision. There have been a few non-performance changes since 2.2 officially released that have caused people to unofficially change the revision to now 2.5. The current iteration of the LCD-2 is the most robust, this is the one to get. I recommend bamboo over rosewood for longevity (and looks IMO) but others prefer the risk of the softer wood for better looks (in their opinion). There have been no changes to the HD800 since it was released. Build quality is superb and there have been very few defects, unlike early Audeze versions and revisions. The HD800 is the safer bet if you don't want to deal with any potential flaws.
Edited by Maxvla - 1/25/13 at 10:13pm
post #917 of 4498

Thank you so very much. In all honesty, that's the most helpful advice I have yet received on Head-Fi. 

 

Based on your description I am now leaning back towards the HD800. Personally I prefer bright to dark. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like the LCD 2 is a bit more "musical" where the HD800 may seem a bit more analytical. It also seems that the Matrix and HD800 combination seems to be at least signed off on as having good sound for the price. The best part of that, for me at least, is that (until I catch the upgrade bug again) I already have an amp that can drive the HD800. Where as with the LCD 2 it may or may not have that magic synergy, and that could land me dropping another $449 on the Lyr.

 

In the end they will be relatively equivalent in terms of cost, so long as I buy used (disregarding amps).

 

One last question, as you have been more than helpful, but in moving up to top of the line headphones such as these do you believe it's necessary for me to upgrade my DAC (FiiO E10)? If so, what would you recommend?

 

Thanks again.

post #918 of 4498
On the used market LCD-2 of this latest version will sell around $900. You can sometimes find used HD800 for that or a bit more, but typically they will be $1000+. If you know where to look you can sometimes find new HD800 for $1100-1150. If you are interested in customization, the HD800 is the only one with professional customization via Colorware, but it will cost the standard retail of $1500 (which is what I did, to get the fully black HD800 you see in my avatar) and take about 4-5 weeks. This does not change the sound at all, btw.

If you sold the M-Stage and got the Lyr and LCD-2 you will spend about the same as keeping the M-Stage and buying the HD800 so this is not a money issue. The HD800 costs about 200 more and the Lyr costs about 200 more, so it's a wash. Perhaps someone has experience with the M-Stage and LCD-2, though that I have not seen which would make it the cheapest option to simply keep the M-Stage and get the LCD-2.

Your description of the signatures and characteristics is about right, but those descriptions are relative, and at that level of performance.. splitting hairs. As far as one being better than the other, it's personal preference. I see HD800 and LCD-2 existing together in quite a few profiles these days, including my own soon. So maybe the answer is to have both!

To your last question: yes, but no and no but yes. It will be necessary to upgrade to a more resolving DAC to get all of the potential of either of these headphones, however, it's not something you necessarily have to do right away. Even if you changed nothing but the headphones, you would see dramatic increases in quality and enjoyment. Tweaks for synergy with changing amps is just to unlock a bit of potential at the same time. No offense, but just about any recent DAC at a higher price will better the E10. There are so many it's hard to keep track of and harder than that to know signatures, much less test in person. Moving up from the E10 will be a discussion unto itself. I'd suggest starting a thread in the source forum when you are ready to move on that front.
Edited by Maxvla - 1/25/13 at 11:25pm
post #919 of 4498
I owned both LCD-2 and HD800 for some time and there isn't much I can add to Maxvla's excellent posts.

You should be fine with the E10 in the interim, but be advised it will be a significant bottleneck and mask the HD800's potential. The LCD-2 is the safer and cheaper option if you don't want to go down that rabbit hole. It's less rewarding though.
post #920 of 4498

This definitely comes down to end game goals.  I find neither 'perfect' but the LCD-2 that one with the flaws I can look past.  The HD800 for all it's strengths is a distant passive listen for me.  The LCD-2 for all it's strengths is a little darker than I like but increasing the volume balances this out.

 

Essentially pick your poison or in this case the faults you can live with.  I've tried the HD800 two times on two different rigs at home and always walk away knowing it's just not for me.  In fact I almost got it for a 3rd time last night but decided to look elsewhere.  Keeping the LCD-2 means that while I enjoy it more than the LCD-3 I had prior also means I wish it had better clarity without losing the physicality and praying that doesn't mean a trip back to Stax land ;)

post #921 of 4498

it's BAD ASS headphone!!! i meant lcd2!!  deadhorse.gif

post #922 of 4498
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmahler2u View Post

it's BAD ASS headphone!!! i meant lcd2!!  deadhorse.gif

 

What are you impressions against HD800? smily_headphones1.gif

post #923 of 4498
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustA View Post

 

What are you impressions against HD800? smily_headphones1.gif


Well, my impression on LCD2 is Warm and Musical.  That doesn't mean HD800 warm and musical. It has analytical beautiful and honest beauty.

Of course, this is my first ortho headphone.  I had fun listening rock, jazz, batman soundtrack. lcd2 is more forgiving compare to hd800.

 

Maxvla already has extensive review.  it's pretty short impression.

post #924 of 4498

I am getting an LCD 2 soon.

I am thinking about either bamboo or wood.

It's a fact that wood is much much more durable than bamboo, but I am wondering if anyone has had any; issues with the bamboo version like cracks or chipping?

The bamboo looks better imo, but I'm thinking long-term.  Also, hardwood would theoretically sound better.

post #925 of 4498
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSGO rice View Post

I am getting an LCD 2 soon.

I am thinking about either bamboo or wood.

It's a fact that wood is much much more durable than bamboo, but I am wondering if anyone has had any; issues with the bamboo version like cracks or chipping?

The bamboo looks better imo, but I'm thinking long-term.  Also, hardwood would theoretically sound better.

You're off on so many levels.

 

1) it's not a fact that "wood is much more durable than bamboo", in fact composite bamboo is one of the most durable non-exotic woody materials available

 

2) Audeze shifted to include composite bamboo as an option for two reasons, that it is MORE resistant to cracking than rosewood, and that it is significantly lighter in weight (everyone knows LCD2s are heavy as a brick, so any reduction in weight is very welcome), you should worry less about the possibility of cracking if you go with bamboo, versus rosewood

 

3) There is absolutely no effect on the sound from the wood/bamboo cup casings, as they serve more as a bracket for the drivers rather than a cup. This has been confirmed by Audeze devs themselves.

post #926 of 4498
Rosewood is not really all that hard. I work with it all the time and it shaves off like butter with a sharp blade.
post #927 of 4498
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

You're off on so many levels.

 

1) it's not a fact that "wood is much more durable than bamboo", in fact composite bamboo is one of the most durable non-exotic woody materials available

 

2) Audeze shifted to include composite bamboo as an option for two reasons, that it is MORE resistant to cracking than rosewood, and that it is significantly lighter in weight (everyone knows LCD2s are heavy as a brick, so any reduction in weight is very welcome), you should worry less about the possibility of cracking if you go with bamboo, versus rosewood

 

3) There is absolutely no effect on the sound from the wood/bamboo cup casings, as they serve more as a bracket for the drivers rather than a cup. This has been confirmed by Audeze devs themselves.

Thanks for replying.

I haven't really researched it, so I only went with what I have experienced at first.

My bamboo cutting boards crack every other day and it is a fact that bamboo is not nearly as physically durable as hardwoods.

Also, I used to have a 300+ year old violin which is made out of hardwood and there are no cracks at all.  I would imagine bamboo would crack after a few years just guessing from the looks of the grains on it.. but idk...

And I said theoretically because violins are made out of hardwood, and there are a few bamboo -made ones that all sound like ****.  But i know it doesn't contribute to the sound of these headphones so I said only in theory haha.

But, I don't know much about the construction of headphones, so I'll take your word for it and do a little more research.  I'm glad you told me, because I think the bamboo looks better as well =)


Edited by CSGO rice - 2/3/13 at 2:52am
post #928 of 4498

also, i thought they switched to bamboo because rosewood was getting harder to find.

post #929 of 4498

1) Rosewood looks a lot nicer than bamboo... Promo images could suggest otherwise but the newest "version" of rosewood is BEAUTIFUL. All the images of bamboo I have seen so far were "ok", at best...

2) Bamboo is only about 25 g lighter... If you can feel the difference, it's most probably placebo.

3) Rosewood is more exclusive than bamboo (more limited, longer waiting time etc.) so if you want to be clever, get rosewood version ,-)


Edited by RustA - 2/3/13 at 3:31am
post #930 of 4498

Isn't that just a matter of taste.

The Bamboo is indeed lighter, so how that's possibly placebo. I believe you were looking for the word marginal.

Rosewood may be "more exclusive", but one should really weigh their own personal taste and factor in the fact that Bamboo composite seems to be more resistent to cracking.

Another pair of Rosewood cracked, however in a completely different spot, fact remains, Bamboo may just be more durable in the long run.


Edited by paradoxper - 2/3/13 at 9:32am
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