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LCD2,Beyer T1,Sennheiser HD800and HifiMan HE6 Shootout Impressions  

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 

Immitbiker, Baka1969 and Frank I met today at my house shared some pizza and had the opportunity to listen to all the major players in the marketplace today and as is the case in audio we shared some similiar impression about each headphone and some each of us preferred more than the other. What I do want to say these are all contenders for the best headphone but one thing they all have in common is they have both strong and weak point to each, Please be advise my opinion is based on my observations and as always are only my opinion. The others will have different views which is what makes this so much fun. I also have been listening to the HE6 since Wed  so my impressions are not fully completed and will post a separate report on the HE5 loaner paid.

 

The equipment that was used mainly consisted of my Marantz DV6001,Onkyo DX7555 and Sony 999ES Sacd player with my Matrix SS amp and Decware CSP=2. Ross had his Netbook with DacMagic and brought his HD800. Aaron brought himself and a 12 yr old single malt scotch which Ross seemed to enjoy. Posting impression is just that for me as this is not a review as really have not had enough time to post a complete review on the LCD2 so my opinion can change as I get more hours on them.  I received the LCD2 yesterday so they are still new to me and I am still in the honeymoon face. The T1 are my reference cans and I am very familiar with what they do well and the ones I have spent the most time with, Listening mostly with the Decware to the LCD2 and some time with both SS amps I feel the major strong point of the LCD2 is vocal. IMO they reproduce vocals better than any other headphone I have heard, The bass is also really special. It is tight,very controlled and extended. The highs are crystal clear and some have said slightly recessed  but I have not heard any recession and just enjoy the music, Drum cymbals have proper sheen and high hats have space in between that I can hear very clearly. The major weakness that I see with the LCD2 is a small sound stage with very little air and space with instruments is not as wide as the other headphone except the HE6 which shares the air and space issue that I did not experience with the T1 or HD800. Instrument tone is very good and the LCD2 has great detail as all these cans have. Violins and cello are pretty special and the tone is very musical.

 

The t1 has everything the LCD2 has but more space and a wider sound stage with similar transparency. Vocals are produced well but not as well as the LCD2. Overall I bought the T1 was because I decided that really I could find very little they do wrong. I still believe they are uncolored and very musical  and they will always be my go to can. The areas that the T1 excel in are musicality, tone and transparency with very nice bass just not as deep or extended but still very good.I have posted a full review so my feeling are shared in the review.

 

This was the first time I actually spent some time with the HD800 and listening on my system. The Decware mated very well with the hD800 ans IMO a real nice fit. The soundstage was the biggest and deepest on any headphones that were on hand. It has great transparency and really  good on vocals. The area that concerned me most with the HD800 is bass too light for my taste and what I seek in the ultimate headphone. I also noticed a spike in the highs which caused them to sound harsh with horns and instruments that reach high in the tremble. The piercing sound coming from highs could become annoying to some people. For me the HD800 while doing so well with the mids and soundstage better than the other cans would not suit my musical preferences and the spiked tremble would be bothersome to me. To other they may be a non issue.

 

The HE6 will be separate impressions for me on Monday or Tuesday in the HE6 loaner section. So whats this all mean. I would say all people hear differently. They have different music preferences and ways of delivering the music to their headphone. I will say not one can is better than the other. They all have their strong points and yes they all their weakness. There is no one perfect headphone and in the end all that really matters is what makes each and everyone of us enjoy our systems. Whats right for me may be different than others. More important to me is the music and when you have the right combination of amps and sources the cans will fall into place. So synergy is most important as is enjoyment of the music. So those are my impressions of what I heard and encourage everyone to listen to them all and buy what suits you best


Edited by Frank I - 9/19/10 at 3:20am
post #2 of 62

frank - great job, man!

i completely and totally agree with you regarding the LCD-2 and T1.

well said!

post #3 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWuss View Post

frank - great job, man!

i completely and totally agree with you regarding the LCD-2 and T1.

well said!


Thanks for the kind words it was fun

post #4 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWuss View Post

frank - great job, man!

i completely and totally agree with you regarding the LCD-2 and T1.

well said!


Agreed...great write up Frank!!!

 

It was fun calling in a few times to see how the winds were blowing with you guys! I can't say that I disagree with anything you've said about the T1/HD800/LCD-2s. I'm looking forward to see your comments of where the HE6s fit in the equation.

 

Thanks Franks it was fun talking to you, Ross and Aaron about our great hobby. Three great Head-fiers for sure!

post #5 of 62

Great impressions! One thing, you said "tremble" a couple of times when I think you might have been meaning to say "treble"? Not a biggy, but just letting you know. Well done!

post #6 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewh133 View Post

Great impressions! One thing, you said "tremble" a couple of times when I think you might have been meaning to say "treble"? Not a biggy, but just letting you know. Well done!


thanks LOL wish they would put spell check here

post #7 of 62

Great write-up Frank I. Very nice review. What I came away with was that all the headphones have their strengths but there isn't one that can do it all. Therefore, one must listen and decide which one fits most of their particular criteria for great sound.

post #8 of 62
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post




Agreed...great write up Frank!!!

 

It was fun calling in a few times to see how the winds were blowing with you guys! I can't say that I disagree with anything you've said about the T1/HD800/LCD-2s. I'm looking forward to see your comments of where the HE6s fit in the equation.

 

Thanks Franks it was fun talking to you, Ross and Aaron about our great hobby. Three great Head-fiers for sure!


Hopefully I will post that no later than tuesday, Thanks as always Peter is was great to finally chat.

post #9 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

Great write-up Frank I. Very nice review. What I came away with was that all the headphones have their strengths but there isn't one that can do it all. Therefore, one must listen and decide which one fits most of their particular criteria for great sound.


Exactly. they all are good and different in a veyy positive way

post #10 of 62

Hello Head-Fi'ers


Excellent write up Frank.


I want to start off by thanking Frank for opening up his house to Aaron and myself. He also has a great family. I also want to thank Aaron for taking time out to join us. We all had fun chatting and listening. Oh, I wasn't about to get by without a taste of a single malt again. :)


We were all able to listen to all the headphones with the different equipment that both Frank and I had. Namely my netbook with lossless files, the Dacmagic, and Gilmore Lite. Frank has the Decware tube amp, the Matrix M Stage and uses a Marantz SACD player as his source. The HE-6 had to be used out of the back of Frank's excellent Outlaw receiver which drove the HE-6 the way they're suppose to be driven. With gobs of power. As a side note, his two channel setup with the Maggie speakers sounds really impressive.


We all listened to a wide variety of genres so there was a good sampling. As Frank said in the initial post, I don't want to make this a review. I'll just post my overall impressions of the five headphones. Those being the LCD-2, HD800, T1, HE-6 and the D7000.


They all really are excellent headphones. As cliche as it might sound, all five are among the best available today. All five are different. None are perfect. I do feel if one were to take the strengths of each of them and make them a single headphone, then we might get even closer to perfection.


The soundstage king of the lot was the HD800. Of all the attributes all the headphones had, to me, this was the most obvious that the HD800 had the advantage. The most compressed soundstage of the quintet was the LCD-2. Again, no argument with that thought. Where the HD800 has a deep and airy soundstage that almost surrounds the listener, the LCD-2 is cramped not unlike the Grado when compared to the others. The HE-6, T1 and even the D7000 all have a better sense of soundstage than the LCD-2 but don't approach the HD800. The T1 I felt had the second best soundstage of the 5. It's not quite as encompassing as the HD800 but still has a sense of space. I felt the HE-6 was kind of bland in that regard. Not bad, not good, not expansive not tight. Just fair enough.


All of this fine troop are excellent at detail retrieval. No-one can top the HD800 though. If it's on the recording, the HD800 picks it up. The LCD-2 come pretty damn close but falls just shy. The HE-6 is hardly a slouch.


Bass! Everyone want's to know about bass. This is easily won overall by the LCD-2. It deserves repeating from what other that have posted it that the LCD-2's bass digs down deep and takes tight control. It has nice great impact and doesn't bleed over into the other spectrum. It also has a great deal of texture. There is zero midbass hump. The D7000 is known to be a sub woofer with a bass that's somewhat bloated. Although the HD800's bass extends deep, has nice texture and control, it has the least impact of the lot. To me it's not a large issue, but it's not for bassheads. The HE-6 I think had pretty nice bass but compared to the LCD-2 it comes across as having some bloom to it. The T1 has nice bass, nice texture, nice impact, good extension. Nice.


The highs. Oh those highs. I'll say that none of them have bad highs. The LCD-2's highs are recessed. More back in the mix than what I'd prefer. That said, the highs are very refined and have no glare and almost none of the music had any sibilance. The T1 and HE-6 have nice clean highs. I always like the highs of the HD800 and find them airy and clear. The D7000's surprised me because they're so good.


All five of the headphones may present the mids a bit different from each other, but all of them are stars here. To me the LCD-2 has the fullest mids without being stuffy. The HD800 has the cleanest and most spacey of the bunch. I felt the HE-6 and T1's sounded the flattest. The D7000 had some slight issues with the bottom of the mid section because of the bass. The middle mids and upper mids are pretty decent, if falling a bit short of the others.


(Page 1 of 2)


Edited by baka1969 - 9/18/10 at 6:42am
post #11 of 62

The most seductive vocals of this gathering was the LCD-2. Amazing male and female vocals. I kept flipping through songs just to hear them on the LCD-2. With the HD800, vocals tend to stay within the mix. The Senn vocals sound great, and pure, just not as intimate. I think the other there are articulate but don't stand out one way ot the other.


Frank has mentioned that his T1 aren't "Wow" headphones. They just do everything well. I'll extend that description to the HE-6 as well. Neither is a slight. It's a compliment. The LCD-2, the HD800 and the D7000 are all "Wow" because of something they do exceptional in one or two aspects. The LCD-2 with it's rich sound and stellar vocals. The HD800 with it's wide open and balanced sound. The D7000 with it's thump bass. The T1 and the HE-6 on the other hand just go about their business playing music. That's a good thing.


In the end I had fun just having the opportunity to compare five pretty amazing headphones. I implore anyone that's seriously trying to find their favorite by reading posts on Head-Fi to stop. Please go and try to find a way to listen to as many as you can before you decide. There is no best. There is no worst. It's all about preference.


Thanks again to Frank and Aaron.


(Page 2 of 2)


Edited by baka1969 - 9/18/10 at 6:46am
post #12 of 62
Thread Starter 

nice job with the impression Ross. Well said and pretty similar to my conclusiopn

post #13 of 62

Nice reviews, looking forward to your report on HE6!!

post #14 of 62

Thanks guys for these great comparisons.

post #15 of 62

Very nice write up and comparisons. Thank you guys.

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