Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › My comparison review of Stax Omega 2 mk2, LCD-2, HD650, and M50
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

My comparison review of Stax Omega 2 mk2, LCD-2, HD650, and M50 - Page 4

post #46 of 86


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique View Post
So basically the Stax rig is an luxury item that's rarely use in daily life. Sort of like if you had more than one car. The LCD-2 is like a practical but very high quality everyday car, and the Stax is like that exotic sports car that you rarely drive and keep in the garage most of the time.

 



biggrin.gif

post #47 of 86

Thank Lunatique! Your review has basically made me not want to upgrade to a pair of HD650s as the difference isnt night and day! So now i shall be looking into getting a pair of customs.biggrin.gif

post #48 of 86

First class review. No criticisms at all, only an observation that if I were judging headphones purely on FR graphs and I came upon the set your've reproduced here, I would without a doubt choose the HD650. That's one remarkable response given the ups and downs of the other, ostensibly higher rated phones.

post #49 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

First class review. No criticisms at all, only an observation that if I were judging headphones purely on FR graphs and I came upon the set your've reproduced here, I would without a doubt choose the HD650. That's one remarkable response given the ups and downs of the other, ostensibly higher rated phones.


If only the HD650 had a more authoritative deep bass, it would be even more loved than it already is.

 

Now that some time has passed since I first posted the review, I have some additional thoughts based on more experience. Overall, my favorite is the LCD-2, because it is just so creamy, so full-bodied, yet so detailed, smooth, articulate, and satisfying. The slightly softer upper-mids really is an advantage in many ways because it totally reduces listening fatigue. The only time that's an issue for me if when I'm using headphones for critical audio work, and I always double-check my mixes with the HD650 since it's upper-mids aren't recessed. Those two are like my headphones tag-team when it comes to doing critical audio work with headphones.

 

The LCD-2 is pretty much my go-to headphone for everything--movies, games, critical listening, leisurely listening--you name it. Other than when I'm doing mixes and need the HD650 to double-check the upper-mids region, the LCD-2 is the reigning king in my studio. If it wasn't for double-checking my mixes, I wouldn't have any reason to put on the HD650.

 

The M50 stays in the closet until I need to do tracking with it.

 

The 007mkII is more of a special mood kind of headphone, such as when I'm in the mood for nostalgic 80's J-Pop, or wanting a different flavor than the LCD-2, is when the Stax rig gets turned on. I also use it as an additional opinion for my mixes.

 

post #50 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

First class review. No criticisms at all, only an observation that if I were judging headphones purely on FR graphs and I came upon the set your've reproduced here, I would without a doubt choose the HD650. That's one remarkable response given the ups and downs of the other, ostensibly higher rated phones.



Which is why graphs are not that meaningful.  Remember that you're trying to assess the colorations of gear using gear that is going to have colorations of it's own....

post #51 of 86

This is a first class thread. Thank you for the review and your views, Lunatique.

 

I guess I need to listen to the LCD-2's someday, but in the meantime I will spend what extra time I have on finding and experiencing music I haven't had a chance to listen to before.

post #52 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

First class review. No criticisms at all, only an observation that if I were judging headphones purely on FR graphs and I came upon the set your've reproduced here, I would without a doubt choose the HD650. That's one remarkable response given the ups and downs of the other, ostensibly higher rated phones.



Which is why graphs are not that meaningful.  Remember that you're trying to assess the colorations of gear using gear that is going to have colorations of it's own....



And yet...so often I've listened to headphones and been able to predict their FR with uncanny accuracy. No, maybe it doesn't tell the whole story, but boy, it tells a good part of the story, and what I see of the 650 FR is pretty much what I hear. There may be better phones--there are--but few if any as overall satisfying, honest and versatile in that price range. That's why the 650 is a classic and will remain so for a long time.

 

I just wish I had a dollar for every one Sennheiser has sold. 50c even.....

post #53 of 86

A most excellent article! Thank you for taking the time and putting in the effort to do such a nice job! I must say that when I look at the photos and graphs you included the phrase "Headphone Porn" pops into my sleepy mind....

 

Thanks again!

 

(p.s. I have owned my pair of M50s for a week now. I feel I made a decent choice)

post #54 of 86

As a long owner of HD650, recently owning LCD-2, having heard several times (but not yet convinced) and wondering if O2 Mk2 is a better choice and I should buy it, this is a review EXACTLY what I need.  Nice style and honest writing as well.

 

It's a bit late, but BIG THANKS Lunatique !!!!

 

Ps. your wife is very beautiful  normal_smile%20.gif

post #55 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post

As a long owner of HD650, recently owning LCD-2, having heard several times (but not yet convinced) and wondering if O2 Mk2 is a better choice and I should buy it, this is a review EXACTLY what I need.  Nice style and honest writing as well.

 

 

 

RedBull, are you saying you're not satisfied wit the LCD-2? In any case, I'd be interested in your impressions of it versus HD650.

post #56 of 86

pp312, I like LCD-2 very much, much much more than HD650.

 

To me (LCD-2 vs HD650):

High: LCD-2 is much much better, it is very smooth and convincing, whereas the high on HD650 can be a bit fuzzy and lack of body, just hear more sizzling.  Like cymbal, HD650 lack the decay after the brass has been hit. I can hear the 'mid-range' of the cymbal much better on LCD-2, to me cymbal sounds more 'correct' on LCD-2.  But, .... there are times, where the recording itself is quite dark, I feel like I need more bite to the music, then I pick up HD650.

 

Mid: I agree it is a bit recessed somehow, but the detail, breath, body, realism it melts my heart.  I can hear more weight to the vocal and any instrument's body that the harmonics falls in the mid range area.  Other than the plusses, there are times when I heard, I don't know it is excess reverb or resonance in the mid range, this is not happen always, but only on certain jazz recording (5% of my collection), never happen on Pop, Rock or electronica, classical.  I have two cables, stock and Norse Audio.  Vocal is less 'recessed' on the stock cable, it brings the vocal more forward, but Norse Audio is smoother on top, mid, only slightly larger soundstage, slightly more clarity, overall, I prefer Norse, but I can easily live with stock if I don't have the budget to buy Norse cable.

 

Low: LCD-2 also better by a lot, so much deeper.

 

Weight, I wish it is as comfortable as O2, LCD-2 is very heavy (to me).  I never feel physically tired listening any headphone for many hours before but my neck can feel tired with LCD-2 when I listen for, say 2-3 hours straight (with a little break of course, like taking drinks or going to the loo biggrin.gif )

 

Soundstage: LCD-2, no discussion.

 

Open-ness:  (feeling like it is an open/close headphone): maybe due to I hear an extra reverb on the midrange, I feel HD650 is more like an Open headphones than the LCD-2.

 

Fatique:  LCD-2 much more less fatique, period.

 

Sibilance: Although HD650 is known to be sibilance free, sometime I can still hear some small sharpness to the vocal, I hear NONE on LCD-2, ZERO ...

 

Speed: LCD-2, 100%, no 'but' ..... fast piano play smoothly, effortlessly.

 

Now why I'm looking at O2?  somehow those good comments about O2 keep me thinking if I like O2 better than LCD-2.  I've tried quite a few times, but I still can't convince myself I like the sound more than LCD-2.  Just like Lunatique impression, to me it is a bit too 'light' (not thin) sounding somehow, I don't know how to explain 'light' further, but it has this 'difference' that keep me thinking about it.  I know Stax die-hard fans will be saying the O2 is not properly driven etc, I'm aware of that, that's why I keep looking for an opportunity to audience it with more 'proper' amplification like Blue Hawaii or KGSS, if I'm lucky :).  But with Stax owned flagship tube amplifier ($3000), I'm not yet impressed.

post #57 of 86

"pp312, I like LCD-2 very much, much much more than HD650."

 

Thanks for those impressions, RedBull--very helpful. However, are you sure you like the LCD-2 much much much more than the 650, or just much much more? Or maybe just much more? tongue.gif

 

I considered the LCD-2 once, but have decided against it. I'm a one headphone man, and whatever its faults I feel the 650 is an ideal compromise. Whilst I'm aware it isn't the last word in headphones, I never wish I had a different phone for different CDs; it's the ideal "all purpose" phone, and damned comfortable to boot. I'll accept its faults, keep the $1000 and consider myself fortunate for having what I have.

 

But I do like reading about the better things....   

  

post #58 of 86

Ok, that might be to many 'much' I typed tongue.gif.

I don't hate HD650 that badly to the point I want to sell it, I keep both, I find sometimes some songs are better on HD650.

 

If you can find used, actually LCD-2 is even better even for general purpose, not so good recording doesn't hurt on LCD-2 at the same time good recording also sound better on LCD-2, don't ask me why, I can't explain this. 

HD650 sounds excellent on good recording, sounds a bit less forgiving for MP3, well, HD650 is more forgiving than HD800 for sure, but LCD-2 is even less fuzzy on the lesser recording.  Strange eh ... confused.gif

post #59 of 86
Thread Starter 

What's great about the LCD-2 is that it's one of the most non-fatiguing headphones I've ever heard, yet it's also one of the most detailed as well. That is a rare, rare thing for any audio device, and it's the kind of sonic signature that defines that high-end is for many people. I use the LCD-2 for everything--leisurely listening, video games, movies, critical audio work--and the only time I ever feel the desire to put on any of my other headphones is when I'm looking for a second opinion on critical audio mixes I'm working on. The Stax rig is the exception since it's so unique sounding, so I listen to it when I'm in the mood for that specific unique sound. I just love how creamy and full-bodied the LCD-2 is. When you swap out the LCD-2 for another headphone, the very first thing you typically notice is that what was once full and dense, all of a sudden sounds patchy or have holes in the frequency range. If Audez'e could just bump up the mids very slightly and then perhaps have just a tiny bit more punch to the bass (not enough to color the awesome flat bass too much, but just enough to give it a little bit more visceral feedback to match a speaker's visceral punchiness. But this is highly subjective though, and I don't always feel this way--I sort of waver on this depending on what I'm listening to), the LCD-2 would be the perfect headphone according to my ideal.

post #60 of 86

It probably would be my ideal as well, and I guess I shouldn't totally rule it out for the future. However, apart from the cost there's the fact that I'm 64 with (mild) tinnitus, and I'm not sure my ears deserve a $1000 headphone (A bit like that cartoon I saw once where the shop assistant in a hi-fi store is shouting at a customer, "I SAID, YOUR EARS DESERVE THE BEST, SIR!"). Also I have constructional concerns with the LCD-2. It doesn't look very sturdy, there have been early hiccups and even cracks in the wood.  It's something I think I may need to look at again in another 12 months.   

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › My comparison review of Stax Omega 2 mk2, LCD-2, HD650, and M50