Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › HE-6/LCD-2 vs the classics (R-10, Qualia, K1000, Stax, L3000, etc.) Avoid the landmines.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HE-6/LCD-2 vs the classics (R-10, Qualia, K1000, Stax, L3000, etc.) Avoid the landmines.

post #1 of 161
Thread Starter 

For those that have some of the classic high end headphones, how do they hold up to the new planars?

post #2 of 161

At the moment I can only compare the LCD-2 to the bass-light Sony R-10.  I drastically preferred the R-10, though it really is only because of my personal preferences -- the R-10 is airy and spacious with more focus on the mids and treble, whereas the LCD-2 seems to put more emphasis on the lower end of the spectrum and IMO sounds cramped (dare I say congested?).

 

But personal preferences aside, I acknowledge that both are very excellent headphones, particularly in the mids.  Both have a beautiful, smooth, highly detailed midrange that trumps other headphones I have heard, including the HD800 and T1.  The LCD-2 has very good bass reproduction, with good quality and insane extension.  The bass-light R-10 has by far the best treble I've heard in any headphones -- somehow both prominent and articulate, yet smooth and never fatiguing at the same time.

 

IMO, the LCD-2 has two issues.  First is its tonal balance -- I find the LCD-2 to be darker than I would consider to be neutral, and certainly darker than I would like.  Second is its soundstage -- as I said before, it just has a lack of air and sounds very cramped to me.  This made them sound not-so-great with live music.

 

The R-10 has one issue:  bass extension.  This is pretty obvious though, as the "bass-light" name implies.  But other than that, I really can't find anything else to nitpick about the R-10.

 

Oh, and as far as comfort goes, there's no contest.  The R-10 wins hands-down here.

 

So, in short, I think the LCD-2 gets within a stone's throw of reaching the R-10.  But the King's throne is safe for now.

post #3 of 161


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophonax View Post

At the moment I can only compare the LCD-2 to the bass-light Sony R-10.  I drastically preferred the R-10, though it really is only because of my personal preferences -- the R-10 is airy and spacious with more focus on the mids and treble, whereas the LCD-2 seems to put more emphasis on the lower end of the spectrum and IMO sounds cramped (dare I say congested?).

 

But personal preferences aside, I acknowledge that both are very excellent headphones, particularly in the mids.  Both have a beautiful, smooth, highly detailed midrange that trumps other headphones I have heard, including the HD800 and T1.  The LCD-2 has very good bass reproduction, with good quality and insane extension.  The bass-light R-10 has by far the best treble I've heard in any headphones -- somehow both prominent and articulate, yet smooth and never fatiguing at the same time.

 

IMO, the LCD-2 has two issues.  First is its tonal balance -- I find the LCD-2 to be darker than I would consider to be neutral, and certainly darker than I would like.  Second is its soundstage -- as I said before, it just has a lack of air and sounds very cramped to me.  This made them sound not-so-great with live music.

 

The R-10 has one issue:  bass extension.  This is pretty obvious though, as the "bass-light" name implies.  But other than that, I really can't find anything else to nitpick about the R-10.

 

Oh, and as far as comfort goes, there's no contest.  The R-10 wins hands-down here.

 

So, in short, I think the LCD-2 gets within a stone's throw of reaching the R-10.  But the King's throne is safe for now.


The HE6 fixes what the LCD2 is missing

post #4 of 161

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post


The HE6 fixes what the LCD2 is missing


That's the impression I got from reading the HE-6 thread...I might have to pick up a pair in the next couple months and see for myself.

post #5 of 161

To answer your question: 

 

The LCD-2s are better than the R10 bass heavy, K1000, L3000, SR-Omega, O2 mk1, HE90, HD800, HE-6, T1, and every other set of headphones I have owned.  They are the new kings, period. 

post #6 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

To answer your question: 

 

The LCD-2s are better than the R10 bass heavy, K1000, L3000, SR-Omega, O2 mk1, HE90, HD800, HE-6, T1, and every other set of headphones I have owned.  They are the new kings, period. 


I am pretty sure that opinion is not shared by most.

post #7 of 161


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

To answer your question: 

 

The LCD-2s are better than the R10 bass heavy, K1000, L3000, SR-Omega, O2 mk1, HE90, HD800, HE-6, T1, and every other set of headphones I have owned.  They are the new kings, period. 


Wow El-Doug THAT is a statement!

 

Based only on my reading experience i would say that LCD-2 must be better than:

 

Grado HP1000 (HP2) and any Grado for that matter

Beyerdynamic T1 and any Beyerdynamic

Audio-Technica L3000 and any AT

any Denon

any Ultrasone

 

Based on member impressions i would say that there are 2 modern headphones that are on the same level: Sennheiser HD800 and HiFiMAN HE-6 and it all comes down to personal preference.

 

Now i think that they are either inferior or hardly on the same level with:

 

Stax SR-007 (Omega II) and Stax SR-Ω + Headamp Blue-Hawaii SE (BHSE)

Akg K1000 + 300B amp (Zanden 300B, Air-Tight 300B etc.)

Sennheiser HE90/HE60 + HEV90 (Orpheus System) or Headamp Aristeus or Singlepower ES-1/ES-2

Sony R10/Qualia 010 + Singlepower SDS-XLR or any decent Amp

 

Note that these impressions are based ONLY on reading Head-Fi for years and are NOT my own listening impressions!

After all i think your personal preference is what matters most!

post #8 of 161

LCD2 is very good but not quite as good as the best stuff.  The lack of air makes listening to live albums very strange, for instance.  I would rank the Omega/Omega2/HE90/R10/Sigmas all clearly ahead of it.  The Qualia and K1000 are also better once fitted optimally and in a decent system.  I also prefer some Lambdas over it.  WRT the bass light R10, I agree with everything Sophonax said earlier.  I'm pretty surprised Doug preferred the LCD2 to all of those headphones; in a similar sound signature the O2mk1 is much better and the Stax 4070 is just slightly better than the LCD2 to these ears.

post #9 of 161

To put this in perspective, I think the K1000 are just terrible headphones, even out of fancy SET amps.  I dont understand everyone's love affair with them, as the "soundstage" is just about on par with putting near field speakers 2 inches from your head.  If I want a speaker-like soundstage, I'd use speakers - especially given the K1000 amp requirements.  Their high and low rolloff is disappointing at best. 

 

The HE90, out of every amp I've tried them with, were lots of fun.  But in the end, the "euphoric sound" factor turned into "these are damned colored, and there is a treble peak that feels like it is physically piercing my eardrum, and bothers the hell out of me."  I prefered the WES to the HEV90, HEV90 to the ES-1, and ES-1 to the BHSE for these cans.  None made the HE90 reference quality - it is a statement headphone, imho, due to price and scarcity. 

 

The SR-Omega, even out of a BH, is way too forward to be considered cream of the crop. 

 

The O2 mk1 are similar to the LCD-2 in tonal balance, I agree completely.  However they are still a bit too midbass-prominent, and they seem more congested and blurred than the LCD-2.  Stats may be faster than typical dynamics, but these orthos really sound like they have them beat. 

 

The HD800 has a strange peak somewhere that makes the band sit back in a fantastic soundstage, while the singer moves forward and yells in my ear.  I dont know why this happens, but it is a dreadful experience.

 

The R10s win hands down as far as a pleasant, easy, "musical" experience (I have only ever owned the bass-heavy set).  They are, on a relative scale, slow and sloppy, with a too prominent midrange.  The lushness of these headphones wears on me quickly, making this aspect known at all times in a very obnoxious way. 

 

The Ed9, L3000, etc. all have their hugely significant flaws which dont put them in the highest tier at all. 

post #10 of 161

Most are either too used to the sound of their old gear, or are unwilling to admit the newer and cheaper stuff sounds amazing after shelling out for a pair of R10s
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

To answer your question: 

 

The LCD-2s are better than the R10 bass heavy, K1000, L3000, SR-Omega, O2 mk1, HE90, HD800, HE-6, T1, and every other set of headphones I have owned.  They are the new kings, period. 


I am pretty sure that opinion is not shared by most.

post #11 of 161

Interseting impression Doug. Are you now with only the LCD2 and the IEM. I love the two planar and the HD800 has become a favorite for Classical Music. I find no better for comfort also than the HD800

post #12 of 161

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

The R10s win hands down as far as a pleasant, easy, "musical" experience (I have only ever owned the bass-heavy set).  They are, on a relative scale, slow and sloppy, with a too prominent midrange.


Really?  I don't get slow and sloppy at all out of the R10 -- sounds more like quick and clean to me.  In fact, they seem to measure to have an impulse response about on par with the HD800 and LCD-2.  Maybe due to the difference between bass-light and bass-heavy?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

Most are either too used to the sound of their old gear, or are unwilling to admit the newer and cheaper stuff sounds amazing after shelling out for a pair of R10s
 


I don't doubt that a fair amount of this goes on around here -- people don't want to admit that they wasted their money.  But honestly, I wouldn't want to hang onto a $4k - 7k pair of headphones if they weren't up to snuff -- I'd promptly sell them, recoup my funds, and then go buy some of that "newer and cheaper stuff" that "sounds amazing."

 

Putting price aside, the LCD-2 does indeed sound amazing, but I still think the R10 is the better headphone.  Chalk it up to a difference in taste beerchug.gif

post #13 of 161

Would you be so kind to get your ego off your ears and then talk.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

To put this in perspective, I think the K1000 are just terrible headphones, even out of fancy SET amps.  I dont understand everyone's love affair with them, as the "soundstage" is just about on par with putting near field speakers 2 inches from your head.  If I want a speaker-like soundstage, I'd use speakers - especially given the K1000 amp requirements.  Their high and low rolloff is disappointing at best. 

 

The HE90, out of every amp I've tried them with, were lots of fun.  But in the end, the "euphoric sound" factor turned into "these are damned colored, and there is a treble peak that feels like it is physically piercing my eardrum, and bothers the hell out of me."  I prefered the WES to the HEV90, HEV90 to the ES-1, and ES-1 to the BHSE for these cans.  None made the HE90 reference quality - it is a statement headphone, imho, due to price and scarcity. 

 

The SR-Omega, even out of a BH, is way too forward to be considered cream of the crop. 

 

The O2 mk1 are similar to the LCD-2 in tonal balance, I agree completely.  However they are still a bit too midbass-prominent, and they seem more congested and blurred than the LCD-2.  Stats may be faster than typical dynamics, but these orthos really sound like they have them beat. 

 

The HD800 has a strange peak somewhere that makes the band sit back in a fantastic soundstage, while the singer moves forward and yells in my ear.  I dont know why this happens, but it is a dreadful experience.

 

The R10s win hands down as far as a pleasant, easy, "musical" experience (I have only ever owned the bass-heavy set).  They are, on a relative scale, slow and sloppy, with a too prominent midrange.  The lushness of these headphones wears on me quickly, making this aspect known at all times in a very obnoxious way. 

 

The Ed9, L3000, etc. all have their hugely significant flaws which dont put them in the highest tier at all. 

post #14 of 161

1)  What are you talking about?

2)  Please be nicer
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackmore View Post

Would you be so kind to get your ego off your ears and then talk.

post #15 of 161

I did not get ego in El Doug's impressions, I got that it is what he hears. 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › HE-6/LCD-2 vs the classics (R-10, Qualia, K1000, Stax, L3000, etc.) Avoid the landmines.