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Stax SR-009 vs. Audeze LCD-2s: Music Impressions - Page 2

post #16 of 43
Thread Starter 

It would be interesting to get your impressions of the latest revision with the thicker pads and new drivers in which someone measured a cleaner FR curve, as it might fix some of your criticisms.  I agree somewhat about the EQ'ing though, but from that point that most of what we concern ourselves with on Head-Fi has to do with tonal (FR) differences between equipment, more so in some cases than resolution. With performance measurements of headphones now readily available for most common models we can see that what we perceive as greater detail and better response from the LCD-2s is indeed genuine and it isn't just the FR that is wowing us.  Mind you, the FR of the LCD-2s, being that they aim for something closer to "flat", is generally less likely to be impressive to people IMO, leaving their speed and resolution to do that.

post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

It would be interesting to get your impressions of the latest revision with the thicker pads and new drivers in which someone measured a cleaner FR curve, as it might fix some of your criticisms.


I didn't know Audez'e had updated the LCD-2 with thicker pads and a different driver. When did this happen? Do you have a link to the new measurement?

 

post #18 of 43
From what I've been hearing and reading it sounds like the 009 COULD have been the best headphone ever made if it did a better job in the bass department.

I also feel that it needs to be mentioned that the "closest" comparisons are made between the 009 and the LCD2. What does this say about the LCD2? it's 1/5th of the price!!!!!

I just can't understand what's inside a Stax 009 to make it worth 5,000.00 when we are getting the LCD2 for $1000.00.

This just makes the LCD2 shine even more.
post #19 of 43
Thread Starter 

Lunatique:  Took me a while to find, as the main thread gets a few pages of posts every day. However, there is always a degree of inconsistency with headphones, so I wouldn't take the graph below as given. It does match what Audeze about better and more consistent response from the headphones in the bass, however.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BmWr75 View Post

Here's a frequency response comparison of the two sets of LCD-2s I've owned.  The March 2011 set was returned due to a failed driver.  The July 2011 version is the replacement pair.  I just picked the data points off the graphs supplied by Audeze and plotted them in Excel.

 

The earlier version has ~2 dB hump from 60 - 1,300 Hz, which should be clearly audible in a direct comparison to the newer version, as would the ~2-3 dB at hump at 1000 Hz and the ~4.5 dB hump at 10,000 Hz.

 

lcd vs lcd.jpg


 

post #20 of 43


Quote:

Originally Posted by sperandeo View Post

From what I've been hearing and reading it sounds like the 009 COULD have been the best headphone ever made if it did a better job in the bass department.

What you need is a more powerful amp.
 

 

post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Lunatique:  Took me a while to find, as the main thread gets a few pages of posts every day. However, there is always a degree of inconsistency with headphones, so I wouldn't take the graph below as given. It does match what Audeze about better and more consistent response from the headphones in the bass, however.

 


That chart looks like anomalies compared to all the other LCD-2 FR graphs I've seen posted, which all had ruler-flat frequency response from 1KHz to 20Hz. Very strange.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by padam View Post


Quote:

What you need is a more powerful amp.
 

 


Not necessarily. You can't always think of amps as some kind of fixed setting EQ supplement--that's a very unhealthy way to look at audio equipment. Besides, the differences swapping parts of your signal chain makes don't normally remedy the shortcomings completely, since such a drastic fluctuation in FR from gear to gear would only mean a sign of severely colored equipment.  If you need to boost or cut in specific frequency ranges, just use a proper EQ and learn how to EQ the way pro audio engineers do.

 

post #22 of 43


It would be very interesting to compare SR-009 with the LCD-2 revision 2.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

It would be interesting to get your impressions of the latest revision with the thicker pads and new drivers in which someone measured a cleaner FR curve, as it might fix some of your criticisms...



 

post #23 of 43

There is no free lunch.

 

An eq will introduce phase shift, smeared transient, distortion and resonance. There are some eq that have better characteristics but there is no eq without phase shift, smeared transient, distortion and resonance.

Shelf eq are less problematic that peak eq. Also eq near the half of the sampling frequency will introduce more distortions.

Best eq are still analog but they color the sound, pleasantly but surely not transparently.

 

I can directly hear the drawbacks of an eq with high end headphones (that's why they are high end). The only choice you have is in the electronic (dac and amp) that will complement your headphone. Upsampling might open up the top end if you have a very good resampler (and if your dac doesn't resample anyway).

 

So eq with high end headphone isn't a good idea because the cure is worst than the disease.


Edited by marcan - 7/12/11 at 8:42am
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcan View Post

There is no free lunch.

 

An eq will introduce phase shift, smeared transient, distortion and resonance. There are some eq that have better characteristics but there is no eq without phase shift, smeared transient, distortion and resonance.

Shelf eq are less problematic that peak eq. Also eq near the half of the sampling frequency will introduce more distortions.

Best eq are still analog but they color the sound, pleasantly but surely not transparently.

 

I can directly hear the drawbacks of an eq with high end headphones (that's why they are high end). The only choice you have is in the electronic (dac and amp) that will complement your headphone. Upsampling might open up the top end if you have a very good resampler (and if your dac doesn't resample anyway).

 

So eq with high end headphone isn't a good idea because the cure is worst than the disease.


Mixing and mastering engineers routinely EQ the crap out of stuff when they deem it necessary to achieve the sound they want. There are linear phase EQ products, and there are even freeware ones. You can also check your phase coherency with plugins. Freeware spectrum analyzers like Voxengo's excellent SPAN will monitor your phase coherency, and you can use it to see exactly how the EQ'ing is or isn't altering the phase response. You'd be surprised by how little EQ'ing actually changes the phase coherency of the material--even drastic cuts and boosts.

 

As someone who has EQ'd everything in my studio--from speakers to headphones to my own music productions, I have never once encountered a situation where I said to myself "Nah, I can't EQ that because the phase just gets screwed up." If I hear it, I'll notice it, but I have never once felt that the EQ'ing made things worse, or that "the cure is worse than the disease." I wish you lived close to me so you can visit my studio and hear how dramatically EQ'ing can improve even a pair of high-end reference studio monitors like the Klein + Hummel O 300D's, already placed in an acoustically treated studio space, and already with the ARC System engaged.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Lunatique - 7/14/11 at 7:03pm
post #25 of 43

Thank you Lunatic,

I'm audo engineer, so I know exactly what an eq do.

Linear eq will have other issue (including distortion, resonnance and ripple).

Best eq are analogue.

Best digital eq are from Nebula but it's sampled from anaologue devices.


Edited by marcan - 7/15/11 at 1:41am
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcan View Post

Thank you Lunatic,

I'm audo engineer, so I know exactly what an eq do.

Linear eq will have other issue (including distortion, resonnance and ripple).

Best eq are analogue.

Best digital eq are from Nebula but it's sampled from anaologue devices.


Look, we can easily find out how EQ does or does not alter the audio data in negative ways that actually audible and significant. Why don't you just upload two files--one is the original, and one is the EQ'd version. Then also upload the EQ setting you actually used, and any photos or screencaptures or videos demonstrating a reliable professional equipment detecting the audible problems. Be fair when you do the EQ'ing--don't go overboard beyond what people normally do. Once you have the results, we'll all see/hear clearly the answer. I can also provide the same set of data and prove that the EQ'ing only benefits instead of detracts from the audio, if you know what you are doing. In fact I have already done so many time in the past here at head-fi, where I posted my custom EQ curves for specific headphone models. And if you ever visit anywhere near Fuzhou, come and visit my studio and I'll prove to you that by simply EQ'ing, I can drastically improve even high-end reference studio monitors in an already acoustically treated room, and you will not hear any undesirable artifacts and anomalies. We can sit in my studio and A/B the before and after and we can measure the phase response and whatever other issues you want to test for (distortion, resonance, whatever). There will only be one conclusion--that with proper EQ'ing, things only improve, and whatever side-effects are so minor that they absolutely do not fit your description of "the cure is worse than the disease." The cure is only worse than the disease when someone doesn't know what the hell they're doing and go overboard.

post #27 of 43
Thread Starter 

Lunatique: What I'm tempted to do is buy the latest version of the LCD-2s, but have them delivered to you first for you to compare.

post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Lunatique: What I'm tempted to do is buy the latest version of the LCD-2s, but have them delivered to you first for you to compare.


Haha, I definitely wouldn't say no to that. I will do my best to do a very comprehensive comparison and post my findings in a lengthy post.

 

post #29 of 43
The blue curve is from a batch of defective drivers, it's neither the original version, nor the rev 2 version.

1000x500px-LL-76b7145c_lcdvslcd.jpg
post #30 of 43

Currawong, how have those SR-009s been working out for you the past week?  Any new impressions / insights?

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