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post #9166 of 9585
Quote:
Originally Posted by alvin sawdust View Post
 

 

Forgot to add that these phones have already been repaired on the date shown on the earlier graph.

Hi, are you hearing more details after the repair?  The graph looks better with what looks to be more forward treble.  Maybe you are hearing more forward presentation than before?  This could be good as LCD are known to be a bit dark.

post #9167 of 9585
Quote:
Originally Posted by alvin sawdust View Post

Yes I was told. The phones were sent back because of the L/H driver was cutting out so they replaced the drivers. I am the third person to own these so I wouldn't have thought they would be fitted with fazor from original. I emailed Audeze yesterday for more details of what they did.
I have both graphs and will attempt to upload them to these pages.

Sorry, I misunderstood.

Let us know what Audeze says.
post #9168 of 9585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

Thanks Bob. The reason I ask is that Mr. Eddy has shot down any improvement in SQ from different cables. I know his site doesn't make a claim of SQ differences. In fact he is a champion of it "not" making any difference. But you are not the first to claim better SQ from Q cables. There are many makers that do make claims of improved SQ from their design/manufacturer. I am a believer of cable material/build making a change in SQ. So to hear a Q customer make comments of sonic changes when the supplier states otherwise caught my attention. Thank you for being honest and forthright in your assessment.

Steve Eddy is extremely honest in his dealings with customers and potential customers about his cables. As a manufacturer, he tends to be more scientific in what he claims or does not claim about his cables. He has to be able to prove it. That is why he makes no universal claims about his cable SQ. Claims are based upon individual perception varying from one to another. Maybe its due to placebo, pride in ownership for spending lots on a cable, golden ears ego, or truly perceptible differences that a customer reports hearing. Measurements may detect some differences, but hard to correlate in real world listening.

I too believe that cables make a difference. That is my opinion, and is valid only for me, just do not ask me to prove it. I am too old for that schiit, and would rather enjoy the music without trying to come up with some theorem and devise experiments to prove or refute. I do that at work, at home it is time to relax. Thats why I use a MAC mini at home (I use a HP laptop at work).

Others may feel different, and they are not wrong. We are all on different paths.
Edited by Jones Bob - 5/11/14 at 10:46am
post #9169 of 9585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones Bob View Post


Steve Eddy is extremely honest in his dealings with customers and potential customers about his cables. As a manufacturer, he tends to be more scientific in what he claims or does not claim about his cables. He has to be able to prove it. That is why he makes no universal claims about his cable SQ. Claims are based upon individual perception varying from one to another. Maybe its due to placebo, pride in ownership for spending lots on a cable, golden ears ego, or truly perceptible differences that a customer reports hearing. Measurements may detect some differences, but hard to correlate in real world listening.

I too believe that cables make a difference. That is my opinion, and is valid only for me, just do not ask me to prove it. I am too old for that schiit, and would rather enjoy the music without trying to come up with some theorem and devise experiments to prove or refute. I do that at work, at home it is time to relax. Thats why I use a MAC mini at home (I use a HP laptop at work).

Others may feel different, and they are not wrong. We are all on different paths.

That makes sense as we don't have science that explains the differences people are hearing with cables.  How can you design a better sounding cable if it cannot be explain, so it's great that Eddy is honest about this instead of using some obvious BS explanation some use that really fishes the gullable audiophiles . 

post #9170 of 9585
Quote:
Originally Posted by AiDee View Post

Ok, here's my preliminary or possibly final answer. I've a fair bit to say but only half of it is listening impressions, which I'm still thinking about.

Take home message: yes, the LCD3F is meaningfully better than the LCD2r1. There are several aspects to this: tonal balance; separation and hence clarity; sound-stage; detail.

However, let me start by venturing an interesting (to me) speculation about psychoacoustic perception. I'm a research psychologist. Perception is not my field but I'm familiar with stock perceptual effects used in past experiments in my field; I have a post-grad knowledge of memory; and I think there's a lot more to brain decoding than I've seen discussed in head-fi's 'science' forum.

To the perception: initially, listening to tracks I know well it was strikingly clear there were 'major' differences, this without performing direct A/B. What's interesting about this is that having since A/B'd I found I was right about the differences, but they are perhaps a percent or so of the total information available, if that. That is, the LCD2r1 and the LCD3F are overwhelmingly similar, but differ in ways that give them meaningfully different capabilities.

Apparently, the brain is able to perceive these differences very quickly - particularly from memory (?!) - leading sometimes to the judgment "this is like night and day".

Right and wrong! The differences may indeed be night and day, but the similarities (quantitatively) far outweigh them. Certainly that's so in this case.

Btw, I mention memory because it seems to me that often when we're listening we're listening as much to our memory of a piece as to the piece itself. This is apparent in many aspects of perception, including visual, when one 'sees' things not there or fails to see things actually there. This seems a good argument for using unfamiliar music in assessing gear differences. The one 'new' track I added to my comparison showed nothing different though. Indeed there's the problem of learning. You can't listen to the same track 'for the first time' twice!

So, point by point:

1. Tonal balance: there is no mistaking these are both Audez'es. The LCD2r1 is darker, but it depends on the material how noticeable this is. By material I don't mean anything so gross as genre. It varies track by track. For example, Stacey Kent C'est petit rien has a smattering of piano chords in the right hand around high C not too far into the track. Heard via the 2r1 soon after the 3F these sound slightly dull and flat. Cymbals and brush work sounded ok (to me!) though, except the tails are distinctly longer with the 3F. (Tails in the lower mids and bass - that ability to convey the rumble in a hall or the body of a piano - is about the same between the two. One exception: low bass is more present and defined with the 3F, contradicting the FR traces of my two, which would argue for the opposite!).

More significantly, with some instruments - notably violin e.g. Lara St John Bach partita no 2 in D minor - much more of their timbre is apparent with the 3F. This adds expressive nuances not as readily heard with the 2r1. Wooden percussion instruments also have a more marked 'woody' character.

Something to note. If I take a break and come straight back to the 2r1, those high C chords no longer sound dull. It's easy to understand why most headfiers find the LCDs particularly dark straight after the T1 or HD800.

2. Sound-stage and separation: I'm not particularly good at hearing sound-stage cues, which I find much more convincing with loudspeakers. That said, the 3F presents a sound-stage even I hear. It locates instruments precisely and has good imaging. This may or may not be related to separation, which is uniformly very good. Sometimes this is a good deal better than the 2r1, sometimes not - material dependent I think.

This showed itself in a striking way with the final movement of Beethoven's appassionata where (I forget the exact passage and don't have the sheet music with me) there is a break into fairly busy scale work in the area around low C. With the 2r1 this tends to meld into everything else that's going on; with the 3F it sounded like a distinct voice, almost - in fact - as if a second piano had entered the fray. Slightly disconcerting at first. In fact, as a general comment, so far I admire rather than love the 3F. It's certainly not correct to call it 'an analytical monster', but the amount of new information presented does make it less easy to simply enjoy at first for me, jumping straight from the 2r1.

Btw, I'm strictly amateur but played classical piano for many years. I found the 2r1 a revelation. It was the first time I heard a piano sound like a real piano through headphones. Yet here is the 3F with a slight but noticeable difference both tonally and in terms of separation, and piano sounds real here too. It's made me re-evaluate the recordings I sampled in recent days. Where I had previously assumed the pianist had applied too much pedal or I was hearing something about the character of the particular instrument, I now see the 2r1 has slightly muddled the more complex colors of the piano (that occur when there's a lot of chord work and sustain pedal is in play).

Indeed, listening to Led Zeppelin's Moby Dick from How the West was won with the 3F then the 2r1 was slightly shocking. The latter sounded distinctly muddy and muddled by comparison.

Another aspect of this is that the 2r1 (with the amp I used with this comparison, mentioned below) placed everything at a slight distance and all together, whereas the 3F brought it up close and nicely separated - both spatially and instrumentally. Voice, for example, in the Stacey Kent piece was projected clearly and slightly forward of the accompaniment (and I don't think this was a mere presence-region effect.,. i.e. favoring voice more; it seemed to be part and parcel of all the instruments having their own space and air).

Yet when I resumed listening to Moby Dick with the 2r1 after a 40 minute break, it sounded as clear as ever! This either reflects the differences really are small; or that the brain has exceptional signal to noise filtering given basically good gear and can do a good job of 'rescuing' the sound; or something else is going on such as I mentioned about memory above.

3. Detail: There is an easily noticed increase of detail with the 3F. This is most apparent with voice; present but more hidden with timbrally rich instruments like violin, cello, and piano. It does seem to be detail not micro dynamics - there is simply information I didn't notice before, rather than expressive nuances. This can be a little distracting - like suddenly getting all your measurements in inches instead of feet - but I'm sure I'll get used to it!

Although the above is hardly good enough to be any kind of review I probably should mention partnering equipment: iTunes with Audirvana Plus in USB mode; BMC PureDAC; and (mostly) Meier Classic. Material used was a mix of iTunes+; redbook rips either ALAC or WAV; and some 24/96k.

The Classic replaced my Decware Taboo, which is my best amp with the 2r1. Not with the 3F. Two points about this: the Taboo is a speaker amp, and may not be happy with the 110R impedance of the 3F (whereas Jan Meier's Classic may've been more happy with this impedance, even given its near zero Zout). Alternatively, I spent some 15 months tuning the Taboo to the 2r1, and there may be a tube combination to suit the 3F as well.

The other SS amp I used briefly was a Plinius 50W class A monster, the little brother of a Plinius SA-250 amp we use with our speaker rig. Both amps can be run A or AB. Interestingly, the 3F did not sound good with AB, but later - after an hour warm up in class A - things sounded very fine. Assuming this wasn't mere expectation bias, I suggest it shows the 3F is truly transparent (or if you prefer, 'picky').

Ordinarily I would equalise SPL with pink noise to around 78dBA. Unfortunately I don't have my meter with me right now (I could've thought to use my multimeter, but didn't frown.gif). To compensate, I matched by ear (notoriously unreliable) and also deliberately manipulated, alternately, the 3F or 2r1 to be slightly louder. Interestingly, I didn't notice any consistent preference for the louder phone. Or the softer, for that matter.

After this one might think I'd sell the 2r1. Actually no. I'm mindful of another truism: the best tool is the one you're most familiar with. I find the 2r1 is still a fine measuring tool which only suffers in direct competition with the 3F. At this point in my listening it would be true to say the two are cut from the same cloth and are almost the same 'painting', but the 2r1 does impressionism where the 3F does - say - pointillism.

In time I may find the advantages of the 3F indispensable and the 2r1 too limited to keep. This remains to be seen.

Thank you for your comparisons and thoughts behind them.  Very much appreciated.  

post #9171 of 9585

Is the lyr with good aftermarket tubes considered a good amp for the lcd-3? 

post #9172 of 9585
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

Is the lyr with good aftermarket tubes considered a good amp for the lcd-3? 
I tried it when back in the day it was the first amp to claim to be able to drive the LCD. The LYRICS has a lot of power but lacks finesse. I think the Lyr would not be doing your LCD3's justice.
post #9173 of 9585
Quote:
Originally Posted by AiDee View Post


Take home message: yes, the LCD3F is meaningfully better than the LCD2r1. There are several aspects to this: tonal balance; separation and hence clarity; sound-stage; detail.

However, let me start by venturing an interesting (to me) speculation about psychoacoustic perception. I'm a research psychologist. Perception is not my field but I'm familiar with stock perceptual effects used in past experiments in my field; I have a post-grad knowledge of memory; and I think there's a lot more to brain decoding than I've seen discussed in head-fi's 'science' forum.

To the perception: initially, listening to tracks I know well it was strikingly clear there were 'major' differences, this without performing direct A/B. What's interesting about this is that having since A/B'd I found I was right about the differences, but they are perhaps a percent or so of the total information available, if that. That is, the LCD2r1 and the LCD3F are overwhelmingly similar, but differ in ways that give them meaningfully different capabilities.

Apparently, the brain is able to perceive these differences very quickly - particularly from memory (?!) - leading sometimes to the judgment "this is like night and day".

Right and wrong! The differences may indeed be night and day, but the similarities (quantitatively) far outweigh them. Certainly that's so in this case.

Btw, I mention memory because it seems to me that often when we're listening we're listening as much to our memory of a piece as to the piece itself. This is apparent in many aspects of perception, including visual, when one 'sees' things not there or fails to see things actually there. This seems a good argument for using unfamiliar music in assessing gear differences. The one 'new' track I added to my comparison showed nothing different though. Indeed there's the problem of learning. You can't listen to the same track 'for the first time' twice!

So, point by point:

........................
Something to note. If I take a break and come straight back to the 2r1, those high C chords no longer sound dull. It's easy to understand why most headfiers find the LCDs particularly dark straight after the T1 or HD800.

....................

Yet when I resumed listening to Moby Dick with the 2r1 after a 40 minute break, it sounded as clear as ever! This either reflects the differences really are small; or that the brain has exceptional signal to noise filtering given basically good gear and can do a good job of 'rescuing' the sound; or something else is going on such as I mentioned about memory above.

............

After this one might think I'd sell the 2r1. Actually no. I'm mindful of another truism: the best tool is the one you're most familiar with. I find the 2r1 is still a fine measuring tool which only suffers in direct competition with the 3F. At this point in my listening it would be true to say the two are cut from the same cloth and are almost the same 'painting', but the 2r1 does impressionism where the 3F does - say - pointillism.
 

 

Aidee, your comparison is meaningfully stimulating. Your thoughts and findings regarding how brain signal works with perceptions and memory influencing how we come to understanding our senses somewhat mirrors mine.

 

I think a significant part of it may explained by the fact that when you put on your lcd-2 to test, you are focused on listening to the track of which is something you are used to doing all the time. subsequently, when you put on the lcd-3, you're focused on picking out the differences. and arguably when you're doing the latter, our brain would inevitably be engaged in a heightened sense of alertness making analyzing differences, if any, seemed somewhat more pronounced as opposed to when we're doing it as a daily chore.

 

this might explained why when you tested new tracks with the two cans, you could not discern the differences immediately without further A/B-ing (not implying that they arent any differences between the two cans, but rather to emphasizes the contention that they're more similiar than not as you may have found in your summing up.). this proposition applies to when you came back to the same track 40 mins after with the LCD-2 which is in line with your findings!

 

now, interestingly, what i am curious is, suppose you are told that the lcd-2 cost twice as much as the lcd-3 and that David Mahler in his battle of the flagship ranked your particular headphone higher than the lcd-3 and that you are to test the lcd-3 first then followed by your lcd-2, would you have reached the same conclusion as you did?


Edited by wjh7 - 5/11/14 at 8:56pm
post #9174 of 9585
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

Is the lyr with good aftermarket tubes considered a good amp for the lcd-3? 

Matt:

 

I have the Lyr with the Orange Globes (considered pretty decent) and I did not like the pairing with the LCD-3 (or 3C, going by current nomenclature). The Mojo drives it a lot better IMO.

post #9175 of 9585
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I'm afraid I wrote a clumsy sentence. When I wrote "The one 'new' track I added showed nothing different" I meant not different from the familiar tracks. The two phones certainly did (seem) different, and on the same (subtle) lines as the familiar tracks.

First, my apologies to others for the length and OT subject matter of this response for this thread. I think there are some interesting points here but they no longer concern the LCD3 in particular so you may prefer to skip straight past this post. And wjh7 and I probably ought to stop here or carry it on via PM if it seems interesting enough.

Let me jump around a bit if I may. Concerning your ending question: there's a bit of literature around in my field concerning price and its effect on perceived value, based IIRC on theories of cognitive dissonance. The idea goes that the more expensive item sets up an expectation bias - it costs more so it should be better - and this results in confirmation bias.

This is a complicated area, which cognitive dissonance oversimplifies though it's a good idea from - IIRC - the 1950s or 60s. The problem is most models of human behaviour have turned out to be complex because many roughly equal influences are involved. For a single factor like cognitive dissonance to be so strong it alone suffices to make a confident prediction is a rare luxury in the current state of the field!

In the case of cost and performance, having to justify oneself to others (or not) and - correlated with this - how this feeds into status are two immediate considerations. Having to justify oneself means having to create verbal accounts that make one's actions seem reasonable, even the sane thing to do if one is clever enough.

We tend to create these accounts automatically and privately (mentally) first, so they're available when a real challenge arises from a partner, friend etc. Since listening is also a mental activity - and given a proposition such as the same stimuli can be perceived positively or negatively dependent on context - it's easy to speculate that in some conditions what one 'hears' will be completely consistent with whatever verbal justifications one has already prepared. Note that this depends on the proposition that stimuli - audio stimuli in particular - are able to be given a 'better'/'worse' value entirely regardless of any other properties they may have.

Changing tack: in some social contexts - and audiophile gear could be one - it can result in more status to be gloriously wasteful. As I'm sure we're all aware, most non-audiophiles don't hear the differences we claim to, and think we're imagining it and wasting our money. Yet, in the right social networks, it's all just part of one's character or charm. In other words, the gain in level of notoriety is a worthwhile reward and one doesn't have to justify one's gear after all. In fact, one better keep buying it to maintain the gossip in one's social circle!

Against all this, which amounts to 'explaining away' the audiophile experience, I can't help feeling there is some genuine reliability and validity in our experiences. As with any scientist, measurement and its reliability is a crucial aspect of my work. One can't test hypotheses (falsify them) unless one has reliable measures. In the human sciences this is difficult. In part it comes back to there being many influences, most of which generate 'noise' or detract from what we're trying to assess. This means social scientists have to devise ways to work within this noise, and as a result we accept our signal will almost always be a lot less than 100%.

Without doubt headfi (and similar groups) is full of noise. Yet, I have noticed there is a shared vocabulary (tends to be community-defined., i.e. headfi might have one set of terms; other groups other sets) with sufficiently well-defined terms to meet basic reliability criteria (subject to testing and confirmation of course!).

Let's assume this vocabulary is sufficiently well-defined for the moment, then we have a basis to think there is validity to listening impressions and reviews provided that 'experienced' headfiers are reliable in assigning these terms. That is, we repeatedly describe more or less the same heard stimuli as (e.g.) "dry" and most (80% is the usual standard, roughly speaking) other experienced headfiers also apply the word "dry" to these same stimuli.

Incidentally, this is how human semantic memory works. We store stuff in long-term memory by chunking it. The word 'dry' is much easier to remember than the 10 seconds of music that led to it. Superhuman aural memory is not needed provided one assigns the word 'dry' repeatably and accurately.

Finally, there's a comparative review thread of three DACs I did somewhere around here. The DACs were the Schiit Bifrost, Meier Stagedac and Eastern Electric MiniMax. In it I explained my listening method which is expressly not to 'focus' or listen for differences, but simply listen. However, what one does consciously isn't necessarily what other parts of the brain are doing! Hence, your comment in your second paragraph is well taken. I particularly agree with your final sentence. I'm pretty sure you are right. Even with a deliberately 'unfocused' method the context is still a test one. Heightened awareness - or as cognitive psychologists put it all one's attentional resources dedicated to the task at hand - does indeed seem "inevitable" if one is doing the task properly wink.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by wjh7 View Post

Aidee, your comparison is meaningfully stimulating. Your thoughts and findings regarding how brain signal works with perceptions and memory influencing how we come to understanding our senses somewhat mirrors mine.

I think a significant part of it may explained by the fact that when you put on your lcd-2 to test, you are focused on listening to the track of which is something you are used to doing all the time. subsequently, when you put on the lcd-3, you're focused on picking out the differences. and arguably when you're doing the latter, our brain would inevitably be engaged in a heightened sense of alertness making analyzing differences, if any, seemed somewhat more pronounced as opposed to when we're doing it as a daily chore.

this might explained why when you tested new tracks with the two cans, you could not discern the differences immediately without further A/B-ing (not implying that they arent any differences between the two cans, but rather to emphasizes the contention that they're more similiar than not as you may have found in your summing up.). this proposition applies to when you came back to the same track 40 mins after with the LCD-2 which is in line with your findings!

now, interestingly, what i am curious is, suppose you are told that the lcd-2 cost twice as much as the lcd-3 and that David Mahler in his battle of the flagship ranked your particular headphone higher than the lcd-3 and that you are to test the lcd-3 first then followed by your lcd-2, would you have reached the same conclusion as you did?
post #9176 of 9585
Just to add a datapoint concerning the Lyr, I didn't even find it successful with the LCD2r1. To begin with I found it too rosy/syrupy. I started to find its potential with Matsu 6922 tubes - much better than the stock options and much more transparent. It was apparent the Lyr is a real achievement as a hybrid that is very revealing of the tubes used with it. However, when I considered the price of the by then near unobtainable dream tubes I found it much cheaper to buy a different tube amp.

Last time I was part of the Lyr threads two years ago the consensus seemed to be it is more successful as an LCD2 than LCD3 amp.
post #9177 of 9585
Quote:
Originally Posted by AiDee View Post

Just to add a datapoint concerning the Lyr, I didn't even find it successful with the LCD2r1.....

Last time I was part of the Lyr threads two years ago the consensus seemed to be it is more successful as an LCD2 than LCD3 amp.
While I've not heard the r1 at all, the Lyr was very good with the r2 (and the HE 500).
post #9178 of 9585
^ Yes I think the consensus was the OGs were better than the Matsus, and I actually found the latter pretty good with r1. Where the r1 is perhaps a little touchy is that its arguably warmer bass/lower mids need more careful partnering. Tubes or SS amps with even a hint of flab in that area just won't do.
post #9179 of 9585
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuachew View Post


I tried it when back in the day it was the first amp to claim to be able to drive the LCD. The LYRICS has a lot of power but lacks finesse. I think the Lyr would not be doing your LCD3's justice.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post
 

Matt:

 

I have the Lyr with the Orange Globes (considered pretty decent) and I did not like the pairing with the LCD-3 (or 3C, going by current nomenclature). The Mojo drives it a lot better IMO.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AiDee View Post

Just to add a datapoint concerning the Lyr, I didn't even find it successful with the LCD2r1. To begin with I found it too rosy/syrupy. I started to find its potential with Matsu 6922 tubes - much better than the stock options and much more transparent. It was apparent the Lyr is a real achievement as a hybrid that is very revealing of the tubes used with it. However, when I considered the price of the by then near unobtainable dream tubes I found it much cheaper to buy a different tube amp.

Last time I was part of the Lyr threads two years ago the consensus seemed to be it is more successful as an LCD2 than LCD3 amp.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post


While I've not heard the r1 at all, the Lyr was very good with the r2 (and the HE 500).

 

So it seems the consensus is that the lyr might pair relatively well with the lcd2 but not as much with the lcd3. I appreciate the recommendation of the mojo, but I'd prefer not to go balanced. Are there any SE suggestions that do pair well with the mojo? 

 

thanks...

post #9180 of 9585
I'm too new to the LCD3 to give any serious recommendation, but so far the Meier Classic seems pretty solid.

Once I get my Taboo sorted and other amps (includes Lyr and Violectric V100) moved to my new address I could say more but would be two weeks at least...

Edit: Just looked at your profile - you have Telefunkens!! They've gotta be worth trying with an LCD3...
Edited by AiDee - 5/12/14 at 3:54am
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