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Actual LCD-3 Listening impressions Only

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

This thread is for actual listening impressions of the Audeze LCD-3 only. Please nothing else.  No conjecture, speculation, or comments that aren't actual listening impressions or followup questions on other's listening impressions.  I took the liberty of culling some comments from the mire of the other threads.  Enjoy and please post your own when you hear them.


Please note that these are in no specific order.  Collapsible quotes were used when impressions were very brief or when they seemed to focus more on the amplifier than the headphones or just when I felt like collapsing, it means no disrespect to your post.


FR and Waterfall graphs (from Faust3d/wikiphonia)

Purrin's Measurements thread

Skylab's full review

Tyll's impressions on Inner Fidelity

Originally Posted by jude View Post
  • Speaking of über-performance, the Audeze LCD-3 is quite possibly the best dynamic headphone ever, to my ears.  Whereas the best Sennheiser HD 800 rigs I've heard have--in my opinion, to my ears--trumped even the best I could wring from the likes of the HiFiMAN HE-6, HE-500, and Audeze LCD-2, the new LCD-3 is now my new top dynamic headphone choice.  And, frankly, I'm going to see if I can side-by-side it with the Stax SR-009 here, not because I'm expecting it to necessarily beat the SR-009, but because I think this is one headphone that could give it a run.  I already know there are some things it does better than the electrostatic headphone I've called my personal choice for best in the world.Lest you think I've formed this impression in louder-than-ideal meet conditions, I want to make clear that I've absconded with the LCD-3 to my hotel room for two nights in a row, in addition to meet listening.  I have now had two nearly sleepless nights with the Audeze LCD-3 balanced out of my favorite full-size-headphone-driving portable rig, consisting of iPod-->Cyper Labs Algorhythm Solo-->Ray Samuels SR-71b, driving the Audeze LCD-3 balanced via a Moon Audio Silver Dragon headphone cable.  I missed dinner my first night here (and so had to make a late-night fast food run), and ordered in room service last night--and, again, I've hardly slept.  Yes, I've been listening a lot.I know--the LCD-3 looks like a modified LCD-2.  It is not that.  It's not just prettier wood and super-soft earpads.  It's a whole new driver.  The diaphragm is a lot lighter than the LCD-2's.  The magnet structure is new.  It has a sound that LCD-2 aficionados might call familial, but the performance is no doubt better, in every respect, to my ears.  Simply put, you buy the LCD-2 and you get the LCD-2 (an outstanding headphone, by any measure).  You buy the LCD-3, you get the LCD-3.  I'm a guy who's purchased four LCD-2's (two rev 1's and two rev 2's), so I think I can say this with some amount of credence.Starting with the bass, the impact and detail is simply otherworldly, and especially where I can't imagine even the SR-009 trumping it.  One of Drew Baird's favorite test tracks is "Company" from Patricia Barber's Modern Cool album, and we were both simply floored by the LCD-3's physicality with Michael Arnopol's bass and Mark Walker's drums.  No other headphone I can think of can wring this level of tremendous low-end corporeality without bloat--the sense of this wrung not only from energy, but detail.  When you sense the finest of textures and timbre down low, combined with this driver's clear ability to convey physical impact...well, that's just standard-setting bass to my ears.LCD-3 midrange performance is similarly stellar, with hints of bloom, but never unnatural, never exaggerated.  And the treble soars, delicate, shimmering, extended.  Whereas some thought the LCD-2 (rev 1) treble needed some lift and more presence, I do not expect anyone to level this complaint at the LCD-3.  Throughout the audible range, the LCD-3 trumps the LCD-2 (and just about everything else) in terms of sheer detail retrieval, so its timbral accuracy throughout is freaky good.  And it does all this in sibilance- and harshness-free Audeze fashion.Am I buying one?  What do you think?  I can't imagine I'll be leaving this show without one, even if it takes an act of larceny to make it happen (which is essentially what I've now committed two nights in a row).


I'll post more impressions and photos from the show later.  For me, personally, this show is off to a great start!

Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post

there were a few standouts in the show for me, I know the train is surging out of the station on this one but Audeze really showed their stuff - the LCD3 partnered with the Cavalli Liquid Fire was a truly satisfying experience. I got a chance to speak with A & S re the new line and it is a completely re-engineered product. New driver, thinner membrane with a proprietary trace process. ( ie new fab technique - so very little semblance to the LCD2 except for the outer cosmetics ) and you can hear this. I did not at first hear them with the Cavalli amp as it seems the amp was a popular choice so first listen was with Craig's 2A3 which is a fine piece of equipment and does them justice. Not sure if it was different source, choice of music etc but when I got to listen to them again with the LF, they touched the spot.


I keep asking myself which I would be happier with 009 or LCD3 , ( and no this is not comparing them ) truth is, either would keep a smile/smug on my face


Full review by dBel84, non meet impressions Here


Skylab's first impressions:

Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

I spent some time listening to the LCD-3 at CanJam yesterday. Sorry for the delay in posting but I was having too much fun to be on line. The real world is far more entertaining.
That said, I was impressed by what I heard from the LCD-3. While show conditions are not the best, especially for open headphones, it was very obvious to me that the LCD-3 have a level of nuance and transparency that is very, very high, and has the potential to be a significant step up. I say potential because I will not know this for sure until I get a pair in my house for review, which I will be doing soon - Audeze has agreed to get me a review pair very soon.
More later.



Originally Posted by Jalo View Post


Well, after being almost the first one dashing into the Headfi room at RMAF when it was first open at noon today, I was one of the first one to play with the Audeze's new flagship headphone-the LCD3.  As a LCD2 v1 owner and after only a brief listening, I can tell you all LCD2 owners stay clear of the LCD3 if you do not want to loose another thousand dollars.  It is that dangerous. 


I then continue to listen to the LCD3 for another hour during which time, I grab a LCD2 v2 from the ALO counter and switch back and forth (A-B-A-B-A-B-A-B...) I keep switching back and forth just to make sure the addition premium is worth the difference.  Then I wandered over to Justin's table and played with his Blue Hawaii/STAX-009 combo just so I can keep some perspective.  Later I returned and tried the LCD3 for another hour to see if my initial impression still hold.  The LCD3 is very impressive.  When I first put the LCD3 on my head, I felt the soft fine leather pad improved significantly over the LCD2 v2 pad.  May be because of its softness, I feel it made a very good seal, it just seems like the comfort level has been improved over the previous versions.  The whole phone just seems to have a higher quality that the previous phones.  


And then when the music started to play, almost within ten seconds and without much critical listening, I can immediately tell that it is a much improved phone.  If I never hear the LCD3, I would say that the LCD2 v1 or v2 is a very enjoyable and engaging phone.  But unfortunately now that I have heard the LCD3, the LCD2 V1 or V2 has has shown some graininess in comparison.  With the first sound wave hitting my eardrum, I am at awe at how smooth, clear, balance, and yet very engaging the LCD3 sounded. The bass is still even tighter. Without question another layer of veil has been lifted from the LCD2.  The resolution has improved and so has the dynamics.  I was listening to the LCD3 driven by an ALO Isabella, source is from a Sony CD transport.  Later I tried the LCD3 from my portable setup and received almost as good result (Ipod-CLAS-DB1-SR71b). 


Of course, this is only an initial impression but I felt I spent enough time with it (around 2 hours) to know the sound good enough.  According to Alex, the LCD3 uses an entirely new drive unit.  It is not just an improved LCD2 for which I tend to agree.  The difference to me is like the HD600 to the HD800.  It still has the Audeze house sound but every aspect seems to clearly improved.  I personally felt the difference was bigger than the difference between the HD800 and the HE90 (I compared the two only couple of months ago in a small meet and I have owned the HD800 for almost from the beginning).  Of course, other people will chime in with their inital impressions.  Later, I chatted with Jude and he told me that he listened to it all last night and he is determined to grab one of the four pairs with him at the end.  The phone is expensive compare to the current model.  However, to me, I think it is worth the upgrade.  In fact to me, I find myself enjoyed the LCD3 more so than the Stax 009 as I find the 009 a little brighter than the LCD3 which I worry may induce fatigue easier.  It is getting to that point that if I never hear another phone, I'll be fine with the LCD3.  For those who have the opportunitiy to listen to it, feel free to chime in.





Well. because of prior engagement, I had to leave RMAF this morning.  But before I left, I made another trip back to Audeze's corner for yet another audition of the LCD3.  I just wanted to make sure what I felt yesterday carries over to today and if I am wrong, I want to be the first one to admit it rather than having to get pointed out by another person.


This time I tried it with the Liquid Fire.  By now I have tried the LCD3 on four different amps, two desk tops (ALO Isabella, Liquid Fire) and two balance portable amps (SR71b, ALO MKIII).  My opinion on the look and feel and comfort remains the same.  In fact, the more you wear the new pad the more it tends to grow on you, several people that sat next to me made similar comments.  May be because of the good seal, there is a quality of silence when you first put the phone on.  The pad gave me a sense of holding something of high quality in my hand.  As for sound quality is concern, I felt my impression from yesterday did not change as compare to LCD2.  The LCD3 in my opinion, is clearly improved in the following areas over the LCD2 v1 or v2: clarity, resolution, frequency balance, instrument separation, bass quality, smoothness, dynamics, sound imaging and sound staging.  There is no question that this a more engaging phone than the previous editions.  


Here I want to clarify couple of statements I made yesterday as it seems to cause some confusion.  I used the analogy of the difference in improvement being similar to HD600 to HD 800, or HD800 to HE90.  I did not mean to say qualitatively the sound improvement between LCD3 over LCD2 is like 600 to 800 or 800 to HE90.  I merely using those pairs to illustrate the sound improvement is readily recognizeable. So there is no need to compare the improvement in sound dimension is similar or not to those pairs.


However, I may have to somewhat alter what I said yesterday about the 009 due to the following experience.  After I listened to the LCD3, I went over the Jack Wu's table and tried the Stax 009 and the Woo's WES Electronstatic amp combo-the subject matter of Headfi TV Episode 008.  This time my impression of the 009 is quite different.  I find with the 009/WES combo, the whole sound presentation is not bright at all.  I was very impressed and enjoyed my audition even though listening to 192 HD sound track doesn't hurt.  My opinion now is that the 009 is technically a better phone but you have to spend about $10,000.00 to achieve that level of performance.  Besides, it seems to me that the Stax 009 and may be electrostatic phone in general are very much dependent on its supportive equipment.  I still think the LCD3 is more enjoyable phone than the 009.  I still love the bass department of the LCD3 more than the 009.  The LCD3 can be driven by a portable system that can be enjoyed anywhere you want it to be whereas 009 cannot. Both phones are very engaging in their own ways.  It is like two different types of girlfriend, the LCD3 is the kind that is fun and like to tease a lot resulting in you keep wanting to go to her to be teased again and again, whereas the 009 is the type that is so true, so true to you, that reveals everything to you, that when you get tired of being teased by the other girlfriend, the 009 is where you come back for some genuine understanding.  


I felt I did not have to retract my statements with regard to the 009/blue hawaii being somewhat bright, as this have been observed by several just within this past few days.  But I do not want to risk being misunderstood         to say that the 009 is bright.  I didn't find that to be the case with the 009/WES combo.  For the price that LCD3 is asking for, it is expensive for those that can afford her, but I did not feel it is over price.



Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post

Listening to the LCD3 right now using my own gear and music. It is an amazing hLeadphone, without a doubt one of the best on the market. It has just about everything you could want, and little to nothing that you wouldn't. The comfort and sound are both significantly improved from the LCD2.
The LCD3 is a great and welcome addition to the realm of headphones. So everyone who hasn't heard them, quit your whining.


Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post

Ok the LCD 3 is stunning and worth every last penny of the gap between it and the LCD 2. The detail and refinement put them in another class vs the LCD 2. I spent about 30 minutes with the 3 over two sessions through 3 amps and each time they represented as a top tier headphone.
Funny how just a few short years ago we as a community were up in arms that no statement class headphones were in production now we complain that they are too expensive.
Purrin - LCD3 vs 009 (from Irvine meet thread) (Click to show)


Originally Posted by purrin View Post

Smackdown: LCD3 vs SR009

The very notion of this is retarded. It's like comparing apples and oranges. Those who prefer or appreciate electrostatics will like the SR009. Those who prefer or appreciate the strengths of the LCD2 will like the LCD3 even more. If we really want to get down to it: the LCD3 will not be replacing the SR009. The SR009, properly powered, is simply on another level in terms on clarity, speed, and transient response. At this rate, it won't be until the LCD6 or 7 until Audeze gets close. The LCD3 has it's own strengths however, particularly with low bass power. I'm going to focus more on the LCD3 because it seems to be of interest to more people.



This SR009 needs to be properly powered. My initial assessment was that it does OK with inferior amplification such as the SRM323. This is true for low volume levels. Once you turn the volume up, the 009 struggles on inferior amps. The BHSE and to a slightly lesser extent, the KGSS hold their own in powering the 009. I didn't not find the 009 to be thin or bright sounding from n3rdling's Accuphase/BHSE or dougquaid's PWD/KGSS. The sound signature out of these rigs reminded me of a properly sourced and powered UERM IEM: neutral, not thin, not bright, not cold, not bass deficient, but neutral.



I actually like the LCD3. This is indeed special because readers of my pre-measurement impressions in the CSD thread will note that I pretty much dislike 80% of what's out there. I heard the LCD3 out of several rigs, and also out of my PWD/BA. I tried out a few different driver tubes too get a good match. The tonal balance is similar to the LCDr2, but with a much more linear frequency response. Whereas the LCD2r2 is still a little rough in the treble, the LCD3 is smooth and relaxed. The big question for me is still whether it can better extract low level information. I got a sense of that indeed it would toward the end of the meet when things started to quiet down. Because the LCD3 is similar in tonal balance to the HD650, it does require a quieter background environment than say an HD800 to ascertain this attribute. I wish I had it longer because the Audeze guys had to leave a bit early.


Now I'm not about the proclaim the LCD3 as the best dynamic headphone ever. I would prefer to be conservative and take some time to first tweak my setup around it. Some people know that I really like the HD800 (at least the modded version that drops the treble down 3db) and built my setup around it. Even then, the HD800 can only be "tolerable" (in terms of brightness) with certain material; so I feel the LCD3 would be an excellent complement to the HD800 where I could just relax. I didn't note any soundstage issues with the LCD3. The soundstage thing is not a priority for me, and it's more a matter of icing-on-the-cake then necessity. It could also be a matter that the BA goes some ways to make the soundstage issue moot.


I feel the LCD3 as an incremental step from the LCD2r2, which was itself an incremental step from the LCD2r1. The LCD3 is slightly faster, slightly clearer, slightly more extended and much more linear and smooth in the treble region. The improved linearity is the one I most welcome. I also feel that the bass is more coherent. Do I want to pay $1945 for it? No. I want to pay $1445 for it. But I also want to pay $3200 for the SR009 and $1200 for the HD800. So I guess it sucks to be me. 


BTW I'm on the list to get one.



P.S. The LCD3 has thicker more squishy pads. The headphone feels comfortable for me. The issues I had with the LCD2r1 with too much force clamping on the side of my head are no longer there. The LCD3 also seems lighter, although I don't know if it's because of better distribution of weight.







Maxvla's Impressions from his meta-post (Click to show)

Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post
That said remember these are my impressions and ... the word of God. (Joke edit)

33) iPod (then Luxman D-05), Eddie Current 2A3, Audeze LCD3
Not enough power. At maximum it was just barely loud enough to listen to. Sound is passive. This setup just doesn't sound good at all. (later Alex changed sources after my comments to him) Now Luxman D-05 - Much much better probably as good or better than Liquid Fire now. Could still be volume limited for some people, but I doubt it.
My first sit down with the LCD3 was with a really poor choice of setup. Apparently with the speaker room and the CanJam setup, Audeze didn't bring enough sources so they made do with an iPod. This was a mistake that persisted all day Friday and most of Saturday before I mentioned it to Alex. Soon after I walked back by and the iPod had been replaced by a Luxman. The sound was dramatically better due to the higher output voltage allowing for proper volume. At this point this was the best LCD3 setup at the table or at least tied with the Liquid Fire.
34) Unknown DAC, Red Wine Audio Audeze Edition amp, Audeze LCD3
Much better. Bass is full and powerful, but doesn't bleed. Imaging is good. Focus is not great. Fuzzy center. More treble than LCD2 for sure. Better? Not sure. I'd call it just a different flavor. Might be just a touch clearer (than LCD2). Bass is thunderous. nice, but not for me with this setup.
Worst combo at the table after the source change on the Eddie Current. Only the Pinnacle later sounded worse than the RWA Audeze amp. Sound was just flat and boring. Some good points, but not enough for me to recommend. This amp needs to be adjusted for the LCD3 or a new version for it.
35) iPad, Unknown DAC, Cavalli Liquid Fire, Audeze LCD3
Focus is much better. Bass is slightly less volume but better control. Voices are more natural. Highs still rolled a bit, but they are nice. Best combo at this table.
Catering to my needs, this might be the best pairing (at this table) for me specifically, but I think the Eddie Current might be better overall. Later I found the Darkstar to be an order of magnitude better than all of these. At this point I still was not all that much of a fan of the LCD3, but could hear it was a nice setup for others with different priorities.
66) Meridian 808.3, Apex Pinnacle, Audeze LCD3
Center completely missing. Bass feels a little light compared to the Fire or 2A3. Very | | soundstage. Don't like this combo at all. Voices that should be center come from 10 and 2 with a gap in between. Very distracting. Everything else sounds fine, but I just can't listen to this.
Of all the combos in the room at any price, this was the worst example of a poor center focus. A single person singing came from 10 and 2 at the same time while the very center was completely void. Shockingly bad considering the prices.

69) Boulder 1021 CDP, Ray Samuels Darkstar, Audeze LCD3
Perfect in every way. The only thing anyone might choose instead is 009's or HE90 for the absolutely last shred of detail. I did not want to take these off.
No matter the track, no matter the genre.. This combo was great every time. After about 25 minutes I realized I still had them on and needed to get them back to Alex and reluctantly took them off. $5k is a lot of money for me, but I'll figure out some way to get this combo eventually. Other than the HE90 on the A-10, this was best in show for me.

My top 5 setups of the meet:
1) 52) Boulder 1021 CDP, Ray Samuels A-10 Thunderbolt, Sennheiser HE90 Orpheus
2) 69) Boulder 1021 CDP, Ray Samuels Darkstar, Audeze LCD3
3) 51) Boulder 1021 CDP, Ray Samuels A-10 Thunderbolt, HE Audio Jades
4) 38) Boulder 1021 CDP, Ray Samuels Darkstar, Hifiman HE-6
5) 50) Meridian G08, Ray Samuels B-52, Sennheiser HD800




Originally Posted by Asr View Post
.Audeze LCD-3 (amp: Liquid Fire)When I checked out the LCD-3, Alex (of Audeze) asked me for my honest impression, and I was initially hesitant to provide it, because my impression wasn't really positive and I didn't want to offend, but since it seemed he was really interested, I went ahead and told him. My neutral impression of the LCD-3: to me it sounded mostly like the LCD-2 while not offering that much more. I was at Audeze's display system when it was being sourced out of something like an iPad (and not later on when it apparently was changed over to a Luxman D-05 CDP) amped by the Liquid Fire and had a tough time finding any music on it that I was familiar with. The esoteric electronica didn't really help me out any. Overall the LCD-3 really didn't impress me (though it wasn't bad either) and for all the issues I had with the LCD-2 r1 that I previously owned, I didn't really think any of them were fixed. To me the setup still had quite a ways to go to even start approaching the level of my reference electrostatic system (OII/BHSE).I'll still give the LCD-3 the benefit of the doubt though as the components and environment weren't obviously ideal and will be giving it another chance when it comes out, as I decided to get in on the pre-order.I found out the LCD-3 also uses the same headphone cable connectors as the LCD-2, so folks with an LCD-2 aftermarket cable will be able to use it on the LCD-3 as well.



Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post

Audez'e: The LCD-3 out of the Liquid fire was one of the best combinations I heard at the show.  Deep hard-hitting bass, but incredibly clean, without any flab.  Treble was excellent, and mids were solid.  Comfortable to wear, felt lighter than the LCD-2.  I was hard-pressed to find something these headphones did wrong.  The array speakers were amazing, some of the best at RMAF.


TTVJ: The Pinnacle sounded good to me, with good clarity and detail, but doesn't warrant the price tag.  Mr. Marcel James brought around an Antelope Zodiac Gold, so we got to listen to the Gold DAC with the Pinnacle and LCD-3.  Sounded awesome, though I do still prefer the LCD-3 out of the Cavalli Liquid Fire.





With the EC 2A3 (Click to show)



Originally Posted by dminches View Post

Assuming the 2A3 is the amp on the right, I spent about 20 minutes with the LCD-2s and the 3s and that amp.  I was quite impressed with the 3s although I felt the amp was struggling a bit to drive them (and the 2s).  I am basing this on the fact that the volume control was at 2 o'clock or so for the 2s and maybe 3 o'clock for the 3s.  However the sound was still very nice.  The clarity of the 3s is significantly greater than the 2s.  It is not a subtle difference.  And, while there is a bit more high-end energy in the 3s, they are not bright at all and that is not its most outstanding difference from the 2s.  Again, it is the increased detail across the frequency spectrum.  I am unfamiliar with the amp (I use a Leben with my 2s) but even so, switching back and forth between the 2s and 3s revealed 2 very different sounds.



Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post

It was tricky for me. The 2A3 sounded great at the Audeze table - it was rigged up to a decent transport and I could play my own music. I tried the LCD3 - LF hooked up to an ipad and couldn't get a feel for it as the music was not familiar and I didn't want to spend a long time hogging the 2 stations. Alex R graciously let me take the LCD3 to the other LF hooked up to a transport so that I could play the same tracks and this is what I ended up feeling had more synergy with the music I was using. I believe JP had the exact opposite impression to mine and based on conversations in the room , there was no doubt that most found them both formidable performers. 

I did not listen to the RWA - I have past experience with it and it too is a great amp but my interest was mainly in the 2A3 and LF. 










Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
The Audeze table was also one of my favorites, and again I liked the Liquid Fire with LCD-3 the most, with the other two amps at the table fairly close to each other with the Luxman/2A3 having the edge over the RWA.  The DACmini/LF was surprisingly good for a budget DAC.

I was telling people at RMAF that I thought the LCD-3 combined the best features of the LCD-2 and HE-6 into one phone, and that the SR-009 combined the sound signature of the 007 and the HE-60 into one phone. If someone bought these two new phones they might not need to consider the other four. I was happy that the LCD-3 didn't clamp my head like a vise, but thought the pads may be a tad too soft and thick, and the phones were not as stable on my head as a result (kept wanting to swivel to the front or rear as I moved my head around).I did think the LCD-3 and SR-009 sounded a bit different, with the LCD-3 being a bit more organic and warm anad punchy, but with added ambience, air and space over my LCD-2. The SR-009 were like a fulller and weightier sounding HE-60 to me, which means that they bordered on being fatiguing with poor recordings and high volumes when I tried them. 


.Anyway, I'd say that I'm most likely to sell the LCD-2 and HD800 at some point to buy the LCD-3,  I liked the LCD-3 just a little more,(than HD800) even with the 2A3 amp that replaced the ZDT - enough that if the ONLY way I could afford to buy the LCD-3 was to sell something then I would consider the HD800 and LCD-2 to get it.  I personally think my ZDT with the partial silver transformers and Sylvania Gold Pin 5751 is a little better than the 2A3, but I preferred the 2A3 over the Super 7.  I still think the BA is the best of the EC amps so far, with my upgraded ZDT not far behind.




vpivinylspinner - LCD/Pinnacle rig within general heirarchy of Canjam rigs (Click to show)


Originally Posted by vpivinylspinner View Post

I did not spend much time in the CanJam room but while there I did hear some really great sound.  My top sounds at the CanJam room were probably:


BHSE>SR-009 (Probably some of the best HP listening I have done, ever)

Apex Audio Pinnacle>LCD-3 (By far the best I heard the LCD-3s sound)

Woo Audio WES>SR-009

Eddie Current 2A3>LCD-3 (Not at the Pinnacle level but better than most others I heard)

Apex Pinnacle>HD-800 (Best HD-800 setup I heard)

Woo Monoblocks>HD-800 (This reminded me of the WA-5 which I have always liked)








barleyguy - on Butte amp (Click to show)

Originally Posted by barleyguy View Post

LCD-3 on TTVJ Butte amp: Well, I can say with great understatement that this definitely didn't suck.  Excellent texture, great bass impact, comfortable though heavy.  The detail was very high but not the slightest bit thin or sizzly.  The LCD-3 is very very good.  Also note that I am not a fanboy of the LCD-2, so I was open minded both directions on the 3.







Originally Posted by islewind View Post

Spent some time with the LCD-3. I've got limited prior listening experience with the LCD-2 in the past, but my very unstudied impression is that these are an incremental improvement, not night and day by any means but likely appealing to Audeze devotees. Smoothness seems better, along with perhaps (and I can't say this conclusively) more detail retrieval. I will say this is a case of you really do need to listen for yourself, I suspect some people will opine that they are barely any better and others will tout them as hugely improved...





Aman George- bass compared to 009 (Click to show)

Originally Posted by AmanGeorge View Post

The bass of the LCD-3 - You don't realize how much visceral texture and impact the SR-009 is missing until you put a pair of these on. The SR-009 is incredibly neutral, but methinks may roll off the low frequencies a little bit. The LCD-3 shares the same essential sound signature as the LCD-2, in a more comfortable package (dat earpad!), a bit more transparency, and even more awe-inspiring bass


-I found them really comfortable (the earpads feel absolutely amazing) and noticeably more luxuriant on the head than the LCD-2, BUT for those who have a big problem with the weight and clamping, I don't think the LCD-3 is going to be of much help. I also really liked the angled cable at the front - it feels like it's tugging less and isn't in the way as much.

-If you're looking for sufficiently different from the SR-009 to justify a supplemental purchase, then you won't be disappointed. They sound very, very different from the SR-009. The Stax is incredibly neutral, airy and transparent; the LCD-3 sounds like the LCD-2 - thick, lush and musical, with the best bass I've ever heard on a headphone. Going from the Stax to the SR-009 was a huge change - I traded breathtaking transparency for the realization that there is an incredible amount of low-end information and richness that the Stax can't quite convey. 




Chris Martens's brief impressions on avguide.com

Edited by Radio_head - 11/14/11 at 12:53pm
post #2 of 22

Just throwing this out for the sake of more data points:


Originally Posted by LFF View Post


Notable Impressions:


LCD-3: A nice headphone...it's what the LCD-2 should have been. I only listened to them briefly but the overall improvement in linearity is a most welcome treat! I would really need some extended listening time in a personal, intimate setting. At the moment though, my desire to purchase one has been quenched and I no longer have the desire to own one. Perhaps that might change with prolonged listening.


SR-009: Talk about refinement! Listening to it out of n3rdling's rig was the sonic highlight of the meet for me. I didn't find it bright or lean at all. Very fast, dynamic and neutral. It's a damn shame these headphones are so expensive as I would love to own a pair.  




Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

LCD3: I don't have much of a reaction to this headphone.  Sounded more balanced than the LCD2rev1 I had (haven't heard rev2).  Overall good but not a giant killer by any means in my mind.  I was thinking of buying one but am no longer interested.



Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

Heard a different LCD2 r2 today w/ very low expectations compared to all prior 4-5 LCD2 listens.  Pleasantly surprised!  Not the same dysfunctional r2 we heard in Buena Park at all. 

Heard the LCD3 w/ much higher expectations but came away more cold from the experience.  I think I was having issues w/ the new comfy pads collapsing and deforming the acoustic chamber too much if I had to guess.  Or it just sounds like that?

So far heard 5 LCDs and liked 1.


I was with a tough crowd. redface.gif They weren't as impressed as I was. The put things into perspective, we had x2 SR009 powered by KGSS and BHSE with good quality sources.

Edited by purrin - 10/25/11 at 11:30am
post #3 of 22

It seems the general opinion so far is that the LCD-3s are above the current flagships but not up to the level of the 009s/orpheus yet. It will be interesting to see some comparisons to the classic sony r10s which are regarded as one of the best dynamics.

post #4 of 22


Originally Posted by dyl1dyl View Post

It seems the general opinion so far is that the LCD-3s are above the current flagships but not up to the level of the 009s/orpheus yet. It will be interesting to see some comparisons to the classic sony r10s which are regarded as one of the best dynamics.


I actually got to hear the R10 again not too many hours after the LCD3. They each take a totally different approach to sound reproduction and are not really comparable.


post #5 of 22


Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post


  • 009 + BHSE - For my tastes, this was the best rig at the meet.
  • LCD-3 + Pinnacle - Wonderful.  Seriously great.  If I had to go dynamic only (and had the money), I could easily live with this combo and say "done." 


I note that I did not have much time with either rig, but I know good when I hear it.

post #6 of 22
Originally Posted by purrin View Post



I actually got to hear the R10 again not too many hours after the LCD3. They each take a totally different approach to sound reproduction and are not really comparable.


Haha, thats true. However, I was just wondering whether one could be concluded to be better than the other in different areas, say detail, in which a Stax 009 in imo the best ever. Or for example in soundstage, in which a K1000 is really good.


post #7 of 22

There's this one too http://www.head-fi.org/t/575847/canjam-rmaf-2011-listening-impressions-thread/45#post_7823272



Originally Posted by furienost View Post

Re: the LCD-3...


I'm pretty green when it comes to reviewing these things but here's some thoughts - take them with a grain of salt:


1. They appear to be almost the size and weight as the LCD-2

2. They are, in fact, roughly twice the price

3. According to Audeze - there will probably be yet another new flagship phone in about a year or 2 (so you've been warned).  The Audeze guy said that there were "things I know we can do better, it just depends on how long it will take to make the changes."

4. They only had the LCD-3s out for demo, so they're pushing them.  They said they were still going to make the 2 rev.2, but the Jam was all about the 3.

5. Regarding sonics and musicality, that's probably better left to an owner of the LCD-2s.  I've heard the 2's, but not enough to get a feeling that these were much different.  At least to my nubile ears, there was not $1000 difference.

6. Regarding the use of the Zebrawood - According to Audeze, "it was cool looking."  Nothing about sonics here.  The pictures online are probably pretty close to the look and feel - maybe just a hint light, but pretty close.


My one-cent.






post #8 of 22
3. According to Audeze - there will probably be yet another new flagship phone in about a year or 2 (so you've been warned).  The Audeze guy said that there were "things I know we can do better, it just depends on how long it will take to make the changes.




OK this got my attention.
 Any talk about LCD3 rev2 :)

post #9 of 22

some early impressions? Every spare moment I have is spent listening and enjoying both my digital collection and CD collection, I haven't been inclined to analyze or put "pen to paper" , that good enough..dB


and if "mehh" exists in written language, it should be banned in reference to the musical abilities of this headphone

Edited by dBel84 - 10/27/11 at 7:38pm
post #10 of 22

Is there a performance graph someone has for these like they send when you buy your LCD2's?

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

Tokyo Meet Impressions 10/29



Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I just woke up after yesterday's madness in Tokyo. I'm  not going to attempt to post any kind of serious evaluation of the LCD-3s since we were in meet conditions. I will only say that after listening to them on a variety of gear that they sound more "right" to me than the LCD-2s. I didn't feel at all like any instruments were too forward or too recessed as I have at times with the LCD-2 revisions (though I am used to the basic "house sound" now).  One highlight was trying them on the Yoshino EAR-4 with vinyl as a source while talking to Mrs Yoshino -- Tim Paravicini's wife. With the ALO CLAS/RX balanced rig sounded totally like a high-end desktop rig as well and not a portable one.  The irony was, directly opposite the ALO table was the Stax table.


Originally Posted by crumpler View Post

LCD3: This was auditioned at ALOAudio, driven by the MK3 Balanced Portable amp. Tried this with both the single as well as balanced connectors, had barely a difference if any, but should be taken with a pinch of salt since this is in noisy meet conditions. Incredible amazing sound. Arguably the best i've out of any headphones. I used my iPhone->CLAS so it was music i was very familiar with and i couldn't find a single flaw in sound. It's worth noting that i didn't enjoy the LCD2R1 when i heard it, it was too dark for my tastes but i loved these from the get-go. Big deep slamming bass and well extended highs. Basically everything the LCD2 should have been in the first place, an improvement on every front except 1, the comfort. It was god awfully heavy, i couldn't tell if they were heavier than the LCD2s but these were still mighty heavy. Oh, and these were attached to a beautiful ALOAudio cable so i'm not sure how much the cable was responsible for the almighty sound since i haven't heard these with the stock cable. Was it worth the asking price of $1945? Not to me, since i wouldn't be able to have extended listening sessions with this behemoth given it's weight, still a no-go for me despite its incredible sound. Pity.


Edited by Radio_head - 10/30/11 at 8:46pm
post #12 of 22


x-post from the impressions thread of Tokyo 2011 Fall Headphone Festival ( http://www.head-fi.org/t/577893/tokyo-japan-meet-at-the-fujiyaavic-2011-autumn-headphone-impressions/15#post_7857306 ):


Audeze LCD-3:

  • Jude brought a pair with him and left it at the ALO table so I could briefly listen to it from my iPhone 4 feeding the CLAS and whatever this ALO amp which I could not read the name
  • I was curious about the LCD3 with all the buzz from RMAF
  • I'd say it was way to short to form a serious impression so the following is a rough cut...
  • First, obviously the bass, this thing is literally "thumping" and I felt my tympanis being exercised like when you "decompress" after / during a dive basshead.gif. If you like a forward bass and are typically frustrated with headphones, I'd say you might be satisfied this time. For me, coming from the 009 it was actually too much in quantity.
  • For the quality of the bass itself, I was not that convinced (I feel I get much more texture out of my 009) but it could be because I use my 009 with a nice D/A at home.
  • For the rest of the balance / soundstage, nothing jumped at me as wrong and I didn't have sufficient time to form a good impression.
  • One thing though, there was not a single thing I listened to that was harsh sounding with the LCD3 so for those who don't want to give up on half their music collection due to unforgiving gear, the LCD3 is probably a good option.
  • For me, I guess I am a happy camper with my current rig and I don't see justification in spending 2kUSD + amplification on the LCD3 at the moment
  • Stax table was right across and the current CEO of Stax himself actually sampled the LCD3 for a few seconds while I was there (my take is thus that Stax is not ignoring what's happening around them as we usually think ;o) ).


post #13 of 22

What kind of cable was being used with the LC-3's?  It sure didn't look stock but more like an ALO cable and expensive.  Is that the cable it will be sold with?  Or was this an upgrade adding to the price?

post #14 of 22

LCD3 comes with stock cables (2 of them) - ribbon cable with a TRS cable and same cable with 4 pin xlr termination for balanced operation. The ALO cables will add approx $500 ..dB

post #15 of 22

My question is how much did the cable help out.  Did anyone listen w/the stock cable?  Every picture I've seen is w/the ALO cable.  Some time ago I remember someone doing a comparo between LC1 w/ALO and 2 w/stock and the 1's performing near 2 w/cable.  This should be a different deal totally but I'd like to know how different they were w/stock vs. ALO.

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