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Audeze LCD-3 Impressions Thread - Page 101

post #1501 of 4533

I'm of the mindset that the HD800 probably scales higher than any other headphone out there. Mainly because they are the most detailed, most neutral, most transparent headphone out there. They are also highly sensitive. I'm curious where their ceiling lies-because it doesn't seem anyone has reached it yet...ie, the HD800 is never the weakest link. I don't include Stax in that statement-because there simply isn't a ton of gear (ok, amps) to choose for them. Not sure where the LCD 3 fits with all this-but with most comments here, they seem to be the most chameleon-like headphone around, moreso than the Audeze or pretty much anything else.

 

-Daniel

post #1502 of 4533

You don't know me too well then :P

 

Seriously though you gents need to read what is written and not fill in the blanks.  I did not sell the LCD-3 when the HD800 came in this time out.  I sold the LCD-2.  The other times I had the HD800 I kept the LCD-2.  Those other times the HD800 fell on the side of not being something I could live with.  I have never compared the LCD-3 and HD800 and sold the LCD-3.  Clear?

 

The HD800 scales higher than the LCD-2 and at this level of rig overtook it overall.  I still had the treble shelf to squash with a para eq but that's easy enough to apply.  So mid level rig LCD-3=LCD-2>HD800, high level rig LCD-3>HD800>LCD-2.  

post #1503 of 4533

Didn't you also say your current LCD-3 was brighter (more to your liking) or something similar? Plus, you already admitted you can be finicky. As we all can.

 

Why do people have an ax to grind with you.

post #1504 of 4533

No axe-grinding here-I'm just curious about the scalability of both of these flagships personally. I think the HD800 has the higher ceiling, and I think Solude has experienced the chameleon-esque character of both these flagships. I can relate-as I too have owned the HD800 three different times now. It's a pesky sucker-hard to nail down in a system ime. I have heard it sound 'good' on a number of amps-but I've only heard it sound 'great' on...1. Actually for those on a budget-I'd argue it sounds great on the m-Stage, seeing as that's one of a few ss amps that mates well with it, at bargain bin pricing no less.

 

The Audezes seem to be much less picky about amplification-such it their nature. That in no means suggest they can't scale pretty high, but I'd be surprised if anything could best the Senn on a no holds barred budget. Even then, they'd still require system synergy more than any other cans imo.

 

OT-how do the LCD 3s compare to the HD800 in terms of accurate imaging and soundstaging? The 2.2s sucked in this regard, but I've heard the 3s are much better. Do they at least come within spitting distance of the Senns?

 

-Daniel

post #1505 of 4533
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

Mainly because they are the most detailed, most neutral, most transparent headphone out there. They are also highly sensitive.

 

See I don't hear it that way and the scope certainly disagrees.  They are quite transparent, but also quite slow and overdamped compared to other top flight headphones.  Tonal balance isn't neutral either, the open baffle really rolls the bottom and the raised treble shelf make for a headphone that performs best with mid-centric material.  Which depending on your genre preference might not even matter but you can't have an M frequency response and be neutral.  It's a case of getting better resolution on what you do hear because other things are missing giving you less to process overall.  That's been my take away the three times I owned it.  

 

The GS-X mk2 though really filled in the bottom to something usable.  The shelf though is a two sided edge, on one hand it sits in the definition range so instrument detail and focus go up, on the other any primaries or secondaries in the range also get brought up messing up the instrument balance.  Simple example is often in rock/metal genres the hats or ride live in there and become the overriding drive of the tune.  But like I said, it's fairly easy to zero out.  The bass you can't really do anything about because it's already starting to distort at unaltered levels so a bump would only drive it into the 10%+ THD range.

 

This I believe is why some like it on OTL or vintage amps with high output impedance.  It corrects for some of the faults by changing the freq resp in a positive way and lowers the damping to something less fixed.  Your ZDSE doesn't count since it has near SS output impedance.

 

And I can live with that.  Imagine what I think of the can't live with list ;)

post #1506 of 4533

Have you heard another headphone change as readily as the HD800 from a simple component change? I sure haven't-nothing comes close ime. That's why I say they are the most transparent-but it seems maybe you're suggesting that happens because those changes are easier heard in the higher frequencies? Either way-I've heard TONS of amps that make the HD800 "usable" lol-but I've also found the bigger factor resides in the source in this instance. Swapping dacs with the Bryston/HD800 could go from almost nonexistent bass, to some of the best bass definition, impact, and extension I've yet heard from the Senns. That's another reason I kind of question the wire-with-gain fairytale that runs rampant in regards to the GSX-everybody talks about it's epic bass-regardless of source it seems. To me-that's colored. Different thread though.

 

Back on topic-how chameleon like do you feel the LCD 3s are with system changes? Examples?

 

-Daniel

post #1507 of 4533
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post
 

Didn't you also say your current LCD-3 was brighter (more to your liking) or something similar? Plus, you already admitted you can be finicky. As we all can.

 

Yup my LCD-3 doesn't drop down until nearly 5KHz.  And from 1KHz to 5KHz it's a soft slope of 5dB or so.

 

Damn finicky.

post #1508 of 4533

I'm still confused, is the HD800 more of a bargain compared to the LCD-3? You people seem to be talking about how the HD800 can sound so much better on a proper setup.

 

There's a huge price difference between the HD800 and the LCD-3...

post #1509 of 4533
Quote:
Originally Posted by XVampireX View Post
 

I'm still confused, is the HD800 more of a bargain compared to the LCD-3? You people seem to be talking about how the HD800 can sound so much better on a proper setup.

 

 

 

You can only find those answers through your own experience. 

post #1510 of 4533
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

Have you heard another headphone change as readily as the HD800 from a simple component change? I sure haven't-nothing comes close ime. That's why I say they are the most transparent-but it seems maybe you're suggesting that happens because those changes are easier heard in the higher frequencies? Either way-I've heard TONS of amps that make the HD800 "usable" lol-but I've also found the bigger factor resides in the source in this instance. Swapping dacs with the Bryston/HD800 could go from almost nonexistent bass, to some of the best bass definition, impact, and extension I've yet heard from the Senns. That's another reason I kind of question the wire-with-gain fairytale that runs rampant in regards to the GSX-everybody talks about it's epic bass-regardless of source it seems. To me-that's colored. Different thread though.

 

Back on topic-how chameleon like do you feel the LCD 3s are with system changes? Examples?

 

-Daniel

 

I think a lot of those comments are people describing their entire rig, not just the GS-X. It would make little sense if people refer to the amp as "wire with gain" and not include there source into the conversation. I might be wrong though...

post #1511 of 4533
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

Have you heard another headphone change as readily as the HD800 from a simple component change? I sure haven't-nothing comes close ime

 

That's another reason I kind of question the wire-with-gain fairytale that runs rampant in regards to the GSX-everybody talks about it's epic bass-regardless of source it seems.

 

Back on topic-how chameleon like do you feel the LCD 3s are with system changes? Examples?

 

I agreed about the transparency of the HD800 =)

 

The GS-X mk2 has a slightly different power supply than the earlier GS-X, uses different parts but the same circuit in the amp, and cranks both rail voltage and bias.  Earlier Dynalo amps could be considered wire with gain or dry depending on your point of view.  The mk2 I believe benefits from the power supply speed and higher bias to simply never run out of steam down low.  It's not that the bass is elevated so much that it's deep and propulsive.  Greater dynamic range than the typical sucked out compressed sound most solid state suffers from.  None of my tube amps suffered from compression, some were rolled but never compressed.

 

LCD-3 staging is better than the LCD-2 but not HD800 level.  On the GS-X mk2 I get some shoulder check moments and image placement is precise but it's no HD800 in that regard.  Nothing is.

 

As for the LCD-3 changing on rigs.  The first time out I had the W4S DAC-2 and rolled seven or so amps.  They all sounded different.  A bunch could have been stand ins for each other in a pinch and three stood out.  The B22 was leading the pack until the Peak came in and with the Hytron or Sylvania just stomped all over the B22.  No compression, more focused images, higher resolution, all that tube goodness.  The Soloist was better than the B22, more focused, better clarity, better bottom but compressed beside the Peak.  Good as it was there was still this something that bugged me about the LCD-3 that the LCD-2 didn't exhibit.  I couldn't quite put my finger on it though.  LCD-3 and Peak went bye bye, Soloist and LCD-2 back in.

 

I now believe it was the W4S because on the PWD2 I don't get that feeling.  Unfortunately I don't have another source worth trying to see if the GS-X mk2 tracks the change or still delivers the goods.  I have considered the new Bryston BDA-2 to save some desktop real-estate or in a pinch I suppose I could hook up my portable or theatre player.

post #1512 of 4533
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post
 

 

I think a lot of those comments are people describing their entire rig, not just the GS-X. It would make little sense if people refer to the amp as "wire with gain" and not include there source into the conversation. I might be wrong though...

 

Aye.  The PWD2 is considered a pretty warm dac so it shouldn't too surprising that I get monstrous bass performance.  That said the B22 I have downstairs is pretty laid back and compressed in that regard even with the PWD2.

post #1513 of 4533
Quote:
Originally Posted by XVampireX View Post
 

I'm still confused, is the HD800 more of a bargain compared to the LCD-3? You people seem to be talking about how the HD800 can sound so much better on a proper setup.

 

There's a huge price difference between the HD800 and the LCD-3...

 

The HD800 costs quite a bit less if you buy from Germany directly.  It's requirement are harder to meet though.  Orthos are nearly purely resistive while the HD800 is a nasty load for an amplifier.  In both cases you better like your source cause that's what you're going to get.

 

An HE-500 or LCD-2 system is a lot less demanding and more likely to be good with whatever you have on hand than either the LCD-3 or HD800.

post #1514 of 4533

Thanks for those impressions. I like how you mentioned the somewhat compressed sound of most ss amps. That's one area where it seems nothing could touch my old ZDSE-the dynamics from low to high were simply outstanding. The micro dynamics are outstanding. It almost feels like most other amps I've have simply don't have the dynamic range of the EC-even the WA5LE doesn't-but I partly blame that on a noise floor that isn't as astonishingly low (for tubes) as the ZDSE. Coupled with the gigantic, holographic soundstage, along with the microdetails and microdynamics-I don't really get a taste of that from many other amps. The BHA-1 had a hint of it-just enough for me to notice-which is why I liked that amp even though it wasn't the best with the Senn. If the GSXii can come close in those areas, I'll have to pull the trigger sooner, rather than later. Which reminds me, I've got some listening to do on the P1u...

 

-Daniel

post #1515 of 4533

Best part about the GS-X mk2... it's a free unlimited trial if you can swing it.  They resell for what they cost so it's literally free to own.  Assuming an mk3 doesn't drop anytime soon ;)

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