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Soundstage of LCD2 vs LCD3 vs HD800

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I currently have a pair of LCD2s that I like a lot for certain types of music.  However any time I listen to heavy vocal music or orchestral music I become fatigued and distracted by the lack of center sound stage.  I've tried several different amps, including a Phonitor where I can add crossfeed and adjust the center image.  While this does help, it still is annoying on older stereo recordings where the voice has a left channel emphasis, like Pink Floyd.  I'm going to conclude that I can't correct this with changes to the chain.

 

So I am at a point where I've decided to try either the HD800 or the LCD3. 

 

My natural reaction would be to get the HD800, as it is generally agreed that they have the most resolving soundstage there is.  The only thing holding me back is the one time that I've heard the HD800, I didn't care for it in short time I had with it.  I also know that the HD800 has incredible potential, so it was likely the chain I didn't care for, and not the HD800.

 

Really my question would be, putting aside any other sonic advantages over the LCD2, does the LCD3 have a similar sound stage to the LCD2?

post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWIFOSP View Post

I currently have a pair of LCD2s that I like a lot for certain types of music.  However any time I listen to heavy vocal music or orchestral music I become fatigued and distracted by the lack of center sound stage.  I've tried several different amps, including a Phonitor where I can add crossfeed and adjust the center image.  While this does help, it still is annoying on older stereo recordings where the voice has a left channel emphasis, like Pink Floyd.  I'm going to conclude that I can't correct this with changes to the chain.

 

So I am at a point where I've decided to try either the HD800 or the LCD3. 

 

My natural reaction would be to get the HD800, as it is generally agreed that they have the most resolving soundstage there is.  The only thing holding me back is the one time that I've heard the HD800, I didn't care for it in short time I had with it.  I also know that the HD800 has incredible potential, so it was likely the chain I didn't care for, and not the HD800.

 

Really my question would be, putting aside any other sonic advantages over the LCD2, does the LCD3 have a similar sound stage to the LCD2?


Here's my 2 cents:
 

With regards to sound staging ONLY:

HD800 > LCD-3=T1=HE-6 > LCD-2

 

post #3 of 17

Haven't heard the LCD-3. But the HD-800 has a much better soundstage than the LCD-2. But that said, that's just one aspect of the sound.

post #4 of 17

As much as I love the bass impact of the LCD-2, I'm finding my new HD800 to be a better over all headphone. I was anticipating ice picks in the treble region but instead find it well extended yet incredibly smooth. It presents a really clean sound that begs to be turned up. The LCD-2 on the other hand is less coherent and surprisingly more fatiguing in comparison.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 


How is the center sound stage on the lcd3?  Does it give a mid of center feel? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post


Here's my 2 cents:
 

With regards to sound staging ONLY:

HD800 > LCD-3=T1=HE-6 > LCD-2

 



 

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWIFOSP View Post


How is the center sound stage on the lcd3?  Does it give a mid of center feel? 

 



 


Of the three headphones, it's the best IMO.

 

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

So with regards to mid center feel, it's worlds different than the lcd2?  My decision before this post was leaning toward the h800, but now it sounds like the lcd3 might be what I'm after.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post


Of the three headphones, it's the best IMO.

 



 

post #8 of 17

SVS Realizer doesn't cost more than trying all 3 mentioned headphones - will make any one of them have soudstage/imaging to make any non-processed headphone "soundstage" discussion seem like comparing 1920's black and white movie's "depth", color" with today's best 3-D


Edited by jcx - 4/5/12 at 8:42pm
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWIFOSP View Post

So with regards to mid center feel, it's worlds different than the lcd2?  My decision before this post was leaning toward the h800, but now it sounds like the lcd3 might be what I'm after.
 



 


Funny you should ask:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/a/comparisons-of-the-lcd-3-and-the-lcd-2-rev-2

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the link, I go back and forth every day.  I still can't decide between the two.  I really just need to break the fatigue of a bad center.  My other headphones don't have this problem, but they don't sound as good as the lcd2s either.

post #11 of 17


That's not surprising as Sennheiser is putting lots of R&D money that the small chinese contender could only dream to invest. Smoothness and lack of fatigue for extended use at high volume level is the ultimate test and Senn is known since the HD650 to produce the best in the field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

As much as I love the bass impact of the LCD-2, I'm finding my new HD800 to be a better over all headphone. I was anticipating ice picks in the treble region but instead find it well extended yet incredibly smooth. It presents a really clean sound that begs to be turned up. The LCD-2 on the other hand is less coherent and surprisingly more fatiguing in comparison.



 

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post


That's not surprising as Sennheiser is putting lots of R&D money that the small chinese contender could only dream to invest. 



You surely don't mean Audeze when you say "small Chinese contender" do you?

post #13 of 17



I love my HD650 and HD800.  However, Sennheiser should be embassed that small comanies like Audeze and Hifiman have given us HE6 and LCD2 and 3's.  I have HE6 and read plenty about LCDs.  These headphones are definitely at the same level as HD800 but offers different flavor.  You can find a big group of highly expericed headfiers as fans for each of these phones. 

Quote:

Originally Posted by telecaster View Post


That's not surprising as Sennheiser is putting lots of R&D money that the small chinese contender could only dream to invest. Smoothness and lack of fatigue for extended use at high volume level is the ultimate test and Senn is known since the HD650 to produce the best in the field.



 



 

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWIFOSP View Post

Thanks for the link, I go back and forth every day.  I still can't decide between the two.  I really just need to break the fatigue of a bad center.  My other headphones don't have this problem, but they don't sound as good as the lcd2s either.

 

TWIFOSP, I know you've mentioned that you've tried different amps. But I really think that amp and source compatibility have a lot to do with this center channel thing.

I didn't get a noticeably strong center channel and pinpoint imaging from the LCD2 rev 2 until I went to the high gain output of a robust S.S. amp (Rudistor RPX-33). 

It brought a lot things into focus over tubes. I was listening to an orchestral SACD just the other day and was blown away by the imaging in all areas of the headstage, left>center<-right.  

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by obzilla View Post



You surely don't mean Audeze when you say "small Chinese contender" do you?

Sorry to bring this back up. But I think he meant STAX. STAX was recently acquired by Edifier which is Chinese.....but they are by no means small.

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