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Would I enjoy the Audeze-LCD-2/3?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

 I am in the market for something new. I am torn between the LCD-2/3, HE-500 or the HE-400. I have recently been in a closed Headphone stage with my last couple of purchases, but i am ready for a new open can. Any input would by greatly appreciated.

 

I am a closet basshead no doubt, but i also enjoy a refined style as well (HD-600, AKG701 ETC.)

 

I switch back and forth from tube amps to solid-state so the amp is not a factor in my decision. I have a Lyr that is not listed on my profile so plenty of power on hand.

 

I am looking for a large soundstage, hence why I am looking at open HPs.

 

One of my favorite sounding cans are my modded Fostex T50rps so I am a bit familiar with the  orthodynamic sound and know this is the route I want to go.

 

I also do not like a dark sound (M-stage with stock OPA is an example of what I mean by dark), but do like punchy midbass and somewhat bright highs(not Grado bright).

 

I do not have a chance to audition any of these based on where I live, but did hear the HE-400 through an I-phone and liked it (somewhat, unamped can not really judge). So based on the criteria  I have listed if any of you have owned/heard all three what would you buy if you had my preferance?

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 38

I found that the LCD-2/3 did not have a large soundstage compared to my DT990.  The HE-400 sounds really poor compared to the HE-300 and HE-500 to my ears.  I have all three sitting on my listening station right now and there is no doubt that the HE-500 is the easy winner in regards to every aspect of audio judgement.  They are very neutral and allow me to hear my music as the artists recorded it.

 

I will do some more soundstage testing tonight and see if the HE-500 delivers.

post #3 of 38
post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

I found that the LCD-2/3 did not have a large soundstage compared to my DT990.  The HE-400 sounds really poor compared to the HE-300 and HE-500 to my ears.  I have all three sitting on my listening station right now and there is no doubt that the HE-500 is the easy winner in regards to every aspect of audio judgement.  They are very neutral and allow me to hear my music as the artists recorded it.

 

I will do some more soundstage testing tonight and see if the HE-500 delivers.

I also enjoy the DT 990's imaging and soundstage, if it was not for the lack of mids it would be one of my favorites. I keep them around for movies/gaming. Your comment on the HE-300 sounding superior to the 400 is interesting, in what facet may I ask?

post #5 of 38
Thread Starter 

 Yeah, that is a phenomenal post (I actually commented on it in the HD-600 thread). It actually was one of the reasons I threw the LCDs in the mix.

post #6 of 38

I don't think you will like the LCD-2 headphone. It has a very small soundstage for a open headphone. But it does have a lot of bass extension.

post #7 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifihead View Post

I don't think you will like the LCD-2 headphone. It has a very small soundstage for a open headphone. But it does have a lot of bass extension.

 

That is what I assumed from the reading that I have done on them. Is the soundstage as intimate as say a set of Grados?and as far as bass extension is it far ahead of the HE-500?  It stinks to not be able to demo them. Sorry for the questions I just would like to make the right selection for once.

post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

I found that the LCD-2/3 did not have a large soundstage compared to my DT990.  The HE-400 sounds really poor compared to the HE-300 and HE-500 to my ears.  I have all three sitting on my listening station right now and there is no doubt that the HE-500 is the easy winner in regards to every aspect of audio judgement.  They are very neutral and allow me to hear my music as the artists recorded it.

 

I will do some more soundstage testing tonight and see if the HE-500 delivers.


When properly driven the LCD-3s have sound staging on par with the beyer T1s....that is to say, a step up from the DT990s. smile.gif  YMMV, yada, yada, yada

post #9 of 38

try getting the LCD2v2 as i think it is the brightest of the three v1/v2/lcd3

 

but i'd go for the he500 instead of the lcd2. lcd2 sounds like a "closed" headphone even if it is an "open" headphone you need to have an amp or dac that gives soundstage to make it sound "open"

 

ive listened to my friends lcd2v2 with a DIY mosfet amp (that gives crazy soundstage and imaging and lush midrange to any headphone) and an hrt music streamer (that gives treble, airyness, and soundstage as well) and it sounds very open. and i quite like it.

post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyaems View Post

try getting the LCD2v2 as i think it is the brightest of the three v1/v2/lcd3

 

but i'd go for the he500 instead of the lcd2. lcd2 sounds like a "closed" headphone even if it is an "open" headphone you need to have an amp or dac that gives soundstage to make it sound "open"

 

ive listened to my friends lcd2v2 with a DIY mosfet amp (that gives crazy soundstage and imaging and lush midrange to any headphone) and an hrt music streamer (that gives treble, airyness, and soundstage as well) and it sounds very open. and i quite like it.

 

If by bright, you mean has peakier treble than the LCD-2 r.1 and LCD-3, I agree. The LCD-3s are a good step up in treble smoothness and clarity to the r.2. But I shall refrain to comment whether they are worth 2x the price. smile.gif

 

I wouldn't classify a DIY mosfet amp (I'd like to see the specs) and hrt music streamer as a proper amp/source for the LCD-2/3s to really evaluate them and hear what they are capable of offering.

post #11 of 38

Unless you want to EQ, LCD-2r2 is definitely not bright. I don't care about brightness, but I still had to boost the highs some to sound good to me. My dear old HE-500 didn't need that at all and I think they were a bit more airy. Wouldn't go back though, LCD's are even slightly more comfortable to me and I hated cables poking on my shoulders.. tough choices to make blind. Just flip a coin or take a more meticulous approach (in depth conversations with someone using same tracks as reference etc, otherwise it's just random "soundstage this bass that").

post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

I found that the LCD-2/3 did not have a large soundstage compared to my DT990.  The HE-400 sounds really poor compared to the HE-300 and HE-500 to my ears.  I have all three sitting on my listening station right now and there is no doubt that the HE-500 is the easy winner in regards to every aspect of audio judgement.  They are very neutral and allow me to hear my music as the artists recorded it.

 

I will do some more soundstage testing tonight and see if the HE-500 delivers.

 

That's odd.  I think a lot might depend on the source, amplification, etc.  I have the HE-400s (rev. 2) and the HE-500s.  Both are driven via speaker taps and do a very good job at what they do.  I don't think the HE-500 is overly-superior compared to the 400.  It's slightly more refined, though.

post #13 of 38

The HE-400 driven by my m903 sounds slightly tinny and had issues with distortion with music that has a large dynamic range like the Tron soundtrack.  This is supported by the charts:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/HiFiMANHE400.pdf

 

Look at the distortion charts and the impulse response.  Any time I see that kind of ringing on the impulse response I can almost always if not always hear a tinny nature to the sound signature.

 

The HE-300 sounds better to me than the HE-400 in regards to being more pleasant to listen to with more of my music.  I heard less distortion and no tinny nature to the sound signature.  Do not get me wrong the HE-300 has its own set of issues with distortion, but it was more pleasing overall to listen to than the HE-400.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/HiFiMANHE300.pdf

 

The HE-500 proved the most reliable and pleasing to listen to compared to the HE-300 and HE-400.  It could not get the HE-500 to distort at normal listening levels and the clarity and neutrality was stunning.  The mids were less harsh than the HE-300 and did not fatigue nearly as much over long listening sessions.

 

In regards to MacedonianHero what source are you using, what tracks are you listening to, and what amp do you use?  I will try to replicate this wide sound stage scenario, but I find it pretty hard to see why my m903 would not drive the LCD-2/3 well.  Please elaborate on your LCD-2/3 testing in regards to soundstage.  I am using soundstage as in how wide and from where I can detect a sound.  The wider the soundstage the more directionality it has.  I found both the LCD-2 and LCD-3 very singular as far as directionality with little openness.

 

I think you hear a great many things that I have yet to hear in the LCD-2/3.  Would you be willing to loan your setup to Tyll or myself so we can see if we can hear it too?  Perhaps I am missing something, but in regards to soundstage I remain unimpressed by the LCD-2/3.

 

For me it is difficult to see why changing between quality amplifiers would drastically change the sound stage characteristic of a headphone.  I admit that impedance, driver damping, and power delivered to the driver varies from amp to amp, but as long as each quality amp does the job well enough the soundstage should not suddenly become enhanced.  Perhaps someone out there can give a details explanation of why the soundtage would increase simply by flipping between quality amps.  By quality here I mean an amp designed to deliver a high enough damping factor for the driver, has a low output impedance ( below 5 Ohms ), and can deliver adequate power to the drivers to give 70dB of loudness.

 

I can see how adding in higher order harmonics may contribute the the soundstage and soundstaging is often a factor of the Fourier transform of the signal and how the ear interprets the higher order harmonics.  I can also see how a poor amp would introduce a time delay between higher order harmonics and thus introduce the effects of distance and directionality, but are we really saying that the m903 or even Ultra Desktop Amp is not driving the LCD-2/3 properly?

 

I require further explanation before I believe that the LCD-2/3 is capable or even competent at delivering an immense soundstage or even a great sense of space.  As a scientist I admit it is completely possible, but with the m903 or Ultra Desktop Amp I have not heard it.

post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

The HE-400 driven by my m903 sounds slightly tinny and had issues with distortion with music that has a large dynamic range like the Tron soundtrack.  This is supported by the charts:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/HiFiMANHE400.pdf

 

Look at the distortion charts and the impulse response.  Any time I see that kind of ringing on the impulse response I can almost always if not always hear a tinny nature to the sound signature.

 

I can't comment on comparisons to HE-500, but what you describe of HE-400 I can't imagine.  Tinny?  Distortion? I know what the charts say, and I've often questioned it.  You'd have to be listening rather loud for it to be distorting like that.  I often listen to classical with huge DR and haven't had any distortion issues within normal listening levels. 

 

"Tinny", I'll leave alone because it's a subjective enough word that what you mean by tinny may not be what I'm reading it as.  I will however say that I do appreciate HE-400 more on tubes than SS, but the same is true of HD650 and K702 as well, and while the character is very different on SS and I dislike the drier sound in general, I still didn't think "tinny" fits.  

 

FWIW, I'm not a rabid HE-400 fan, I do really like HE-400 a lot, but I like my HD650s more.  It's just that the description you offer isn't fitting with what I hear, or at least is an exaggeration of minor issues. 

post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

The HE-400 driven by my m903 sounds slightly tinny and had issues with distortion with music that has a large dynamic range like the Tron soundtrack.  This is supported by the charts:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/HiFiMANHE400.pdf

 

Look at the distortion charts and the impulse response.  Any time I see that kind of ringing on the impulse response I can almost always if not always hear a tinny nature to the sound signature.

 

The HE-300 sounds better to me than the HE-400 in regards to being more pleasant to listen to with more of my music.  I heard less distortion and no tinny nature to the sound signature.  Do not get me wrong the HE-300 has its own set of issues with distortion, but it was more pleasing overall to listen to than the HE-400.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/HiFiMANHE300.pdf

 

The HE-500 proved the most reliable and pleasing to listen to compared to the HE-300 and HE-400.  It could not get the HE-500 to distort at normal listening levels and the clarity and neutrality was stunning.  The mids were less harsh than the HE-300 and did not fatigue nearly as much over long listening sessions.

 

In regards to MacedonianHero what source are you using, what tracks are you listening to, and what amp do you use?  I will try to replicate this wide sound stage scenario, but I find it pretty hard to see why my m903 would not drive the LCD-2/3 well.  Please elaborate on your LCD-2/3 testing in regards to soundstage.  I am using soundstage as in how wide and from where I can detect a sound.  The wider the soundstage the more directionality it has.  I found both the LCD-2 and LCD-3 very singular as far as directionality with little openness.

 

I think you hear a great many things that I have yet to hear in the LCD-2/3.  Would you be willing to loan your setup to Tyll or myself so we can see if we can hear it too?  Perhaps I am missing something, but in regards to soundstage I remain unimpressed by the LCD-2/3.

 

For me it is difficult to see why changing between quality amplifiers would drastically change the sound stage characteristic of a headphone.  I admit that impedance, driver damping, and power delivered to the driver varies from amp to amp, but as long as each quality amp does the job well enough the soundstage should not suddenly become enhanced.  Perhaps someone out there can give a details explanation of why the soundtage would increase simply by flipping between quality amps.  By quality here I mean an amp designed to deliver a high enough damping factor for the driver, has a low output impedance ( below 5 Ohms ), and can deliver adequate power to the drivers to give 70dB of loudness.

 

I can see how adding in higher order harmonics may contribute the the soundstage and soundstaging is often a factor of the Fourier transform of the signal and how the ear interprets the higher order harmonics.  I can also see how a poor amp would introduce a time delay between higher order harmonics and thus introduce the effects of distance and directionality, but are we really saying that the m903 or even Ultra Desktop Amp is not driving the LCD-2/3 properly?

 

I require further explanation before I believe that the LCD-2/3 is capable or even competent at delivering an immense soundstage or even a great sense of space.  As a scientist I admit it is completely possible, but with the m903 or Ultra Desktop Amp I have not heard it.

 

From experience the HE-500 and the LCD-2 are quite similar sounding.

 

Though different amps can change the size of a headphone's soundstage, the m903 would most probably have no problem driving the LCD-2/3 (when I had the LCD-2, they sounded fine out of my iPod). 

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