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Audeze LCD-3, Poor Man's Stax SR 009 ?

post #1 of 153
Thread Starter 

This thread title might look a bit silly but after reading through numerous of threads I often see people compare the LCD-3 and the SR 009.

Based on what I read a large amount of people went for the LCD-3 to get the closest result of the SR 009 performance at 1/3 of the price

 

This was in my eyes quite suprising as both headphones use a totaly different technology (Orthodynamics vs Electrostatics).

I would expect that the closest result of the Stax SR 009 would be a cheaper Stax model but from what im reading alot of people prefer the LCD-3

 

I got a LCD-2 at the moment which I really love and wouldnt want to get rid of, Also i'd love to try the Stax headphones but they're quite expensive. When I read numerous posts about the LCD-3 I got excited, I get to keep the LCD sound and get the closest thing to to an SR 009? Ofcourse im a bit skeptic and struggling with alot of questions now and I really hope (ex) SR and LCD owners can help me with.

 

Im trying to get an idea of how well some of the LCD-3 character compares to the SR 009, to help me get an idea it would also help if I can compare it with my LCD-2 (latest bamboo rev.)

 

1) How is LCD-3 bass compared to SR 009 and how is LCD-3 bass compared to LCD-2 bass

2) How is soundstage and imaging on LCD-3 vs sr 009 and is soundstage and imaging on LCD-3 vs LCD-2 ?

3) How open do the SR-009 sound vs the LCD-3 and do they leak as much sound as LCD's ?

4) Which other headphone(s) would come close to the SR 009 that would cost around the same of a LCD-3 ?

 

If there's anything else you guys like to add for comparision please do :)

 

If you dont know the Stax but can tell me these LCD-2 vs LCD-3 differences I mentioned that would help alot too

Thanks in advance for the input guys beerchug.gif


Edited by Hoax - 6/13/12 at 1:24am
post #2 of 153

I've owned the LCD-3 and heard the SR-009 only at audio shows so far, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

 

I wouldn't call the LCD-3 a poor man's SR-009. I might call the LCD-2 r2 a poor drunk man's SR-007 though (which is being generous), and I'd definitely call the SR-007 a poor man's SR-009. While that might logically imply the LCD-2 r2 is like the SR-009 though, I wouldn't stretch it that far - IMO, there's a huge gap between the LCD-2 r2 and SR-009. There's already a big gap between the LCD-2 or LCD-3 and SR-007, IMO, and replacing the SR-007 with the SR-009 just widens the gap.

 

The closest dynamic headphone equivalent I've heard to the SR-009 is the discontinued (and increasingly expensive to acquire) Sony Qualia 010.

 

I'd like to know which posts you're reading, as I haven't recently seen anyone write that the LCD-3 and SR-009 are somehow comparable.

 

I'd describe the LCD-3 as a physical- and tactile-sounding sounding headphone with a highly pressurized (and satisfactory) bass - actually the most physical-, tactile-, and bassy headphone I've heard (eclipsed by only the AKG K340 in the bass aspect, though the Audio-Technica L3K and Grado PS-1 might come close) with a somewhat aggressive sound and a compacted soundstage. Actually now that I'm writing this and thinking about it, I can't help but wonder if the LCD-3 and AT L3K might be sonically close. That'd be a comparison I wouldn't mind doing if I had the chance.

 

The Stax I've heard aren't remotely aggressive-sounding and are very neutral. I know "neutral" is a word that's thrown around on Head-Fi a lot by a lot of people, but I personally don't just casually toss that word around for just any headphone, and "neutral" for me is pretty much only the SR-007 along with a select few dynamic headphones like the Grado HP1000 and Senn HD600, and the JH Audio JH13 IEMs. I wouldn't call any other headphones as being neutral-sounding, and I've heard most of the current flagships. By that frame of reference, I'd call the SR-009 relatively neutral too. I can put it this way too: I consider the LCD-2 assertive-sounding and the LCD-3 aggressive & forward. Compared to the LCD-3, I view the SR-009 as downright passive & laid-back.

 

And for anyone looking for bass in headphones, that just makes me want to ask what kind of music you listen to, because if it's pop, rock, metal, industrial, or electronic, which are all bassy forms of music, then I'd probably advise against stat headphones in general. None of the stat headphones I've heard are exactly bass monsters. If you want bass, I recommend Audeze, AKG (the K340), Beyerdynamic (DT770). I'd recommend the SR-009 for more refined types of music - classical, jazz, non-bass-driven electronica (i.e., ambient), bluegrass/folk, etc.

 

I just recently posted impressions from an audio show where I heard the LCD-3 and SR-009 btw: http://www.head-fi.org/t/612958/t-h-e-show-2012-newport-beach-ca#post_8454665

 

I've also written reviews of the LCD-2 and LCD-3 that can be found here, along with other threads covering some electrostatic gear like the SR-007 and BHSE: http://www.head-fi.org/a/asr-head-fi-threads-compendium

 

(I compared the LCD-3 to the LCD-2 in my LCD-3 review btw.)

 

I'll add this too: anyone who can't afford an SR-009/BHSE combo can get some of that awesomeness on an SR-007/KGSS. Anyone who can't afford the SR-007/KGSS can get a murky idea of it (and by "it" I'm referring to the SR-007/KGSS, NOT the SR-009!) on either an LCD-2 r2 + B22, or the JH13 IEMs. Anyone who can't afford the JH13 or LCD-2 r2 + B22 needs to either pony up their wallet or just go home. tongue.gif


Edited by Asr - 6/13/12 at 9:59am
post #3 of 153

I agree. The LCD-3 is NOT a poor mans SR-009.

 

The SR-009 is a very neutral sounding headphone. It has tactile and accurate bass. It has speed and the soundstaging is very accurate as well.

 

The LCD-3 is NOT neutral, it's bassy and it lacking in the mid-range and highs and the soundstage is not accurate but more artificial sounding. It also has consistency issues from pair to pair.

 

In general, I would agree with Asr's post above.

 

 

To put it another way...I would actually pay the full retail price for the SR-009. I would NOT even pay half the retail price for the LCD-3.

post #4 of 153

I don't have a chance to listen to a SR-009 but thanks for the detail analysis of these phones, ASR.

post #5 of 153

While I have yet to hear the SR009, I have heard the SR007 (MkI and MkII) several times and own/have owned many of the current flagship headphones. But what I can say is that the LCD-3s are the best headphones that my ears have heard to date.

 

Their bass is the closest thing to real life sounding from a headphone that I've come across. They are linear flat down to 20Hz and have square wave responses that actually look like square waves. So based on the measurements, the bass you hear from them is what is closest to what was on the recording. Their imaging is a good step up from the LCD-2 (either revision) and closer to the HE-6s or T1s (and slightly better). The HD800s are still my "go to" headphones for classical/symphonic music and some prog. rock. But with everything else, the LCD-3s get the vast majority of my head time.

 

Not sure how a $2000 headphone would be a poor man's anything, but I can certainly say that they are simply one of the very best headphones out there.

post #6 of 153
The SR-007 mkII is a good headphone, but it is quite dull compared to the LCD-2r2. The weakest point of the LCD-3 (compared to the LCD-2) is the mid-range, which on many recordings sounds too distant. The rest excels.
Edited by Loevhagen - 6/13/12 at 10:46am
post #7 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoax View Post

 

1) How is LCD-3 bass compared to SR 009 and how is LCD-3 bass compared to LCD-2 bass

2) How is soundstage and imaging on LCD-3 vs sr 009 and is soundstage and imaging on LCD-3 vs LCD-2 ?

3) How open do the SR-009 sound vs the LCD-3 and do they leak as much sound as LCD's ?

4) Which other headphone(s) would come close to the SR 009 that would cost around the same of a LCD-3 ?

 

I've owned the LCD-2 rev.1, rev.2 and LCD-3, and currently have a SR-009. Here's my take:

 

1) The LCD have quantitatively more bass, with LCD-3 leading the pack. However, it can get flabby around the bottom line, whereas the SR-009 has noticeably more precise and detailed bass.

2) LCD-3 has a somewhat wider soundstage over the LCD-2 (rev.2), but it feels rather narrow compared to that of SR-009. The SR-009 does it just about right, being wide and open, but not as much as the HD800 which can come across as unnaturally wide. Instrument separation is also much better on the SR-009, though the LCD-3 isn't bad either.

3) They can be heard from quite a distance. When I just got my SR-009 and left them playing downstairs at normal listening volumes, I could hear them from upstairs.

4) Can't help here, sorry.

post #8 of 153

i had the lcd-2 rev.1 e rev.2 and i don´t like 100%

i tried the sr-009 with a top stax amplifier( i don´t remember the code) and in my opinion the sr-009 is a top headphone for some things but i live happily with much less

post #9 of 153

it's just that simple, if you listen to heavy bass music like pop,rock,metal not jazz,classical. then the LCD-3 would perform better than a Stax 009. it's like comparing the AKG-701 to the Denon D2k. the sound is totally different not just the technology

 

i'm more interested in LCD-2 rev2 Bamboo VS LCD-3. how much improvement you get from the later ?!

post #10 of 153

I'm surprised anyone replied to this thread as the Stax and Audeze are worlds apart tonally speaking.

 

You can compare the LCD-2 and LCD-3 as they have the same sound signature.

 

However, you could blindfold anyone and I doubt a single person would say they sounded similar in any regard (Audeze vs Stax).

 

If you're looking for something better than the LCD-2, try the LCD-3 and make a decision if you like them better.

 

If you're looking for something completely different, try some Stax.

 

Just don't buy a pair of LCD-3 and pretend they sound like SR-009. If you do, and you get a chance to actually hear the SR-009, you'll be disappointed (or happy if you prefer the LCD-3).

post #11 of 153

In a way the LCD3 is a really interesting headphone because I cannot think of an equivalent full-size that sounds quite like it. It doesn't have the finesse of the higher end Staxen but the tonality is very lovely and it has a good balance between neutrality and musicality. 

 

I don't know, if you ask me the JH13 IEM is the closest thing that sounds like the LCD3 as strange as it sounds and I can say for sure that the 009 will not sound anything like the LCD3. 

post #12 of 153

I agree with ASR, LFF and mwilson.  The LCD-3 puts out a greater bass quantity than I suspect any electrostat is capable of rendering, but the SR-009 bass has better quality.  The SR-009 put the LCD-3 to shame in terms of soundstage, detail, imaging and comfort.

post #13 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post

The SR-009 put the LCD-3 to shame in terms of soundstage, detail, imaging and comfort.

Technically yes, but sometimes a dynamic setup will just to the material better justice, kinda like preferring cheap beer to fine Bordeaux while watching Oklahoma ultimately lose their behinds to the Heat, game 1 notwithstanding.
post #14 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post

kinda like preferring cheap beer to fine Bordeaux while watching Oklahoma ultimately lose their behinds to the Heat, game 1 notwithstanding.

 

Wishful thinking.

post #15 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post

 

Wishful thinking.

LoL, being a Raptors fan, I'm with you. Sorry Bosh, no championship for you. (Yes, I'm still bitter). tongue.gif

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