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Audeze LCD-2 Rev2, Audeze LCD-3 RMA and Sennheiser HD800 compared...

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 

Similar to the amp thread, I'll be running each through its paces with the goal of being left with one at the end.

 

My original LCD-2 v LCD-3 notes can be found in that thread but were from when this pair had mismatched drivers so... let's start fresh.  My LCD-3 RMA are back from repair with new drivers, earpads and longer adjustment rods.  So its now got matched drivers, pads and it fits!

 

My Sennheiser hasn't shipped so I will be updating the thread later with it.

 

All comparisons will be run with the W4S DAC-2, AMB B22 Balanced and Q cables.

 

So getting on with it... LCD-2 v LCD-3

 

900x900px-LL-2531c5c1_IMG_10801.jpeg

 

In the interest of getting people up in arms... its a crap shoot.  At this level we've entered diminishing returns.  There are things the LCD-3 does that the LCD-2 not only doesn't do as well but at all.  And there are things about the LCD-2 that the LCD-3 doesn't achieve as well.  Crap shoot, yay.

 

Looking over my notes its very clear that the LCD-3 stages much better than the LCD-2.  Instruments aren't grounded, they have a distinct location in space. The tonal balance is flatter though I still think its slightly U shaped with a minor focus on sub bass and upper treble.  It has a greater tendency to highlight background detail.  But all these things tend to result in a detached, less emotionally involving presentation.  Its not studio dry, but it doesn't have the full body of the LCD-2.  On busy passages these advantages can collapse into what I feel for lack of better wording, a smeared or messy presentation.

 

The LCD-2 on the other hand has a grounded, precise but flat sound stage.  Tonal balance falls more into the middle with great body and fullness in comparison.  Its blackground is higher.  Instruments come and go into complete darkness.  Its reduced top end makes for a cleaner presentation while also not spotlighting background detail.  It errors on omission.

 

Where they are equal or pretty close is in texture and detail retrieval.  Where the tonal balance of the LCD-3 highlights little things more, they are present on the LCD-2 just at a lower level.  Attack and drive is high on both models.

 

So what to do.  If staging is a priority then its a one side thrashing.  If emotional engagement is your game then you fall to the other side.  The darker more forgiving LCD-2 also invites the listener to go to 11 and might be the better choice for libraries containing a lot of less than stellar recordings.  The LCD-3 counters with more authentic balance which is truer to the recording.

 

The good news is I have an actual competition on my hands.  The bad is I won't be padding my bank balance anytime soon ;)

 

* UPDATE - Senn HD800 v LCD-3 comparison has been posted http://www.head-fi.org/t/614655/audeze-lcd-2-rev2-audeze-lcd-3-rma-and-sennheiser-hd800-compared/105#post_8569379 *


Edited by Solude - 7/28/12 at 7:48pm
post #2 of 121
Thread Starter 

Since I have to wait for the Senn 800 to ship...  Any amps more suited to the 800 than the B22?  I believe the Luxman P-1u gets thrown around a lot.  Still relevant?  Better options up to that price point?

post #3 of 121

I think the Luxman P-1u remains a very nice pairing with the HD 800.

post #4 of 121

there was a ton of talk back in the day of the HD800s pairing extremely well with the DNA Sonnet. though i cant imagine the B22 not being amazing with them as well.

post #5 of 121
Thread Starter 

Decided to stick with the B22 to keep it a headphone comparison.  Didn't help that the gent selling the P-1u wouldn't provide a photo ;)

 

After June 27th I might hit Donald up for a Stratus.  Or go stats again, will have to see just how hard I hit my head :p

post #6 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

Decided to stick with the B22 to keep it a headphone comparison.  Didn't help that the gent selling the P-1u wouldn't provide a photo ;)

 

After June 27th I might hit Donald up for a Stratus.  Or go stats again, will have to see just how hard I hit my head :p

ive certainly changed my opinion of Stats after hearing the Sr-009s...those are amazing headphones

post #7 of 121
Thread Starter 

Going to come down to just how dizzy I am that day on whether I go all in or something reasonable like the 507 and GES.

post #8 of 121

I'll be very interested to read about your results. I'm considering these exact headphones to complement and/or replace my HE-500s. I've read that the HD800s are a great match with my Luxman P-1, but I have to say that I've always been curious about how the Audezes would sound...Would also be curious to hear your thoughts about the LCD-2 with the GS-1, as it is my amp in my secondary system.

 

Thanks!

post #9 of 121
Thread Starter 

My impressions of the GS-1 with the LCD-2 are in my amp thread on this forum.  Should be a page back at the most.  As for 800 impressions... my Senn has shipped and its cable should hit the bench very soon.  Expect impressions in two weeks.

post #10 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

My impressions of the GS-1 with the LCD-2 are in my amp thread on this forum.  Should be a page back at the most. 

 

Regis, could you link to your impressions? i went looking for them but didn't turn them up. thanks.

post #11 of 121
Thread Starter 
post #12 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by winegeek View Post

I'll be very interested to read about your results. I'm considering these exact headphones to complement and/or replace my HE-500s. I've read that the HD800s are a great match with my Luxman P-1, but I have to say that I've always been curious about how the Audezes would sound...Would also be curious to hear your thoughts about the LCD-2 with the GS-1, as it is my amp in my secondary system.

 

Thanks!

 

Listening to my GS-1 > LCD-2 v2 right now.  The compliment each other very, very well.  A straight up no nonsense transparent amp with a slightly warm, source forgiving LCD-2 = a great combo.


Edited by preproman - 6/19/12 at 5:19pm
post #13 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

Listening to my GS-1 > LCD-2 v2 right now.  The compliment each other very, very well.  A straight up no nonsense transparent amp with a slightly warm, source forgiving LCD-2 = a great combo.

 

...That's what my wallet was afraid of...smile.gif

 

Thanks for the feedback.

post #14 of 121
Thread Starter 

The good news for your wallet... it isn't sold any more.  You'll need to find one used ;)

post #15 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

You'll need to find one used ;)

 

I think he "winegeek" already has one.

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