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Battle Of The Flagships (58 Headphones Compared) UPDATE: AUDEZ'E LCD-2 Revision 2 (6/4/13) - Page 79

post #1171 of 4960

I'm not sure if it's been asked and answered, or if I even asked this question in this thread before, but.. on the topic of neutrality,

 

What is the correlation between transparency and neutrality in this case?  In your review, David, you said you may favor the LCD-2's transparency over the HE-6 and HD800, making it seem to sound more realistic.  Wouldn't a more realistic sound be a more neutral and true-to-life sound?  Or are you making that sentence based on an HD800 with 'improper amp?'  Are you saying that with the right amp, HD800 is more natural sounding?


Edited by TMRaven - 11/23/12 at 7:49am
post #1172 of 4960

I still hope that David will find an opportunity to hear LCD-2 rev2... They should be the most neutral of all Audez'es and from my experience they definitely are very near as they are, judging on my experience and graphs (having done neutralisation by EQing on several phones so far).

post #1173 of 4960

is the T1 amp. picky?

or i can connect it to just anything ?

post #1174 of 4960

Heroic review, David.  My god.  I've been taking a break from Head-Fi for the past few months, and this was a treat to return to.  

 

Also funny how things change but remain the same:  Senn 600 with a decent dac/amp = incredible value.  JH13 with a good dac = incredible value.

 

My first thought was, kudos for having the chutzpah to make clear judgments - I'm sure he'll be crucified for this on the forum!  But kudos, none the less.  I think you strike an excellent balance between stating a solid opinion (rather than being pointlessly wishy-washy) and deliberately trying to enflame (without adequate investigation/comparison/sympathy.)

 

So again, congratulations and thanks!

post #1175 of 4960
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

This was in response to your post.

Oh I wasn't sure because I never claimed the LCD-2 was neutral and that seemed to be the direction of your question.  Hopefully I will answer your question as I answer below...let me know if I don't...

Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I'm not sure if it's been asked and answered, or if I even asked this question in this thread before, but.. on the topic of neutrality,

 

What is the correlation between transparency and neutrality in this case?  In your review, David, you said you may favor the LCD-2's transparency over the HE-6 and HD800, making it seem to sound more realistic.  Wouldn't a more realistic sound be a more neutral and true-to-life sound?  Or are you making that sentence based on an HD800 with 'improper amp?'  Are you saying that with the right amp, HD800 is more natural sounding?

I think this is a great question and I'm happy it was asked because it gives me the opportunity to explain where I'm coming from with my take on neutrality vs transparency.

 

In the wonderful head-fi "Describing Sound" glossary, I disagree with hardly any definition at all, EXCEPT the definition of transparency: which states:

 

Transparent - Easy to hear into the music, detailed, clear, not muddy. Wide flat frequency response, sharp time response, very low distortion and noise. A hear through quality that is akin to clarity and reveals all aspects of detail.

 

If you have a headphone that doesn't exhibit EXTREME peaks or EXTREME dips, you can still have a a very transparent headphone.  If the colorations are handled in a seamless way, the transparency can remain unaffected.  And this is my reason:

 

When you're dealing with neutrality, you are speaking of frequency response / tone.  I should rephrase and say, that I am speaking of frequency response / tone (I don't want to put words in other's mouths here :)  You can still have a neutral-ish headphone that exhibits a peak somewhere.  If it's peak after peak after peak OR one truly significant awkward peak, chances are the headphone will not sound neutral.  

 

Now transparency is different.  Transparency is a reference to something vaguer, more complex and more emotive based on the human experience.  Transparency is achieved by what's going on regarding harmonic distortions, the speed, the decay, the frequency response is included, BUT at the end of all the different scientific principles, transparency  is simply "does it sound extremely close to real life?"

 

The below is an important part of how I consider transparency:
Neutrality refers to a quality that can occur in acoustic sound as well as electronic reproduction of acoustic sound.  You can have a room whose reflections cause the sound to be very bright.  Conversely you can have a room or hall which mellows and darkens the sound.  I've heard the same orchestra play the same work at Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall.  If you consider my positioning and the nature of the hall, the sound brought to my ears was very different.  At Carnegie Hall I was in the balcony and the sound was mellow, I could barely hear the triangle.  In Lincoln Center I was in the Orchestra seats and the sound was bright (excessively so).

 

One may say that my experience at Carnegie Hall was dark and my experience at Avery Fisher Hall was analytical.  But neither experience was more or less transparent to the acoustic sound than the other.  The reason? There was no electronic reproduction of the sound.  Everything I was hearing was the real acoustic sound.  This is why I feel you can have a dark headphone that still sounds transparent and also why I feel you can have a bright headphone that sounds transparent.

 

Transparency on the other hand is a phenomenon which occurs only in the electronic reproduction of acoustic sound.  So when we're talking about transparency, it is much more about whether the sound resembles reality.  Neutrality CAN play a role in producing a transparent sound, but one headphone which is absolutely / indisputably more neutral than another does not automatically insinuate (to me) that it is more transparent.


Edited by DavidMahler - 11/23/12 at 9:59am
post #1176 of 4960
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post

I still hope that David will find an opportunity to hear LCD-2 rev2...

X2

 

From what I have read on here, there is quite a difference from earlier models of rev2's to the latest batches (with angled connectors) so the difference between Rev1's with different drivers must be quite a lot. I've only heard the new rev2's and they really sound balanced to me. The sound is laid back and warm, but balanced. I don't hear emphasized bass, I personally think people focus on the bass with LCD2's because they don't have peaky or exaggerated treble to take their focus from it, the bass is ruler flat. The HE500's have more bass quantity, this can be clearly heard when I a/b them, but it seems natural to not focus on this because of the treble peak that they also have that balances this out.

post #1177 of 4960
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post

Oh I wasn't sure because I never claimed the LCD-2 was neutral and that seemed to be the direction of your question.  Hopefully I will answer your question as I answer below...let me know if I don't...

I think this is a great question and I'm happy it was asked because it gives me the opportunity to explain where I'm coming from with my take on neutrality vs transparency.

 

In the wonderful head-fi "Describing Sound" glossary, I disagree with hardly any definition at all, EXCEPT the definition of transparency: which states:

 

Transparent - Easy to hear into the music, detailed, clear, not muddy. Wide flat frequency response, sharp time response, very low distortion and noise. A hear through quality that is akin to clarity and reveals all aspects of detail.

 

If you have a headphone that doesn't exhibit EXTREME peaks or EXTREME dips, you can still have a a very transparent headphone.  If the colorations are handled in a seamless way, the transparency can remain unaffected.  And this is my reason:

 

When you're dealing with neutrality, you are speaking of frequency response / tone.  I should rephrase and say, that I am speaking of frequency response / tone (I don't want to put words in other's mouths here :)  You can still have a neutral-ish headphone that exhibits a peak somewhere.  If it's peak after peak after peak OR one truly significant awkward peak, chances are the headphone will not sound neutral.  

 

Now transparency is different.  Transparency is a reference to something vaguer, more complex and more emotive based on the human experience.  Transparency is achieved by what's going on regarding harmonic distortions, the speed, the decay, the frequency response is included, BUT at the end of all the different scientific principles, transparency  is simply "does it sound extremely close to real life?"

 

The below is an important part of how I consider transparency:
Neutrality refers to a phenomenon that happens in acoustic sound.  You can have a room whose reflections cause the sound to be very bright.  Conversely you can have a room or hall which mellows and darkens the sound.  I've heard the same orchestra play the same work at Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall.  If you consider my positioning and the nature of the hall, the sound brought to my ears was very different.  At Carnegie Hall I was in the balcony and the sound was mellow, I could barely hear the triangle.  In Lincoln Center I was in the Orchestra seats and the sound was bright (excessively so).

 

One may say that my experience at Carnegie Hall was dark and my experience at Avery Fisher Hall was analytical.  But neither experience was more or less transparent to the acoustic sound than the other.  The reason? There was no electronic reproduction of the sound.  Everything I was hearing was the real acoustic sound.  This is why I feel you can have a dark headphone that still sounds transparent and also why I feel you can have a bright headphone that sounds transparent.

 

Transparency on the other hand is a phenomenon which occurs only in the electronic reproduction of acoustic sound.  So when we're talking about transparency, it is much more about whether the sound resembles reality.  Neutrality CAN play a role in producing a transparent sound, but one headphone which is absolutely / indisputably more neutral than another does not automatically insinuate (to me) that it is more transparent.

Thats a very good post, and it makes a lot of sense to me. The Bass of some Ultrazones pumping it out may replicate dance hall speakers and that will be perfect transparency for some.

 

 For me the LCD2's are "fairly neutral" but they are not the most transparent. My old K702's are more transparent as they can pick up the scratch of the frets when the fingers move over them more than LCD2's for e.g. If an hp wasn't transparent then it simply wouldn't pick these minor details up that are in the recording. The problem arises when people are unable to decide if these minor details in the recording are being exaggerated or are they being "picked up naturally". Does the HD800 exaggerate certain high frequency details? or does it reproduce them how they naturally are? That is up to the ear of the beholder to decide this. But If it does exaggerate them, then I personally wouldn't say that they are more transparent just because the details are more prominant than say, less peaky phones. Bright or dark is one thing, but emphasized frequencies is another.

post #1178 of 4960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

I sell New Zealand Lamb around the world.  One of my clients is in New York so this is an annual trip.  Besides the Thursday and Friday with them, I also get 1/2 a weekend here - so with luck may be able to catch up with you.


So this is where all the "good lamb" goes!angry_face.gifAny ideas where to find premium lamb apart from NOSH and FARRO?If there's any left!wink_face.gif

post #1179 of 4960
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

I sell New Zealand Lamb around the world.  One of my clients is in New York so this is an annual trip.  Besides the Thursday and Friday with them, I also get 1/2 a weekend here - so with luck may be able to catch up with you.

In that case, it seems appropriate that I present you with one of my favorite albums of all time: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway:)

post #1180 of 4960
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

X2

 

From what I have read on here, there is quite a difference from earlier models of rev2's to the latest batches (with angled connectors) so the difference between Rev1's with different drivers must be quite a lot. I've only heard the new rev2's and they really sound balanced to me. The sound is laid back and warm, but balanced. I don't hear emphasized bass, I personally think people focus on the bass with LCD2's because they don't have peaky or exaggerated treble to take their focus from it, the bass is ruler flat. The HE500's have more bass quantity, this can be clearly heard when I a/b them, but it seems natural to not focus on this because of the treble peak that they also have that balances this out.

 

I do not want to sound like a Audez'e fanboy (but I guess I have become already because the sound is so authentic that I cannot help myself)...

 

But the bass on Rev2 is extremely defined, accurate, TOTALLY NEUTRAL and fluent. The bass guitar you will get with rock and metal is simply stunning, live performances are also so real because of bass frequencies strongly influencing the overall ambience in the natural way.

 

Mids are very very nice, from pop rock to symphonic metal, male vocals sound extremely authentic and female vocals do not have any sense of glare (that's of course influenced by a bit lowered lower highs). They are also ruler-flat but I don't think there is any sort of WOW moment involved - just natural and defined. I can understand that someone could find them too full as they are not overpowered by overtreble as it is usual with the majority of phones.

 

I find the treble extraordinary good... The treble is the main reason why I am not interested in any other brand, Hifiman included. There so much texture involved! Does not matter if you like pop, rock or metal, the texture and balance is just... fenomenal. I personally do not understand how anyone can recommend Grado for metal. I would recommend Audeze for metal over anything I can ever imagine. It's a bit lowered in the region of 3 - 9 khz where it is desired with non-top-recorded music in order to get rid of distraction from audible artifacts in your music, and/or to keep the treble allright/not too forward/in balance with the rest of the frequency spectrum.

 

The phone works pretty well with acoustic-guitar based music as well... But I guess that for purely acoustic music listeners, there are phones that could do the job better (read - in a more exciting way) for them.

 

Transparency is what makes their sound to be very life-like... They do not sound like a pair of headphones to me, they are rather like a window to the room or hall where the music is being performed.

 

As I said before, soundstage seekers are not going to be satisfied... But I use TB Isone in order to get the speaker-like interpretation. For professional purposes, you have perfect bass and mids - you just need to correct the treble a bit according to the graph you receive. I would say a perfect pair of headphones for 1000USD.

 


Edited by MHOE - 11/23/12 at 11:23am
post #1181 of 4960
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

Thats a very good post, and it makes a lot of sense to me. The Bass of some Ultrazones pumping it out may replicate dance hall speakers and that will be perfect transparency for some.

 

 For me the LCD2's are "fairly neutral" but they are not the most transparent. My old K702's are more transparent as they can pick up the scratch of the frets when the fingers move over them more than LCD2's for e.g. If an hp wasn't transparent then it simply wouldn't pick these minor details up that are in the recording. The problem arises when people are unable to decide if these minor details in the recording are being exaggerated or are they being "picked up naturally". Does the HD800 exaggerate certain high frequency details? or does it reproduce them how they naturally are? That is up to the ear of the beholder to decide this. But If it does exaggerate them, then I personally wouldn't say that they are more transparent just because the details are more prominant than say, less peaky phones. Bright or dark is one thing, but emphasized frequencies is another.

 

I think people have different opinions on transparency... I do find LCD-2 very transparent. It completely destroys both D7000 and T50RP modded here IMHO. I haven't even heard more transparent cans... But I am sure they do exist.


Edited by MHOE - 11/23/12 at 10:19am
post #1182 of 4960
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post

I still hope that David will find an opportunity to hear LCD-2 rev2... They should be the most neutral of all Audez'es and from my experience they definitely are very near as they are, judging on my experience and graphs (having done neutralisation by EQing on several phones so far).

 

Since you're so ecstatic about the audeze, how bout you send him yours so he can review it.

post #1183 of 4960
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post

 

I think people have different opinions on transparency... I do find LCD-2 very transparent. It completely destroys both D7000 and T50RP modded here IMHO. I haven't even heard more transparent cans... But I am sure they do exist.

I agree, the Audez'e line is incredibly transparent.  I state this in my review. 

post #1184 of 4960
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

 

Since you're so ecstatic about the audeze, how bout you send him yours so he can review it.

 

Well, as I am a student still, I am in red numbers right now... The process of selling D7000 in order to get rev2 and ship it from the US to the Czech republic in the most suitable way (to avoid customs clearance fees) totally ruined my budget. It was... difficult.

post #1185 of 4960
Thread Starter 

Any headphone which I include in this review, I want to have ownership of because I want to be able to refer to it the future and have it available for comparisons, otherwise I wouldn't trust my sensory memory enough to make assertions and develop a well-informed opinion.

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