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Grado RS1i / Beyerdynamic T1 / Audeze LCD-2 comparison

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yesterday I received these three headphones as demos from The Cable Company. I thought I should post my initial impressions.

 

RS1i - crisp, very detailed, possibly favors the upper end, but very nice so far. Also very efficient (loud for given volume setting).

 

T1 - These are hard to describe. They sound a lot like my Sennheiser HD600s. The music seems a little distant through the T1s.

 

LCD-2 - I don't know how people can even listen to these. The high frequencies are severely chopped. And it sounds like they add reverb to everything I've listened to. These are so bad I've concluded there must be something wrong with them. It's too bad; I was looking forward to hearing these.

 

A few details... I listened to Yes's HDCD version of Going for the One yesterday. It sounds kind of crappy and distant through all four of the headphones currently in my house. Strange because it sounds pretty good through my speakers. It sounds distant and uninvolving through all the 'phones. I listened to Rush's Moving Pictures (CD) a few hours ago. It sounded great through the Grados. In fact, I couldn't go on with the comparison and instead listened to the whole album. I then tried a few seconds of Red Barchetta through the rest of them. Unimpressive, foggy, boring.

 

Yesterday I tried Diana Krall's All for You, a Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio. It sounded excellent in all four headphones. Maybe a good recording always sounds good. Fat lot of good that does, though. Most of my CDs are average recording quality or less. I'll report more later. I have two weeks.

post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightspore68 View Post

Yesterday I received these three headphones as demos from The Cable Company. I thought I should post my initial impressions.

 

RS1i - crisp, very detailed, possibly favors the upper end, but very nice so far. Also very efficient (loud for given volume setting).

 

T1 - These are hard to describe. They sound a lot like my Sennheiser HD600s. The music seems a little distant through the T1s.

 

LCD-2 - I don't know how people can even listen to these. The high frequencies are severely chopped. And it sounds like they add reverb to everything I've listened to. These are so bad I've concluded there must be something wrong with them. It's too bad; I was looking forward to hearing these.

 

A few details... I listened to Yes's HDCD version of Going for the One yesterday. It sounds kind of crappy and distant through all four of the headphones currently in my house. Strange because it sounds pretty good through my speakers. It sounds distant and uninvolving through all the 'phones. I listened to Rush's Moving Pictures (CD) a few hours ago. It sounded great through the Grados. In fact, I couldn't go on with the comparison and instead listened to the whole album. I then tried a few seconds of Red Barchetta through the rest of them. Unimpressive, foggy, boring.

 

Yesterday I tried Diana Krall's All for You, a Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio. It sounded excellent in all four headphones. Maybe a good recording always sounds good. Fat lot of good that does, though. Most of my CDs are average recording quality or less. I'll report more later. I have two weeks.

 

Wow!, those are pretty harsh comments, i have heard the LCD2, but it was for a short time, and with music i was unfamiliar with, so, i can't say i remember exactly what they sounded like, but i don't remember them sounding bad, anyway, they have a pretty strong following, so, you might want to get you're flame suit out wink.gif

 

Regarding the RS1i, that is more or less how i feel about them, they do favor the upper end, while the PS500 favors the lower end, and the PS1000 gives you both.

 

My two cents.


Edited by stacker45 - 2/16/13 at 1:39pm
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, the truth hurts! I know they LCDs are popular, so that's why I offered that my pair might be defective.
I may have to try the PD500 or PS100; they might be more my style.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Slight revision: I moved the Audezes to two other systems. First, my iMac with its USB-powered Apogee ONE output. The headphones were pretty lackluster here, too, with the same problems - no upper end, muffled everything else. This is probably to be expected, given the power requirements of planar magnetic headphones. Second, I tried them in my main rig, with a slightly better CD player (Marantz UD8004) and a tube headphone amp, Antique Sound Labs' "MG_Head_OTL" (doesn't that sound more like a file name than an amp model?) and BRAVO, they were pretty impressive. The highs were restored to almost believable levels and the music took a few steps forward. Pretty neat!

 

Maybe the synergy just isn't there with the Naim amp. I have yet to try the other headphones with the tube amp, but now I have some more listening to do, yay.

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightspore68 View Post

Slight revision: I moved the Audezes to two other systems. First, my iMac with its USB-powered Apogee ONE output. The headphones were pretty lackluster here, too, with the same problems - no upper end, muffled everything else. This is probably to be expected, given the power requirements of planar magnetic headphones. Second, I tried them in my main rig, with a slightly better CD player (Marantz UD8004) and a tube headphone amp, Antique Sound Labs' "MG_Head_OTL" (doesn't that sound more like a file name than an amp model?) and BRAVO, they were pretty impressive. The highs were restored to almost believable levels and the music took a few steps forward. Pretty neat!

 

Maybe the synergy just isn't there with the Naim amp. I have yet to try the other headphones with the tube amp, but now I have some more listening to do, yay.

 

Great to hear you're enjoying the LCD2s more. I have also posted some of the below in some other thread, but this is actually a better place, as I am comparing the T1s with LCD-2.

 

 

If you compare LCD-2s with the T1s they're never going to have that kind of treble, but from the latter are also sounding too hot to me. This is subjective, but to me the LCD-2 treble sounds more enjoyable, less tiring, while still bringing through a very good amount of treble detail. My ears are quite sensitive to treble brightness and sibilance and sometimes I just can't listen to the T1s especially when I'm tired. But it also depends on the recording and other things such as the lamps I use...

 

 

Btw I also agree with you about the T1s and although I think they are a good all-around-er, for many genres they just sound too thin and distant. As I am enjoying my LCD-2s much more, if it's going to be a matter of ending up using my T1s for just say classical music, they will probably be up for sale.


Edited by negura - 2/16/13 at 11:56am
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightspore68 View Post


LCD-2 - I don't know how people can even listen to these. The high frequencies are severely chopped. And it sounds like they add reverb to everything I've listened to. These are so bad I've concluded there must be something wrong with them. It's too bad; I was looking forward to hearing these.

 

 

 

lol, looks like no one here have the courage to admit it. Now you're going to hear bunch of excuses from the LCD-2 owners

 

Edit...in 3, 2, 1


Edited by Acix - 2/16/13 at 4:57pm
post #7 of 16

Excuses? I think he's going to hear more than that.

post #8 of 16
Nope LCD-2's are pretty neutered in the top end. Depends if you like that sound or not. Seeing that you come from HD600's, I am not surprised that you loathe the LCD-2's at all. I'm not a gigantic fan of the signature, but I'm a fan of the headphones just because their sonic signature allows me to use them for 6 hours at a time without being fatigued. WIth Grados to avoid treble exhaustion of my ears, I'd have to either take a break, or just listen at a softer volume, which as a Grado fan is just fine for me since it's better for my hearing anyway.

I was JUST posting about how I still consider the RS-1 one of the best headphones to date. Not a very popular opinion if you've ever looked at how they ship, their presentation, and overall build.. but hey sound is what we're all in this for.

Your opinion isn't popular for sure, and that combined with the fact that a LOT of people tend to defend stuff they don't have.. makes it an even less popular opinion. Whilst I don't personally agree that they're super turds, I know exactly what you're talking about.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

I keep thinking the RS1is will give me some fatigue, too, but they haven't. I've heard some headphones that make me wince with every cymbal. Somehow the Grados do the trick of presenting a lot of the upper end without hurting my ears. I could see six hours might be a little much. But I feel like if you listen that much, you should have something more revealing than the LCD-2s, as you're either a dedicated listener or a pro.

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightspore68 View Post

I keep thinking the RS1is will give me some fatigue, too, but they haven't. I've heard some headphones that make me wince with every cymbal. Somehow the Grados do the trick of presenting a lot of the upper end without hurting my ears. I could see six hours might be a little much. But I feel like if you listen that much, you should have something more revealing than the LCD-2s, as you're either a dedicated listener or a pro.

 

You can try one of the AKG K70x models...with a bit more bass, and a smooth upper mids.

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post

 

 

lol, looks like no one here have the courage to admit it. Now you're going to hear bunch of excuses from the LCD-2 owners

 

Edit...in 3, 2, 1

 

 

 

I'm a fan of the LCD2, but they definitely need a good amp... but then again I am a SUPER FAN of the HD650 so the LCD is also probably right up my alley.

 

 


Ya know, I really wanted to like the RS1i, but they were just to bright and the sibilance was killin' my ears!  If I want the Grado sound, I always got my HF2. L3000.gif
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightspore68 View Post

I keep thinking the RS1is will give me some fatigue, too, but they haven't. I've heard some headphones that make me wince with every cymbal. Somehow the Grados do the trick of presenting a lot of the upper end without hurting my ears. I could see six hours might be a little much. But I feel like if you listen that much, you should have something more revealing than the LCD-2s, as you're either a dedicated listener or a pro.

I watched a 2 hour long concert on youtube last night.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJkcZGwKJlY

 

I loved every minute of it using my RS1i's....but then even the 325i does not really fatigue me....but I definitely prefer the RS1i

 

Since I have gotten my RS1i's the longest that I have listened to then was 4 hours straight, but no fatigue in that period of time.

 

I am an old 53 year old...so maybe my ears are shot biggrin.gif

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whirlwind View Post

I watched a 2 hour long concert on youtube last night.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJkcZGwKJlY

 

I loved every minute of it using my RS1i's....but then even the 325i does not really fatigue me....but I definitely prefer the RS1i

 

Since I have gotten my RS1i's the longest that I have listened to then was 4 hours straight, but no fatigue in that period of time.

 

I am an old 53 year old...so maybe my ears are shot biggrin.gif

Great, I think you just killed my next two hours!

post #14 of 16

After having my RS1i for a couple years now I still think there's either something wrong with them, or with me.  The bass is so rolled off I can't bring myself to use them for any kind of rock.  They do sound lovely with acoustic music and folk, but anything heavier than that is flat and unsatisfying.  I really hope to hear another RS1i one day, just to check if it's just my pair, as everyone else seems to love with them with everything!

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendoji View Post

After having my RS1i for a couple years now I still think there's either something wrong with them, or with me.  The bass is so rolled off I can't bring myself to use them for any kind of rock.  They do sound lovely with acoustic music and folk, but anything heavier than that is flat and unsatisfying.  I really hope to hear another RS1i one day, just to check if it's just my pair, as everyone else seems to love with them with everything!

 

 

try them with flats, you won't be disappointed if you're looking for a thicker sound with a better low end

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