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Disappointed with Audeze LCD2s

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 

I purchased a pair of Audeze LCD2s last week and I am seriously considering returning them and eating the $150 restocking fee :-(  The LCD2's are paired with an O2 ODAC and the source is CDs and Spotify premium.  The LCD2s replaced the Grado SR-225is.

 

Compared to the Grado SR225is....the LCD2s sound muffled and flat. There's no punch or energy... I was expecting a night and day difference, with much more detail and expected the music to sound much better (when I went from Grado SR-60s to SR-225is the difference was huge!)

 

have been reading around the forum a little bit and some people say that this is what Ortho headphones are like this and you have to adapt to them.  I am having a difficult time accepting this....the Grado's should sound like trash in comparison....

 

.....or am I so used to the Grados that I will never be happy with anything else?

 

....if I am used to the Grado's sound...and I return the LCD2s can someone recommend me a headphone which has the dynamic kind of sound that I like?

post #2 of 72

Hello and welcome, 

 

I suggest trying a different headphone amp/or giving them more hours of break in. 

post #3 of 72
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I tried the phones on my Onkyo receiver, which is no where near as strong as the ODAC and it sounded worse.  Low noises were even more muddled and faded.

 

To perform another test - I got one of my friends to listen through the headphones.  On very vocal music they sound great - lots of midrange detail.

 

Then I start to play the matrix sound track (lots of fast bass etc.)...where the headphones sound terrible.  He said that it sounded like someone put cardboard in between the headphones and your ears, like the bass was muted.  There's no energy or dynamism.

 

Maybe I'll leave a CD on loop tomorrow while at work to see if more of a break in will help.

post #4 of 72

You went from a very bright high energy phone to a very dark phone, I am not surprised you don't like it very much. You can either keep it a while and see if you get used to the sound or see if you can trade it in on some Grado RS1i phones, they will sound somewhat like you are used to only better in just about every way. Either that or go 'whole hog' and get some PS1000's <g>

post #5 of 72

There are some of us who think that only 'stats sound better than Grados - and even then, only the best stats.wink.gif  Just MHO, but I think some Grados sound better than Stax Lambda's - not better than SR-7's or SR-9's, but still ...

 

Certainly, the Audeze are about as far away as you can get from a Grado signature.  There are other orthos that are tuned quite a bit differently - the HiFiMan HE series, for instance, can come close to or equal to a Grado signature sound.

post #6 of 72

I've never heard either phone myself, but from what I've read, the two have sound signatures at the opposite ends of each other. Grado's have emphasized treble and less pronounced bass, whereas LCD2's have more authoritative bass and reduced treble.

 

Perhaps give a few days for your ears to adjust to the new sound signature before deciding whether to return them. I think the difference in sound signatures would be quite jarring for most people!
 

If after a few more days, you still prefer the Grado's, then you may be out $150, but you'll have a better idea about your preferences, which will help you with future purchases. A silver lining!

post #7 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wontfi View Post

Thanks.  I tried the phones on my Onkyo receiver, which is no where near as strong as the ODAC and it sounded worse.  Low noises were even more muddled and faded.

 

To perform another test - I got one of my friends to listen through the headphones.  On very vocal music they sound great - lots of midrange detail.

 

Then I start to play the matrix sound track (lots of fast bass etc.)...where the headphones sound terrible.  He said that it sounded like someone put cardboard in between the headphones and your ears, like the bass was muted.  There's no energy or dynamism.

 

Maybe I'll leave a CD on loop tomorrow while at work to see if more of a break in will help.

The LCD-2 despite the fact they are not the hardest to drive headphone on the market, really beneficiate from good and powerfull amp. Mine are driven by a Bryston BHA-1 (this combo is well known around here for his synergy) and I can assure you they are everything but flat (I used to own Grado SR325i long time ago).

 

The bass more specifically sound much more like a really good quality subwoofer than cardboard.

 

That or you have a defective LCD-2.

post #8 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lappy27 View Post

The LCD-2 despite the fact they are not the hardest to drive headphone on the market, really beneficiate from good and powerfull amp. Mine are driven by a Bryston BHA-1 (this combo is well known around here for his synergy) and I can assure you they are everything but flat (I used to own Grado SR325i long time ago).

 

The bass more specifically sound much more like a really good quality subwoofer than cardboard.

 

That or you have a defective LCD-2.

I think that's what he's complaining about.  I've listened to the Audeze with a Liquid Fire and they're still shelved down above about 2K.  Even Tyll's tests show this:

Audeze_LCD2LCD3_graph_LCD2throughtheages.jpg

 

I'm not criticizing the quality of the headphones - the Audeze are fantastic.  There's probably no other headphone as flat from 20Hz to 1Khz.  It's just that it seems they're not the cup of tea that the OP would prefer after getting used to Grados.

post #9 of 72

Me too also prefer Grado sound sig..and i am eyeing a he-500 as an upgrade path..or get ps500 instead


Edited by d1sturb3d - 6/25/13 at 7:23pm
post #10 of 72

The LCD2s aren't phones that'll WOW or floor you. I remember listening to them for the first time and thinking: "Is this it?" I was unsure about how it was "supposed" to sound; It didn't seem to do much of anything remarkable. It took me about a month to appreciate its technical abilities and plain sound signature, as a layperson and hobbyist.

 

That muffle quality to the sound is probably one of the main weak points that keeps it from being a 5 star headphone for me. 

post #11 of 72

 I was in your same exact position and I am in your same position now (except I like it haha). Before: DT-990 Pro (bright as hell). Now: LCD-2 with O2/ODAC with a GR-07 as a portable.

 

I have tried over 20 different pairs of headphones and I was trying so hard to find that right sound. I went from ATH-M50 to DT-990s to HD600, HD650, Maddogs, you name it, I've tried it. When I tried out the GR07 (dark like the LCD-2) after the DT-990 Pro, I was shocked. Who the hell would listen to these??? Like, you can't even hear anything! It's literally too dark!

 

It's just that you are so used to the brightness of your headphones. I know for a fact that Grado is pretty bright, so I feel that you are in the same exact situation as I was. So, ask yourself two questions. Do I like wearing headphones/listening to music for a long time? Do my current headphones give me ear fatigue?

 

If the answer to both of them yes, you should give darker headphones like the LCD-2 or IEMs like the GR07 another chance sometime in the future after you have tried most headphones. Of course, even then, you might not like them. It's preferences! If you honestly don't get ear fatigue and you enjoy your headphones already or only wear them for small periods of time, stick with what you love! :)

post #12 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rdear View Post

The LCD2s aren't phones that'll WOW or floor you. I remember listening to them for the first time and thinking: "Is this it?" I was unsure about how it was "supposed" to sound; It didn't seem to do much of anything remarkable. It took me about a month to appreciate its technical abilities and plain sound signature, as a layperson and hobbyist.

 

That muffle quality to the sound is probably one of the main weak points that keeps it from being a 5 star headphone for me. 

By muffle, you mean the "wall of sound" effect, right? I felt the same about it, but I liked its other features too much more!

post #13 of 72

More like poor imaging. I thought the "wall of sound" had to do with spatial/soundstage cues or having a strong left/right feel? Like you can tell it's coming from the opposite sides of your head, instead of a holographic image...I'm not too sure.

post #14 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rdear View Post

More like poor imaging. I thought the "wall of sound" had to do with spatial/soundstage cues or having a strong left/right feel? Like you can tell it's coming from the opposite sides of your head, instead of a holographic image...I'm not too sure.

The 'you can tell its coming from opposite sides' is exactly what I mean. Granted, sometimes I forget about that effect, but when I remember it, it kind of annoys me. It makes the LCD-2 really really bad for video gaming (FPS) :(

post #15 of 72
Very, very, very different signature from grado to LCD2. One's bright, one's warm to dark. Still I think OP's system is not juicy enough to provide the juice for LCD2. Those orthos need a greasy pricy juice to make them shine biggrin.gif.
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