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Audeze LCD-X - Page 154

post #2296 of 8990
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

Heck, the HD800 (which has the opposite tonal balance to the Audeze house sound) might be exactly what Stonephase needs.

 

Might be, unfortunately I haven't had the chance to hear the HD-800 yet. I do enjoy the treble on the HE-500 and didn't like it as much on the RS1i which should have even more treble energy than the HD-800.

 

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=3241&graphID[]=4061&graphID[]=4243&scale=30

post #2297 of 8990
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

Heck, the HD800 (which has the opposite tonal balance to the Audeze house sound) might be exactly what Stonephase needs.

Could be!

post #2298 of 8990
I would think the LCD-2 would be the best bet for Stonephase, especially if he doesn't listen to jazz/classical. The X doesn't seem to be the best match, even if it is a better headphone. Plus you can get the LCD-2 for $800 right now while the X is brand new and still costs $1700. So I would recommend buying the LCD-2 and saving $900 for a headphone you will probably enjoy more anyway.
post #2299 of 8990
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

Have you per-chance modded your HE500s in anyway yet? I have a whole bunch of modifications documented in detail specifically for it (check out my sig).

 

I'm not saying it'll suddenly make HE500s have the best midrange ever, but IMO it has some minor midrange issues that are remedied by mods.

No, I'll look at them though. They sound promising. I was trying to decide if I was gonna keep them or not. I'd say I've definitely decided to keep them. They make me curious about the HE-6, though. There's not I don't like about the HE-500. I wish they were as comfortable as the LCD-X, though.

post #2300 of 8990

has anyone tried the velour pads for the audeze models?  I just got a pair for my he-400 and it totally took away its domain.  The phone needed the body of the added resonance and without it the sound is hollow.  it still keeps its soundstage but instruments have less dynamics.  The overall sound is sharper.  I did like the non-dark background though for some music.

While i was writing this i realized that the x models probably wouldn't suffer from this as the fazor element basically acts as a diffuser and the phone was voiced without resonance in the equation.

post #2301 of 8990
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldendarko View Post

I would think the LCD-2 would be the best bet for Stonephase, especially if he doesn't listen to jazz/classical. The X doesn't seem to be the best match, even if it is a better headphone. Plus you can get the LCD-2 for $800 right now while the X is brand new and still costs $1700. So I would recommend buying the LCD-2 and saving $900 for a headphone you will probably enjoy more anyway.

It's his hearing loss that worries me...without considering the possible loss of his high-end of the aural spectrum, you are right...the LCD-2 sounds like the best option for him; taking into account his hearing loss, I am not so sure.  An example regarding hearing loss is the case of Herbert von Karajan, the great German conductor.  He was a control freak who liked to fiddle with the recording controls (i.e., he didn't trust his sound engineers) and given his loss of sensitivity to highs in the music, he would invariably produce piercing, trebly, dry recordings that he sound engineers were too afraid to alter given Herr Karajan's power and reputation.  Just taking listen to any of Karajan's DG wonders during the late 1970s (e.g., his Bruckner recordings) and 1980s (e.g., his Beethoven and Brahms symphony cycles) is akin to Chinese torture...unless you listen to them with the likes of the LCD-2 or (even better) the HD-650.

post #2302 of 8990
Quote:
Originally Posted by figaro69 View Post

It's his hearing loss that worries me...without considering the possible loss of his high-end of the aural spectrum, you are right...the LCD-2 sounds like the best option for him; taking into account his hearing loss, I am not so sure.  An example regarding hearing loss is the case of Herbert von Karajan, the great German conductor.  He was a control freak who liked to fiddle with the recording controls (i.e., he didn't trust his sound engineers) and given his loss of sensitivity to highs in the music, he would invariably produce piercing, trebly, dry recordings that he sound engineers were too afraid to alter given Herr Karajan's power and reputation.  Just taking listen to any of Karajan's DG wonders during the late 1970s (e.g., his Bruckner recordings) and 1980s (e.g., his Beethoven and Brahms symphony cycles) is akin to Chinese torture...unless you listen to them with the likes of the LCD-2 or (even better) the HD-650.

That's an interesting story, seems like the LCD-2 is able to make everything enjoyable, if not necessarily the most neutral or accurate phone around
post #2303 of 8990
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gowry View Post
 

So, I'm listening to my new Audeze LCD-X and Hifiman EF-6....

 

They both sound great. I've been waiting to post while forming up some opinions. I still have no opinions. I have some observations.

 

The HE-500 and the LCD-X are a lot different. Both have their strengths. I'm not sure if they have their weaknesses or not.

 

The EF6 sounds great, but I'm not sure it's a big upgrade over my m-stage. That really surprised me. I think it's maybe because the LCD-X just doesn't need that much current....but I would certainly have thought the HE-500 would. It's not that the EF6 doesn't sound better. I'm just not sure I can quantify it yet. I run the m-stage at a gain of 10 or 18. Currently it's set to 18. I have noticed that the EF6 hums with the LCD-X. I'm wondering if the LCD-X are just at too low an impedance for it. I've tried with the gain set to low (which i've read just puts 10db into feedback...doesn't really change the gain). Given that the other planars have twice the impedance of the EF-6, is it possible it just isn't the match? There's no hum when I plug in the HE-500. The hum I hear doesn't change with a change of the volume knob, either. I'm guessing it's the 60Hz of the outlet.

 

Now...back to the LCD-X and HE-500. 

I've listened to a few tracks, so I really can't offer any firm opinions at the moment other than they are very different. 

 

Neil Young - Cortez the Killer from Weld.

  -- this is a live performance. The presentation is extremely different between the two headphones. The HE-500 makes it sound more alive in some ways. The LCD-X makes it sound more like it's playing from a room that's been acoustically treated very well. Or maybe It's more that the LCD-X makes it sound like you're sitting much further back in the audience. Give it a listen and see what you think. I'd be interested in how someone else describes this difference. I played this at a high volume. The LCD-X is uninvolving where the HE-500 is very involving at around 6:35 for example. However, with crowd noises and voice, the LCD-X is more involving and conveys more a feel of his emotion. It might also sound a bit more like I'd expect his voice to sound coming out of a marshall stack. I wonder which version the recording engineer mixed? :p

 

The HE-500 is clear as a bell when it comes to the highs. The LCD-X is clear but it excels at filling in with weight and body. If I could graft both together,it seems like it'd make the perfect phone...but then grafting the high and low together might change the entire perception. I feel like it may be that people feel the LCD-X is more detailed than the HE-500 because the weight of most music is in the mids. With the aforementioned Cortez the Killer, there was a lot of detail in the highs and the HE-500s excelled. 

 

Justin Timberlake - Suit & Tie from The 20/20 Experience

I really only listened to the beginning of this track. I wanted to hear the sub-bass of the headphones. Both the HE-500 and LCD-X seemed similar in their handling of it. Neither produced what I hear from my sub-woofer when listening. There's a lot of low bass info missing. On the headphone's it's more like a indistinct low rumble. From looking at frequency charts, I am surprised at this. It was the same using both amps. Can anyone else give a listen and compare a sub to the headphones. -- actually, I think this is one of those cases where the room is responsible for the growth of the bass.

 

Chick Corea -- The Great Pumpkin Waltz from Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown

I love this song. Both headphones do wonderful things with it. I love listening to the bass (the instrument) in this song. My ears just follow it around. There are great bass runs around 1:45, 2:45 and 3:36 in the song.There are places, however,  where the texture of the bass just seems to disappear at the lower notes. I dunno if I should just conclude that that information isn't present in the recording or not. Maybe I'll listen to the CD and see if I hear anything different. I think the recording I'm listening to is llikely a lame vbr mp3 using insane or extreme setting.

 

A few odds and ends

 

The EF6 runs hot. The whole thing just turns into a heater. =) It's got some hugs caps in there...nothing says current like big caps! I never turned the volume knob past 11 o'clock. That was plenty loud. I used the EF6 at high gain. There's a huge leap in volume a couple of clicks after 9'oclock.

 

The LCDX  are so much more comfortable to wear than the HE-500. I wish the HE-500 had big comfy pads like the LCD-X do. 

 

I'm impressed with the m-stage. I don't have much experience telling the difference between amps, but I could tell a huge difference between my $800 yamaha receiver and my $1500 yamaha 2092. I could also tell a big difference between my iBasso D12 and either the EF-6 or the m-stage. I'm much harder pressed to find a difference between the EF-6 and the m-stage. And I know the m-stage doesn't have the power output of the EF-6, but maybe it's just that the songs I'm using or the headphones I'm using don't need it....or maybe I just can't hear it. I'll listen more. Maybe an "aha!" moment will come.

 

If you got this far, thanks for reading. If you have the same phones, give those songs a listen and see what you think. I'm really interested in what others think using those songs and in hearing suggestions for other songs to listen to.

 

Wow...I didn't think I had that much to say

 

Excellent review Gowry! Pleasure reading it.

 

About the humm, have you tried getting out every input from ef6? does it still humm ? I had noise on the usb recently and I think it was a ground loop.

post #2304 of 8990
Quote:
Originally Posted by figaro69 View Post
 

It's his hearing loss that worries me...without considering the possible loss of his high-end of the aural spectrum, you are right...the LCD-2 sounds like the best option for him; taking into account his hearing loss, I am not so sure.  An example regarding hearing loss is the case of Herbert von Karajan, the great German conductor.  He was a control freak who liked to fiddle with the recording controls (i.e., he didn't trust his sound engineers) and given his loss of sensitivity to highs in the music, he would invariably produce piercing, trebly, dry recordings that he sound engineers were too afraid to alter given Herr Karajan's power and reputation.  Just taking listen to any of Karajan's DG wonders during the late 1970s (e.g., his Bruckner recordings) and 1980s (e.g., his Beethoven and Brahms symphony cycles) is akin to Chinese torture...unless you listen to them with the likes of the LCD-2 or (even better) the HD-650.

 

Agree with your thoughts about his hearing loss.

 

I have a bit of high frequency hearing loss and similar taste in music to Stonephace, and I would absolutely steer him away from the LCD-2. I note similar feedback from another person with the same kind of hearing loss, albeit a fair bit more severe than my own by the sound of it.

 

As a general rule I like slightly brighter cans, since the additional treble energy doesn't phase me (and is probably an asset). I loved my LCD-2 for some things like Massive Attack with copious rumbling sub bass and a natural bass-tilt, and for female vocal jazz where they just sound sublime and the limited (intimate) soundstage is a good thing, but for my hearing they had incredibly narrow genre bandwidth. For his tastes and hearing I would recommend something HiFiMan, or even the HD800 as Jerg mentions. 

 

As for the LCD-X, I've not heard them (so obvious grain of salt stuff here, I do look forward to auditioning them very soon though), however the feedback here it sounds like the Audeze headphone with a sound the most suited to those of us with some high-frequency hearing loss, but given the feedback also says it retains their house sound and deviates from neutral toward a bit of darkness/warmth/bass tilt my suspicion would be that Stonephace will still enjoy the cans I mentioned more.


Edited by NZtechfreak - 12/21/13 at 2:20am
post #2305 of 8990
Quote:
Originally Posted by figaro69 View Post
 

It's his hearing loss that worries me...without considering the possible loss of his high-end of the aural spectrum, you are right...the LCD-2 sounds like the best option for him; taking into account his hearing loss, I am not so sure.  An example regarding hearing loss is the case of Herbert von Karajan, the great German conductor.  He was a control freak who liked to fiddle with the recording controls (i.e., he didn't trust his sound engineers) and given his loss of sensitivity to highs in the music, he would invariably produce piercing, trebly, dry recordings that he sound engineers were too afraid to alter given Herr Karajan's power and reputation.  Just taking listen to any of Karajan's DG wonders during the late 1970s (e.g., his Bruckner recordings) and 1980s (e.g., his Beethoven and Brahms symphony cycles) is akin to Chinese torture...unless you listen to them with the likes of the LCD-2 or (even better) the HD-650.

 

Very interesting! I should get those records, though I doubt my wife is going to enjoy them as much as I would! :D

 

The thing that usually happens when your high frequency hearing is shot is that you start turning the volume up to compensate, so if your headphone has rolled off treble, you can immediately see where this is heading which is bad for the rest of your hearing as you stuff it up through listening at too high SPL. This is eventually what sent me to the doctor and a string of allergy and other scanning tests. Though treatment helped me overcome chronic sinusitis, my hearing never quite recovered to where it used to be.

 

On a side note, a little bit confused, the Headroom and Innerfidelity graphs show to the LCD2 rev 2 to have more lower treble energy than the LCD-X? If this ia correct then I would agree that the LCD2 rev 2 would be a better choice.

post #2306 of 8990
Quote:
Originally Posted by figaro69 View Post

Drum roll, Please...pumpumpumpumpump...the battle of the headmps (driving the LCD-Xs) has been waged: the ultimate fighters are...



1. Burson Soloist



2. EF-6



3. Headroom Ultra Desktop Amp



4. Mjolnir



 



Here are the results:



1. Burson Soloist: does a creditable job for a thousand bucks.  Great dynamics, not an ounce of fat/flab, tight as a tick...the Burson is a great amp for the price.  There is a small problem:  the sound stage is kind of collapsed/consctricted with this one compared to the Darkstar.  Moreover, the sound is a bid edgy at times...too much energy for its own good.  This is not a laid back gentleman who exerts his power behind the scenes like the Darkstar...the is a young turk out to make a statement...a splash.  So, the whole thing is kind of rambunctious, kind of loud, too much oomph to the whole thing.  Excellent if you haven't heard the rest, but ultimately a bit lacking in the elderly statesman department.



 



2. Headroom Ultra Desktop Amp: I bought it for about $1600 coupled with the desktop power supply about two years ago; now I see that it's going for much cheaper at HeadRoom.  This one is just Okay, but the dynamic range is kind of constricted, as is the Soundstage.  This is the one in the bunch with the least cojones (i.e., watts) and it shows.  No wow factor at all.  Does its thing in a rather nondescript way.  Good, but not excellent.  This is really an amp made for the Fostex, Ultrasones, Audio Technicas, and Denons of the world.  Does a rather nice job with the HD800s, though, because of it's darker-sounding tone.



 



3. Mjolnir:  at $750 bucks this is the Budget amp of the lot.  Since I don't have a balanced copper headphone cable, I had to play the LCD-Xs using the stock cable and the Silver Dragon Moon Audio replacement cable.  Never had been a fan of the Mjolnir or Schiit amps...sounded like crap driving the HD800s and HE-6 due to nails-scratching-the-chalkboard screeching and piercing highs (plus, not enough power for the HE-6s anyway).  Now, I have to be objective (and I've been known to make fun of the Schiit fanboys in the past): the Mjolnir does an amazingly good job at driving these babies...in my opinion, much better than the Burson and Headroom amps.  Mind you, I couldn't use what would be the ideal choice for this amp driving the LCD-Xs: a high-quality copper headphone cable replacement ala ALO Audio or Moon Audio.  The Silver Dragon cable was way too bright-sounding with the Mjolnir/LCD-X combo (no surprise here given that the Mjolnir is a bright sounding amp and silver only exacerbates the situation).  Now, with the stock cable things improve considerably...while still mildly bright everything else is in the right place.  Get the copper cable and we are definitely in business!!!  What a pleasant surprise...and this is coming from someone who used to be (until tonight) a Schitt hater!  Now, I decided to use my new Silver Dragon cable on the LCD-2s driven by the Mjolnir out of curiosity, and all I can say is...wow!  This amp was simply designed to drive the warmish Audezes to perfection.  Whoever thinks (myself included until tonight) that the Audezes of old were lacking in treble has to give a listen to them through the Mjolnir...preferably with silver cables...suddenly the LCD-2s I kind of despised have blossomed into quite something (not quite LCD-X territory, but believe it or not, within striking distance!).



 



4.  EF-6:  I think everyone who has read my posts in the past is familiar with my rants regarding how the EF-6 - which was specifically designed by Fang Biang to drive the HE-6s - is totally inadequate (at least in my estimation) at driving the much frustrating, pigs-to-drive Hifiman flagship.  The thing does have the power and finesse to drive everything well - specially the HD800 and T1 - to lofty heights...yet the HE-6 remains hopelessly earthbound, tending to distort with wide swings in dynamics as often happens in Mahler's symphonies and Wagner's overtures, for instance.  So how does the EF-6 fare with the LCD-Xs?  In a word, SPECTACULARLY!!!! I am getting virtually the same sound out of the EF-6 as I am getting out of the Darkstar, the only difference being that the EF-6 costs less than half (i.e., I think 1.5 to 1.6K) of what a Darkstar would cost (i.e., I think mine cost somewhere between 3.2 and 3.5K).  Great soundstage, great dynamics, tight, velvety...everything said about the Darkstar/LCD-X combo in my initial impressions applies to the EF-6/LCD-X combo.  Just remember, I used the Silver Dragon headphone cable and a copper interconnect cable (i.e., for some reason, this combination of cables with the Darkstar and EF-6 does work it's magic...go all out copper and it sounds too warm...go all out silver and it sounds too bright...mixed it up and you get perfection (i.e., reminds me of Goldilocks!).



 



So, what do we have here?  These are the rankings of the headphone amps I've tried so far with the LCD-Xs:



1. EF-6: while tied with the Darkstar in every department, it is close to 2K cheaper!  This one is a no-brainer.  If you got's the the dinero, blindly take the leap...it will also drive your HD800 and T1 to perfection.



 



2. Darkstar: amazing, but way too expensive...get the EF-6 and you'll be missing nothing (i.e., since the use of balanced interconnects with the EF-6 is not possible - only RCAs - I am thinking that the great sound of the Darkstar has nothing to do with it being fully balanced...it's all about the power, baby.



 



3. Mjolnir: the surprise of the day...if you are on a budget and want to have the LCD-Xs shine, go for it, but get a good copper headphone replacement cable...you won't regret it.  If you are in an even tighter budget, just get the Mjolnir with the LCD2s...The two together sound amazing, even with classical music...this is the first time in my life when I've heard the LCD-2s presenting a respectable soundstage and a fairly extended treble. The LCD-3s with the Mjolnir must be magical, by the way!@.



 



4.  Don't wast your money with the Burson if you want to drive the LCD-Xs (now, if you want to drive the TH900s, Beyer T5P, Ultrasone Ed. 8, and Audio Technicas of the world, do get it, since it is a glorious and relatively affordable amp; just don't expect it to make water into wine when it comes to the LCD-Xs...sounds good, but there are much better choices.



 



5.  Decware Taboo:  the jury is still out since I have much tube rolling to do still, but I would tend to agree with the venerable one (i.e., Macedonian Hero) on this one: Orthos were not made to be played by tube amps!!!



 



6.  HeadRoom Ultra Desktop Amp: foggeddabouit...doesn't do enough for the money you pay...let's just leave it at that.



 



As you can see, the more powerful the amp, the better it drives the LCD-Xs.  These may be efficient and all you want, but they do like it when driven by a couple of dynamite sticks.



 



I hope these "vignettes" have been helpful to the head-fi community.  It has been an honor!



 



Sincerely,



 



Figaro



 



P.S. - using Oppo and Marantz SACD players all the way...no compressed music in this neighborhood!


 



Interesting observations. I currently have the Soloist and am considering either the LCD-X or K812 as my next headphone. My previous favorite was the HD800. I actually bought the Soloist because I enjoyed it the most from a meet with my HD800. That was in comparison to a Mjolnir/Gungnir stack, WA22, V200, and my current amp at that time, an Audio-GD SA-31. I honestly consider the Soloist to be my endgame amp unless I decide to go balanced, in which case I'd probably get a GSX Mk2 or Bryston BHA-1. So much so that I sold my HD800 instead of it when I needed money.

I also think the Soloist scales well with better sources. I think if you had put the same cost of the Darkstar into a source you would likely have better results. Just IMO of course. I will say I didn't particularly like the Mjolnir with the HD800 (too forward and aggressive) but it was great with the LCD-3. The V200 was a close second with HD800 but a little too smooth for my taste. I'm guessing if I don't find the Soloist + HD800 to be too edgy, I probably wouldn't with the LCD-X.

I think the Soloist should be ideal with the LCD-X since it doubles down power to 16 ohms and should put at least 3 watts into the LCD-X. If your still thinking of getting the K812 eventually, I'd love to hear your comparison with the X.
post #2307 of 8990
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post

Excellent review Gowry! Pleasure reading it.

About the humm, have you tried getting out every input from ef6? does it still humm ? I had noise on the usb recently and I think it was a ground loop.
+1, very informative feedback!

I also get hum with my EF-6 and LCD-X. It's not dependent on the input source or gain; it's the 60Hz.
Doesn't hum at all with the 6s and 5LEs.
post #2308 of 8990
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post


+1, very informative feedback!

I also get hum with my EF-6 and LCD-X. It's not dependent on the input source or gain; it's the 60Hz.
Doesn't hum at all with the 6s and 5LEs.

I've got this humm on taboo + lcdx, but only in one channel. I will try to solve it with some resistors on the headphones output.

post #2309 of 8990

Woah. I wasn't expecting so many interesting replies :)

 

Thanks to cizx, figaro69, daerron, Barry S, jerg, goldendarko and NZtechfreak for you comments and suggestions - recommending components that are as good for me, but cheaper than the one I thought I should be buying, is always good, 'cos it means I can buy more music :)

 

Your comments about treble are really interesting. I've always avoided phones that are considered 'bright'/'treble-y' as I have a real aversion to bad treble. Dodgy treble, as well as giving me a headache, makes my teeth hurt...

 

That said, when daerron said "The thing that usually happens when your high frequency hearing is shot is that you start turning the volume up to compensate, so if your headphone has rolled off treble, you can immediately see where this is heading which is bad for the rest of your hearing as you stuff it up through listening at too high SPL.", made me go "Ah. Oops. That's exactly what I do". That alone has helped me rethink where I need to go for my (hopefully) end-game 'phones.

 

Sadly, the one thing I should do now is the one thing I can't easily do - which is demo some LCD-X/-2/-3/HE-6/-500/HD800s. Where I live is an absolute wasteland for decent hifi in general, let alone high-end 'phones.

 

But, but, but... I really can't give up that visceral impact of the drums/bass. Much as I like the sound of, say, the HD600s, I do find myself thinking that there's not enough drums/bass guitar.

 

Maybe I should just buy some Beats-by-Dre??? :)

post #2310 of 8990

What amplifier are you using? I've often found that a headphone will sound bright and give me fatigue if it is underpowered. It's not that you will get no bass out of it, but it will sound overly bright and not have the fulness of body that it would normally have.

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