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Audeze LCD-X - Page 235

post #3511 of 8981
Originally Posted by Focker View Post

Wow, that was amazing! All I had here were my little Atrio MG7 IEMs, which I do like a lot, but I can't wait to try this with the Xs later on. 


Thanks for posting that...was fun! And my hair looks great! 

so, have you tried it ?????? VERY COOL !!

post #3512 of 8981

Has anyone used these on a Leben CS300xs? I purchased them because everyone raved about the pairing with the 2s and 3s and while they sound amazing on the Leben they seem a bit quieter than the HD650s I was previously using. Anyone hear anything similar?

post #3513 of 8981


They just arrived today, must say initial impressions are great :P

post #3514 of 8981

nice pic, curious of your impression vs the hd800 that you own

post #3515 of 8981

was it supposed to be behind me the whole time?  have them on the right way and plugged in right.

post #3516 of 8981


Edited by jibzilla - 6/2/14 at 11:17pm
post #3517 of 8981
Or be like me and get three biggrin.gif
post #3518 of 8981


Edited by jibzilla - 6/2/14 at 11:16pm
post #3519 of 8981
An audiophile+gearhead colleague allowed me to borrow some more of his gear for a comparison of my new X'es:

We've got:
* DAC: Lavry DA11
* Amps: Phonitor and Dark Star (and a PanAm way off to the side)
* Headphones (top row): AT AD2000, Beyer T1, Grado PS1000. HifiMan HE-6
* Headphones (bottom): Senn HD800, LCD-X, LCD-3

All this equipment is my buddy's, with the exception of the LCD-X, which I bought from Audeze -- but is within its return period.  Hence this multi-headed evaluation.

The DA11 is connected via USB to an Win7 PC (ASROCK Z68 mobo) with JRiver 19, on which I have a variety of HD audio, redbook ripped into FLAC, and mp3 files.  I attempted to listen to the headphones in different orders, as a way of reducing initial listening bias.  For all pieces, I listened to each multiple times, first in the sequence as written and additionally as convenient, or as curiosity guided me.  Finally, note that I'm still pretty new at this; I don't expect these findings are anything close to what many of you can do -- but I thought I'd share them as an attempt to get more practice, and improve. smily_headphones1.gif  So if you have suggestions on method, vocabulary, or critical listening technique, I would very much appreciate them!  Anyway, with that said, now is the time on Sprockets when we test.

Non-musical impressions
LCD-X: Knob much lower set on these cans than with the others below, to maintain volume matching.  Weight on head is noticeable.  Very comfortable.  Build quality between the 3 and the X is very similar.
LCD-3: Weight indistinguishable from the X's.  Very comfortable.
T1: Physically comfortable. Nitpick: the weight of the cord is disproportionately heavy, almost dragging the phones down.
HE-6: Needed to turn these way up about 2 hours more volume.  Getting a good volume match seemed tricky for some reason.  Headset comfort is a significant step behind the Audeze design.  Like the T1, feels more (audibly) open to the outside room.

Summary impressions with the Lavry DA11 and Phonitor
LCD-X: Audeze headphones with a wider (or taller?) sense of space, and great detail and texture with fainter sounds and the highs.  Gorgeous sense of "layered" sound which is rewarded by many genres.  Has a whole lot of "very good" to "excellent" qualities.
LCD-3: Sounds emerge out of a deep background, and the mids/vocals are velvety.  Full of character.  Space is smaller; instrument separation not clear as the X.  Seems tailor made for classic rock and more intimate genres.
HE-6: Not quite the spacial sense of the X, but offers a more even presentation.  Depending on the piece, it sounded a bit more X-like, but other times 3-like.  Meets (or exceeds? -- it's close) the resolution of the X.  Sibilant in a couple examples, which I only note because I'm quite sensitive to that.  Like the X, has a lot of excellent qualities.
T1: The odd man out in the test.  Held its own with electronic music, and the bass character of the headphones were surprisingly good.  But with the acoustic material, it fared poorly, because of its acute treble.

Next up, I'll test with the DA11 and Dark Star -- and there, I'll be able to add the Grado and HD800 to the mix, because of the L+R XLR balanced outputs.

---Detailed notes---

Jazz at the Pawnshop - High Life (44.1k, 16bit FLAC) for jazz atmosphere, percussion, quick-moving cymbals
LCD-X: Very realistic, and much more "presence" than with the 3's.  Muffled horns and xylophones sound more detailed than with the 3's.  Lows feel more present than with the 3s here.  "Fast" - I can see why people use the term to describe these phones, especially with the cymbals here.  Sound seems layered; seems like that might be a function of how fast the phones are?  T1 feels like it has more bass impact, but this bass is even with the other sounds.  Realism and fine texture.  Each instrument seems like it has its own definition -- very pleasing.
LCD-3: Yes, a more laid back presentation than the X, as many have reported.  Instruments seem to emerge out of a slightly velvety field of darkness (and this property is "Audeze-like" to me), whereas with the X'es, the sound field feels more continuous and subtle, perhaps?  Gorgeous, full mids.  Vocals seem to be more front-and-center.  Sound feels a bit less layered than the X's, like things are more closely arranged around you.  Bass seems... similar to the X, but there are differences, but I have a hard time describing them.
T1: Much more emphasis on the highs than in the LCD-3's, and a bit more pronounced than the X (though similarly detailed), I feel.  Bass seems more defined, tighter?, than in the 3's or X's.  Vocals feel somewhat thinner than either Audeze.  Except those occasional highs, which stand out a bit much, different pitch presentation feels quite even.  The T1 seems less layered than the X.  Compared to the X, presentation is slightly cloudy, where fewer things pop out of the overall sound field, and are differentiated.
HE-6: Good background sound field definition, like the X.  Bass is good.  Mids are right there.  I like these headphones quite a lot.  Highs might not be quite as resolved or clear as the X?  Very involving character, like the Audezes, but with different emphasis.  A little velvet in the background , like the 3's.  Right at the margins, I'm not sure it has the same "being there" quality as the X, but the sound is delicious.

Natalie Merchant - Tigerlily - San Andreas Fault (96k, 24bit) for female vocals, acoustic instruments
LCD-3: Creamy vocals.  Bass thrums very pleasantly.  The X is like being there, while the 3 is like watching a(n excellent) film noir of the performance.  Both have an involving quality.  You can really increase the volume on these phones and be surrounded.
LCD-X: ...About 10% less full as the 3's, but with significantly more detail and instrument structure / placement than the 3's.  You can hear vocal and guitar details here that are simply not evident on the 3's.  "Being there" quality in evidence yet again, as if sounds seem to linger longer as they fade away -- a remarkable acoustic quality.
HE-6: Detail/resolution on par with the X (maybe just a tiny tad more?), but I got less of a structure/placement sense.  Bit of sibilance.  Bass quality is very good in these - rich, but not overwhelming.
T1: Very similar to the X in some ways, with detail and stage in particular.  Very strong, overall.  A bit more verisimilitude than the HE-6 in this track.

Fahrenheit Project 6 - ASD by Scann-Tec (44k, 16bit FLAC) for electronic sound
LCD-X: Sound field feels somehow taller than wider?  Bass is well in hand and tight; the sub-bass is less present than many other headsets.  Highs and electronic squelchy sounds are well-defined, and crisp.  Again, instrument separation is excellent with a feeling of vertical layers.  The headset does very well with lower sounds not getting too lost in the background, which adds to the beguiling layered feeling.
HE-6: Similar to the X, in the main, but I reiterate my impression that the HE-6 is a touch more detailed, but the soundstage isn't quite as interesting.
LCD-3: Percussion in the beginning deliciously detailed.  Dramatic sound field, particularly in low-mids and upper bass which moves you along in time.  Smaller sound field, which adds to drama, but is a trade-off in character.  High sounds again less defined and do not sparkle, keeping your attention down lower.  Bass overall is most satisfying with these cans.
T1: In the HE-6 and X family.  The upper mids and treble take on a whole new life here, and are excellent, except for occasional moments which strike my eats a bit sharply.  Bass is punchy as before, but less expressive.  Vocals seem a bit recorded, whereas they're more life-like with the HE-6 and Audeze phones.  But in some "greater than the sum of its parts", electronic music sounds great here.

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (20th Aniv remaster) - Time (44k, 16bit FLAC) - for common ground reasons
T1: Specific sounds seem more interesting in their detail than the overall musical impression.  Attention keeps flaring upward, to the treble, at the expense of the lower registers.  Here, the previous even presentation of the phones approaches a flatness, somehow.
HE-6: After the T1, wow, the vocals are so much better, and the bass is much smoother.  Attention is not pinned up in the highs as with the T1, but much more evenly distributed.  Guitar distortion sounds better.  Slight sibilance?  Very enjoyable.
LCD-X: Early clockwork sonic detail amazing.  Gorgeous sense of space.  Vocals terrific, and not a touch of sibilance.  Can perceive some source material crackle.  Electric guitar very well represented, but might be too detailed in spots.  Felt more like listening to a live band, and not headphones.
LCD-3: Wow. The black velvet of the LCD-3 feels like it was made for this kind of music.  Details recessed in a very pleasant way.  Felt like sitting in a chair listening to an exquisite 2 channel system, back in the day.

Wagner - Ring without Words (Maazel, BPO) - Siegfried's death and funeral music  (44k, 16bit FLAC) - orchestra with range
T1: Good sense of overall space, but instrument location within the space is limited.  Trumpets are beautiful.
LCD-3: Smaller sense of space.  Deep horns are more dramatic and potent.  Trumpets somewhat muted compared to T1.  Again because of the treatment of mids and upper bass, I think, the music has more impulse and drama, despite feeling smaller in the stage.
LCD-X: Space is good.  Handling of lower-volume passages is excellent. Instrumental detail is enchanting.  Handles a breadth of volumes from the loud bursts to tremulous harp plucks better than any other headphone in this test.  Palpable crescendos.
HE-6: A bit like the LCD-3, in this case, but with somewhat larger space.  Like the X, wonderful crescendo - the HE-6 handles large bursts of sound wonderfully.  The details and the slighter passages are a bit too soft / lost, compared to the X.

Hammock - Oblivion Hymns - Tres Domine (44k, 16bit FLAC) - layered spacial ambiance with male vocals
HE-6: Beautiful sense of space.  Gorgeous vocals.
T1: Much sharper sound; to the point of distraction, I think.  Vocals sound digital microphone-ish.
LCD-X: Suddenly, we're sitting in a cathedral.  Wow.  Full, rich, spacious.
LCD-3: The cathedral has reduced a bit.  The echo sounds disperse into one another; this is pleasant, but the X held out a bit longer before blurring.  The music recedes compared to the vocals, which again is pleasant, but I think I prefer the HE-6/X treatment.

Radio Sunnydale - Blue by Angie Hart (VBR 184kbps mp3) - fuller traditional band sound with female vocals
LCD-3: One imagines this is what it might be like listening to the song in the Bronze.  smily_headphones1.gif  Vocals rich and sweet.
LCD-X: ...and this is the difference.  Here, with the X's, we can locate ourselves to a specific spot in the Bronze -- maybe 10 feet away from the stage, on the dance floor.  Vocals remain outstanding, a half stop more delicate and less full.
HE-6: Similar in character to the X, but placement in space is less clear.  Vocals tend toward the 3's presentation, or somewhere between the 3 and the X.
T1: Our head is painfully close to one of the tweeters off to one side of the Bronze stage.  Ouch.
Edited by planet - 3/22/14 at 2:40am
post #3520 of 8981

Great write up!


Be very interested to see whether the imaging becomes more precise on the HE-6 with the Darkstar. For me, besides the bass and dynamics, imaging is the thing that benefits most from a good amp pairing with the 6.


I really need to get me a few days with the X soon...

post #3521 of 8981

While reading your impressions envy and admiration were vying for supremacy in my mind. In the end I reconciled the two by concluding that you have made the most of a wonderful opportunity and have helped the Headfi community in the process.

Looking forward to your impressions with the Dark Star ( an amp I am considering along with the Auralic Taurus MKII )


post #3522 of 8981

Great write up!!! Thank you for all of the song-specific impressions.

post #3523 of 8981

Great write up planet. Just what I needed to read as I consider which headphones to buy.

post #3524 of 8981
Originally Posted by figaro69 View Post

I'm leaning more these days toward the HD800 with classical, specially large orchestral fare...the X's are wonderful with opera, but the soundstage of the HD800s trumps them easily.  Mind you, I'm using the Oppo BDP-95 (source), Decware CSP2+ tube headphone amp (with Philips rectifier and Siemens CCa tubes) driven by the Grace 902b (used as a pre-amp) to drive the HD800s...I challenge anyone to say that this combo makes the HD800s sound trebly...even sound from top to bottom...just amazing.  The Xs are more intimate, warm, and euphonious...great for classical as well, but the HD800s are still the undisputed king of Classical music (i.e., has Mahler, Bruckner, and Wagner ever sounding so sublime?).  So, there!


Hey Figaro, I see you also own the LCD-XC.  Do you use them?

post #3525 of 8981

Planet, great comparison of the high-end cans.  Will be interested in your comparison of the HD800 to the LCD-X.

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