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AUDEZE LCD XC - Page 75

post #1111 of 1563
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

I received the XC from the headamp loaner program, here are some initial musings:

 

Like the LCD2, these are way more gorgeous in-person.  When Audeze made the move to only ship XCs with

Bubinga wood and black anodized rings I thought I would hate the combination, as I didn't like the way it looked on pictures at all. In person the Bubinga wood is much more rich and deep lookin.

 

I wouldn't know that these headphones were 1-150grams heavier than the LCD2 or whatever.  From my memory of the LCD2, these are just as comfortable weight-wise.  They're actually more comfortable to me because the pads are extra soft, and even after they compress over-time, my ears barely do not touch the fazor diffusers.

 

As for the sound, they do not strike me as Boring and overly thick-sounding like the LCD2 did at times, and the bass carries with it not only the Audeze control and extension, but also a characteristic closed-back slower decay and pressure-esque type of bass, which is a plus in my book.

 

The mids are for the most part very good, only I there's something going on in the upper-mids around 2-3khz.  I absolutely hate forward upper-mids because they tend to make a lot of headphones sound cold.  While that's not 100% the case here because I don't see the XC as cold sounding, I do feel the 2-3khz area has a bit of hardness, kind of like a broad, but benign ringing problem in the area.  If you've ever looked at Purrin's CSDs of the HD800s and see what they do in the 6khz area, then you can see at what I'm trying to get at.  This 'problem' also seems to make these headphones very recording specific, as I find myself turning the volume up and down not only between songs, but within different parts of the recordings themselves.  Sometimes I find myself EQ'ing the 2-3khz region down by 3db or so, and this seems to mostly solve the problem and make the mids have a better transition to treble.

 

The soundstage seems to be nice.  Not big enough to make me think it's an open headphone, but also the imaging and definition of the sound is great enough to make me think it's an open headphone.  I attribute this to a smooth lower midrange which most closed headphones tend to lack.  The fazor diffusers probably have a lot to do with this as well because I notice the sound changes severely if you press the cans closer to your ears, playing with the acoustic bounce-back of your skin.

 

The treble I find to be well in balance, not lacking like the LCD2 or not strident like the HE-400 or other headphones.  However it's not as smooth as I think it could be.

 

 

For now I really like their sound, although I haven't done a direct comparison to my tried-and-true EQ'd HE-400 yet.  If I were to look at the headphones without a price, I'd say definite big thumbs-up.  At 1800?  That's extremely tough to say.

NIce review.  Totally agree with you.

post #1112 of 1563

This sounds familiar to me (or it rings true, if you can stand the pun.)

 

The upper-mid hardness broad-range ringing impression you describe was exactly the problem I had with my LCD2 Rev 1 phones.

(I posted that here years ago with very similar wording.)

 

With my LCD2 Rev 2, this problem was substantially reduced but still there somewhat, maybe 25% of it.

 

But the LCD3, despite my fears, completely cured it and that's why they are one of my favorite phones and I plan to keep them for good.

(My only Audeze phones are the LCD3 now.)

post #1113 of 1563

@TMRaven I think you fairly nailed it with what you wrote. I had a chat with Alex about them and the closed back of the XC causes that drop in the lower mids that, in turn, puts a bit of an emphasis on the upper mids. I like it as makes the XC less thick-sounding. For people who have been around years and heard everything else who ask me about them I tell them they sound like a dark, planar AT, because of what you describe about mid-forward 'phones and what you don't like about them. Sometimes that sound signature works and sometimes it doesn't.

 

I did try them again after the SoCal meet with a WA7 (with gold pin tubes) sourced from an AK240 and Hugo with the WyWires cable and that rig seemed to make them (and the other Audeze cans) far more listenable where they were otherwise a tiny bit grating or un-involving. The WA7 seems to bring out the bass a touch more and the cable seemed to just remove everything I didn't like that wasn't FR-related when listening with the stock cable.

post #1114 of 1563

How is the bass of the XC in comparison to the X?  If my impressions of the XC's bass is right, seems like it would have more of a bassy signature than the X simply because the pressure builds up within the cups.

 

I don't find the reduction of lower mids in the XC too troublesome.  As I mentioned before, I can't stand headphones that put more emphasis on the upper midrange than lower midrange.  Having used the HE-400 for multiple years now (a headphone that's notorious for having a deliberately forward lower midrange and withdrawn upper midrange), I didn't find the midrange of XC unnaturally cold or out of timbre.  In fact it's very easy to transition between the two.  This is in drastic difference to phones like say, the Audio Technicas open ears, M50, and hifiman's very own RE-400 (a lot of people consider it a warm headphone but I think it's a bit cold sounding.)

 

In fact I find the tonal balance of the XC extremely good, even without the slight EQ of the upper midrange.  It follows the recently researched Hardon target response decently closely, more than the X can claim (purely objectively speaking).

post #1115 of 1563

Anyone liking their XCs with a SS amp? I've seen a few posts about how they felt the Schiit Mjolnir+ XC was too bright. Only references so far were during an Audeze demo with an Alo Studio Six which sounded great and a Meridian Prime which sounded not so great.

 

I'm considering the following:

Violectric V200

Schiit Mjolnir

Bryston BHA-1

HeadAmp GS-X (though probably out of my price range)

post #1116 of 1563
I have XC and they sound great with my studio six as well as my BHA-1. Studio six wins.
post #1117 of 1563
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyerMonster View Post
 

Anyone liking their XCs with a SS amp? I've seen a few posts about how they felt the Schiit Mjolnir+ XC was too bright. Only references so far were during an Audeze demo with an Alo Studio Six which sounded great and a Meridian Prime which sounded not so great.

 

I'm considering the following:

Violectric V200

Schiit Mjolnir

Bryston BHA-1

HeadAmp GS-X (though probably out of my price range)

I think that's more of a function of the MJ. Definitely smooth on my GS-X Mk2.

post #1118 of 1563
Some good reviews here.
post #1119 of 1563
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

I think that's more of a function of the MJ. Definitely smooth on my GS-X Mk2.

Hi MH

May i ask you about Headamp GS X mk 2
You Said smooth sounding , is that more to bright and detail or more Warm and smooth ?
Did you heard Cavalli Liquid Gold ?
Power Wise Which ones has more Power GS X mk 2 or Cavalli LAu
I try to Find very Good SQ and has bigger Power to drive My Abyss
I like bright and detail , i Dont like dark sounding amp


Please advise
Edited by rudi0504 - 3/26/14 at 8:06pm
post #1120 of 1563
Quote:
Originally Posted by podeschi View Post

I have XC and they sound great with my studio six as well as my BHA-1. Studio six wins.

In what respect, out of curiosity?

I haven't gotten a chance to listen to the BHA-1 with the XC yet (have only heard in meets), but with other planars it is one of my favorite amps.

post #1121 of 1563
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudi0504 View Post


Hi MH

May i ask you about Headamp GS X mk 2
You Said smooth sounding , is that more to bright and detail or more Warm and smooth ?
Did you heard Cavalli Liquid Gold ?
Power Wise Which ones has more Power GS X mk 2 or Cavalli LAu

Please advise

I haven't heard the LAu sorry. I have owned both the LL and LF and don't plan on owning a third amp from that manufacturer any time soon. With regards to power, I think the LAu has more, but unless you're looking at the HE-6s, both have plenty of power for pretty much any headphone out there. 

 

The GS-X Mk2 is a window into your DAC/source material and is as clean and true as an amp that I've heard. For more info, I suggest you check out the GS-X thread.


Edited by MacedonianHero - 3/26/14 at 8:12pm
post #1122 of 1563
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbradley02 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by podeschi View Post

I have XC and they sound great with my studio six as well as my BHA-1. Studio six wins.

In what respect, out of curiosity?

I haven't gotten a chance to listen to the BHA-1 with the XC yet (have only heard in meets), but with other planars it is one of my favorite amps.


Studio Six sounds the least "hi-fi" - most musical and expansive and harmonically accurate. BHA-1 sounds a little more electronic. Great amp though. All these amps are exceptional. I will say the Pathos Aurium tube headphone amp is my favorite amp with the XC cans, magical synergy. Listening to Sting right now via XC driven by Aurium with Mullard 6922s. Even better than the XC with the Studio Six. The studio six with the LCD-X is the ultimate though if I had to choose one setup - AMG v12 with Goldfinger into ARC Ref2se into Studio six driving X cans.
post #1123 of 1563
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

How is the bass of the XC in comparison to the X?  If my impressions of the XC's bass is right, seems like it would have more of a bassy signature than the X simply because the pressure builds up within the cups.

 

I don't find the reduction of lower mids in the XC too troublesome.  As I mentioned before, I can't stand headphones that put more emphasis on the upper midrange than lower midrange.  Having used the HE-400 for multiple years now (a headphone that's notorious for having a deliberately forward lower midrange and withdrawn upper midrange), I didn't find the midrange of XC unnaturally cold or out of timbre.  In fact it's very easy to transition between the two.  This is in drastic difference to phones like say, the Audio Technicas open ears, M50, and hifiman's very own RE-400 (a lot of people consider it a warm headphone but I think it's a bit cold sounding.)

 

In fact I find the tonal balance of the XC extremely good, even without the slight EQ of the upper midrange.  It follows the recently researched Hardon target response decently closely, more than the X can claim (purely objectively speaking).

 

That's the thing, I would have guessed the XCs sound more bass-y but they less so because of the cups, not more, but that is in the mid-bass. They don't sound less spacious either, but again, that's the change in the frequency response. The funny thing is, they are a bit closer to AKG's new target response curve! They sound rather "right" to me for similar reasons to yours -- I had D5000s ages ago, and then moved through Grados and various planars, so I've gotten used to the mids being more forward.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyerMonster View Post
 

Anyone liking their XCs with a SS amp? I've seen a few posts about how they felt the Schiit Mjolnir+ XC was too bright. Only references so far were during an Audeze demo with an Alo Studio Six which sounded great and a Meridian Prime which sounded not so great.

 

I'm considering the following:

Violectric V200

Schiit Mjolnir

Bryston BHA-1

HeadAmp GS-X (though probably out of my price range)

I think that's more of a function of the MJ. Definitely smooth on my GS-X Mk2.

 

I didn't feel this when I tried the Schiit gear at the SoCal meet, but I remember early impressions of the Schiit stack that were along those lines from the Gungnir sounding a bit harsh, which I believe they've rectified.

 

I have always really liked the Audezes through my Audio-gd Phoenix, so a Reference 9 would obviously be my recommendation, but I would be surprised if it were possible to go wrong with any of the balanced SS amps that are popular here. I also really like them out of the slightly warm WA7 (which is less so with the new PSU) fed by a high-end DAC (and the Studio Six too, obviously). However "Get thee to a meet" is the best plan for helping make this kind of decision.

post #1124 of 1563

I wish I could get me to a meet!  I live at a fly-spec town 600 km north west of Sydney.  This makes Head-fi reviews and the "for-sale" threads very valuable resources for me and  others of my ilk. 

 

Oh wow... there's an idea.  Perhaps I could have an "Inverell" meet!  If Melbourne can get twelve attendees, maybe I could get one. :wink_face: 

 

On a more serious note, my short list of amps to try / buy for the XC include:

 

AURALiC Taurus MKII

Bottlehead Mainline or S.E.X.

Audio GD Master 9

Questyle CMA800R

 

and a few others that would be stretching my budget.

 

Be interested to hear what others have tried.

 

Cheers

 

Nathan


Edited by MoatsArt - 3/26/14 at 11:38pm
post #1125 of 1563
Color me surprised. I'm sitting in Starbucks, listening to my XC's (yes, I'm enjoying the funny looks) being driven by my HeadAmp Pico DAC/Amp. The sound us warm, rich, detailed, dynamic and not edgy. I never tried this combo before as I doubted the Pico's ability to drive them effectively, but the efficiency gains from the 'X' series coupled with the sound isolation mean the Pico has plenty of oomph. Volume control is at about 10 o'clock in high gain and it's plenty loud with no hint of clipping or strain, even in dynamic passages.

This is the most I've enjoyed them since I got them. They sound better from this little gem of an amp than they have through the Lyr, Mjolnir or retubed WA22. I don't get the nth degree of imaging that the Woo provides, but nor do I feel the desire to take them off 5 minutes into a session due to the upper-midrange edge. This is now my go to 'transportable' rig. Best part...the amp's so small that the cans, cables, DAC & Amp all fit into the Audez'e case.
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