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AUDEZE LCD XC - Page 82

post #1216 of 2709

Hello.

 

So, I recently participated in Headamp's/Justin tour for the LCD-XCs and well, here some impressions...

 

After acquiring MrSpeakers Alpha Dogs last year, I quickly thought of buying the LCD-XCs outright not only because of their looks (they look amazing!!!!!) but because if the planar sound of modded T50RP drivers were pleasant and excellent performers then these closed-back from Audeze would kick butt all over the place! And I can say that I'm glad I didn't spend almost $2000 for headphones I KNOW I would have gotten rid of... now, don't throw stones at me yet... lol! It's just that for the price the LCD-XC sells, I wasn't really all that impressed...

 

Presentation is Ok. They come in their huge case, with good cables, cleaning kit, etc. Their design is just excellent to my eyes. They look good, they feel sturdy and well built and once you hold them you just know that what you have in your hands is quality! Once on your head though, that "well-built"/sturdy quality translate to heavy as hell. The Alpha Dogs are already a bit heavy (for the headphones that I'm used to) but somehow their ample Alpha Pads and the full headband strap makes it feel less heavy. Not so with the XCs. The pads are indeed comfortable though but I couldn't spend hours like I usually do with my other headphones.

 

Sound was good though. Direct comparison, it provides more bass quantity than the Alpha Dogs with good impact and presence. It sounds more textured as well.

The mids are lovely and they don't "suffer" from the tiny warm veil than the ADs apply (and I enjoy). The big difference for me though was the mid/upper treble presence. It is definitely more forward, less grainy and best of all not shrill. And if you ask: "well, that doesn't sound like a bad description to me...", well, Still... still they were missing "something"... I was listening to my usual test songs: Kaskade - "Fire in your Shoes", Jon Cleary - "So Damn Good", Mima - "Oigo Voces", Esperanza Spalding - "What a Friend", Sara Bareilles - "Vegas"/"King of Anything", Killswitch Engage - "Fixation on the Darkness", J-King y Maximan - "Dura, Dura", Calvin Harris - "Feel so Close", Three Six Mafia - "Late Night Tip", Orquesta Macabeo - "Me Repito", etc. and I just wasn't enjoying the headphones as much as I thought. Put back the ADs, and I was feeling it, changed back to the XCs and ... yeah... something was off. I tried to pinpoint it to something specific:

 

1) Natural sound somehow feeling "too much" to my ears?

2) Soundstage wasn't particularly too wide?!? (although imaging was very good)

3) Could it be my chain (NuForce Icon HDP --> Burson Soloist SL)?

4) Could it be that I'm used to the Alpha Dogs sound?

5) Or could it be that I just couldn't see how Audeze could charge so much for a small incremental sound quality increase (at least to my perception)?

 

I can say that it was surprising listening to the XCs and NOT being blown away! So overall I still preferred the Alpha Dogs... from sound to comfort. I know... blasphemy right?!?! Well, at least the LCD-XCs are VERY easy to drive (unlike the ADs!) so that's definitely a plus!

 

LCD-XC mixed with mostly "cheapos"...

 

Comparison summary, 

 

Bass quantity: PF Dido D901 --> Denon D5000 (LA-modded) --> LCD-XCs --> DS Drama --> Yamaha MT220 --> Alpha Dogs --> DS Dolphins --> Spider Moonlight
Bass quality: LCD-XCs --> D5000 (LA-modded) --> Alpha Dogs --> Yamaha MT220 --> PF Dido D901 --> Spider Moonlight --> DS Drama --> DS Dolphin
Mids presentation: LCD-XCs --> Alpha Dogs --> Spider Moonlight --> D5000 (LA-modded) --> Yamaha MT220 --> PF Dido D901 --> DS Dolphin --> DS Drama
Soundstage/imaging: D5000 (LA-modded) --> Alpha Dogs --> LCD-XCs --> PF Dido D901 --> Spider Moonlight --> Yamaha MT220 --> DS Dolphin --> DS Drama
Highs: LCD-XCs --> Alpha Dogs --> D5000 (LA-modded) --> DS Drama --> PF Dido D901 --> Yamaha MT220 --> Spider Moonlight --> DS Dolphin
Sound Isolation/Leakage: Alpha Dogs --> Spider Moonlight --> LCD XCs --> PF Dido D901 --> DS Drama --> Yamaha MT220 --> DS Dolphin --> D5000 (LA-modded)
Fun Factor: D5000 (LA-modded) --> PF Dido D901 --> DS Dolphin --> Yamaha MT220 --> Alpha Dogs --> LCD XCs --> DS Drama --> Spider Moonlight
**Price: DS Dolphin --> Yamaha MT220 --> Alpha Dogs --> D5000 (LA-modded) --> PF Dido D901 --> LCD XCs --> DS Drama --> Spider Moonlight

 

** tied to fun factor (i.e. would I spend what they cost cause I enjoy them?)

 

I wanted to compare the LCD-XCs to my LFF Enigma's and my modded Beyer T5p's but the Enigma's are actually arriving this week and Martin seems that he isn't done woodifying my T5p's... (yeah I know... crazy idea I had...)

 

Finally, just wanted to mention that I tested these guys on my PC... USB --> Nuforce Icon HDP --> Burson Soloist SL and directly from my AK100 MK2 as well.

 

I was actually going for a full-on review, but decided to just post as "impressions" here instead.

 

 

Thanks.

post #1217 of 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by gelocks View Post
 

Hello.

 

So, I recently participated in Headamp's/Justin tour for the LCD-XCs and well, here some impressions...

 

After acquiring MrSpeakers Alpha Dogs last year, I quickly thought of buying the LCD-XCs outright not only because of their looks (they look amazing!!!!!) but because if the planar sound of modded T50RP drivers were pleasant and excellent performers then these closed-back from Audeze would kick butt all over the place! And I can say that I'm glad I didn't spend almost $2000 for headphones I KNOW I would have gotten rid of... now, don't throw stones at me yet... lol! It's just that for the price the LCD-XC sells, I wasn't really all that impressed...

 

Presentation is Ok. They come in their huge case, with good cables, cleaning kit, etc. Their design is just excellent to my eyes. They look good, they feel sturdy and well built and once you hold them you just know that what you have in your hands is quality! Once on your head though, that "well-built"/sturdy quality translate to heavy as hell. The Alpha Dogs are already a bit heavy (for the headphones that I'm used to) but somehow their ample Alpha Pads and the full headband strap makes it feel less heavy. Not so with the XCs. The pads are indeed comfortable though but I couldn't spend hours like I usually do with my other headphones.

 

Sound was good though. Direct comparison, it provides more bass quantity than the Alpha Dogs with good impact and presence. It sounds more textured as well.

The mids are lovely and they don't "suffer" from the tiny warm veil than the ADs apply (and I enjoy). The big difference for me though was the mid/upper treble presence. It is definitely more forward, less grainy and best of all not shrill. And if you ask: "well, that doesn't sound like a bad description to me...", well, Still... still they were missing "something"... I was listening to my usual test songs: Kaskade - "Fire in your Shoes", Jon Cleary - "So Damn Good", Mima - "Oigo Voces", Esperanza Spalding - "What a Friend", Sara Bareilles - "Vegas"/"King of Anything", Killswitch Engage - "Fixation on the Darkness", J-King y Maximan - "Dura, Dura", Calvin Harris - "Feel so Close", Three Six Mafia - "Late Night Tip", Orquesta Macabeo - "Me Repito", etc. and I just wasn't enjoying the headphones as much as I thought. Put back the ADs, and I was feeling it, changed back to the XCs and ... yeah... something was off. I tried to pinpoint it to something specific:

 

1) Natural sound somehow feeling "too much" to my ears?

2) Soundstage wasn't particularly too wide?!? (although imaging was very good)

3) Could it be my chain (NuForce Icon HDP --> Burson Soloist SL)?

4) Could it be that I'm used to the Alpha Dogs sound?

5) Or could it be that I just couldn't see how Audeze could charge so much for a small incremental sound quality increase (at least to my perception)?

 

I can say that it was surprising listening to the XCs and NOT being blown away! So overall I still preferred the Alpha Dogs... from sound to comfort. I know... blasphemy right?!?! Well, at least the LCD-XCs are VERY easy to drive (unlike the ADs!) so that's definitely a plus!

 

 

I went from Thunderpants (very similar in concept to AD) to the Audeze XC. I agree, the sonic differences are nowhere close to what you would expect from the price differences. It took a lot of back and forth for me to really drill down to what was different and I came to similar observations to you. However in my case, despite loving the Thunderpants for three years, I concluded that I preferred the XC and sold my Thunderpants. But they are unexpectedly close in performance, and if people love the Audeze XC but can't afford them, consider the AD (since Thunderpants are no longer being made).

post #1218 of 2709

YMMV, but I was using a Burson Conductor when I first got my pair of LCD-XCs and I wasn't as blown away as I wanted to be.  I upgraded to a NAD M51/Questyle CMA800R and it made a big difference.  So, could be your chain.  I've not heard the Alpha Dogs, but compared to my Mad Dogs I see a big difference. 

post #1219 of 2709

I think something that you need to keep in mind is that differences from one headphone to the next are relative to the user. I remember before I bought the LCD-Xs, someone who had recently auditioned them said they were disappointed that it wasn't a bigger improvement over the LCD-2s...they said they felt it was only about a 20% improvement. Well I saw that comment and my first thought was, "wow, if there is a 20% improvement over what I'm already hearing on the 2s, I'd be thrilled!" 

 

When I bought the Xs and took delivery on them, I was really blown away by them, and I had to agree that the improvement probably WAS right around 20%. It was just more of all the good stuff I was already experiencing with the 2s...and for me that was more than worth the premium I paid. But you have to be mindful of what different things mean to different people, cause while I may post enthusiastically about how excited I am about that 20% (and in my opinion, that degree of improvement is VERY significant), for someone else it may fall short of their expectation. My personal opinion is that people often expect there to be greater differences than there actually are in most cases, but like I said, it's all relative to the end user. 

 

I've not heard the Mad Dogs or the Alpha Dogs, but people I respect own them and I know they are great value. So it's probably not realistic to expect an Audeze to be orders of magnitude better...

post #1220 of 2709

Major KUDOS for Justin of HeadAmp!!!

 

.

I contacted Justin last week regarding my dilemma of choosing between the XC and X. I heard his XC at the recent Charlotte headphone meet and thought it was great. However, I wanted to check out the LCD-X, if possible, to avoid buyers remorse. 

 

Justin to the rescue. He offered to send the XCs used at the meet and a pair of Xs to compare. I received both pair a day later. 

 

Thanks to Justin, I am 100%  confident in my decision. I now know that I will have no regrets with the XC. 

 

Should you be interested, my source for comparing the two headphones was a CARY 306SACD and the headphone amp was the MOTH 2A3 with RCA monoplates. 

 

Thank you again Justin. 

post #1221 of 2709

Do the XCs require a lot of hours to burn in? Straight out of the box, they sound OK but not great. Admittedly I am driving them with the Lyr but with 6W into 32 ohms, i believe this should suffice?

Can anyone share their personal experience driving the XC with the Lyr?

post #1222 of 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyB View Post
 

Major KUDOS for Justin of HeadAmp!!!

 

.

I contacted Justin last week regarding my dilemma of choosing between the XC and X. I heard his XC at the recent Charlotte headphone meet and thought it was great. However, I wanted to check out the LCD-X, if possible, to avoid buyers remorse. 

 

Justin to the rescue. He offered to send the XCs used at the meet and a pair of Xs to compare. I received both pair a day later. 

 

Thanks to Justin, I am 100%  confident in my decision. I now know that I will have no regrets with the XC. 

 

Should you be interested, my source for comparing the two headphones was a CARY 306SACD and the headphone amp was the MOTH 2A3 with RCA monoplates. 

 

Thank you again Justin. 

Danny,

you are indeed fortunate that Justin was there to give you an assist. Where I live, there is zero chance to audition any new release of HPs. Just going by the reviews on this forum, I chose the XC over the X since I already had the LCD-3. I have not regretted the choice at all.

post #1223 of 2709
I loved the XC when I first brought them home, but I also felt that something was missing musically compared to the LCD-2 rev2. However I kept listening to them and did a lot of switching back and forth to try and figure out why I thought I liked the 2s better aside from the bass. As we all know this can get tiresome so I simply put on the XC, a long playlist, and listened. I didn't pick up the LCD-2 for a couple of days but when I did I was shocked at what I heard. My first thoughts were that the LCD-2 sounded sooo slow and muffled. I've always thought the LCD-2 was a bit warm, but I never thought it would feel slow. This is my point. It's all relative to what I was used to hearing before.

I instantly missed the uncanny speed of the XC. The XC is very well textured and when I'm not listening to them I long to hear their fast detailed sound along side with their pin point imaging. Once I've adjusted to the bass and imaging on the XC I don't think I can go back to the LCD-2. The bass, mids and treble present themselves with more speed, finesse and presence, which I've grown to like a lot.

As a matter of fact I think the entire presentation is on a whole new level with the XC. Everything sounds better to me. Much more like I'm "there". If the recording was in a studio it feels like I'm in a studio. If in a concert hall, it feels like a concert hall. Simple jam session, yup. Binaural recordings are simply amazing with the XC. Now I know what others have been talking about when they speak of speed and accuracy with musicality.

Funny thing is that I'm not a detail freak. I can't stand the HD-800 because to me it sounds too forced, like the headphone is forcing the detail on me. The XC just stops at the edge of to much detail. The growl of an electric guitar the smack of the drumsticks, the texture of the piano. All of it while staying cohesive. I thought the LCD-2 would be my endgame headphone and I resisted for a long time to even audition the XC given they were closed back and twice the price. If not for the wife I wouldn't have considered them - "I can still hear what your listening to". Thanks dear.

So, after a perplexing first impression compared to the LCD-2 I'm sure I've become accustomed (addicted) to their sound and maybe they've been burning in or both, and I can confidently say that these are fantastic headphones and my new reference for musicality. I'll be selling the LCD-2 rev 2, however I will be buying the Oppo PM-1 when I do. I just need an open headphone. My name is RELIC, and I have a head fi problem.

Thanks for listening.
post #1224 of 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by x RELIC x View Post

............................

If not for the wife I wouldn't have considered them - "I can still hear what your listening to". Thanks dear.

.................

Ummm, RELIC, want to get her one too ? :biggrin:

post #1225 of 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post

Ummm, RELIC, want to get her one too ? biggrin.gif

wink_face.gif
post #1226 of 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossliew View Post
 

Do the XCs require a lot of hours to burn in? Straight out of the box, they sound OK but not great.

While I can't really tell you if they changed much in the beginning, I can tell you they didn't change for me after ~100hrs. Based on my experiences with full size planars where it took a little while for them to "break in", I threw about 48 hours of pink noise at them and then let them run with my entire ripped music library looping for about for the first week or so whenever I wasn't listening. Haven't noticed any substantial difference since then.

post #1227 of 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyerMonster View Post
 

While I can't really tell you if they changed much in the beginning, I can tell you they didn't change for me after ~100hrs. Based on my experiences with full size planars where it took a little while for them to "break in", I threw about 48 hours of pink noise at them and then let them run with my entire ripped music library looping for about for the first week or so whenever I wasn't listening. Haven't noticed any substantial difference since then.

Thanks, BM. I shall playback some pink noise for a bit and see if there is any noticeable improvements.

post #1228 of 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossliew View Post
 

Thanks, BM. I shall playback some pink noise for a bit and see if there is any noticeable improvements.

I noticed some differences after around the same time frame, 40-60 hours. After that, they are completely settled.

post #1229 of 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyB View Post
 

Major KUDOS for Justin of HeadAmp!!!

 

.

I contacted Justin last week regarding my dilemma of choosing between the XC and X. I heard his XC at the recent Charlotte headphone meet and thought it was great. However, I wanted to check out the LCD-X, if possible, to avoid buyers remorse. 

 

Justin to the rescue. He offered to send the XCs used at the meet and a pair of Xs to compare. I received both pair a day later. 

 

Thanks to Justin, I am 100%  confident in my decision. I now know that I will have no regrets with the XC. 

 

Should you be interested, my source for comparing the two headphones was a CARY 306SACD and the headphone amp was the MOTH 2A3 with RCA monoplates. 

 

Thank you again Justin. 

What did you feel was better with the XC vs the X?

post #1230 of 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbradley02 View Post
 

I noticed some differences after around the same time frame, 40-60 hours. After that, they are completely settled.

Thanks but i figured i also don't have a matching amp to really have an iron-fisted grip over it. Which amp are you using to pair with the XC, may I ask?

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