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AUDEZE LCD XC - Page 2
Head-Fi's Best Sellers
My reason for being interested is not so much isolation. If you haven't already tried this, hold your hands up against the grills of an Audeze or Hifiman and listen to how the sound changes. A superficial description is that the relative volume of the treble increases. But of course it doesn't sound right; it wasn't meant to sound that way. So I'm very curious to hear what they did with an intentionally closed planar magnetic.
These LCD-XC phones look so beautiful! In my opinion, they look more beautiful than the ATH3000aniv and TH900s, both of which I currently own. Those wooden cups look amazing. Do I need the LCD-XCs? Probably like a hole in the head. Do I want them? You bet. Killing our curiosity almost 2K at a time!!! This is insane, but it feels so right.
So I've been going back and forth with the X's and XC's. I'm coming to the conclusion that both are excellent headphones, but they are more cousins than siblings.
It's not accurate to say that they are very similar in timbre with the XC's just being more 'closed in' sounding. They are voiced differently. The X's are much more akin to the typical Audez'e house sound. Liquid kids with a darker signature. When listening to Yo Yo Ma playing in Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B, the timbre of the cello really comes through with all tile warmth and depth on the X's, while the XC's are a little thinner in that range. That's not necessarily a knock on them as they sound very, dare I say, open and natural in the upper midrange. I would say that those looking for the ultimate in fine detail retrieval might prefer the XC's as the X's can seem a little thick when compared with the XC's. And that's with the Lyr...an amp not necessarily known for detail retrieval.
The vocals bear this out as well. Female vocals on the X's sound thick and even a little throaty after listening to the same recording on the XC. Conversely, If I listened on the X's first and switched to the XC's, the vocals sounded thin. Neither was bad, but they were very different.
The imaging was surprisingly good from the closed back XC's. While not quite as airy, they were pinpoint. The separation between the instruments was very distinct and there was no hint of three-blob imaging. The X's did present a wider and deeper soundstage, but they do not have the same rock solid placement and separation of the instruments.
Both have wonderful extended treble without being sibilant nor grainy. You will not confuse either pair for HD800's. That said, I think I prefer the treble of the XC...at least with the notoriously warm Lyr. That may change with the Mjolnir and the Woo WA22 arrive tomorrow and next week respectively.
The bass belongs to the X's outright. Both delve the nether regions, but the bass on the X's is more natural. Kick drums have a wonderful decay and reeks of reality. Electronic bass is less muddy on the X's. The XC's have bass in truckloads, but the X's bass is more realistic.
It seems to me that the XC's have been received a little like the red-headed step sister of the vaunted X's. I'm hear to say it's more like the very pretty cousin you find yourself wanting to get to know.
Can't wait for the new amps to arrive to get even better acquainted with these two beauties.
**cross posted in the X thread as well.
Will do. I will also do the same comparison with my red wine audio amp to see if the impressions remain the same.
They look pretty damn good, better than in photographs. This one comes with the light Iroko cups. I wouldn't say they look better or worse than my TH-900 though. To me, the TH-900 would be more sensual, beautiful, but still quite understated. The LCD-XC would be handsome, masculine & imposing. Does that make any sense? The XC seems decently built, overall. The gloss/lacquer on these Iroko cups is really something, and the circular grain on this particular unit looks pretty classy. They complement the gunmetal frame quite well.
Sadly, the XC still comes with that signature Audeze Clamp, which did my head in back when I owned the LCD2.2. There might be miniscule improvements here and there, but nothing significant with regards to my head's shape. Pretty sure sure I can do 60 - 90 minute listening sessions, but anything more than that might be pushing it. Will have to wait and see, since I've not actually listened to them in anger yet. As of right now though, they're nowhere near phones like the HD800 or TH-900 in the comfort category, on my head at least.
Other impressions will come later, probably after the weekend at the earliest. I'm not even going to listen to them till they've had at least 50 hours to loosen-up. They're currently plugged into my Burson Soloist looping a playlist of various styles/genres, and will be doing so for the next few days. The girlfriend will be staying home so I've told her to give em 4 hour cycles (4hours play, 4 hours rest, repeat) while I'm at work.
Edited by kurochin - 11/22/13 at 7:55am
That's the most incestuously sexy review I've ever heard. ;)
I'm really curious about Lyr vs Mjolnir. I'm scared of sibilance from my T1 days, so I'm trying to find a neutral to warmish amp to pair with my incoming LCD-X. The only warm amp I have experience with is the WA2, and I don't think that'll be a good match. Mjolnir with the LCD-2 sounded great, but from what I'm reading about the -X, I'm afraid it'll be too bright or cold.
I'm really leaning toward the Burson Conductor as an all-in-one, but I'm considering picking up a NAD M51 and a balanced amp instead. Mjolnir's the only one I know...
First listen with my portable rig; iPod>Clas-dB>balanced>RSA71b>balanced>XCs>>>>>>WOW!
Incredibly well balanced from top to bottom.
Certainly more extended treble & a punchier bass than the LCD3s.
Note that these are impressions within minutes of initial listening...
Oh and they're absolutely freakin gorgeous
Now for some Pinnacle magic.
Since this is essentially a portable headphone, at least for me, I'd like to know which portable amps work best.
Thus far the impression I get from reading earliest reviews is it's less darker than the LCD3s, so should pair well with the RSA 71B.
The 3s have great synergy with the iQube V2. Not so great with the 71B.
Considering how well the Fiio E12 drives my Thunderpants, I think this amp should be on everyone's short list. When my local dealer gets the XC in stock I will be able to try it out.
Have been listening on my XCs - and they render my TH-900 not to be used. The U-shaped sound of the TH-900 is a big no-no for me, now that I have the more "linear" XCs. The XCs have a weekness and that is w e i g h t. I have never had any problems with the Audeze headphones with respect to ergonomics and long time use - but the XCs is on the borderline. A headphone should not be more heavy than the XCs. TH-900 owner will break their neck without getting accustomed to the XCs.
- AUDEZE LCD XC
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