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Audeze LCD-3. Newcomer the Toxic Silver Widow cable takes on the incumbent king the Qaudio cable... - Page 2

post #16 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by inter voice View Post

Sam1e@  I noticed the recommended operating impedance range of your Fosgate Signature headphone amp is from 50-500 ohm but your LCD-3's impedance is only 45 ohm .  I have the feeling that your LCD-3 may not work at its best with Fosgate. Incorrect impedance will affect the overall frequency response and cause some distortion. However HD800 has an impedance of 300 ohm which should work better.  May be I am wrong.   

LCD-X has an impedance of 22 ohm which is even lower than LCD-3 but my HPA-200SE can cope with headphone impedance from 12-600 ohms while Yulong A18 can work with 16-600 ohms.

No problem according to Jim Fosgate when I checked to see if the Fosgate would cope with my 600ohm Beyer T1's, it's quite possible that the LCD-3's will sound better with a different amp, but there's no apparent problems that I can hear with the Fosgate/3 combination and no shortage of volume.
post #17 of 53

Thank you for taking the time to compare cables.  There are very few of such comparisons of hp cables to be found.  Choosing a cable is difficult as when asked which cable works best with the LCD3 (for example) you get a list of all of the cables that people own without any real head-to-head listening experience.

post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam1e View Post
 

 Sting improved in a similar manner, you gained a greater sense of the room this track was recorded in, the small ensemble and the mellowness of his voice,  I have read that this was recorded at the producers home and that you can hear the crackling of the log fire in the background with a revealing system, I'm still waiting for this revelation.

 

Check out "My One and Only Love" from that album. The crackling fire is definitely present on that track.


Edited by dermott - 2/6/14 at 11:11am
post #19 of 53

Having just changed my headamp I now prefer the stock cable - funny old world.

post #20 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by walakalulu View Post

Having just changed my headamp I now prefer the stock cable - funny old world.


What was your amp and what is the new one? Which cable were you using?

Cheers
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam1e View Post

Well folks I have had my Audeze LCD-3 for some time now and have never been truly happy with the sound, too dark I thought at first so they went back to Audeze for a check up and came back with new drivers and a new sound graph, a vast improvement giving more air to the sound and greater definition at the top which had sounded veiled before, a great sound all round but still not quite the sparkle that I wanted especially for classical music.[


First, thanks for the review. Wish there were more direct comparisons. But also interested in this first part. Did audeze have any explanation for why the original headphones were so bad? Thanks
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam1e View Post


What was your amp and what is the new one? Which cable were you using?

Cheers


I was using a NJC audio Monitor ll and now have the Trilogy 933. Was using the Toxic Cable Silver Widow. Guess I'll put it in the classifieds.

post #23 of 53

There is now a review of the LCD 3's in Hi Fi News. Very fine but not one for detail freaks due to the reticent high frequencies was the conclusion.

post #24 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gjc11028 View Post

First, thanks for the review. Wish there were more direct comparisons. But also interested in this first part. Did audeze have any explanation for why the original headphones were so bad? Thanks

It's not that they were so bad, I described it as lacking sparkle, in the early days of the LCD-3's, and the 2's there was a lot written about them being veiled or overly dark, search for veiled LCD's and see what turns up. I believed mine to have similar traits and sent them back to Audeze for a check up, they changed the drivers and when they came back the mids and highs were further forward and better defined than they had been previously, in my view quite an improvement. It's been suggested that they may have had a bad batch of drivers although this has never been confirmed by Audeze who have been nothing short of exemplary with their after sales service which is great to see from a manufacturer. For me the sound signature of these headphones is great with female vocals, guitar, jazz but not in my view for classical, they still lack sparkle for me in that area, that's not to say that a different amp wouldn't improve on that.
post #25 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by walakalulu View Post


I was using a NJC audio Monitor ll and now have the Trilogy 933. Was using the Toxic Cable Silver Widow. Guess I'll put it in the classifieds.

Interesting, my original review was produced comparing the SW with the early cotton covered version of the Qaudio cable, I now have the current production cable, slightly heavier on copper with the current production silk wrap. I'll be updating the review to include this cable in the near future.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam1e View Post

Interesting, my original review was produced comparing the SW with the early cotton covered version of the Qaudio cable, I now have the current production cable, slightly heavier on copper with the current production silk wrap. I'll be updating the review to include this cable in the near future.
Why did u buy a new cable again, while u mentioned to have chosen the SW over the q audio cable just recently?

That makes me really curious of why u did that, as all three are rather expensive cables. redface.gif
Edited by hifimanrookie - 4/6/14 at 10:52am
post #27 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

Why did u buy a new cable again, while u mentioned to have chosen the SW over the q audio cable just recently?

That makes me really curious of why u did that, as all three are rather expensive cables. redface.gif

Quite simple really, the Qaudio cable used for the review was over 12 months old and had the previous generation cotton sleeve and is no longer supplied by Qaudio in that spec, hasn't been for 12 months, the current production cable is slightly heavier in terms of copper with a greater number of strands, a shift from 22awg to 21awg and now comes wrapped in a silk sleeve. Steve at Qaudio was happy that I review his product regardless of the outcome of the review but felt that it would have been of greater value had I compared like with like, that is current spec with current spec, I thought that he had a fair point and in the interest of a balanced review suggested that he replace my existing cable with the current spec allowing me to update the review, this he generously agreed to do even though there is a good chance that the outcome of the review will be the same purely because of the darkness of the LCD-3's, I found his attitude to be quite refreshing to be honest. I'll be putting together the update in the next few weeks and posting shortly after, I have no idea whether or not there will be any difference in the outcome of the review but I'm quite interested to hear if the two Qaudios sound any different.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam1e View Post

Quite simple really, the Qaudio cable used for the review was over 12 months old and had the previous generation cotton sleeve and is no longer supplied by Qaudio in that spec, hasn't been for 12 months, the current production cable is slightly heavier in terms of copper with a greater number of strands, a shift from 22awg to 21awg and now comes wrapped in a silk sleeve. Steve at Qaudio was happy that I review his product regardless of the outcome of the review but felt that it would have been of greater value had I compared like with like, that is current spec with current spec, I thought that he had a fair point and in the interest of a balanced review suggested that he replace my existing cable with the current spec allowing me to update the review, this he generously agreed to do even though there is a good chance that the outcome of the review will be the same purely because of the darkness of the LCD-3's, I found his attitude to be quite refreshing to be honest. I'll be putting together the update in the next few weeks and posting shortly after, I have no idea whether or not there will be any difference in the outcome of the review but I'm quite interested to hear if the two Qaudios sound any different.
oh okay..thanks for explaining...looking forward to ur update
post #29 of 53
Thread Starter 

Today we have an update on my earlier review substituting the older Qaudio cable which is no longer in production with the current and revised version. I have decided to add this after Steve at Q made the point that it probably would be of greater value to fellow head-fi readers to review the current version of the Qaudio cable rather than one that they no longer produce, he makes a good point and it's difficult to disagree and as he was generous enough to supply a replacement for my old cable it would be churlish not to revisit the review.

 

Having discounted the stock cable in my original review as a serious contender I'm only going to revisit the current copper Qaudio and silver Toxic cable for this update but before doing that I'm interested to know whether or not I can hear any difference between the old and the new Qaudio cable. The new cable, as with it's predecessor, is copper litz but sees an increase in the strand count from 175 to 220 with an increase in the gauge from 22awg to 21awg, this makes the cable slightly heavier and less flexible than it's predecessor which was feather like but not a great deal, the sheathing is now French Silk rather than cotton and the connectors at the headphones are by Rean which is a Neutrik company, the amplifier termination at your choice depending on requirements, in my case a 6.3 jack.

 

 

 

 

Well as you can see from the pictures this cable compliments the LCD-3's rather nicely, brown French Silk with a rather attractive 6.3mm gold plated jack complete with a resin jacket, terrazzo style, which gives it an air of luxury, it's certainly a step up from the all black cotton predecessor I was using. As to the sound well I was pleasantly surprised to find that considering what appear on the surface to be minor differences to the specification between the two cables that there are, to my ears, noticeable sonic differences, the revised cable improves on it's predecessor in all areas, bass is deeper with tighter control and there is greater air and detail, the differences may well be subtle but they are definitely there.

So how does it compare with the Toxic Silver Widow, my preferred choice for the LCD-3 after my original review. First I have to reiterate my original comments that the LCD-3's have a dark sound signature and for me need more sparkle and definition at the upper middle and top. The Toxic cable went some way to improving that but ultimately I didn't feel that the LCD-3 gave me the clarity that I wanted with classical music, I have gone some way to resolving that by buying a pair of HD800's, although they come with a different set of sonic problems which are well documented elsewhere on head-fi but not relevant to this review. The LCD-3's with the Toxic SW are excellent for most every other genre of music and remain the least fatiguing of the set ups that I currently listen to.

 

The same set up and music choice was used to reevaluate the two cables and rather than go over old ground and detail each track I'm going to summarise my thoughts. You can take it as read that for each track I listened to I found the new Qaudio cable an improvement over it's predecessor with a wider sound stage with greater definition, quicker transients and greater air around the notes as well as tighter and deeper bass. Yes these improvements were often subtle but overall they gave a cleaner, deeper sound giving the music a greater intimacy and presence. There were few negatives in my notes, on the Lizz Wright track I noted that the top end is slightly grainy and on the Jeff Beck track that although there was greater control it just didn't sound quite right but I struggled to define why. Everything else was positive, I noted that the top was sweet on the Eva Cassidy track and that the bass was tighter with greater control on the Scott Walker track so thumbs up to Steve at Qaudio for the improvements made over the previous cable. Onto the Toxic Silver Widow, well my opinion hasn't really changed, this is still my preferred cable for the LCD-3, the Q ran it closer this time but the SW still improves the sound in all departments, albeit subtly. I guess this is down to the increase in detail at the top and upper mid range that you achieve with silver over copper that suits the LCD-3 so well, what Frank has achieved with this cable over previous incarnations of silver cable that I have heard is to take the edge of hardness off the very top end and to maintain bass at the bottom often a bit lean with silver, whether or not that's down to the integration of small amounts of gold with the silver in this cable I can't say, I'll leave that for the technically minded to comment on, it may just be that connectors and cable have improved in recent years, for me I'll trust what my ears tell me.

 

I will conclude by saying that all of the cables that I have listened to here sound great as stand alone items and would make worthwhile improvements over the stock cable, as with most high end hi-fi it's not until you are able to do a side by side comparison that you hear what you have been missing or at least think you have!  I guess that experimentation and the constant quest for improvement is a part of the audiophile bug so best enjoy the journey, me I'd dearly like to hear the Qaudio cable attached to the HD800's I now have as they suffer the exact opposite issues than the Audeze phones and then I reckon copper may prevail.


As previously,

 

Caveat emptor: The views expressed above are my personal opinions based on this headphone/cable combination played through my rig and your own experience will differ, we all have differing hearing, different rigs and even different sounding LCD-3's, there's no substitute for auditioning kit before committing to a purchase.

post #30 of 53
nevermind...:rolleyes:

Edited by Lenni - 6/8/14 at 12:35pm
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Audeze LCD-3. Newcomer the Toxic Silver Widow cable takes on the incumbent king the Qaudio cable and the Audeze stock cable.