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LCD-2 bass versus HE-6 bass

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

The Audeze LCD-2 is known for its bass, being one of the largest physical planar driver phones out there. (I should really be talking about the newer LCD-3 but I just don't own one. I am informed the bass is similar.) 

 

In both phones, the LCD-2 and the Hifiman HE-6, the bass is extremely deep and creates a pretty good illusion of the chest-thumping bass you get from speakers. You don't get the chest thump of course, but I'm just saying it's so deep and powerful that you get a physicality from it.

 

this is remarkable in the Hifiman HE-6 as its driver is considerably smaller than the LCD-2 and not really any larger than most planar magnetic headphones out there.

 

I'm driving both headphone in balanced mode from my Hifiman EF6. The DAC is a Grace m903. I'm using WyWires Red cables on both headphones.

 

My previous bass reference was the LCD-2 but I must say now I am very enamored of the HE-6. The primary difference has to do with the "thud" of bass drums. They are much more physical in the HE-6. I'm listening to two recordings right now. One is Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy. The other is Aaron Copland's Rodeo on Argo. And I'm primarily focused on bass drums right now. In Led Zeppelin it's a drum kit bass, and in Copland it's an orchestral bass drum.

 

I'm also focused on the differentiation between bass drums and other low bass instruments such as the bass guitar in Led Zepplin and the stringed basses in Copland.

 

The differentiation is slightly better in the HE-6.

 

The only thing the LCD-2 does better I think is leading edges. The whack is better in the LCD-2. While the "thud" is better in the HE-6.


Edited by markheadphonium - 5/17/14 at 7:31pm
post #2 of 11

As long as you are at it might as well tell us how they sound in other areas too, besides just the bass.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Good idea, but of course they are so different in the mids and highs it's like comparing apples to oranges. Not to mention need different amps generally. Well, I could always try some representative music and see what jumps out at me. 

 

Mark

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I should add that I'm learning that the HE-6 need an amp with very low output impedance to have good bass. They must have a very low impedance curve in the bass region. I borrowed a Woo WA6SE (tube amp) to try with the HE-6 and the bass was anemic.

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by markheadphonium View Post
 

I should add that I'm learning that the HE-6 need an amp with very low output impedance to have good bass. They must have a very low impedance curve in the bass region. I borrowed a Woo WA6SE (tube amp) to try with the HE-6 and the bass was anemic.


Should look on Headroom at the graph for the HE6, I think one of the graphs shows impedance, might help? I keep bouncing between HE6 and LCD2 and the main thing scaring me away from the HE6 is the thought of trying to find a decent amp for them.

 I can save you some time, I just did that and the graph is just a straight line with the HE6 and LCD2 right on top of each other. That must be a common trait for planar phones.


Edited by HPiper - 5/1/14 at 5:33am
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post
 


Should look on Headroom at the graph for the HE6, I think one of the graphs shows impedance, might help? I keep bouncing between HE6 and LCD2 and the main thing scaring me away from the HE6 is the thought of trying to find a decent amp for them.

 I can save you some time, I just did that and the graph is just a straight line with the HE6 and LCD2 right on top of each other. That must be a common trait for planar phones.

Not sure it is hard to find a amp for the he-6.  it is hard to find a headphone amp for them.  the world is full of decent speaker amps

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post
 


Should look on Headroom at the graph for the HE6, I think one of the graphs shows impedance, might help? I keep bouncing between HE6 and LCD2 and the main thing scaring me away from the HE6 is the thought of trying to find a decent amp for them.

 I can save you some time, I just did that and the graph is just a straight line with the HE6 and LCD2 right on top of each other. That must be a common trait for planar phones.

Thanks for checking that. Interesting, they have almost the same impedance. I think that the part about being a straight line is typical for planar magnetic headphones.

post #8 of 11

OP, I'm pretty sure HE6 has a larger effective driver area than LCD2. The driver diametre is larger on LCD2 but the actual magnet array / tracing pattern is only a vertical rectangle that fits into the circular driver; HE6 on the other hand, has a tracing pattern that covers the span of the entire driver area, and magnets all across also.

 

To answer your question about the physicality of the bass, it has to do with the transient speed of the driver diaphragm when reproducing low frequencies, which in itself is the result of a combination of diaphragm membrane thickness / material type, tensioning / rigidity, very precise damping scheme, tracing pattern / magnet array layout.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

OP, I'm pretty sure HE6 has a larger effective driver area than LCD2. The driver diametre is larger on LCD2 but the actual magnet array / tracing pattern is only a vertical rectangle that fits into the circular driver; HE6 on the other hand, has a tracing pattern that covers the span of the entire driver area, and magnets all across also.

 

To answer your question about the physicality of the bass, it has to do with the transient speed of the driver diaphragm when reproducing low frequencies, which in itself is the result of a combination of diaphragm membrane thickness / material type, tensioning / rigidity, very precise damping scheme, tracing pattern / magnet array layout.

Interesting. Certainly the bass on the HE-6 is very deep and powerful. I'm starting to think it's a little overly punchy however. There's a bit of fatigue with it--however, it might be in the recording, or it might be in the CD player I'm borrowing (a Cambridge Audio) while I've loaned out my Grace m903. I have to get the Grace back to evaluate this properly.

 

I'll do a more thorough review of the LCD-3 (I now have an LCD-3 and sold the LCD-2) versus HE6. In a little bit.

 

Mark

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

OP, I'm pretty sure HE6 has a larger effective driver area than LCD2. The driver diametre is larger on LCD2 but the actual magnet array / tracing pattern is only a vertical rectangle that fits into the circular driver; HE6 on the other hand, has a tracing pattern that covers the span of the entire driver area, and magnets all across also.

 

To answer your question about the physicality of the bass, it has to do with the transient speed of the driver diaphragm when reproducing low frequencies, which in itself is the result of a combination of diaphragm membrane thickness / material type, tensioning / rigidity, very precise damping scheme, tracing pattern / magnet array layout.

By any chance are you familiar with, and would be able to tell me, how these factors are different in the LCD-3 (note I have upgraded to the LCD-3) and the HE-6? 

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by markheadphonium View Post
 

By any chance are you familiar with, and would be able to tell me, how these factors are different in the LCD-3 (note I have upgraded to the LCD-3) and the HE-6? 

Those are insider info that both Audeze and Hifiman engineers hold close to heart, I'm afraid.

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