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Audeze LCD-4 - Page 81

post #1201 of 5123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Middy View Post

Wild cat and shembot, Superstars of the day.

An honest and eloquent review. thanks Shembot. But if that's a snippet, I better order the hard back edition. 8^p Can't wait for further relaxed views.

Just need to get some second hand HD 800s and some black plasticote spray.... ..

Have a good one gents..


You might be able to get my HD800. :P Or my LCD-3F or LCD-X or HD700 or NightHawk.

 

And I guess that's the TL;DR of my TL;DR review.

post #1202 of 5123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sathyam View Post
 

 

Great preview! Can't wait for my LCD-4 to come in. What source and Amp are you using?


You literally quoted the line where I said my gear chain is in my signature. :P But to answer your question, Gungnir Multibit (via both Toslink and USB through Wyrd) and Mjolnir 2 with '74 Reflektor SWGP Silver Shield tubes.

post #1203 of 5123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shembot View Post


You literally quoted the line where I said my gear chain is in my signature. :P But to answer your question, Gungnir Multibit (via both Toslink and USB through Wyrd) and Mjolnir 2 with '74 Reflektor SWGP Silver Shield tubes.

smily_headphones1.gif
post #1204 of 5123
Very interesting thank you. I have not been a fan of the LCD3F presentation of acoustic guitar. So, it looks like the treble is better with the LCD4. I would definetly like to try them.
post #1205 of 5123
Great write-up, Shembot!

I've often found that with higher end gear, sometimes the initial impressions don't blow you away, but once you adapt to something of higher quality and then go BACK to something of lesser quality, then you really can appreciate the differences. I think sometimes people expect massive improvements to be apparent upon first listen, when sometimes - as you pointed out - it takes a little time to fully appreciate them.

Can't wait to give these a listen!
post #1206 of 5123
Headphones that are great overall, without some particular aspect that strikes you may not wow in short auditions. If you listen to the HD800 briefly the soundstage will wow you, if you listen to the LCD2.2c the bass will wow you, it's only over longer sessions that you might realise the drawbacks.

I'll be interested to hear these, although a faster, more resolving LCD-3 with better treble and soundstage... sounds a lot like the HE6 I already have. Doubt the premium being asked for here will be worth it for me. That said, pretty soon I'll have the finances to go Abyss/Stax/LCD-4, so nothing is certain at this point.
post #1207 of 5123
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZtechfreak View Post

Headphones that are great overall, without some particular aspect that strikes you may not wow in short auditions. If you listen to the HD800 briefly the soundstage will wow you, if you listen to the LCD2.2c the bass will wow you, it's only over longer sessions that you might realise the drawbacks.

I'll be interested to hear these, although a faster, more resolving LCD-3 with better treble and soundstage... sounds a lot like the HE6 I already have. Doubt the premium being asked for here will be worth it for me. That said, pretty soon I'll have the finances to go Abyss/Stax/LCD-4, so nothing is certain at this point.

 

The biggest thing I notice right away going back to the LCD-3F after listening to the LCD-4 is that it sounds more like you're listening through transducers. If you've listened to the LCD-3F against the LCD-X, for example, you may have heard a clear upgrade in resolution from the X to the 3F (in addition to the different tuning). The jump from the 3F to the 4 is a similar order of magnitude, but since the 3F is already quite good, the 4 gets to the point where you can't pick out the feeling of listening through "speakers." If I could somehow make the LCD-4 weightless, I'd swear I wasn't wearing headphones at all, whereas to my ear the LCD-3F isn't quite there. I thought it was pretty close until I heard the 4. :) Of course, this matters more in some genres than others.

 

Additionally, Audeze's 30-day return policy makes it easier to evaluate these headphones without respect to the price. It hasn't been said yet, but often some people question impressions of higher-priced gear due to the idea that the person just spent a lot of money and therefore wants it to be worth it. I'm biased like everyone else, but to the extent possible, I don't think my impressions are colored by the price or by the position of the LCD-4 in the lineup. I'd have been just as happy to return it and keep my 3F if I didn't hear a clear improvement. Right now, my thinking is that I will keep the LCD-4 because it'd be hard to go back having heard it.

 

On the HE-6 comparison: I actually just borrowed a modded HE-6 from a friend and listened critically to it for a while. I don't know all of the mods that were in place and how the modded tuning compares to stock, but I will say that the HE-6 was significantly brighter (the LCD-4 retains the darker Audeze house sound), and its soundstage and imaging were not nearly as coherent as the LCD-4 to my ear. In my opinion, the comparison isn't really apples to apples as they are very different headphones. In terms of resolution and distortion characteristics, my ears tell me that the LCD-4 exceeds the HE-6 example I listened to by a significant margin. The HE-6 is a very special headphone, though, I will say -- I enjoyed it very much.


Edited by Shembot - 10/28/15 at 5:50pm
post #1208 of 5123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shembot View Post
 

This is just a small teaser, but it's also sort of a TL;DR of my impressions. You can see my gear chain in my signature.

 

This is only my opinion; I am biased, like everyone else, and I haven't heard everything in the world.

 

To my ear, the LCD-4 is like the LCD-3F except it's much faster, it's much more resolving, it's much smoother, it's much more refined, it's much more linear, it doesn't have any rolloff on the bass, and the treble is vastly better than previous LCDs or other headphones I own. Audeze house sound remains intact. '

 

The LCD-4 sounds less like music is coming out of transducers than simply appearing out of thin air, and this effect is especially noticeable when you go from the LCD-4 to other headphones (including the LCD-3F and even to some extent the HD800). All of the detail is there and more, yet it's presented very naturally. It's a stark contrast from the treble-emphasized/peaky headphones that we typically think of as the most "detailed," and it takes a bit of listening to adapt to its presentation (this is not one of those headphones that I could take a quick listen to at a show and expect to go "wow").

 

Soundstage width and imaging are natural, not excessive; depth is above average, and height is readily perceivable (particularly with drums -- in good recordings, I can hear exactly where the drums and cymbals are in the kit in all 3 dimensions without difficulty). Distortion is lower than I've ever heard in another headphone. Listening fatigue is nonexistent -- this is easily the least fatiguing headphone I've ever experienced, without any loss of detail.

 

Comfort is slightly better than previous LCDs due to the new headband, but it's still an LCD.

 

There's one issue that I've confirmed with Audeze is not a QC problem, but rather seems to be a characteristic of the headphone: if you turn up the volume quite loud on tracks with high energy in the low end, you may experience mechanical vibration that causes buzzing. I've heard this on every planar magnetic headphone I've tried once I get the volume high enough or take the headphones off, but it occurs at lower volumes on the LCD-4 (perhaps because it's so sensitive?). In my listening, there's only one song where I've had this issue come up in a significant way, and that was at volumes that are above safe listening levels -- but not much above. This may be of relevance to you if you're a basshead and listen very loud. I suspect for most listeners this will be a non-issue.

 

The LCD-4 excels at all genres, but it is especially magical with acoustic guitar and tracks with well-recorded percussion. Cymbals sound divine. As I told one questioner, though, be mindful of the type of music you listen to when considering the LCD-4. If I only listened to EDM, for example (the genre I was asked about), I would not find the upgrade from the LCD-X to the LCD-4 worth the large price difference. Sure, the LCD-4 is more technically capable, but computer generated music, by-and-large, doesn't make the most of these capabilities, and the specific tuning of the LCD-X in particular is well-suited to that genre (yielding perhaps a slightly more energetic experience). I find that the LCD-4 is best with real, recorded instruments. That said, if you listen to other genres in addition to EDM, the LCD-4 is no slouch and will present all of them with finesse. 

 

Again, this is only my opinion; I am biased, like everyone else, and I haven't heard everything in the world. Take these as initial impressions only, and only as experienced through one set of ears. If you're serious about an LCD-4, I would strongly recommend taking advantage of Audeze's new 30-day return policy, as these headphones really need (and deserve) a longer audition than you could experience at a show, and preferably one on your own upstream gear.

Thanks for the very detailed and helpful initial impressions! 

 

I see you also own the LCD-X, how does it compare to the LCD-4 overall (vocals, jazz, rock)? I'm looking to get my first pair of Audeze but have only heard the X, which I preferred over the 3F as I found the mids more forward and engaging, but now that the 4 is out it is going to take me a while to decide (as no demo of the 4 where I live). If the LCD-4 is significantly better than LCD-X overall I might just get the 4 for future-proofing. 

post #1209 of 5123
Quote:
Originally Posted by prismstorm View Post
 

Thanks for the very detailed and helpful initial impressions! 

 

I see you also own the LCD-X, how does it compare to the LCD-4 overall (vocals, jazz, rock)? I'm looking to get my first pair of Audeze but have only heard the X, which I preferred over the 3F as I found the mids more forward and engaging, but now that the 4 is out it is going to take me a while to decide (as no demo of the 4 where I live). If the LCD-4 is significantly better than LCD-X overall I might just get the 4 for future-proofing. 


To my ear, the LCD-4 is a significant technical upgrade over the LCD-X in vocals, jazz, and most rock. I say "most" because the LCD-X is a fun and engaging headphone that can excel with certain types of music that relies less on perfect technical reproduction and more on raw energy. My ears tell me the 4 is much more resolving and has much better treble, imaging, sound stage, and speed, while sounding less like listening "through headphones." On the other hand, the LCD-X has a more visceral presentation that some people may prefer with certain types of music even though the X is not as strong as the 4 in technical terms. I do feel that the LCD-4 is the stronger headphone overall and, since I listen to a wide variety of genres, it's probably the better choice for me. But if you listen to music that the X does very well, and your ultimate goal is not the highest technical performance but rather a simply fun listening experience, then it may not be worth the extra money to upgrade.

 

I can't emphasize enough that these are only my opinions and I haven't heard everything (gear or music) in the world, so I do recommend trying for yourself if you're seriously considering the upgrade. :)

post #1210 of 5123
Shembot: Do you think then that an LCD-X owner could add an LCD-4 and not feel as if the X was obsolete, at least with certain genres?
post #1211 of 5123
oth Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post

Shembot: Do you think then that an LCD-X owner could add an LCD-4 and not feel as if the X was obsolete, at least with certain genres?


Yes, I think to the right person it's possible. Purely as a hypothetical example, I could potentially see an EDM enthusiast who also listens to other genres preferring the X for EDM (or other electronic music for that matter). But please don't take that as me saying "the X is better than the 4 at EDM," because I don't think that's strictly true, and the reality is more nuanced than that and will vary from person to person. 

 

Naturally, with unlimited money and space, owning every headphone you like might be ideal, allowing you to use your favorite for each genre. I'd keep them all if I could reasonably do so, just because I like Audeze headphones. That said, LCD-4 and LCD-X are, together, a large investment in headphones for similar sound signatures and form factors, with one the clear technical leader. I suspect most LCD-4 owners will find the headphone to be the only LCD they need.

 

I do think that it's more possible for someone to want both the LCD-4 and the LCD-X than for someone to want both the LCD-4 and the LCD-3F, though, if that makes sense. To my ear, the LCD-X has a rather unique tuning and presentation that differs from the LCD-4 to a greater degree than the LCD-3F differs from the LCD-4.


Edited by Shembot - 10/28/15 at 7:40pm
post #1212 of 5123
That's great info man, thanks so much
post #1213 of 5123

Shembot: Are vocals more laid-back on the LCD-4 compared to the X, as it was the case when I compared the 3F to the X and the 4 from your description sounds more like an enhanced version of the 3's sound signature while X is still the uniquely tuned LCD in the whole family. And yes I agree that if I am to own more than one Audeze headphone I would also go with the 4 and X since they sound like they have more difference than say, owning the 3F and the 4, so it would be less redundant.

 

How is the LCD-X and 4 out of the Gungnir MB and Mjolnir 2? Do they both sound equally spectacular or one more so than the other? I am also very much eyeing this Dac Amp combination to pair with my Audeze of choice in the future, although I have also heard great things about the Wa7d + Wa7tp with the LCDs, and I have not heard any Audeze out of either of these setups.  

post #1214 of 5123
Quote:
Originally Posted by prismstorm View Post
 

Shembot: Are vocals more laid-back on the LCD-4 compared to the X, as it was the case when I compared the 3F to the X and the 4 from your description sounds more like an enhanced version of the 3's sound signature while X is still the uniquely tuned LCD in the whole family. And yes I agree that if I am to own more than one Audeze headphone I would also go with the 4 and X since they sound like they have more difference than say, owning the 3F and the 4, so it would be less redundant.

 

How is the LCD-X and 4 out of the Gungnir MB and Mjolnir 2? Do they both sound equally spectacular or one more so than the other? I am also very much eyeing this Dac Amp combination to pair with my Audeze of choice in the future, although I have also heard great things about the Wa7d + Wa7tp with the LCDs, and I have not heard any Audeze out of either of these setups.  

 

Yes, vocals are more laid-back to my ear. I wouldn't simplify the 4 to an "enhanced 3F," though...it's more resolving and more linear. I find bass and subbass are much better; the frequency response graph of the LCD-4 is flat all the way down past 20 kHz, unlike the LCD-3F which rolls off a bit. I find that my LCD-3F also has a bit of a lower treble bump that is not present in the 4.

 

LCD-X and LCD-4 are both outstanding out of the GMB and MJ2. They sound equally spectacular in their own ways, at least with my chain. I have auditioned the WA7d (WA7+WA7tp, with both the stock and Gold Pin tubes), and it's a fine amp, but I think the Schiit delivers better value. The WA7d's DAC sounded about the same as the Modi 1 to my ear, so you'd really be paying that price for the amp and would still need a good DAC in my opinion. For that reason, I didn't find it to be a very good value by comparison to Schiit's offerings -- and this was before Multibit. Your mileage may vary, though, and you'll likely want to audition both before making a decision.

post #1215 of 5123

Here, I'll post these frequency response graphs for my LCD-4, LCD-3F, and LCD-X. Frequency response graphs don't tell the whole story, especially for the LCD-4 with its much faster driver and lower distortion than most other headphones, but it'll give you some comparative idea.

 

 

 

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