Audeze LCD-2 Impressions Thread
Sep 5, 2014 at 12:16 AM Post #3,976 of 13,139
  Thanks saxelrod92 for those impressions. As it happens I was interested in all of it as I've been looking (casually) at all the phones mentioned, including the D5000 (Ebay). However, I think I'll put the D5000 aside now. The LCD-2 I used to own in Rev 1 form but found it a bit dull and heavy--don't think I could come at that one again. The HD800 can be had now in Oz for around $1000, which I guess makes it a bargain after the original $2,500 asking price here. I wish the reviews of it were a little kinder; even those who like it agree that it needs expensive coddling not to sound cold and unfriendly. Think I'll pass on that too. That leaves the T1 and HE560. Since I already own a DT880 Pro and love its neutrality, the T1 would seem an obvious choice, but it's rather expensive and too many people, even some of those who love it, say it's more of a refinement of the DT880 than a huge upgrade (+ still has the treble peak). Hmm, a lot of money for a refinement. The 560 is certainly an interesting proposition, though I'm keeping an eye on its apparent brightness.
 
Sidebar: Your comparison of subjective impressions of the D5000 with the graph is particularly interesting. On the face of it it would seem to suggest that the graph is misleading, but maybe not. Though the bass/lower mid rise is modest, it's very, very broad, so you'd expect it to have a huge impact on the sound. As for the treble squiggles, it's likely that at least one occurs in a particularly sensitive area, say that 3khz one. I don't want to suggest that one graph can identify all of a headphone's problems, especially in the treble, but I've personally found graphs rather useful, and it's rare to my ears that a graph is completely out of line with subjective impressions.


Yea I'm pretty much at the same point you are right now. although the newer lcd 2, even a pre-fazor version like the one I have from late 2013, is not too dull or heavy, just slower and smoother (in comparison to its competition that is, at that price). It's still pretty linear overall though, which I almost find is the key issue, for me, in some ways. Everything until 1 khz or so, is so perfectly linear that it automatically prevents any one thing from standing out, and that leaves the nature of sound to determine that. by which I mean the higher the frequency (in that lower mid range) the more it stands out to your ears. I think this is what plays a big role in the bass feeling softer in punch, and blending in more. because its there and awesome, but only when there aren't sounds in the other frequencies being played too (like in a normal song). you need that contrast or air and highs, with a slight punch/standalone bump in the bass area to make it be noticeable in the mix the way you want it to. I think thats the misleading aspect of bright vs. dark headphones (granted some genuinly just dont have bass). Also those terms referring to tone and not how full/thin the sound is.
 
Otherwise I too am curious about the he-560 and T1, but as you and others have noted, the T1 is like a refined dt880, and I used to have a dt990. Plus I want to use a balanced cable for my amp, so paying wayyyyyyy too much extra to moon-audio for their detachable cable mod for the T1 is just not worth it. Some review on here pointed out how they go on sale every once in a while for like 750 dollars, and that seems like a more appropriate price point for them (I'm willing to go against this statement, if I hear them one day and determine otherwise). he-560 just raises some questions of its own for me, like the durability of it's connecters, pad differences/I dont want to get into pad-rolling so a stock version has to work out for me (not willing to do grill mods, and felt removal stuff), and in terms of sound theres a few reviews that say the bass "hides" sometimes, so its inconsistent, other reviews say the bass is great like right between hd800 and lcd 2, and other reviews say it can be a bit bright (after hearing the hd800 I will say those who think the he-560 is bright in an annoying way would be the same who hate the hd800, like I will say if the hd800 was slightly less bright it would be spot on, I'm hoping the he-560 is bright within that context. basically being neutral in an organic sense vs. the hd800 hyper sharp sense), others say its smooth and neutral. So obviously this is a headphone that needs an in home trial. But the allure of having the best of the lcd 2 and the best of hd800 is really strong, esp at it's price point, and comfort level, and seemingly a good one headphone to rule them all until a better alternative appears later. (Like did hifiman ever say anything about a new he-6? as in are the he-560 and he400i the only new ones, as replacements for everything else, or is there some sort of third new model at the he-6 price point that will be the new flagship.)
 
 
As for the D5000, yea I find graphs useful too to give a good rough sense of it. I learned that very small changes in a graph can have a large impact on the sound though. and that a peak or dip in just the right area can make two totally different sound signatures. Plus it can't tell you about soundstage and imaging. Like I forgot to mention the imaging on the D5000 is not that great, its pretty left-right focused, has a really hard time with front/center positioning, does alright for back imaging, and not the best depth. The drivers sit really close to your ears, after a few months your ears do fully rest on the inner material (which is very soft actually), so they almost become on-ears. Also they are kinda semi-open, not closed. There is a seam around the entire perimeter of the ear cup that lets air out, part of the internal cup engineering. but still way more closed than an open headphone, maybe the most open closed phone.
 
Sep 5, 2014 at 12:23 AM Post #3,977 of 13,139
  If I do decide to get HD800, where can I get them for cheap?
 
Does amazon still want $1500 for them? 
 
 
 
Edit: If I was to sell my LCD-2 with fazor in mint condition, how much do you think I could get?
 
I may sell them and try HD800, if all else fails I can re-sell and buy back the LCD-2's.


Yea amazon still wants 1500 for em. I saw them used, some barely and in good condition, on here for as low as 1000-1300. So thats an option, if you aren't planning on returning them.
 
I checked ebay when I was considering selling my lcd 2 late 2013 pre-fazor model, and theres others listed there like that selling for 700-900, depending on age and condition. Plus I have the rosewood version. If you're willing to sell them, get the hd 800 and sell them (if you dont like them), you can definitely buy the lcd 2 back. if you got the he-560 you could pretty much sell the lcd 2, and get the he-560 without needing to add more money. almost a trade. but harder to resell and get the lcd 2 back of course.
 
Sep 5, 2014 at 12:35 AM Post #3,978 of 13,139
 
Yea amazon still wants 1500 for em. I saw them used, some barely and in good condition, on here for as low as 1000-1300. So thats an option, if you aren't planning on returning them.
 
I checked ebay when I was considering selling my lcd 2 late 2013 pre-fazor model, and theres others listed there like that selling for 700-900, depending on age and condition. Plus I have the rosewood version. If you're willing to sell them, get the hd 800 and sell them (if you dont like them), you can definitely buy the lcd 2 back. if you got the he-560 you could pretty much sell the lcd 2, and get the he-560 without needing to add more money. almost a trade. but harder to resell and get the lcd 2 back of course.

 
 
I wonder if I could get 800 for my fazor model, they're only like 2 months old and in mint condition still.  Pads are broken in a bit but there's no dings/scratches etc.
 
I'd only have to add ~200$ or so to get a pair of 800's then.  Will have to think about this for sure
 
Sep 5, 2014 at 12:43 AM Post #3,979 of 13,139
   
 
I wonder if I could get 800 for my fazor model, they're only like 2 months old and in mint condition still.  Pads are broken in a bit but there's no dings/scratches etc.


if they are also rosewood, you can get away with asking for more than you would with the bamboo version. simply because ebay has an unofficial "rule" that most stuff ends up selling for 20% less of the original purchase price. since the rosewood version is 150 dollars more than the bamboo, you can ask for a bit more, and it having it offered for 800-850 seems like a better deal compared to its 1145 asking price, than the bamboo one does for its 995 asking price. Just a bit of psychology at play. Same reason why people like buying stuff that is listed as "19.99" instead of just "20". Its all subconscious. Either way yea the lcd 2 of any type seems to sell pretty well on ebay or here.
 
Sep 5, 2014 at 12:46 AM Post #3,980 of 13,139
 
if they are also rosewood, you can get away with asking for more than you would with the bamboo version. simply because ebay has an unofficial "rule" that most stuff ends up selling for 20% less of the original purchase price. since the rosewood version is 150 dollars more than the bamboo, you can ask for a bit more, and it having it offered for 800-850 seems like a better deal compared to its 1145 asking price, than the bamboo one does for its 995 asking price. Just a bit of psychology at play. Same reason why people like buying stuff that is listed as "19.99" instead of just "20". Its all subconscious. Either way yea the lcd 2 of any type seems to sell pretty well on ebay or here.

 
 
Yeah they're bamboo + leather.
 
 
How much better was the imaging + detail + soundstage on the 800 vs the lcd-2? Was it an instant noticeable difference by a good margin, or just a small difference? I know people say the LCD-2 + fazor is "supposed" to have better imaging+soundstage+detail than the previous version, but I can't imagine it's a massive difference.
 
Sep 5, 2014 at 1:06 AM Post #3,981 of 13,139
   
 
Yeah they're bamboo + leather.
 
 
How much better was the imaging + detail + soundstage on the 800 vs the lcd-2? Was it an instant noticeable difference by a good margin, or just a small difference? I know people say the LCD-2 + fazor is "supposed" to have better imaging+soundstage+detail than the previous version, but I can't imagine it's a massive difference.


well I never heard the fazor version, so take this into consideration, but in comparison to a september 2013 model the hd800 is instantly noticeable to have better imaging. the soundstage is bigger, but not in the distant kind of way a lot of reviews make it out to be, its more that it just extends out infinitely, rather than having an end to it. but that just means only if a recording has a huge soundstage, will you ever really notice this difference. otherwise they are close enough to not care so much about it (unless you listen to music with massive soundstages a lot, like classical or something. I listen to a lot of metal and some ambient electronic, and a few random stuff in between). the imaging though is definitely better. like the slight improvement in air and soundstage availability really does just help place sounds/instruments exactly where they should be, and separate them from each other nicely. Plus it is super 3d holographic, meaning a sound panning from left to right does not feel like it gets lost or dimmed when its in front/center, thats the problem many headphones have. the lcd 2 images very well also, but without having as much air, there isnt as much space between sounds, but they never blend. the hd800 gives them breathing room. so both image great, just depends how much size you like.
 
to put everything I just said into context, neither headphone does soundstaging/imaging good or bad enough for me to prefer one over the other for this trait. the hd800 can have some sweet moments with binaural stuff though, and if you are not a fan of smaller soundstages, the hd 800 will give you the extra breathing room. I can see how it might be a bit too large on some stuff, but honestly I think the reviews blow that negative wayyyyy out of proportion. its just subtely too big, but it wont make anything sound wrong to you. the imaging I would miss though, it does that way too awesome lol.
 
it also has noticeably better detail. you will hear it first thing for sure. and because the hd 800 has a sharper treble, details always get noticed. which makes them impress you all the time. the lcd 2 was like that for me for the first day or so, then it got a bit dull in that respect. the hd 800 is always intense (too much so for the long term, as in fatiguing) but it sure is pretty cool to listen to like ambient electronic music with tons of subtle layers and just get your mind blown. the lcd 2 treble makes the details too quiet compared to the rest of the sound. so they are there, but you have a hard time noticing them, esp the subtle ones. and at this price point, those details make the difference between sounding amazing, and sounding like you want more. (hence why audeze has 3 models more expensive to remedy this).
 
Sep 5, 2014 at 5:57 PM Post #3,983 of 13,139
   
The difference between LCD-2C and LCD-2F is negligible.  

 
 
Comparing my freq response to the LCD-2C it's almost identical, there's like 2-3db more of treble and 2-3db less of sub-bass  I can't imagine that makes a huge difference on the sound (even though some think it does) but everything else is 99% the same from what I can tell.
 
Sep 5, 2014 at 6:41 PM Post #3,984 of 13,139
^ Indeed. But the difference between C and F claimed by Audez'e (sound-stage; imaging rather than FR) is the kind of thing that is partly track-dependent and may be a big difference or a little - all dependent on what stuff you listen to most and all the usual variables of preference and hearing :wink:
 
Sep 5, 2014 at 10:36 PM Post #3,985 of 13,139
   
 
Comparing my freq response to the LCD-2C it's almost identical, there's like 2-3db more of treble and 2-3db less of sub-bass  I can't imagine that makes a huge difference on the sound (even though some think it does) but everything else is 99% the same from what I can tell.


A couple of long-time members who compared the new and old cans, not graphs, said they just were not the same in the lower end.
 
Sep 6, 2014 at 3:31 AM Post #3,986 of 13,139
Well I finally went and done it... 
 
I never thought I could justify a pair of LCD2s. I have been eyeing the LCD2 since the first model was revealed. I was a little skeptical of the initial version for being too dark etc. But with the new fazor being available for $800 in bamboo and now that I am done school, I can finally afford them. Initially I thought they sounded too closed in and the clamping force was too much; I was actually going to return them. I don't know what changed, but the soundstage is more coherent now after about 7 hours of listening. It may be because I just worked 5 12 hour shifts, general fatigue definitely changes what I hear.
 
So overall I have no complaints. Overall definitely a class above both my hd650 and K701. I feel the entire spectrum is well represented and very balanced. The treble is great, I wouldn't call the headphone dark. It's just not airy. You can still hear the breathiness in the vocals, it's just not shoved in your face. The mids are perfect, not warm or bright. Not as smooth as the HD650, but not grating like the q701. The bass... omg the bass. Again not shoved in your face unless the recording intended it. I don't think there is anything wrong with the bass, I was kinda worried from general grumbling about the fazor on headfi. I think it may be a little blown out of proportion.
 
Somehow I feel I may not have been happy with pre fazor LCD2s. I don't feel like anything is missing with the fazor. It just sounds complete. Imaging, soundstage, tone is all there; comfort on the other hand...
 
So it gave me dull headache and I could feel the blood pulsing in my head. The clamping force is a little too much. I figured out a pretty good solution though. I noticed if I press the earcups into my head for a second or two it pre-compresses the foam, and the clamping force is noticeably less after that. I will probably get a wide headphone stand  to soften the pads up a little. 
 
Sep 6, 2014 at 3:57 AM Post #3,987 of 13,139
So it gave me dull headache and I could feel the blood pulsing in my head. The clamping force is a little too much. I figured out a pretty good solution though. I noticed if I press the earcups into my head for a second or two it pre-compresses the foam, and the clamping force is noticeably less after that. I will probably get a wide headphone stand  to soften the pads up a little. 

It is the metal headband you should stretch out, not so much the pads...stretching out the metal headband with books has been mentioned multiple times for various clamping cans. My NAD HP-50 were unwearable after one hour and they were featherweight due to bad headband design.
 
Sep 6, 2014 at 4:03 AM Post #3,988 of 13,139
  It is the metal headband you should stretch out, not so much the pads...stretching out the metal headband with books has been mentioned multiple times for various clamping cans. My NAD HP-50 were unwearable after one hour and they were featherweight due to bad headband design.

Fair enough and I agree, however spring steel doesn't stretch easily as it has a helluva memory. With the pads being more compressed it brings the headband further from its extremes. This also reduces the relative recoil of the headband and therefore less clamping force is experienced.
 
Sep 6, 2014 at 4:04 AM Post #3,989 of 13,139
  Fair enough and I agree, however spring steel doesn't stretch easily as it has a helluva memory. With the pads being more compressed it brings the headband further from its extremes. This also reduces the relative recoil of the headband and therefore less clamping force is experienced.


and your ears will touch the fazors in all likelyhood.
 
I don't use headphone stands that compress the pads anymore...it is better they just dangle to breathe out moisture build up and go back to stock shape overnight ready for the next day's thrashing !
 
Sep 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM Post #3,990 of 13,139
Just bend the crap out of the headband.  I've had mine for about a month now, and during the first week I bent them silly just before I would put them on for the evening.  Grab the headband just above the two plastic pieces, and then bend the thing until it's basically flat.  Hold, release, and repeat.  They sit very comfortably upon my head.
 

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