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Audeze LCD-2 Impressions Thread

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  1. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Yes and no, the sub bass may be ruler flat, but the amplitude it can reach may not be very great so even if it can reproduce a very low frequency, it may be hard to hear. The LCD 2F is not making much audible at 20hz no matter what the measurements say, nor is the TH 600. I agree that the perception of deeper doesn't mean actually deeper frequencies are being produced well, there are always chamber reflections/refractions with closed headphones, and if what you mean is that the TH 600 sounds deeper, but it may be the extraneous  effects of the chamber refractions making it sound artificially deep, then I agree that is possible if not probable. But we are talking about perception here and I do think that many people would hear the TH 600 as "going deeper". As well, I'm not sure that it doesn't go deeper in the real sense of the concept, and at a greater amplitude.
     
    I will need to have time to test which right now I lack due to other commitments. My comments, which I stand by, were in the context of people who are leaning toward bass-head preferences, which I do a little, and as does the OP I was responding to. So with that in mind, and acknowledging your correct point about perception and reality in a purely measurement sense potentially differing, I agree that it may be nothing more than perception of greater depth from the TH 600, but regardless, as it stands now, and it may change with more listening/testing, I perceive the TH 600 as being deeper sounding.
     
  2. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Just took a quick look at some measurements over at innerfiddelity and they do indeed suggest that the TH 600 could have greater amplitude in the deeper regions, but the LCD 2 would be cleaner sounding. This does seem to support how I hear things. I would like to look at some CRD plots, but if somebody else who feels comfortable discussing these issues please by all means. I have lots to learn and I have never pretended to be the most technically proficient audiophile so I do enjoy learning from others.
     
  3. Danz03
    I agree that the LCD-2 has more or less the right amount of bass and sub bass that is needed to reproduce recorded music accurately. I've demoed the TH900 when I was in Japan, I didn't think it had deeper bass than LCD-2, it just was more bass heavy to me. While I agree that the LCD-2 or LCD-X can produce the equivalent amount of bass and sub bass sonically as most monitor speakers down to 16Hz, it can never reproduce the LFE like real speakers, as LFE or sub bass below 16Hz can only be felt, not heard; like how one can feel the bass drum pounding on one's chest in a night club or live show, one just can't get that with headphones or IEMs. Even a cheap subwoofer can produce LFE better than the most expensive or accurate headphones ever available. The only way for headphones to reproduce sub bass realistically like sub woofers is to use an LFE system like a 'silent subwoofer'. I've been using the SubPac system which is quite compact and portable if I need to mix music with a lot of sub bass using my LCD-X.
     
    Quote:
     
  4. MRC001
    That's true, though there are couple things happening here. First, there never will be strong "audible" bass at 20 Hz simply because of the human ear response - it's close the lower threshold of hearing. It can be hard to hear for some people, even at realistic amplitudes. Also, most natural acoustic music doesn't have much energy at 20 Hz. The lowest note on a standard electric bass guitar is E at 41 Hz. So we're talking a full octave below that. However, these are facts independent of the headphone so we can ignore it and focus on the amplitude question.
     
    Your point is valid: just because a headphone has flat frequency response to 20 Hz and below doesn't mean it can reproduce those sounds at realistic levels. However, I've seen frequency response tests of the LCD-2 made at 90 dB SPL, and it is still ruler flat to below 20 Hz at that amplitude with distortion still well below 1%. 90 dB is very loud - maximum safe exposure is about 2 hours. The LCD-2 are rated and capable of putting out more power than a normal human can safely withstand without hearing damage across their entire frequency range.
     
  5. MRC001
     
    That's true, and I suppose it's why some headphones boost the low bass - to compensate for that. It's also why it takes some time to get used to headphone listening - if you're used to experiencing ultra-low bass, we perceive it differently on headphones. When listening on headphones, many people must increase the bass in order to hear the sound subjectively the same or "flat" compared to in-room sounds or speakers. I believe that as people gain experience listening on headphones, they train their brains to "listen" to the bass differently and no longer need to make that adjustment.
     
  6. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Agree about getting used to headphones, although I have used both headphones and speakers together for years, yes, bass, and the "super stereo" effect of headphones does take some getting used to. With my speaker rig I have two REL subs supporting my monitor speakers so I completely agree that how we perceive sub bass with headphones is quite different.
     
  7. marcan
    I would like to add that the LCD goes very low without audible distortion. And this makes an important difference in the perception of sub bass. Actually a distortion to a 30hz sound will adds harmonics in the frequency above (60, 120, ...) and the brain will see it as a 30hz sound. It's a well known psyco acoustic trick often used in studio.These harmonics will be perceived as louder because our ears are more sensible at 60 and 120hz than 30hz.
    But it ain't real subs.Matter of fact distortion will give the impression to have more subs but it will mess up your bass (the harmonics from the subs will compete with the bass).
    That's one of the reason bass on planar are more defined and textured. And I don't think a dynamic headphone is capable of that because the resistive nature and the weight of a electro dynamic driver simply don't allow it.
    Anyway, in order to easily check the distortion try with a pure test tone.
     
  8. MRC001
    This is a real and interesting phenomena. All sounds in nature have frequencies that follow a progression: 1:2:3:... When a trumpet, flute and cello play A=440, or if a wildebeest farts at 440 Hz, all these sounds have the same harmonics: 440, 880, 1320, 1760, etc. Since they all have the same fundamental and harmonics, why do they sound different? It is the relative difference in amplitude of harmonics that makes the wildebeest fart sound different from a flute.
     
    Now suppose your ear hears a sound with energy at 60, 90, 120, and 150 Hz. Your brain knows, from listening to natural sounds, that the fundamental can't be 60 Hz. If it were, the frequencies would be 60, 120, 180, etc. Because the frequency ratios of ALL natural sounds are the same, your brain and perceptual memory know that the sound you heard cannot exist in nature. Energy at 60, 90, 120, 150, etc. can ONLY come from a sound that has a fundamental at 30 Hz, which wasn't there. So, your brain fabricates the perception of a 30 Hz tone that you "hear" even when it's not there.
     
    It's an amazing psychoacoustic fact that speaker manufacturers take advantage of - psychoacoustically, the speaker goes an octave lower than the frequencies it actually emits. However, the illusion of missing fundamental that your brain fills in is not perfect. If you hear the tone with the missing fundamental side by side to compared to the same sound with the fundamental, you can easily hear the difference. And that is part of the difference of what one hears in a headphone like the LCD-2 that has virtually perfect bass response.
     
  9. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Thank you, and yes, I had already acknowledged that the bass was of better quality and cleaner. That said, some genres do well with some minor bass distortion and the harmonic shift effect you are discussing. Electronica for one often employs some intentional distortion effects. But yes, without question, the ability to portray effortless, and very low distortion bass is most certainly a planar strength that only the very best dynamic drivers approach.
     
    I'm a fan of both the LCD 2F and the TH 600, and for pure bass enjoyment if I was forced to choose, I suspect it would be the LCD 2F as the bass is very versatile, tactile and very clean. I can shed some sub bass response (such as it is) from a headphone in favour of more engaging bass. Still, I hope people who haven't heard the TH 600 don't just dismiss it, it is pretty solid and overall quality bass with some solid impact.
     
  10. Madcat207
    So, just a new owner of an older pair of LCD-2' popping in (but not from the above advertisement)...
     
    Joined the club last week after spotting a pair on CL for $420; they are certainly first edition (straight connector, exposed metal and foam headband), but work and look great (they are the rosewood cups, with no cracks for blems).  My other good pair of cans are my HD650s (part of the excitement in finding these is knowing the LCD-2s are considered to have a similar sound signature).  I must say, so far, i am not at all disappointed.  Certainly stronger and cleaner bass, and even the mids and high end are more pleasing.  My HD's are more portable for work, but i think i do enjoy the LCDs more..
     
    That said, given that they are older, the cable is in poor shape, and the exposed foam is showing its age, and i kinda felt they were in need of refurbishing (which will actually lead to a question here in a second..).  I found some nice new shorter cables, and hopefully they are lighter and last longer (seriously.. the stock cable is massively beefy, and mine is pretty worn for its age...).  The headband was another issue though.. while functional, the metal and exposed decaying foam felt like something out of the 80s, and i just wasn't having it.  One i got the cans, i read around and saw the upgrade CF headband (ill be blunt, i LOVE CF things...i was excited), i did some searching, and ran across this on ebay:
     
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audeze-LCD-Carbon-Fiber-Headband-/172271850779
     
    I admit that the price is right, and i bought it... but the crack that it has does make me a bit nervous (hence my question): How much am i at risk of that crack propagating given the flexing nature of the headband.  I have some good clear epoxy i can use to help brace it, but i am ever so slightly worried i just pissed $100 away.  And more so.. are these cracks in their make of headbands like this common?
     
  11. fiascogarcia
    I don't own the headband, but I've not read anything about cracking of those headbands.  Epoxy is probably a good idea to at least slow down the crack, as I assume there is stress there from flexing.  On the other hand, the crack may only be on the clearcoat on the surface, which would be less of an issue.  IMO
     
  12. MRC001
     
    Audeze has great service. You got the LCD-2 for a great price. Why not contact them to send your LCD-2 to get it completely refurbished? You might also inquire whether they can upgrade or replace it with the Fazor model. Some people like the more laid back original LCD-2 sound, but to my ears the Fazor was a big improvement. It has cleaner transient response and more natural sounding treble.
     
  13. Madcat207
    Ill think about it, but truth be told, i don't want to sink as much money into it as i would have paid for a new pair as it is.  I figure the base price plus the few add-ons keps its total price something i am comfortable with in the used range.
     
    Not to mention, but i love the lush sound, and am actually a bit put off by too much treble.  Having read several other people like the original models of these cans, i so far have to agree that it really is a beautiful sound.  Maybe someday down the line, or if i find a new one i can compare it to, but for now.....
     
  14. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Yes, the fazor really has plenty of treble action so you might be just with the right version already. Get a new cable and you will be fine.
     
  15. DavidA
    I agree with @Sonic Defender, the older LCD-2s are warmer more laid back than the new fazor ones, so unless you get to audition a newer driver version stick with what you have for now.
     
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