Audeze lcd-2 Reliability Issues!?
Nov 22, 2020 at 12:04 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

Karlsushi

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Hi all,

I have some 4 year old Audeze LCD-2's and am really disappointed that one of the drivers has failed.

I can see a few reports on the Internet of this being a recurring issue, which of course Audeze strongly dispute.

As they are out of warranty and I live outside the US, it is looking increasingly likely that my £899 headphones are destined for the dustbin.

I sent them to a very knowledgeable audio engineer who I know, and he suggests that the issue is due to a poor quality bolt fixing, which has no flexibility and therefore creates a rigid connection point between the driver and cable, which is likely to fail again if I do decide to fork out for a new driver.

I have only ever treated the headphones with the utmost care and am really disappointed that a pair of headphones at a shade under £1k have been apparently built so poorly.

So I have 3 options:

1. Spend a fortune on getting them repaired (with the risk that they will fail again)

2. Buy a new pair of the LCD-2's

3. Take the hit and look elsewhere.

I love(d) the sound from my LCD-2s and I am really torn.

Is anyone aware if the newer versions of the LCD-2 have had this design fault improved?

I would ask Audeze, but to confirm they have improved them would be to admit there was a problem in the first place, so I'm not convinced they will admit to an issue with their older models.

Any advice?
 
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Nov 22, 2020 at 12:30 PM Post #3 of 14

Karlsushi

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Send your finding to Audeze with your receipt see if they would do damage control?
Still waiting for a response.

Their website says to contact your local dealer if outside the US. Which I did and was told they're not taking on any repair work currently (due to Covid of course).

I did find a different dealer willing to send them to Audeze thankfully, but haven't had a quote for the damage yet. I'm not expecting it to be cheap.
 
Nov 22, 2020 at 9:46 PM Post #4 of 14

silversurfer616

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Don’t think driver failure has anything to do with the connection between cable and driver. Been there and payed a lot of money for driver replacement and shipping as I am located in New Zealand. But it’s worth it as you get a new 3 year warranty and the drivers are an improved version now.
In my case my volume on the amp was up when I plugged them in...!
 
Nov 23, 2020 at 10:22 PM Post #6 of 14

gooeyrich

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Honestly, every high-end headphone manufacturer needs to do what Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser do, which is make replacement parts and/or servicing readily available.

It just adds so much value to the product.
 
Nov 23, 2020 at 11:19 PM Post #7 of 14

CoryGillmore

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Don’t think driver failure has anything to do with the connection between cable and driver. Been there and payed a lot of money for driver replacement and shipping as I am located in New Zealand. But it’s worth it as you get a new 3 year warranty and the drivers are an improved version now.
In my case my volume on the amp was up when I plugged them in...!
Oh damn...are you supposed to lower the volume on your amp when plugging in headphones? Even if there's no music playing? Could be why a driver on my 1AM2 failed if so...
 
Nov 23, 2020 at 11:22 PM Post #8 of 14

silversurfer616

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Oh damn...are you supposed to lower the volume on your amp when plugging in headphones? Even if there's no music playing? Could be why a driver on my 1AM2 failed if so...
It happened to me twice( yes, I am that dumb) with music playing at high volume and twice the drivers were damaged.
 
Nov 24, 2020 at 3:40 AM Post #9 of 14

Karlsushi

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Definitely didn't damage the driver due to high volumes. The way my audio engineer explained it to me, is that the bolt/terminal used on this version of the LCD2 (2016) is very rigid (see photo) and so it puts undue pressure on the drive unit every time you move the headband to put the headphones on and off your head.

I can only go on his opinion as I'm no engineer myself, but in his view, replacing the driver is just a ticking timebomb for the same thing to happen again at some point.

Whether Audeze have improved this part of the design in the newer models I don't know. They certainly claim to have improved reliability. But if they are still using the same terminal fixing on the newer models, then I will be looking elsewhere when I upgrade/replace.

Audeze repeated the same wording as is on their website in their response to me, stating that they have hundreds of thousands of headphones in circulation and only a very small percentage are returned with problems. The LCD2s have only been in production a few years, so I guess time will start to tell. They do provide a 3 year warranty on the drivers, which is actually not bad for planar headphones (Hifiman only give you a year!).

If you ask me, a set of £899 headphones should last a life-time if used carefully. But I guess times have changed there.

A pair of my Grandfathers old Stax electrostats are still working away happily at my Dad's house. 40+ years and counting and they have never needed a repair. Maybe I've just been unlucky with my LCD2s. Maybe not.

Anyway, I now have the direct contact details of the UK distributor, so hoping they can help to at least let me know what the cost of repair is looking like.
 

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Nov 25, 2020 at 6:48 AM Post #10 of 14

Karlsushi

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Update on this for anyone interested.

Following a direct question about the dodgy terminal, Audeze have clarified that they no longer use this kind of fixing on the terminals and now instead use a solder joint between the terminal and the driver plate.

Potentially good news for reliability for anyone owning the newer LCD2s and perhaps reassurance for anyone looking to purchase.

Not so good news for anyone that owns the older models (including yours truly).

Cost of repair has now been confirmed at £432 GBP.

Question is, does an acknowledgement that the terminal has now been improved equate to an admission of a design fault in the older models of the LCD2 !?

:thinking:
 
Nov 29, 2020 at 7:42 PM Post #11 of 14

JoeTho

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Add my name to the list. My right driver died 2 nights ago. I was listening to them, paused the music to go make coffee, returned and hit play and only the left driver played. I was using the Audeze Deckard amp when it happened. Mine was purchased new in 2014, so no warranty. Audeze said for $480 they'd replace both drivers, fazors, and pads.
 
Nov 30, 2020 at 2:07 AM Post #12 of 14

Karlsushi

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On a slightly more positive note, I have been told that the replacement drivers use the newer soldered terminals, so in theory should be more reliable. Plus, you get a new 3 year warranty on them.

There is no doubt in my mind that there is a design fault with the older models and maybe someone with more time and inclination might decide to fight it out with them.

Hopefully the new terminal means they last more than another 4 years this time...but I think I'll probably be selling them on before then...
 
Jan 29, 2022 at 3:46 PM Post #13 of 14

bad wu

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Your situation is the same as mine, I am from China, and my lcd3f was finally a retro ornament due to an out-of-warranty failure. It is a pity that this situation is not an exception. Players in China are already well aware of the quality of audeze. But I really like the sound of audeze, and bought their limited edition headphones lcd24 shortly after, but unfortunately it broke down in just a few months. Since I am not in the United States, the repair is very painful. Regardless of the time to go, just the freight plus the tariff can add up to the lcd2. I have consulted audeze and the reply is basically the same as yours, saying that there are many audeze headphones that can be used for ten years. However, flat earphones are indeed very easy to damage. In order to improve the reliability of flat headphones, the thickness of the diaphragm needs to be increased, but at the cost of reducing performance, audeze seems to be unwilling to compromise. Audeze has a very loose warranty policy for headphones purchased in the United States. Even if they are overseas or even out of warranty, they can be repaired for free. The warranty policies of dealers in other countries are not sure whether there are differences. I even bought hifiman's he1000 after the lcd3f failure and used it for half a year without any problems. This is the point that I am unhappy with audeze. If this repair can be successfully returned, I may only sell the lcd24. It is not that I don't like it, but I dare not use it.
 
Feb 1, 2022 at 11:25 PM Post #14 of 14

CoryGillmore

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Add my name to the list. My right driver died 2 nights ago. I was listening to them, paused the music to go make coffee, returned and hit play and only the left driver played. I was using the Audeze Deckard amp when it happened. Mine was purchased new in 2014, so no warranty. Audeze said for $480 they'd replace both drivers, fazors, and pads.
Wow that's damn near what I paid for my used LCD2C. Might even be a little more, I got a good deal on them.
 

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