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Audeze LCD-2C Classic - Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by XERO1, Oct 7, 2017.
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  1. Hifi59
    I’ve owned both 2015 and 2016 versions of the Lcd-2f. I liked the 2015 version for its creamier sound better but both were very good. Having said that, I had no doubt at the time that they were not at the same level as my lcd-3f ,lcd-X or lcd-4, but I still liked them. It’s different with the 2C to me. They’re more on the same playing field of the others as far as tonality goes and for sheer musical enjoyment. It’s not a honeymoon period thing. I’ve been listening for a long time and that’s one thing I make sure is not the reason why I like a new member of my headphone collection.
    TokenGesture and trellus like this.
  2. joeexp
    The problem with the LCD2-F is, that none of them sound the same.
    I had 3 of them!
    2 due to driver failure.

    And all three sounded slightly different.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  3. gLer
    Were any of them the 2016F? I know the LCD-2F has a checkered history, but tales of woe don't really tell us anything about their sound compared to the 2C. Reliability and comfort aside, we are yet to read any qualitative comparisons between the 2016F and 2C.

    @Hifi59 I get your point about musicality, but what about the 2C makes them more musical? Are they warmer? Darker? More suited to certain genres?
  4. Hifi59
    What makes them more musical to my ear is more bass definition, impact and an overall more palpable sound akin to a Hifiman headphone. They are dark(ish)but not overly so. They have a good sense of air and depth of soundstage that exceeds that of the 2f as I recall. They are grainless. They are not the best I’ve heard if you break it down by bass, midrange, treble, soundstage,etc but as a whole package the 2C are amongst the most engaging listening experience I’ve come across. I am addicted to their sound signature and that’s saying a lot.
    TokenGesture likes this.
  5. gLer
    Your description sounds tantalizingly close to how I’d describe my 2016F, especially air, soundstage, and bass definition. It’s equal or better in all three aspects than my Atticus, which is probably the best closed headphone I’ve ever heard and matches my warmer sound sig precisely - and yet I find the LCD-2 complementary (and even better in some cases). Hope to get to compare them directly to the 2C one day, but until then I’ll keep an eye out for a one-on-one matchup. Thanks for your feedback.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
    GarageBoy likes this.
  6. Soundofmusic
    How does the LCD-2C compare to the Focal Clear? Are they in separate leagues? I was really stunned when demoing the Utopia a year ago, and I'm feeling pretty "meh" about my current cans, the modded M1060.
  7. Jack-A
    YtseJamer and trellus like this.
  8. utdeep
  9. franz12
    To summarize tyll's review
    lcd2c=lcdx, lcd2c<lcd3, lcd2=aeon flow open (complement each other)
    unfortunately, there is no comparison between lcd2f and lcd2c
    Pooh in japan and trellus like this.
  10. BB 808
    Kind of sorry I didn’t get the LCD2C at $599 because I was waiting for his review. Dang it. Looking at the Aeon now since Tyll said “Bass lovers and those averse to treble brightness will easily prefer the Aeon Flow Open over the LCD2C.”
  11. Gambitek
    FWIW, I am very treble averse and the LCD2Cs strike me as dark. Also consider myself kind of a (sub) bass head and was able to get very satisfying thump by EQ'ing 20 hz about 6 db with a 0.7Q. I am not a fan of mid bass or high bass, so a 2-3 db shelf to 120-180 hz was a bit too boomy for my own tastes. I don't consider these bass light. My friend who has Aeon Opens (which I have not tried) who tried my 2Cs told me he liked the bass on the 2C better. But he, like me, is a sub basser more than a mid-high basser.

    edit: I scaled by the shelf filter to about 90hz (but it will extend pass that and end past 120hz)...I think I prefer it. Tyll was right. a few DB up until about 120hz makes these things satisfying on an almost spiritual level. Problem was I had too much db above 100 hz... I still can't believe I got these for $599. Audeze has a 30 day return policy 100% money back...shoulda pounced on holiday pricing bro :frowning2:
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  12. franz12
    someone who have both and very treble sensitive said afo is more dense and darker, but its treble is more natural. hard to understand before trying both.
  13. Gambitek
    Also, these have enough clarity/resolution so that even though they are great fits for pop/rock/metal/rap, you WILL be able to tell if it's shittily recorded/mastered. DAMN by Kendrick Lamar is unlistenable. Ugh. Fire your sound guys.
  14. Bob Foster
    Got a few weeks on mine now and liking them more and more. Uppers have a bit of and edge on it. Bottom end that Senn HD650 wishes it had. Voice on 650 still sound more natural but doesn't have the presence of the Cs. That might change when I finally get my Mjolnir 2.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  15. gLer
    Finally, about two months after it was promised, the Innerfidelity review gets posted (links above or here: https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/audeze-lcd2-classic-open-over-ear-planar-magnetic-headphones). And after all that, the ONE question I was most wanting it to answer - how the LCD-2C compares to the current LCD-2F - is the one thing it spectacularly fails to do! :p

    That said, the review provides plenty of in-depth information and very accurate measurements, so I decided to try figure out for myself how these two headphones compare (subjectively and objectively) without actually getting to hear the 2C myself (they're not available in my country and shipping/taxes currently make importing them prohibitive). Added to that the fact that neither here or over on the "other" forum has anyone done a side-by-side comparison between the two, I hope that this summary at least starts to provide some clarity for those of us still on the fence on which LCD-2 variant to choose, given that now they're almost at price parity if you include the accessories (which Tyll goes to some lengths to mention).

    I'm not by any means an expert when it comes to graphs and charts, but I know my way around Photoshop, so came up with a more-or-less representative view of the LCD-2C FR graph from the IF review, and one of the only graphs of the 2016 LCD-2F I could find (courtesy of DIY Audio Heaven). If my using these graphs breaks any forum rules, I apologise in advance. I don't claim any of these as my own, and they are completely proprietary to the original posters. Still, I thought it useful to show them here so others more knowledgable than me can come in and comment directly on what they see in the graphs, and how it tallies with what they hear from their own headphones.


    Forgive me if I'm reading these completely wrong, and indeed the vertical scales seem to be different (if anyone can tell me the difference between the -dB and +dB measurements shown here, I'm all ears), but to my eyes these graphs are far more similar than different. Anecdotally, I've been saying for a while that descriptions of the sound of the 2C by users on this thread are suspiciously similar to what I'm hearing from my 2016 aluminium LCD-2F. If anything, Tyll's own descriptions of the 2C sound are like an echo of how I'd describe mine. For example, he writes "midrange balance is spot on until it begins a long roll-off starting at 1kHz. This tends to make the fundamental of vocals and instruments a bit more prominent than the overtones, which can make them sound a bit shouty at times." That's almost on point how I'd describe the mids of the 2016 2F. I've intermittently used the words "shouty", "glary" and "ringing" to describe a subtle characteristic of some higher-register (upper mid/lower treble) female vocals and instruments, and Tyll seems to find the same characteristic prevalent in the 2C. In fact, in some discussions with the very knowledgable @givemetacos, he describes a similar character in the 2016 2F's he used to own, and 2Cs he owns now, saying the 2C improves slightly on the 2F in this regard but it's hardly night and day. That seems to be supported by the graphs.

    Another interesting characteristic Tyll finds in the 2C is the livelier - albeit grainy, to his ears - treble region. He writes: "Coupled with the slightly grainy sound and strong dynamics, I find them just a tad more aggressive than I like." When I first bought my LCD-2F, I expected it to follow a similar sound to the LCD-2 family, but with a bit more energy in the highs and more control in the lows from the Fazors. I did find more energy in the highs than I expected (I remember thinking on first listen "why are these so clear and not dark?"), but the more I listened and the more I read, the more I believe this change is more due to the new driver material in the 2016 revision (designed to make them stronger, more consistent and less prone to failure) than the actual fazors. From what I understand, the drivers in the 2C are similar if not identical to those in the 2016 2F, so it makes sense that the sound signatures of the two headphones would likewise be similar. If anything, the lack of fazors in the 2C has more effect on the mids than the treble or bass, which follows on from what Audeze support emailed me a while back when I asked about what differences in sound will be: (and I quote) "The LCD-2C does not have Fazors, which means you will hear a bit of a difference in the midrange. Essentially, it should recapture some of that classic pre-Fazor LCD-2 sound while still retaining all of the benefits that came from our 2016 driver revisions. You should not notice any significant differences in the bass or high frequencies."

    Which brings me back to the point I've been making (and suspecting) for some time: the LCD-2C is essentially a fazorless 2016 LCD-2F, giving it a slightly different midrange presentation, but otherwise presenting a very similar sound signature much closer to the latest fazored model than the older fazorless LCD-2. Both are very different to the various pre-2016 fazor revisions that are both praised and criticised in equal measure (seemingly due to their inconsistency of sound and failure rates, both of which, touch wood, have been addressed by the latest fazor and now the 2C). Interestingly, I've seen very few comment on the LCD-2C as having "recaptured the original fazorless sound". The fact that Tyll ends the review by suggesting that: "The LCD2 Classic will make the Wall of Fame as a more snappy alternative to the romantic and warm sound of the MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Open," had me going 'what, I thought the LCD-2C was meant to recapture the "romantic and warm" sound of the original', but again, based on the descriptions from LCD-2C users here and elsewhere, my own experience with the new fazors, and now the graph comparisons, I'd say the LCD-2C is still a warm of neutral headphone, possibly slightly warmer in the mids than the 2F, but both being far closer to neutral than the original LCD-2. If that's what some here meant when they said the fazors lost some of the lush sound of the originals, I'm surprised the same isn't being said of the new Classics.

    Oh, and speaking of the "warm sound" of the Aeon Flow Open, I guess by that Tyll refers to the greater treble roll off and slightly emphasised mid-bass. Which makes the Aeon sound suspiciously close to the sound signature of my Atticus, and - as he notes - different but complementary to the more sub-bass focused, warm-to-neutral sound of the LCD-2C. And suspiciously close to what I've been saying about the love affair I've developed with the complementary sound of the two headphones I happen to own and use every day - bought without first hearing either may I add, on the strength of information and experience garnered from the great community on this forum. Hopefully the above wasn't TL;DR and added some useful insight to the conversation. And just in case, I also made a graphic comparing the FR of the LCD-2C, Aeon Flow Open and ZMF Atticus based on Tyll's expert measurements (see below). Feel free to add comments one what you see.

    I g o r, Valens7, trellus and 2 others like this.
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