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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. chef8489
    If you drive a headphone properly it does increase its dynamic range. Yes you do not completely get rid of the dip in the upper mids and recessed highs. But if you have never driven them correctly how can you really tell? I did not say they had a huge sound stage I said they had a larger sound stage than certain other headphones such as the hd650. I did say the k7xx had a larger soundstage. If he was not happy with the lcd-x then he will not be happy with the 2 or the 2c as they are quite similar.
    phthora likes this.
  2. phthora
    I totally agree with this regarding either the LCD-2F or the LCD-X. The 650 sounds nice, but it doesn't have the detail or texture of an LCD. Maybe the HD650 has a tonal character that a person could favor over something else, but the X especially is just so much more engaging, resolving, and real.
  3. chef8489
    Yes i find the hd650 boring compared. We did blind listening tests today with the Vali 2 and the Lyr 3 and lcd2c, k7xx, and hd650 as well as a few other cans. Had about 6 guys test out the new amp, so it was not just me. We will do another one next week before i sell the vali 2. Even with the same tubes it was very amp dependent on the sound signature. When you mixed tubes it changed the sound.
  4. phthora
    Not sure how blind it can be when one headphone weighs 3 and a half pounds more than the other... LOL :wink:

    But, I wouldn't dispute the results either. I heard the HD650 through Eddie Current and Bottlehead Crack SEX tube amps and through Violectric and Audio-gd solid state amps. Sounded very good, no veil, plenty of power. Still, it doesn't come close to the LCDs in quality of the mids. For example, on the LCD-X I frequently hear backing vocals, echo or vocal effects, and audio trail-off (not sure what the term is) that I've never heard before. Or I can make out lyrics I could never understand before. Or I can hear each voice clearly in a choral section. Or, to be really specific, I can hear exactly what Eddie Vedder says as he's begging for change in "Even Flow." I spent some time A/Bing for those sorts of things against a number of headphones, and the HD650 simply didn't come out on top. Sounds lovely. I'd buy one. But, there are better options, IMO.
  5. chef8489
    The blind testing was mostly for the amps not for the headphones. To see if a difference could be distinguished between them and if it made a difference in sound on the headphones and the performance of the headphones.. We used same tubes in both amps as I have multiple pairs 6sn7 type tubes and then did different tubes in each amp to see the difference. Headphones was easy to guess which we were wearing.
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
    phthora likes this.
  6. franz12
    Indeed, you guys might listen to different headphones. From the measurements I saw, one unit has a deeper dip in the upper mid than the other. Chances are that your unit has a deeper dip in the presence region than his, so it is not unnatural to see someone disagreeing with others. Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  7. Sound Eq
    it seems u have both lcd x and lcd2c can you compare mids on both
  8. gLer
    So true. I’ve always been bemused by people who claim the 6x0 is ‘better’ than the LCD-2 (or 3 for that matter). So much so that I borrowed a pair of each of the twins to test them out for myself. I’ll post my review here shortly, but suffice it to say the LCD-2 (I used the 2016 fazor version) was faster, more engaging, more dynamic and more resolving than both of the twins. That’s not to say the 6x0 are bad - quite the opposite. They’re brilliant for what they do and what they cost, and are legendary in their own right for a reason. Sure if you pair them with $2000 amps they scale tremendously, but for reasonable money neither one comes close to the power and holographic nature of the LCD-2 (and presumably - although I haven’t heard it myself - the 2C).
  9. musicfrommemory

    Hi Everyone,

    I just got back from Audio Sanctuary in South West London where I had gone specifically to test-drive the Audeze LCD-2 Classics and buy a pair. I own a pair of iSines and love the Audeze sound - the Classics seem like a natural evolutionary upgrade. When I got there I noticed they also had a pair of Aeon Flows (they only had one last closed pair) and I had a day to kill so I thought I'd listen to them both. I'd taken my laptop - a MacBook Pro with Audio Hijack installed and Audeze's Reveal plug inside it.

    I had hoped to hook up a Chord Mojo or some other DAC AMP but because the MacBook Pro only has USB-C we didn't have the right connectors to connect anything else so the MacBook Pro was supplying the magic.

    So, off I went - 3 hours more-or-less non stop. My musical taste is EDM, Drum and Bass, Electronica, Ambient, etc. so bass is very important to me and I listened to these styles of music almost exclusively during the test. I am not in any way a seasoned audiophile so apologies for any non-standard descriptions - I'll just do my best to give you the sense of what I felt. I'm going to write spontaneously and try not to rewrite it.

    MacBook Pro>(AudioHijack (Reveal Plug in))->LCD2-C
    MacBook Pro>-(AudioHijack)->Aeon Flow (Closed)

    I started with the LCD-2Cs - very, very bassy, almost a little clouded with bass, almost a little foggy with the bass, a general sense of being in a place that reverberated with bass but with padded walls, a veil of bass... I can't be sure that it was the bass that caused this cloak of darkness but there was a distinct kind of muffled depth to the noise - it wasn't gothic but there was a shadow. I didn't notice the soundstage so I'm going to say it wasn't much there - the location of the sound seemed near on both sides but just to the exterior of each ear - not in front of you or wide apart. I noticed that the headphones felt heavy and that the band sat across the top of my head and there was a general pressure downwards - if I leant forward or was just looking down at the screen on my laptop I noticed my neck felt like it had to work to support the headset. Nevertheless, first impressions - very good and a big step up from the iSines.

    Then I pop the Aeon Flows on - the immediate difference here is just how unbelievably comfortable they are after the LCD-2Cs. And so they're on, you start listening and, my god, they are such a different animal to the LCD-2Cs. Where the LCD-2Cs felt a little shrouded the Aeons were just like you had arrived in a sonic Garden of Eden - sunny, lush, alive, vibrant, vital, they are kind of how I imagine life on Prozac is - everything felt like sugar had been sprinkled on it - the whole thing was just gorgeous - it was like you just found out the girl you fancied all your life fancies you too. And this includes the bass - somehow the bass wasn't as bassy but at the same time it was more bassy - it was just better, I just don't how to put it - it was just so satisfying, so rewarding, the whole experience was like a dopamine dot-matrix. Sound-stage wise I felt this were marginally wider but not a great deal (these are the closed variant.)

    So there I was, having travelled the width of London with the sole purpose of trialing and ultimately buying the LCD-2Cs and I have a dilemma because the Aeon Flows are better and that's why I spent three hours comparing the two: because I wanted the LCD-2Cs to be better - I know the Audeze sound, I love it, I love the industrial look of the LCD-2Cs and, if I'm honest, I can't stand the way the Aeon Flows look, but, try as I might, I couldn't place the LCD-2Cs ahead of the AFCs on any metric (bar sometimes the enormousness, not quality, of the bass) - some songs were comparably good but on the whole the AFCs were in a different league, they just have a bit of magic. If I can compare the AFCs to anything they're closest to the HD 650s but with a huge improvement on bass and general improvement everywhere else. I ended up wanting to listen to the AFCs and not wanting to listen to the LCD-2Cs - I say all this with a big fat dollop of YMMV .

    I hope this is helpful - my attempt at technical wording would be that the bass is more generally present in the LCD-2Cs but bass quality is won by the AFCs (partly because when the bass appears it's so distinct from the rest of the headphone's palette), the mid range is won hands-down by the AFCs, separation is won by AFCs, soundstage marginally won by AFCs, the treble can be a bit at the limits of becoming sibilant in the AFCs but seems suppressed in the LCD-2Cs, imaging won by AFCs, and overall a win for the AFCs. How each of them behave with different DAC amps I don't know but both responded well to EQ.

    In summary: the AFCs are 33% more expensive than the LCD-2Cs (in the UK) and that's a big difference. Are the AFCs 33% better? I don't know. Are the AFCs good value at their price and should you spend 33% more if you can afford it? Yes, but on the open version which, by nearly all accounts, are even better.

    A big thank you to the guys at Audio Sanctuary for the demos.

    betula, trellus, Bern2 and 2 others like this.
  10. Slim1970
    Get what sounds good to you. In this hobby that is what ultimately matters.
    Maelob likes this.
  11. chef8489
    One thing you need to remember is the Aeon is far more efficient than the Lcd. The macbook pro lacks the cabalities to drive the lcd properly. Comfort on the other hand is important. I am glad you liked the Aeon. They are great cans.
    MyPants likes this.
  12. MyPants
    I've long been curious to hear anything Mr. Speakers. Really the Ether Flow is what draws my lust. But I have to agree that you're not going to hear what the LCD-2C is capable of driven by a MacBook Pro. I'm really surprised the shop didn't have any amps that could at least take your 3.5mm out, or did Apple take those off the MacBook as well as the phones?
  13. franz12
    It is absolutely not true. In fact, lcd2c is lot more efficient than aeons. Don't say just what you want to say. Thread more carefully.

    These measurements are from Innerfidelity

    With 110mVrms needed to achieve 90dB at the ear, these headphones will be driven to useable levels with a portable source.

    aeon flow closed
    With about 250mVrms needed to achieve 90dBspl at the ear these headphone will just barely be driven to a solid listening level with a smartphone.
    Read more at https://www.innerfidelity.com/conte...c-headphones-measurements#VCXERWgq1Lg7OqS0.99
    Dadbeh likes this.
  14. chef8489
    Thanks for the measurements I stand corrected. I know better than that. Just because something has a higher ohm rating does not make it less efficient. I was going off the stated specs and off my pair. . Maybe I need to send mine back to Audeeze then as mine will not be very audible. On my Lyr 3 or my vali 2 on low gain I have to turn them almost all the way up. With an adapter and on a phone or my portable player they are barely audible.

    Even if it is capable of being audible off a portable device or mac book pro it is still not at its full potential. Either way I am glad He found the headphones he prefers. Its all about what makes us happy.
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
    franz12 likes this.
  15. endlesswaves
    LCD2C needs to be driven properly by a good amp. Go try it with a proper amp before you make your decision.
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