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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. nicknack40
    Right just ordered the LYR 3 for my LCD2-C. But still wondering if i should change my Musical Fidelity V90 DAC for the Modi Multibit i do like the V90 i also changed the PSU on the v90 for the Sbooster
  2. WildStyle-R11
    Or you could have just read what's on the fancy card that you get with them. ^^
  3. BrotherKathos

    I was wondering about that. Maybe he got them used or Audeze left it out? I remember getting that info about them being pre burned in when I opened the box.
  4. canali
    it wasn't in there, or else i'd not have contacted them.
  5. headphoneloverinNY
    Totally new here, so can someone help me out: (1) Bought these LCD2 closed edition headphones and returned it because of my own personal preferences, so seeking general advice on purchase decisions, and (2) I want to be able to buy from this site eventually, so what is the best way to meet the posting requirements etc. without annoying other users?
  6. betula
    Welcome to Head-Fi and sorry for your wallet.

    You need to be a member for at least 30 days and have at least 15 posts to be able to buy or sell on Head-Fi. You can use this time to read forum rules (it is all there).
    In the meantime it is also useful if you share your 'personal preference' and budget with us, so we are able to make suggestions. What kind of headphones are you looking for (open/closed)? What would you like to use to drive them? What music do you listen to? What sound signature do you prefer? And so on.
    omniweltall likes this.
  7. headphoneloverinNY
    Thank you for welcoming me, and thank you for sympathy haha (I was actually able to return it for a full refund luckily.)

    Thanks for the information. I will read the forum rules fully.

    Basics: So, so far I have only owned about six headphones over-ear headphones over the price of $300: Beats Pros (which I know are notorious), Oppo-PM3 (I currently use these as my portable headphone set), Audioquest Night Owl Closed, and Audeze LCD2 Closes are the headphones I have owned within the last 6 months.

    Personal sound preference-wise, I know that I am not a "bass-head," by any means. The Audeze LCD2 Closed was pretty close to my preferred bass in terms of quantity and especially loved the extension, which I guess is from it being planar (I am still trying to fully understand all the distinctions, so any knowledge or sources you can direct me to are great too.) Besides that, I really felt that the soundstage was small, and I am more of a person who wants to hear every detail from a song, feel like there is a that large "surround sound" type soundstage (but I can not buy speakers anytime soon because I live in an apartment because of grad school.) I also really found the mids and treble to be recessed for me. For the night owls, I remember being impressed by feeling like I got more of this soundstage effect of feeling music both spatially very close to me and then moving far away and just any panning in music was much more noticeable, but I found the sound to be "tinny"/artificial-like to me in terms of instruments sounding realistic when I would switch to it after using the Audeze.

    I would really like headphones where the vocals "come alive," and when I have heard people say that certain headphones make them feel like they are there, that is part of the sound I am looking for.

    Music I Listen To: I listen to literally every genre (everything from classical to old school pop (such as Michael Jackson and Queen) to alternative rock and even some rap, (which I know I have heard horrible things about in terms of mixing) to RnB--I would say though, regardless of the genre, more of my time is spent listening to modern music however

    Once, again, I know that one of the main things that bothered me with the past headphones is (1) not being able to pick out details, (2) feeling like the bass was overpowering (I want clean bass that you can pick out underlying tracks, and like bass extension, but just want the bass to be tight, punchy and not super impactful--the Audeze LCD2 was pretty close, maybe even just slightly, not much, but slightly overpowering for me at times) and (3) I have been disappointed in all these headphones that I do not feel like the vocals are "coming alive."

    Think the rest of my preferences in quality, at least in terms of clarity, are probably typical.

    About $1,000 for headphones. About $200-300 for an amp. (I own a cheap Fiio amp that could likely need an upgrade.) And I prefer buying used so I can get a better headphone.

    Open/Close This is tough, but I think my first preference is open because I really want that large soundstage and the highest quality bang for my buck. (However, I was initially looking at closed and IEMs because I thought it would be great to have amazing phones that I could use when I am traveling etc., and I was looking at the Andromeda for that reason, so if you also have IEM, closed suggestions and the cons, that would be great too.)

    Let me know if any other information would be helpful. I really love music and just want to find a great fit, because getting home a listening to music is one of my favorite things to do.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  8. betula
    You are right in thinking that you won't get this bass extension elsewhere, only with planars. Your description of the sound you are after (spaciousness, 3D sound) suggests that you need an open-back headphone. Unfortunately no closed back or IEM will give you this airy and natural sound. The drawback of open backs is that they leak sound and don't isolate, so you need a quiet room.

    I think, you could give a go to the open back LCD-2 Classic. The bass extension is definitely there, while it probably sounds a bit less boomy and much more airy than the closed back. You could also try the open back Focal Elear, many people like it (I am not one of them). The new closed back Focal Elegia could be an option too. I would suggest the good old HD-650 or HD6XX too, but you won't find the bass extension of LCD's there.

    I think your budget is a bit uneven. If you have $1200-1300 in total, I think you should pretty much half it between a headphone and an amp. Headphones over $500 usually improve quite a lot with better quality source. Perhaps that's the reason why you were not happy with the closed back LCD2. It is hard to imagine they will sound good out of any $2-300 source.
    I would look into something like an iFi Micro iDSD BL or a Schiit Magni3/Modi3 combo at least. They are both great value for money entry level amps. You need to give respect to something like an Audeze headphone with a source they deserve.

    I hope this gives you a starting point, good luck with your search!
    phthora and canali like this.
  9. headphoneloverinNY
    Thank you! That is good advice! Think I will try to do that right now because I know Audeze's return policy. Perhaps all I needed was an open back. I keep hearing the legends of the HD-800. Do you think given the chance to get an HD-800 versus the Audeze LCD2 Open that you would still recommend the Audeze based on what I told you? (Thank you for the amp suggestion. I was having a hard time determining what amp I should buy.)
  10. BrotherKathos
    I can give you a recommendation for headphones and an amp for your budget that will beat anything besides amps approaching $3,000 US. That would be the lcd2c and THX AAA 789 amp. You will not find a cleaner amp under 3k no matter what anyone else tells you about other products. this amp is backed up by measurements that bo amp under 3k even comes close too. Its beyond powerful enough to drive the lcd 2c and quiet enough for iem in low gain if you need. Sources has gotten so good lately that they are in the realm of diminishing returns after around $300, so pretty much any new dac around that price will bring out more than 90% of your systems potential. The smsl su8 and topping d50 are two of the best dacs out there regardless of price and both are under $250. Another option if you like a more sweet and smoother treble is the schiit modi multibit. also a great performer especially with the eitr spdif covertor. This is also my fav pairing with the lcd2c. Sure you can spend more money and be happy, but you can do blind tests with other people who don’t know the price and they will have a really hard time telling the difference between a $99 and $1000 dac. Expectation bias is a real thing. Hope this helps you! :)
  11. betula
    HD-800 and LCD-2 are very, very different. Perhaps equally good but made for completely different audience and needs.

    I wouldn't bother too much with the 800, I'd go straight for the 800s if you are interested in the Sennheisers. 800s are much brighter. I don't know how sensitive you are to treble, but reading your posts you must be quite young. Many people who like LCD headphones prefer a more laid back treble. I myself am very treble sensitive (with my 35 years of age) so I find the 800s just too bright for my personal needs and taste.
    The 800s have definitely a much wider soundstage. They are very detailed and more analytical than the LCD2. Being a dynamic pair of headphones though they lack the final bit of bass extension. LCD-2C have a warmer, darker sound. Sweeter and more musical, but that's just my opinion. Bass definitely hits harder and this is mission critical for me.
    800 gives you a more analytical, more detailed and more spacious picture.
    LCD2C gives you more bass, more punch, more fun, more warmth, a smoother and more easy-listening sound but lacks the final bits of resolution.

    800s treble is just too much for me. I'd choose the 2C (with a great DAC and amp) any day vs the 800 but that's just me. Some people prefer the more detailed and analytical approach of the 800s. I prefer warmth, punch and musicality.
  12. betula
    This is very true, but also as you go higher and higher you pay more and more for a 10% improvement. Also, some audiophiles struggle to hear some difference while it is more than obvious for others. Hearing and budget play a big role here. And it is hard to tell the difference if you are an outsider or new to the hobby.
    Some have better hearing, some don't. Some say $500 for 10% sq improvement is not much, some say it is too much. After a certain point this hobby becomes very relative.
  13. BrotherKathos
    I agree, but that 10% in today's audiophile world is going to be found in amps more likely than sources. Sources have already surpassed the ability for human ears to really tell much of a difference, especially in the case of sources that do not seek to add their own coloration to sound. That is why he is better off spending money on a decent amp and headphones and cheaping out a bit on the dac if he wants a great budget system. I'm actually the same age as you Betula and have pretty good hearing of up to almost 16k and struggle to hear the differences between dacs unless I'm literally focusing on the absolute minute details and ab back and fourth on a 5 second section of an audio track. I can also hook my 20 year old Krell preamp with 16 bit bur brown dacs and a brand new $250 32 bit topping dac and $99 modi 3 dac and switch between them using the preamp and there is little to no difference in sound quality.

    There are certainly benefits in sound quality as you spend more, but like you said that 10% or even 1% difference can mean the world to some of the more ocd members of the community. The small things can make a difference however even if they are hard to pin down. I'll go ahead and admit to one thing that might come off as snake oil that I found an improvement. I was using my topping d50 usb input and then got another dac called the Emotiva Big ego to actually use as a usb to toslink converter. I hooked it up and almost immediately felt the treble was smoother. I went and read alot about how toslink is supposed to be worse than if not the same as usb due to more jitter in toslink. I then unplugged it and went back and forth. I still think the toslink is smoother. Its not overwhelming, but just minor enough that I find the change pleasing. Is that indicative of a 1% change? Who knows? I'll just let myself be fooled hehe. I say find your preference first with the lower priced stuff and if you really want those extra barely perceivable percentage points go from there. You typically won't get worse quality from spending more money from well established brands, but who really knows what we hear is just an emotional response to our great expectations or actual perceived differences at that point. This hobby is definitely a curse sometimes, but most of the time I consider it a blessing. Happy listening to all! :)
    omniweltall likes this.
  14. betula
    True, curse and blessing at the same time. Curse to the wallet and blessing to the ears.

    It is hard to say where the sweet spot is for someone as it depends on budget and hearing most of all. According to my experience a perfect system can be built from £2-3000. Anything beyond this is a matter of taste or slight improvement. Anything below this is something that can easily be improved with a change in the audio chain. Of course this is just the conclusion of my personal journey on my personal budget.
  15. headphoneloverinNY
    Thank you for the advice. Going to definitely follow your advice on the amp. Currently saw someone who has the Audeze LCD2 on sale for 650 in the US, so think I may just going to go ahead and trust that the soundstage improvement will be substantial and have improved mids and treble
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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