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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. betula
    Your Woo WA2 puts out around 450mW at 70ohm. That is perfectly enough to drive the 2C loud. Audeze has recently changed their recommended driving power output for their headphones. It used to be 1-4W, now it is 250mW+. That means you get a loud enough experience above 250mW.

    Planars however regardless their impedance (and sensitivity) rating improve a lot with more power according to my (and other's) experience. Even the highly efficient HEXV2 improves with more power.
    The relatively low impedance of the 2C and LCDX for example can be deceiving. They do sound loud enough under 1W, but they really start to sing above 1W. Planars love current.
    If you are happy with the sound, don't worry too much. I am sure the WA2 does a decent job, much better than some folks experience here when they try to drive the 2C out of portable devices.

    However, the more power for planars the better. The sound tightens up, you gain more clarity and refinement. The most obvious improvement perhaps is improved bass control, tightness and clarity.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    omniweltall likes this.
  2. Lohb
    I think OTL tube amps not suited so much to planars vs push-pull tube amps ?
    This came up before in the amps for audeze headphones thread. Just searched that amp, and it looks like it is OTL on google though I've never tried it with LCD2s.
    Push-pull/hybrid tube amps best when it comes to planars maybe.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  3. Kukuk
    My understanding is the reason you'd use a solid state over a tube is because at lower impedance, which planars usually are, tubes provide less power. With some of the higher end planars saying they draw up to 5W, it's not really feasible to power them off tubes.

    But this kinda plays into my (limited) understanding of power draw: isn't the headphone only going to pull the power it needs? If I'm doing lower volume listening, say 75dB, the power draw is going to be very low. Well under a mW. It won't matter if I have a 6W THX 789 or my 800mW HD-DAC1, right? Even momentary peaks in the listening volume (say, 10db) aren't even going to come close to bringing even the HD-DAC1 to full load.

    It seems like to reach these really insane power draw levels, you have to be well north of 100dB.

    I guess I really haven't been convinced that these huge power ratings are anything but spec padding at best, and at worst an attempt to get people to spend more on additional gear.
  4. joeexp
    Be careful.
    Noise-levels above 85db are harmful!
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  5. betula
    You are right that the specs are often misleading and meaningless and don't always accurately reflect the actual performance of a unit.

    The max. power output comes at low impedance, in the case of the THX789 for example the 6W is only true at 32ohm. At 70ohm it will be much less (still a lot though.) and goes down to 800mW at 300ohm.

    I am also not an expert so won't be able to answer all the questions. What I know is that when driving planar headphones it is not as simple that they need raw power. With more power you have got more current and that's what planar headphones really need. It is useful to read a little bit about power/voltage/current/resistance if you want to understand more.
  6. snellemin
    The LCD2-Classic vs my Hifiman 400i, will pull more power when EQ'ed to produce the same bass signature. So yes, you need a more powerful amp for the Audeze for proper damping. Sure the 2C will play with lesser power, but will sound like crap compared to when properly powered. And this is even when you play at lower volume. The needs both higher voltage and current to come alive and not just current alone.
  7. Roy Mustang
    Hi all. I've got a two comfort questions. I generally wear these puppies to the tune of 50+ hours a week so I've been routinely chopping bits off my headband off due to stretching. Has anyone come up with a better way to handle this? (different headband or some fancy mod that allows more space) Second after a few months I started to get heavy suction as the pads softened that bothers my ears (due to the seal pressure). Anyone know if there are any easy ways to break the seal (I prefer the sound with the seal broken which is a bonus). My current workaround has been taping thick pieces of microsuede to the outside of the pad (part that touches your ear) and leaving a gap in-between.
  8. Natarian
    A lot of people have changed to Dekoni Velour pads to get rid of the suction/seal problem.
    pierezque and Roy Mustang like this.
  9. BubbaJay
    After getting a Sendy Aiva I thought it was time to upgrade my amp so I bought a JDS Labs EL Amp. I'm surprised more people don't use them because they seem to be a very good amp for the price. Paired with my Mimby I think the EL will sound great with the 2C seeing as it a very detailed neutral sounding amp.

    Are there any people that use the EL Amp with the 2C? I'd live to hear what you think about them because I haven't seen any reviews that use an Audeze headphone let alone the 2C.
  10. Roy Mustang
    Before I switched to the RME ADI-2 DAC (at work and home) I ran the 2c from the el amp at work with no problems (huge fan of JDS labs). I'm generally in the clean source, clean amp, flavor with eq camp. I thought it was an excellent combination. I wasn't able to detect any detriments to the sound due to lack of power or unwanted artifacts. Sub bass extension is excellent without too much on the quantity side. Mids are interesting, kind of forwardish. You mostly notice it with anything around 1k, it can make the music pop a little more, but I prefer to eq it down a little. Treble is a little jagged, but generally inoffensive. I've heard 5 units now and 2 (including mine) had a pretty dark treble presentation. The other three had a decent bit more (a little too much for my taste). That being said these are by far my favorite of the Audeze lineup (including the LCD-4 variants) and with eq I think they can appeal to a wide range of tastes. I didn't hear a difference switching between the El Amp, Atom, or the RME ADI-2 DAC headphone out when judging the sound.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
    BubbaJay likes this.
  11. Roy Mustang
    Awesome, thanks. I'll have to check those out.
  12. BubbaJay
    Well shoot I should have saved money and just got the Atom. Seriously though I'm glad I got the EL but I will be disappointed if I can't hear a difference between them and my Magni3. I know the 2C will sound great but I hope the EL doesn't make the highs on my Aiva to harsh since they already have a bright treble.
  13. xRaptorxPunisher
    For the past few weeks I've been listening to my LCD-2C only and have not felt the need to touch my Verum.

    The Classic just has something that makes me reach for them. I've yet to put my finger on it but they remind of the times when music was fun as a kid, going to a disco and just dancing to fun music.

    I also have been listening to the Witcher 3 soundtrack and the subtle rumble in some of the tracks really immersed me, along with the way the 2C can sound speaker like. It has this way of putting you into the music rather than listening to it. It really is like putting a mini theatre on your head at times.

    I wanted to borrow the Aeolus I sold to a friend so I've been comparing them last night and the 2C is that much more engaging and smooth I didn't realise how peaky and rough the Aeolus was under all that mid bass. It's amazing what adjusting can do to make you see.

    I consider LCD-2C and Aeolus to be on par but the super clean bass and liquid mids of the 2C take it for me now. My only complaint about the 2C is the slight shout in the mids and the treble could be smoother but there's always trade offs.
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    endlesswaves and omniweltall like this.
  14. betula
    It is interesting that you do not really feel to reach for the Verum. I am still quite interested in those headphones, but as usual, the impressions I read are mixed. Most agree that they sound good, however a lot of people find them a bit bright. Also, some build quality issues hold me back. This is expected at a young company's first product, but I might wait for a Verum 2 instead.

    I agree that the 2C is special. Technically it comes pretty close to higher-end headphones for the fraction of those insane prices while it maintains a very lush and easy-to-the ear sound. A pretty well-found sweet spot by Audeze in my opinion.
    A high-quality SS amp pushes them to the limit of their technical performance and yet they stay relaxing and exciting at the same time.

    The two other headphones (apart from the Verum) that I am interested in at the moment are the Empyrean and the Ether2. Both significantly more expensive. I tried and loved the Empyrean, I haven't tried the E2 yet. The Meze flagship is out of my financial reach at the moment and while it is obviously better than the 2C it is definitely not £2100 better.

    I really enjoy the improved clarity and spaciousness my Taurus MKII brought for my 2C. Great combination. I turned down many £1000+ headphones in favour of my 2C, the Aeolus was one of them. Aeolus is a nice sounding headphone but I find planar bass to be much superior and with my music I need the best possible bass which the 2C provides. The latest more expensive hp was the HE6SE I tried. 2C bass is better.

    I think the 2C offers a relatively high level of technical performance while still staying musical and tuned for fun listening. Only the Empyrean was able to do both on a higher level to my ears. All the other more expensive headphones I tried may have better technicalities but a lot of them somewhere on the way loose fun and enjoyment. At current price the 2C is one of the best offers out there if you look at the price/performance ratio.
    omniweltall likes this.
  15. xRaptorxPunisher
    I think waiting for the Verum successor is a better option as you already have the 2C. They do sound a bit bright compared to the Classic. I agree the 2C's bass is special, you can't really get better bass texture and extension than the 2C just improvements in other areas. I thought the 2C was a more engaging listen than the Ether2. The Ether 2 had a thin, dry character. The resolution was close between them with the Ether sounding a bit cleaner, less lush and sultry. The problem is they didn't have the fun factor and urge to listen to them the 2C has.
    betula and joeexp like this.
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