Audeze LCD-3 Impressions Thread
Aug 24, 2018 at 9:08 PM Post #5,236 of 6,109

Povell42

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Question for anyone:
A local audio shop is closing down their headphone section:frowning2:... sad, i know. But, they have a Burson Conductor 2014 model. It has the Burr Brown Dac in it (vs. the better Sabre DAC option) It has a weaker AMP then the current one. I believe it is rated 4 watts at 16 ohm. I was able to talk them down to $650 out the door. I have not purchased it yet. It would include the 5 year warranty for the day i purchase it. I was able to hear it with a nice CD player hooked up fiber optic, but playing music I was unfamiliar with. It sounded really good with my LCD3. I have heard these amps have great synergy with the LCD3. I don't feel like I could give a fair comparison to what I am currently using to drive my LCD3 (mimby => Aune x7s) due to the circumstance... but I did really like what I heard.

Any insights or thought about this model and price? Here is a link to a review of the same unit. http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/burson10/1.html

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Aug 24, 2018 at 10:24 PM Post #5,237 of 6,109

kyle_martin

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It is a very special headphone. Nothing else can quite do what it does so well. It’s one of those ‘unique’ headphones that you either love or don’t, and if you do, nothing else can match it. Other great headphones will do their own thing well (Utopia, Clear, Elear, HD800, even LCD-4), but I haven’t heard anything with the same blend of power and finesse and understated warmth of the LCD-3 in one package. Match it with a great amp/dac and it’s endgame for sure.

I agree. I've owned an Elear for a bit over a year and had an LCD-2C for a while as well. Picked up a Lyr 3 and really enjoyed how the Elear responded; much smoother presentation and increased dynamics over my previous amp. Before the LCD-3 arrived I was wondering if I needed to spend so much as I was really enjoying the Elear again.

After letting the LCD-3s burn in, I specifically remember one of my first listening sessions where I kicked back and just enjoyed the music. My thoughts were "this is what Hi-Fi is all about." I finally felt like I arrived.

While I found the LCD-2Cs to have amazing bass texture and pretty good detail retrieval, I think the LCD-3s have similar bass texture, much better mid-range realism, and much much better detail retrieval on the high frequencies. My ONLY complaint with the LCD-2Cs is they are too "polite." Amazing headphones for the price.

Compared to the Elear, the LCD-3s are better in every way except impact. The biggest difference is imaging though. It's not something I noticed in casual listening too much; but when I dial-in after a hard day of work, being able to pinpoint each singer, instrument, and being able to tell what type of venue the music is recorded in is pretty neat.

I love my LCD-3s, but still holding onto the Elears, as the used value isn't worth getting rid of them. They are an absolute steal for the going price on a used pair. Next step is to audition the LCD-4z or Utopia; until then, I will enjoy the special LCD-3s.

Anyone else feel like these headphones are a bit underrated or underappreciated by the current market?

EDIT: Just realized I compared the LCD-3s to two headphones about half the retail price...haven't heard anything else in the $2k range, however, I definitely feel they are worth the price premium over the sets mentioned above.
 
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Aug 25, 2018 at 4:00 AM Post #5,238 of 6,109

gLer

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I agree. I've owned an Elear for a bit over a year and had an LCD-2C for a while as well. Picked up a Lyr 3 and really enjoyed how the Elear responded; much smoother presentation and increased dynamics over my previous amp. Before the LCD-3 arrived I was wondering if I needed to spend so much as I was really enjoying the Elear again.

After letting the LCD-3s burn in, I specifically remember one of my first listening sessions where I kicked back and just enjoyed the music. My thoughts were "this is what Hi-Fi is all about." I finally felt like I arrived.

While I found the LCD-2Cs to have amazing bass texture and pretty good detail retrieval, I think the LCD-3s have similar bass texture, much better mid-range realism, and much much better detail retrieval on the high frequencies. My ONLY complaint with the LCD-2Cs is they are too "polite." Amazing headphones for the price.

Compared to the Elear, the LCD-3s are better in every way except impact. The biggest difference is imaging though. It's not something I noticed in casual listening too much; but when I dial-in after a hard day of work, being able to pinpoint each singer, instrument, and being able to tell what type of venue the music is recorded in is pretty neat.

I love my LCD-3s, but still holding onto the Elears, as the used value isn't worth getting rid of them. They are an absolute steal for the going price on a used pair. Next step is to audition the LCD-4z or Utopia; until then, I will enjoy the special LCD-3s.

Anyone else feel like these headphones are a bit underrated or underappreciated by the current market?

EDIT: Just realized I compared the LCD-3s to two headphones about half the retail price...haven't heard anything else in the $2k range, however, I definitely feel they are worth the price premium over the sets mentioned above.
The Elear and LCD-3 are my endgame pairing. I got the Elear on a whim to partner the closed ZMF Atticus as my ‘daily drivers’ and ended up preferring the Elear for its synergy with the R-28 (by the way if you’re ever looking to upgrade from your NFB-11 look no further than the R-28; it’ll love both the Elear and LCD-3).

I agree with everything you describe. The Elear delineates every instrument so well and with so much dynamism, the only thing you’re really ‘lacking’ is a bigger stage for the music to play in. That’s where the LCD-3 comes in. It gives you all of that - perhaps at the cost of a little immediacy and ‘kick’ - but unpacks the music into a holographic space that no other headphone I’ve heard can replicate.

As a daily/premium combo I think you’ll struggle to find better value than the Elear/LCD-3 right now. Heck you can pick up both in mint condition for the price of a new Clear or Auteur.

And yes, I do think the LCD-3 is underrated. It was released as a $2k headphone at a time when paying that much for a headphone was an absolute luxury and anomaly, especially as it needed a powerful amp to sound right. Nowadays with $1500 as the ‘norm’ for middle-of-the-road high-end headphones like the Clear, the LCD-3 is no longer the new kid on the block (nor is it the flagship model as it was then).

But if you appreciate what it can do it’s still worth the asking price and surpasses anything else I’ve heard in this price bracket. Pair it with an Elear (or Elex) and you have almost all your auditory bases covered.
 
Aug 26, 2018 at 12:22 AM Post #5,239 of 6,109

kyle_martin

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The Elear and LCD-3 are my endgame pairing. I got the Elear on a whim to partner the closed ZMF Atticus as my ‘daily drivers’ and ended up preferring the Elear for its synergy with the R-28 (by the way if you’re ever looking to upgrade from your NFB-11 look no further than the R-28; it’ll love both the Elear and LCD-3).

I agree with everything you describe. The Elear delineates every instrument so well and with so much dynamism, the only thing you’re really ‘lacking’ is a bigger stage for the music to play in. That’s where the LCD-3 comes in. It gives you all of that - perhaps at the cost of a little immediacy and ‘kick’ - but unpacks the music into a holographic space that no other headphone I’ve heard can replicate.

As a daily/premium combo I think you’ll struggle to find better value than the Elear/LCD-3 right now. Heck you can pick up both in mint condition for the price of a new Clear or Auteur.

And yes, I do think the LCD-3 is underrated. It was released as a $2k headphone at a time when paying that much for a headphone was an absolute luxury and anomaly, especially as it needed a powerful amp to sound right. Nowadays with $1500 as the ‘norm’ for middle-of-the-road high-end headphones like the Clear, the LCD-3 is no longer the new kid on the block (nor is it the flagship model as it was then).

But if you appreciate what it can do it’s still worth the asking price and surpasses anything else I’ve heard in this price bracket. Pair it with an Elear (or Elex) and you have almost all your auditory bases covered.

The Audio-gd stuff looks really nice.

I'm currently running a Schiit Bimby/Lyr 3 stack. Now you've got me curious how the Schiit stuff compares to an Audio-gd R-28...
 
Aug 26, 2018 at 2:49 AM Post #5,240 of 6,109

gLer

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The Audio-gd stuff looks really nice.

I'm currently running a Schiit Bimby/Lyr 3 stack. Now you've got me curious how the Schiit stuff compares to an Audio-gd R-28...
Can’t comment on Schitt as I’ve never heard one! All I know is its reputation for being bright of neutral, but that may well be just the Jot and not your Bimby/Lyr.
 
Aug 29, 2018 at 12:32 AM Post #5,241 of 6,109

muscleking

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anyone tried a tiny nx4dsd with LCD3 fazor? i am very satisfied with the sound after buying audio stuff for a few years. can it get better? i think i have to spend a lot more to see a tiny improvement. i tried a little dot iii as pre amp then connect to the nx4 dxd and it toned down the high a little bit. just the nx4 dsd sound fantastic without any add ons. set volume to 10oclock and it is super loud already on high gain.

just saw someone said headphone is most important on the chain, then source, then amplifier. something like that.

the LCD3 i picked up made in june 2015 and had 2 owners before me, took good care of it and never had to send in for replacement. i take it off carefully after reading the seal with ear if break too fast can pop the driver diaphragm. i have a stax 407 for a while now and that one never seals so no such problem, i even droped it once or twice about a meter, i think on carpet so it's not bad. no problem at all. are these lcd3 thinner than stax? once get to this level the sound is pretty similar, the lcd3 has a better more enjoyable bass than stax, but seems stax is a bit more "lighter" feel sound and audeze is heavier but fuller which i like. don't want to get rid of the stax yet. it is quite enjoyable.

i may pick up a chord hugo to see what this is about. but also read review the mojo sounds 95% as good for less than half price now second hand.

the little dot iii i have runs on all non stock tubes from 1962 and i have to use a jumper, so not designed tube but sounds the best after messing with this thing for a long time. yes like others said OTL is not good for this headphone. sounded thin using the little dot as the only amp. but as preamp changes the sound in a good way. it's a bit annoying waiting for it to reach optimal heat, these days i have a new born first kid and by the time this thing sound good i need to turn it off to sleep : )

overall good purchase for the LCD3 and nx4 dsd. i have a EL8 new version and the detail is similar to LCD, minus the bass and large sound. i don't feel neck problem with this one just top of my head feel some pressure after 1 hour. again i was in the army for a while and used to wearing the helmet so this one is not heavy. i like heavy things feels good in hand. i think next amp will try balanced since it comes with a balanced cable. maybe produce better base. i notice a bit difference running EL8 with a balanced cable vs non balanced. maybe just more power and feel like it's bigger sound. could be psychological.
 
Aug 29, 2018 at 1:29 AM Post #5,242 of 6,109

Povell42

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I have been torn in my research trying to find an amp the brings the best out of my LCD3. I think I may get a Burson amp. Not sure which one yet : the FUN, Soloist SL MK2, or a conductor V2.

I keep going back to check out Queststyle cma400i, Audio-gd, and Schiit stuff but I'm feeling the Burson may be a little better (for the LCD3). Burson amps seem to be the only amps where the reviewers constantly state how good the LCD3 sounds on it.

I mentioned earlier in the thread that I could buy a Conductor demo unit from a local audio shop (two models old)with the burr brown DAC chip in it for $650 but I don't know if it would be worth it vs buying a new Mk2 instead for less money.

My guess would be that my Aune X7s is adding some warmth to the music which sometimes makes it feel a little congested and muffled with certain songs. The 3's already being warm, I'm thinking a different amp might help with that overall. I do really like the X7s it has gobs if power, but might match better with brighter cans.

It's been driving me nuts trying to make up my mind. :dt880smile:
 
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Aug 30, 2018 at 8:57 PM Post #5,243 of 6,109

Chodorovski

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I got another chance to try this obscure-ish amp, the Hafler HA75 and i gotta say I still think it's fantastic. The tube-gain control and bass boost work really well on the LCD-3s. I thought it sounded more enjoyable than the Chord Hugo, which I was A-B testing against it, for what it's worth
 
Sep 3, 2018 at 3:35 AM Post #5,244 of 6,109

PetarCV

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Guys, can you recommend a cable that sounds similar to the stock cable, that basically doesn't add more treble and improves other aspects? I like the LCD-3 with the stock cable as they sound full-bodied and with a well-balanced treble. I wouldn't like a cable to add more "clarity" or brightness to the sound, since I am totally fine with LCD-3's treble and transparency, but I am not happy with the build-quality of the stock cable.
 
Sep 20, 2018 at 5:04 AM Post #5,247 of 6,109

exsomnis

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Has anyone here heard the LCD3 with a sony ta-zh1es amp or have an opinion on whether it could drive them?

I've only heard the Sony MDR-Z1R with that amp, and it was pretty impressive. The specs say in balanced mode it can do 1200 MW at 32 Ohms, but I'm not sure how much it will output at the 110 ohms impedance of the LCD3s. I don't think Sony had any of the LCDs in mind when designing it though, so you will have just have to listen for yourself and find out if it does deliver enough power, bearing in mind that we're aiming for 1-4 W at 110 ohms impedance.
 
Sep 20, 2018 at 5:47 AM Post #5,249 of 6,109

cpetrillo

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I've only heard the Sony MDR-Z1R with that amp, and it was pretty impressive. The specs say in balanced mode it can do 1200 MW at 32 Ohms, but I'm not sure how much it will output at the 110 ohms impedance of the LCD3s. I don't think Sony had any of the LCDs in mind when designing it though, so you will have just have to listen for yourself and find out if it does deliver enough power, bearing in mind that we're aiming for 1-4 W at 110 ohms impedance.

Check our the Audio-gd NFB-1 amp. Much better value, and you’re getting 3.5W at 100ohms! Beautiful synergy with the LCD-3 too.

I already have the TA amp along with the Z1R and the HD800S, I love the sound of both of these headphones with this amp but am picking up an LCD3 and was wondering if the TA will work with them.
 
Sep 20, 2018 at 7:13 AM Post #5,250 of 6,109

exsomnis

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I already have the TA amp along with the Z1R and the HD800S, I love the sound of both of these headphones with this amp but am picking up an LCD3 and was wondering if the TA will work with them.

It will work for sure but there will definitely be some improvements to be had with a beefier amp paired to the LCD3.

I think quite a few cases of people not rating LCDs is purely due to insufficient amp output power. The lack of power to drive LCDs can be the difference between a ‘flat’ sound versus a punchy and almost tangibly present sound. It’s also apparent in dynamic transients or the lack thereof of its impact.

Otherwise, you may well want to consider the 20 ohm LCD-MX4 which will be easily driven by the TA amp.
 

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