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Audeze LCD-4

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by matias, Sep 28, 2015.
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  1. potkettleblack
    I never wanted it to be steered into an argument. It was the technical capabilities I was trying to defend; which is why I said preference. Given your experience and mouth watering collection I'm just surprised if you were to say the abyss aren't (technically) up there with the best.

    And now I want to hear the edition x more than ever lol. Would you say they do anything better than the he1000?
  2. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Cool...no worries...I was trying to steer away from an argument. [​IMG] There are some things the Abyss do very well technically, but there are some issues for me that kept them from being really great.
    With regards to the HE-X, they are very good, but on a full desktop rig with enough juice, the HE1000s pull ahead. But damn, these LCD-4s are really the real deal! I used them last night with some classical music (DSD Mahler Symphony No. 5) and wow...the imaging, instrumental separation and transparency was very special!
    potkettleblack likes this.
  3. jibzilla
    To each his own but I have gotten around listening to the gsx-mk2 and hd800 and well the Teton was more preferable by quite a margin. Could have been the source but I have found the hd800 to be more amp than source dependent. Very tube dependent though.  
  4. sensui123
    Thanks for the feedbacks in general MacedonianHero and taking the plunge first on these new headphones.  I can't get the HE1000 off my head right now (especially with my new cables, they just take it to that pt where I find it hard to believe there will be better).  Will pick up the LCD-4 before I jump head first into the STAX game (waiting for amps to be built).  In regards to the HD800 though, I've listened to them out of many of my amps that I've owned.own (Lyr, Mjolnir, GS-X mk2, LAu, Liquid Glass, Stratus).....and hands down by a mile the Stratus is a match made in heaven for that headphone.  In fact, my HD800 is permanently attached to the Stratus for that reason.  It is a close match for the HE1000 (driven by LAu) when driven by the Stratus....but the natural way the HE1000 brings detail and the more natural soundstage gives it that small edge.  Just goes to show HD800 is truly endgame even after all these years in its own right.  
    Keep up the feedbacks gents, really appreciate the useful feedbacks everyone is giving on these TOTL headphones.
    MacedonianHero and RCBinTN like this.
  5. MacedonianHero Contributor
    That's my issue with tubes...they introduce too much of their character into the mix and I'm not sure what I'm hearing is the HD800s or my source...with the GS-X Mk2, I know that it's least like the amp. :wink:
    I've owned many great tube amps in the past and heard many other great ones too and they can be very magical and musical...but that's not what I'm after. The last thing keeping me from going back into tubes is the prohibitive selection of NOS tubes and their resulting prices...simply insane for many standard tubes.
    Argo Duck likes this.
  6. jibzilla
    There are some tubes that are very neutral. My GEC 6as7g is not one of them, but my 422a and 6sn7w are very neutral and keep the presentation from going overboard bright or dark. As a matter of fact as long as the 6sn7w is in place the Teton should be decently neutral no matter what other tubes you use.
    NOS tubes are at insane prices on eslay. I never recommend eslay but here, brennt jesse and andy at V.T.S. still have decent prices and more importantly quality. My tube set with a 422a adapter from 2359glenn was around $800, which is allot, but should last me for years.
    Sensui stole what I was about to say. That is while the gsmk2 is a great amp it is not the best for the hd800 even at it's price level. The Stratus is def. the better choice and around the same price. The Teton is a few levels past that but I would say most likely the end of the road for hd800. 
    It will be interesting to see how the lcd-4 scales, it has it's hands full with the hd800.  
  7. MacedonianHero Contributor
    I like the Stratus quite a bit with the HD800s. It is likely one of my favourite tube amps with the HD800s. But that said, it still was DNA's portrayal of the HD800s. :wink: Again, very enticing, but it rounded off the edges and smoothed things out more than I wanted. I felt this took away from the hd800's best features, their quickness and preciseness. The GS-X is more of a "wire with gain" approach and really lets you hear what your headphones AND source is about. Being a reviewer, this is a huge advantage to compare and trial both headphones and DACs. A tube amp is just too all over the place based on the tubes, topography of the design, typical higher distortion, etc...

    But again, after owning some great tube amps, I can see and appreciate the other side too. I just finished reviewing the amps&sound Kenzie and loved it with the hd800s as well.

    Throw in the fact that I would take a good ss amp over a tube amp with orthos (as they can deliver the current and power the LCD-4s need), it's a no brainer for me. <-- See how I brought things back on topic here. :wink: I suggest we keep the discussion on the lcd-4s.

    The LCD-4s scale very well, from my iPhone to my AK240SS, to the Matrix HPA-3B to my Hugo TT exclusively and finally with my Hugo TT + GS-X Mk2 combined. The last rig is absolutely stunning. I would easily take the LCD-4s over my HD800s here. Might explain the new HD800S release?
  8. jibzilla
    I feel ya. Some tubes are really soulful and can def. smooth things over too much. It is nice to see the lcd-4's scale well, I imagine buyers are going to demand this at $4k rather than the lcd-2 sounding incredible out of budget setups. If your worried about coloration on the Teton though as long as you have a 6sn7w it should not be any more colored than your Gsx. With little to zero ohm output your Gsx colors your hd800 quite a bit as well, maybe as much as a Teton with a 6sn7w in the chain. 
  9. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Isn't the Teton an OTL amp? Curious what the output power and current is? The LCD-4s really responded to moar power and scaled very nicely.

    Funny you mentioned the 6SN7 tube. A headfier asked me to make some recommendations this week (I never buy tubes off eBay) and I was floored how the prices of some of my favourite NOS 6SN7 tubes have become. Damn, had I known, I'd have kept my private stash and sold them now. :)
  10. rgs9200m
    I like the RCA VT231 grey-glass a lot (it's a 6NS7).
  11. jibzilla
    Yep Teton is an OTL. The output on it is weak compared to how large and heavy it is. The Peak/Volcano is louder. Pretty much perfect headroom though for the hd800 and lcd-x, around noon. Lcd-X is probably the only totl planar you can use with it. Even the Ethers were 2pm and at least to me did not synergize as well as the X, although it looks like tyll liked the 3's with it. Lucky for me out of the 2c,3c,3f and X I liked the X the most.
    The largest advantage the gsx-mk2 has imo. over the Teton is that there are no tubes. Prices are nuts and I almost cried when I saw skylab's old 6sn7 sale threads on here. Just my 6sn7w set me back $200 from Andy. For whatever reason people are on a mini-audio kick. Cart's are not much better imo. Still paying $800 for a tube set that would have cost me $200, less than 10 years ago, is an easier pill to swallow than $300 for a $30 beatspro. The tubes should last me a long time as well and maybe by then people will have moved on to driving the prices of some other aspect of audio prices through the roof. 
    Your more than welcome to put the hd800 last place. I know that is where I put it for a good year or two when I was trying out budget SS amps with it. At least to me the hd800 sounds bad out of almost all budget SS amps and even a couple tube amps. It is just your reasoning really throws me for a loop. Your not a fan of tubes coloring the hd800 but you don't mind the Gsx coloring it with zero ohm output. You say tubes take away too much of the hd800's strengths but at least to me tubes really play into the hd800's strength's, other than speed, (detail and imaging for sure goes to tubes) and with an sr-009 I see no need for a uber speedy hd800. Then there is the fact that I owned the He-1000 with a peak/volcano that does have one tube but is almost all SS, hybrid, for 30 days and I can't imagine any tube amp making the hd800 sound more colored than a he1000 out of a SS. At least to me the hd800 is far less colored than the he-1000. To each his own but this does leave me scratching my head.
    The reason I chose the hd800 is the far better build quality than the he-1000 and at least at the time much better comfort than the lcd series. Sound is very much in the ear of the beholder however comfort and build quality at least to me are fairly clear and I can't imagine any headphone enthusiast not putting the hd800 in their top 3 in those 2 categories. I also think if you take the $1500-$2500 you save by getting the hd800 instead of the he-1000 and lcd-4 and put it towards a Teton rather than a Gsx you might end up with something that is as preferable or maybe a definitive 4th place.
    I might be just a simple headband change but if Audeze fixed the comfort issues I had they have something big. I'm honestly as much interested in that as a SQ improvement as I have always found their build quality to be top flight.
    RCBinTN likes this.
  12. paulchiu
    can someone tell me if Audeze is selling any LCD-4 that may have been returned after that 30-days (free trial offer)?
    Also, what wood is the better sounding/looking choice?
    Is the carbon top piece a premium option?
  13. jodgey4
    Woods won't affect sound on these headphones. The carbon headband is standard on the 4.
  14. paulchiu
    What are the wood choices?  I do not see any on Audeze order page.
  15. PhilW
    LCD4 now available to hear in the UK | London.
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