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Audeze LCD-4

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by matias, Sep 28, 2015.
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  1. goldendarko
    Well if you would have stuck around for another hour you would've seen it devolves into insults and conspiracy theories. Impressions (the few there have been) are generally positive with some questions as to the durability of the headphones. 
    swspiers, DoctaCosmos and Gyp64 like this.
  2. Trogdor

    I rest my case.
    Argo Duck likes this.
  3. potkettleblack

    The biggest seller of Audeze in the UK has sold two LCD 4's and have one for demo.

    All three have failed.

    There have been 3-4 failures reported on here alone with more reported on Reddit.

    People only started to get them about 2-3 months ago and people have been waiting an average of 2-6 weeks to receive theirs.

    Care to speculate on how many have been sold and received all together? Not many.

    The LCD 3 has one of the worst reputations for reliability of any high-end headphone; specifically driver failures.

    Sticking to new totl headphones:

    How many failures has the HE1000 had?
    How many failures has the HD800S had?
    How many failures has the Edition X had?
    How many failures has the Mr Speakers Ether had?

    Please - remove your head, neck, shoulders and typing fingers from beneath the sand, and admit there is a serious problem, and stop making excuses for them. None of us (minus a few very bitter users - which, if I'm honest I can understand their issue) want it to be like this. But it is. It's tough reading all of this negativity and I understand how it can drag everyone down, but it's equally silly to try and mask what's really going on.

    Just to end with a bit of positivity:

    1. I had one of best customer service experiences last year with an Audeze employee - Kim. She was absolutely awesome and did everything within her power to help me with an issue and some ocd type questions I had. That experience will stick with me when it comes to considering Audeze again.

    2. I will be travelling over 3 hours in the next two weeks to listen to the LCD 4 because I am a huge Audeze fan.

    (It's my birthday and I would like you specifically to send me birthday wishes in a private message).

    3. This is (with the new headband) probably the best looking headphone I've ever seen:

  4. TokenGesture
  5. Torq

    It'd be a case I'd want to fight, if I were Audeze.
    Negative perceptions of a product that might not be justified harm the business as much as those that are justified.  That's not smart.  If there's no problem, better to address it head-on before it takes on a life of it's own and results in lost sales and, worse, lost customers.  In this case, sadly, it might be too late.
    This thread alone is indicative of multiple parties either holding out to see how things play out before ever placing an order or, in cases like mine, cancelling an outstanding order (though in my case it has as much to do with Audeze's failure to deliver product in a timely fashion).  Anyone who's spent any time in a serious sales position will tell you that the more time a customer spends thinking about a specific purchase, generally the less likely they are to make it (for a related reference, Jason Stoddard talks about this in his book "Schiit Happened").
    More options come up.  Other products come to market.  The buyer's situation changes.  Rumors and speculation, founded or otherwise, affect decision making.  Fashion changes.
    Personally, I've gone from being willing to put $4,000 in Audeze's pocket weeks ahead of receiving what I paid for to taking a "wait and see" approach.  At a minimum I'd say that's going to delay any chance of me buying the LCD-4 now until at least the middle of the year.  And, in the mean time, since I am looking for a meaningful headphone upgrade (and have been for some time) and I don't feel like waiting on one specific product anymore, I'm now considering other options.
    And when I say "considering", I have an HE-1000 and Abyss AB-1266 arriving today (UPS willing) and an HD 800 S arriving in the next day or so.  The first two are coming as a "borrow" form The Cable Co.s lending library ... and if I opt to buy one of those what do you think that's going to do the probability I'll get an LCD-4 this year?  Or at all?
    Note that I'm not commenting on reliability rates ... just the effects of their even being a question about them.
    I'm not going to comment further on this issue beyond saying that I remain an fan of Audeze's headphones.  I don't doubt they'll stand behind them.  I'm just not willing to wait out the nonsense with missed shipping dates, major product revisions right after their introduction and uncertainty (founded or otherwise) about product reliability and what I would receive in the event that I needed a warranty repair.
    DivergeUnify and potkettleblack like this.
  6. IPodPJ
    In response to driver failure, I've had the pre-fazor LCD-3 since 2012 or early 2013 and I've never experienced any issues.
    Now on to the LCD-4!
    Got my pair a few days ago and have spent a lot of time comparing them to the LCD-3.  They are so precise, so accurate, so engaging, so transparent, so visceral, so organic, and so natural sounding that I could literally pick out every part of the frequency range in the LCD-3 that was wrong as a graph would likely show, such as:  dips in different areas of the treble where large amounts were missing and recessed, the upper mids being too elevated/forward, and the bass/lower mid-bass slightly elevated.
    My pair have the newest diaphragms which are 97dB/mW@200 ohms.  The LCD-3 are 102dB/mW@110 ohms.  The LCD-4 require roughly 2.3x the amount of power to drive them.  I always run them balanced.  My custom Beta22 is set to low gain, and whereas I can drive the LCD-3 to loud volume with a position of 12/24 on my DACT attenuator, the LCD-4 require a position of 21/24 to achieve equal volume.
    I'll give you guys more info at a later time, but I'll just sum this up by saying the LCD-4 are by far the best headphones I've ever heard.  They are like taking the best parts of the LCD-3, the HD800, the SR009, combining them together, and then doubling the performance.  That's really the simplest way to describe them. They are nothing short of spectacular in every way, and I'm running them with a serious reference system.
    jodgey4 and hedfreq like this.
  7. freemason
    Wow, that sounds impressive, now that's more like what we were expecting from the LCD-4.
    How are the ergonomics? Is it noticeably heavier than the LCD-3?
  8. IPodPJ
    While they are a tiny bit heavier than the LCD-3, you will never notice this because of the improved carbon fiber headband. They actually feel more comfortable on your head and where I had a hard time listening to the LCD-3 for more than 2-3 hours, I was able to listen to the LCD-4 for 8 hours. Because of the new headband the adjustments are different. Whereas I required a notch position of 4 down on the LCD-3, I only required a notch position of 2 down on the LCD-4 which means they have more "headroom" literally (pun intended) for people with larger heads. :slight_smile:

    Listening to the LCD-4 (and comparing them to the LCD-3) the past few days was really the first time I've been able to really sit down and listen to my system for more than 5 minutes or so at a time in roughly two years, so it took several hours for all my components to warm back up to their native reference benchmark performance.

    I started back with the pre-fazor LCD-3, which sounded just as I remembered them, except I didn't realize their upper mids were quite so forward. But in every other area they were exactly as great as I remembered. I spent a decent amount of time with them first (after I had let my system warm up for a solid 6-7 hours).

    When I switched to the LCD-4, I was just dumbfounded. Like those who have auditioned my system in the past in my home with the LCD-3 and the HD800, my jaw just dropped. I've heard almost every Stax phone, the infamous HE90, the coveted R10 — hundreds of phones over the years — but nothing prepared me for the sound the came from these new phones. The LCD-4, with their newest diaphragm, are absolutely mesmerizing, opening up a whole new window to reference quality headphone audio that is sure to become the new benchmark for serious audiophiles.

    Classical music is not one of my favorite genres to listen to, but I just had to put on Vivaldi's Four Seasons to see how the tonality and timbre of the violins compared to electrostats. I wanted to see how much the transient response had improved. I was taken aback by the sheer awesomeness of the performance; the attack and decay, the thundering realism of all the instruments in the arrangements from the low bass notes to the upper registers of the string instruments came through with such lifelike precision I felt I was actually sitting in a concert hall for the first time ever while listening through headphones!

    I played many other genres of music as well, and I will comment on those later. But the LCD-4 is just as much at home with prog rock as it is with jazz as it is with classical, electronic, vocals, and anything else you can throw at it. I don't know how Audeze did it, but they really did it!
    JaZZ, Argo Duck and DoctaCosmos like this.
  9. IPodPJ
    One thing of note: obviously these are not cheap headphones. Neither are the HE1000 or the KSE1500. However, if you found that the LCD-3 were worth the $2K in performance value, than the LCD-4 are more like $6K in performance value. As we all know, the law of diminishing returns applies greatly to this hobby, so that must be factored in as well. But to my ears, these are easily three times as impressive as the LCD-3 which is something I didn't really believe possible.

    But I believe it now. And it's evident if you look at the technology they've implemented into these headphones. The entire driver assembly has been greatly enhanced with their double fluxor magnets that apparently are rated at 1.5 Teslas, a new nano thin diaphragm that takes two weeks to make, fazors on both sides I believe... I was reading an interview and apparently they can't even produce 20 units per month, they are that involved. So yes, I can easily understand the price tag. Before listening to them I wasn't certain, but having them now I can easily recommend them and the investment they represent to any serious headphone audiophile.
    RCBinTN, isquirrel and reddog like this.
  10. Trogdor

    Until you actually submit data that substantiates a high failure rate, there is only one person in this conversation that has his or her head in the sand. Stop extrapolating LCD-3 woes for the current state of the LCD-4 shipping cycle.

    And yes, I have a LCD-4 right now sitting in front of me with zero issues. I also have a HE-1K as well as a pre-fazor LCD-3. Let the battle begin...
  11. oleWhiskey

    How do you like the soundstage for the pre fazored LCD-3's? How warm are they. Also. Do they have that really really soft dampening cloth glued to the outside of the planar?
  12. Trogdor

    Warm compared to what? They definitely exude the Audeze house sound (lush midrange).

    I believe the second answer is yes IF you are talking about the black mesh cloth in between the pads and the drivers.
  13. potkettleblack
  14. DoctaCosmos
    way to make it harder on me knowing I don't have one....
    IPodPJ likes this.
  15. MisterMoJo
    If I were to purchase an LCD-4 say after the problems get worked out maybe 6-8 months from now, would my amp and system be good enough for it? I might either upgrade my amp or turntable to go with them. I have the Burson Soloist regular with the 4 watt output. The rest of my system(s) are in my signature.
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