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Audeze LCD-4z - Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by XERO1, Apr 10, 2018.
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  1. mixman
    Would love to do a three way comparison.......4z, Empyrean and Verite......real price wise there is really no price difference here.
  2. betula
    I auditioned the Empyrean, Verite and LCD4 at the same time. I know, it is not the 4z but still they are relatively close.
    The price difference in the UK is pretty significant: 4/4z: £3600; Empy £2700; Verite: £2400.

    All three are wonderful sounding headphones, picking one comes down to personal preference, music genres and gear synergy.

    All of them benefit from good full sized desktop amps, no matter how much their efficiency is advertised. Perhaps the 300Ω Verite is the most demanding in this regard, most owners feed them from beefy tube amps.
    I auditioned these three headphones from TT2/MScaler.

    I listen to a lot of progressive ambient and similar type of music, as well as some female vocals and mixed music genres. So I needed a good all-rounder with deep bass extension and good 3D imaging. I have to say all of these headphones image pretty well. The soundstage however is the smallest on the Verite in comparison.

    LCD4: Heavy. Absolutely perfect bass. Deep, balanced, layered. Clean, but still hits with authority. Going up in the frequency response it feels like you are running out of air. Upper mids and treble while still sounds clean and detailed, if feels you are loosing energy. You can get used to it, but in comparison the Empy is so much more alive and natural here. The 4 is perhaps the most detailed, but not the most accurate tonally.

    Verite: The most intimate sound out of the three. It has a woody, natural tone. Very clear imaging as well, but in a smaller space. Since it has dynamic drivers, the bass is not really on par with the planars. Doesn't extend quite as deep, doesn't have that authority with EDM. This is not an EDM can, but absolutely shines with jazz kind of stuff. Out of the three I found the Verite the less exciting.

    Empy: This was my choice in the end and for me it was an easy one. Bass is just a tad behind the LCD4, but very close. More natural, more organic in the higher frequencies than the 4. Great, deep soundstage and the best all-rounder. Absolutely killer with EDM, while also gorgeously beautiful with vocals and even classical. I do recommend a clean, clear source (good SS amp) and a silver cable with them.
    Admiral Kolchak and xxx1313 like this.
  3. koven Contributor
    Verite is my favorite out of those 3, nice air and timbre, really easy to listen to and genre agnostic. 4Z would be my choice for warmth, but warm headphones are never keepers for me because I begin to miss the holographic feel after a while e.g. HEK does holographic and transparency (w/o feeling thin like HD800) the best IMO. Emp I did not like mainly because I thought the resolution is not flagship tier, all around OK but doesn't really excel at anything to my ears, kind of a vanilla signature.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
    Admiral Kolchak likes this.
  4. drummerdimitri
    Anyone recommend upgrade cables for these? I'm looking for more air in the top end as they are too recessed in the highs.
  5. juansan
    Not sure if you missed my original post to you on the previous page. Try the Nordost Hemdall 2 if you get the chance to. 79A69A9B-EE44-402D-9B05-42CEE6391D01.jpeg
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  6. nick97
    Forza audio cables look great and sound great for a good price, I use the Claire hybrid:)
  7. mixman
    I think any really good hybrid or silver cable will do the trick. Speaking of which......check my sig.
  8. tjwb84
    After a few more days of listening and comparisons, I now agree with you guys that the 4Z does indeed deviate from flat quite strongly, especially in the upper mids, and possibly a bit the treble! Today, I decided to play around with the EQ settings on my audio interface. After a few minutes of tweaking (by ear, not trying to compensate a particular curve), I ended up with a (broad) 5 dB boost around 8 KHz and a smaller, 2.5 dB bump around 18 KHz. This completely changes the sound signature of the 4Z; the mids really open up, the stereo field widens (though, of course, still nowhere near an HD800S), and the sound is much more neutral. I cannot detect any artifacts or loss of sound quality (RME DSP EQ). It sounds quite stunning, and after turning off the EQ, I find the sound a bit too dark, and I want it back on.

    Happily, RME gear allows me to set separate EQ options for my headphones and monitors, a solution that I prefer over something like Audeze's Reveal (I should check that one out too, though). So I can easily set my favorite EQ profile once, and I'll never have to worry about it again.

    I strongly urge anyone interested in modifying the 4Z's sound signature to at least experiment with a decent EQ (there are good, free, VST EQ's). I also look forward to experimenting with cables myself, but I'd be surprised if they could cause a +5 dB bump; also, an EQ can be tweaked to one's satisfaction, unlike a cable.
    drummerdimitri, juansan and bidn like this.
  9. johnzz4
    Norne Draug Silver elevates the higher frequencies on the LCD4 quite a bit while still being very smooth.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
    mixman likes this.
  10. drummerdimitri
    What software EQ do you guys recommend for windows to tune these bad boys?
  11. astrostar59
    Agree. And it does that without any harshness or unnatural timbres. I have the all silver model made last year. Trevor is highly recommended.
    drummerdimitri likes this.
  12. tjwb84
    Fabfilter's Pro-Q 3 is an industry-leading software EQ, and one of the best I've used, both in terms of audio quality and interface. It costs 150 euros.
    Audeze's Reveal plugin has its advantages too: it's developed especially for the 4z, and it's free. I don't know how good the audio quality is (but that's probably a tiny difference), and it's nowhere near as versatile as the Pro-Q 3.
    What type of host program do you intend to use to run the EQ?
  13. drummerdimitri
    I don't intend on using a host program since I'd like the EQ to be applied on everything from Youtube videos to spotify music, games etc.

    Is this possible? Do I need some hardware DSP?
  14. mixman
    Yeah this is the trouble I have with the 4z, that upper midrange dip, which can make it sound dark. I would say EQ would be your best friend on this. A cable can't or shouldn't make a HP that you do not like to one that you will like. Not sure what you are using for a DAC, but an RME ADi 2 might work for you.
  15. drummerdimitri
    I have a Questyle CMA400i and will not be purchasing another dac with EQ functionality but it would be cool to have a hardware DSP that takes in the digital data, EQ's it and sends it back as a digital signal.

    Otherwise a cable + some windows sotfware EQ is my only bet really.
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