Audeze LCD-5 Review, Measurements, Interview
Oct 17, 2021 at 4:52 PM Post #1,741 of 5,938

WoollyGeezer

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I have a Burson Playmate 2 in my office rig that powers an LCD-2 and an HD650. In stock form, although the treble was sweet and quite extended, the overall signature was thin sounding in nature, noticeably recessed in the upper bass / lower mids. In other words, distinctly lacking in punch and impact when called for. I was ready to bail out of it, but I decided to see if I could make it listenable to. So, in went the V6 Vivid opamps.....which improved things somewhat, but still short of what I'd hoped. Then I went for the Supercharger 3a power supply. Let me just say, that Burson should include this as a stock item, and charge accordingly. It completely transformed the unit. Plenty of body and impact now, yet retains that excellent treble portrayal.

Yes, the cost of the mods start to approach the price of the stock unit, but in the end, I have a smaller sized Dac/Amp combo that works perfectly in a compact space, and will competently drive all but the most stubborn of headphones.

As the innards of most of their stuff are similar, I'd wager your Soloist would be transformed in a similar manner. Whether or not they can extract the most from the LCD-5, well...that's hard to say. I'd guess they are pretty revealing of what comes before, therefore YMMV.

Again, I do not recommend the Playmate 2 in stock form. But if you willing to invest a bit of expenditure, you just might find a diamond in the rough.

My $.02
I have loved the Soloist with every pair of headphones I've used them on prior to this (hd650, 800, arya, ananda, he6, psb m4u1, akg q701 OG austria, focal clears, dt1990).

These have the vivid op amps in them.

The HIGH gain setting actually improved everything significantly. I have no idea why or what is going on inside this thing. It still cannot keep up with busy passages but with slow passages it is 100% improved.
 
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Oct 17, 2021 at 5:12 PM Post #1,742 of 5,938

arrakian

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@Currawong , how well does the Hugo2 run the LCD-5? Is it just “satisfactory”, or is there still headroom for some dynamics? I heard you say in your review the GS-X Mini was your favorite with them; please compare the two amps performance via the LCD-5.
 
Oct 17, 2021 at 5:37 PM Post #1,743 of 5,938

MRHiFiReviews

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I do have the supercharger, I listened some this morning and need to verify my findings and do some more listening this afternoon. My initial impressions are the LCD-5 sound less dynamic with the soloist than I am used to hearing from another amp I am reviewing right now, the MHA200. I suspect this could have something to do with the way the Burson delivers current. The MHA200 has a constant delivery system based on my research, not needing to ramp up or down with the dynamic shifts in the music like many other amps do. I will do some more listening this afternoon and see if I can reach out to Burson. This is all experience based; and just my impressions. It would be interesting to know current ratings for the amps that perform best with the LCD-5. I believe @Currawong may have experienced similar issues with current and the LCD-5.

Responding to myself to update my findings from my brief morning listening session. I let the Burson Soloist run for some of the afternoon today and when my daughter took her nap I started listening, and it was night and day different. Then I remembered that Burson recommends at least a 30 minute warm up time for their amps. I would say it doesn't sound as dynamic, controlled, and fast as some other amps with the LCD-5 but with high gain at about 35 on the volume reducing my preamp volume by about 15 trying to find some level of unity if you will, and the results are far better with the LCD-5 than what I heard this morning. Hope that helps. Should have a Hugo 2 and a TT2 to compare soon as well.
 
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Oct 17, 2021 at 5:41 PM Post #1,744 of 5,938

WoollyGeezer

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Responding to myself to update my findings from my brief morning listening session. I let the Burson Soloist run for some of the afternoon today and when my daughter took her nap I started listening, and it was night and day different. Then I remembered that Burson recommends at least a 30 minute warm up time for their amps. I would say it doesn't sound as dynamic as some other amps with the LCD-5 but with high gain at about 35 on the volume reducing my preamp volume by about 15 trying to find some level of unity if you will, and the results are far better with the LCD-5 and what I heard this morning. Hope that helps.
My exact same findings. At around the 30-40 mark. However, after listening for a bit it kind of muffles in a sense. If I let the burson sit idle again and start a new song the dynamics comeback alive. It's almost as if it cannot keep up with itself.

This is after letting it sit on all day and staying hot to the touch

I wonder if the super charger would fix that. My current plan is to get a tube amp like the McIntosh sha200 or something like the gsx mini.

I was recommended the Well's Audio Dragon in a PM from another member here
 
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Oct 17, 2021 at 5:55 PM Post #1,745 of 5,938

MRHiFiReviews

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My exact same findings. At around the 30-40 mark. However, after listening for a bit it kind of muffles in a sense. If I let the burson sit idle again and start a new song the dynamics comeback alive. It's almost as if it cannot keep up with itself.

This is after letting it sit on all day and staying hot to the touch

I wonder if the super charger would fix that. My current plan is to get a tube amp like the McIntosh sha200 or something like the gsx mini.

I was recommended the Well's Audio Dragon in a PM from another member here
I believe it may have some to do with the recording and mastering on the recording as well.

Edit: Listening now on the ZMF pendant, let's see what In the Air and Phil can bring, WOW. It's like a different set of headphones vs. The Soloist more dynamic, better slam, better staging, better tonality.... Same as I found when listening to the MHA200. So far the LCD-5 and tubes is where it's at for me.
 
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Oct 17, 2021 at 6:36 PM Post #1,746 of 5,938

PcChip

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Would you mind trying May KTE -> GS-X mini as well?
no... the GS-X mini and May pair so poorly together that the amp actually sounds broken when you listen to it like that; therefore I'm not going to bother
 
Oct 17, 2021 at 7:27 PM Post #1,747 of 5,938

johnzz4

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So I've had three days with the LCD5 now and have been comparing them to the LCD4. As many others have stated, the LCD5 is much more neutral and 'quick' compared to the LCD4. Upon initial listen, it was a bit too lean for my liking and had some grittiness in the lower treble. I left it playing to see if anything changed, but it remained after 24 hours. I then swapped out my clock cables to another pair that have a smoother and warmer signature (Kimber D60 to Apogee Wyde Eye). The tonal balanced shifted down a bit and was now neutral without grit. Swapping back to the LCD4 after this cable swap resulted in too much warmth (almost muddy). One thing of note is that the tonal balance is MUCH better than the LCD4. While I enjoy the warmth the LCD4 brings, there is a peak in the very high treble that has been a nuisance over the years. The LCD5 has resolved this, and tonal balance is much more even across the board. For those who optimized their chain for the LCD4 may find the LCD5 seemingly lean. You may need to revisit your chain for the LCD5, but once dialed, you'll be rewarded with even tonality, excellent transparency, speed, resolution, and accuracy. I'm now comfortable letting the LCD4s go after initially thinking the LCD5s might end up being returned. Awesome work, @Audeze!
 
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Oct 17, 2021 at 9:22 PM Post #1,748 of 5,938

PcChip

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The LCD-5 are some of the best headphones I've ever experienced

However, they are very amp picky - I'm getting best results **BY FAR** out of an AHB2.
On most of my other amps they sound quite boring, dull, and not worth the money
 
Oct 17, 2021 at 9:24 PM Post #1,749 of 5,938

All Day Breakfast

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The LCD-5 are some of the best headphones I've ever experienced

However, they are very amp picky - I'm getting best results **BY FAR** out of an AHB2.
On most of my other amps they sound quite boring, dull, and not worth the money
What kind(s) of music do you listen to?
 
Oct 17, 2021 at 9:26 PM Post #1,750 of 5,938

PcChip

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What kind(s) of music do you listen to?
usually I swap headphones and amps depending on my mood, and what kind of music I want to listen to

However I've had the LCD-5 on for two days straight and not wanted to swap

psytrance, dubstep, rock, nu-metal, pop, even rap - these do it all perfectly
 
Oct 17, 2021 at 9:34 PM Post #1,751 of 5,938

All Day Breakfast

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usually I swap headphones and amps depending on my mood, and what kind of music I want to listen to

However I've had the LCD-5 on for two days straight and not wanted to swap

psytrance, dubstep, rock, nu-metal, pop, even rap - these do it all perfectly
Thanks
 
Oct 18, 2021 at 12:07 AM Post #1,754 of 5,938

HK_sends

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Responding to myself to update my findings from my brief morning listening session. I let the Burson Soloist run for some of the afternoon today and when my daughter took her nap I started listening, and it was night and day different. Then I remembered that Burson recommends at least a 30 minute warm up time for their amps. I would say it doesn't sound as dynamic, controlled, and fast as some other amps with the LCD-5 but with high gain at about 35 on the volume reducing my preamp volume by about 15 trying to find some level of unity if you will, and the results are far better with the LCD-5 than what I heard this morning. Hope that helps. Should have a Hugo 2 and a TT2 to compare soon as well.
I have the experience with a warm Conductor 3XP sounding much better than just after being turned on. Sometimes it's a PITA when you want to listen to music now, but it's worth the wait. I just hope it will hold me over with the LCD-5 until I can afford a more compatible amp.
Cheers! :beerchug:
-HK sends
 

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