Audeze LCD-5 Review, Measurements, Interview
Oct 19, 2021 at 3:08 PM Post #1,786 of 5,896

ajreynol

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My 4z do not exhibit any type of sibilance at all over many tens of thousands of listening hours, and many different genres. Using GSX-Mini and DENAFRIPS Ares II though, balanced. Maybe the audio components contributed to the treble issues?
My 4z's absolutely did and was the principle reason why I sent them back to Audeze. Immediately noticed it and it just never went away. My LCD-4's had no such issues.

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/audeze-lcd-4z-impressions-thread.876943/page-43#post-14656956
 
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Oct 19, 2021 at 3:45 PM Post #1,787 of 5,896

EMINENT

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As a newb in this ludicrous field, I have read a few times that you cannot add detail and resolution, but you can always EQ tonality to a preference. This makes sense to me. I would rather chase detail and adjust to my taste as I have done all my life whether it was $20 cheapo iem's when I was in high school to thousands of dollars in car audio.
It seems to me a more practical and less costly solution than headphone/amp rolling to find a sound signature. I personally would rather spend more for reference quality characteristics over a colored sound profile and sacrifice detail.
 
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Oct 19, 2021 at 4:57 PM Post #1,788 of 5,896

commtrd

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Apparently an early prototype before Audeze ditched the wooden cup idea on the LCD5.
Sadly Audeze said they have no plans of limited runs with different cup materials.
I personally do not mind the cup material much as long as they sound awesome.

245496034_10158089688387132_2006784586996856509_n.jpg
Hopefully Audeze will see fit to someday make the LCD5 with wood cups as pictured. These look beautiful. As far as the dust-up over the alleged distribution debacle (not) that no matter what Audeze chose to do, someone would have been irritated. They will be building these for the forseeable future, so no problem whatsoever for guys who don't mind waiting a while to get a pair,and I always think it is good to not buy the very first item of a new release anyway, to ensure that any discovered fixable issues are dealt with before I purchase.
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 5:39 PM Post #1,789 of 5,896

OneEyedHito

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As a newb in this ludicrous field, I have read a few times that you cannot add detail and resolution, but you can always EQ tonality to a preference. This makes sense to me. I would rather chase detail and adjust to my taste as I have done all my life whether it was $20 cheapo iem's when I was in high school to thousands of dollars in car audio.
It seems to me a more practical and less costly solution than headphone/amp rolling to find a sound signature. I personally would rather spend more for reference quality characteristics over a colored sound profile and sacrifice detail.
The Dave and Mscaler I have on loan adds Detail and Resolution both in GOBS, that is Gobs as in "a lot of" versus Gob Bluth from Arrested Development fame.
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 5:44 PM Post #1,790 of 5,896

Empyah

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As a newb in this ludicrous field, I have read a few times that you cannot add detail and resolution, but you can always EQ tonality to a preference. This makes sense to me. I would rather chase detail and adjust to my taste as I have done all my life whether it was $20 cheapo iem's when I was in high school to thousands of dollars in car audio.
It seems to me a more practical and less costly solution than headphone/amp rolling to find a sound signature. I personally would rather spend more for reference quality characteristics over a colored sound profile and sacrifice detail.
You will spend less money the other way around. You can not EQ timbre.
And you will have a great rig to work with for other cans.
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 5:51 PM Post #1,791 of 5,896

commtrd

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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
Did your GSX Mini amp play nice with the LCD5? My chain includes mini with DENAFRIPS Ares II dac. Hopefully will do right by the LCD5. Have the silver Norne S3 cable balanced to try as well. My Hugo2 died, replaced by Ares II, new dac sounds better to my ears, timbre, airiness, instrumental separation etc. Thinking the LCD5 will get along well with these components.
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 7:26 PM Post #1,792 of 5,896

geta123

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Hopefully Audeze will see fit to someday make the LCD5 with wood cups as pictured. These look beautiful. As far as the dust-up over the alleged distribution debacle (not) that no matter what Audeze chose to do, someone would have been irritated. They will be building these for the forseeable future, so no problem whatsoever for guys who don't mind waiting a while to get a pair,and I always think it is good to not buy the very first item of a new release anyway, to ensure that any discovered fixable issues are dealt with before I purchase.
Agreed. I quite like the tortoiseshell too though
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 7:29 PM Post #1,793 of 5,896

geta123

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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
Late to the party but have you tried them on the GS-X mini?
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 10:05 PM Post #1,794 of 5,896

IZONE

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So I'm hearing that my local drug dealer may be getting a shipment of LCD-5s in the next few weeks. If this is true, I'll be selling my soul to pick it up at initial launch (probably close to full MSRP + VAT unfortunately). If this dream comes true I'll be posting a lot of impressions, probably too much :D

On a side note. I don't mind the new ring material but I wish they would have just gone with matte black or dark grey or brown for a clean look. The current pattern just reminds of glasses frames for old ladies. Perhaps I should get some frames to match? Wait that might break the seal! LOL

One observation is that the LCD-5 launch seems to be going smoothly. Other than the usual weeping and gnashing of teeth over initial supply I don't see any reports of driver failure, build quality issues, or wonky sound quality where different units sound different and you have to get a cherry-picked unicorn unit etc. etc.. Audeze has come a long way, bravo!

*If I get a unit in I'll be checking the midrange cream quality for our resident cream-heads. I have the LCD-3 max cream and also the LCD-X 2021 so I can give us a cream scale comparison :laughing:
 
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Oct 19, 2021 at 11:12 PM Post #1,795 of 5,896

dcguy73

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I now have ~100 hours on the Black Dragon Audeze Premium cable + LCD-5 combination. The Black Dragon is a definite improvement over the stock cable in my system, smoothing the midrange bump out and adding a touch of warmth. These cans are incredibly reflective of any changes I make to my audio system. Every cable swap and adjustment I’ve made to my setup to make the LCD-5s sound better, I can hear clearly through the headphones. The Black Dragon cable actually sounded a bit flat until I added some contact enhancer to the connectors on both ends, and that brought more pop to the transients. If you’re not satisfied with the very even-handed tuning of the LCD-5, t’d be a good idea to budget for a cable upgrade and/or hardware EQ (like the Lokius) and/or software EQ.

I upgraded my I2S and Ethernet cables from the Supra brand to the Wireworld Silver Sphere and the Wireworld Starlight, respectively. The silver/copper Wireworld HDMI cable added some additional warmth to the sound. I also unplugged all of my power cables and cleaned the ends with alcohol and applied contact enhancer. That helped squeeze a bit more clarity and bass quantity out of my system.

With my Pathos Inpol Ear, I’m stuck with the level of bass quantity the amp puts out (though adjustible via tube rolling). On my iFi iCan Pro, I can dial up the X-Bass and get additional satisfaction in bass quantity. Again, the LCD-5 responds to EQ very nicely. It’s pretty obvious that Audeze intended the headphone to have more of a “reference” sound than a “fun” sound, but it’s pretty easy to change the sound to suit your needs. I personally think these headphones need more meat on their bones to sound good, which means using either a warm solid-state amplifier or tubes to power them.

Note that if you’re looking for these headphones to satisfy your basshead inner desires, you’ll be disappointed without adding EQ. The bass is incredibly firm and clean. When switching between the LCD-5 and my HE-1000SE, I find the Hifiman bass to be fatter and not as neatly rounded, but more satisfying overall. The LCD-5 bass hits hard, but there’s no bleed or fatness to it, so it adds nothing to the amount of bass present in the recording. That said, if you’re listening to electronica, you’ll find the bass accurately represented and commensurate in quantity to the music. Just don’t expect it to pound any harder than the artist intended it to.
 
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Oct 19, 2021 at 11:42 PM Post #1,796 of 5,896

sahmen

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With my Pathos Inpol Ear, I’m stuck with the level of bass quantity the amp puts out (though adjustible via tube rolling). On my iFi iCan Pro, I can dial up the X-Bass and get additional satisfaction in bass quantity. Again, the LCD-5 responds to EQ very nicely. It’s pretty obvious that Audeze intended the headphone to have more of a “reference” sound than a “fun” sound, but it’s pretty easy to change the sound to suit your needs. I personally think these headphones need more meat on their bones to sound good to me, which means using either a warm solid-state amplifier or tubes to power them.
Interesting remarks, but could you kindly elaborate a little more on how the LCD-5 fares with the Pathos InPol Ear? Given the power of the Amp, as well as its finesse, I have somewhat assumed (or presumed) that mine will jive well with the LCD-5 (as it does with the Susvara and the Abyss TC), but you seem to sound a tad disappointed with the pairing, if I am not mistaken, which is giving me some pause. The highlighted comment about being "stuck" with the In Pol Ear's level of Bass seems to hint at some frustration. I am trying to figure out where I stand with the In Pol Ear before my LCD-5 arrives next week. By the way, my In Pol Ear is currently paired with an Yggy A2, and I also have another rig which consists of a Niimbus US4 and a Sonnet Morpheus DAC pairing... I wonder whether the R2R topologies of these DACs might influence the LCD-5's sound signature in any interesting way.

Ordinarily, I do not really dabble with EQ settings aside from the Audeze presets in Roon, but I do not think LCD-5 Roon presets exist yet. I listen to a lot of Jazz, classical, and acoustic music, and while I adore me some great bass, I do not consider myself to be a basshead, for what it's worth.
 
Oct 20, 2021 at 8:09 AM Post #1,798 of 5,896

johnzz4

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I now have ~100 hours on the Black Dragon Audeze Premium cable + LCD-5 combination. The Black Dragon is a definite improvement over the stock cable in my system, smoothing the midrange bump out and adding a touch of warmth. These cans are incredibly reflective of any changes I make to my audio system. Every cable swap and adjustment I’ve made to my setup to make the LCD-5s sound better, I can hear clearly through the headphones. The Black Dragon cable actually sounded a bit flat until I added some contact enhancer to the connectors on both ends, and that brought more pop to the transients. If you’re not satisfied with the very even-handed tuning of the LCD-5, t’d be a good idea to budget for a cable upgrade and/or hardware EQ (like the Lokius) and/or software EQ.

I upgraded my I2S and Ethernet cables from the Supra brand to the Wireworld Silver Sphere and the Wireworld Starlight, respectively. The silver/copper Wireworld HDMI cable added some additional warmth to the sound. I also unplugged all of my power cables and cleaned the ends with alcohol and applied contact enhancer. That helped squeeze a bit more clarity and bass quantity out of my system.

With my Pathos Inpol Ear, I’m stuck with the level of bass quantity the amp puts out (though adjustible via tube rolling). On my iFi iCan Pro, I can dial up the X-Bass and get additional satisfaction in bass quantity. Again, the LCD-5 responds to EQ very nicely. It’s pretty obvious that Audeze intended the headphone to have more of a “reference” sound than a “fun” sound, but it’s pretty easy to change the sound to suit your needs. I personally think these headphones need more meat on their bones to sound good, which means using either a warm solid-state amplifier or tubes to power them.

Note that if you’re looking for these headphones to satisfy your basshead inner desires, you’ll be disappointed without adding EQ. The bass is incredibly firm and clean. When switching between the LCD-5 and my HE-1000SE, I find the Hifiman bass to be fatter and not as neatly rounded, but more satisfying overall. The LCD-5 bass hits hard, but there’s no bleed or fatness to it, so it adds nothing to the amount of bass present in the recording. That said, if you’re listening to electronica, you’ll find the bass accurately represented and commensurate in quantity to the music. Just don’t expect it to pound any harder than the artist intended it to.
Interesting, I found the Wireworld Silver Sphere to be pretty neutral throughout the frequency range with a little too much treble zing for my liking. I moved to the transparent premium and found it a bit warmer and balanced throughout. I'm quite sure that digital interconnects respond differently in different systems though.
 
Oct 20, 2021 at 12:55 PM Post #1,799 of 5,896

dcguy73

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Interesting remarks, but could you kindly elaborate a little more on how the LCD-5 fares with the Pathos InPol Ear? Given the power of the Amp, as well as its finesse, I have somewhat assumed (or presumed) that mine will jive well with the LCD-5 (as it does with the Susvara and the Abyss TC), but you seem to sound a tad disappointed with the pairing, if I am not mistaken, which is giving me some pause. The highlighted comment about being "stuck" with the In Pol Ear's level of Bass seems to hint at some frustration. I am trying to figure out where I stand with the In Pol Ear before my LCD-5 arrives next week. By the way, my In Pol Ear is currently paired with an Yggy A2, and I also have another rig which consists of a Niimbus US4 and a Sonnet Morpheus DAC pairing... I wonder whether the R2R topologies of these DACs might influence the LCD-5's sound signature in any interesting way.

Ordinarily, I do not really dabble with EQ settings aside from the Audeze presets in Roon, but I do not think LCD-5 Roon presets exist yet. I listen to a lot of Jazz, classical, and acoustic music, and while I adore me some great bass, I do not consider myself to be a basshead, for what it's worth.
Interesting, I found the Wireworld Silver Sphere to be pretty neutral throughout the frequency range with a little too much treble zing for my liking. I moved to the transparent premium and found it a bit warmer and balanced throughout. I'm quite sure that digital interconnects respond differently in different systems though.

@sahmen, you are correct that I was frustrated.

It was late last night when I posted my LCD-5 observations, and I was upset that the HE-1000SE bass sounded better to me than the LCD-5 bass on the InPol Ear. At the time, the iCan Pro in my office system was doing a better job of powering the Audeze than the Pathos amp in my reference headphone system. I've spent months tuning my main system to make the HE-1000SE sound its best, and I was hoping that I could make some minor changes and the LCD-5 would be similarly optimized without a lot of effort. That was not a proper assumption. I was also frustrated that the iCan Pro did surprisingly well with the LCD-5 in comparison without further tuning.

This morning, I set about making some changes. After swapping in a different set of tubes (that were cleaned and had contact enhancer applied to the pins) in the InPol Ear and switching from the Wireworld HDMI cable back to the warm-sounding-and-incredibly-thick-gauge Lush Phasure HDMI^2 I2S cable (@johnzz4, you were right about the Wireworld Silver Sphere -- it is a bit thin-sounding), I listened to Massive Attack's album "Mezzanine" on the amp to verify improvements in the bass.

On the song "Teardrop," the quiet high hat popped out of the mix. The bass drum that sounds like a heartbeat and the crisp cross-stick pattern that repeat throughout the song were palpable and almost holographic. The same album had sounded leaner with less overall impact in my earlier configuration. The LCD-5 now showed increased warmth and fatter, more prodigious bass. However, the HE-1000SE bass sounded a bit loose and sloppy on the InPol Ear, so the tube and cable swap are not ideal for both headphones.

Switching between my reference system and my office system, I'd say the iCan Pro does itself proud with the LCD-5, and is a good fit whether using solid-state or tube mode. The iCan's bass is solid even without XBass, but there is the option to add more with that function. With the right tubes, the InPol Ear puts out an equivalent amount and quality of bass as the iCan. The Inpol Ear shows its higher-fi stripes by pulling ahead of iFi in detail and subtlety when using the LCD-5.

@sahmen, I wouldn't recommend ditching your InPol prior to getting the LCD-5. Give it a chance.

Apparently, I was not supplying enough bass to the Audeze cans with my previous configuration. It could be that the InPol is more suited for the HE-1000SE/Susvara than the LCD-5, but I'd need to spend more time tinkering with/optimizing my setup for the LCD-5 before I could say for sure. I've got a Double Helix Complement C headphone cable on the way in a few weeks, and I'm hopeful that will bring the LCD-5 to the next level over the Black Dragon cable I'm using now.
 
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