Audeze LCD-5 Review, Measurements, Interview
Jan 16, 2022 at 1:51 PM Post #3,901 of 5,916

johnzz4

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How is this working for you now? You said you turned it all the way up to the 80hz setting? What did you mean by that as I thought it was only 10/20/40.

I am really interested in this too because of the ability to remote volume but the color is the only thing holding me back. Anyone else tried this yet?

The sticking Rean connectors has always happened to me with Audeze’s cables. I feel they’re a liability for Audeze at this point. I’ve tried other plugs from Eidolic, Furutech, and others. I’ve never had the sticking issue with any other connectors. If they had a better connector, chances are that pic would have never happened.
 
Jan 16, 2022 at 1:55 PM Post #3,902 of 5,916

buffer

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if you think the XC is a better HP than the 5 more power to you...you will save a lot of money but I will not take your observations very seriously...
My comment wasn't trying to jusify a purchase decision. To be clear, I like the LCD-5 and I'm actually keeping both. if anyone read my post as me being negative about the LCD-5 (not saying you specifically interpreted that way) I just wanted to say I enjoy the LCD-5, just not my optimal sound.

Regarding taking my observations seriously- It is posible due to unique characteristics of people's hearing, or for that matter, variations in a product or upstream gear, that we could hear the same model of headphone differently. But I respect the thought. I too have people whose opinions I determine over time to be more reflective of what I hear, and I give them more credence in helping me to make purchase decisions.

Also, I'd like to thank those that defended or 'liked' my post.
 
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Jan 16, 2022 at 1:57 PM Post #3,903 of 5,916

04gto

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This is a fairly academic and moot argument from a practical standpoint, is it not? Honestly you guys, someone that is truly considering an LCD-5 (and is actually in a position to purchase it without financial strain) is simply not out there trying to find budget source gear to go along with it.
For me this is not about ‘budget’ gear. For me if something sounds good, I like it. Simple right? The point I am making is that for people saying “you have to spend $X to get anywhere near what I consider good”, that is a load of BS. If someone has a budget of $7k and could easily acquire a LCD-5 and a Burson Conductor 3, you will have people insist that their budget (really?) Burson is completely inadequate, because “you will get a profound improvement with more depth to the sound when listening to hi end gear”. What does “hi end”mean? It means you spent more, nothing else. Unless the individual actually prefers it.
"Need" is a BS term in this hobby. We don't need this hobby at all even. We may only need basic equipment to do the digital conversion and drive a pair of headphones, but it is vastly more satisfying to listen with high-end gear. And I can say this since I was experimenting with the LCD-5s and the Drop AAA ONE and, once done, switched to my main system playing the same track, and the difference is profound, with far more depth to the sound, whereas the AAA ONE makes the music sound flat in comparison.
I like your videos (subscriber) but “reviewer” is a BS term in this hobby. You have not, can not and will not back up any of what you have said above with blind testing.

When I get my LCD-5 I may not like them as well as my LCD-XC after extended listening. I liked them quite a lot at SoCal CanJam but who knows? But one thing is 100% for sure, more money does not equal better sound. Only schills and snobs (audiophiles) will insist that more money will automatically get you better sound or enjoyment.
 
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Jan 16, 2022 at 1:58 PM Post #3,904 of 5,916

04gto

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The sticking Rean connectors has always happened to me with Audeze’s cables. I feel they’re a liability for Audeze at this point. I’ve tried other plugs from Eidolic, Furutech, and others. I’ve never had the sticking issue with any other connectors. If they had a better connector, chances are that pic would have never happened.
I guess I have been lucky. I have never had an issue with any of my Audeze/mini xlr connections.
 
Jan 16, 2022 at 2:00 PM Post #3,905 of 5,916

alpha80

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It's been awhile since i have been on this thread. thought I might add a brief opinion on the lcd-5s. I offer my opinion because it may differ from many other opinions expressed on this thread.

I purchased the LCD-5 and my dislike for the issues I experienced ergonomically and customer support-wise still remains, but I will focus on sonics. I own the Final Audio D8000 Pro and to my way of hearing, i consider it to be a techincally outstanding, and almost perfecty neutral/transparent headphone. But I wanted something a little more forward in the vocals/midrange. I consider the D8000 Pro to be transparent in this regard, adding almost no coloration to the source, but sometimes you want a different 'flavor'. I was looking for a slightly forward sound that would still maintain, to a great extent, overall neutrality and naturalness.

I like the LCD-5 sonically, but I do not consider it neutral or transparent to the source. So I like the forwardness, but I feel there is a slight swell in the upper midrange that quickly drops off and creates an undersirable warmth. I can see where the swell in the mids/upper mids may mask the missing frequencies, but the upper frequencies are clearly subdued to me and so I find the headphone to not provide the overall neutrality i was looking for. On the positive, I would say that unlike many previous Audezes I have owned, I am happy that there does not seem to be an artificially boosted lower midrange to congest vocals.

In comparing the D8000 Pro to the LCD-5, I find the D8000 Pro to be clearer, more resolving, more dynamic, and more natural and transparent to the source. I also find the timbre and imaging to be more accurate. Is the D8K pro absolutely perfect? I think it has a realism I do not hear in other headphones and I find to my ears, it is truer to life and more to my liking. Perhaps I would like a slight boost in midrange and less lower midrange, but I tend to think this a preference rather than a technical shortcoming of the headphone itself. I guess, if you look at measurements, its perfection could be debated. Also, I would note that I did not like the Pro out of the box. It took burn-in time. But at this point I find it to be more like a piece of equipment and a microscope to the music rather than a typical headphone that imparts it's own sound. It also possesses musicality, but maybe not the most musical I have heard. In fact, while less perfect, I'd say the D8000 is more musical than the Pro.

But I want to draw one other comparison. I recently came in to posession of the new LCD-XC. I prefer it to the LCD-5. I think it is as clear and more tonally correct. It did have a slight bleached quality to the upper midrange/treble initially but that improved over time. It has the clear sound, slightly forward midrange / vocals without any congestion, and sounds pretty well tonally balanced and natural. In short, unlike the LCD-5, it gave me exactly what I was looking for. It's all a matter of taste so I won't definitively say one is better than the other. I find the XC to be more neutral which for me, because I prefer not to use EQs, is my choice. The downside of the XC is that it is heavier and less comfortable than the LCD-5.

Also, the reason i came into posession was because my friend thought the XC lacked a bit of richness due to slight emphasis in upper midrange. The LCD-5 has an equal or greater swell, but because of what I perceive to be a preciptious dropoff it does not suffer from a bleached sound, if anything just the opposite. My friend strongly preferred the LCD-5 over the XC. He thought it possessed a 'regal' and rich sound quality. Also worth noting, he preferred the lack of veil and the fleshed-out treble on the RAAL w/Jott. over that of the XC, especially, but over the LCD-5 too.

But I have different gear and feel that the LCD-XC (also now more burned-in) does not suffer from a lack of richness. Is it the richest? No. But it strikes the right balance with me. Admittedly, I may try tuning pads on the XC but I am happy without them.

Some may wonder whether I prefer the XC to the D8000 Pro. good question, and I cannot answer definitively. I do think the D8000 Pro is still better and maybe more accurate, possesses better timbre, is more vibrant (with exeption of vocals which tend to be richer on the Pro but less vivid or highlighted than they are on the XC). The Pro is also more dynamic, but overall not necessarily more to my preference in regards to musicality. I also prefer the bass quantity, quality and slam of the D8000 Pro over the XC (and for that matter I think the Pro also matches or exceeds the LCD-5 in those attributes). But more comparisons would be necessary for me to give a real comparison between the XC and D8000 Pro in terms of what I ultimately prefer.
LCD-5 is the first Planar which convinced me that planar technology had true promise in the realm of reference monitor headphones.

It’s certainly got an incredibly well tuned FR, and great attributes in many areas.
 
Jan 16, 2022 at 2:13 PM Post #3,906 of 5,916

buffer

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LCD-5 is the first Planar which convinced me that planar technology had true promise in the realm of reference monitor headphones.

It’s certainly got an incredibly well tuned FR, and great attributes in many areas.
Interesting. What about the lcd-5 reversed your general view on planar technology? Was it specifically FR that until the LCD-5 you maybe thought couldn't be achieved or was it something else like soundstage or detail or dynamics?
 
Jan 16, 2022 at 2:18 PM Post #3,907 of 5,916

jlbrach

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Agreed 100%. These points need to be repeated over and over again. The outdated and incorrect notion that you need to spend $XXXX on source gear just because you spent $XXXX on headphones is misinformation to people who are newer to the hobby. Pushing people away because of artificial (and again misleading) cost of entry barriers. As long as the power levels are there and nothing is broken, in blind testing 99% of people could hardly tell the difference between a $5k amp and a $1k amp of the same topology. Even IF they could they would point to differences, not necessarily improvements. And you sure don't need to go spend $5k on a Chord M Scaler. Which creates the 'improvement' over the already overpriced Chord gear it is attached to equivalent to changing the filter on a garden variety $400 DAC.
if so then I suppose the same holds for a 4500 dollar HP vs a 1000 dollar HP doesnt it?
 
Jan 16, 2022 at 2:20 PM Post #3,908 of 5,916

jlbrach

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I read at that link and saw the photo, I must say it didn't make a good impression on me that the connector is glued. But I want to give my experience.

The problem is mainly one: the miniXLR Rean connectors of the Audeze stock cable are too forced into the headphone-side connectors. Those Reans are the culprits, because with 3 other aftermarket cables I had no problems on the LCD-5.

As I wrote in previous posts, to extract them I had to disassemble the rear cap, take out the inner piece, and then easily pull off the outer metal barrel.
At that point I came up with the idea of buying a spare pair of Reans, removing the guide tab (see photo, it is the one that strains on the headphone connector) and replace the original barrels with them. Of course you can do the same job on existing ones, but since they cost 2 or 3 Euros it wasn't worth the risk of making a mistake.
With this new configuration, they are inserted and extracted very easily, you just have to be a little more careful to insert them in the right direction, as there is no longer the guide strip.

p.s. You can buy both 3 or 4 pole Rean miniXLR, as the outer barrel is exactly the same (you need only that).

p.p.s Before pulling out the cable by unscrewing the connectors, I had tried several times by pulling off REALLY HARD. Nothing happened to the headphone connector, whether it is glued or not. So the author of that post must have pulled REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HARD, I don't believe at all that it came off as easily as he says.
actually I had a similar problem so I can say the author is not exaggerating...I had a similar issue in the past with my old lcd-4z....it is a real issue
 
Jan 16, 2022 at 2:31 PM Post #3,909 of 5,916

04gto

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if so then I suppose the same holds for a 4500 dollar HP vs a 1000 dollar HP doesnt it?
It certainly does. To wit: Meze Empyrean, Elite and DCA Stealth are all headphones that, to my ears, are all inferior to the Hifiman Arya, LCD-X/XC and Focal Clear (to name a few). Which are all far cheaper.
 
Jan 16, 2022 at 2:34 PM Post #3,910 of 5,916

number1sixerfan

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My comment wasn't trying to jusify a purchase decision. To be clear, I like the LCD-5 and I'm actually keeping both. if anyone read my post as me being negative about the LCD-5 (not saying you specifically interpreted that way) I just wanted to say I enjoy the LCD-5, just not my optimal sound.

Regarding taking my observations seriously- It is posible due to unique characteristics of people's hearing, or for that matter, variations in a product or upstream gear, that we could hear the same model of headphone differently. But I respect the thought. I too have people whose opinions I determine over time to be more reflective of what I hear, and I give them more credence in helping me to make purchase decisions.

Also, I'd like to thank those that defended or 'liked' my post.

Your impressions were just fine, and you provided ample context around the XC comparison. Your impressions also mirror mine more than what I'm seeing in the thread. There is definitely a lack of clarity/transparency and a veil that is just not present in my other TOTL headphones. It may just be the warm tonality, but both my CRBN and L3000 are warmer headphones and even going from them to the LCD-5 makes the lack of transparency very clear. The L3000 was most surprising as it is an obviously colored headphone and yet, same thing.
 
Jan 16, 2022 at 2:43 PM Post #3,911 of 5,916

Tachyon88

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Nice to see @buffer getting some defense after the elitist gatekeeping. I remember when I was not impressed with the diana v2, I was told that is because my amp is not expensive enough and was promptly given some arbitrary ratio of headphone to amp pricing in order to unlock this mystery audio energy. Same amp and on a more demanding headphone, susvara, sounds sooo much better than the diana v2....go figure.
 
Jan 16, 2022 at 2:52 PM Post #3,912 of 5,916
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For me this is not about ‘budget’ gear. For me if something sounds good, I like it. Simple right?

Sure, and there's a variation on that in my signature. :smile:

The point I am making is that for people saying “you have to spend $X to get anywhere near what I consider good”, that is a load of BS. If someone has a budget of $7k and could easily acquire a LCD-5 and a Burson Conductor 3, you will have people insist that there budget (really?) Burson is completely inadequate, because “you will get a profound improvement with more depth to the sound when listening to hi end gear”. What does “hi end”mean? It means you spent more, nothing else. Unless the individual actually prefers it.

Yes agreed, that criticism would be equally non-sensical to me going in the other direction (for the other direction's sake).

For the LCD-5, I think the key is to find something that plays to its strengths. It's a ruthlessly revealing headphone to me, and so I'd choose to pair it with something that accentuates that, and price (either way) is simply not a factor for me. As it happens tho, more revealing source gear is often not budget gear, hence my comment above.

I guess I have been lucky. I have never had an issue with any of my Audeze/mini xlr connections.

Same. Though, in all fairness, I can't even remember the last time I used a stock cable, and the cable I do use features Amphenol terminators rather than Rean, so there's that. :relaxed:
 
Jan 16, 2022 at 2:53 PM Post #3,913 of 5,916

pastorernie

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For me this is not about ‘budget’ gear. For me if something sounds good, I like it. Simple right? The point I am making is that for people saying “you have to spend $X to get anywhere near what I consider good”, that is a load of BS. If someone has a budget of $7k and could easily acquire a LCD-5 and a Burson Conductor 3, you will have people insist that there budget (really?) Burson is completely inadequate, because “you will get a profound improvement with more depth to the sound when listening to hi end gear”. What does “hi end”mean? It means you spent more, nothing else. Unless the individual actually prefers it.

I like your videos (subscriber) but “reviewer” is a BS term in this hobby. You have not, can not and will not back up any of what you have said above with blind testing.

When I get my LCD-5 I may not like them as well as my LCD-XC after extended listening. I liked them quite a lot at SoCal CanJam but who knows? But one thing is 100% for sure, more money does not equal better sound. Only schills and snobs (audiophiles) will insist that more money will automatically get you better sound or enjoyment.
Hey, the lower end AAAs have a flat sound stage. Some things are sore thumbs.
 
Jan 16, 2022 at 2:55 PM Post #3,914 of 5,916

Drewligarchy

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I don't agree with that general rule at all. There's various affordable dac/amps that will bring out a huge chunk of performance out of many headphones, LCD-5 included. You do not need to spend anywhere near the cost of the LCD-5 to get a great experience out of them. I think at that point, is justification biases to spend more and more mone to eek out percentages in performance out of most headphones.

That general rule may have been a decent rule 15 years ago. Now... I can't agree.

Transducers is and will always be where most of the money should go to. Just my two cents from my own experiences. I'm sure some think if it aint TOTL, it ain't worth looking into. I have a more versatile outlook.

Example 1. Person has $5000 to spend. Get an LCD-5 with a $400 Jotunheim 2 and a $100 Modi.

Example 2. Person has $5000 He gets an LCD-X, with a Burson Soloist and Conductor nearing the cost of the 1st example in total.

You think the LCD-X will reach anywhere near the potential of the LCD-5?

I'm sorry but no. And I love the LCD-X.

The LCD-5 will sound fantastic off the Jot 2 and Modi, well and above the LCD-X that has much better dac and amplification on paper.

I think we need to start putting such outdated notions of general rules to bed. Permanently.

I know I'm in the high end forum where... pockets are a bit deeper than simple logic, but I implore you to consider other avenues than flawed arguments of price needing to be spread evenly. It does not. Feed a headphone enough clean power to ensure proper operation first and foremost (which nowadays can be had for a few meager hundred bones here or there). After that, the rest is highly debatable.

I agree that there shouldn’t be any hard and fast budgeting rules, and that the transducer is the most important element, but also that headphones will scale with better amp/dacs - for them.

It’s all about synergy. While certainly there are better DACs and Amps, you build around a headphone and give it what it needs to thrive - according to your tastes.

The LCD 5 is great because it doesn’t need a powerful amp to sound its best. But it is exceptionally resolving, and I have experienced better Sonics when trying higher end DACs with it. Sure, it can sound good with any DAC, but if you want to make it sound it’s best - pick the device that is most resolving and has the greatest synergy to your ear. Yes we are talking about the last 5-10%, but a lot of audiophilia is about that: you don’t need to spend $4500 to get good headphones either.

It’s true that the Abyss and Susvara are different beasts, and in my experience with the Abyss in particular - it sounds best on tubes and scales to new heights - based on my preferences . It can require a greater investment than the LCD 5, but, again, you are giving the headphone what it needs to max it out.

I won’t dispute that either the LCD 5 or Abyss can sound good with modest DACs and Amps, just that they can sound better with better DACs and/or amps. And money doesn’t always equal performance - but many times it does, even if there are heavy diminishing returns.

I guess my point is that with many of these new TOTL transducers - their performance reaches all new levels. pair them with the best chain you can based on their need, synergy and your preferences - and they will improve because you can eek out a whole lot from them, especially now.
 
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Jan 16, 2022 at 2:58 PM Post #3,915 of 5,916

llamaluv

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A friend alerted me to the existence of a certain thread on the r/headphones subreddit, "$4500 Part Deux - It's starting to look like this is a real issue with the LCD-5s". [etc]

Which is enough reason not to read it. A great many comments about the design of a completely re-designed headphone from people who probably haven't done more than remove and replace a screw in something random in their house, let alone have a clue about design and manufacture.
What is that you're referring to as a "reason not to read it"? If you're referring to the miscellaneous replies to original poster, they are beside the point and are naturally fully of speculation and of varying quality. But the original report is worth taking note of. At least I think so. Nothing more or less than that, at this point.
 

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