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How does the Audeze LCD2 Classic measure up against TH-X00 or TH900?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by bachatum, Nov 24, 2018.
  1. bachatum
    I'm looking for recommendations on a headphone as a step up to the TH-X00. I was considering something like the Audeze LCD2 Classic or potentially the TH900 (not mkii).

    Primary Genres: EDM (Trance, Progressive), secondary Punk, Rock, third and less frequent Pop.

    I would be pushing these with a Magni 2, using a Steinberg UR22 USB DAC.

    Headphones of note that I've owned or at least tested in the past
    Beyer DT-990 - Really airy, good sound stage, but lacking in bass. A bit harsh and unforgiving on low quality recordings.. but that comes with the exaggerated treble. Also, can only be listed to at reasonable volume to avoid going deaf.
    Beyer DT-770 - Bass was not accurate and seemed artificial. Too much mid bass and it seemed somewhat chamber like.
    Beyer DT-880 600ohm - A toned down more neutral/balanced DT-990 but really weak with bass and just boring. Decent as a studio monitor headphone I suppose.
    Sennheiser HD600 - Boring. Good mids.
    Sennheiser HD25 - Uncomfortable and too much mids, and lacks clarity.
    Hifiman HE400i - Good mids, somewhat lacking on the low, low end (sub levels) and also at the very high range. Overall, somewhat boring. Somewhat similar impression of the HD600.
    ATHM50 (and X variant) - Wannabe Sony MDR-7506 with a more musical sound and V shape and artificial treble which I found to be more fatiguing.
    Philips Fidelio X2 - Weird colored sound, seemed somewhat off and lacked clarity.
    Ultrasone Pro 900 - Unbalanced, lacked clarity (mids and upper frequency). This headphone reminded me very much of the old Sony MDR-V700 (DJ headphone).
    Fostex TH-X00 - Initial impression was that it lacked clarity and has somewhat of a nasal sound, but eventually I got used to it. These sound really good with Rock and certain EDM. Mids lack clarity. There's a peak somewhere in the upper mid to treble, so certain instruments can be pronounced yet others seem somewhat veiled. Bass is definitely its strong point.

    So I definitely like the Bass in the Fostex, but also enjoyed the clarity in the DT-990. I dislike mid heavy oriented headphones, as well as headphones that boost the muddy frequency area of the lower mids (~250hz). Also, the Fostex seem to have this "Fun" type of aspect to them that I like. Not sure if its the bass impact or what. Obviously, because I was able to tolerate the DT-990s for the most part and didn't immediately find them offensive, I am not super sensitive to highs.

    Any suggestions appreciated, cheers.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  2. TMRaven
    You probably wouldn't like Audezes. I'd characterize them as midrange heavy. Definitely not to the extent of Sennheiser HD650 or especially the HD600, but the Audeze bass doesn't bloom in the low end quite like the TH-X00. LCD-X might be your best bet of the bunch, but even then we're not talking TH-X00 levels of bass.
  3. bachatum
    Thanks for the feedback, I guess that quickly eliminates the LCD-2 from the list.

    I guess the question the becomes, what much more does the Fostex TH900 offer over the TH-X00? I see some people aren't fans of the treble or tuning on the TH900s but some seem to associate that with the difference in ear pads between the two. Any head-fi'ers experience both (TH-X00, TH900) and can you give me your subjective take on the differences?
  4. omniweltall
    Between TH900 and TH-X00, go for the TH900. I heard both; you'll notice the difference, in soundstage, treble and bass quality. TH900 main problem is its tonality which can be fixed with EQ easily. After that, TH-X00 just doesn't stand a chance. TH-X00 bass is better than a lots of cans out there, but it is more boomy and loose if you compare to TH900. Also, keep the original TH900 pads.

    Between LCD-2C and TH900, the TH900 is the more technically proficient one, but they are both complementary. Get both.

    LCD-2C also needs to be EQ-ed to give it much needed body in its tonality, and to bring forward the female vocals. After that, LCD-2C becomes much more balanced and you can truly and feel its full potential. It has this Audeze tonality that is hard to beat, very enjoyable. Larger than life audio images. Lush heavy vocal. Pumpin' big bass that is really addicting. It also has the best build quality I've ever seen in a sub $1000 phone. Feels substantial. Think Abyss build quality.

    TH900 is the more technical phone with more resolution and details. Once EQ-ed, it got the best bass, treble, and soundstage out of all dynamic cans I've tried. Its bass is incisive and thunderous, totally different style than LCD-2C. You'll love both types of bass. Treble, soundstage and imaging quality are leagues above LCD-2C. These are TH900 strengths. And it's got this really clean smooth mid (though thinner than Audeze mid) that I love with female vocal as well.

    I really can't choose between them. Think of it like this...LCD-2C is a Yang, and TH900 is a Yin. Perfect complements.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    Fegefeuer likes this.
  5. obsidyen
    I'm in a similar boat. I want to upgrade from TH-610. I've heard TH900 but I cannot recommend it whole heartedly. Yes, it has amazing amazing bass. But the treble ruined it for me. Too harsh and tizzy. I am considering Focal Elegia and Sony MDRZ7M2 these days but have not read good impressions regarding bass quantity.
  6. Malfunkt
    I would still consider the LCD2 Classic. If it was as good as my older LCD2 (rev 2) than it can stand toe-to-toe with a TH900. Very different presentations. The planar will bring different qualities. It will be more lush than the HD600 you had. Stil with excellent mid-range but very well-extended sub-bass. What you are going to find is that it doesn't have a mid-bass hump, but will still be excellent for very well produced EDM. You will also enjoy it more with acoustic, punk and pop. It has a warm tone, but still has plenty of detail. It allows you to turn it up but still have a very balanced signature. Would be a good companion to the boom of the TH-X00.
  7. bachatum
    Good stuff.
    To confirm, are you referring to the LCD2 closed or classic?
  8. bachatum
    I like the sound of this. One thing I do like about the TH-X00 is that I can listen to them at higher volumes pretty safely. Whereas with the DT-990, those are limited to low/moderate listening volumes before the highs start really digging into the ear drum.
  9. omniweltall
    Classic. The closed version is called LCD2CB, which I havent tried.
  10. omniweltall
    In general, planar just bring a different character compared to dynamics (hd600/hd650/hd800 for example). Planars have this weight and body in their tonality that is missing in dynamics. They sound cleaner and have more impactful bass as well. But they tend to gloss over fine details, in my opinion. Dynamics also trounce them in treble and imaging in general. In the end, I notice they are unable to give the same kind of emotion as good dynamics. TH900 is somewhat in the middle of these two.

    It is like comparing hot tea (dynamics) and iced coke (planar). When you're thirsty, you will definitely run towards iced coke. It gives instant gratification and most people can notice the benefits immediately. And they crave for it.

    But in time, you'll start to appreciate the benefit of tea. It is much much more subtle, but it is "the better" drink.

    I love both. But nothing is going to replace hd800 (modded, EQ-ed and tube amps) for me for now, despite all the other cans I also love.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    Malfunkt likes this.
  11. omniweltall
    In stock form LCD-2C will sound a little thin, though lush. Bass need more impact. And female vocal sounds subdued. Dont get me wrong, female vocals still sound nice; some people call it laid-back and smooth. But I need it to come out just a little more and be a bit more in line with the rest. I'm not trying to change it into something else. I still want it to be Audeze, but a little more balanced Audeze.

    This is why people say stock LCD--2C is complementary to AFO. AFO sounds thicker with a lot of mid-bass punch. The 2C has deeper sub bass, wider stage and larger images. But if you EQ the 2C, it will obtain around 90% of AFO's strengths, while keeping its own strengths.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  12. ChaChaRealSmooth
    Just a quick note to the OP; I have seen around forums stating that the LCD-2 Classic and the regular LCD-2 have the same drivers, with the only difference being the Fazors and accessories. If you want the case and stuff it might actually be worth checking out the regular LCD-2s.

    That being said, I found the TH900 to have more "character" and be more fun than the more neutral (and in my opinion technically superior) LCD-2 (haven't heard the Classic sorry). I personally preferred the LCD-2 looking back at my listening notes (yes, I take notes when I audition cans), but in your case I'd recommend the TH900, especially if you already are acclimated to the Fostex sound.
  13. omniweltall
    Forget the th900 if you are not going to EQ it. It is a one-trick pony.

    EQ it to give it wings to kick the living hell out of the newer cans out there.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  14. ahmedie
    Just get campfire cascades, they are the best closed cans I heard better than every thing you mentioned above including LCDs, th900, etc. Huge sound stage , big bass, 2 times 00x depend on filter of choice, can fine tune sound to taste, very dynamic, smooth and very fast driver, black background with stax/focal image. I don't thing anything can touch them in term of big bass and high technicality. I also hear good things about zmf but never heard them
  15. davisman
    I owned a lcd 2v2 before purchasing a th900 mk1. The lcd's collected dust for 4 years. ymmv.

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