How to get decent sound from my Audeze LCD-2?
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GeirTj

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After having yet read another unconditionally positive review of the LCD-2's I must do another attempt to get the best out of my cans.

I do not belive there are any electromechanical fault with them as both left and right side sound similar and without any obvious distortion. They just sounds so muffled and closed-in compared to my other cans. I've tried to use them some months now and hope that they are broken in.

I use them with Moon Audio - Silver Dragon (unbalanced) cabling and drive them with either headamps as Burson HA-160, Trafomatic Head One or the headphone jack on my Weiss Audio DAC202. All of these should be respected headphone amps but do not give much synergy here - in my view.

Last cause for my dissatisfaction concerning these phones could simply be that my taste is very different from all the LCD-2 reviewers.

So, do you see anything wrong with my set-up and can propose any alterations? Or are you pleased by using a set-up similar to one of mine? - which means that I must re-evaluate my own hearing and tastes (and sell the phones ASAP).

Any constructive feedback is welcomed.

Geir
Oslo, Norway
 
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Peg me if I'm wrong, but it seems that you're running from a computer, correct?
 
If that, then you Audio quality lacks and your media player isn't up to standard or beyond standard.
 
Other then that, your probably not pushing them hard enough. Ortho takes a MASSIVE amount of power to push correctly. I've modded my receiver to push Ortho and I'm afraid of turning the volume knob on a dynamic driver but my T50RP take anything.
 
I'm not entirely sure about you amps, I'm not too much into amps because my receiver drives anything, but I know of the amps I've tested the LCD-2 on. Probably Schiit LYR was the best I heard because of the massive amount of power they could push.
 
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You're used to the massive soundstage and boosted treble of the HD800, probably. Your taste is just different. Don't try to force it, they're both top tier headphones in their own way.
 
You could always keep both, they're very complimentary.
 
I'm still not exactly sure why everyone says the LCD-2 is hard to drive. It works wonderfully out of my DAC1, and I only have the knob at a step past 9 o'clock. It worked fine out of my Little Dot I+.
 
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Quote:
You're used to the massive soundstage and boosted treble of the HD800, probably. Your taste is just different. Don't try to force it, they're both top tier headphones in their own way.
 
You could always keep both, they're very complimentary.


It might be that his ears aren't used to Ortho
 
I've been compiling that some people just can't stand Ortho for some reason. It's with their ears or something, but they just can't stand it and find no use in the drivers.
 
Others like me find Ortho to be Godly.
 
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Thank you for informative and balanced (polite) feedback. As source I normally use a Raven One turntable with Benz LP pickup running into a Cary RIAA and then into the headamps. Listening to digital is not significantly worse or better.

I do find the orthos to open up when I crank up the volume significantly, but the level is just too high for sustained listening. And I'm not of the delicate type so I would say that that level is high for most :-D

I will keep my orthos still hoping to find whatever make me like them better.

Geir
 
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GeirTj

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By the way,
are these orthos known for requiring long break-in time? When I think about it, they may only have been connected to the amps playing 150 hrs.

Geir
 
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Rev. 1 are reported not to require that much break-in. Ayway, just a piece of advice about matching: Trafomatic Head One. In May this year, we had a local meet here in Stavanger and the Trafomatic Experience Head One did match with one headphone in particular (AT-W1000). Not LCD-2. The sound was way to "closed in" as you say.
 
I would strongly recommend this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/495631/amp-recommendations-for-audeze-lcd-2
 
 

 
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Quote:
By the way,
are these orthos known for requiring long break-in time? When I think about it, they may only have been connected to the amps playing 150 hrs.

Geir
I had the LCD-2 about three months ago.  I don't know if they were Rev. 1 or 2.  I put about 100 hours on them when I gave up.  The people who like them don't understand why I don't like them and the people who don't like them have the same reasons I have for not liking them.  They worked fine with every amp I tried them with, about five, from all tube to hybrid to all solid state.  Source was CD through a dac that featured the 32 bit ESS Sabre dac.  Don't feel too bad if you don't like them.  I thought the HE-5LE was better in the highs but still not enough for me.  Maybe the HE-6 would be your ticket to ortho happiness.  Good luck.  

 
 
 
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Like the guys said before, probably they are not your cup of tea. Try different headphone models..maybe you can find one that suits you better. We all have different tastes. 
 
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GeirTj

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Thanks bbophead and all,
it may be that there is nothing wrong about the amps I use driving them but that the cans' sound just are not to my liking.

Too bad, the cans have a cool look :)

One last question concering the LCD-2 before I give up liking them;
I have the option to rewire one of my headamps so it can give a balanced output. If you have tried balanced and unbalanced drive from the same headamp with the LCD-2, have you found the difference significant?

A short answer is OK for me.

Geir
 
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I have heard them balanced and unbalanced, and still liked them far, far less than any flagship I have heard and/or owned. Sold them relatively quickly (after about a month of solid daily listening). I did not hear balanced and unbalanced out of the same amp, but would be surprised if balancing or recabling or a new amp will make you love them. And if you paid $1000 for a pair of headphones, you deserve some love.
 
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GeirTj: What kind of music are you listening to? I felt they weren't the best overall match for, say, classical, having that drop in the frequency response where you most often hear violins, for instance.
 
I have a completely balanced set-up for mine and I find the wide sound-stage my gear produces benefits them greatly. 
 
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GeirTJ,
 
I nearly sold my LCD2s for precisely the reasons you cite.
 
Solution: Use a balanced amp with a silver (or silver/copper), 8-conductor, multi-stranded, balanced cable. See my previous posts on the subject (I've only posted a few times here and mostly on this particular subject, so the info will be easy for you to find).
 
If you're going to be in Paris any time soon, let me know; I'm moving but if you hurry you can listen to my setup with both balanced and single ended drive, comparing the stock cables (balanced and single ended) with both balanced copper and balanced silver.
 
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It is possible that they aren't for you.... but is there anything unusual you see in your frequency graph?
Also, did you try positioning them differently on your ears? That can have some impact. Its easy to try a lower or higher position, and try different front/back positioning. If none of that works, perhaps you need a different headphone.
 
Quote:
Thank you for informative and balanced (polite) feedback. As source I normally use a Raven One turntable with Benz LP pickup running into a Cary RIAA and then into the headamps. Listening to digital is not significantly worse or better.

I do find the orthos to open up when I crank up the volume significantly, but the level is just too high for sustained listening. And I'm not of the delicate type so I would say that that level is high for most :-D

I will keep my orthos still hoping to find whatever make me like them better.

Geir


 
 
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