Introducing the Audeze LCD-R!
Aug 7, 2021 at 5:41 AM Post #706 of 1,252

ThanatosVI

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The price of resolution I guess. When I moved into TOTL space, I kinda stopped listening to music from when I was a kid, as it sounded terrible. Had to add some harmonics with tubes to smooth it out a bit. A pity this isn't really possible right now with Audeze ribbon.
Tube preamp, easy solution.
One could get a Schiit Freya just to get started.

Or use the preamp function of most high end tube amps like Wa33
 
Aug 7, 2021 at 9:20 AM Post #707 of 1,252

Sma0815

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Hi guys,

so I did I it and build an adapter to use the LCD-R on my new Sparkos Labs Aries :o2smile:
This will be a little longer read, because of the pre-caution I did, and think everybody should do before plug the LCD-R on anything other than the Jotunheim.
Still: If you plug in them in some other amp, its on your own risk.

Gear used: Ifi micro signature as DAC, Sparkos Labs Aries as amp

My pre-caution measures:
I asked Andrew Sparks if the Aries could technically handle the 2 ohm load --> Luckily he said yes :wink:
Then i checked the volume output level of my DAC with the Jotunheim-R. First output from DAC via RCA, then via 4.4-->RCA cable in ecomode on the ifi --> RCA was louder. So I decided to go with the 4.4mm output to RCA in the Aries RCA input. Put the ifi to high sensitivity (usally made for IEMs) and Ecomode for power.
On the Aries I put the volume to minimum (-53db) and turned it off. Plugged in everything and started the ifi micro on a really low volume (DAC). After this I turned on the Aries and went up with the volume. I did this in this order because the ifi makes a low distortion noise when you start it, and I didnt want to get this to the LCD-R.
In the end of the experiment I used the normal gain mode and normal sensitivity on the ifi (not eco anymore) and volume around 20%.
The sparko labs is as -20db for loud volume, -30db for moderate listening level. This combination is super quiet with other headphones.
Edit: I also added -6db gain on an equalizer in the uapp app, because I eqed more bass, and the ifi xbass feature was on

Now the interesting part, the sound:
I totally agree with @Currawong . Made some A/B testing, but all is subjective because i need to change the plugs by hand and don´t have a "switch box".
The soundstage is much more open, details are even finer.
Mids are more accurate, i would say but not so warm anymore.
bass is a little punchier, but still not on the level of an he6

How much you earn in %, for risking 2500$ :wink:
Soundstage:+20% (biggest improvement)
Treble:+15%
Mids: +5%, more accurate, but also a little colder than on the jotunheim
Bass:+10%

If you made it until here, thanks a lot for the read.
One more thing: I wouldnt plug them into my ifi micro signature (build in amp) directly, due to the "distortion" sound /click when the ifi is turned on. If you any similiar issue with you gear, just don´t.

Best regards
Sma0815
 
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Aug 7, 2021 at 9:32 AM Post #708 of 1,252

chargedcapacitor

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Hi guys,

so I did I it and build an adapter to use the LCD-R on my new Sparkos Labs Aries :o2smile:
This will be a little longer read, because of the pre-caution I did, and think everybody should do before plug the LCD-R on anything other than the Jotunheim.
Still: If you plug in them in some other amp, its on your own risk.

Gear used: Ifi micro signature as DAC, Sparkos Labs Aries as amp

My pre-caution measures:
I asked Andrew Sparks if the Aries could technically handle the 2 ohm load --> Luckily he said yes :wink:
Then i checked the volume output level of my DAC with the Jotunheim-R. First output from DAC via RCA, then via 4.4-->RCA cable in ecomode on the ifi --> RCA was louder. So I decided to go with the 4.4mm output to RCA in the Aries RCA input. Put the ifi to high sensitivity (usally made for IEMs) and Ecomode for power.
On the Aries I put the volume to minimum (-53db) and turned it off. Plugged in everything and started the ifi micro on a really low volume (DAC). After this I turned on the Aries and went up with the volume. I did this in this order because the ifi makes a low distortion noise when you start it, and I didnt want to get this to the LCD-R.
In the end of the experiment I used the normal gain mode and normal sensitivity on the ifi (not eco anymore) and volume around 20%.
The sparko labs is as -20db for loud volume, -30db for moderate listening level. This combination is super quiet with other headphones.

Now the interesting part, the sound:
I totally agree with @Currawong . Made some A/B testing, but all is subjective because i need to change the plugs by hand and don´t have a "switch box".
The soundstage is much more open, details are even finer.
Mids are more accurate, i would say but not so warm anymore.
bass is a little punchier, but still not on the level of an he6

How much you earn in %, for risking 2500$ :wink:
Soundstage:+20% (biggest improvement)
Treble:+15%
Mids: +5%, more accurate, but also a little colder than on the jotunheim
Bass:+10%

If you made it until here, thanks a lot for the read.
One more thing: I wouldnt plug them into my ifi micro signature (build in amp) directly, due to the "distortion" sound /click when the ifi is turned on. If you any similiar issue with you gear, just don´t.

Best regards
Sma0815
I agree with your findings, for the most part. A good clean amp can really open up these cans. However, I didn't get any bass performance, at least from what I could tell.

Also, I took some pics of the drivers to the best of my ability:
Screenshot_20210807-082311_Gallery.jpg


It's hard to tell in the pic, but essentially there are very thin traces of equal width parallel with the fazors. It might look like there are traces of different width, but there aren't. All very thin.

On a side comment, I almost had a heart attack this morning when I plugged in to these cans. I turned on some red hot chili peppers, and the left side was silent. I thought that the worst had happened, but it turned out to just be the RCA came loose when I reached around to turn on the Jot!
 
Aug 7, 2021 at 11:00 AM Post #709 of 1,252

brams

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I would imagine headphones like the Lcd-4z with 15 ohms would be a candidate to test out, for the brave... If anything, it might be possible to just put a resistor in parallel to get it the impedance down.
My current test headphone for evaluating amp noise is the Final Audio Sonorous. I have the Sonorous X and between its high sensitivity, low impedance (105db, 16 ohm) and exaggerated midband tuning any noise in the chain is immediately audible. The Sonorous VI has an even lower impedance (8 ohm) so I might pick up a used set of those for testing.

@Sma0815, good feedback! One of the amps I am considering is a class D unit using the Purifi modules. The improvements you reported appear to be very dependent on the upstream chain since they sound suspiciously similar to what I have heard with speakers when switching from a class A/B to class D amp!

Your feedback also raises an interesting point: in what areas could the Jot-A/LCD-R system be significantly improved? I'll have to listen for a while before deciding on this.
 
Aug 8, 2021 at 12:41 AM Post #712 of 1,252

Sense

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I also think that Schiit is far from done with producing amplifiers that can tackle ribbon drivers. They stock the Jot-R. Too many witch hunt Schiit posts in here regarding the paired amplifier - which may hold the headphone back, but we are talking about a system that I'd rather have than the HE-1. Way less douchey and tuned-by committee
It sounds good on the Jot a…I won’t use it on another amp so I can’t compare…and ignorance is bliss.

Can’t blame everyone for thinking the Jot A is holding the headphone back when the only video review for them is basically gushing about the LCD-R’s performance on a different amp…with Audeze blessing his request to break the warranty to use that amp in that review.

It’s all a weird to me…but three years from now when I don’t have a warranty anymore…maybe there will be other amps that drive them better. Who knows…maybe this is the start of something new/better.
 
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Aug 8, 2021 at 2:35 PM Post #714 of 1,252

Rubin

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It's taken me awhile to get my head wrapped around the sound of the LCD-R, as the it's presentation and technical performance are so different from what I've heard before. It's ability to separate elements in the mix (including spatially) and to render instrumental textures are probably it's two most striking qualities. I'll talk more about my sound impressions of the headphone soon, but for now I want to comment a bit on the Jotunheim A amplifier.

Rubin's LCD-R Review Pt 1: Jotunheim A amplifier​

I don’t have any other speaker amps that I could use to test the LCD-R, so I can’t speak to the Jotunheim's particular sound character. Around the same time I received the LCDR/JotA set, I borrowed a regular Jot2 from a @Armaegis to test with LCD-XC. With my particular Schiit units, I didn’t have any issues with the volume knob on either units as some people have reported. In fact, I find the build quality to be very good, and the volume knob in particular is quite smooth and pleasant to use.

The three way input switch is a bit tricky to get in the middle slot, as it tends to want to go all the way up or down.

The bass boost is more of a broad high shelf than a mid-to-lower bass boost than on, say, an iFi amp. It is a broad -3db high shelf from 20hz to 500hz. I’ll show the effect on the headphone’s frequency response in a future post.
bass-boost.png


As others have noted, when using the balanced inputs, there is very little volume range on the amplifier. Either the volume control on the dac (if it has it) or software volume control will be required. With unbalanced inputs, you get a bit more volume range, but I still reduce the volume on my source because I like to keep the dial above 9 o’clock to prevent volume channel mismatches and to have finer volume control.

Will soon add more measurements and impressions of the headphone itself, and how it compares to LCD-XC and other headphones I’ve heard.
 
Aug 8, 2021 at 6:37 PM Post #715 of 1,252
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The LCD-X sounded like certain frequencies in the 2-6khz range were absent. So while the sound from the LCD-X was sharp and clear, it sounded like parts of the music were missing in comparison to headphones like the sundara, focal clears, arya, and of course the susvara. I experienced a similar sound from the LCD-4 (late 2021 revision), although the LCD-4 had a much warmer lower midrange presentation. So I don't think there was anything wrong with the driver, it was just the way the headphone presented themselves.
Got it. If I listen with the LCD-R after the Susvara I get a similar impression.
Sadly, my experience with tech support has been less than impressive. On July 26th, I emailed Schiit for help with a problem I encountered with my Jot-A ... <crickets>
Email them again and make sure to check your spam folder. If you definitely don't get a reply the second time, you can always email Jason directly and he'll forward the message (though I don't encourage people to email Jason unless absolutely necessary).
There's a huge liability in letting people plug their headphones into speaker amps that typically have *much* higher gain than headamp. It would be a phenomenally risky thing for a company to tell their customers to go plug headphones into speaker jacks. I'm one of those nutjobs that does it, and I fully accept the risk that comes with blowing up my headphones every time I do. There is also much higher noise on a typical speaker amp, and that's a surefire way to make your headphones suck. Raising the impedance also firmly takes you away from the grey zone of being able to call yourself a ribbon.
I have the Master 10 running at 15/99 and the TT2 at -30dB or so. I tried setting the M10 at 1/99 but it didn't sound good, so I've left some margin in there for the amp. I'm lucky in having the TT2 here where I can have the output all the way down without audible loss.
 
Aug 8, 2021 at 6:51 PM Post #716 of 1,252

Sense

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I have the Master 10 running at 15/99 and the TT2 at -30dB or so. I tried setting the M10 at 1/99 but it didn't sound good, so I've left some margin in there for the amp. I'm lucky in having the TT2 here where I can have the output all the way down without audible loss.
Did you review the TT2? I’m considering buying one…also might go with Holo May or Sprint. I’ve been having the hardest time picking a high end dac.
 
Aug 8, 2021 at 9:53 PM Post #717 of 1,252

brams

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Got it. If I listen with the LCD-R after the Susvara I get a similar impression.
@Currawong have you seen a manufacturer measurement of the LCD-R? If so, is there indeed a depression in this area? Based on graphs I have seen the Susvara (and indeed many Hifiman headphones) tend to measure well (some might even argue slightly hot) in the 2-6khz. range.
 
Aug 8, 2021 at 11:47 PM Post #719 of 1,252

brams

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I think that conversation was about the LCD-X…not the LCD-R.

His comment was that he pereceived a loss of musical info on the LCD-R similar to what you perceive on the LCD-X if he listened to the LCD-R after listening to the Susvara. The implication is that the LCD-R has a depression in the 2k-6k range relative to the Susvara.
 
Aug 9, 2021 at 12:05 AM Post #720 of 1,252

Sense

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His comment was that he pereceived a loss of musical info on the LCD-R similar to what you perceive on the LCD-X if he listened to the LCD-R after listening to the Susvara. The implication is that the LCD-R has a depression in the 2k-6k range relative to the Susvara.
Doh…I misread. Thank you for clarifying. That whole portion of the conversation reads weird when you follow the conversation back.

first commenter is trying to say that the LCD-X is missing something in the 2k-6k range. Later in the unquoted portion of the post he says he doesn’t hear that issue in the LCD-R…then second poster says he does hear that issue but phrases it like he agrees to the LCD-X portion of the conversation.

🤷‍♂️
 

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