Introducing the Audeze LCD-R!
Aug 9, 2021 at 4:00 AM Post #722 of 1,252

ThanatosVI

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Aug 9, 2021 at 6:46 AM Post #724 of 1,252

Sonic Defender

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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.
I feel this. I can't listen to old, poorly recorded music anymore either. I grew up on 80s rock and metal, and of course the chain moving forward into the 90s and 2000s, but man the VAST majority of it is just rubbish recordings. It doesn't matter how good the music is, I won't listen to it anymore, I can't, it sounds appalling. I will drum to it because in that context it is fine, but to willingly sit down and listen to the music when it sounds so bad? Just can't do it.

You can't unhear what well recorded music is. It is a great loss for me, and I wish I could be different, and I have tried going back, but older poor recordings are too quiet and sound horrendous. There will be exceptions of course so I do keep as open a mind as I can, but my music listening time is precious and somewhat rare so I don't like to invest it listening to anything but well recorded music. For example, I love CCR, but I would rather cut myself than listen to those dreadful, dead flat recordings. Same with much of the Deep Purple catalogue as another example. I have found some sort of acceptable Deep Purple recordings, but barely so. What a shame, all that brilliant music captured with such terrible recording gear and techniques.
 
Aug 9, 2021 at 7:09 AM Post #725 of 1,252

chargedcapacitor

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late 2021 ? We now need to make that revision :wink:
Hahahaha wow, I'm so embarrassed! What I meant was, the headphones were built recently.
 
Aug 9, 2021 at 7:30 AM Post #726 of 1,252

mammal

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I feel this. I can't listen to old, poorly recorded music anymore either. I grew up on 80s rock and metal, and of course the chain moving forward into the 90s and 2000s, but man the VAST majority of it is just rubbish recordings. It doesn't matter how good the music is, I won't listen to it anymore, I can't, it sounds appalling. I will drum to it because in that context it is fine, but to willingly sit down and listen to the music when it sounds so bad? Just can't do it.

You can't unhear what well recorded music is. It is a great loss for me, and I wish I could be different, and I have tried going back, but older poor recordings are too quiet and sound horrendous. There will be exceptions of course so I do keep as open a mind as I can, but my music listening time is precious and somewhat rare so I don't like to invest it listening to anything but well recorded music. For example, I love CCR, but I would rather cut myself than listen to those dreadful, dead flat recordings. Same with much of the Deep Purple catalogue as another example. I have found some sort of acceptable Deep Purple recordings, but barely so. What a shame, all that brilliant music captured with such terrible recording gear and techniques.
Unforunate reality of high end anything. I know folks that will dread first class airplane, as their private jet is in maitanance and they “only have one”. Sometimes I wish I was kid again, listening to Linkin Park on my portable CD player, with Koss Porta Pro.
 
Aug 9, 2021 at 10:00 AM Post #727 of 1,252

Rubin

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Rubin’s LCD-R Review Pt 2: Fit and comfort​

Over the years, I’ve moved away from wearing full size headphones to preferring IEMs. I’ve found that full-size headphones can range from moderately uncomfortable to pain inducing, and some designs can trigger headaches and even migraines. I wanted to try some full-size Audeze headphones because, despite their weight, they looked to have a comfortable design. And my positive experience with the planar iSines had me intrigued about the potential in a full-size LCD.

Being of the bald-headed persuasion, I’ve learned to appreciate a nice wide suspension strap. The large pads and wide strap of LCD-R do a good job of distributing it’s immense weight, and the LCD-R are only moderately uncomfortable while being worn. However, after a while the pressure does build up on the top of my head and in my neck, and it is a relief to take them off. I don’t see myself wanting to wear these long term.

Pads comparison side-note: The R pads appear to be vegan leather (@Audeze can you confirm?), or at least not the new leather material used in the 2021 X-series. The foam on the R pads is softer than on XC, but I prefer the pads on the XC from a comfort perspective, because they distribute weight better from the top, and they prevent the fazors from inappropriately touching the ears. The R pad opening is also smaller at 6.5cm x 5cm vs 7cm x 5cm on the XC. Overall, the XC ends up being slightly more comfortable due to its different pads, despite its greater weight.

pad-comparison-1.jpg


Sound review with measurements coming later today...
 
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Aug 10, 2021 at 4:45 AM Post #729 of 1,252

Rubin

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Rubin's LCD-R Review Pt. 3: Epic Sound​

Associated Gear:​

Sound: Stock​

  • I can enjoy some headphones without EQ for casual listening, but I EQ all headphones for critical listening even if they have decent stock tuning.
  • For my preferences, these headphones require EQ for any long term listening.
  • This headphone goes against the cliche that bright = detailed. These headphones still sound extremely detailed with their stock tuning, which has a sizable dip in the 5khz “detail enhancement” region (where many “detailed” headphones have a peak).
  • I do perceive the bass as rolling off, as per my measurements (This may be related to my head and pad sealing, or just my perception of bass.)

Stock Measurements​

  • These are blocked ear canal measurements I took on my left ear using a custom mic calibration. The flat target lines are my perceived neutral; however, each headphone has its own quirks, and I fine tune each headphone EQ by ear.
  • For context and comparison with my measurements, here is a link to @Resolve’s GRAS 43AG measurements of 2021 LCD-XC [Link], and here is a link to Rtings measurements Razer Opus [Link].
lcd comparisons x4.png


EQ Settings​

rubin-LCDR-eq-settings.png

Sound: Post EQ​

  • (Note: I applied my EQ with bass boost on JotA enabled. I also experimented with various crossfeed settings on my ADI-2 DAC, in JRiver, and Goodhertz CanOpener (VST plugin). In general JRiver on "Subtle" mode results in the most spectacular soundstaging for me, and is how I did most of my listening.)
  • Post-EQ, the sound becomes more coherent and correct top to bottom and the LCD-R’s S-tier technicalities can better present themselves.
  • The standout feature for me is the ability to present an incredibly wide and tall soundstage. They sound absolutely epic.
  • These would be phenomenal tools for mix engineers, but even for listening, they allow you to almost “see” each element in the mix and imagine where each mic was placed, etc.
  • The LCD-r doesn't so much stretch the scale of every recording, but rather that they have the capacity to expand bigger than anything I’ve heard. (Although I’ve not heard HD800). Check out Jamie xx: Gosh (the magic only happens with JRiver Subtle crossfeed) and Peteris Vasks: Musica appassionata for two very different examples of this.
  • Although the width is most striking, depth is also impressive when the recording has it. For example, this recording of L’Enfance du Christ has great depth via LCD-R.
  • The center image is not as defined as in narrower sounding headphones like Focal. Crossfeed helps with this.
  • Related to the soundstage is a speaker-like rendering of acoustic space and the ability to realistically ground sonic images within that space. These headphones would probably be great for gaming, although I haven't gamed in years.
  • Instrumental timbres are convincing, if somewhat harsh.
  • The same extreme transparency that reveals differences between acoustic spaces and instrumental timbres reveals every last difference in recording and mixing techniques. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on your preferences and musical tastes.
  • Sibilance is highly track dependent and only mildly EQ dependent. But overall these headphones lean more toward “ruthlessly revealing” than “silky smooth” to my ears. They tend to highlight raspiness and sibilance, e.g. on female vocals (regardless of EQ). Girl with guitar type music is not their forte (unless the production is flawless). This may be highly dependent on your ears, so YMMV.
  • If you want your epic music to sound epic, these may be the ultimate headphones for that. (See this playlist for reference)
  • They are amazing for watching movies, and I imagine they would be an ultimate gaming headphone as well.
  • Based on earlier comments in this thread, the amp is likely the limiting factor with the LCD-R set. If the reports of performance scaling with better amps are true, I could easily see these headphones sitting among the top of the headphone food chain. They are already there in many ways!
 
Aug 10, 2021 at 8:12 AM Post #730 of 1,252
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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.
I'm working on a review. I get to a point in listening when I can speak easily and confidently about something. It's at that point that I shoot the review.
@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.
I've seen one, but without knowing the details of the set-up, I don't think it's sensible for me to comment too much on what I saw beyond it having a dip centred around 4.5 kHz. Listening now to some piano it does sound somewhat reserved at quieter volumes. I like it with the volume turned up a bit louder than usual. This will push the mid-range forward a bit for the usual HRTF reasons.
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.
I didn't think about it too hard, because it sounded, at least tonally just like I always remembered the LCD-X to sound, but your description seems about right. Just after though I got my original pair back with new drivers and confirmed my memory. It's a word I haven't seen used on the forums for a while, but I'll call them both "lush". Detailed without pushing the detail in your face.
 
Aug 10, 2021 at 8:25 AM Post #731 of 1,252

chargedcapacitor

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  • This headphone goes against the cliche that bright = detailed. These headphones still sound extremely detailed with their stock tuning, which has a sizable dip in the 5khz “detail enhancement” region (where many “detailed” headphones have a peak).
  • I do perceive the bass as rolling off, as per my measurements (This may be related to my head and pad sealing, or just my perception of bass.)

lcd comparisons x4.png

This FR matched up with my prediction pretty much tick for tack. It also explains why my single increase in the 5khz region and a bass-boost was all it needed to match the Susvara in tonal accuracy (to my perception)!

As for your comments on bright =/= detail, I agree completely based off of my experiences. This graph is heavily smoothing over so much of the part of the FR that gives us the perception of "detail". I really wish it would become commonplace to start showing all the FR "noise" in the 2-8 khz region. It might shine a light as to why not all cans with good "FR" actually sound good. But that is all just my un-professional conjecture, anyone in the field who could shine a light on this, please do.

Thanks for the review!
 
Aug 10, 2021 at 10:07 AM Post #732 of 1,252

brams

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Great review @Rubin ... Team Canada rocking out once again!

As @Currawong alluded to in his review, a dip in that area might actually make the tonal response sound more correct to some. It's interesting that this would be the case for a headphone with true detail (ability to quickly respond linearly to very small signal changes at all audible frequencies) as opposed to one that fakes detail by pushing up the response in the "detail" area. I haven't played with EQ on this, but I think a significant increase in the 4khz to 6khz range would make these headphones sound overly bright to me. For my listening tastes significant EQ in this area would definitely contribute to "Girl with guitar" music sounding a bit hot.

@Currawong, IIRC, you tend to listen at a lower volume (actually I recall being quite surprised when you stated in a prior post or video how low you actually listen) so turning it up a bit louder would definitely bring the low treble into better balance.

As for your comments on bright =/= detail, I agree completely based off of my experiences. This graph is heavily smoothing over so much of the part of the FR that gives us the perception of "detail". I really wish it would become commonplace to start showing all the FR "noise" in the 2-8 khz region. It might shine a light as to why not all cans with good "FR" actually sound good.
Couldn't agree with you more. I am beginning to understand that the exact placement of dips, peaks and resonances in the 2khz - 10khz range and how this is balanced against the upper bass response as well as the inherent speed and timbre of the driver has more of an impact on perceived performance than the smoothed over response curves imply. For example the T+A Solitaire P has a dip centered just a bit lower at about 3khz, but that headphone sounded more "off" in this area to me than the LCD-R. Ultimately there is no substitution for listening.
 
Aug 10, 2021 at 10:12 AM Post #733 of 1,252

Rubin

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@Currawong, do you ever use DGSonicFocus to evaluate subjective headphone frequency response against a reference? It's desktop app that designed for you to use 1/3 octave band limited noise to eq headphones against your subjective perception of speakers in front of you. However, I never got results that way and instead use it to EQ headphones against my preference headphone tuning. It's also useful to verify that the measurements are in line with perception. In my measurements, the peaks and dips on all headphones shown do perceptually match what I'm hearing compared to my reference tuning. For LCD-R, I just added a touch below 500hz and didn't bring up 5k quite up to the line to better match what I'm hearing. I should take a measurement with the EQ results.

@chargedcapacitor I can post the raw measurements without smoothing later today, if you like. But I generally don't use those those for EQing, for a couple of reasons. The main one being that EQing high Q peaks and dips (narrower than about 4) doesn't really work in headphones, imo - they tend to cause more problems. A related reason is that treble peaks and dips change quite a bit depending on positioning.

II like it with the volume turned up a bit louder than usual. This will push the mid-range forward a bit for the usual HRTF reasons.
I found this to be the case as well. They can sound amazing without EQ with the volume up high, but it's higher than how I typically listen. I generally keep my listening under 80db.
 
Aug 10, 2021 at 10:18 AM Post #734 of 1,252

chargedcapacitor

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@chargedcapacitor I can post the raw measurements without smoothing later today, if you like. But I generally don't use those those for EQing, for a couple of reasons. The main one being that EQing high Q peaks and dips (narrower than about 4) doesn't really work in headphones, imo - they tend to cause more problems. A related reason is that treble peaks and dips change quite a bit depending on positioning.
Oh I understand, I had no intention on using the raw graph to assist with EQ settings. I simply wanted to see the magnitude of the noise in the 2-8khz region for the LCD-R compared to the magnitude of the noise in other headphones. Even though there might be slight changes as the headphone moves on the rig, the overall results should be showing enough as a comparison, if my thinking is correct.
 
Aug 10, 2021 at 12:35 PM Post #735 of 1,252

Rubin

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Oh I understand, I had no intention on using the raw graph to assist with EQ settings. I simply wanted to see the magnitude of the noise in the 2-8khz region for the LCD-R compared to the magnitude of the noise in other headphones. Even though there might be slight changes as the headphone moves on the rig, the overall results should be showing enough as a comparison, if my thinking is correct.
These big flat drivers have higher than average consistency, not unlike the wide sweet spot of a wide dispersion speaker. Treble is quite smooth other than the big dipper. (Not sure why it's showing 1/48, as I set smoothing off in REW)

measurement-comp.png
 

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