Audeze LCD2C Measurements and Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    OK, I know that I've given Audeze a hard time in the past. A really hard time, especially concerning consistency in their products. To this day, the best LCD2r2 that I've heard (and measured) was owned by Craig Uthus at Eddie Current. You can see the measurements here for this "unicorn" LCD2: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...-pre-fazor-unicorn-edition-measurements.1834/

    And also compare it to the LCD-X here, which was notably inferior sounding and inferior measuring (especially in distortion) http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...unicorn-edition-measurements.1834/#post-46335 This LCD-X just didn't have the clarity and the snap as the unicorn LCD2r2.

    That being said, Audeze has been fantastic with their customer service. I have to give credit to where it is due. I'm not an Audeze hater. I know that Audeze replaced headphones with failed drivers, sometimes even after the warranty period. When I complained that my own LCD3 wasn't quite up to snuff (remember the "veiled" LCD3 phenomenon when it came out?), it was promptly replaced a with a super high performance LCD3. Unfortunately, this replacement LCD3 died after less than a day, and was replaced with an LCD3 which just wasn't quite as good. I eventually sold this pair and lost confidence in Audeze.

    So I've heard from the grapevine that finally all these years (I know Sankar has probably been hiding from me or ignoring me), Audeze has finally gotten their stuff together and mastered the manufacturing process.

    Before I proceed, I'd like to say that the LCD4 that I heard at TSAV was awesome. Truly TOTL and comparable with Utopia, SUSVARA, Abyss, HD800, etc. A different approach from the others, but nevertheless TOTL without any doubts.

    Audeze LCD4 and Focal Clear at TSAV

    [​IMG]

    I know, I'm teasing you guys. The LCD2 is still an Audeze by all means. My ears tell me that the latest formulation in the LCD2C uses a thinner diaphram. A little bit faster than the LCD2 of yore, and little bit less heft. Just a little. I think the tradeoff is worth it. Yes, these sound just as good as the unicorn LCD2r2 that I mentioned above. Hold on for measurements.

    1/29/2018 UPDATE - sample #2 measurements: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...ents-and-impressions.5556/page-12#post-188691
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Audeze LCD2C Frequency Response
    Audeze LCD2C FR.png

    The frequency response conforms to the classic Audeze target curve, maybe a little bit more sunken in the upper mids than usual, but it's debatable whether that sharp notch at 5kHz will be noticeable. We'll take a look at CSDs next post. Some people love this sound, some people don't. Someone like me who prefers a darker sound has no problems with it, so long as distortion is low and transient response good. The sound is lush like the Audeze's of yore, but also a bit lighter and more responsive. Think of a performance luxury sedan that has lost some weight. Like with the classic Audeze's, there is a tiny bit of emphasis in the middle mids, the lower registers of the vocal range. The channel matching is not bad - I expected worse for a sub $1k Audeze.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'm not including photos of the LCD2C, but I will say that it looks much better in person than on the photos on the Audeze site which make them look more glossy than they are. The LCD2C has sort of a matte black stealth look. Very tasteful. I would definitely bring these to work because they cool whereas I wouldn't be caught dead with the HD800 because that would scare away the girls. The HD800 looks like First Order Tie Fighter headgear - totally ghey. Well, here are the CSDs.

    Audeze LCD2C2 CSD
    LCD2C L.jpg
    LCD2C R.jpg


    Interesting, the CSDs have these small ripples that I've only seen on the Staxen.

    Audeze LCD2C Overhead CSD to 5ms
    LCD2C L.jpg
    LCD2C R.jpg

    Now get ready...
     
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  4. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Oh crap. Are these as good as Craig's LCD2s? Should I keep my pair when it arrives and order you another one?

    I really enjoyed Craig's LCD-2s. They made me cry that my LCD-3 was worse.
     
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  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Audeze LCD2D Harmonic Distortions
    LCD2C L HD.jpg
    LCD2C R HD.jpg

    Cowabunga! Hot diggity dang!

    Mostly second order, and below 0.1% throughout including the bass! BTW, I think @Serious might be right that my setup is underreporting SPL by 10db. (I think I screwed up somewhere when I switched from CLIO to ARTA). These distortion numbers could be at 100db SPL!
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
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  6. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    Crap! This means a discussion with my financial advisor.
     
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  7. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    No. It means you should give them to me as a birthday present. :p
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'm glad we are getting two samples. Sure, low number of samples, but two is MUCH better than one. It is my sincere wish that Audeze has finally gotten their crap together and can produce consistent sounding headphones. Audeze fans can rejoice. Fans of other headphones who like to have different sounding headphones on hand can also rejoice.

    I am seriously thinking about keeping these for myself (of course after a loaner to the community), or maybe just ordering another one for myself.

    $599 is an incredible value if the units are consistent. LOL, maybe Audeze sent me a cherry picked one! Let's hope all of them are like this. I'm pretty excited so far.

     
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  9. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    At last! Good shit!
     
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  10. Koth Ganesh

    Koth Ganesh Friend

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    Bloody hell,its $118 shipping to India...prior to customs duty !

    Add; Just ordered the HP.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Not totally neutral, but we already knew that. Golden Schlong contender, even at $799.
     
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  12. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 El pato-zorro

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    Shit. I'm having second thoughts about joining the Elex drop. Level with us. How do these two compare? Would they make good stable mates?
     
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  13. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    I am very excited about this and I hope this works out. That being said, I had a pair of close to Craig unicorn LCDr2's. For a few precious months. By the time you got to hear them Marv, their unicorn quality had died. I’ll wait to see how these hold up over time. Or Ravi can give me a birthday present.
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Complementary. Get both.

    If Elex is the limber strong athletic girl, then the LCD2C is the cute girl next door that's gotten more beautiful after summer break.
     
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  15. chakku

    chakku Friend

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    @Marvey how does the comfort compare to the heavier original LCD-2 and LCD-3?
     
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  16. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    The distortion numbers are stellar all the way to the sub-bass region, and so is the extension. Can't win all battles, but it's been a while since non-shit distortion across the full audio region has been seen. These are proly stat level performance results.

    If this is a representative sample and products variation is small, this is good news.

    I agree that the frequency response is probably not the best I've ever seen, nor the signature I prefer. But this is not bad at all.

    Like you said, one has to make sure this sample is representative, and not a picked cherry.
     
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  17. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    Picked cherry. Apple in Eden? Still don’t like this it’s $599 until it’s $799 deal. I’d feel a lot better if they hadn’t done that. It just smells of something. Again I hope I’m wrong. Really hope. I still like my LCDr2’s. Even if the unicorn died.
     
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  18. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 El pato-zorro

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    Harmonic distortion on the Classic is crazy impressive. Makes me wonder what the hell is going on with the Elex's bass distortion.
     
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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Super comfy and feels notably lighter than LCD2r2 and LCD3. The large surface suspension headband that harkens back to the Sony SA5000 definitely helps distribute weight. Pads are plush and feel like real boobs, unlike the LCD2r2 pads that felt like fake hard boobs.
     
  20. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    Which set of cans is like the sultry, psychotic, 30-something smut editor down the street that gets pregnant with my child, stalks my family, blackmails me and boils my child's pet rabbit on my stove-top? I need to know for a friend.
     
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