Audeze LCD2C Measurements and Impressions

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

  1. aufmerksam

    aufmerksam Friend

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    I'm sorry to seem pedantic, but psal would never censor himself. Full swears, all the time.
     
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  2. Mark Russell-Smith

    Mark Russell-Smith Rando

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    Somebody over there weighed the 2C and they were 540g. My new bamboo 2s are 618g.
     
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  3. Mark Russell-Smith

    Mark Russell-Smith Rando

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    Here's a picture of the fazor elements from another angle.
    [​IMG]
    It looks like you could only do a phazorectomy by grinding them down because the whole assembly appears to be bonded to the mesh screen.

    I just realised that there are also only 6 phazors, and more space between them, whereas older versions had 8. They also appear to be a bit shorter than the old versions. They've obviously undergone quite a big redesign to reduce the number of magnetic elements. I wondered if the fazors have less of an impact on the sound now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  4. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Almost "Made"

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    Ouch. Anything above 450 is unbearable to me. But i ordered one anyway.
     
  5. gLer

    gLer Rando

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    With a Lohb strap my 625g LCD-2 Aluminum is perfectly comfy. If anything the new headband makes the Classic even lighter. Look forward to buying one if/when Audeze make them available.
     
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  6. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Almost "Made"

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    Not for me. The HE1000v1 fits my head way better than most heaphones and it stills hurt my neck after 40”
     
  7. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Got my pair in and listened for a bit.

    Impressions are basically that it's a rather neutral sounding headphone with the slightest hint of darkness to it. But mostly very neutral. Bass and mids are mostly very flat and sound great for the most part.

    Though, if I have to nitpick, there is a bit of a midrange emphasis that I think makes them sound a bit grey, slightly lean, and the tiniest, tiniest bit "hot." Still, it's never fatiguing.

    Treble sounds balanced but isn't nearly as smooth or cohesive sounding as the HD650. If anything, it's slightly rough sounding, but not what I'd call irritating. It helps that these sound balanced and not bright.

    They sound fast from top to bottom, but they have a sort of hazy, hashy, and grey sound overall. The HD650 sounds much cleaner to me but maybe slightly less fast. The LCD-2C does not come anywhere close to having the HD650's sense of overall refinement, and while more neutral tonally, sounds less cohesive as well.

    Here are some really quick and dirty measurements. I will need to double check these and spend more time on the headphones when I get back from vacation.

    Frequency response shows a rather balanced, fairly neutral curve with the slightest downward tilt. Bass and mids are mostly flat with excellent extension.

    I have concerns about the slight emphasis around 700-1500Hz. It's minor, but audible. From there, you can hear that the upper-mids and treble are balanced in overall level but somewhat rough and ragged.

    LCD-2C Left FR.png


    Distortion levels look great. This is honestly about as low as it will get on my modest rig. No real need to post these, I suppose. Note: Ignore the spurious noise in the bass and floor. Noisy in my house today.

    LCD-2C Left THD.png


    CSD results are somewhat disappointing. There is no crazy ringing in listening, like on the M1060 knockoff planar, but there is a persistent level of audible hash when listening to the LCD-2C. I think the rough midrange and treble response coupled with these CSD results explain it. Thankfully, because of the excellent overall tonal balance, these issues are much less pronounced than you'd think and not particularly bothersome.

    LCD-2C Left CSD -35dB.PNG
     
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  8. starence

    starence Acquaintance

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    Thanks Hands, how does it fare against the AFO?
     
  9. Ishara

    Ishara Rando

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    Okay, couple of things. WALL OF TEXT INCOMING:

    First of all, I want to apologize for being a fucking moron and not realizing you guys know what you're talking about sooner.

    I've reached the conclusion that an HD800 and LCD2 are pretty damn close to endgame for me for the foreseeable future. And I've been running them off of a Magni 2 / Modi 2. I was looking to figure out whether and how much I wanted to spend on amps before calling myself done-for-now, so I sought out a Valhalla 2 based on SBAF's recommendations.

    So I recently made a few comments talking about how I got to compare a Magni 2 and Valhalla 2 with my HD800's, and didn't notice enough difference to shell out for it. Shortly thereafter, I got a chance to hear another Valhalla 2 rig. And it just ... immediately blew everything away. On the first rig, the Valhalla 2 added maybe a bit more reverb / natural decay, and a weirdly gooey-sounding bass. Nothing mindblowing. The second rig, fresh from Schiit, took the headphones from "You know, I just can't part with these. There's a lot I can't listen to with them, but I've just never heard a sound stage like that from anything so I'll keep it for what I can listen to" straight to "HOLY [email protected]#$!, this blows everything else I've ever heard in my life straight into distant memory."

    Go figure, cautious skeptic that I was, I didn't think the tubes were going to make that much difference. And the first Valhalla 2 I heard had replacement tubes (I don't know which, but they weren't the SBAF-recommended 6CG7s). So I figure the tubes have to be the only plausible explanation, and based on this experience I am now a 110% believer in BOTH amping and tube rolling, and I have a pair of matched black 6CG7 input tubes on the way as well.

    Well, that brings me to now. I wish, God I wish so badly I could make saving up for the LCD-3 my real endgame. I've got about $800 cash still saved, and returning the 2Cs, plus selling a thing or two would get me right into the LCD3 territory already. But I just don't come by hobby money easily enough to live with putting ~$1900 in something I know will eventually break. That means the only major item left on my upgrade path is a truly high-end amp for the HD800's. But even thinking about making a decision there will have to wait until I actually make it to meets where I actually get a chance to hang around awhile really making detailed comparisons, and God knows how long that will take living out in the mountains in Georgia.

    Anyway, my 2C's are arriving tomorrow, and my current set-up a Magni 2 and Valhalla 2 with Modi 2. As a fresh believer in the potential of amps, I'm wondering what I should amp these with. Would the Magni 2 still be "enough"? Are the differences between SS amps inherently less than the difference between hybrid / tube amps (much less the difference going SS to hybrid)? Are the LCD2s especially easy to drive? The HD800's are commonly claimed to be uniquely picky about amps, so I'm wondering if I'll notice anywhere near as much improvement spending $400 on the 2Cs as I did spending that on the HD800's. $500 is about the upper limit of what I feel comfortable spending, and I want to accentuate what makes the LCD2C different from the HD800 rather than try to balance it out closer towards neutral. So the HPA-3B seems to hit the perfect spot at $380 with holiday discount. But that would also put me several steps back on getting a real high-end amp for the HD800's.

    Is there anyone here who really appreciates both the HD800 and LCD signature enough to weigh in on my situation?
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  10. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    @Hands Which amp(s) did you drive these with?
     
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  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I only like HD800s in highly-modified form. @Bill-P, @brencho, and @Mdkaler can attest to how different these HD800s sound like.

    If you truly want the ultimate amp that works with both the HD800 and LCD2C, there is only one: ECAf. (Well, the out-of-production EC S7, Cavalli Liquid Glass and Liquid Crimon too, but these so rarely go on sale). I say this not because Craig is my friend and I help EC out (for free, well at least "paid" in prototype amps that I help put together), but because this is the truth. I seldom state "absolute truths" because I believe that things are relative, but this is one of them.

    Now if you can't afford a $3000+ amp, I'd probably opt for a good neutral solid-state amp no more than $500 for LCD2C and just stick with Valhalla 2, or better yet find a used Massdrop x ZDT Jr. for the HD800, that is after they ship and people who do not like them invariably sell them. My advice is to stay high-performance bargain or go high. Don't settle for high priced mid-fi.

    There might be something interesting in March or April of 2018 that might do double duty for LCD2C and HD800 at an affordable price. I'd wait. Another possibility might be iFi - Pro iCan, if you want something immediately.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  12. rott

    rott Secretly hates other millenials - Friend

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    Hmm...might be ready to graduate from (or augment) the Liquid Carbon at that time, if it'd be better for the HD650 as well.

    I appreciate @Hands assessment, keeps my expectations tempered.

    BTW, props to Audeze for shipping 2-day air at no extra cost. Is that what they did for anyone else who has received theirs in the past few days? Wasn't expecting it before X-Mas when I ordered.
     
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  13. TMRaven

    TMRaven Friend

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    Asgard2 is a nice neutral sounding an clean amp with plenty of power. It will power the HD800 and LCD2 fine with good synergy-- to me.

    You don't need special sauce to make the HD800 sound good. Its strengths are apparent even on low end gear. LCD2 just wants clean power and lots of it.
     
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  14. Ishara

    Ishara Rando

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    I'm not sure what's happening to me, but I just plugged the 2Cs in and the soundstage was claustrophobically small on the Magni 2 (Magni2->HD800 feels that way to me now too), and on the Valhalla 2 it's just lacking the deep, growly impact I remember (the stage is much better here, so I doubt it's a headphone issue...) Not sure if my ears are changing after this long with the HD800s as my only pair and I actually dislike them now, the 2C doesn't measure like whatever unicorn 2.2 I had for a month, or it really is about the pairing. I just hooked a friend's HD650 into the Valhalla 2 and it didn't sound wildly 'off' to my ears like the 2C did, it just sounded like the HD800s with a slightly smaller stage (which could be preferable for some tracks) and a little EQing.

    Now I'm not sure if I shouldn't just send the Valhalla 2 and the LCD2 back and put it all straight in an even better amp for the HD800s and let that be my only setup, or changing the amp really would fix whatever issue I'm having. Man, it sucks living way out in the mountains sometimes. I'd give anything to have a chance to just try them both out on a couple different amp setups. I'd be really, really surprised if my ears changed this much in ~3-4 months. There were tracks I loved so much I'd just leave them on repeat and feel it every time on my old pair of 2.2s that I still don't like that much on the HD800s. It's gotta be an amp pairing issue...
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  15. TMRaven

    TMRaven Friend

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    Given how soundstage is largely a psycho acoustic thing I wouldn't put it past your mood playing a role in making everything sound smallish.
     
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  16. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    I have to second @TMRaven's post. Mood plays a larger role in how people perceive sound, especially with headphones. Recent example. The Klipsch HP-3 loaner. Friday night. Didn’t like it at all. Saturday noon, it’s O.K. with some tracks. By Saturday night I was seriously thinking of buying it. Sunday, I hear it like I did on Friday. Take time and listen to different tracks and at different times of the day over many days. Even keep a log of your listening impressions. You’ll be happier with what you end up with. And save money at the same time. Sometimes I think the soundstage on my HD800 is huge. Some days it really is gone. Source material also plays a difference.

    Edit: I own the Valhalla. And have heard the HD800 on the Magni 3.
     
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  17. TMRaven

    TMRaven Friend

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    When I'm groggy I always hear a huge soundstage with headphones.
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Maybe try to re-acclimate back to Audeze sound? The soundstage was never that great on Audezes, LCD2r2 or LCD2 original, which was claustrophobic. The soundstage size and closeness of the LCD2C seems on par with the unicorn LCDr2, but the 2C does have a better sense of openness.

    Also possible additional months with HD800 and Valhalla 2 have made you appreciate and hone in on HD800 strengths better.
     
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  19. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    When I drink grog, I hear an enormous soundstage! But more seriously when I change to a new tube, I could swear that the soundstage on my HD800 becomes enormous. Until the next morning. Then not so much.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
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  20. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Magni 3 for now. Modded S7 has a hum I need to squash before I can use that. But it should take care of any remaining subjective roughness. Plus, I had to leave for travel today. Still, I think measurements are telling when compared to my other measurements, and amp won't change that (or very little).
     

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