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Audeze LCD-3


johnwmclean
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That's probably wrong since +/-400V should give more voltage swing then that. The Exstata V2 (KG edition) certainly does.

I think Alex said it will be more than that when the design is finished, but he's still making tweaks to the voltage swing and current output. It did sound like it had more than that, because it had noticeably more power than my luvdunhill KGSS or the revised WES, and was closer to the BHSE. Both the BHSE and Cavalli amp would play louder than I could listen, so I didn't max out either one out during testing.

How does the eXStatA V2 (KG edition) sound, and will any of those ever be produced?

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I just compared the Michael Tilson Thomas/SFO M3 in 24/96 (his interpretation is a bit Bernstein-esque; very dramatic and powerful, huge dynamic swings as well) on LCD-2 r1 (balanced w. Dynamite) and my severely under driven Stax O2 mk1 on the transformer box and I still end up preferring the O2 for this sort of grand symphony music. The O2 has quite good bass impact and I don't mind giving up that last bit of punch for the superior detail, fine nuance and stage depth. I think I have to hear a rev2 someday, since I prefer even my balanced HD580 to the LCD-2 for classical.

Well, I think that in most cases the O2 Mk1 on a transformer box will be more dynamic with better impact than when under-driven by most stat amps, based on my listening.

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->->->->

I think Alex said it will be more than that when the design is finished, but he's still making tweaks to the voltage swing and current output. It did sound like it had more than that, because it had noticeably more power than my luvdunhill KGSS or the revised WES, and was closer to the BHSE. Both the BHSE and Cavalli amp would play louder than I could listen, so I didn't max out either one out during testing.

How does the eXStatA V2 (KG edition) sound, and will any of those ever be produced?

louder -> volume -> voltage

power -> current -> heat -> heatsinks

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I just compared the Michael Tilson Thomas/SFO M3 in 24/96 (his interpretation is a bit Bernstein-esque; very dramatic and powerful, huge dynamic swings as well) on LCD-2 r1 (balanced w. Dynamite) and my severely under driven Stax O2 mk1 on the transformer box and I still end up preferring the O2 for this sort of grand symphony music. The O2 has quite good bass impact and I don't mind giving up that last bit of punch for the superior detail, fine nuance and stage depth. I think I have to hear a rev2 someday, since I prefer even my balanced HD580 to the LCD-2 for classical.

I never like the LCD2 for classical symphonies either... the SR-202 does a much better job there despite severely lacking impact and texture compared to the LCD2. Anyway I think I still like HD800's presentation best for this kind of music.

I guess the most curious aspect of the upcoming LCD3 is how the soundstage is going to be. In general, I find the soundstage of planar and electrostatic headphones a bit lacking compared to dynamics. In fact, the best soundstage that I've ever heard from a headphone is the venerable Sony R10 but I admittedly haven't heard the SR-009.

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I agree that the Stax is incredibly neutral (probably the closest thing to the definition of neutral that I can think of). That said, the bass reproduction of the LCD-3 is, in my mind, not just a question of exaggeration. While it's certainly on the warm side of neutral, there is bass and low bass information that is clearly present on the recording that is presented with an incredible amount of texture and detail that was (in my opinion, under show conditions, etc.) unmatched by the SR-009.

That's a bit contradictory.

If the Stax 009 is neutral and it doesn't present you bass and/or low bass, then it is certainly not on the recording. I have verified this myself on the 009's. I found them to be extremely accurate and to quote you - "the closest thing to the definition of neutral that I can think of". The amount of texture and detail across the frequency range on the 009's is superb and unmatched by any other headphone I have heard. If the LCD-2 or LCD-3 is spewing out low bass and/or bass on a recording when it wasn't present on the 009's, then something is being misrepresented with one of the 'phones and so far, in my experience with the LCD-2 and the 009, it hasn't been the 009's. I'm not saying it's a bad thing that certain cans have a fun, colored sound...it's not and there is a place for both, but for my money, and based on experience, neutrality is something much more difficult to obtain.

Agreed. The best test of this in my view is classical orchestral music with drums. Components that don't excel in bass tend to sound anemic on orchestral drums even if they sound ok on electronica, rap, etc. The LCD-2 bass sounds much closer to what I hear from my full-range speakers on orchestral drums. The SR-009 sound pretty anemic on this in comparison.

That is one of my first tests as well. I use two different recordings for this and I found the LCD-2 to not sound lifelike at all. The SR-009 sounds spot on to me - even with direction which is hard to reproduce, IMHO, with the timpani. I don't want to see the world through rose colored glasses - I want full technicolor!

Edited by LFF
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I listened to the same MTT/SFO Mahler 3 on the pair of LCD2 rev1 that I am borrowing and quite liked them. This was redbook layer, driven by a Dynahi (SE). I haven't noticed much difference, if any, between driving these with my Dynalo or the Dynahi, and they seem pretty easy to drive, but I have not heard them balanced. I have also not heard either the rev2s, nor much Stax gear, so YMMV.

I would not say that the LCD2 put bass where it is not in the recording, and it does seem to be well defined and not boomy whatsoever. I really enjoyed listening to the Dutoit/Montreal recording of The Planets on these as there is a considerable amount of low bass present on that recording.

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I am sure you do prefer the 007 for the type of music you listen to. I would as well.

Why are you dissing my wonderful collection of polka and 70's German porn music tracks? You are such a snob... biggrin.png

We can at least agree that my 007's are a bit special given my OCD need to set them up properly. :)

I think Alex said it will be more than that when the design is finished, but he's still making tweaks to the voltage swing and current output. It did sound like it had more than that, because it had noticeably more power than my luvdunhill KGSS or the revised WES, and was closer to the BHSE. Both the BHSE and Cavalli amp would play louder than I could listen, so I didn't max out either one out during testing.

How does the eXStatA V2 (KG edition) sound, and will any of those ever be produced?

How on earth can you still not understand what power means?? facepalm.png

Volume is voltage, nothing more than that and the tiny Stax amps will drive any of these sets to earsplitting levels.

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If the LCD-2 or LCD-3 is spewing out low bass and/or bass on a recording when it wasn't present on the 009's, then something is being misrepresented with one of the 'phones and so far, in my experience with the LCD-2 and the 009, it hasn't been the 009's.

Like I said before, the bass produced by my LCD-2r2 on symphonies is more similar to the bass produced by my full-range Dali speakers and even my Focal studio monitors. It seems to me that it's the SR-009 which aren't conveying the bass all that well, not the LCD-2, Dalis, and Focals.

The bass is still pretty good on the SR-009, just not as good. Beyond that, there's something about the tonality of the SR-009 that sounds wrong to me when I listen to certain music like the Mahler symphony I mentioned before. It's not really bad - just a little strange and not what I hear on my speakers and the LCD-2.

By the way, I'm using a KGSS with the SR-009.

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Like I said before, the bass produced by my LCD-2r2 on symphonies is more similar to the bass produced by my full-range Dali speakers and even my Focal studio monitors. It seems to me that it's the SR-009 which aren't conveying the bass all that well, not the LCD-2, Dalis, and Focals.

The bass is still pretty good on the SR-009, just not as good. Beyond that, there's something about the tonality of the SR-009 that sounds wrong to me when I listen to certain music like the Mahler symphony I mentioned before. It's not really bad - just a little strange and not what I hear on my speakers and the LCD-2.

Wouldn't one expect the bass of the LCD-2s, Dalis, and Focals to all sound more similar to each other than any of them would to bass from an electrostatic driver? It seems like maybe the SR-009s aren't for you. Sell them and have plenty of cash for the LCD-3s and whatever Audeze follows them up with.

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How on earth can you still not understand what power means?? facepalm.png

Volume is voltage, nothing more than that and the tiny Stax amps will drive any of these sets to earsplitting levels.

You KNOW what I meant - sorry that I fucking said "power" instead of "volume". Geez, don't you have anything better to do than pick apart what I said based on one wrong word? angry.png

Most laymen will correlate more volume with more power, and while that may not apply to stats it's more understandable to many readers (okay, maybe only in other forums). I think I understand the basics of how voltage and current work, which might correlate to water pressure vs pipe diameter. But if I recall correctly power (watts) is basically volts x amps, so you increase either one and you get more power. So, why am I so wrong to say that I thought the Cavalli had more power than my KGSS and WES?

Regardless, if voltage swing means more volume in stats then the Cavalli amp had more than any other stat amp I've tried except maybe the BHSE. Tyler's SRM-1 Mk2 Pro that I tried with both the O2 Mk1 and Mk2 at a Colorado meet gave me very low volume levels, yet drove the SR-Lambda Signature very well. I've also tried the HEV70, SRM-T1, eXStatA, GES, SRM-717, my WES, and an A-10 with the O2 Mk1, and I didn't think any of them gave "ear-splitting volumes" without distortion at very high levels. All of them had distortion at volume levels that are well below the levels that I can achieve with my ZDT and any good dynamic headphone. My KGSS drives my O2 Mk1 louder than those other stat amps, but it was still eclipsed by the Cavalli amp and BHSE. With those two amps I could go louder and louder and louder, and they never seemed to run out of juice until I got very uncomfortable with the volumes. Sorry I called it power and not volume - are you happy?

Also, I believe what Alex told me was that when the amp is ready for sale that it will put out about 1400v peak to peak on 400v rails (but he claims it's a little over 1300 now), and that he could tweak the "current" output a little bit in order to better drive two pairs of stats at one time. The discussion about current was specifically in regard to my questions about driving two stats together, not in regards to getting more volume.

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