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Audeze LCD-3


johnwmclean
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I am going to be eating my hat if anyting will be said about the sound of the LCD3 that you have not already said. (More air than the LCD2, more punch than the expensive Stax. less refined than the expensive Stax.)

Unless:

- something amazing has happened to the headstage

- and I forgot: someone might experience a strange resonance somewhere. Is there one?

(For the record, and for safety: I do not own a hat.)

Either I'm really dense right now, or you have me confused with someone else? I haven't heard the LCD-3. Unless you're talking about my ponderings in the HF thread and posts about soundstage? That was more just about orthos in general and what can be reasonably expected from my limited experience.

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And that is what separates so called "audiophiles" from music lovers. To jack up the price to be taken seriously really tells something about the intended market, doesn't it?

Indeed but I deal with this in my business as well (baking). Cheaper can't possible be better and I've found that the general public has very little knowledge of how the retail business actually works (markup, dealer costs etc.).

I get to meet them next week at the local headphone festival here, will try to ask (they can answer whatever they want though, in particular fake arguments if this is something special they want to keep to them wink.png ).

Stax are notoriously cryptic and I've had much better luck with Sennheiser in this regard. There certainly doesn't appear to be a new Orpheus in the works... :(

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Indeed but I deal with this in my business as well (baking). Cheaper can't possible be better and I've found that the general public has very little knowledge of how the retail business actually works (markup, dealer costs etc.).

Yep.

I have a lot of respect for companies that sell high quality products despite the trend to the contrary. I will never have a problem with companies charging a lot for products as long as it is reflected in the materials used, the R&D invested, and the workmanship involved - no matter how esoteric the product is.

This "pricing to keep up with the Jones'" really annoys me, because instead of focusing on sound and giving consumers bang for buck (while still having healthy margins), it perpetuates many companies' insane perception that, in the case of audio, if a $945 phone sounds great then an almost identical phone that is $1000 more can be marketed with a straight face. Grado (though I love their phones) is guilty of the same thing. It's rampant in many aspects of audio. Turntable cartridges... holy CRAP!!!

That was said in hopes that nobody jumps on me with the "they can market what they want", "vote with your wallet", and "if it sounds better to some, then the purchase is justified" statements. It is very well understood on my part. Part of the appeal of Audeze was that the LCD-2 (though expensive to many people) was able to make many people on this site (who are brutally honest about everything ;) ) very happy at under a thousand bucks. I want them to succeed, but the LCD-3 is very much overpriced.

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I liked it. Think of it as an incremental improvement over the LCD2r2. It's basically what the LCD2 should have been in the first place. I think it should be priced at $1345 or $1445 or whatever. I posted my thoughts on HF. Meeting conditions were not ideal.

@rhythmdevils: I think you will like this iteration. Smoother treble, no ringing, no reverb. I doubt you will pay for it. BTW The r2 I heard at this meet was noticeable better sounding than the r2 I heard at the OC Headroom meet a few months ago. Anax can corroborate.

Edited by purrin
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Oh, nice. Any comments on whether its soundstage and depth are an improvement from the LCD2? No comparisons with the 007?

It seems like a nice meet. Once I'm older and more economically established I'll definitely make it a priority to attend these overseas meets. It would be nice to meet you guys in person. azn.gif

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Oh, nice. Any comments on whether its soundstage and depth are an improvement from the LCD2? No comparisons with the 007?

It seems like a nice meet. Once I'm older and more economically established I'll definitely make it a priority to attend these overseas meets. It would be nice to meet you guys in person. azn.gif

I had no issues with soundstage - unlike with the LCDr1, it never came up as an issue while I was listening to them. Soundstage is not something I put high on my priority list even though my main cans are HD800s.

The LCD3 is no O2 substitute. BHSE/O2 > BA/LCD3 - based on meet conditions - but it wasn't close. If you like the STAX sound (speed, blackground, clarity, attack, transients, articulation, etc.) get a STAX or wait for LCD6.

Edited by purrin
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Just to clarify things I posted here before, and not to take this off topic again, I add this.  But I'm not going to go back and forth with rebuttals and defenses to more accusations here.  This will remain the LCD-3 topic, although it's understood that comparing them to other phones Is perfectly acceptable.  I'm taking the time to write this because I have 2 hours to kill with my iPad while having my car serviced.

 I saw that all the stat amps at RMAF were driven balanced from their sources via XLR except for the BHSE, which I didn't look at the connections.  I would assume Justin would drive it balanced, but no promises.  I don't know if my Apogee mini-DAC set for "11" on the volume has the same output levels as the Woo DAC, or Boulder, or Oppo, or Sony that were used at RMAF.  But I've read elsewhere that the Apogee that I brought to RMAF has hot outputs, closer to 5v than 4.  I've searched just now and can't find the actual numbers in the first few hits I got.  I know that any amp has a ceiling in its output power which is different depending on the design, and reaching that ceiling can come sooner or later depending on the source's output voltage and the amp's gain.  I'm not stupid or ignorant about that.  I know that balanced XLR is usually double the output voltage of single ended.

I always use my Apogee or Perfectwave DAC via XLR outputs for my stat amps, with the source output volumes at max.  In fact, my WES and KGSS don't even have single ended inputs, and the RCA inputs on my eXStatA are never used in my setup.  The HEV-70 I mentioned before is SE only, as was the SRM-1 mk2 Pro.  The 717 I heard with 007 and HE-60 before was via balanced XLR.  The T1 I heard was via XLR > ISOmax transformers to convert the signal to SE, so I could feed my GES via RCA from the same DAC and do quick comparisons.

When I'm saying that the Cavalli drove the 007 very well and very loud, loud wasn't the only thing it did well.  And loud isn't my only gauge of how well the 007 are "driven".  But most of the amps I've tried with the 007 will not play cleanly at volumes that resemble those of a live performance.  The BHSE and CLL were able to achieve those volumes.  There was no distortion, graininess or fatigue associate with loud volumes.  The CLL/007 sound was extended, full and present, fast, dynamic, powerful with good body, good timbre/tone and frequency balance, detailed and spacious, clean and smooth with great air, ambience and space (which I think reflects good micro-detail).  I could not appreciate them in their fullest because of noise and meet conditions, but I was able to overfocus on the headphones and tune out the surrounding noise as best as I could.  Both amps seemed to be in the same tier of performance to me, in most of these areas.  My only concern with the BHSE and 007 is that the mids still sound recessed and less vivid to me with 007, offering a deeper but less intimate soundstage than the Cavalli.  I first posted this finding back in 2009 after RMAF, and got blasted for it (putting flame suit on).

What was most striking was the superb transparency offered by the Cavalli and BHSE, where everything combined well to make the headphones almost disappear.  Although that can also be a reflection of the quality of the source, if the amp isn't good enough you may not be able to appreciate everything the source has to offer.  With any of my amps I might not have wanted to keep keep my 007 for the long run, even though my KGSS with my PWD DAC is a little better than my WES when using the 007.  But it still is not enough for them to be driven the way these other amps can do it, and I still find the 007 mids and highs to feel recessed with it.  That's why I've been using my HE-60 more.

Before RMAF I planned on getting the 009 if they made the grade, but in comparison to my HE-60 they were only a little better, mostly in the area of a more solid foundation and weight to the instruments.  They were also maybe a little smoother and more refined sounding.  But the speed, delicacy, and and sondstage were similar.  This could very well be different with different sources, amps, and listening environment.  So I haven't made any final assessments.  It should be assumed without saying that anything I posted would only be valid for the listening conditions at RMAF.

Like I said, it felt like if I could mix what I like about the 007 with HE-60 I'd have an 009, but it might also include the things I don't like about the HE-60 (picking apart the music, fatiguing at high volumes which could be amp related, still not enough weight and foundation in the bottom end).  But knowing what the 007 can do now makes me want to keep them and just drive them better.  

I haven't posted much impressions of my KGSS before, due to having my posts picked apart in the past, but I did send my impressions to Marc after I had it for a week.  I got no encouragement to post them, so I didn't.  Many of you are just too demanding about how my impressions should be posted, and don't often apply those standards to other members of the forum (except the 1 post newbies).

When I postthe my brief 009 vs LCD-3  impressions here, any omissions of fact doesn't mean I didn't consider it, but rather that it didn't seem necessary to add more details to my post.  I'm constantly berated for putting too much fluff in my posts, but then when I trim the fat I get blasted and acused of not considering important things - can't win for losing.

The fact still remains that with the 007 I have not heard an amp drive them as close to my expectations as the BHSE or the CLL.  Since I'd prefer solid state and single chasis, and the way the CLL presents the mids, I'm leaning towards the CLL.  I'll try to get an opportunity to hear these more in the future before I decide.  I'm also considering having Woo upgrade my WES to the current revision, which sounded wonderful with the 009.

PS: I'm fully expecting someone to grasp onto at least ONE incorrect fact above, and let me know about it while completely ignoring anything else that I said. If I'm lucky they'll find several things to rip apart. It seems to be expected here (puts on thick skin again).

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Larry: no offense intended here and I'm posting only to try to help, but I think you need to calm down. Sure, HC is a BS-free zone and folks call each other out on things all the time here (regardless of the methods being used), but that doesn't mean anyone has to take anything personally either. If you have an opinion on something just state your opinion, no need to defend it like someone killed your dog or something like that. Not sure why you seem to care so much about how your opinion is perceived. It's just the Internet and I doubt there are any folks here with an axe to grind against you. Do I think Birgir could be nicer, sure, but this is a two-way street too - doesn't mean you have to be antagonistic in return. Doing that kind of thing will just exclude you from the HC group.

I can't remember which thread it was but I thought I read something about you wanting to fit in on HC somewhere. Fact of the matter is, a lot of people on HC actually know each other and have met at meets over the years, and the folks who get in with each other are usually the ones who make it to the meets and other social gatherings (though there are certainly exceptions). Simply typing posts on the Internet won't really help anyone fit in here, though it can certainly help if you just let certain things bounce off you.

Edited by Asr
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Larry, I think the sad reality is that the only people on Head-Case that might have some interest in your impressions are also active on Head-Fi, so it continues to boggle my mind why you persevere in trying to win over or fit in with the HC crew. Demanding apologies -- or even wanting them -- and complaining about your treatment are pretty much antithetical to the HC way, for better or worse. Plus, why would you want to put yourself in a position where you have to justify each and every statement and still "put on your flame suit" and expect to be "ripped apart"? I just don't get it when you have a perfectly good reputation and position on HF. Maybe it's just an example of the old Groucho Marx line, and you don't care to belong to any club that would accept you as a member.

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Larry, I think the sad reality is that the only people on Head-Case that might have some interest in your impressions are also active on Head-Fi, so it continues to boggle my mind why you persevere in trying to win over or fit in with the HC crew. Demanding apologies -- or even wanting them -- and complaining about your treatment are pretty much antithetical to the HC way, for better or worse. Plus, why would you want to put yourself in a position where you have to justify each and every statement and still "put on your flame suit" and expect to be "ripped apart"? I just don't get it when you have a perfectly good reputation and position on HF. Maybe it's just an example of the old Groucho Marx line, and you don't care to belong to any club that would accept you as a member.

^ Well said Al.

HPA: tmfi I've never understood why you want to make yourself into a Skylab...

I cannot add anything to these posts other than agreeing with both.

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Heard the LCD-3 as well and spent some decent time with it and with some of the best music I know.

It was merely "meh". Like Purrin said, it is what the LCD-2 should have been. I always thought the LCD-2 would be a bargain at $500. I feel the LCD-3 would be a bargain at $800. If the LCD-3 was priced at $1000, I would consider that "pushing it"..let alone anything above $1,200.00.

As for soundstage - based off my listening...same as the LCD-2 which is to say..."meh"...

I did like it, don't get me wrong...it's a nice headphone but it's nothing special, especially for the price.

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^^^Really? "Meh?" You've got to be shitting me. Man, I gotta get some deep listening on my pair, but I can't think of anything that equals or bests the LCD-3 other than the 009 and maybe the 007. The 800 still probably images better.

I don't like the price, but I don't like the price of most cans. But nothing special? Really? What do you think is special?

(Okay, Thunderpants, but what else?)

Edited by Tyll Hertsens
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^^^Really? "Meh?" You've got to be shitting me. Man, I gotta get some deep listening on my pair, but I can't think of anything that equals or bests the LCD-3 other than the 009 and maybe the 007. The 800 still probably images better.

I don't like the price, but I don't like the price of most cans. But nothing special? Really? What do you think is special?

(Okay, Thunderpants, but what else?)

The Sennheiser HE60 ? wink.png

With the right amp the Stax Lambda's are dam good too, but not quite so much impact in the bass as the Audeze

Edited by complin
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