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Audeze LCD-X and LCD-2 with AF3

giantslayer

Inspired
I just got the Audeze LCD-X. I’ve been using Sennheiser HD-580 for years and was looking for something clearer and closer to hearing the real thing.

On the one hand, the LCD-X delivers what I wanted. It sounds much clearer and more detailed.

On the other hand, these headphones are only capable of moderate volumes with Axe FX. With patches balanced around 0dB on the preset leveler, I can only get to 1 or 2 o’clock without distortion, and it quickly starts falling apart if I push it past that. I can get a reasonable volume for long sessions and it sounds good, but if I want to rock a little bit, it can’t do that. It was hard to find reviews on this forum but I really should have listened to the one guy who mentioned this same problem. I’m planning on returning the headphones.

For any of our headphone or Audeze experts out there... is there a different model Audeze that could perform at higher volume? The LCD-X has a low impedance. Is the impedance the issue or is it simply how much volume the speakers can handle?
 
P

plexi59

Guest
Another HD580 user for over a decade and a half. IMO it's difficult to beat HD580s. I have several other cans, some costing three times as much, and they all suck compared to the Sennheiser. Looking at the specs for Audeze, they're 20 ohms - that's way too low to use without a headphone amp for most audio sources. That said, if you have a mixer, its headphone out should be able to carry them.
 

giantslayer

Inspired
Another HD580 user for over a decade and a half. IMO it's difficult to beat HD580s. I have several other cans, some costing three times as much, and they all suck compared to the Sennheiser. Looking at the specs for Audeze, they're 20 ohms - that's way too low to use without a headphone amp for most audio sources. That said, if you have a mixer, its headphone out should be able to carry them.
I think you are right about the impedance. The AF3 has 35 ohm output, and from what I’ve been reading, the issues I’ve experienced line up with the mismatch.

I’m returning the LCD-X and ordered the LCD-2 (the newer fazor model). It has a 70 ohm impedance so shouldn’t have the same issue. From what I’m reading, the standard advice of headphone impedance 8x the source isn’t necessary with Planar Magnetics as they have a flat impedance curve, unlike traditional dynamic headphones.

For anyone else who finds this thread later, this site was the most helpful one I found in learning about this stuff:
https://www.headphonesty.com/2019/04/headphone-impedance-demystified/
 
The new Focal MG Clear cans are really, really good. They're 55 ohm and work well with the fractal Axe FX III headphone amp and my Neve RNHP (which doesn't do well with headphones under 50ohm).
 

giantslayer

Inspired
Finally got the LCD-2s and tried them out last night. Compared to my Sennheiser HD580s, they are more neutral and detailed. The 580s had a warm, emphasized midrange and muted highs. With the LCD-2s, that excess warmth is gone and the highs finally have the detail. Almost like going from listening off-axis to on-axis with an amp. Lows on the LCD-2 are weaker than I expected. Jury is still out on whether that means they are more accurate or less, although I would rather have too little than too much bass.

In terms of impedance and volume, I am able to get plenty of volume from these, unlike the LCD-X.
 

Tonedeaf

Experienced
Bought a used pair of LCD-2"s about 6 weeks ago after reading reviews here and audiophile sites. With all my other phones-all quality- I had to use the Enhancer block on all presets. I've now deleted all of them. Enhancer blocks , not presets.
 
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