Audeze LCD-3 Fazor measurements and thoughts

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Vtory, May 5, 2019.

  1. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Daniel (@ChaChaRealSmooth ) kindly loaned me his lcd3 to measure and evaluate. While I am not a big fan of audeze any more, I was a bit curious because lcd3 was quite disappointing in previous auditions, and more importantly three pairs I heard all sounded different. It seems that Audeze improved their quality consistency significantly in recent years though. Another reason of my curiosity is that LCD4 I heard last year was very good. It was a perfection in the direction of lcd2c. It's kinda unavoidable desire to test recent lcd3 with my current rig.

    In short, it's a lot better than all lcd3's I heard years ago. And sounded very different from lcd4 -- and surprisingly I couldn't find that much vertical difference between Daniel's lcd3 and lcd4. Is his lcd3 a so-called "unicorn"? I don't know. But I bet it's at least much better than the median of the bunch.


    upload_2019-5-5_23-14-50.png

    FR reflects what I heard pretty much. Yes, this was the most neutral audeze I've heard. And it's the brightest audeze to date, too. Not sure it's the characteristic of entire lcd3 or this specific unit.

    Nevertheless, I couldn't like 8k peak. It's narrow but very evident to my ears which caused unforgiving character toward treble-heavy electronic tracks and poorly-recorded musics. This peak mostly goes away in lower resolution of fr -- say, 1/6 oct, -- but clearly gave me hard time. Moreover, occasionally this lcd3 sounded a bit steely and metallic, too (not sure which peaks of fr show this). For this reason, I liked pairing with BW way better over with 3F.

    This peak per se was not purely evil. It could add nice nuance to certain context -- such as cymbals' overtone, snare's crispness, and
    kick drum's click attacks. So, overall, quite track-dependent.


    upload_2019-5-5_23-15-10.png

    FR of this LCD3 also showed a big departure from LCD2C. Either fazor thing or driver mattered. Maybe both. Perceptibly, LCD2C is tuned to be more fun, while LCD3 seems more appropriate for critical listening. Plankton, dynamics, and details are all clearly better with LCD3.


    upload_2019-5-5_23-15-19.png

    FRs of these headphones did not differ that much. That's very unlike what I hear though. Ether 2 is noticeably darker and warmer. Much less steelier, too. My taste goes to ether 2 by all means. Technicalities do not differ much either if the same source and amp were paired. However, because of the problem I already pointed out, my reference upstream (x26-dac + dsha-3f) worked much better for ether 2.

    Lcd3 didn't seem to scale very well. I felt this rather POSITIVE. I really enjoyed DX3 > BW > LCD3 combination. This was indeed very satisfying combination -- shortcomings of each part were well mitigated by generated synergy. While I do believe there exists a huge jump from dx3 to x26, but with lcd3 I didn't feel that way, unlike ether 2 and hd600/800.

    If this tonality fits your taste (and owns a synergistic amp), it's possible to ignore all gear-upgrading nervosa and just listen to music.

    Regarding amp for lcd3, I like BW over anything else I own now (DSHA-3F, DX3 hp out). By extension, I'm thinking richer tone amps would pair very well with lcd3.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  2. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Other measurements

    upload_2019-5-5_23-26-9.png

    upload_2019-5-5_23-26-16.png

    upload_2019-5-5_23-26-23.png

    upload_2019-5-5_23-26-31.png

    As usual, be aware that these results could be better understood in comparative ways, because results are heavily affected by dummy ear gain.
     
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  3. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Picture and weight

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, it's audeze. Damn heavy. But weight is nicely distributed on head.
     
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  4. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    Thanks @Vtory for your work!

    Ironically, my time with Marv's Ether 2 is what pushed me over the edge to ask Vtory to check these out (up to this point I wasn't sure why the Ether 2 sounds comparatively darker). I'm actually kind of shocked that they measure that similarly but sound that different; really is two entirely different presentations.

    To give people an idea about scaling, I could tell the difference between a SDAC + Wyrd to a X-Sabre Pro, but the difference is subtle to the point where I really had to focus in order to make out differences. They're there, but a HD 6XX is much more revealing in this regard.

    Anyhow, glad to know that I'm not completely crazy when I thought these were some incredible cans (although I might have just gotten lucky; not sure how these stack up against other LCD-3s).
     
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  5. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Waterfall plot attached.
    Very clean result, as expected from its design (strong magnet and very open structure)

    upload_2019-5-16_22-13-43.png
     
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