Audeze LCD-X Open-Back Planar Headphone - Official Thread

Gorgeous images! And yeah, that’s what owning a cat is for… lol

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Well, vintage lenses have plenty of resolution and sharpness to work with. Modern lenses however are on a whole new level of resolution and sharpness. We’re talking eyelash counting, detailed iris stroma structure from a normal portrait distance, count how many pores are on someone’s nose sharpness, pixel peep and it looks like a macro photo level of sharpness. Modern ultra sharp lenses are like on Spongebob where they do those grotesque closeups for comedic effect. Do I like that? Not usually. It looks like a machine eye sometimes rather than trying to simulate seeing through human eyes. Modern lenses are wayyy sharper than vintage lenses because of all of the advancements in engineering and manufacturing as well as all of the objective testing that gets published online and the importance that people place in those tests resulting in steering the market with almost no subjectivity(DP review is the Audio science review of photography). I have a modern ultra sharp lens and it rarely gets any time on my camera. A lot of photographers look at DP review, get a super sharp lens and then proceed to touch up their photos and use lightroom sliders to smooth people’s skin out. That makes no sense to me.

On another note, if I would have tried to take photos of my LCD-X with my sharpest lens, it would have been a disaster. It’s so sharp that the metal screen grilles cause a ridiculously intense moire and color distortion that I cannot seem to be able to mitigate. Any sort of repeating pattern and some textures are picked up with such perfect detail that it makes digital images go haywire when you view them down-scaled to any size other than 100%.

By character I mean things like, softness and glow, flare proneness and the characteristics of the flares, contrast or lack of it and the effect on midtones, tonality, vignetting, bokeh aesthetic(which comes in many flavors from soft blur to hard edges and sometimes swirling vortexes) and color characteristics. A lot of things that are considered defects in image quality nowadays are actually aesthetically pleasing when it happens just right.

Lenses are a whole world different flavors just like audio equipment. It’s an entire rabbit hole to go down.

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HYPER-REALITY CLOSEUPS REVEALING DETAILS NOT SEEN BY THE NAKED EYE




I’m a little embarrassed to share this profile because it may not be mixing/mastering normal or your typical audiophile’s profile but I think you’ll find it hella fun! I mean if I’m going to own these gigantic planar magnetic headphones I may as well test its limits!

So for those of you like rumbling sub bass that doesn’t encroach upon the mids too much and crystal clear highs that don’t sacrifice the LCD-X’s natural, stellar imaging and separation…unlocking and unleashing the fun sides of the LCD-X 2021 here’s an EQ that leaves nothing to the imagination!

As you can see from the overlay-ed, inverted chart of Oratory1990’s FR (yes PEACE can do that!) I have stuck with his mids calculations even more religiously than he did. My curve (green) deviates most from his (red) in the bass and the highs, adding a couple shots of bass slam and sparkling highs that makes vocalists more realistic and up close and personal.

Pre Amp: -14.75 (Be sure to enter this value to avoid clipping)

Band 1: Freq 29.8 Gain 2.91 Q 0.69 Filter Low Shelf
Band 2: Freq 35 Gain 0.93 Q 3.3 Filter Low Shelf
Band 3: Freq 70 Gain 5 Q 1.5 Filter Peak
Band 4: Freq 90 Gain 10.75 Q 0.7 Filter Low Shelf
Band 5: Freq 130 Gain 0.5 Q 0.6 Filter Peak
Band 6: Freq 540 Gain 0.5 Q 2.7 Filter Peak
Band 7: Freq 810 Gain -1.85 Q 2.2 Filter Peak
Band 8: Freq 1235 Gain -1 Q 2.4 Filter High Shelf
Band 9: Freq 1500 Gain 7.9 Q 0.71 Filter High Shelf
Band 10: Freq 1910 Gain 1.3 Q 5 Filter Peak
Band 11: Freq 2730 Gain -3.6 Q 2.2 Filter Peak
Band 12: Freq 3700 Gain 4 Q 1.4 Filter Peak
Band 13: Freq 5775 Gain -5.3 Q 4.7 Filter Peak
Band 14: Freq 7350 Gain -2.3 Q 7 Filter Peak
Band 15: Freq 8150 Gain -1 Q 8 Filter Peak
Band 16: Freq 12450 Gain 1.25 Q 1.7 Filter High Shelf
Band 17: Freq 20000 Gain 1 Q 0.6 Filter High Shelf

To increase or decrease sub-bass, adjust gain to Band 4 to taste.
To increase or decrease treble/air, adjust gain to Band 16 to taste.
If the tracks you’re playing have a bit too much “bass body” change Band 4’s Frequency from 90 to 70-80 and you’ll get more of a “planar typical” bass sound that extends just as deep.

If you’d like a version that uses less bands just ask!

Here’s an original track of mine that I mastered with the LCD-X 2021 to try out this profile with that really pushes these cans to do things previously not thought possible by me. These cans are an indispensable tool in my studio work/play:

Jonne Haven - “Big Bad World”

It’s been said already, but I must add that I’ve been working on EQing the LCD-X 2021 everyday for over 3 months now and I find that it responds to EQ settings superbly and with the greatest of resolution. Even the smallest of changes are reported, with minute detail and without distortion, the best of any headphone I have EQ’d.

Enjoy!
-J

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Nothing embarrassing at all about this. You show a nice bit of experimentation and for those who enjoy EQ’ing, you did exactly the redeeming qualities of it. :slight_smile:

Thanks, I appreciate it! What is embarrassing is that I entered incorrect values when you saw it which have now been corrected. But it must have sounded pretty funny! Haha!

Blessings,
-J

Because the LCD-2 (fazor) and LCD-X (2021) are only $200 different in price, I’m wondering: what are the differences?

There are tons of comparisons between the
lcd-2c vs lcd-2f and
lcd-x pre 2021 vs lcd-x 2021, but
I can’t seem to find many comparisons between the lcd-2f and lcd-x 2021. Anyone have experience with the two or can point me in the right direction?

Also, totally off-topic, has anyone ever tried tactile transducers in combination with headphones? I think it could be a moving experience that could shake things up a bit😉

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Regarding the Audeze comparison, I’d ask @metal571 - he had the opportunity to hear them side-by-side if I recall. Also, he and @Resolve did a live stream show in which metal talked about them.

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I can’t do a detailed comparison because I don’t have a ton of experience with high end headphones, and I don’t have both of them anymore, but I upgraded from the LCD-2F (latest pads) to the LCD-X (2021) back in September, and I would say that to my relatively untrained ear, the LCD-X sounded significantly more detailed. The 2F had a great low end, and it was one of the least-fatiguing headphones I’ve ever heard (I’m fairly sensitive to bright treble), but the X managed to be incredibly detailed without being fatiguing. And I found that with a bass shelf, it wasn’t really missing the body of the 2F either.

I heard @metal571 describe the X as “cold” on an episode of The Headphone Show, but that hasn’t been my experience. And maybe that’s because I listen with the relatively warm Bifrost 2 and Asgard 3 combo. If the 2F had any advantage over the X, it might be that it was more forgiving of worse recordings. And it was prettier. Other than that, I think the X is definitely worth the extra money.

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I’ve been using the following EQ profile with my LCD-X for a little while now - I quite like it. Do y’all EQ or just listen stock? If the latter, are you enjoying your custom EQ profile?

I have another revision I use called “minimal” that just uses 4 filters and simply adds a bass shelf and bumps the area between 3 and 5 KHz; both are improvements to the stock tuning IMO.

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And here’s what it looks like mocked up. FYI, this doesn’t necessarily represent your LCD-X 2021 or even mine, specifically due to unit variation. I originally EQ’d based on Resolve’s measurements, his LCD-X EQ video and then later I tweaked it by ear. Based on what I hear with my unit, I don’t have the small dip at 4400ish, and the peak at around 5800 isn’t nearly as severe (I’d say mine is maybe a small 3 dB bump). My bass also doesn’t roll off as fast or at 50 Hz like the stock measurement shows.

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If there ever was a “starting point” EQ for Audeze that’d probably be very similar to mine, just probably a bit easier-going around 4k. Most of the classic models need a 4 dB bass shelf, some kind of small wide cut around 800 Hz, some bumps at 3 and 4k, and sharper cuts around 6k and above 10k.

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Thanks. I hear ya about the less 4K. My heavy metal EQ looks like this:

I installed Audeze’s Reveal+ this weekend and finally had time to try it in JRiver Media Center. I’ve been comparing it to the EQ presets I created using Equalizer APO/Peace, and I have to say, Audeze’s Reveal+ plugin preset for the 2021 LCD-X is working some magic. FYI - I am not utilizing the Aural Map function right now and am only loading the LCD-X 2021 preset and adjusting the overall gain to avoid clipping. I’ve been trying to duplicate it using Peace by ear, but I’m not quite getting there. I wonder if Reveal also makes changes to phase and/or the time domain.

Has anyone else tried the Reveal+ plugin for the 2021 LCD-X?

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I’m curious as to what kind of “magic” you’re hearing now! Are you able to describe it?

Blessings,
-J

After doing some more comparisons today, it must have to do with the phase settings. Reveal+ has four different phase presets, and mine was set to Linear Phase High Quality when I was making comparisons. It’s definitely doing something audibly, but I am still having a hard time describing it. It’s noticeable in the bass response, but minimum phase also has a flatter, less clear sound to it overall, for lack of a better description.

I’m not sure what phase filter Equalizer APO/Peace use, if anything at all. But if it’s different than this Linear Phase High Quality preset, that could explain things.

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Hey @Nuance,

I don’t completely understand the science behind Phase settings like the ones that I think you’re describing but here are a couple of graphs that might help. I grabbed them from the FabFilter site in the processing section of their Pro-Q3 EQ plugin that I use in studio applications.

Check out their explanation of what their different Phase settings do differently from each other and generic digital EQs.


Hope this helps edify!

Blessings,
-J

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