The awesome just got an upgrade. And it’s so obvious that I’m going to make this article short and sweet at just 463 words.
Whatever the changes Audez’e did to their LCD-2 headphone has made the newest version of the LCD-2 better across the board, and most certainly a better headphone than the original. It’s not a totally new sound, and for Mac users, it’s more like upgrading from Snow Leopard to Lion, but it is a nice upgrade to have.
It’s still and Audez’e LCD-2 after all, with the distinctive Stax-like, black background planar sound. But now, things sound bigger overall, both in soundstage and instrument separation. Better clarity from top to bottom (especially very noticeable on the midrange section), treble section that doesn’t intentionally tries to hide itself. The same awesome bass. Overall everything just sounds fresher and more real. Vocals got a little dryer and thinner, and that’s about the only complain I have, but I’d still take the livelier presentation of the new LCD-2 anyway.
The changes on the build quality include a thicker, deeper pads (though the pads have been made available for a while now) as well as a leather headband. Good changes, as the larger headband accommodate my head better, resulting in a better overall fit without sacrificing comfort. The newer ADZ cable is also softer than the Canare cable that was used previously.
Last month I did audition this new Revision 2 model and compared it to a different Revision 1 model, but both headphones being equipped with the same newer style pads and Moon Audio Silver Dragon cables. I don’t know how much the cables and the newer pads change the sound, but back then my impression was more of a different tonality between the two, and less of a definite improvement by the new model. I even commented that the soundstage of the original model was bigger and more open, while the midrange section of the original model was also more resolving compared to the new model. The new model on the other hand had a more forward upper mid and more treble presence. But this time, the comparison is on a fully stock versus fully stock model, and the Revision 2 is an obvious upgrade. Through different set ups and different recordings, I choose the 2nd Revision, every single time.
I can go on and dissect every part of the sound of the new LCD-2, but I think it’s pointless. It’s plain to me that the new LCD-2 is just better. Livelier, fresher, more natural treble region helps make everything more real, more spacious soundstage. What’s there not to like?
Special thanks to Mike and Rudi for the LCD-2s.
Gear used for review
Hifiman HM-801, Apex Peak, CEntrance DACport LX, CEntrance DACport, Audinst AMP-HP, ALO Continental