Improved: Audez’e LCD-2 Revision 2

audeze_lcd2_rev2_02

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 Audeze LCD-2 Rev. 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

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  • ryan

    I just got the LCD2. Is the internal amp of the HP-A8 or Solo SRGII good enough to drive it? Or should I add a Burson Soloist/SL?

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Yes enough but not best.

      • ryan

        Then Soloist or Soloist SL? Or maybe LYR? Something that I could purchase locally

      • ryan

        Just for LCD2, is the Pan Am better than the HP-A8 or Solo SRGII ? Or should I get the Soloist?

        • http://www.facebook.com/dave.ulrich.7 Dave Ulrich

          If you need a DAC too, it is hard to deny the convenience of the Pan Am

          • ryan

            Thx Dave, I am not looking for convenience but sound quality of the amp below $1k just for the LCD2, or maybe T1/H800 as well (I guess that is too much to expect from 1 amp)

          • http://www.facebook.com/dave.ulrich.7 Dave Ulrich

            Well, Mike liked the Pan Am best with the LCD2. L, I believe, preferred the Violectric v200

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          You should read the Pan Am review, then the Fostex and finally the Soloist ;)

  • Tobias Hust

    Hi Mike, tested the LCD-2 rev 3 (with the Mini XLR metal connector instead of wood) with the Grace 903 – just great. Similiar results with the ODAC / O2.

    For comparison, the FiiO E10 has not enough power to drive the cans, plus the bass is rather blurry.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Thanks for sharing, Tobias.

  • George Lai

    Was deciding between a Sennheiser HD700 and an LCD-2. In the end I decided that, using automotive analogy, the HD700 is like a top line Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT, but at the end of the day, it’s still a Mercedes Benz and how often does one get a chance to own a Ferrari, even if it’s not the top of the line Ferrari?

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Oh yeah the LCD-2 is very popular these days.

  • Pingback: Audeze LCD2R2 Rosewood Headphones - w/ Warranty and Hard Case()

  • STARSTERN

    for a lcd-x which has a lower impedance ,dosen,t have the need for much additional amp ,
    how would a pan am dac/amp do to it {the one that audeze continue suggesting it }
    in compare to theorem 720 dac ?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Both extremely good!

      • Andrew Nanton

        Thanks, L, for your many replies. They have been very helpful. One quick question: Is the PanAm good enough to make the extra $$ for an LCD-X worthwhile, or does the LCD-2 take it about as far as it will go?

      • phren0logy

        Thanks, L, for your many replies. They have been very helpful. One quick question: Is the PanAm good enough to make the extra $$ for an LCD-X worthwhile, or does the LCD-2 take it about as far as it will go?

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

          I would look at it the other way around. Can the panam take my x as far as it can go. And the answer is no

          • phren0logy

            Thanks. Unfortunately in prioritizing my budget toward headphones the PanAm (on sale for $360) is about as far as I am willing to go for a source. Perhaps I’ll try to stretch for the LCD-X anyway as that will give me room to upgrade later. On the other hand, I might be very happy with the LCD-2/PanAm pairing. What a wonderful dilemma to have. Appreciate the input.

  • SoundEskimoo

    Rev2 is the LCD2 Bamboo?

    What kind of minimal amp you need to make LCD2 sings?

    If I may ask (about LCD2 Bamboo), how it compare with $1000 or more cans like Final Audio Pandora Hope with Hybrid drivers (the SQ quite fun energic, especially mids&bass) or with Fostex TH-series?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      This Rev2 was rosewood. You can buy the cheaper bamboo as well. Doesn’t change the sound.

      Lot’s of amps can make the LCD2 sing, but my cheapest fav one for the LCDs is the Theorem 720

      I don’t like the FA audio and it’s completely different from the close Fostex series.