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Article: Audeze LCD-4z Review

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Wow, brutally honest.  How refreshing. Thanks, Sonis 


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Would be interesting to gain insight towards the design philosophy and at least a coded message what the real use for them is.  

 

Of all the hunches one could chase after I might start with feasibility they were commissioned and an attempt is being made to profit off the required size run above and beyond that.  Earmarks (ha!) of splashing corporate cash around to fulfill a unique technical usage might exist or be pure fantasy.  No chance of matching consumer usage is a pretty big clue to look elsewhere at least.

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6 hours ago, dieterjp said:

Good to know (as well as surprising). I really love the sound I get from my Isine 10s. But apparently more expensive does not equal better sound.

 

Thank you!

I too had a pair of the Isine 10s and thought that they sounded excellent. This previous experience made the results of my time with the LCD-4z’s even more puzzling and hard to fathom.

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Wow, this could easily be the worst and misleading review I have read in years. It actually starts off quite nice with the technical stuff about sensitivity but after that, the blunt, only two or three sentences counting, part on sound quality makes no sense at all.

 

You either must have had a second faulty unit or something else wrong in your setup with these kind of qualifications. All other reviews on the LCD-4z are very positive and my own experience is the same. Audeze makes very fine headphones and the 4z is no exception. They are not for everyone but a distorted top end would be in no-one's notes.

 

Is there no final editing on reviews?


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I am an owner of golden mesh 4zs and use Ayre QX-5 balanced output for listening my music.I cannot observe any of these negative comments related to SQ. I listened 4zs using dCS Bartok at Munich this year. Again SQ was on proper higher level. Another reviewer I appreciate on his Youtube channel recently tested them with Chord Dave and found them very decent sounding cans. It is interesting, in 3 cases 3 DACs with headphone outputs.

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Before 4zs I owned Audeze LCD-3Fs. What I observed is that Ayre QX-5 much easier drives 4zs and I don't need to increase volume like before.

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2 hours ago, firedog said:

The word you actually mean is censorship; or perhaps what used to be called "spiking" in the print press. 

Why should Chris do that?

 

What he might care to do is proffer a world wise view to his article writers when they meet challenges that would otherwise bring an unceremonious halt.  Even to the point of reassigning a new product that is reviewable.  Make them feel validated in their efforts. 

 

I'm not being critical of @Sonis by saying we never left the ground here.  Safety announcements were issued and seatbelts fashioned.  After twice leaving the gate a cancellation was issued.  The person piloting this is the one left in the lurch.

 

1 hour ago, Sonis said:

I certainly can’t think of any fourth possibility.

 

Whatever that fourth is I wish you the best reaching the fifth estate if this challenges you.  If not, friendlier media relations in a company more suited to enabling your continued reviews here.  Except for rare exceptions.  Writing these articles should be something you enjoy and that should show through.  :)

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3 hours ago, firedog said:

The word you actually mean is censorship; or perhaps what used to be called "spiking" in the print press. 

Why should Chris do that? Do we want reviews to say products are good when they aren't? Expensive products especially should give a lot in return for the high cost.

 

Don't put words in my mouth. And, on the contrary. I am strongly against censorship and sponsor dependencies. I actually commented on some of @The Computer Audiophile own reviews as being not critical and comprehensive enough.

 

What I meant is some kind of a structured approach to review writing and a final assessment if criteria have been met. Certainly needed when you work with a pool of reviewers in my opinion. I understand that not everyone has the skills and meticulousness of @austinpop but in this way overall quality will be higher. 

 

Reviews like this are placed on the homepage of this site and - by this choice - reflect a certain authority. If I were Chis I would care about it. If this item was placed in the speaker and headphones forum I wouldn't even have reacted and just taken @Sonis experience as bad luck.


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41 minutes ago, rando said:

 

What he might care to do is proffer a world wise view to his article writers when they meet challenges that would otherwise bring an unceremonious halt.  Even to the point of reassigning a new product that is reviewable.  Make them feel validated in their efforts. 

 

I'm not being critical of @Sonis by saying we never left the ground here.  Safety announcements were issued and seatbelts fashioned.  After twice leaving the gate a cancellation was issued.  The person piloting this is the one left in the lurch.

 

 

Whatever that fourth is I wish you the best reaching the fifth estate if this challenges you.  If not, friendlier media relations in a company more suited to enabling your continued reviews here.  Except for rare exceptions.  Writing these articles should be something you enjoy and that should show through.  :)

Frankly Rando, I was expecting a heck of a lot more of this kind of attitude following the LCD-4z review than I have received (so far). I feel pretty comfortable with my conclusions as they are an honest assessment of this product’s performance as experienced by two very experienced audiophiles, who, under very different sets of personal circumstances (equipment, musical tastes, etc.)came to exactly the same conclusions about the sound of these headphones.

But I feel there’s something here that goes way beyond a negative review of a product. What does it say about a reviewer who finds every product to be excellent?

Well, let me call to your attention, the possibilities as I see them (if you think of others, let me see them).

1) The reviewer isn’t very demanding, or hasn’t enough experience to truly know good sound from bad.

 

2) The reviewer is lying about certain products in order to glean favors from the manufacturers.

 

3) The reviewer writes for an editor, whom, afraid of losing advertisers, makes reviewers pull their hard punches.

 

4) The reviewer doesn’t like to speak I’ll of anyone, or, is not sufficiently sure of his senses to feel confident about writing a negative review.

 

What good is a reviewer who writes reviews denigrating everything or one who gives glowing reviews to everything? Either way, such predictable evaluations are simply useless at best, and dishonest at worst.

 

I used to write for a magazine whose editor always made me change any negative comment about any product to a more positive, or at least neutral response. See, He was afraid to anger the manufacturer into either pulling current advertising, or to influence said manufacturer into not advertising in the future. Believe me, that leaves a dirty taste in an honest writer’s mouth!

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Sonis said:

My experience was a REVIEW of a commercial product, not a random opinion in an online forum. That’s why it’s in the review section and not the speakers and headphones forum.

let me ask you this. If I had given these $4000 phones a glowing review, and on that recommendation, you went out and bought a pair, and found them to sound as poor as they actually do, would you be happy with my positive review or with me as a reviewer? Search your own conscience for the answer to that.

 

 

In my first comment I already stated that I did listen to the LCD-4z. So I have a good view on its position in the field of higher-end cans. And I auditioned quite a few. In this price category it is all a matter of taste but I would - without any hesitation - take the 4z over the HD-800S, every Focal and also over the LCD-3 (which I own myself).

 

My problem with your review is that it isn't really a review. You basically say 'This thing sucks and sounds no better than any entry level headphones. If you want to know why? Well, figure it out yourself. And btw, the company sucks too!'. I am aware of the fact that a lot of reviews are commercially driven and have an editorial character. But I did not come across any negative rating of owners of this headphones and this includes the very critical head-fi .org community. You stand alone in this.

 

Come to think of it and acting very suspicious for a moment: why the Hifiman promotion in your review? Does Chris do background research?


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3 hours ago, Sonis said:

There’s actually more to say that.that!  If, indeed, they did send out a second defective pair (a second pair of drivers which sounded suspiciously, exactly like the original pair of drivers) then there can be only three possible explanations: (1) That’s just the way the LCD-4z’s actually are supposed to sound; (2) when the folks at Audeze changed the drivers, nobody listened to the “repaired” headphones before the sent them back (casting serious doubts about Audeze’s quality control); or (3) They just said that they undertook a repair on the phones and actually did nothing other than send the defective pair back. I certainly can’t think of any fourth possibility. Fact is, none of the above explanations speaks well  of Audeze as a company, in my humble opinion.

 

(4) they have a high "failure" rate (after they listened to them) - unreliable SQ is an expensive audiophile product is not a virtue.

 

As for fairness, I agree with firedog.  The Manf. could respond if they want, and should be informed (one thing S-phile does right).


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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"The newly rebuilt phones were soon returned and I have to report that I heard no difference at all through either my Schiit Asgard 2 headphone amplifier, or my friend’s Hugo 2 (also the owner of the Audeze LCD-4zs)."

 

I don't get this one. Did your friend (also owner of Hugo 2) test his 4zs before buying them. What was a main reason he gave 4000$ for them?                                                                 

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