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Article: Audeze LCD-4z Review

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@AudezeLLC

Hi Karthick,
thank you for re-adressing your points. I get the picture.
I would now change the word "indirectly" to "directly" in my post, but late editing is not available here. 😉
Subsequently, I'd like to wait with any further response until I've read a reaction from Sonis on the subject.
Best, Tom

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7 minutes ago, Sonis said:

1) They are right, they have no record of speaking to me, because, except for the aforementioned anonymous phone call on Wednesday, I never personally called them. 

 

So who was the 'Technical Director' who called you if your only contact was an anonymous phone call?

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5 minutes ago, AudezeLLC said:

 

So who was the 'Technical Director' who called you if your only contact was an anonymous phone call?

Nobody from Audeze called ME at anytime, they called the owner of the phones as I have mentioned before.  He is the person who characterized the caller as “The Technical Director”.  But what’s The difference? It’s just a title. Obviously the ‘phone’s owner meant “Some technical guy who had the power and the responsibility to handle problems of this sort.”

I don’t see any reason to make a federal case out of this.

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This is beyond interesting. I believe this is number one of all my years on forums and which include fighting and insults and being banned. Audeze has handled this quite poorly and should have just stayed out of this dialog. 

The beauty part to me is that the review phones' didn't come from factory.


Furutech GTX-D>J River 23>Cardas Clear USB>Wyred4Sound DAC2v2 SE>Moon Audio Blue Dragon IC>Cavalli Liquid Fire>Q French Silk Headphone cable>Audeze LCD2rev2>my ears>audiophile brain

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Thank you, @Sonis  and @NSX for enlightening the case from your standpoint.
 

I have re-read the review and found some understanding to the fact that Audeze may feel kind of blindsighted, as the reviewer says only at the end of the eighth paragraph that the phones are owned by his friend. And the HP are called once "review model" instead "reviewed model", which would have been correct in my outlandish understanding of the American language . So much for my bookkeepers training decades ago.

I am not convinced that having made that mention in the first paragraph and avoiding strictly any impression the phones had been a "review model" (usually given to a reviewer by the  manufacturer for the time of the review free of charge) would have any effect on his sound quality assessment other than Audeze wouldn't have had a point to criticize Sonis' style of review.

Reading NSXs contribution underlined my impression that the customer service call went not as well as Audeze would have wished for.  And perhaps, not as well as it was reported? Which Audeze in my understanding strictly denies.
Did I understand that correctly, NSX and Audeze???
This is a question to @AudezeLLC: How would you have imagined to react/to solve the issue in case  if you had been informed before publishing because Sonis would have called you with his real name, laying out his review idea and publisher to your attention???
Karthick, I understand that you act in the best interest of your company, though my personal imagination on that particular task (company interest vs. free speech) regrettably does not leave too much fantasy for a generous handling of the topic.  Please surprise me!
Until now I have got the subtle impression that you tried to nail some less important technical faults / factual errors on the writer in order to disassemble his credibility overall, while avoiding to respond in a constructive manner to his core point: The perceived sound quality, perceived by a professional listener. Which is not an unusual strategy these times.

Best, Tom 

 

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Hi Sonis, NSX, and Chris,

 

Thanks for being so frank, and not shying away from delivering disappointing news.

 

Coincidentally, I've been hoping AS would do more headphone reviews.  I've been thinking about buying IEMs, and finding most headphone reviews almost useless as they come from a site that appears to love everything they review

 

Cheers!

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1 hour ago, AudezeLLC said:

This is what you say in the review.  There is a huge difference ins saying 'The customer service representative handling the case'said to my friend... ' and 'Technical director called' . And no the Customer service person who was handling the case made no such remark,  then changing it to 'some technical guy ' does not instill any confidence. Based on what you said, there were many readers of your review who believed it was 'The technical Director'.

 

Then in one of your comments go go on to say the following including details as 

 

 So we ask the readers of this forum, does the above look like 'some a customer support guy at Audeze talked to a friend of the reviewer'?

Why misrepresent and make false statements, then conveniently wave a hand at it as you do below?  I do not think it is professional or responsible on the part of a reviewer to do so.

 

 

And finally you say 

First, if the support staff receive a call, they are polite in their response I do not think anyone responded as stated above. Making an anonymous call would not be the best way to get a response if you really wanted us to respond. If you had contacted us directly before the review was up as a courtesy to the manufacturer whose product you are reviewing,  or as soon as the review was up with the link to the review to our support team or the customer support person your friend was in contact with, much of this could have been avoided. 

 

We are not disappointed  because the review was negative. We are disappointed because of the way it was handled with many factual errors that paints a very different picture than the truth.

Too bad. I really have to say that not only was I disappointed in the sound of your $4000 phones, but in the character assassination that you employ here to try to deflect your product’s poor performance away from the product and on to the reviewer. In my opinion, your character assassination attempt has failed (it certainly has failed to move me). I stand by my review, and while I agree that some errors did creep-in, which I regret and fully apologize for, none of them, in any way, alter my impression of these phones, or the conclusions I have made about them. My review conclusions are accurate to that pair of LCD-4z’s, and stand until I hear another pair that don’t sound that wretched. I’d like to close by noticing that in all your criticisms of me, you mention my characterization of the ‘phone’s only in passing. You mention you low distortion and your deep bass, but don’t take any issue at all with my characterization of the midrange. Mr AudezeLLC, has no one told you that the midrange is where the bulk of the music lies?

This is my final response to Audeze on this issue. To further “discuss” it would be an empty, circular procedure, sure to give no results.

 

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For the larger part we are a group of amateurs.  These type of articles are not penned by professional journalists, but amateur forum members for amateur forum members.  This provides a lot of leeway for large errors and reinforces how small they really are in larger more meaningful ways.  In reality articles on AS are only meant as entertainment for this very small group.  That like many others has intrinsic elements it can struggle to express to itself fluidly.  Much less under a spotlight.  

 

@Sonis I look forward to seeing more articles published by you and others here.  Don't be shy about taking sticking points before the forum without giving away the article.  The input of a good "editor" shapes outcome.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, rando said:

For the larger part we are a group of amateurs.  These type of articles are not penned by professional journalists, but amateur forum members for amateur forum members.  This provides a lot of leeway for large errors and reinforces how small they really are in larger more meaningful ways.  In reality articles on AS are only meant as entertainment for this very small group.  That like many others has intrinsic elements it can struggle to express to itself fluidly.  Much less under a spotlight.  

 

@Sonis I look forward to seeing more articles published by you and others here.  Don't be shy about taking sticking points before the forum without giving away the article.  The input of a good "editor" shapes outcome.

 

 

Don’t worry. I intend to continue to “call ‘em as I see (hear?) ‘em” as they say. I don’t like to write negative reviews, but I certainly wouldn’t be doing this readership (or the audio community at large) any good service by writing good reviews to poor performing products just to avoid the wrath of the manufacturer coming down on me. I don’t mind the wrath, even though, as in this case, it can be a bit wearying. Often that wrath says more about the company and the spokesman responding than it does about either my review or the product itself.

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8 minutes ago, AudezeLLC said:

Thanks again for asking. If we were reached before publishing, we would have requested the following:

  1. Thanked him for reviewing, and told him we are sorry that it did not meet his  expectation. I would have talked to him about our design philosophy and sound signature and what to expect from LCD-4z in terms of sound signature. I would have asked him about other Audezes he has listened to and why he liked or disliked them.  As a fellow Electrical Engineer, I would have liked to also discuss the design elements and design choices. I am an audiophile myself and addicted to this hobby as much as many here and would have discussed  about his work being Jazz fan myself.
  2. Ask that he mentions it was his friend's pair and and all interactions were through his friend to avoid confusions 
  3. Told him that we were in Anta Ana.
  4. Explained the reason for the low impedance design and discussed possible AMP/DAC pairings.
  5. Told him that there was no Technical director at Audeze and request that  he remove that reference.
  6. Point him to few other sources that had a diverging opinion and try to understand what he disliked and why.

 

And that would have been the end of it. There would have been no reason for us to respond. I do not have any ill feelings toward Sonis.

 

If there were no mention of 'Technical Director' we would not have contacted Chris as we feel that statements undermines what we stand for. How can a company do what it does and make many audiophiles happy if the 'Technical Director' does not believe in what or she is creating?

We do request @The Computer Audiophile and @Sonis remove mention of statements about 'Technical Director' as Sonis has confirmed that was not true. 

 

I have to wonder why Mr. AudezeLLC is so hung up on this “Technical Director” gaff of mine and not really concerned that his product sounds so disappointing. To me, this speaks volumes. Gotta say, this has become extremely boring for me, and it must be tiring to other readers as well. OK! alright already, Audeze has no “Technical Director”! Now can we move on?

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Audeze - do you have a trial period and free return?

 

If so, that would solve the central issue here, which is poor SQ experienced by some people.


"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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I am astounded by this so-called "review". I bought my 4z a couple years ago, and have spent several thousand hours listening to them (literally). I have a Hugo 2 with a Gilmore Lite Mark 2 amp. Norne Audio cable. Single-ended until I receive my new Headamp GSX Mini amp. 

 

These headphones sound even better now after thousands of hours of play time than they did the first time I put them on. Slamming tight clean deep satisfying bass, beautiful sweet soul-stirring mids, clean vibrant beautiful treble. Sound stage, air, decay, instrumental placement, timbre, it's all there. I LOVE THESE HEADPHONES. I paid my own money for them; I am most definitely not an Audeze fanboi. I did replace the pads with some Dekoni fenestrated sheepskin. That was a PITA but they are very comfortable. 

 

This is the most definitive example of bullshit journalism i have read in a long time. Really unbelievable to read this garbage. My personal experience for several thousand hours listening time is directly opposite. My advice to anyone reading this dredge is to search out many other credible reviews on the web before finally writing off these superlative headphones. This advice from a private person who spent my own green to buy them. Not affiliated with Audeze or anyone else. No reason to lie about these 4z headphones either. 

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1 hour ago, DuckToller said:

Until now I have got the subtle impression that you tried to nail some less important technical faults / factual errors on the writer in order to disassemble his credibility overall, while avoiding to respond in a constructive manner to his core point: The perceived sound quality, perceived by a professional listener

Explaining how everyone perceive's sound and explaining sound preferences and also explaining how our headphones sound would have taken more than a short response. 

 

I would love to write a detailed technical article and publish it here with permission of @The Computer Audiophile, explaining our design approach and how we tune our headphones and how the different design choices we made  affect the sound.

 

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5 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

Audeze - do you have a trial period and free return?

 

If so, that would solve the central issue here, which is poor SQ experienced by some people.

 

Yes, I vote for a demo to be sent to @austinpop!!  Or even better , the SAME phones, which could help resolve this variable about them being defective or not.

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8 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

Audeze - do you have a trial period and free return?

 

If so, that would solve the central issue here, which is poor SQ experienced by some people.

I’m sorry, Raff11, I don’t understand your question. As I have said, the phones aren’t mine, they belong to buddy of mine who posted here as NSX. So, as to whether he had a trial period and free return from the vendor (Assuming that’s what you’re asking) you had best ask him. I don’t know those details.

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1 hour ago, Sonis said:

I have to wonder why Mr. AudezeLLC is so hung up on this “Technical Director” gaff of mine and not really concerned that his product sounds so disappointing. To me, this speaks volumes. Gotta say, this has become extremely boring for me, and it must be tiring to other readers as well. OK! alright already, Audeze has no “Technical Director”! Now can we move on?

 

Gaff?  The truth was misrepresented.  That’s a pretty big deal.  

 

Apologies are owed not only to Audeze but to the forum members as your “gaffe” would have left them believing something that’s not true had not Audeze spoken up.

 

The reviews posted here have been of such high quality so it has been very unfortunate to see what has transpired here.  


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Anaconda interconnect, MIT Oracle speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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27 minutes ago, AudezeLLC said:

We will be shipping a LCD-4z to @The Computer Audiophile. We are open to the idea of LCD-4Z be sent on a tour to get a diverse opinion if Chris so chooses.

I have intently followed the long thread 'A novel way to massively improve...' thread and made many tweaks myself based on Rajiv's input, so I would very much like his thoughts too if he so desires.

That's a terrible idea.

 

So any negative review gets a retry.  Someone please give a bad review of Wilson Audio speakers, I'd love to demo them in my home on the retry tour.


PC/NAS/JRiver/Roon - PS Audio P5 Regenerator - KEF LS50 Nocturne - Rel 328 subwoofer - PS Audio AC5 Power cables 

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