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Article: Subjective: Audeze LCD-4z Headphone Review

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10 minutes ago, mansr said:

It obviously means (he thinks) you're irrational.

I suspect that KumaKuma is right and he meant that I lack integrity. He's entitled to his opinion. But it is obvious to me that Skatbelt just like to stir up sh_t. Either that, or he's a shill for Audeze. Either way, in this case, denial (of the collective opinions of Chris, Mitchco, and myself) is not a river in Africa! :)

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4 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

Perhaps he meant that Sonis lacks integrity. 

Yeah, that makes to most sense. Keeping these models straight in my mind over almost a decade of hearing different ones at different times, is confusing and I'll admit that a number of times I  wrote from memory rather than checking my own earlier  writings to make sure that I didn't misspeak. Such are the wages of laziness!

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6 minutes ago, Sonis said:

I suspect that KumaKuma is right and he meant that I lack integrity. He's entitled to his opinion

When faced with multiple possible explanations, always choose the funnier.

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Just now, mansr said:

When faced with multiple possible explanations, always choose the funnier.

OK, well said!

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I finally got a chance this afternoon to hear the LCD-4z while I was at Definitive Audio in Seattle.  I was able to compare them to headphones from Sennheiser and Focal. 

 

My initial reaction was surprise as they didn't sound "wretched".  I was with a friend and signaled that he come over to listen.  I suggested he compare them to the Focal Utopias and let me know what he thought.  He wasn't aware at all of the reviews here of the LCD-4z.  He only spent about 10-15 minutes total with these.  When he was done he simply said something like "they're different and I think which one is favored depends on the listener".  He pointed to some the same differences I heard.  The key takeaway for me was that he also didn't come away with the reaction that there was anything "wretched" about these.

 

This is not to say that the LCD-4z didn't have issues.  As I did further listening I found that I agreed totally with what Chris wrote that there is a "lack of air around the cymbal / hi-hat".  I spent a good amount of time listening to "Miles Smiles" and the ride cymbal was just not reproduced as I would expect.  It was veiled.  By comparison the Focal Stellia and Sennheiser 800S reproduced the ride cymbal more like I'd expect it to sound from listening on my home system.  I liked the Stellia a lot.

 

I spent only enough time with these headphones to really come up with a short list should I decide to one day take the plunge for headphones priced well above my AQ NightOwls.  The LCD-4z would not have made it onto my short list because, as a drummer, the reproduction of cymbals is far too important to me.  


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > 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 Matrix HD60 speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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17 hours ago, kennyb123 said:

I finally got a chance this afternoon to hear the LCD-4z while I was at Definitive Audio in Seattle.  I was able to compare them to headphones from Sennheiser and Focal. 

 

My initial reaction was surprise as they didn't sound "wretched".  I was with a friend and signaled that he come over to listen.  I suggested he compare them to the Focal Utopias and let me know what he thought.  He wasn't aware at all of the reviews here of the LCD-4z.  He only spent about 10-15 minutes total with these.  When he was done he simply said something like "they're different and I think which one is favored depends on the listener".  He pointed to some the same differences I heard.  The key takeaway for me was that he also didn't come away with the reaction that there was anything "wretched" about these.

 

This is not to say that the LCD-4z didn't have issues.  As I did further listening I found that I agreed totally with what Chris wrote that there is a "lack of air around the cymbal / hi-hat".  I spent a good amount of time listening to "Miles Smiles" and the ride cymbal was just not reproduced as I would expect.  It was veiled.  By comparison the Focal Stellia and Sennheiser 800S reproduced the ride cymbal more like I'd expect it to sound from listening on my home system.  I liked the Stellia a lot.

 

I spent only enough time with these headphones to really come up with a short list should I decide to one day take the plunge for headphones priced well above my AQ NightOwls.  The LCD-4z would not have made it onto my short list because, as a drummer, the reproduction of cymbals is far too important to me.  

Well all subjective reviews are, almost by definition, relative. I have had all manner of headphones pass through my hands over the years. The "high-end" ones have ranged in price from about US$200 on the bottom end of the scale to around $5000 on the top. When a $4000 pair of phones sound poorer than any other pair I've heard, regardless of price, then, relatively speaking, I think the term "wretched" is not at all a hyperbolic description of their sound!

 

At the same time I was listening to the Audeze LCD-4z I was also listening to a pair of HiFiMan 400s phones. These 'phones retail for US$299 and they sounded not just a little better than the LCD-4z, they sounded a lot better!

 

I realize that all of this is quite subjective and tastes do vary, but when a consensus of my audiophile friends all come to the same conclusion as I came to that a $300 pair of phones blew a $US4000 pair of phones out of the water, sonically, the question becomes what the hell is Audeze doing charging this much money for something this compromised?

In conclusion, Chris found the same shortcomings that I found with the LCD-4z and the objective measurements mirror those sonic impressions, so as far as I'm concerned, the matter is closed. You found them not as bad as I did. OK, there are many possible reasons for that. Our taste in SQ may differ that much, or you haven't heard as many fine headphones over the last couple of years as I have and don't have my perspective on what a truly great pair of headphones CAN sound like (like a Pair of Stax SL-009s, for instance).  

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1 hour ago, Sonis said:

Well all subjective reviews are, almost by definition, relative. I have had all manner of headphones pass through my hands over the years. The "high-end" ones have ranged in price from about US$200 on the bottom end of the scale to around $5000 on the top. When a $4000 pair of phones sound poorer than any other pair I've heard, regardless of price, then, relatively speaking, I think the term "wretched" is not at all a hyperbolic description of their sound!

 

At the same time I was listening to the Audeze LCD-4z I was also listening to a pair of HiFiMan 400s phones. These 'phones retail for US$299 and they sounded not just a little better than the LCD-4z, they sounded a lot better!

 

I realize that all of this is quite subjective and tastes do vary, but when a consensus of my audiophile friends all come to the same conclusion as I came to that a $300 pair of phones blew a $US4000 pair of phones out of the water, sonically, the question becomes what the hell is Audeze doing charging this much money for something this compromised?

In conclusion, Chris found the same shortcomings that I found with the LCD-4z and the objective measurements mirror those sonic impressions, so as far as I'm concerned, the matter is closed. You found them not as bad as I did. OK, there are many possible reasons for that. Our taste in SQ may differ that much, or you haven't heard as many fine headphones over the last couple of years as I have and don't have my perspective on what a truly great pair of headphones CAN sound like (like a Pair of Stax SL-009s, for instance).  


I think the reason we concluded differently is because your rhetoric took into account the price of these and mine didn’t.


I don’t believe that any audio enthusiast who listened to these without knowing the model or the price would say they sounded wretched.  But after telling them the price, you’d see varying reactions, including the hyperbolic reaction you had.

 

The lesson you should take away from this is to not let the price influence your description of how a product you’re reviewing actually sounds.  Save your opinions for the conclusion.   Avoid hyperbole altogether as there is really no upside for the reader or for you.
 

It’s pretty clear that you react very emotionally to the idea that there’s a product out that costs so much and yet is so flawed.  Nothing wrong with that - as long as you don’t get carried away.  Sonis probably got it right as far as these headphones, but he damaged his brand by going overboard.  Chris, on the other hand, handled his review exceptionally well and conducted himself in a way that was above reproach - and in doing so greatly enhanced his brand.  


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > 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 Matrix HD60 speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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46 minutes ago, kennyb123 said:


I think the reason we concluded differently is because your rhetoric took into account the price of these and mine didn’t.


I don’t believe that any audio enthusiast who listened to these without knowing the model or the price would say they sounded wretched.  But after telling them the price, you’d see varying reactions, including the hyperbolic reaction you had.

 

The lesson you should take away from this is to not let the price influence your description of how a product you’re reviewing actually sounds.  Save your opinions for the conclusion.   Avoid hyperbole altogether as there is really no upside for the reader or for you.
 

It’s pretty clear that you react very emotionally to the idea that there’s a product out that costs so much and yet is so flawed.  Nothing wrong with that - as long as you don’t get carried away.  Sonis probably got it right as far as these headphones, but he damaged his brand by going overboard.  Chris, on the other hand, handled his review exceptionally well and conducted himself in a way that was above reproach - and in doing so greatly enhanced his brand.  

I’m sorry, when a pair of headphones sounds this bad REGARDLESS OF PRICE, they’re a lousy product. Obviously you weren’t paying attention earlier today when I said that a $300 pair of HiFiMan 400s phones sounded not just better, but much better. And don’t tell me that price isn’t a factor in all purchases. How would you feel if you spent $200,000 for a new car and later found that an old East German Trabant was better made, more luxurious and out-performed your new $200,000 baby? You’d be pretty pissed, I’ll wager. If not, there’d be something wrong with you.
 

P.S. I don’t give a tinker’s damn what you think of my “brand”. Plenty of other folks agreed with my evaluation. It was honest, truthful and spot-on. Like I’ve said to you before: if you don’t like my writing style or what I write, don’t read me. It’s really quite that simple. Now have a nice day!


George

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7 minutes ago, gmgraves said:

I’m sorry, when a pair of headphones sounds this bad REGARDLESS OF PRICE, they’re a lousy product. Obviously you weren’t paying attention earlier today when I said that a $300 pair of HiFiMan 400s phones sounded not just better, but much better. And don’t tell me that price isn’t a factor in all purchases. How would you feel if you spent $200,000 for a new car and later found that an old East German Trabant was better made, more luxurious and out-performed your new $200,000 baby? You’d be pretty pissed, I’ll wager. If not, there’d be something wrong with you.
 

P.S. I don’t give a tinker’s damn what you think of my “brand”. Plenty of other folks agreed with my evaluation. It was honest, truthful and spot-on. Like I’ve said to you before: if you don’t like my writing style or what I write, don’t read me. It’s really quite that simple. Now have a nice day!

 

All I'm saying is that when reviewing a product as Sonis, it would behoove you to keep your emotions in check.  I have no problem with you switching to gmgraves to let your emotions run free.

 

Clearly having a civil discussion about the appropriate tone to take in a review is off limits with you.  I'll say no more.  


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > 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 Matrix HD60 speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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1 hour ago, kennyb123 said:

 

All I'm saying is that when reviewing a product as Sonis, it would behoove you to keep your emotions in check.  I have no problem with you switching to gmgraves to let your emotions run free.

 

Clearly having a civil discussion about the appropriate tone to take in a review is off limits with you.  I'll say no more.  

Thank the gods for small favors.


George

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Hey George - It's often not what you say but how you say it. Your responses here are a bit over the top and don't encourage more interaction between the members of this community and those who work very hard to write in-depth reviews. Please show a bit more respect to the people commenting on your review(s) and take your own words to heart, "all subjective reviews are, almost by definition, relative."

 

 


Founder of Audiophile Style

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31 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Hey George - It's often not what you say but how you say it. Your responses here are a bit over the top and don't encourage more interaction between the members of this community and those who work very hard to write in-depth reviews. Please show a bit more respect to the people commenting on your review(s) and take your own words to heart, "all subjective reviews are, almost by definition, relative."

 

 

Yeah, I’m afraid that I got a little snippy with Kennyb123, but he has been dogging me about this Audeze review since day one, and won’t let it go. I get it, he doesn’t agree with my assessment of these ‘phones. I don’t understand how anyone could defend them, but it takes all kinds. But for heaven’s sake, let’s move on already!

 I will endeavor, in the future to be more tolerant and show more respect to those who comment on my reviews. Perhaps the best way for me to handle this is when I feel that I’m being baited by someone who just wants to argue, that I not respond to those posts at all. After all, I really do not wish to offend anyone if I can help it. And if I did offend Kennyb123, I humbly apologize. 


George

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