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Everything posted by Sonis

  1. Giving full allowance for differences in “taste”, my comments, vis-a -vis, the Chord Hugo 2 vs the Benchmark DAC3, have nothing to do with taste. When one component lets the listener hear things in a recording that another, similar component completely misses, then the former component is simply better at its job than the latter one. If one has two amps, and one has so much distortion that the sound is just this “blob” of ill defined sound while the other amp lets you hear everything in the music, is it really a matter of taste as to which amp is best? Of course not. And it’s the same with these two DACs. One is clearly superior, because it allows the listener to hear deeper into the music.
  2. We must have vastly different ideas about what sounds good. I have spent many weeks listening to both the Benchmark DAC3 and the Hugo2. The Hugo2 resolves things in my own recordings that the Benchmark doesn’t even see, much less resolve. For instance, in my own recording of Ravel’s ‘Daphnis Et Chloe’ complete ballet with full symphony orchestra and full chorus, the Hugo2 allows the listener to separate individual voices from the chorus, while the DAC3 just reproduces it as a monolithic mass. This is a major step up in resolving power. It is also easier for the Hugo2 to separate individual voices in the orchestra. For instance there is more space between the oboe and the cor anglais, than there is with the DAC3. The triangle sparkles over the left side of the orchestra, like it’s floating above the percussion section -just like it does in a live concert. With the DAC3, the triangle is merely on the extreme left. I have to be honest here, I have listened to this true stereo recording many times, and frankly, Before I heard it on the Hugo2, I was totally unaware that these details had even been captured by the original recording! People’s tastes are different, of course, bu when you say that the DAC3 is a better DAC than the Hugo2, you are just wrong, my friend!
  3. True, but without any line-level or phono inputs, it can’t be considered a “pre-amp” which seems to be what Audiobomber is on about!
  4. In your previous post on the subject, neither did you. You merely asked if one of us was going to review the Benchmark3. I responded that I had already evaluated one (as a DAC/headphone amp), and found it not my cup of tea. The manufacturer can call it anything they like, but it’s not enough of a pre-amp for me. The couple of line-level inputs on some Benchmark models looks to me like almost an afterthought. I mean, even Benchmark calls it a DAC3, not a “Preamp3”.
  5. Remind me again where I asserted that they did operate as a preamp? The Benchmark is primarily noted as a DAC with a headphone amp. The fact that it has a couple of line-level inputs does not, in my humble opinion, a “preamp” make.
  6. I had one for a while last summer (2018). Compared directly to the Schiit Yiggy (which is a “ladder DAC” while the DAC3 is a single-bit, Delta-Sigma DAC), I found the Benchmark to be lacking in detail, and rather homogenous. Not bad, you understand, just not as good as either the Yiggy or the Chord Hugo2. I have an Oppo UDP-205 Blu-Ray/media player and it too (like the Benchmark) uses the ESS SabreDAC Pro DAC (although the Oppo supposedly uses a more advanced model). I found that they sound very similar.
  7. I borrowed a pair of LCD-3 several years ago after hearing them at the San Francisco HiFi Show. I thought they sounded great! That’s why I was even more disappointed with the sound of the LCD-4z. I was aghast at the screechy
  8. I want to thank Chris for taking the time and the considerable effort to give a critical listen to the Audeze LCD-4z headphones. Of course, I’m delighted that Chris and I found an almost identical sonic signature to these phones, and vindication of my findings, is, on a personal level, very satisfying. Like I have said to my critics all along, I have no axe to grind with Audeze, the manufacturer of these headphones, and, in fact, in the past, I have heard a number of Audeze’s headphone models and found them to be exemplary of what a high-end phone pair should be: comfortable, well made using the best materials, and, most importantly (for me, anyway) sounding very much like real music! That the LCD-4z model does not meet the goal of “sounding like real music” is unfortunate, and at $4000, a price point where there are many jaw-dropping headphone models from which to choose, this failure is all the more troubling. I wrote my negative review of these phones because I felt that the Audiophile Style community needed to be warned that if they bought these phones, they’re going to be disappointed. These days with most purchases in audio being done on the Internet due to the decline in brick-and-mortar stores, audio buyers need all the information that they can get to make a wise and satisfying purchase. Hopefully, Audeze will see clear to introduce a v.2 version of the LCD-4z, and perhaps these will actually sound like a $4000 headphone.
  9. Answered to Chris. The pictures were only on my audio system computer by the time that Q came up. The computer is connected to my 4K TV. It was just easier and faster to snap the screen than to go to the trouble of transferring it to my iPad, since that was what I was using to answer posts on Computer Audiophile that day. Happy now?
  10. Being totally serious; of course not. Perfect auditory perception is simply unnecessary. A review is an informed opinion. It is not meant as an absolute endorsement or condemnation of any product. A review is meant to peak consumer interest in the product being reviewed by describing the product fully, pointing out its features and, when appropriate, its shortcomings. For that, a reviewer’s knowledge of the field, and his experience is far more important than his physical hearing acumen. Armed with a favorable review, it is then up to the reader to decide from such a review whether or not to investigate the product further. A person who buys, based solely on a review is a foolish shopper. When buying audio equipment, two rules should be observed: 1) Always listen before you buy, if possible. 2) if it is not possible to listen first, always buy from a dealer who will allow you to return the item, if it doesn’t meet one’s expectations.
  11. Well, there’s no doubt that we all lose some hearing acumen as we age. I can still hear 15KHz pretty well in my left ear, but my right one seems to be fairly attenuated by about 13.5 KHz. on the other hand, I have three pairs of planar headphones here at home. HiFi man HE-560, Edition X, v.2, and Ananda.I also have 2 pair of Electrostatic phones:, the HiFiMan Jade 2 and the Mr. Speakers “Voce” model. I have no problem hearing the “important frequencies” from any of these headphone models. In fact, they all sound very good for their price-points with the electrostatics sounding the best, of course.
  12. Hey, Chris. Have you listened to the LCD-4zs that the owner of the review sample sent you? If so what are your thoughts?
  13. That’s easy. These phones cost $4000. I figure that people ought to know that they aren’t (in my opinion) worth 1/10th of that. My friend bought his sound unheard. (As ma y of us are forced to buy our audio gear these days of diminishing brick and mortar stores.) and I thought that was worth relating to the group. Caveat Emptor, as they say. And informed buyer is a wise buyer and all that!
  14. There is a simple solution to your “dilemma”. If you don’t like it here, just don’t read this forum or post to it. Since it is a free forum, there is really no need for you to formally quit.
  15. What do you mean “Audeze disclaim all knowledge of it” ? The phones were returned to Audeze who rebuilt them with new drivers. How can Audeze disclaim knowledge of a pair of phones that they themselves rebuilt? without any one mentioning any names in the review, Audeze even knew who the owner was. Sorry, but I think you need to enroll in some remedial reading skill classes.😉
  16. No it won’t put Chris in a tough spot. If he agrees with me (which I expect), it means that my assessment of these phones as being very poor performers (especially for the money) was spot on. If he disagrees, it means that my assessment of these phones is merely my opinion. This is unlikely. I don’t see how I could find other phones like the Sennheiser HD-800s or the various HiFiMan planar-magnetic models or models such as the Mr. Speakers “Voce” electrostatics or the HiFiMan Jade 2 electrostatics to be so consonant with the sound of music while I found these Audeze planar-magnetic so inconsonant with the sound of real music (of which I hear a lot). But, if it is just my opinion, then something is still wrong, but since I have no axe to grind vis-a-vis Audeze, not now, not ever, I don’t know what that could be.
  17. You aren’t paying attention, apparently. 1) There couldn’t be anything fundamentally wrong with the review sample, because it was sent back to the manufacturer (Audeze) and completely rebuilt with new matched drivers. Audeze thought that the returned LCD-4zs met their specifications when they were returned. The phones, before going back to Audeze and after coming back from Audeze sounded identical! 2) If there is something wrong with my hearing, then the same thing is wrong with the LCD-4z’s owner, because we found virtually the same flaws with the Audeze headphones. 3) If the LCD-4zs sound fantastic, then real music sounds bad as do the Sennheiser HD-800s, the HiFiMan HE-1000, the Edition X’s, the HiFiMan Anadas, the HiFiMan Jade 2 electrostatics, the Mr. Speakers Voce electrostatics, and the Audeze Isine 20’s. The chances of all these headphones sounding bad and the LCD-4z being the only pair in the group that sound good, is basically between zero and none at all. I do a lot of location recording. I know what live music sounds like. Live music does not have shrill, distorted treble, the LCD-4zs do. Real music does not have midrange that sounds like one is listening to music through a pillow, the Audeze LCD-4z does. Finally, Chris has the “review sample” LCD-4zs and the Audeze owner’s Sennheiser HD-800s. When he chimes-in with his opinion, we’ll find out if he agrees with my findings about these phones, or he will agree with those who think that distorted highs, muffled midrange, and loose bass is what real, live music sounds like.
  18. Oh, yeah. I have quirky hearing, all right. I have 8 pairs of high-end headphones in my possession or at my disposal, all of which have decent bass, excellent midrange and clean highs. Some are isoplanar like the Audeze LCD-4z, some are electrostatic, and the Sennheiser HD-800 and the Koss Pro4AA are classic, apex driven designs. None of them sound as unacceptably bad as the Audeze LCD-4z. Not even the Koss (which are nothing to write home about, but come-in handy when I’m recording due to their closed-back, gel-filled ear pad design which is highly isolatory.). I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. When eight high-end headphones all sound decent using the same sources and the same ancillary equipment and one sounds badly designed or defective, or is it logical to assume that the one “odd man out” is likely the poorly designed or defective phone here? Is it likely that the listener’s hearing is bad, or quirky, so that he selectively hears eight other phones as being decent, and this one phone from Audeze as being very poor sounding? The phone’s owner and myself both assumed that any headphone costing $4000 and sounding as bad as these did simply must be defective. We both agreed that the owner should send them back to Audeze to get them checked out and repaired. Imagine our collective chagrin, when the repaired headphones were returned to the owner and they still sounded EXACTLY like they did before they were sent back to the manufacturer! Yeah, I have quirky hearing.
  19. NSX, the owner of the Audeze LCD-4z review pair will be sending that pair, along with his Sennheiser HD-800’s toChris for his unbiased evaluation and comparison to the pair being sent to him by Audeze. Unless Audeze decides to send Chris a “lab queen” pair (which I trust that they won’t), that ought to put this debate right to bed.
  20. Thank you Chris, you’ve hit the nail on the head. On the other hand, everyone here has the right to take me to task for any breach of etiquette or wrong-doing whether real or imagined!
  21. Kind of looks that way, doesn’t it? One would think that everyone would just say, “thank you for the heads-up” (weather the reader decides to listen for themselves - which I encourage - or not) and move on.
  22. I don’t see that it is an issue. I’ve explained that my decision to focus the side issues of the ‘phone’s review to one point (just me, rather than me and the unit’s owner) was to avoid reader confusion. That this ploy was less than successful on all fronts, and as a journalistic experiment on my part, an abject failure, is beside the point of the review. That point was that the LCD-4z headphones sounded terrible, and they sounded just as terrible when returned from Audeze’s factory with two new, matched drivers. While I certainly won’t purposely meld multiple person’s experiences into a first person monologue again because it just doesn’t work, I take great exception to many people here, including you, accusing me of using this literary device to purposely deceive. What reason could anyone purposely have for deceiving the readership for dishonest purposes? What could those purposes conceivably be? I certainly have no Idea. The sequence of events that I relayed were certainly factual, as Audeze themselves have acknowledged. The fact that the interaction with Audeze was done by a third person in no way altered. my conclusions about the performance of the LCD-4z’s which were certainly not altered by any of these side issues. And the confusion about the title of the technical person who handled the owner’s complaint about his ‘phones is, in the final analysis, a tempest in a teapot for which I have apologized. Finally, hate the messenger if you must, not the message! Caveat Emptor!
  23. 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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