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Audeze LCD-4 vs LCD-5 measurements

Music1969

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Hi @mitchco

I saw your measurements of LCD-4 vs LCD-5 here

And your comment:

The LCD-5 starts to roll off around 70 Hz and similarly to the LCD-4, about -4 dB at 20 Hz. The LCD-5 stays flatter than the LCD-4 until about 500 Hz where the response starts to rise with a broader peak from about 800 Hz to 1.5 kHz. But as one can see a sharp rise with +6 dB upper midrange energy from 3 to 6 kHz. Not only quite the departure from the LCD-4, but also brighter even than the Raal Requiste SR1a. I must admit the LCD-5 are the brightest headphones I have listened to and measured. Seems a bit unusual for a flagship headphone, especially given how relatively neutral the LCD-4’s sound and measure. Fortunately, headphone equalization is a thing. Let’s see what can be accomplished.

But this seems completely opposite to @oratory1990 's plots against Harman Curve cc @Sean Olive

The general trends of your plots are similar too, especially the main 'problem area'.

I know you know all the Harman research for speakers but for headphones, Harman research would suggest LCD-5 is more neutral and LCD-4 would be dull (exactly my subjective response too).

I saw in your review that your EQ improved your subjective experiences but that would have made LCD-5 deviate even further from Harman curve.

LCD-4

1652594317906.png

LCD-5

1652594352234.png
 

MayaTlab

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I'm quite familiar with the sort of mics used in mitchco's reviews.

I'll leave my own opinion on them aside for now and would be quite interested in mitchco's response, but to provide some context, it seems that mitchco's understanding of neutral is that headphones measure flat at least up to around 6kHz using these microphones.

This is how the NAD HP50 measured on his head using these microphones during different measurement sessions :
Screenshot 2022-05-15 at 09.12.33.png

Another sample, measured by Oratory on an industry standard rig :
Screenshot 2022-05-15 at 09.08.12.png

The LCD-4's in situ measurements, using the same mics, are closer to the NAD HP50 measurements in the 1-4kHz range than to the LCD-5 - even though the latter is closer to Harman per Oratory's own measurements.
Screenshot 2022-05-15 at 09.17.11.png

Given the number of variables involved, I'm not certain a straightforward explanation can be given without more data.
 
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mitchco

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I know you know all the Harman research for speakers but for headphones, Harman research would suggest LCD-5 is more neutral and LCD-4 would be dull (exactly my subjective response too).

Thanks. Do you own both of these headphones?

As explained in the AS article section on "listening methodology explained" I discuss what I listen for with one of the main points being that the bass is balanced with the mids and highs. With the LCD-5's the +6 dB peak in the 3.5 kHz to 5.5 kHz range is so bright relative to the bass and mids, I can't imagine how anyone can say that this is neutral sound.

Here is a FIR filter for the AKG K371 headphone. Requires a convolver. Without the FIR filter, there is too much low bass, with the bass sucked out and a few midrange issues like discussed in the listening methodology. With the FIR filter engaged the low bass and bass now sound much more even when listening to a bass guitar run and the midrange, especially with vocals, sound more natural to my ears. I have tried various PEQ's that are available for this headphone and none sound as good as the FIR filter. But I did not come hear to argue. Folks can listen to the FIR filter and draw their own conclusions.
 
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Music1969

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Here is a FIR filter for the AKG K371 headphone. Requires a convolver. Without the FIR filter, there is too much low bass, with the bass sucked out and a few midrange issues like discussed in the listening methodology. With the FIR filter engaged the low bass and bass now sound much more even when listening to a bass guitar run and the midrange, especially with vocals, sound more natural to my ears. I have tried various PEQ's that are available for this headphone and none sound as good as the FIR filter. But I did not come hear to argue. Folks can listen to the FIR filter and draw their own conclusions.
Hi @mitchco

I spent considerable time with LCD-4 and LCD-5 but now prefer my AKG K371 a lot more.

I'm trying your FIR filters.

Am I right in seeing your left and right channels have slightly different IR's ?

I guess picking either of them should be good enough for me to use, assuming good quality control between K371 headphones in terms of unit variation.

1652783336715.png
 
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Music1969

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Hi @mitchco

I saw someone at Archimago's site mentioned something wrong with the right channel?

Is that fixed in your link above?

And do you recommend actually using your L and R for my L and R?

Not that the differences are huge anyway and unlikely my K371's will measure the same as yours, left and right?


1653663088322.png


1653663101127.png
 
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Music1969

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This is what step response is currently showing at my end:

1653664738660.png



1653664919604.png
 
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Music1969

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And I must say your filter does sound really good (i just used your right channel for both of mine)

oratory harman reduces the bass compared with 'out of the box', like yours. So both you and Harman agree there is too much bass out of the box with these.

but oratory is definitely brighter than yours. Maybe too bright? Need to listen longer
 
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Music1969

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Comparing on same scale:

oratory
magnitude.png


mitchco:
magnitude.png
 

mitchco

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And I must say your filter does sound really good (i just used your right channel for both of mine)
Cheers!

Am I right in seeing your left and right channels have slightly different IR's ?
That was a "quick and dirty" filter I made so there are a couple of small mistakes as noted. It is unlikely you will hear any difference between the two channels as it is about 0.5 dB difference, and for our ears 1 dB is generally considered a JND. I tested this in my convolver which level matches the filter to bypass level and switching between the two states is instant. The tell-tale sign in this test is that the centre image shifts, which I could not hear with the filter engaged. So I did not bother to fix it. Nonetheless, my commercial FIR filter designs are perfectly channel matched.

I saw someone at Archimago's site mentioned something wrong with the right channel?
See the frequency response in your post 6? Note that it is approaching 0 dB at 1 Hz. This what causes the step response in your same post to be the shape that it is. I forgot to dial in the minimum phase roll off of the headphone. Unless your using the same convolver as Mikhail is using noted in your post above, there are no audible issues with other convolvers. So again, I did not bother to fix it.

Speaking of Mikhail's comment's, he also hears an improvement in frequency response "sounds more natural." He also noted an improvement in the depth of field:


Mikhail AKGK371 FIR filter listening comments.jpg


Folks that use my FIR filter designs have similar comments on both the frequency response and depth of field improvements.

Thanks again for trying out my FIR filter for the AKG K371. Happy listening!
 
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