Tag Archives: PM3

Audeze LCD-1 Review – Mindfulness

Pros –

Lightweight and comfortable, Folding design, Super soft lambskin leather, Superb balance and linearity, Strong fine detail retrieval in class, Cable orientation always correct

Cons –

Less bass extension than some competitors, Not the most spacious or open sounding headphone, Unorthodox cable design, Plastic build scratches easily

Verdict –

The LCD-1 provides a balance of qualities and conveniences unmatched by immediate competitors.


Introduction –

Who hasn’t heard of Audeze? The US-based headphone manufacturer are an icon of the headphone industry, their LCD line-up having both huge success and staying power. If there’s one thing that alienated buyers from these models, it’s likely their price followed quickly by their large, heavy design. The new LCD-1 is their solution to these qualms, and their sleekest LCD headphone yet excluding the on-ear SINE. It implements the same technologies in a compact form factor designed for all-day comfort. Furthermore, the sound signature has been tuned with monitoring in-mind, pivotal as such a balanced sound is not so easy to come by around this price range.

The LCD-1 retails for $399 USD. You can read all about the LCD-1 alongside Audeze’s technologies here and treat yourself to one here.

Disclaimer –

I would like to thank Ari very much for getting me in contact with Audeze and making this review of the LCD-1 happen. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the headphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.

Specifications –

  • Style: Over-ear, open-circumaural
  • Transducer type: Planar magnetic
  • Maximum SPL: >120dB
  • Frequency response: 10Hz – 50kHz
  • THD: <0.1% @ 100dB
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 99 dB/1mW
  • Weight: 250g

The Pitch –

Fazor Waveguide

Audeze implement waveguides to avoid unwanted resonances and destructive interference. This enables greater high-frequency extension and resolution in addition to increasing efficiency. Audeze also promise greater phase coherence resulting in better resolution and sharper imaging. Furthermore, the waveguides can help reduce turbulence and enhance damping enabling higher driver control and a more agile transient response. You can read Audeze’s description here.

Fluxor Magnets

Audeze headphones utilize very strong N50 neodymium magents – the higher the number, the stronger the magnetic force exerted, with N52 being the absolute strongest currently available. This equates to a greater ability to exert force onto the diaphragm meaning a quicker transient response, higher efficiency. This enables Audeze to implement a single-sided array that contributes to the LCD-1’s very light weight design. You can read Audeze’s description here.

Ultra-thin Force Diaphragm

Audeze headphones use an ultra-ligthweight diaphragm just 0.5 microns thick – 1/10th of the thickness of a red blood cell. In turn, the diaphragm is very lightweight which permits quicker acceleration and deceleration – a quicker and cleaner transient response. Alongside the more uniform force application with Audeze’s fluxor magnet array, their drivers offer high resolution and low distortion at high frequencies due to the reduced inertia. You can read Audeze’s description here.

Unboxing –

While the box doesn’t have the luscious velour interior of Hifiman’s headphones, the LCD-1 upholds a premium unboxing experience. Sliding off the outer sleeve and opening up the hard box reveals the compact Audeze carrying case. It’s a tough and protective zippered hard shell with rugged fabric exterior. There’s an elastic internal pocket with Velcro holder that enables the user to store cables and accessories without them scratching the headphones. The headphones are comfortably secured within the case, which also showcases how they fold-up for storage. Audeze also includes a 2m cable and 3.5mm to 6.25mm adaptor and papers to verify warranty and authenticity.  

Design –

Futuristic is one of the descriptors that came to mind when I first lay eyes on the LCD-1. It’s a compendium of clean lines merged with Audeze’s signature faceplate design merging minimalism and the tradition that came before. The plastic construction is a departure from the tanky builds we’ve come to expect from Audeze, however, it is premium where it counts. The earpads and headband make an especially strong impression, employing a gorgeous lambskin leather with plush memory foam on the earpads and soft sponge on the headband. The swiveling mechanism features a metal reinforcement plate that will provide more reliable function over time. Though not the most premium in terms of overall material choice, the LCD-1 feels relatively sturdy and upholds a strong user experience.

The LCD-1 can both fold flat and fold down for storage making them very portable when paired with the included case while enabling them to hang comfortably around the neck. They offer more axis of adjust-ability than most and a nice ratcheting headband slider that lacks position markers but retains its position well. The design of the headband may present issues if you have an especially large or tall head as I found myself using the 2nd largest setting where I usually hover around the middle setting on most competitors. The tolerances are also impressive, with only a slight wobble due to the folding mechanism, but zero rattles, hollowness or creaking indicative of a long-lasting product. The clamp force is slightly higher than average but this is mitigated well by the plush earpads while contributing to strong fit stability. My only personal gripe with the design is that, when folded flat, the earcups are prone to scratching one another.

It is easy to append using some adhesive vinyl, even tape if you don’t mind the ghetto aesthetic. However, competitors such as the Oppo PM3 have small tabs that place the earcups apart, mitigating this issue. It doesn’t help that the LCD-1’s matte finish scratches quite easily even if providing a generally pleasant in-hand feel. The LCD-1 is extraordinarily lightweight in return, especially for a planar. At just 250g it is lighter than most portable dynamic driver headphones. Due to the plastic build and soft leather, I would treat the LCD-1 a little more carefully than most headphones, however, in my experience lambskin wears much better over time than the Faux leather used on the majority of competitors that are prone to pealing.

I am also enthusiastic about the included cable. It’s a dual entry design with TRRS 3.5mm plugs on all terminations. Note, even the headphone side are TRRS which means aftermarket cables are unlikely to fit, and the sound will be in mono if using a regular dual-entry TRS cable. In return, the cable is always in correct orientation since both sides offer stereo that aligns with mono connectors in the earcup jack. The cable itself is of good quality. It’s braided and smooth, but also very supple with zero memory. Microphonic noise is minimal and the cable coils very easily for storage. The metal connectors feel premium and the straight plug has great strain relief in addition to a protruded plug that makes it case friendly.

Fit & Isolation –

I am a huge fan of the LCD-1’s fit and comfort, the lambskin feels superbly soft and supple, while the heat-activated memory foam conforms perfectly to the head over time. They are an over-ear headphone and, as others have stated, the pads are on the smaller side, measuring in at approximately 3.5 x 6 cm but with a larger cavity behind. As the pads are quite deep, they did fully engulf my ears so I didn’t personally find this to form discomfort over time. As always, YMMV here. The headband is reasonably thin but well-padded. Due to the lightweight design of the headphones, they don’t wear on the head like many other either, so I was able to wear them for hours with no issue. For professionals, this will be a prime selling point of the LCD-1, their all-day comfort and the excellent wearing properties of the lambskin leather. Of course, being an open-back design do expect sound leakage in addition to minimal noise isolation. Though compact and fold-able, this makes them less ideal for portable use.

Next Page: Sound, Comparisons & Verdict

The post Audeze LCD-1 Review – Mindfulness first appeared on The Headphone List.

Original Resource is The Headphone List

Yamaha Rivage PM5, PM3 to Get L-Acoustics L-ISA Control

The newly-introduced Yamaha RIVAGE PM5 and PM3 will both be equipped with L-ISA DeskLink
The newly-introduced Yamaha RIVAGE PM5 and PM3 will both be equipped with L-ISA DeskLink

Marcoussis, France (June 3, 2020)—Yamaha’s recently launched Rivage PM5 and Rivage PM3 digital mixing systems will be able to natively control L-Acoustics’ L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology, as they’ll be equipped with a L-ISA DeskLink for onboard control.

Co-developed by the two manufacturers, the DeskLink will be a feature of the upcoming Rivage PM firmware V4, currently set to be released simultaneously alongside the new Yamaha consoles. The firmware will also work with existing Rivage PM10 and PM7 digital mixing systems, thus bringing updated features including the L-ISA DeskLink, to those desks as well.

Exclusive: Yamaha Launches Rivage PM5, PM3 Desks, DSPs, More

Within the Yamaha Rivage PM Series desks, for every mono or stereo input channel, direct control of L-ISA Objects or Groups will be available on the console control surface and touch screens. The five main L-ISA parameters—Pan, Width, Distance, Elevation and Aux send—will also be stored for each object in the console Scenes, with dedicated recall scope.

“More than three decades ago, Yamaha helped pioneer the digital mixer market, and has since remained one of the premier live console manufacturers,” says Sherif El Barbari, director of L-ISA Labs. “With the recent additions of the PM5 and PM3 to their Rivage range, Yamaha can now accommodate a much broader user base and allow them to each experience the future of live sound reinforcement in a very intuitive way, via L-ISA’s object-based mixing approach.”

“Yamaha is delighted to have been able to include L-ISA system control integration for the newly expanded Rivage PM family of consoles, through the recent launch of our new PM5 and PM3 console systems together with the V4.0 firmware release,” says Chris Angell, Yamaha R&D. “This opens the doors of our collaboration with L-Acoustics to an even wider range of customers and projects.”

L-Acoustics • www.l-acoustics.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Exclusive: Yamaha Launches Rivage PM5, PM3 Desks, DSPs, More

Yamaha's New Rivage PM5 Console.
Yamaha’s New Rivage PM5 Console.

New York, NY (May 20, 2020)—Since its introduction in 2014 with the PM10 digital mixing system and the subsequent PM7 in 2018, Yamaha’s Rivage Series has been the company’s flagship for touring and installation mixing consoles, with the distinctive desks often spotted at front of house on tours or in megachurches. Pro Sound News recently got an exclusive sneak peek of Yamaha’s most ambitious expansion for the series yet, as the company introduces two new consoles—the PM5 and PM3—as well as a pair of new DSP engines—DSP-RX and DSP-RX-EX—and Version 4 firmware that provides features to new and legacy Rivage systems.

Yamaha Rivage PM5 Digital Mixing System

Yamaha Rivage PM5 Digital Mixing System Yamaha Rivage PM5 Digital Mixing System Yamaha Rivage PM5 Digital Mixing System

Both of the new consoles feature large, capacitive touchscreens that let engineers use multi-finger gestures (think the “pinch” motion used on smartphones), with the PM5 sporting three screens, while the PM3 gets one. As with their predecessors, the PM5 and PM3 each have 38 faders—three bays of 12, with two masters—but the new control surfaces are laid out with an eye toward efficiency.

Yamaha Rivage PM5 Digital Mixing System in use.
Yamaha Rivage PM5 Digital Mixing System in use.

“With the PM5, some people will think of it as the as the PM5D replacement, but it’s so much more than that,” said Kevin Kimmel, systems application engineer, Yamaha Commercial Audio. The CS-R5 control surface for the PM5 may be roughly the same width as a PM7 or PM10, but it has a shorter depth, at just over 23 inches, and is laid out somewhat differently. Making room for that third screen, the Selected Channel section on the right side of a PM10 or PM7 now has a smaller footprint and fewer knobs as well. Likewise, the meters that were above the ‘on’ button and by the Select buttons are now alongside each fader, while the LCD channel strip is gone, replaced by names across the bottom of the screens. While the drastic change might give some engineers pause for thought, Kimmel notes, “After I got to mix on it, I went, ‘Yeah, this is actually pretty cool.’”

The shorter depth of the CS-R5 control surface isn’t only about dropping the LCD channel strip; it puts the touchscreens within a comfortable reach, is expected to provide clearer sight lines and helps bring the control surface’s weight down to 93 pounds, aided in part by the fact that the frame on both new control surfaces is now aluminum.

Yamaha Rivage PM3 Digital Mixing System

The PM3’s CS-R3 control surface scales things down even further, resulting in the most compact Rivage console to date, weighing in at 84 pounds and measuring 45 inches wide, making it only slightly wider than a CL5 digital mixer. “It’s a natural progression to go from a CL or QL to this because within the GUI we’ve made it look a fair amount like CL,” said Kimmel. “If you come to it from those consoles, you’re not so intimidated when you walk up to it.”

DSP-RX and DSP-RX-EX

Of course, control surfaces are only part of the story—it’s the DSP and firmware under the hood that do the heavy lifting. As it happens, both the new DSP-RX and the DSP-RX-EX, as well as the existing DSP-R10, can be used with any Rivage system except the PM7 (its DSP is already built-in).

“The DSP-RX is 120 inputs by 48 mixes and 24 matrices—the same number of inputs as a current PM7, with a bit fewer on the output side—and visually, it looks very similar,” said Kimmel. “The DSP-RX-EX doubles the inputs, going to 288 inputs with 72 mix outputs and 36 matrix outs. It also increases the amount of plug-ins—in DSP-RX, there are 384 ‘slots’ for plug-ins, and now you get 512 with DSP-RX-EX. It’s quite a jump. Now, if you’re using the DSP-RX and eventually decide you’ve outgrown it, there’s a DEK-DSP-RX expansion kit so you can bump it up to become an EX with the same channel count and plug-in amount.” DSP mirroring is also supported by the new DSPs, allowing two DSPs to be run simultaneously to provide redundancy.

Version 4 Firmware

As for the firmware update, Version 4 brings legacy and new Rivage desks a number of additions, including an Eventide SP2016 reverb plug-in that includes presets developed by the likes of George Massenburg, Dave Pensado and Joe Chiccarelli. Additionally, Yamaha’s MonitorMix app for iOS is now supported, allowing individual wireless Mix/Matrix/Aux mixing from up to 10 iPhones or iPads simultaneously. Rivage PM7 owners aren’t left out from the updating—the v4 firmware increases the PM7’s channel count from 120 to 144 and serves up another dozen Matrix Outs for a total of 36. Other new features include flexible HY-car slots in DSPs, updates to the GUI, NuendoLive included for both the PM3 and PM5, and more. Users can expect continued support for some third-party efforts, like the L-Acoustics’ L-ISA DeskLink, and Yamaha plans to add third-party plug-ins down the road.

At press time, Yamaha was still hammering out prices on the new offerings, but the summer months will see the PM5 and v4 firmware debut, while the PM3 will hit the ground in the fall.

Yamaha • https://usa.yamaha.com/products/proaudio

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com