Author Topic: Audeze refurbishment  (Read 714 times)

Offline Drifter

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Audeze refurbishment
« on: April 12, 2021, 08:26:21 AM »
So the left driver of my trusty LCD2's have all of sudden this weekend decided that it has enough of making music.

The Audeze's are one of my favourite possessions and come hell or high water I will need to get them fixed.

Has anyone ever sent an item back to Audeze for driver replacements? I saw somewhere the driver replacement cost is $400. So that is R6000 before any shipping costs.

It is a sad day......

Offline chrisc

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Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2021, 08:32:10 AM »
Is it the driver, not perhaps a dodgy cable?   Seen headphones where a break appears where the cable flexes the most

To determine this, continuity needs to be measured between the plug and inside the headphone itself.  May or may not be a mission, depending how its put together
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Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2021, 08:49:12 AM »
I think Audeze may only help with two and they may want the originals back.  It’s an expensive exercise. 

I had the same problem and I believe I know the cause but I destroyed my driver finding out how it works. 

I think I would do better the second time.  There is a thread on my repair attempt. 

However, for a start you could take it apart to the point where you can see the nuts  with serrated washers that make the contact to the membrane.  I would try tighten that nut a little.  You will need a small imperial socket. 
I believe a big design fault was not making the bolt head and nut accessible without disassembly. 





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Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2021, 08:50:20 AM »
Is it the driver, not perhaps a dodgy cable?   Seen headphones where a break appears where the cable flexes the most

To determine this, continuity needs to be measured between the plug and inside the headphone itself.  May or may not be a mission, depending how its put together


On Audeze the cable unplugs and could just be swapped left right to determine/rule out driver or cable.



Analogue by birth, digital by design. Mostly  a StereoType though known to enjoy some Mono too. 
Croak Audio
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Offline Drifter

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Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2021, 09:11:26 AM »
I have indeed done some high-level fault finding.

I have two cables, one is the original and the second is an aftermarket Toxic-Cables cable. It does the same (so left driver is dead) using both the cables and on two different head amp/dac systems (Deckard and iFi).

My electronic skills are questionable so I'll refrain from taking things apart.  "Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a torpedo technician!"  :giggle:

I'm going to e-mail Audeze support and see what they say. The headphones are in physically immaculate condition and I have pretty much babied them for as long as I have owned them. I cannot let them die ......

Offline kamikazi

Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2021, 10:08:39 AM »
I'm sure the local Audeze dealers should be able to assist you with repairs?

https://www.audeze.com/pages/dealers-africa

Offline Drifter

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Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2021, 10:56:44 AM »
I'm sure the local Audeze dealers should be able to assist you with repairs?

https://www.audeze.com/pages/dealers-africa

Two of those on the list of 3 are Arbalest (so effectively the same company) and the other is StereoMusicality here in Cape Town.
I have spoken with and done business with Arbalest before. I got the impression that they don't keep much in the way of stock from a previous enquiry I had.

I have mailed Audeze and I will see what they suggest.

Offline Drifter

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Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2021, 12:54:52 PM »
Okay, wow - not everyone's after sales support is broken.

Received a mail from Audeze USA (must have been barely 8h00 California time) - explaining a few things to check to make sure it is in fact the driver and not a cable / amp issue, together with Arbalest's number, confirmation that there is no concern that it cannot be fixed and the place to start is with Arbalest - if they cannot help Audeze USA will resolve it themselves.

I then gave Arbalest a call and spoke to Craig. No issue whatsoever to resolve, he just wants to confirm the s/n with Audeze USA and he will get to me still today to confirm the options.

At least its off to a positive start.


Offline dingeth

Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2021, 01:41:59 PM »
wow that's great on behalf of Audeze support, here's hoping the rest of the process is as smooth!
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Offline Scubadude

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Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2021, 02:41:07 PM »
Good luck with Audeze customer service ... my experience was that they can fix anything (at a pretty smart price and in their own workshop).  Maybe the world is flatter now than last time I checked, but their Murican-centric support model is not suitable for a global brand.  Imagine if every pair of Sennheisers with a blown driver would have to be shipped back to Germany for repair ... all two of them. 

Also, while I am ranting ... this from the Audeze website:

"Since air is trapped between your head and the diaphragm it creates a pressure zone, and as the headphones shift with movement you may hear a slight crinkling sound from the diaphragm. This is a normal occurrence with planar magnetic drivers and is nothing to be concerned about, it's the sound of the thin diaphragm moving back and forth with the changes in air pressure.

Sometimes as the driver film stretches slightly with age, the sound can become more apparent, and sometimes it may also lessen again. This is mostly influenced by factors in your environment (such as temperature and humidity), and we don't have much control over whether or not this occurs.

One important note is that we strongly recommend exercising certain cautions when handling planar magnetic headphones: trapped air can create high pressure and sudden pressure changes could damage the diaphragms, and this is not covered by warranty. The same is true when you put the headphones on or take them off-- it's not a good idea to press them hard and fast against the head, so we recommend slow and steady movement to allow the air pressure to stabilize."


If this is a known headphone killer, why not engineer a simple micro-port to equalise the pressure?     
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Offline Scubadude

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Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2021, 02:50:47 PM »
Found this bit quite amusing / disgusting.  After a driver failure on a pair of LCD3's, a prominent former member of this forum had the following exchange with Audeze customer care:

Quote

For amusement, this after I tell them I've lost faith in the brand and its quality ”Circling back to the cost vs. reliability question: I sometimes compare Audeze headphones to performance cars such as Ferrari (who also offers a three year warranty by coincidence). As Ferrari owners will surely attest, there are maintenance costs associated with ownership, and if something breaks beyond the warranty period they must pay to have the repairs done."

My reply "Whilst I'm sure Ferrari owners expect to incur repair and maintenance costs, I'm also pretty sure they don't anticipate having to replace a blown engine because they've driven round the block. My daily driver HD800 has worked a hell of a lot harder over the same time period and remains entirely trouble free. Let's leave it there, lesson learned, my bad." 
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Offline Drifter

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Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2021, 03:04:27 PM »
Good luck with Audeze customer service ... my experience was that they can fix anything (at a pretty smart price and in their own workshop).  Maybe the world is flatter now than last time I checked, but their Murican-centric support model is not suitable for a global brand.  Imagine if every pair of Sennheisers with a blown driver would have to be shipped back to Germany for repair ... all two of them. 

Also, while I am ranting ... this from the Audeze website:

"Since air is trapped between your head and the diaphragm it creates a pressure zone, and as the headphones shift with movement you may hear a slight crinkling sound from the diaphragm. This is a normal occurrence with planar magnetic drivers and is nothing to be concerned about, it's the sound of the thin diaphragm moving back and forth with the changes in air pressure.

Sometimes as the driver film stretches slightly with age, the sound can become more apparent, and sometimes it may also lessen again. This is mostly influenced by factors in your environment (such as temperature and humidity), and we don't have much control over whether or not this occurs.

One important note is that we strongly recommend exercising certain cautions when handling planar magnetic headphones: trapped air can create high pressure and sudden pressure changes could damage the diaphragms, and this is not covered by warranty. The same is true when you put the headphones on or take them off-- it's not a good idea to press them hard and fast against the head, so we recommend slow and steady movement to allow the air pressure to stabilize."


If this is a known headphone killer, why not engineer a simple micro-port to equalise the pressure?   

Well lets see how it goes.
My take is that planar magnetic headphones fall in the same reliability class as electrostatic speakers. That is why I got rid of my Quad ESL speakers a few years ago.
The Audeze's however sound glorious and I doubt whether I will be able to go without them.

I think Hifiman has similar, if not worse, reliability issues.

Is there anything better for less than R20k than the LCD2's that have the same build quality, open back and have that full midrange, slightly recessed treble and slamming bass?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2021, 03:11:29 PM by Drifter »

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Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2021, 04:31:44 PM »
I think there  are a good few 4 and 5 series Hifiman users here, I am one too.  I have not heard of anyone locally actually having issues whereas your issue is number 3 or 4 incl my own. 
The quoted repair for mine which would have been done locally (was not allowed to buy 1 only or fit drivers myself)  was pretty damn close to 10k.   

As I was not the original owner I couldn’t really take it any further. 

I wish you fairer and better luck and I do feel sennheiser and Beyer both look after their clients better here in SA. 


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Offline Drifter

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Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2021, 04:43:53 PM »
I think there  are a good few 4 and 5 series Hifiman users here, I am one too.  I have not heard of anyone locally actually having issues whereas your issue is number 3 or 4 incl my own. 
The quoted repair for mine which would have been done locally (was not allowed to buy 1 only or fit drivers myself)  was pretty damn close to 10k.   

As I was not the original owner I couldn’t really take it any further. 

I wish you fairer and better luck and I do feel sennheiser and Beyer both look after their clients better here in SA. 


Analogue by birth, digital by design. Mostly  a StereoType though known to enjoy some Mono too.

Looks like I may be able to get 2 new drivers, then you have a bit work to do to fit them for me.

Offline capetownwatches

Re: Audeze refurbishment
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2021, 08:01:12 AM »
Commiserations on your misfortune - I lost a driver on my LCD2 about a year ago and they now sit on my shelf as an expensive paperweight  :(

I went through the same process as you and was told unequivocally by Audeze USA that they would not supply a pair of drivers to SA.

And even if they were to the cost was prohibitive - as in I could buy a mint pre-owned pair for less.

I've been missing them but do I REALLY want to replace them and live in fear of driver failure every time I use them?

Nope, so I'm looking for alternatives as well but nothing really compares to an LCD2 unfortunately.
The gentleman who tried to repair mine says he has repaired "numerous" HiFiMan models as well, difference being that he could successfully do so.
The LCD2 was dead in the water.

There have been a couple of LCD2s for sale here but I won't take the risk.
I'm afraid Audeze has lost me as a customer...unless I can find a REALLY cheap pair to steal...perhaps...  ;)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2021, 08:03:30 AM by capetownwatches »