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Amp recommendations for Audeze LCD-2 - Page 33

post #481 of 7262

FWIW I am very much enjoying the XcanV3 and LCD2 combo - equally as much as the BCL amp - and the price difference between these two amps is staggering.

 

That is purely because - after thorough testing - it's the Dac that I hear, more than the amp.  Through both amps I am hearing predominantly my Bryston Dac.  When I plug-in the Dacmagic, I took a huge loss in audio quality, I wasn't expecting that result - through both amps - the Dacmagic colorations and distortion would not go away with hybrid or solid state - that dacmagic sound dominates.

 

I'm going to have an educated guess and say that one is better if with the likes of an Asgard - for $250, mated to a hi-end dac - than a hi-end amp mated to a $250 dollar dac.  You're better of throwing all your resources in sourcing - garbage in, garbage out.  This was truly evident with the LCD2s.  With my other cans, I always thought the amp made more difference than my dacs - those cans weren't as revealing of the different sources than the LCD2s. 

 

The differences between the Dacmagic and the Bryston were staggering - only with the LCD's I finally feel the Bryston earned it's keep - I had always labelled it exotica thinking it had appalling price to performance ratio, now I think it's worth every dollar paid.  All the high praises I have for the LCD2's just do not apply when I heard them through the Dacmagic - the LCD2s with average source sounded very unspectacular and average.  Using the Ipods LOD to the amps - made things unbearable.


Edited by SP Wild - 8/12/10 at 8:30pm
post #482 of 7262

IT TURNS OUT THE AMP IS NOT THE ONLY IMPORTANT FACTOR IN DRIVING THE LCD-2 - THINK SOURCE TOO:

 

I've complained on the forum about fatigue when listening to the LCD-2 in my bedroom rig.  Well, my Nuforce CDP-8 seems to be a much better source to use with my LCD-2 than the Apogee mini-DAC I've been using.

 

The LCD-2 with WA6 (and several other amps) was a bit fatiguing, with piercing pianos in the lower mids and some of those frequencies resonating in my ears. Skylab had reported the WA6 to be a great match for the LCD-2, but it wasn't perfect for me.  But they are now much less fatiguing and more refined with a simple change in source, rather than having to change tubes or amp.  

 

With the CDP-8 there is a more natural and flowing character to the music now, without some artificial sounding echoing going on in the lower mids or graininess in the highs. Since I've owned the Apogee I've found it to be slightly on the aggressive side vs other DAC's like the Stello DA100 or Digital Link III, but usually it's not a problem as long as I use the Sigma 11 PSU. In previous comparisons I've felt the Apogee to be slightly more detailed, but with slightly more grain in return. There is a reason there is a team "source first" out there, and now that I'm used to the PWD the Apogee might not be cutting it any more.  Someday I really need to try the Apogee mini-DAC feeding the ZDT and see how that goes with the LCD-2.

 

Then I moved down to my basement rig with PWD > ZDT amp, and this rig is noticeably superior with the LCD-2 than any of the other source/amps that I've tried before. The LCD-2 now sound closer to what you guys are raving about, however I think the ZDT > LCD-2 is still darker and less transparent sounding than my WES > O2 Mk1 (PWD feeding both amps). There is a definite similarity, especially in soundstage and imaging, and I would say the LCD-2 are the closest I've heard to a dynamic or "non-stat" version of the O2 Mk1 (at least in my rigs). But the LCD-2's recessed mids and treble hide some of the details and air in comparison to the O2 Mk1.

 

This comparison has increased my respect for the O2 Mk1, but also made me appreciate the LCD-2 more for what they can do. They have nice detailed bass that isn't bloated or lacking, a warm tone with a full presence and weight to the instruments, mildly recessed mids and treble with good speed and detail, an encompassing soundstage, but still lacking a bit in sparkle and air in the highs.

 

The HE-5 LE also scale up nicely with the PWD > ZDT, but the presentation and efficiency is definitely different between these phones.  Normal listening levels with the LCD-2 are at 10 o'clock, but at 11 o'clock with the HE-5 LE (while HE-6 needed 3-5 o'clock).  The HE-5 LE is a more forward, intimate and delicate sounding headphone than LCD-2; while the LCD-2 is a darker, warmer and more recessed sounding phone with a bigger soundstage. The HE-5 LE sound more like a faster, more detailed/unveiled version of an HD600 (while not as airy, detailed and spacious as my HE60, they are warmer with better bass impact than HE60).  Once I volume matched the HE-5 LE by turning up the volume I was quite happy with them as well.  

 

I really liked both orthos in my listening session last night via PWD > ZDT, but the O2 Mk1 and HE60 out of the WES still beat out the orthodynamics for me.  If I didn't have the stats I'd still be very happy to play with these orthos on a regular basis, but I wouldn't want to pick just one.  I still have the excessive clamping force with my LCD-2, making the others more comfortable.

 

So, wiith the proper source and amp the LCD-2 should make many or most people happy, but I still don't think it's a "one phone to rule them all" kind of sound. (nor is the HE-5 LE)  The wide variety of tastes in music will always result in a wide variety of preferences in headphones, and even the legendary R10 and HE90 were not perfect to me.  But switching from the Apogee mini-DAC to CDP-8 turned the LCD-2 from a decent phone to a nice phone, and switching to the PWD > ZDT amp turned them into an exceptional phone.

post #483 of 7262


My experience mirrors your description perfectly - "Some of those frequencies resonating in my ears" is the exact word I wanted to use - I never heard these strange "resonances" in my dacmagic ever before - yet thats what always tells me I'm on the dacmagic - with both my preferred LCD2 amps.  With the Ipod LOD - the "resonance" was simply unbearable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

IT TURNS OUT THE AMP IS NOT THE ONLY IMPORTANT FACTOR IN DRIVING THE LCD-2 - THINK SOURCE TOO:

 

I've complained on the forum about fatigue when listening to the LCD-2 in my bedroom rig.  Well, my Nuforce CDP-8 seems to be a much better source to use with my LCD-2 than the Apogee mini-DAC I've been using.

 

The LCD-2 with WA6 (and several other amps) was a bit fatiguing, with piercing pianos in the lower mids and some of those frequencies resonating in my ears. Skylab had reported the WA6 to be a great match for the LCD-2, but it wasn't perfect for me.  But they are now much less fatiguing and more refined with a simple change in source, rather than having to change tubes or amp.  

 

post #484 of 7262

Nice to know you guys are experiencing the same thing as me. I too noticed big changes when upgrading source and cables. I actually thought the LCD-2's were a little loose in the low mid-bass area. I changed out cables and that helped, but I couldn't get over it. Finally I demoed the new Violectric V800 DAC. Boom, suddenly things sounded right. I knew my trouble stemmed from my Apogee Rosetta. It only took me a day or two to put the Apogee for sale, and to purchase the V800. I'm very happy with how my system is sounding now. 

post #485 of 7262
Quote:
Originally Posted by tunarat View Post


 


Doesn't the V100 look pretty close to the V200 on paper for the LCD2's? Do you think the V200 is worth the difference? $700 vs $915


I called the U.S. distributer and had a long talk with him about the differences.  I too strongly considered it(V100) after looking at the specs.  He said most of the original buyers of the V100 ended up upgrading to the V200 because it was so more dynamic and just plain higher end in all ways.  The reason that I didn't get the v181 also was that it is based on the V100 design.  Rumor is that there will be a balanced version of the V200 that will come out in time......

 

Anyway two hundred dollars for a good audio step upward, or risk getting a step down that may not even work, i will spend the two hundred, less than the cost of a recable.


Edited by dallan - 8/12/10 at 11:55pm
post #486 of 7262

It would seem that the LCD-2 responds very well to impedance matching with the amps in question. When the amp has a high output impedance, the source is not as easily discernible. But when the amp has the requisite power and a lower output impedance, the source quality comes to the forefront.

This is a great thread; when I get another LCD-2 I will be ready

post #487 of 7262
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

It would seem that the LCD-2 responds very well to impedance matching with the amps in question. When the amp has a high output impedance, the source is not as easily discernible. But when the amp has the requisite power and a lower output impedance, the source quality comes to the forefront.

This is a great thread; when I get another LCD-2 I will be ready


I feel really bad about how the clamping force troubled you, and this was the primary factor for you selling them.  I'm sure the LCD2s have sent manufacturers back to the drawing board and we'll see many more LCD2 inspired cans coming to market with the next generation.  Someone like Sennheisser will have the resources to work out the weight vs sound quality parody.

post #488 of 7262

I can't help wondering if I simply can't calculate an ideal bias setting for my amp for the LCD-2s.  I must investigate this better. 

post #489 of 7262

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post


I feel really bad about how the clamping force troubled you, and this was the primary factor for you selling them.  I'm sure the LCD2s have sent manufacturers back to the drawing board and we'll see many more LCD2 inspired cans coming to market with the next generation.  Someone like Sennheisser will have the resources to work out the weight vs sound quality parody.


It's all good, lol

 

It was great to try them out, I felt fortunate and I may get back to them with the right amp and cabling in place sometime. The clamping was only part of it, as it was compounded by my eyeglass frames being pressed into my temples. There was also something about the highs that disagreed with me; I think that I am particularly sensitive to a frequency that the LCD-2 generates exceedingly well, and I can't be sure whether or not that was contributing to the head pain. I had a similar sensation with my HE-5 when I first had them, but I adjusted to them after a while, and now they are quite non-fatiguing.

 

BTW, I think you may mean paradox!

post #490 of 7262

Those having resonance issues, original grill or updated A grill?

post #491 of 7262
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

I really liked both orthos in my listening session last night via PWD > ZDT, but the O2 Mk1 and HE60 out of the WES still beat out the orthodynamics for me.  If I didn't have the stats I'd still be very happy to play with these orthos on a regular basis, but I wouldn't want to pick just one.  I still have the excessive clamping force with my LCD-2, making the others more comfortable.

 


Interesting, when I compared the LCD-2 to my friends HE60 rig I felt the LCD-2 beat them by a decent margin....at least for my listening preference. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post




I feel really bad about how the clamping force troubled you, and this was the primary factor for you selling them.  I'm sure the LCD2s have sent manufacturers back to the drawing board and we'll see many more LCD2 inspired cans coming to market with the next generation.  Someone like Sennheisser will have the resources to work out the weight vs sound quality parody.


Maybe there is some variation in the headbands clamping force, I never had an issue with it.....but I do feel the LCD-2s are really heavy on my head.  

post #492 of 7262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

Those having resonance issues, original grill or updated A grill?


Updated grilles on my one.  The resonance is not a physical, air vibration resonance.  It is electronic in nature.  The LCD2's from what I can gather doesn't have a cup resonance that I can yet identify.  The D7000's, I also have a difficulty in identifying cup resonance - but I am pretty certain the resonance is in the bass frequencies - and contributes to the bass boom, which some find really pleasurable and others horrifying - dependant on HRTF.

 

It is precisely the lack of cup resonance in the LCD2's - unlike any can I own, that electronic resonance is being magnified.  All other cans in my collection - the inherent cup resonance is greater than the electronic resonance in the source (which also seems power supple related - as demonstrated by the Dacmagics wallwart and switching with a toroid) and hence why I have never heard or identify source resonance - as they were always being masked by the greater cup resonance in other cans.

 

Once again, I re-affirm my position in believing that the LCD2's herald a new age in audio reproduction.  IMHO.

post #493 of 7262
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post



The LCD-2 with WA6 (and several other amps) was a bit fatiguing, with piercing pianos in the lower mids and some of those frequencies resonating in my ears. Skylab had reported the WA6 to be a great match for the LCD-2, but it wasn't perfect for me.  But they are now much less fatiguing and more refined with a simple change in source, rather than having to change tubes or amp.  



 



The sources that I use with my WA6 are my high-end tube-hybrid Audio by VanAlstine DAC and my VPI/Benz/Eddie Current analog rig, which are outstanding as sources - so that could indeed explain my I had no issues through my WA6.
post #494 of 7262

Hi Skylab,

 

You have always been a source for accurate information for me, whose opinion I regard very highly.  I've been meaning to ask you of your opinions of why my mid level tube amps cannot control either my D7000s or LCD2s without slowing them down to mid-tier pratt cans.  From your experience - do high-end tube amps offer significant pratt advantages over say the MingDa or the Cayin which seem to have similar levels of pratt performance.  I have always had faith in full-tube amplification, but my recent experiences with the D7000 and now the LCD2s have my faith shaken.

 

Cheers.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post


 
post #495 of 7262

i 've got my lcd-2 pre-ordered and thinking to pair it with WA5

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