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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones) 2
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Will keep this review short but these are my impressions after a week of listening to a range of FLAC and a few HD files of every main genre of music: Sources used: FiiO X5 Sony...
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Amp recommendations for Audeze LCD-2 - Page 483post #7231 of 77473/21/14 at 1:42pmYea, HE-6 would not be an ideal match with KSA5....not enough power or gain.
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #7232 of 77473/22/14 at 3:51am
After trying many amps, I've build my own tube amp for the LCD2
The front panel is still provisional (after one year since I've finished it).
Edited by Pingfloid - 3/22/14 at 3:55ampost #7233 of 77473/30/14 at 12:41pmpost #7234 of 77473/30/14 at 1:14pmpost #7235 of 77474/3/14 at 8:31pm
I'm using a 1999 Headroom Maxed out Home to drive LCD-2 rev 2 phones. Audeze recommends 1 watt but I think that is more than than most people need because Audeze's assumptions are conservatively high. The LCD-2 is amazingly efficient for an Ortho, actually play slightly louder at the same voltage than the HD-600s. They're easy to drive and don't need much power, you want a super clean low distortion amp but it doesn't need a ton of power.
Audeze suggests your music has 60 dB of dynamic range. Sure you can invent sounds that have 60 dB or more of dynamic range but the only music I know of with 60 dB of dynamic range is something like the Carmina Burana or the 1812 Overture with cannons being fired. In this case if you listen with the quiet parts at 90 dB SPL the loud parts will make your ears bleed and possibly explode your head.
After saying that, Audeze provides a more realistic example: listen at 90 dB with 30 dB of dynamic range.
Power in dB is 10*log(ratio), here it's equal to 30 dB, so we have ratio = 1,000.
30 dB louder requires 1,000 times the power so that's 1 milliwatt to 1 Watt.
But listening with the quiet parts at 90 dB SPL is super freaking loud. Most people who listen that loud are listening to rock which has a lot less dynamic range (more like 12 dB instead of 30). So let's get realistic: suppose we listen with the quiet parts at 67 dB SPL and there's 30 dB of dynamic range.
Peaks will be 97 dB SPL.
The LCD-2 needs 1 mW for 90 dB, so for 97 dB it needs: 10 * log(x) = 7 --> x = 5. That's 5 mW of power. Five milliwatts. That's nothing!
Now if you really crank it up, suppose you listen with the quiet parts at 80 dB SPL, so peaks are 110 dB SPL. That's ear bleeding loud, but hey...
That's 20 dB louder than the reference 90 dB @ 1 mW, so we have:
10 * log(x) = 20 --> x = 100
So we need 100x more power, which is 100 milliwatts.
Still nowhere near 1 Watt of power. Any decent solid state headphone amp will put this out nicely, and most tube amps should too.
Of course the amp could run out of current and clip, so how much current would it need?
The LCD-2 has an impedance of about 50 ohms.
Power is current squared * impedance, so 0.1 W = i^2 * 50 --> i = 0.044. That's 44 milliAmps. Any decent solid state headphone amp should be able to do this no problem. Even most tube amps should.
Anyone feel free to check my math, but I can say the LCD-2 sounds absolutely freaking great with my Headroom Maxed out Home. It's a beefy little amp with super smooth yet detailed sound, ruler flat response with negligable distortion, perfect for high quality recordings of acoustic music. Those OPA627s are mighty smooth and clean and the little toroidal power supply shows nary a ripple on the DC. I'm not sure where it maxes out in power, but I've bench tested it to about 250 mW and 180 mA of current, at which it has no sign of clipping, all harmonics in spectrum at -85 dB or lower. That's way louder than I will ever need.
Edited by MRC001 - 4/3/14 at 8:38pmpost #7236 of 77474/4/14 at 2:15am^ Agreed. I suppose a possible justification for these higher power recommendations - but only as a rule of thumb - might be that amps rated for 'good' (low) distortion at 1-4W are more likely to be "super clean" at the power and current levels actually used by the LCD2. In other words, they're idling.post #7237 of 77474/6/14 at 7:55ampost #7238 of 77474/6/14 at 12:58pmQuote:
I would personally look on the for sale forums and get a resonessence labs concero and a schiit mjolnir. I think you can do that for about $800. I maybe a bit over budget.post #7239 of 77474/6/14 at 1:05pm^ or substitute a Bushmaster DAC (there's a thread for the mark II with a lot of interesting impressions and some light comparisons. I own the mark I - it's very good).
I think you could get that new and still swing the Mjolnir from the FS forums.post #7240 of 77474/6/14 at 1:54pmQuote:
CEntrance DACmini !!!
Fantastic with LCD-2 rev1 and rev2, with great power and detail, soundstage, etcpost #7241 of 77474/6/14 at 2:09pmQuote:
I am using a Sophia Electric Baby. I find this amp amazing with my LCD 2's. The midrange is phenomenal as well as the highs and bass. It puts out 10 watts per side in class A and uses 5670 preamp tubes and 6P1T output tubes. You need to use a 8ohm wirewound resistor in parallel with the speaker terminals. It retails for $1000.00usd but I have seen them for as low as 450.00.post #7242 of 77474/6/14 at 2:37pmpost #7243 of 77474/7/14 at 1:27ampost #7244 of 77474/7/14 at 6:44amQuote:Originally Posted by kahldog
I am using a Sophia Electric Baby. I find this amp amazing with my LCD 2's. The midrange is phenomenal as well as the highs and bass. It puts out 10 watts per side in class A and uses 5670 preamp tubes and 6P1T output tubes. You need to use a 8ohm wirewound resistor in parallel with the speaker terminals. It retails for $1000.00usd but I have seen them for as low as 450.00.
When you say "need to", do you mean need to, as in otherwise you might damage headphones/Sophia, or need to as in otherwise there's too much noise?post #7245 of 77474/7/14 at 6:56amQuote:
I guess the correct grammar would have been " You Could " leaving the choice to the individual. It serves two purposes that I am aware of.
1. It did in my case lower the noise floor.
2. I was advised by Sophia that the amp needs to see a load that it was designed for. According to Audeze the LCD 2 can take a load of 15watts but they did not specify for how long and that the headphones could be directly connected to an amp having an 80 watt into 8ohm output. To the best of my knowledge 80watts into 8ohms would equate to 12.8 watts into 50ohms.
In closing I have not had any trouble with the Sophia or the LCD 2's using this configuration and find the sound totally amazing. I have compared it directly to my Musical Fidelity M1HPA DAC/headphone amp and while it sounds good it does not hold a candle to the Sophia. I have also tried my LCD's with a Fiio E12 amp and directly out of my RWAK100 Astell Kern player and both sound OK and able to drive the Audeze's to listenable levels but with nowhere near the joy of the Sophia.
- Amp recommendations for Audeze LCD-2
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