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Amp recommendations for Audeze LCD-2 - Page 488

post #7306 of 7753
Dang, just realized you were referring to me that sold you the lcd-2. Guess we follow the same threads, haha!
post #7307 of 7753
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zashoomin View Post
 

Audeze highly suggests at least 1W into 50ohms.  so that it can drive the heaphones without clipping.  the C5 does not have enough power for that. Many people like to play the lcd2's off of cheap amps but I personally think that if you are going to buy a $1000 pair of headphones it deserves much better than a $200 amp.  


This came up earlier in the thread, but I'll summarize that Audeze's power recommendations are ridiculously high. 1 watt into the LCD-2 would be over 120 dB which will melt your ears. Nobody can listen that loud without hearing damage. I believe Audeze does this on the assumption that if the amp can put out 1 watt then it will be very clean at the lower power levels people actually use. But that's not necessarily true, and if you do the math 100 mW will have plenty of headroom for any volume level that won't damage your hearing. This gives you a lot more options for a headphone amp. If you follow Audeze's 1W recommendation you'll miss out on some really clean great sounding headphone amps.

 

That said, the C5 is not a good choice for the LCD-2 primarily because at that price point it's simply impossible to have the quality of internal parts and design that will do justice to a headphone as transparent as the LCD-2. The C5 is also underpowered - it can only deliver about 45 mW to a 50 Ohm load. That's pitifully weak.

post #7308 of 7753
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRC001 View Post
 


This came up earlier in the thread, but I'll summarize that Audeze's power recommendations are ridiculously high. 1 watt into the LCD-2 would be over 120 dB which will melt your ears. Nobody can listen that loud without hearing damage. I believe Audeze does this on the assumption that if the amp can put out 1 watt then it will be very clean at the lower power levels people actually use. But that's not necessarily true, and if you do the math 100 mW will have plenty of headroom for any volume level that won't damage your hearing. This gives you a lot more options for a headphone amp. If you follow Audeze's 1W recommendation you'll miss out on some really clean great sounding headphone amps.

 

That said, the C5 is not a good choice for the LCD-2 primarily because at that price point it's simply impossible to have the quality of internal parts and design that will do justice to a headphone as transparent as the LCD-2. The C5 is also underpowered - it can only deliver about 45 mW to a 50 Ohm load. That's pitifully weak.

 

I believe the reason for the 1W recommendation is more about ability to have sufficient current available rather than requiring it for sheer sound pressure output because you're correct that not-one needs that level out of headphones.

post #7309 of 7753
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldendarko View Post

Dang, just realized you were referring to me that sold you the lcd-2. Guess we follow the same threads, haha!

 

LOL I thought you were just trying to stay anonymous! :)

post #7310 of 7753
Thank you guys! I've learned a lot. I guess I'll have to secure a more capable amp to properly review the LCD v2.2. Unfortunately I don't really need another amp as I mainly have IEMs for personal use. I will work on other possible options...

Thanks again!
post #7311 of 7753
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

 

I believe the reason for the 1W recommendation is more about ability to have sufficient current available rather than requiring it for sheer sound pressure output because you're correct that not-one needs that level out of headphones.

+1.

post #7312 of 7753
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post

I believe the reason for the 1W recommendation is more about ability to have sufficient current available rather than requiring it for sheer sound pressure output because you're correct that not-one needs that level out of headphones.
Possible, but Audeze gives a different explanation. They give an example of listening with quiet parts at 90dB with 30dB dynamic peaks to 120dB. If anyone did this he wouldn't be an audiophile for long because he'd go deaf.

The current requirements are easy to determine. 100mW into 50 ohms takes 45 mA, which any decent headphone amp can do easily.

The LCD-2 is an easy headphone to drive. The critical requirement for an amp is quality, not output power.
Edited by MRC001 - 4/25/14 at 6:03pm
post #7313 of 7753
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRC001 View Post


Possible, but Audeze gives a different explanation. They give an example of listening with quiet parts at 90dB with 30dB dynamic peaks to 120dB. If anyone did this he wouldn't be an audiophile for long because he'd go deaf.

The current requirements are easy to determine. 100mW into 50 ohms takes 45 mA, which any decent headphone amp can do easily.

The LCD-2 is an easy headphone to drive. The critical requirement for an amp is quality, not output power.

 

Interesting that Audeze say that.

 

I've been wondering about all this with the HE-500s because they definitely seem to benefit from more power - the sound becomes fuller and better controlled, but going strictly by the numbers there should be no reason for this improvement. I don't fully understand what's going on with planars and their apparent need for power.

post #7314 of 7753
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRC001 View Post

Possible, but Audeze gives a different explanation. They give an example of listening with quiet parts at 90dB with 30dB dynamic peaks to 120dB. If anyone did this he wouldn't be an audiophile for long because he'd go deaf.

The current requirements are easy to determine. 100mW into 50 ohms takes 45 mA, which any decent headphone amp can do easily.

The LCD-2 is an easy headphone to drive. The critical requirement for an amp is quality, not output power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post

Interesting that Audeze say that.

I've been wondering about all this with the HE-500s because they definitely seem to benefit from more power - the sound becomes fuller and better controlled, but going strictly by the numbers there should be no reason for this improvement. I don't fully understand what's going on with planars and their apparent need for power.
The HE-500 are less efficient than the LCD-2, needing 2.5x the power and 3x the current for the same Volume.

Also, level matched listening is critical when comparing. A more powerful amp can play louder, and the same sound played louder sounds fuller and richer, not just louder.
post #7315 of 7753
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRC001 View Post

Also, level matched listening is critical when comparing. A more powerful amp can play louder, and the same sound played louder sounds fuller and richer, not just louder.

 

Surely the many reports of a more full and rich sound arent all due to comparing at a level the lower amp struggles at, because it doesnt take much power to push the phones loud. I tried my LCDs from a 30W Naim speaker amp (4.8W @ 50 ohm) and compared to LD i+, LD mk iii, O2 and RWA corvina, the Naim had a really full and effortless sound. I'm aware that could just be the components of the amp, but I cant help thinking the extra 4+ watts on tap have something to do with it.

Have you tried and an amp that can put over 2W into the LCD-2s?

post #7316 of 7753
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poladise View Post
 

 

Surely the many reports of a more full and rich sound arent all due to comparing at a level the lower amp struggles at, because it doesnt take much power to push the phones loud.

It's often the case that lower powered amps (such as the C5 mentioned earlier) are of inferior design and build quality, so they sound worse. But not always. For example Headroom made some well designed and built great sounding amps that max out around 250 mW of power. Within their rated power, they have better measurements and sound quality than more powerful amps. If you're listening at levels equal or less than the amp's rated power output, the way the amp is designed and built is far more important than its rated power output.

 

Human perception gets interesting near the threshold of audibility. When two sounds are so close you can barely tell them apart, the actual differences are perceived as something different from what they really are. I've read about (and done myself) level controlled double blind tests where one clip was exactly the same in every way except 0.5 dB quieter than the other. The only difference is in how loud the clip is, but it's perceived not as a difference in volume, but in space or richness.

 

This frequently reveals itself in subjective reviews of audio equipment. For example, a company makes their CD player output 0.5 dB louder than another. When reviewers A/B compare them, the reviewer perceives this tiny difference in volume as sounding slightly more rich, more full, and glows about a "veil lifted from the music". It's not a placebo effect - the reviewer is definitely hearing a real difference. But what he's hearing is not what he thinks it is.

 

I'm not against high powered amps at all. All I'm saying is the LCD-2 doesn't need a full Watt of power so don't overlook an otherwise great headphone amp just because its rated power is less than a full Watt.


Edited by MRC001 - 4/26/14 at 9:08am
post #7317 of 7753

Guys how about the mass produced SS receiver amps? They should have high wattage output.  They are produced by companies that can keep prices low.  Not sure how well it will sound, but it's definitely a cheaper option than looking for high wattage headphone amp since it's such a limited space ans will most likely be costlier the more wattage it has.


Edited by SilverEars - 4/26/14 at 9:09am
post #7318 of 7753

I'm looking for an amp for my LCD-2 Rev2. I'm currently using my laptop and the ODAC/O2 combination and have narrowed it down to the V200, Soloist SL and Mjolnir.

 

I don't find my pair to be warm or dark at all, it sounds neutral to me, which is why I'm leaning towards the V200. I'm not interested in listening out for the details in the music, I simply want my music to sound as fun and engaging as possible.

 

The only thing putting me off the V200 is that I might eventually upgrade to the LCD-3, but that could be many months or a year away considering I only received my pair a few days ago. Then again, I may not even upgrade.

 

The Soloist SL has its price going for it, and I hear is a decent match with the LCD-3. The Mjolnir is more expensive, which is putting me off it a bit, but it's also not meant to be as warm/laidback or fun sounding as the V200, although it's good to know that it's a good match for the LCD-3.

 

If you were in my position, which one would you go for, specifically if musicality was the priority? Any chance of what each one does well/badly?

 

Note: I listen mostly to modern guitar and vocal centric music, so the recording quality isn't the greatest. Focus should be on a richer, fuller sound, a larger soundstage and on the mids.


Edited by sotto123 - 4/26/14 at 4:25pm
post #7319 of 7753
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotto123 View Post
 

I'm looking for an amp for my LCD-2 Rev2. ... have narrowed it down to the V200, Soloist SL and Mjolnir. ...

If you were in my position, which one would you go for, specifically if musicality was the priority? Any chance of what each one does well/badly?

Three great headphone amps, any of which will have no problem driving the LCD-2. The Mjolnir is balanced only. It's easy to convert the LCD-2 to balanced but it makes it cumbersome to switch back and forth side by side with standard unbalanced amps. If I were in your position I'd find a way to listen to all 3 of them side by side. If I couldn't find a local shop, club or friend who has them, I'd buy all 3 from vendors that have good return policies. Trying different equipment for yourself is half the fun of this hobby.
 

If you value musicality over sonic accuracy, you should listen to some good tube amps. The sound of a good tube amp is magical. It's not my kind of magic, but for people who value "musicality" you gotta hear it before getting a solid state amp.

post #7320 of 7753
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotto123 View Post
 

I'm looking for an amp for my LCD-2 Rev2. I'm currently using my laptop and the ODAC/O2 combination and have narrowed it down to the V200, Soloist SL and Mjolnir.

 

I don't find my pair to be warm or dark at all, it sounds neutral to me, which is why I'm leaning towards the V200. I'm not interested in listening out for the details in the music, I simply want my music to sound as fun and engaging as possible.

 

The only thing putting me off the V200 is that I might eventually upgrade to the LCD-3, but that could be many months or a year away considering I only received my pair a few days ago. Then again, I may not even upgrade.

 

The Soloist SL has its price going for it, and I hear is a decent match with the LCD-3. The Mjolnir is more expensive, which is putting me off it a bit, but it's also not meant to be as warm/laidback or fun sounding as the V200, although it's good to know that it's a good match for the LCD-3.

 

If you were in my position, which one would you go for, specifically if musicality was the priority? Any chance of what each one does well/badly?

 

Note: I listen mostly to modern guitar and vocal centric music, so the recording quality isn't the greatest. Focus should be on a richer, fuller sound, a larger soundstage and on the mids.

 

You’re in the same position as me. I probably chose the ideal amp last year: a Decware Taboo mkiii, but it arrived with a loose volume pot, transformer buzz coming from the amp, hum through the headphones and sounded harsh with very poor bass. They said all due to shipping (UK). I was worried seeing as the amp didn’t survive that journey, maybe it wouldn’t survive the next after repair and I’d be stuck in a game of pass the parcel overseas, so sent back for refund.

 

I got an epiphany O2 to use while I look for something else. I find LCD2r2 with O2 the same as you: no warmth in the mid range, but I'd say below neutral towards unnatural. I find some tracks actually unpleasant to listen to. Sounds quite ‘grey’ and lifeless. I know how alive the LCD2 can sound though, because I tried a V200 for a while, which filled out the sound with vividness, impact and warmth. Mixed in with that though, was a kind of dull, muddy ‘plastic-y’ quality too, which was too distracting. I have a feeling (hoping) it may have been a slight issue with the unit I demoed, because that’s not what others report.

 

A musical and powerful sound is what I’m after. I’ve been trying to find something in the UK like the Sophia Electric Baby that ’kahldog’ uses. You might be interested in the same amps I'm considering.

 

Little Dot VI+ - If these had a UK supplier I'd own one already (might take a gamble)

 

Icon Audio - Stereo 20 PP (15W tube speaker amp - should around 2.4W 50 ohm)

Icon Audio - Stereo 25 MK II (triode output mode 15W - should around 2.4W 50 ohm)

Apart the resistors to create the 8 ohm load, hopefully I wont need any more resistors to reduce hiss and affect the power.

 

Violectric V281 - We'll see what it's like with LCD-3s because I want to upgrade to those at some point.

 

Mjolnir - Just because hearing a powerful clean amp in total control of LCD2s might remove my craving for tube sound. Just got a feeling it might sound a bit unnatural to me though, like I find with the O2 / Soloist.

 

Anyone know of any other low powered tube speaker amps available in the UK?

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