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Amp recommendations for Audeze LCD-2 - Page 492

post #7366 of 7756
^ the polls are capped at $1000 and $2000 respectively
post #7367 of 7756

If it's not on the list you can vote by writing a comment and I'll keep a tally. Taurus is in the $1000-$2000 category. The Cavalli Liquid is in a higher price range than either polls. I can start a  $2000+ poll but I'm not sure how many people would have experienced such amps or be willing to spend that kind of cash...


Edited by PTom - 5/1/14 at 3:11am
post #7368 of 7756
Oh there are enough people who have bought those amps wink.gif
post #7369 of 7756
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones Bob View Post


That inexpensive little amp is unbelievably good with Audeze. Used it with my LCD-2.2, LCD-3C, LCD-X, and now LCD-3F. Especially when you do a few simple mods (be careful, the PCB is very fragile). No noise, superb dynamics, wonderful tone, great PRAT -when called for. Even has a 3.5mm headphone jack on the front face. And the wood trim is Zebrano to match my LCD-3. smily_headphones1.gif

In the Sophia Baby, replace the 2 stock rectifiers in the voltage doubler PS with high voltage Schottky's, RCA inputs with Eichmann, trash the stock Chinese tubes and get good 1960-70s vintage Soviet Military 6N1P-EV and 6P6P-EV tubes on Ebay. Did that to my $150 Meng Music Angel (same amp as the Sophia) along with copper Obbligato coupling caps and it slayed my Mjolnir. Better highs, better bass, more emotion in the music. BTW, the Sophia is PP 6P6P pentode wired.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Music-Angel-Meng-MINIP1-6P1-x-4-Push-Pull-Valve-Tube-Integrated-Amplifier-BK-/310818347087?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item485e37984f

I've since built my own PP 6V6 triode strapped amp with ElectraPrint Partial Silver OPTs that is quite a bit better. But that little Meng Music Angel can really hold its own. Its a sweet little amp. Even used it as my everyday amp to drive my Altec Model 19s.


Glad to see that someone else has discovered this GEM. It is really something to hear. I agree that the tone is just so correct and that everything sounds so real or just like a live unaltered sound, if you will. I am so surprised how delicately it handles the sound and then out of nowhere it kicks when it has to with the dynamics of the music. It was actually startling at first because I have never heard this in my equipment before. I recently purchased a Cayin A88-T integrated and while it sounds nice the Sophia is more enjoyable to listen to. For me it is a perfect match with my Audeze LCD 2's and I would be very very reluctant to change unless I heard something better. I actually have no desire to change as I am totally satisfied and have been disappointed before with my upgrade sickness.

post #7370 of 7756
Quote:
Originally Posted by kahldog View Post


Glad to see that someone else has discovered this GEM. It is really something to hear. I agree that the tone is just so correct and that everything sounds so real or just like a live unaltered sound, if you will. I am so surprised how delicately it handles the sound and then out of nowhere it kicks when it has to with the dynamics of the music. It was actually startling at first because I have never heard this in my equipment before. I recently purchased a Cayin A88-T integrated and while it sounds nice the Sophia is more enjoyable to listen to. For me it is a perfect match with my Audeze LCD 2's and I would be very very reluctant to change unless I heard something better. I actually have no desire to change as I am totally satisfied and have been disappointed before with my upgrade sickness.

The magic is with this model only. The similar EL-84 and larger EL-34 amps are MEH at best. The secret is in the tubes and extremely good iron. The output tube is similar to the US 6AQ5 with a different pinout. Triode strapped they are as nearly as linear as a DHT 45, and sound it too. The OPTs are special too. Being the amp is from China, I take it as a happy accident that works far above its other siblings.
Edited by Jones Bob - 5/1/14 at 1:35pm
post #7371 of 7756

Can't resist trying the Music Angel for that cost. Don't think I'll make it past today without ordering one. Just what I was after.

 

Jones Bob, do you think it would still sound good with just the tube change to begin with? I plan to do the other changes you mention, but never tried that before, so want to take my time with it.

post #7372 of 7756
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poladise View Post
 

Can't resist trying the Music Angel for that cost. Don't think I'll make it past today without ordering one. Just what I was after.

 

Jones Bob, do you think it would still sound good with just the tube change to begin with? I plan to do the other changes you mention, but never tried that before, so want to take my time with it.


The biggest change in sound quality for me was in changing the coupling caps. I installed 4 Russian paper in oil 0.1uf 630V in place of the stock MKV's. The midrange became so open and smooth and all the high frequency grain that is often a complaint with this amp was gone. With my Sophia Baby I actually preferred the tubes they supplied preferable to the Russian replacements not that they are bad by any means. The coupling caps can be had for under $20.00 on Ebay for all 4. They are a must change. There is a Sophia Baby on Ebay for auction right now going fairly cheap. 

post #7373 of 7756
Quote:
Originally Posted by kahldog View Post
 


The biggest change in sound quality for me was in changing the coupling caps. I installed 4 Russian paper in oil 0.1uf 630V in place of the stock MKV's. The midrange became so open and smooth and all the high frequency grain that is often a complaint with this amp was gone. With my Sophia Baby I actually preferred the tubes they supplied preferable to the Russian replacements not that they are bad by any means. The coupling caps can be had for under $20.00 on Ebay for all 4. They are a must change. There is a Sophia Baby on Ebay for auction right now going fairly cheap. 


Just an adder note. Remember to order yourself either 2 10ohm 5watt wirewound resistors to be used in parallel with the speaker outputs or 2 - 6ohm 5watt in series with 2 - 2ohm 3watt in parallel which gives the amp the load it needs to see while lowering the noise floor as well as attenuating the output so use have more useable volume control. Just Google Robinette box and you will find all the info required plus tons of info.

post #7374 of 7756

Thanks kahldog. Guess I'll be attempting the caps swap soon then. I want to try the Music Angel first. If that's good, I might go for a fully upgraded Sophia Electric Baby later.

 

What piqued my interest in this design was low noise claims and the impression that no more than the 10 ohm resistors for 8 ohm load would be required. Is there a noticeable noise floor with no attenuation resistors? Not keen on using those, because Robinett's Headphone Resistor Calculator excel showed a drop from 1.6W to 93mw with 6&2 resistors.

post #7375 of 7756
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poladise View Post
 

Thanks kahldog. Guess I'll be attempting the caps swap soon then. I want to try the Music Angel first. If that's good, I might go for a fully upgraded Sophia Electric Baby later.

 

What piqued my interest in this design was low noise claims and the impression that no more than the 10 ohm resistors for 8 ohm load would be required. Is there a noticeable noise floor with no attenuation resistors? Not keen on using those, because Robinett's Headphone Resistor Calculator excel showed a drop from 1.6W to 93mw with 6&2 resistors.


I did notice some audible noise in idle but it gets hidden during music playback. It is just my obsession that didn't want to hear it. I find the 10 ohm in parallel works fine without as much attenuation as the 6 and 2 combination. I can get to about 12 o'clock on the volume knob before maxing out. Sophia recommended using the 10 ohm in parallel. Maybe they were right. I also noticed the entire sound was much smoother with the 10 ohm. All the brightness in the treble seemed to disappear. When I first listened to SRV's Tin Pan Alley it blew me out of my socks. I had the urge to tell the whole world. Just simply amazing. Let me know how you make out as it is simple to use the 10ohms in parallel. Just connect them between the load and ground right on the speaker terminals. I guess because of my lack of knowledge I was also afraid of damaging the output transformers.

post #7376 of 7756
Using the headphone jack output of my Meng Music Angel (and no load resistor), I get no noise using my original LCD-3, and maybe some slight imagined noise with my new LCD-3 with fazors. I would attribute my mod of Shottky rectifiers for that.

The new LCD-3 are around 10dB more SPL at the same setting. I set system gain via the volume knob on the amp at about 9:30, and use digital volume via Audirvana on my Mac mini to adjust volume as required per recording.

Top to bottom, this amp sounds amazing with LCDs.
Edited by Jones Bob - 5/3/14 at 10:46am
post #7377 of 7756
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poladise View Post

Can't resist trying the Music Angel for that cost. Don't think I'll make it past today without ordering one. Just what I was after.

Jones Bob, do you think it would still sound good with just the tube change to begin with? I plan to do the other changes you mention, but never tried that before, so want to take my time with it.

That would be a good start. I have used most vintage of Soviet tubes, and usually the older datecode the better. Just bought eight 1960s vintage NOS 6P1P output tubes off Ebay for $17.95 delivered. For inputs, I would recommend early Novosibirsk (NEVZ) 6N1P-VI Pentagram logo if you can find them over the more common Voskhod 6N1P-EV Rocket logo.

http://www.ominous-valve.com/russtube.html

All the Soviet tubes sound good (much better than Chinese) but older the better. I have found a bit better ultimate SQ from the early Novosibirsk 6N1P. YMMV.
Edited by Jones Bob - 5/3/14 at 10:45am
post #7378 of 7756

Ah, I didnt even consider using the headphone socket. Great to know it still sounds good from that socket if the speaker taps are too noisy.

post #7379 of 7756
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones Bob View Post


That would be a good start. I have used most vintage of Soviet tubes, and usually the older datecode the better. Just bought eight 1960s vintage NOS 6P1P output tubes off Ebay for $17.95 delivered. For inputs, I would recommend early Novosibirsk (NEVZ) 6N1P-VI Pentagram logo if you can find them over the more common Voskhod 6N1P-EV Rocket logo.

http://www.ominous-valve.com/russtube.html

All the Soviet tubes sound good (much better than Chinese) but older the better. I have found a bit better ultimate SQ from the early Novosibirsk 6N1P. YMMV.


I just got a quote from Sophia and their replacement tube set costs about $150.00. The Russian equivalents are much cheaper and there is no shortage. I just received a pair of 6N1P's with the DR suffix. These sound amazing but are rare and a tad more expensive. Supposedly 10,000hr life expectancy.

I wonder if those 7pin to 9 pin adapters would allow me to run the 6AQ5 without any mods to the internal wiring? Anybody know anything on this.

Unfortunately the Sophia does not come with a headphone output on my unit but I suppose they would have to install some type of resistor network for this output.

I agree though that these amps sound phenomenal from top to bottom with my LCD 2 rev.1's. I have looked for a long time to find music sounding like this. Even my Wadia, ARC, PMC stuff didn't sound this enjoyable.

post #7380 of 7756
I don't recall the DR suffix, but bet it is good stuff!

Have not tried 7 to 9 pin adapters. That would give you a bigger selection of tubes to try.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1x-6AQ5-to-6P1-7pin-to-9pin-vacuum-tube-adapter-socket-converter-02-/290973107611?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item43bf59459b
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