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Amp recommendations for Audeze LCD-2 - Page 499

post #7471 of 7690
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRC001 View Post
 

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.


I'm glad this post exists on here, because for so long I've seen people say things like "that amp running a max of 1 watt is only the bare minimum for your LCD 2s" yet every now and then I would see a post of someone using them with an amp that maxes out less than 1 watt and they love the sound, even compared to more powerful amps. Even on the Audeze forum post that has these power suggestions, theres a guy running them with an amp that outputs about 500 mW into 50 ohms and he loves the sound. So thank you for showing all the proper math behind why this is true. I thought of the analogy of like driving on the highway: one car with 200 horsepower is driving at 65 mph, and then next to it is a supercar with 700 horsepower also driving at 65 mph. if 65 mph is the same as maximum normal listening volume, then you see how whether you have 200 horsepower of 700 horsepower, you still easily achieve the same level of volume and dynamics. granted the lesser powered car will be using a bit more effort to maintain 65 mph, whilst the higher power car will be borderline idling in first or second gear. But in musical and amps terms, you would never really notice the difference. What you would notice is how good the ride is, and as long as your car can at least make it to 120 mph, then how good the ride is, is the only real difference and important factor.

Also I'd like to note that I play drums, and for anyone else here whose ever played or stood next to someone who was playing, without ear protection, you will know exactly what 105-120dB actually sounds like. Because I feel a lot of people on here might not have a clear picture of how painfully loud that really is. Its a volume level that after 20 minutes of sound, you will literally be partially deaf for a good hour or two after. A loud cymbal will physically make your ear hurt as you feel the sound waves vibrating the inside of your ear (high pitched frequencies I should add). So yea, if you think you listen to music on the loud side and need an amp that can go close to 110 dB (excluding dynamic peaks) then you might want to rethink the dB number that you're actually listening to lol.

On another quick side note/question, I tried plugging in my LCD 2's into my laptops 3.5mm jack just for curiosities sake (since that jack can drive my Denon d5000 pretty well) and in turn it sounded horrible, I mean not in qudio quality, but like it literally was too quiet to actually listen to it to any normal level at maxed out volume. I should mention to get the Denon's even at normal listening volume I have to max it out lol. So I was wondering if it only takes 1mW to get 90dB out of the LCD 2, and like 116dB for the Denons (I think, close to ti at least), then how ridiculously low of an output power does my laptop's 3.5mm jack have lol? According to the math it has to be less than 1mW lol, which is super low.

post #7472 of 7690

Received my Burson Soloist SL today and did a quick A/B with my Little Dot MK3 (M8100 + 6H30Pi-EH) on my LCD-2.2. My Source was Line Out from a DX90.

 

Some have said "OTL does not work with planar, you must get a powerful solid state"

I have to say, the difference is not actually that big.. 

 

Yes the bass sounds slightly better defined on the Soloist SL, yes the mid is a bit more spacious on the Soloist SL and yes the details are nicer on the Soloist SL

 

BUT I think the Little Dot certainly does a competent job at driving the LCD2. 

 

As @mrc001 suggested earlier, I now think the whole "you need 1W to drive LCD2" is rather untrue, unless you want to blow your eardrums up!

 

 

 

If I gave the Soloist SL ~80%, the Little Dot would get ~70%

 

Musicality between the 2 amps are equally as good and it just comes down to personal preference and financial status.

 

So does the 10% difference between the 2 justify the price difference (~150-200GBP)?

 

I personally think it doesn't. If one has the Little Dot already, I would not recommend buying the Burson Soloist SL.

Unless money is no object, which I think is not the case for a significant amount of users on this forum....

 

So would I return the Soloist SL?

I am contemplating and at the moment it seems like a rather tempting option to free up 490GBP for very little degradation in sonic enjoyment..

post #7473 of 7690

I´m using the LCD-2 with the O2, ALO RX MK3-B, Violectric V200, ALO the National, ALO the Continental and BenchMark DAC1. And I have tried them with Burson Soloist (not Soloist SL) and some other amps can't rembember all of them. I listen to a lot of genres of Electro, Indie, Electronic Rock, EDM, Singer/Songwriter, some hiphop and some other stuff as well. Artist like Daft Punk, Florence & The Machine, Ratatat, The XX, Kid Cudi etc.

 

The Soloist together with LCD-2 was a big disappointment for me. I was very excited to hear this combo but to my ears the Soloist turned the LCD-2 into an über-analytical bookshelf speaker with the LCD warmth and punch replaced by surgeon tools. After that I realized that musicality is much more important to me than detail retrieval. Although soundstage was good with Soloist. And that pairing might very well suit a lot of people, depending on what kind of sound signature you like. It just didn't work for me at all.

 

For me the best pairing so far is Violectric V200. Which just is at another level compared to the other amps I own.

 

Next step for me is probably tubes, the sound of my ALO Continental got me interested. Alo Pan Am or Lyr 2 are top on the list currently.


Edited by HiFiRobot - 6/16/14 at 11:10am
post #7474 of 7690
Quote:
Originally Posted by philiptw View Post
 

Received my Burson Soloist SL today and did a quick A/B with my Little Dot MK3 (M8100 + 6H30Pi-EH) on my LCD-2.2. My Source was Line Out from a DX90.

 

Some have said "OTL does not work with planar, you must get a powerful solid state"

I have to say, the difference is not actually that big.. 

 

Yes the bass sounds slightly better defined on the Soloist SL, yes the mid is a bit more spacious on the Soloist SL and yes the details are nicer on the Soloist SL

 

BUT I think the Little Dot certainly does a competent job at driving the LCD2. 

 

As @mrc001 suggested earlier, I now think the whole "you need 1W to drive LCD2" is rather untrue, unless you want to blow your eardrums up!

 

 

 

If I gave the Soloist SL ~80%, the Little Dot would get ~70%

 

Musicality between the 2 amps are equally as good and it just comes down to personal preference and financial status.

 

So does the 10% difference between the 2 justify the price difference (~150-200GBP)?

 

I personally think it doesn't. If one has the Little Dot already, I would not recommend buying the Burson Soloist SL.

Unless money is no object, which I think is not the case for a significant amount of users on this forum....

 

So would I return the Soloist SL?

I am contemplating and at the moment it seems like a rather tempting option to free up 490GBP for very little degradation in sonic enjoyment..


I listen to my LCD2's on my LDMk3 a LOT. It is a perfectly capable amp for those phones. Certainly they sound better on my Lyr but using the LD is still a pleasant experience.

post #7475 of 7690

 audeze 2 with the soloist (conductor) and even more with a silver cable (silver widow) it s perfect for my tastes

with a good aftermat copper cable the sound is fuller but less fast with a smaller soundstage

i think with the violectric it become too dark and warm

so, again, i guess it s just a matter of taste

 

I listen from  jazz avant free modern to folk to heavy dark electronic (everything except classical)

post #7476 of 7690
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiRobot View Post
 

I´m using the LCD-2 with the O2, ALO RX MK3-B, Violectric V200, ALO the National, ALO the Continental and BenchMark DAC1. And I have tried them with Burson Soloist (not Soloist SL) and some other amps can't rembember all of them. I listen to a lot of genres of Electro, Indie, Electronic Rock, EDM, Singer/Songwriter, some hiphop and some other stuff as well. Artist like Daft Punk, Florence & The Machine, Ratatat, The XX, Kid Cudi etc.

 

The Soloist together with LCD-2 was a big disappointment for me. I was very excited to hear this combo but to my ears the Soloist turned the LCD-2 into an über-analytical bookshelf speaker with the LCD warmth and punch replaced by surgeon tools. After that I realized that musicality is much more important to me than detail retrieval. Although soundstage was good with Soloist. And that pairing might very well suit a lot of people, depending on what kind of sound signature you like. It just didn't work for me at all.

 

For me the best pairing so far is Violectric V200. Which just is at another level compared to the other amps I own.

 

Next step for me is probably tubes, the sound of my ALO Continental got me interested. Alo Pan Am or Lyr 2 are top on the list currently.

 

Yep, I agree with you, I dont like the Bursons with my LCD2.2, not being a matter of power but tone, I guess in a few weeks I'll have my V281 at home :D

post #7477 of 7690

Anyone heard the LCD-2rev2's with the project ember kits? I was thinking of getting one as an alternative to the Lyr2 but wanted to hear some opinions/feedback first. Would be using my Aune T1 as a DAC for the mean time!

post #7478 of 7690
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiRobot View Post

I´m using the LCD-2 with the O2, ALO RX MK3-B, Violectric V200, ALO the National, ALO the Continental and BenchMark DAC1. And I have tried them with Burson Soloist (not Soloist SL) and some other amps can't rembember all of them. I listen to a lot of genres of Electro, Indie, Electronic Rock, EDM, Singer/Songwriter, some hiphop and some other stuff as well. Artist like Daft Punk, Florence & The Machine, Ratatat, The XX, Kid Cudi etc.



 



The Soloist together with LCD-2 was a big disappointment for me. I was very excited to hear this combo but to my ears the Soloist turned the LCD-2 into an über-analytical bookshelf speaker with the LCD warmth and punch replaced by surgeon tools. After that I realized that musicality is much more important to me than detail retrieval. Although soundstage was good with Soloist. And that pairing might very well suit a lot of people, depending on what kind of sound signature you like. It just didn't work for me at all.



 



For me the best pairing so far is Violectric V200. Which just is at another level compared to the other amps I own.



 



Next step for me is probably tubes, the sound of my ALO Continental got me interested. Alo Pan Am or Lyr 2 are top on the list currently.


 



I fully concur. The Soloist performance with the LCD2/3 was belows my expectations given many glowing reviews I have read here.

If you have been in this game long enough, however, you know that no audio component is perfect--shocking! So you often have to try various combinations of DAC/amp/cable/headphones to get to your favorite sound.

As good as it is, the LCD2.2 and LCD3 still suffer from a pervasive coloration over most of the audible range: a caramel coating that sweetens the sound. This is a euphonic coloration that many love but some--myself included--find a little "dark." I personally perceive this coloration as a slightly muffled honking akin to the sound made when you talk with your hands cupped around your mouth.

At a relatively affordable price range, I also found the combination LCD/Silver Poison or Silver Widow/V200 to produce excellent sound with much reduced caramel coating. You get a clearer, more opened sound with excellent bass impact (tight and punchy) and wide dynamic range (contrast between low and high volume), The Schiit Moljnir adds much needed sparkles to the LCD sound, which many will find exciting but may be fatiguing in the long run for others.

If you are willing to invest more money into the system, I found two SS amps that can do an oustadining job with the LCD: the Bakoon HPA-21 with a (surprisingly) warm but vividly detailed and smooth midrange and excellent bass. My favorite SS amp with the LCD is the GS-X Mark2. What you get is a very smooth midrange nearly free of the caramel (dark) corolation. Gone is the slightly muffled honking. What you get is feathery, silky details, palpable presence and outstanding bass, tight and impactful.

Two tube/hybrid amps also work great with the LCD. Both amps produce highly musical sound with the LCD. The Woo WA5-LE (with upgraded parts and tubes) delivers a clean, dynamic midrange supported by a thunderous bass--one of the best I have ever heard. The other amp, the EAR HP-4, has a sweet, musical and yet detailed and dynamic sound with the LCD with plenty of tight bass and excellent impact. I did not try to roll the tubes as the HP-4 designer insisted that the amps was tuned with the stock tubes and sounded best with them.

While these 4 amps are expensive ($3000-$5000) they make good investment if you have many pairs of headphones or plan on getting different ones. My personal experience is that these amps perform exceedingly well with the GradoPS1000, HD800, TH-900, Ultrasone 8 and 10, HE-500 and HE-6--yes all these four amps, even the diminutive Bakoon, can drive the HE-6 to a very satisfying volume! They also minimize the harshness/raspiness in the PS1000, with tend to sound like screeching banshees with lesser amps.
post #7479 of 7690
^ Nice notes. This "caramel coating" may be what Audez'e referred to recently (with reference to the LCD3/LCD3F changeover) as "burnished".

I keep hearing good things about the GS-X mk 2, but plan to see how Ragnarok fares first. Tube-wise I'm more than happy with a (pure tube) Decware Taboo mk2 which can be tuned over a wide range, including toward neutral, dynamic ("vivid") and resolving of low-level detail and dynamics.
post #7480 of 7690
Quote:
Originally Posted by AiDee View Post

^ Nice notes. This "caramel coating" may be what Audez'e referred to recently (with reference to the LCD3/LCD3F changeover) as "burnished".

I keep hearing good things about the GS-X mk 2, but plan to see how Ragnarok fares first. Tube-wise I'm more than happy with a (pure tube) Decware Taboo mk2 which can be tuned over a wide range, including toward neutral, dynamic ("vivid") and resolving of low-level detail and dynamics.

Aidee,

Thanks for I your comments.

The GS-X is not a good amp. It is a great one!

From my experience with SS amps, only the Bakoon is on the same level, with better warmth in the midrange -- the GS-X can sound sterile sometimes with poor recordings--but the GS-X has more punch in the bass . The Bakkon may need a bigger power supply.

With tube amps I have owned or heard, only the Apex Pinnacle sounds slightly better than the GS-X Mark 2 overall--at a whopping 10 grands, it better.

Please report on the Ragnarok when you can. I am very curious.

Cheers.
post #7481 of 7690
^ Will do. Could be a while though. I plan to wait for Yggdrasil first. Cheers!
post #7482 of 7690
Quote:
Originally Posted by stringgz301 View Post
 

Long-time LCD-2 owner here (version 1).  7500 posts into this thread and I'm going back to page 1 from Skylab.  Just picked up a used Leben CS300.  All I have to say is: Oh sweet lord, the music!

 

I've played the LCD-2 through a bunch of headphone amps, including a balanced Cavalli EHHA (strong tight sound, very precise) and recently from the headphone out on my Benchmark-2 Dac (very clinical, a touch fatiguing).  The temptation with the LCD-2 is to want to analyze the music.

 

Now listening to the Benchmark feeding the Leben and with great performances all I hear is music. All the detail is there, but instead of hearing how separate and distinct all the instruments are, I hear how they all fit together and how great the musical phrasing is.

 

A few highlights:

 

Skip, Hop, and Wobble (by Jerry Douglas, Russ Barenberg, & Edgar Meyer) - one of my all-time favorite recordings by 3 of the greatest studio musicians out there.  Gorgeous, tasty phrasing all day. You can see the three of them sitting there jamming

 

Let It Bleed (Rolling Stones) - layers and layers of sound. The groove is completely infectious

 

Live at Ronnie Scott's (Jeff Beck) - wow. Sitting in the front row for this incredible ensemble performance

 

A Love Supreme (John Coltrane) - always loved this performance, but holy crap! Pushed play on this and didn't notice anything else for the next 35 minutes

 

The First Time (Roberta Flack) - one of the best written songs ever. Put the LCD-2's on my wife to listen to this and she just closed her eyes and smiled for the whole song

 

 

 

So, thanks Skylab. Short of some tube rolling, I'm not going to touch a thing with this setup.  Just sit and listen to great music.  Who needs sleep anyway.

You took the words right out of my mouth stringgz, I'm also a long-time LCD-2 owner, I've tried many amps these years (Tabbo3, Beta22, Soloist, Mjolnir, V200, SoloUL, LittleDot6... ), no one came close to CS300 in reproducing live like music.

 

To me there are two kinds of headphone amp, CS300 and the others.  

post #7483 of 7690

Hi guys, I just acquired a LCD2.2 from a fellow head-fier. Now I tell you it is a bit daunting :blink: to have to plow through 500 pages of amp recommendation for the LCD2

Can someone please tell me/ or point me to the right post about what is the consensus on the best sub $500 (new) $400 (used) amp or DAC/amp combo for the LCD2.2?


 

I've been thinking about Yulong D100 MKII, Asus Xonar E1, Asgard 2, Qinpu A-6000 mkii.
 

 

Any help would be appreciated. :popcorn:

Cheers

 

Edit: Forgot to mention, I'm mainly after solid state, Qinpu only exception above.


Edited by willmax - 6/19/14 at 7:27am
post #7484 of 7690
Quote:
Originally Posted by willmax View Post
 

Hi guys, I just acquired a LCD2.2 from a fellow head-fier. Now I tell you it is a bit daunting :blink: to have to plow through 500 pages of amp recommendation for the LCD2

Can someone please tell me/ or point me to the right post about what is the consensus on the best sub $500 (new) $400 (used) amp or DAC/amp combo for the LCD2.2?

 

I've been thinking about Yulong D100 MKII, Asus Xonar E1, Asgard 2, Qinpu A-6000 mkii.
 

 

 

Any help would be appreciated. :popcorn:

Cheers

I'm using the Asgard 2 and I absolutely love it.

post #7485 of 7690
The alo pan am with Russian tubes is just about love too
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