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.
Thank you for sharing you experience with us. Very useful information.
I have owned and listened to many, many amps with the LCD2/3 and would hate to try another one unless it is a must-have killer amp.
Could you compare the sound of the LCD2/3 - Leben combination with the sound of the LCD2/3 driven by some of the following amps that I have owned and whose sound I am intimately familiar with:
Vioelectric V181or V200
Eddie Current Super 7
RWA Corvina or Bellina
Cavalli Liquid Fire
Woo WA5-LE or Woo WA5
To my ears, so far the best amps for the LCD2/3 (and the HE-6) are GS-X Mk2 and the Bakoon HPA-21 for SS design and the Woo WA5-LE (or WA5) and the EAR HP4 for tube/hybrid design.
Justin Time (ST)