I thought I'd bump this thread because there has been a lot of talk in the main LCD2 about transients and decay. Some, including myself at one stage, felt that the LCD2s over emphasised transient edge ahead of the decay and sustain of an individual note and I complained about it in the amplification thread. I never had this problem with any other cans and not even the HD800 exhibited this odd phenomenon.
To this end, I found that my Cayin HA1A tube amp set to SET helped to lessen the transient grip and flesh out the decay and sustain of any individual note (for me it was problematic when I heard acoustic guitars). So in that sense amping synergy was important...unfortunately for me, my mid level tube amps was not always ideal as the price I paid for a better fleshed out tone was a lesser grip on percussions.
I have since discovered that the problem was also addressed when I paired the LCD2 with the Reference 7 DAC and comparing this to my Bryston...it was really obvious that the LCD2 were merely ouputing whatever the DAC was signifying. The fault was in my DAC, the LCD2s only fault was being too honest. I have also found great synergy with a $60 NOS dac in my possession. Both the Reference 7 and the NOS dacs share a common R2R DAC architecture, albeit the NOS was a very crude implementation and significantly less refined in all areas.
A lot of attention has been placed on amping the LCD2s and not enough in sourcing...which is extremely vital in the sort of resolutions capable by these cans, and it is no less important than amping...and in ways, more so. As what is missed by the source cannot be reclaimed by the amplifier.
My preferences so far with the LCD2s in terms of digital source is as follows:
1. Audio GD Reference 7
2. Muse Mini DAC TDA1543 X 4
3. Bryston BDA-1
4: Silicon Chip DAC kit
6. Pioneer Elite DV79a
7. Ipod Classic 120GB (6th gen)
From 1-3, these dacs do not induce any significant fatigue. From 4 onwards, these dacs, I find fatiguing, which manifests itself in a lethargic sensation and an inability to focus on the music within 20 minutes. 1,2,4 and 6 produce a tonality I prefer - where tones are a little more fleshed out. 3, 5 and 7 sound leaner. However I believe reducing digital fatigue is the primary concern when selecting a DAC. Tonal preferences are subjective, although I find Burr Brown chips favourable but I ultimately prefer the R2R architecture over any of the DS architectures I've heard. Hopefully soon I will be able to listen to a dual mono balanced Buffalo 2 using dual Sabre DACs in it's ultimate configuration and provide some feedback. This beastie has 4 toroidals feeding separate analogue and digital sections, it is being built by Wink.
Edited by SP Wild - 12/7/10 at 11:25pm