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Audeze LCD-2 Amp or Source More Important?

Poll Results: Which is more important when using the Audeze LCD-2's?

Poll expired: Sep 24, 2013  
  • 17% (5)
  • 82% (23)
    Source (DAC)
28 Total Votes  
post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Okay, so it seems that it is kind of torn between what really is more important and should be upgraded first when using the LCD-2's. Think of this is someone who can only really have a really nice amp or really nice source (dac) and wants to get the best bang for his buck. The other one that isn't really nice is a medium levled piece, but not anything bad or something that doesn't sound good. 


Please post your reasoning. 

post #2 of 22

source 100x over


not much to say so far as "reasoning," suffice it to say that the LCD-2's arent that picky about amps.  sure, amps sound different, and the cans will reflect this, however they are perfectly controlled with any mid-tier amplifier. 

post #3 of 22

I'm leaning towards the source being more important too from my experiences, which seems to correlate with others seem to be experiencing as well.

post #4 of 22

Neither is that important.

post #5 of 22

This is an line of argument or discussion I have never understood. 


Source is ALWAYS important.  This is totally independent of the headphone/amp combo you are using.  If your source isn't good (and note that included in source is the quality of the recordings and how they were encoded if they are on a PC), then you are never going to get past that.


One can ask "how important to the LCD-2 is the partnering amplifier?", and to that I would answer "more important than many less expensive headphones, but less important than for some other high-end headphones". 


But one has to kind of take the source as a given - you will never hear past the source quality, in any rig.

post #6 of 22

Source first.  You can get a really nice DAC for ~$300 (used).  You should do that today.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

What im saying is the DACMAGIC vs other 1k + sources....is there going to be the huge sound increase or is it better to go mediocre amp to great amp...?

post #8 of 22

... that is something you should really try to find out for yourself rather than taking the advice of strangers on the internet ;p  Know anywhere you can sample some dacs or amps? :O  I wouldn't really call the DacMagic "high end" though I've never heard it to be honest.


In any event it is something completely subjective... as with almost everything in audio.


One man's subtle is another's "huge sound increase".

post #9 of 22

I have gutted my headphone and speaker system a few times now in the last 2 years.


Source (DAC) is the one upgrade I couldnt go back on - amps never did that much for me except learning I like a tube SOMEWHERE in the chain (preamp, amp, dac)


Pickup a good popular DAC and resell it if you dont like it.  I like my MHDT Havana, but its a tubey thing and there are many great choices out there.  I can not go back to an "average" DAC.

post #10 of 22

I too am interested in some equipment recommendations for the OP. I will also be getting the LCD-2 and won't have that much left over for the DAC/Amp. Based on Skylab's recommendation that the Meier Concerto was a great amplifier for the LCD-2, I was going to save my pennies for that. Knowing I'd have to get a DAC as well I figure I'd have to save some more for and go for the Meier StageDAC/Concerto combo.


Trying to save some money I figured I could go with the Little Dot DAC I instead of the StageDAC. I don't know much about DACs but I figure the law of diminishing returns applies here too, as I figured the Little Dot DAC I should do a great job based on the reviews.


As for the amp, I've never owned headphone amps. This would be my first purchase. On the recommendation of Skylab I think I will be purchasing the Concerto but will wait around to read the reviews of the Schiit Lyr.


post #11 of 22

both are important.


you can gret great cd players in the 1.5-2k range, such as the meridian g08, cary 306 sacd, marantz sa11s2, esoteric sa60, cambridge 840c, sony xa5400es. unfortunately players from emm labs, mcintosh and wadia will cost much more but i think any of these players can serve as a source for a top notch system. as for amps, i'm not sure. i like the ones i have but cannot say how they compare to less expensive ones.

post #12 of 22


Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

Neither is that important.

Huh? Neither? Not in my world.


Both are important. Neither more than the other. You can have a great source, but if the amp is poor, you won't hear what your great source is delivering. If you have a poor source and a great amp, you'll be hearing the limitations of your source. So my suggestion is to be balanced in what you buy. Make both an equal priority. Now maybe you can't do both together, so pick one to start with, and then make sure you get the other as soon as possible.

post #13 of 22

John your review of the LCD2 was very well written and I enjoyed the read look forward to your next review. Well done

post #14 of 22
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

John your review of the LCD2 was very well written and I enjoyed the read look forward to your next review. Well done

Thanks Frank. I'm looking forward to delving into the headphone world more deeply for The Audio Beat.

post #15 of 22

Depends on budget and how hard you're willing to look. More info please. We can't help you until you decide to help US. ;)

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