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Lehmann Audio Black Cube Linear headphones amp. *** Pictures ***

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

One on my favorite amp.  I like it so much I got two, one in black and one in silver.  Here's the silver one.  I did an unboxing video of the black one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmWPZhOpFRw

 

5543220252_cd45d9bcb0_b.jpg

 

5543223148_97c9b4bb98_b.jpg


Edited by DjAmTraX - 3/20/11 at 8:32am
post #2 of 52

Amazing little amp actually.  Still amazes me how an amp that small can come out as amongst the most clearest, controlled and revealing of any amp that I have heard.

 

Still, why would you buy 2?  blink.gif

post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
I agree with your description of the sound this amp can bring. I bought two because I wanted one next to my bed upstairs.
post #4 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjAmTraX View Post

I agree with your description of the sound this amp can bring. I bought two because I wanted one next to my bed upstairs.

You know you could've just gotten a clone that sounded the exact same for a bout a fifth of the price? Even less if you can DIY.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/501046/first-impressions-lovely-cube-semi-diy-amp-lehmann-black-cube-linear-clone

Glad that you enjoy the amp of course!
 

 

post #5 of 52

I've tried both side by side and don't think they sound even remotely similar.

post #6 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by khatch View Post

I've tried both side by side and don't think they sound even remotely similar.


In what way are they different? I'm curious

 

post #7 of 52

I put about 200 hours of use on both a LC and BCL and found that, at least through my HD800, there was a noticeable difference in attack and staging.  I wouldn't characterize either as better or worse, but noticeably different...yes.  The LC produced a more "rounded" sound or attack, vs the BCL which, at times and depending on the material, could sound almost metallic, or harsh upon attack.  Both had great dynamics and range.  The rounding in the LC had the added effect of perceptually sounding...."slower".  I believe the less subtle attack of the BCL signal is probably significant in it sounding so fast....almost like an electrostatic signature.  I've long since parted ways with my HD600 and HD650, but I imagine the difference would favor the BCL more with either of those phones.  With the HD800, I guess it would vary from user to user.  I prefer the BCL personally, but that's just my "thing".  All my other cans are ATH models, so clearly I've got a thing for fast, transient, energy oriented cans.  I rarely have more than a couple of hours to listen at any given time and I usually am listening at very low levels - so fatigue isn't really an issue for me....while I know it definitely would be for a lot of my friends.

 

And to be fair, I have absolutely no idea or understanding of why these two amps would sound different, especially if they are truly made with the same components.  I'm not an electrical engineer.  So, is the difference worth the money?   lol.....depends on your income and how you perceive value....same as everything in life.

post #8 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by khatch View Post

I put about 200 hours of use on both a LC and BCL and found that, at least through my HD800, there was a noticeable difference in attack and staging.  I wouldn't characterize either as better or worse, but noticeably different...yes.  The LC produced a more "rounded" sound or attack, vs the BCL which, at times and depending on the material, could sound almost metallic, or harsh upon attack.  Both had great dynamics and range.  The rounding in the LC had the added effect of perceptually sounding...."slower".  I believe the less subtle attack of the BCL signal is probably significant in it sounding so fast....almost like an electrostatic signature.  I've long since parted ways with my HD600 and HD650, but I imagine the difference would favor the BCL more with either of those phones.  With the HD800, I guess it would vary from user to user.  I prefer the BCL personally, but that's just my "thing".  All my other cans are ATH models, so clearly I've got a thing for fast, transient, energy oriented cans.  I rarely have more than a couple of hours to listen at any given time and I usually am listening at very low levels - so fatigue isn't really an issue for me....while I know it definitely would be for a lot of my friends.

 

And to be fair, I have absolutely no idea or understanding of why these two amps would sound different, especially if they are truly made with the same components.  I'm not an electrical engineer.  So, is the difference worth the money?   lol.....depends on your income and how you perceive value....same as everything in life.


Thanks for posting your impressions on the two.  I do agree that the BLC is very fast.  I like how GREAT it sounds on almost every headphones I own.  I have a Beyer T1 coming this week.  I plan to use the BLC with it and compare how it sounds along with the HD800.

 

 

post #9 of 52

Is the BCL power supply universal in voltage?

 

I live in Canada and can't seem to find any local retailer that carries the BCL. Tried the contact form on lehmannaudio's site for local retailers, but they haven't replied to me after a week. I previously found two US e-tailers but both ship exclusively to US addresses due to "dealer restrictions."

 

I found a promising alternative from the UK, but I prefer not to use a clunky 120V -> 220V transformer.

post #10 of 52

No, the BCL is not built with a universal converter - it's sold voltage specific to where you live.  I originally ordered mine through an eBay retailer with a good price.  They were good enough to send me back an email pointing out my delivery address (in the US) and highlighted that the unit was built for EU voltage.  They let me cancel and I reordered through an etailer in the US.

post #11 of 52

I feel like these guys (or guy) has been around forever.  Is this amp the newest one?


 

post #12 of 52

Yes, by today's standards, this is a pretty old amp now.  It really says something about how well it was originally designed that it's stood the test of time as well as it has.  So much so, that now several companies essentially build rip offs/clones of the same amp.  That's saying something. 

 

I believe the newest headphone amp Lehmann currently produces is the same amp, but with a USB DAC included.  It looks virtually identical in footprint, but sells for about $400 more I think.  I've heard several rumors of a new Lehmann amp in the design stages, but it's not at all clear to me if it's designed for headphone use, or as a separate for your main system.

post #13 of 52
Thread Starter 
Has anyone tried the one with USB and DAC? I like to know if the DAC is any good.
post #14 of 52

I have a BCL. I have only heard the BCL with USB in a demo situation. The dac seemed ok. But it seemed to me that you can do much better getting a stand alone DAC, as there are several decent options for less than the price difference between BCL and BCL USB that sound better. Plus going modular allows you to upgrade one or the other.

post #15 of 52


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khatch View Post

I put about 200 hours of use on both a LC and BCL and found that, at least through my HD800, there was a noticeable difference in attack and staging.  I wouldn't characterize either as better or worse, but noticeably different...yes.  The LC produced a more "rounded" sound or attack, vs the BCL which, at times and depending on the material, could sound almost metallic, or harsh upon attack.  Both had great dynamics and range.  The rounding in the LC had the added effect of perceptually sounding...."slower".  I believe the less subtle attack of the BCL signal is probably significant in it sounding so fast....almost like an electrostatic signature.  I've long since parted ways with my HD600 and HD650, but I imagine the difference would favor the BCL more with either of those phones.  With the HD800, I guess it would vary from user to user.  I prefer the BCL personally, but that's just my "thing".  All my other cans are ATH models, so clearly I've got a thing for fast, transient, energy oriented cans.  I rarely have more than a couple of hours to listen at any given time and I usually am listening at very low levels - so fatigue isn't really an issue for me....while I know it definitely would be for a lot of my friends.

 

And to be fair, I have absolutely no idea or understanding of why these two amps would sound different, especially if they are truly made with the same components.  I'm not an electrical engineer.  So, is the difference worth the money?   lol.....depends on your income and how you perceive value....same as everything in life.


I do not get it,  why something so logical, is not easy to understand...

Buy 4 PCBs in China, buy parts and metal boxes, and make three "Lehmann BCL amplifiers" on your own. You will realize soon, that you spent the same amount of money, and made 4 amplifiers (if you use different components in each, you will have 4 amplifiers with different signatures and choose the one that has the best synergy with your headphones).

 

And there is another approach...  What is wrong if you use the same parts like Lehmann, and make it on your own, for 3 times lower price? Different signature? So what. Instead of Dale resistors use PRC, or Takman, or Shinkoh, or whatever... Still not satisfied? Buy 100 transistors, and choose the closest those with the closest hFE. Still not satisfied? Use better capacitors. Not enough? Change ALPS with something better... You can buy the best parts that are available on the market.

 

Even with all these changes, stated above, ONE modified amplifier, will cost you less than 1000 USD!

 

Problems with ATH headphones is, that they have unique sound signature (people say that they color the sound - yes they do, like all other headphones, because "headphones with ideal flat frequency characteristic do not exist in this universe"). They are easy to drive, but sometimes there is a big hole in 10-12 kHz region. And you must have an amp that "fills" that hole. If you do not fill that hole, you will have feeling like the sound is too "slow" (also it does not have sparkle in the highs). So, it is all about synergy. I have ATH AD900 and AD700 and they both suffer from previous described effect. People who do not like slightly "dark" sound signature, and are very sensitive to high frequencies, they will notice that after few minutes of listening. Also have Grado that do not have "10-12 kHz problem" but have small sound stage (sometimes compressed)... Also have Sennheiser, that have good synergy with almost every amplifier (that is the reason why people usually choose them, and like them), but with them, you can not have "something special", something "unique". Bass and warmth, but speed does not exist here... I had AKG but found them too analytic and boring. And hard to drive.

 

Only good synergy between all parts, will give you satisfied results. So the statement that 1000 USD amplifier is worth over 250 USD (150 USD on your own) amplifier with same topology - because different sound signature - is nothing but a placebo effect.  Change a few parts in that 250 USD amp, and you will see the difference.

 


Edited by BlaBlaBla - 4/4/11 at 3:22am
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