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LCD-2 + (Schitt Lyr vs. Headroom Balanced)

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 

The Lyr is here - happy to see the Schitt arrive.

 

Unboxing - hello little gold plated monoprice cable.

 

DPP_0674.JPG

 

 

Tubes - open this box slowly!  I flung the lid open and the tubes almost popped out.

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Fit and finish on this thing is bloody good.  Sharp sharp edges, surprisingly heavy unit, and you could indeed kill someone with it.

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A challenger appears.  Whose cuisine will reign supreme?  Note that I'm using a Headroom SE to XLR cable out of the Lyr to make initial comparisons easy.

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A two day old LCD-2 next to its mates.

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My new Woo stand also came in today, what a good morning.  This sucker is also very well built, heavy heavy.

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So standard disclaimer that these are very early impressions, neither the LCD-2 nor the Lyr have had any burn in.

 

Audio chain: Lossless / Hi-res FLAC, Transporter, XLRs to Headroom, RCAs to Lyr.  Silver power cable to Transporter & Headroom, stock power cable on Lyr.  All devices go through Richard Gray power supply.  Balanced XLRs from LCD-2 to Headroom, 1/4" SE converter to Lyr.

 

Right off the bat, two things stand out:

 

1) The Headroom amp has gobs of powah on the low end, much more than the Lyr.  In snare drum, kick drum, string bass, the Headroom resonated, thoomed, and hit with more attack and impact. 

 

but

 

2) The Lyr's vocals and upper end sparkled brighter, quite the pleasant surprise.  As rich as the Headroom is, the Lry just takes it a bit higher for the better.  It's not that the Headroom was muddy, but the Lyr removed just a bit of veil, again for the better.

 

Very interesting prelim findings.

 

With the Headroom, I go no higher than 9-10 o'clock, whereas the Lyr needs to be at 11.

 

With Transporter on, but nothing playing, the Headroom is dead silent, no hiss or hum at max gain at max volume.  The Lyr has no hiss, but hum starts at 3 o'clock and is fairly evident at max volume.  There is no hum at 12 o'clock, which is good b/c my preferred volume level maxes out just before that.

 

My Headroom balanced is at least 3 years old and well broken in.  I'm going to give the Lyr a few hundred hours prior to rendering any sort of judgement on the thing.  But first impressions are very positive - I love the life and vibrancy it gives the LCD-2.

 

Even after break in, if the Lyr doesn't stack up to the Headroom in low end, I'm not sure what truly can be gleaned.  The Lyr is a third of the Headroom's price, so it might not a fair comparison to begin with anyway. 

 

Another variable to address -- whether using the XLR to SE converter is impacting the sound.  Will do more tests swapping the balanced XLR to the LCD-2's stock SE.

 

More to come.

 

 

 

 


Edited by deadie - 4/2/11 at 2:30pm
post #2 of 95

Enjoy! Keep Us up on Your listening pleasure!  atsmile.gif

post #3 of 95
Thread Starter 

Few more hours on the Lyr, no more revelations, but rather confirmations of a few things:

 

1) The Headroom def has more slam, attack, impact etc than the Lyr at this point

 

2) But.  That power is coming at the slight expense of clarity.  The Lyr is so tight and quick, vocals less throaty, and just less veiled.  Have to keep coming back to that point.

 

There is no difference between the LCD-2's stock SE cable and using the balanced with a XLR SE converter.

 

There is also no difference in using the stock SE cable in the Lyr and into one of the Headroom's L / R outputs.

 

One more thing... and this is more of a headphone head to head, but the LCD-2 is far superior to my UE10s.  Ultimate Ears characterizes the UE10s as neutral / flat, but I counter by saying that the LCD-2 is more what music should sound like overall.

 

I am loving the LCD-2.

 

Getting back to the amps, if anyone has suggestions on a particular tube set that'll bring out tight slam in the Lyr, but keep good vocal clarity, I'd love to hear it.

 

 

post #4 of 95

You could check out Jude's review, He said He would experiment with tube rolling Himself over time to find the sound, give it time to burn in than make Your decision. I want to hear more good new's!

post #5 of 95
I have been eyeing the LYR, but the hum that you are experiencing is a deal breaker for me. So the Headroom is dead silent even with the gain and volume all the way up? The Headroom is solid state right?
post #6 of 95
Thread Starter 

Some have asked me about the Woo stand --

 

The Woo stand is pricey to be sure, but I think it's worth it.  It is a seriously solid piece of hardware. 

 

Mine's matt black, industrial looking but also elegant.  The pieces solidly clink and slide together -- similar to how I imagine gun parts, small but surprisingly heavy and robust.

post #7 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjAmTraX View Post

I have been eyeing the LYR, but the hum that you are experiencing is a deal breaker for me. So the Headroom is dead silent even with the gain and volume all the way up? The Headroom is solid state right?


I don't want my very early review to negatively influence your purchase decision.  With my LCD-2, at normal and even high music volume (11-12 oclock) there is no hum.  With no music playing, it's evident the hum starts at 3 and just gets louder by max volume.  There is no hiss.

 

My 3x as expensive Solid State Headroom Balanced amp demonstrates no hiss or hum all the way to max volume. 

 

Make sure to read the other main thread on the Lyr, and gather other's opinions on it.  I'm personally a tube noob and slight hum might be an inherent function of the technology.

 

Even then, though, remember that there is no hum (at least using my LCD-2) at listening volumes.  Further, the Lyr puts out such great dynamics, that you'd be missing out on a great amp if you don't put ears on it yourself.


Edited by deadie - 4/3/11 at 5:20pm
post #8 of 95

Your review is perfectly timed as I too recently received a Lyr but am considering potentially going fully balanced and getting a HeadRoom BUDA to go with my LCD-2's instead.

The more research I do on the BUDA the more impressive it seems, but it doesn't seem to get much recognition here on Head-Fi, not sure why.

However the current BUDA I believe is a different model that what you have, with all Max electronics, so maybe the new BUDA might fare a bit better than your older model. 

 

Any experience with the BUDA?

 

post #9 of 95
Thread Starter 

Given my great experience with the original Balanced Desktop, I'd love to check out the BUDA as well.  I heard it at the LA CanJam a couple years back, but it was paired with the Senn HD800, which is a lean can IMO, and didn't truly reveal the potential of the BUDA.

 

As you've said, given the upgrades to all Max electronics, I'd expect the BUDA to offer killer performance across all spectrums.  But I gotta say, I'm quite loving the Lyr more and more with each passing hour.

 

It still doesn't have the bass reach of the Headroom, but the Lyr offers up a more fun quality without going overboard, edgy or harsh.  Vocals just soar on the Lyr.

 

But both amps are so solid.  If I'm going techno or thumpin rock, I hit the Headroom.  Diana Krall / Cellos, I use the Lyr.

 

I am loving the LCD-2!

post #10 of 95

Thanks deadie.

I meant to ask you where you got your balanced LCD-2 cables from?  From Audeze?

 

post #11 of 95
Thread Starter 

Yup - I know there are guys making custom cables out there, but for the price, I wanted to check out Audeze's balanced.  They'll throw them in the box so that you're not charged extra shipping.

post #12 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadie View Post

 

Make sure to read the other main thread on the Lyr, and gather other's opinions on it.  I'm personally a tube noob and slight hum might be an inherent function of the technology.

 

I have a tube amp and it is dead quiet even at max volume, no hum at all. It is not inherent in the old vacuum tube technology.

post #13 of 95
Thread Starter 

wuwhere - I appreciate the feedback.  What amp / tubes are you referencing?

post #14 of 95

I'll also note that I can detect no hiss or hum with my Lyr at any point, even at full volume.
This is with the source either on or off, just dead quiet.
Not sure if this is source dependent (I have a Lavry DA11), maybe some variation in perhaps the transformers that Schiit is using or possibly even power related. 

I have my components all plugged into a power conditioner.

 

post #15 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadie View Post

wuwhere - I appreciate the feedback.  What amp / tubes are you referencing?



I'm using a Sophia Electric Baby Tube speaker amplifier, 10w/channel to power my HE-6. I'm using 4 6P1P-EV Russian tubes for power, 2/channel, and 2 Russian 6N3P-EV for driver tubes, 1/channel. I selected this amp because the tubes for them are cheap and plentiful. The amp sounds great as well.


Edited by wuwhere - 4/3/11 at 10:48pm
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