The Lyr is here - happy to see the Schitt arrive.
Unboxing - hello little gold plated monoprice cable.
Tubes - open this box slowly! I flung the lid open and the tubes almost popped out.
Fit and finish on this thing is bloody good. Sharp sharp edges, surprisingly heavy unit, and you could indeed kill someone with it.
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.
A two day old LCD-2 next to its mates.
My new Woo stand also came in today, what a good morning. This sucker is also very well built, heavy heavy.
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.
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