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any amp that would bring hd650 close to lcd2??

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

guys..please take it easy on me, i just tried the lcd-2 yesterday..and i was really blown away by them.. however, my budget is really stretched for it..i'm afraid i would be restricted to extremely budget amplification and source if i were to build an lcd-2 based system.. so, after reading here and there..seems that the hd650 are similar and would scale very well with amplification..

 

what i'm afraid is that some people and reviews state that the hd650 is 'slow' or boring'..and my primary genre is rock, so perhaps you could suggest me any amps and dacs that could lift the veil of 650 (does it really exist?) and make it's bass tight and fast.. i've done my homework so please see if i'm going in the right direction, and tell me which is the best.. my budget is around 8000HKD or roughly uS$1000, including the headphones..

1. Used gilmore lite + DAC (suggest please.. perhaps HRT music streamer ii??)

2.  commissioned M3 + cheaper DAC

3. schiit asgard+bifrost

4. dacmini

all with used hd650 (a pair of new hd650 is around $500 here in HK, so i think its better to buy used for around $300)

 

or.....

 

5. LCD2+ fiio e10 

yes i know the last one is a  cheapskate on the amplification..but at least one review from headfonia stated that they're a good combo..http://www.headfonia.com/the-latest-must-have-the-fiio-e10-usb-dacamp/

 

i don't know which direction should i go.. any suggestion?? i just want to try to make good use of my money here..lol

post #2 of 29

An AH-D2000,  DT990 ( 250 Ohm ) or an AKG Q701 will serve your ears much better than the HD-650.  The HD-650 is really laid back sounding, too much for my ears, and is why I sold them.  You are better off with a different headphone.  The LCD-2 is a really nice headphone, but if it is outside of your budget then that settles that.

 

I think the LCD-2 + FiiO combo will serve you just fine.  This way you will have a great headphone that you will most likely love and a decent amp.  If you so decide later to upgrade to a better amp you will not have to replace both the HD-650 and amp.

 

I vote the LCD-2 + FiiO combo.  I am afraid that, like many of us, the HD-650 will leave your ears wanting more and just more grief than good.

 

Another great option would be go for the Headroom Micro Stack ( Micro amp + Micro DAC ) and then use the AH-D2000 with it.  This combo would be great because you would have an independant amp, DAC, and a nice pair of headphones.  The LCD-2 is awesome, but if you want a better balance between your gear this would be the way to do it.  The AH-D2000 is a great headphone, easy to drive, that scales really well with better audio gear.  I own a pair and really like them and found them a bit more comfortable than the LCD-2.

 

The package is listed here for $975 including the AH-D2000 headphones.  This combo will sound awesome.

http://www.headphone.com/packages/micro-stack-package-with-headphones.php

 


Edited by NA Blur - 10/21/11 at 1:42pm
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

thank you for your reply.. however, i don't like headphones with recessed mid.. actually one of the reasons why i was blown away by the lcd-2 was the beautiful mids.. Umm, if i get the fiio+lcd2 combo, then later i upgrade to a better amp (using the fiio as DAC only), would it be a good system?? i mean, the signal out of fiio is already amped, and then it is sent to another amp with better power.. Isn't it called double amping?? Would it degrade the sonic performance??

 

Thanks in advance

post #4 of 29

E10 has a line out port at the back so that wouldn't be a problem

but I don't think the e10 would be able to drive the lcd2

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

oh..thanks.. if so, what is your opinion on the amps and dac for hd650?? could you help me?? i just want to get the most out of my money..

post #6 of 29

If you like the LCD-2, just get the LCD-2. As for the FiiO, if it couldn't drive the LCD-2, the reviewer wouldn't put the name there for the express purpose of deceiving you.

 

But do keep this in mind: What was the system on which you auditioned the LCD-2? Because if you listened to it on a $3000 system, chances are that by the time you jump down to a $1000 system including $900 for the headphones, you may just find that it's lost that magic you loved about the $3000 system.

 

There really isn't much you can do to convert an HD650 to a LCD-2, sad fact of life. They do scale well with amplification but from I've READ, those amps are more in the Zana Deux price range. From what I've HEARD from a McIntosh + some expensive tube amp (can't remember), it still sounded like meh, but that's an extremely personal opinion.

post #7 of 29

You can get a used LCD-2 especially the rev.1 for a decent price these days with the recent announcement of LCD -3. You should get what you want otherwise you will always find yourself comparing evertything to it

Check the FS forum regularly, good luck!

 

 

post #8 of 29

It all depends on whether you have the "new version" of the Senns, or the "old version."   Do a search for the definitions.

 

The "old version" is veiled... the "new version" is not.

 

The "new version" is about as good as it gets... with a well matched source and amp.  In my experience (see profile), they are just as good as the HE-6 / HE-500 and O2 (and I suspect the LCD-2 - don't know).  A good silver cable and the "Senn mods" help also, but are not absolutely required.  See also the Headphonia review of the HE-6 / HE-500 compared to the HD650 - for how they compare to the orthos, when properly driven.

 

If you don't want to spend as much as the WA6 SEm, or ZD, then get a Millett MiniMax ($300+), which drives the HD650's (all Senns) about as well as they can be driven.  The Dark Voice and Graham Slee amps, and MF X-CAN v3 and WA 3+, do also.

 

Or... if you want much the same sound... but, with a bit faster, clearer sound... get the ATH AD2000's (about as good as it gets... with well matched source and amp... and... the "phat pad mods").  Or, you can always get a 2nd mortgage on your house for some O2's / O'3's with the BHSE... and... a nice $5,000+ DAC! 

 

Also... forget about "dramatic" improvements in sound quality over the HD650's (properly driven) - they don't exist.  The "hyperbole" found in comparison of phones is just that - "obsessive - compulsive magnification" of very, very subtle differences.  But... if that's what you're into... by all means... "get out your checkbook."


Edited by Gradofan2 - 10/24/11 at 2:41am
post #9 of 29

Flagship headphones are really expensive and so with flagship amps and flagship sources. Simply start it by buying first Flagship headphone like LCD2, which seems to be very nice according to so many users here. Then sacrifice a bit by using it only in a cheap amp. Then, if you have the savings already, you can already buy a flagship amp....and then flagship source.biggrin.gif

 

Save and save and save and get the best sound you can. Enjoy the trip to audiophile bliss!biggrin.gif

 

Word of the day: Flagshipbiggrin.gif


Edited by VALIENTE - 10/24/11 at 2:44am
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

It all depends on whether you have the "new version" of the Senns, or the "old version."   Do a search for the definitions.

 

The "old version" is veiled... the "new version" is not.

 

The "new version" is about as good as it gets... with a well matched source and amp.  In my experience (see profile), they are just as good as the HE-6 / HE-500 and O2 (and I suspect the LCD-2 - don't know).  A good silver cable and the "Senn mods" help also, but are not absolutely required.  See also the Headphonia review of the HE-6 / HE-500 compared to the HD650 - for how they compare to the orthos, when properly driven.

 

If you don't want to spend as much as the WA6 SEm, or ZD, then get a Millett MiniMax ($300+), which drives the HD650's (all Senns) about as well as they can be driven.  The Dark Voice and Graham Slee amps, and MF X-CAN v3 and WA 3+, do also.

 

Or... if you want much the same sound... but, with a bit faster, clearer sound... get the ATH AD2000's (about as good as it gets... with well matched source and amp... and... the "phat pad mods").  Or, you can always get a 2nd mortgage on your house for some O2's / O'3's with the BHSE... and... a nice $5,000+ DAC! 

 

Also... forget about "dramatic" improvements in sound quality over the HD650's (properly driven) - they don't exist.  The "hyperbole" found in comparison of phones is just that - "obsessive - compulsive magnification" of very, very subtle differences.  But... if that's what you're into... by all means... "get out your checkbook."

Thank you. I was starting to think there was something wrong with me that I could hear how amazing the HD650 was according to everyone else on a $12000 chain.

 

Also, to OP, another amp choice would be Schiit Valhalla.

 

As for the veil, it exists, but it is neither as bad as some people make it to be (chances are they bought the headphones without doing research), or non-existent like others claim.
 

 

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

It all depends on whether you have the "new version" of the Senns, or the "old version."   Do a search for the definitions.

 

The "old version" is veiled... the "new version" is not.

 

The "new version" is about as good as it gets... with a well matched source and amp.  In my experience (see profile), they are just as good as the HE-6 / HE-500 and O2 (and I suspect the LCD-2 - don't know).  A good silver cable and the "Senn mods" help also, but are not absolutely required.  See also the Headphonia review of the HE-6 / HE-500 compared to the HD650 - for how they compare to the orthos, when properly driven.

 

If you don't want to spend as much as the WA6 SEm, or ZD, then get a Millett MiniMax ($300+), which drives the HD650's (all Senns) about as well as they can be driven.  The Dark Voice and Graham Slee amps, and MF X-CAN v3 and WA 3+, do also.

 

Or... if you want much the same sound... but, with a bit faster, clearer sound... get the ATH AD2000's (about as good as it gets... with well matched source and amp... and... the "phat pad mods").  Or, you can always get a 2nd mortgage on your house for some O2's / O'3's with the BHSE... and... a nice $5,000+ DAC! 

 

Also... forget about "dramatic" improvements in sound quality over the HD650's (properly driven) - they don't exist.  The "hyperbole" found in comparison of phones is just that - "obsessive - compulsive magnification" of very, very subtle differences.  But... if that's what you're into... by all means... "get out your checkbook."


thank you for your great response.. so you would suggest the minimax over the solid state amps i listed?? and from my quick research, it seems that it's a DIY amp.. do you know any commercialized product of this amp??(like the glite that is based on dynalo?)

 

also, do you have any reccomendation on the DAC?? thanks in advance..

 

post #12 of 29

I am also very interested in recommendations for a "budget" amp to go with HD 650. I might be interested in a DAC/amp combination as well, so long as it has S/PDIF in (optical or coax). The amp should be neutral sounding.

post #13 of 29

 

Here's my two cents:
 
Stay away from the E10. For your sake. 
The HD650 R1 sounds a lot like the LCD2. LCD2 R1 I found is simply a better version of the HD650 R1. The LCD2 R2 is a different beast.  I would be perfectly happy with the HD650 R1 driven by an E9 (an amp that has very liquid mids and lots of headroom). Get something like that if you want to get closer to the LCD2.
Do not get hte HD650 + Schiit Asgard. The Asgard is a smooth amp with very little power and will make the HD650 sound recessed, even with the HD650's beautiful mids.
 
If you have a budget of $1000... just get the LCD2. Amping can be found later. And the LCD2 is very easy to drive. A good portable amp can drive the LCD2 easily. I use mine with the C&C X02 (around $250 US) and the RSA Mustang. But you can get away with the FiiO E9 which you can get for a little over $100. 
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

thanks mochan.. could you elaborate why should i stay away from the e10?? coz everyone in here seems to be satisfied with it..

 

at first, i was more inclined to build a system with the hd650, considering my $1000 budget..but then lately many people told me to just buy the lcd 2 with whatever amp that suits my left budget.. idk man..some people seem to believe that 650 with proper amp and dac would outperform lcd2 with cheap amps, while others seem to think otherwise.. if only i could find out myself.. no local store in here has any 650 that is available for audition..

post #15 of 29

First off I have an innate distaste for the E11. Its sound sig is not my thing.

 

But if you are going to pair it with the LCD2 -- a dark headphone -- and use it to listen to rock, you may be disappointed. The E11 is very dark and bassy, boomy even, and has a big gaping hole in the mids. I have actually tried the LCD2 R1 with the E11 -- and I was not happy with the experience. I lost out on the wonderful mids of the LCD2 and the tight, well-defined low-end got lost in the mix. I definitely woudln't want to have messy low-end and veiled mids when listening to rock.

 

Even if you say the E11 is dirt cheap and an impulse buy... it's just not worth what little money you would have wasted to get it.

 

 

 

Wait a minute... I just said E11. It seems people were talking about the E10. I'm sorry my bad. :)  Please carry on.   Ah this was a big mistake on my part. :)

 

 

As for the HD650 with great amp outperforming LCd2 with cheap amp.... yes this is likely possible.  But you will not have the option to go beyond that performance. The LCD2, on the other hand, with the same great system behind it, will go beyond what you an do with the HD650. Take my advice. Get the LCd2, upgrade amps and source later if need be.

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