Thank you very much Asr, I was interested in the GL vs Lyr for the LCD--2 before.. If I'm not mistaken, the dynalo is supposed to output 1watt into 32ohms, right?? i thought the dynalo would be the bare minimum for an LCD-2..So it really is true that orthos, even the more efficient one like the LCD-2 need quite some juice to be driven well.... thanks for your impressions, Asr..
Yes the Dynalo is rated at up to 1W @ 32 Ohms. However I wouldn't really call the LCD-2 efficient - at 91 dB/mW, that's definitely more towards being inefficient.
Given all that, are there any amplifiers of which you are aware that outperform the Lyr with the LCD-2's given budgets constraints of <$500 for an amp? <$1,000?
I ask because you were fairly harsh in your critiques (ie "LCD-2...was muddy-sounding on the Lyr with either tube set.") but I haven't heard a better performer for the LCD-2's nor the HE-6's in it's price range.
I know you ask "I'll add that amping the LCD-2 with the Lyr undermines the LCD-2's potential, and if you're buying or own the LCD-2, which isn't exactly a cheap headphone, why cheap out on an amp and subtract from its potential?"
My answer would be that in a world with no limits and no budgets, you are correct. However, people DO have various budget limitations and $2,000 for a headphone setup (source>amp>phones) is a substantial investment to all but a very few. Given that limit, I would rather spend $1000 on the LCD-2's and 'Cheap out' with $900 for the Bifrost/Lyr combination than buy a more expensive DAC/Amp combo and be faced with a lesser transducer. I am confident the better sound can be had by placing the greater percentage of the budget on the 'phones than on either of the other parts.
I'd be genuinely curious to hear your opinion on that matter.
I'm not aware of any <$500 amps that'd match or beat the Lyr. As far as the <$1K bracket, I could mention these but I don't have them anymore for a direct comparison (but I can say they'd at least be better than the Gilmore Lite):
- Avenson Audio Headphone Amp (reviewed here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/531228/review-schiit-audio-asgard-avenson-audio-headphone-amp)
- DIY M3
- unbalanced B22 (price is build-dependent but I've seen some for <$1K)
I'll also add that my definition of "muddy" could easily be sonically acceptable to someone else, so that's definitely subjective. If it helps, I could improve that to "semi-muddy" but muddy/unclear nonetheless. Blurry (as in, sonically out of focus) would be another word I'd use. I also want to reiterate that the Lyr indeed sounds good for the LCD-2 and I definitely didn't mean to imply it's bad or terrible. The point I wanted to make is that while it's good for its price, its sound comes with compromises.
I'm definitely in agreement with this conclusion. A technicality I want to point out though: the Lyr is a hybrid amp.