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Amp recommendations for Audeze LCD-3 - Page 41

post #601 of 1137

I've read about using speaker amps, but don't really want to risk blowing up $2K worth of LCD-3s.   Is that a realistic risk?  I also wonder if any old speaker amp will do, or whether I need a quality unit.  I've got a bunch of old home theater receivers which aren't very good... are those really going to do a better job of driving the LCD-3s than a purpose-build headphone amp?

post #602 of 1137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

I've read about using speaker amps, but don't really want to risk blowing up $2K worth of LCD-3s.   Is that a realistic risk?  I also wonder if any old speaker amp will do, or whether I need a quality unit.  I've got a bunch of old home theater receivers which aren't very good... are those really going to do a better job of driving the LCD-3s than a purpose-build headphone amp?

 

NO!

 

The LCD3 do not need a receiver or speaker amp and quality still counts.


Edited by nigeljames - 5/2/13 at 2:26am
post #603 of 1137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post


I will be using stock Audeze cables and cheap interconnects from DAC to amp, since the run will be a foot or less.  Sorry, you might pervert me, er, I mean convert me to believing that an amp will make a difference, but I will never be a cable believer.

Thanks in advance for the advice.

I suggest trying both amps and cables, then let your own ears decide what you belive in.
Unmeasurable things may matter, ever heard of love?
post #604 of 1137

No, low quality old stuff won't likely be better than headphone amps.  But 10 or 15 year old high end audio stuff very likely would be. With a resistive network you will not be blowing anything up.  

post #605 of 1137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

I've read about using speaker amps, but don't really want to risk blowing up $2K worth of LCD-3s.   Is that a realistic risk?  I also wonder if any old speaker amp will do, or whether I need a quality unit.  I've got a bunch of old home theater receivers which aren't very good... are those really going to do a better job of driving the LCD-3s than a purpose-build headphone amp?

 

Speaker amps were made with speakers in mind. There will be compromises involved in my opinion. 

 

I know some guys do this. Personal choice. 

post #606 of 1137

I use my good old Headroom Max from the year 2000 (upgraded with their newer control module in 2004) on my LCD3s for desktop use as an alternate amp

and they sound very very nice, with great bass and totally fine all around. So maybe try a Headroom BUDA for $1200 and see what you think.

I think you can return it if you don't like it.

post #607 of 1137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

I've read about using speaker amps, but don't really want to risk blowing up $2K worth of LCD-3s.   Is that a realistic risk?  I also wonder if any old speaker amp will do, or whether I need a quality unit.  I've got a bunch of old home theater receivers which aren't very good... are those really going to do a better job of driving the LCD-3s than a purpose-build headphone amp?

 

Probably not if it's the LCD-3 you're talking about. On the other hand, some vintage receivers do a fine job of driving HE-6, better than some of the dedicated headphone amps made today. It has to do with sensitivity/efficiency of these orthodynamic headphones. Planar magnetic headphones generally have lower sensitivity but the LCD-3 is still one of the more sensitive headphones in this league, while the HE-6 demands raw power. With the former the quantity of amplification is important but more importantly quality. On the other hand the HE-6 scales high just by having a high quantity amplification (e.g. speaker amps) although quality still matters somewhat. With the LCD-3, it scales well with amps that not only deliver sufficient power but also the proper amplification designed to drive headphones.

post #608 of 1137
Quote:
Originally Posted by milarepa View Post


I suggest trying both amps and cables, then let your own ears decide what you belive in.
Unmeasurable things may matter, ever heard of love?

 



Actually, I tried both amps and cables last summer (part of the deal with doing demos from the Cable Co was that they included lots of extra cables), and found most of the cables either had no effect, or were worse than the stock cables that came with the various cans I demo'ed.  The worst cables just seemed to filter out part of the spectrum, making the rest of the spectrum too hot, usually the high end, which in my book is just distortion, not improvement.  So I do believe that cables can change the sound, just not in a good way.  The stock LCD-3 cables work well enough, and seemingly pass through the entire sound spectrum, so I'm not going to spend any money replacing them.

 

Cable Co also sent me a Burson HA-160 and I found it to be indistinguishable from my Adcom GFP-555 pre-amp's headphone jack, so I saved the price of that amp by staying with that 25-year-old pre-amp, at least up until now.  The Adcom's a quality unit, but interestingly, nobody -- even the folks currently working for Adcom -- know what's inside.  No specs, no diagrams, and I'm not opening the box to look for myself -- it ain't broke, so I ain't gonna try to fix it.  So I have no idea if it is really great, pretty good, meh, or whatever -- I only know it sounds as good as the HA-160.

 

On the other hand, I do remember when I first got my Adcom system in the late 1980s or early 1990s, how much better it sounded than what I had been using to drive my Vandersteen speakers, so I figured I'd look into the alternatives for doing the same for my headphones.  I've been following the Mjolnir and Asgard 2 threads, and have read up on a few of the other amps recommended in this thread, but I'm still not sure what to do, which is why I asked my questions above.

post #609 of 1137

Just thought I'd mention that I got my LCD-3s back from Audeze today.  I put them in the mail to them on Saturday, they went coast-to-coast, had the transducers replaced under warranty (I had lost sound completely in the right channel... they replaced both transducers and cleaned and polished everything... effectively they are like new) and got back to me today, Thursday.  Total transaction took 5 days including crossing the country twice.  Audeze had them for less than a day.  Pretty damned impressive service.

 

The new transducers sound much different than the old ones.  I don't know if the old ones (which left the factory in 5/2012) were veiled or whatever, but the new ones have a LOT more high-end energy.  The differences in the graphs are clearly visible and definitely audible.  If anybody's interested, I might scan them in and post them, either here or the appreciation thread. 

 

They sound great.  I really missed them while they were gone.  KOSS ESP-950s and Beyer T1s are nice cans... but they couldn't touch my LCD-3s as originally built, and they are even further behind now.

post #610 of 1137
^ yep, interested in your graphs to go with your impressions of the differences. TIA.
post #611 of 1137

Top is the old, bottom is the new.  There's not much difference on the bottom end, but the top end is significantly flatter in the new transducers, and I think I hear it.  Of course, I don't know that I would if I hadn't looked at the graphs...

post #612 of 1137

Just got a new pair of LCD3s today and my FR graph seems to be quite different to yours :S

 

 

 

 


Edited by [H]ardwareNick - 5/5/13 at 4:03am
post #613 of 1137
Quote:
Originally Posted by [H]ardwareNick View Post

Just got a new pair of LCD3s today and my FR graph seems to be quite different to yours :S

 

I really have to check mine.....This may be of help, here is a pic of a owner's pair before and after it was replaced. It's from someplace back in this thread.

 

 


Edited by Saraguie - 5/5/13 at 6:10am
post #614 of 1137

The heck with those graphs.  These things sound good no matter what the graphs say.  L3000.gif

post #615 of 1137

Mine are a bit different than all of yours. I could swear these have a much brighter sound than the loaner pair I had, but not in a bad way. They sound ridiculous with the schiit stack. Havent posted on here in a while, but I've been settled in with my rig and I cant stop listening. If those of you are pulling your hair out trying to figure out how to gear the LCDs up, look no further.

 

 

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