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Thinking of moving from Wharfdale Evo2-30 + Arcam alpha 10 (loudspeaker setup) to Audeze LCD-2...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

As the title says, I am thinking of making this transition due to the fact that I enjoy loud music but don't enjoy disturbing my neighbours :(. 

 

I am hoping that people who have owned both headphones and similar standard loudspeaker set-ups can first of all tell me if it is possible to find what I am looking for and secondly if the LCD-2 is good enough to do it.

 

I once purchased some sennheiser open back phones that set me back around £180 (I forget which) and although they were by no means an expensive pair, they were not even fractionally as quality or enjoyable as my modest loudspeaker setup.  I have since been very reluctant to enter the headphone market.

 

 

 

 

 

I can tell you what I enjoyed most about my loudspeaker setup if this helps:

 

1. The bass - I don't want bass overflowing into areas it shouldn't, but I love a powerful and commanding bass when the track calls for it.  I listen to alot of EDM, and when a beat drops that is designed to take your breath away, I like my speakers to comfortably to respond to it in a controlled manner.  The worst sound in bass to me asside from a sloppy rumble, is a beat that was intended to be deep and create atmosphere actually sounding rather flat and not too seperate from the rest of the recording.

2. The clarity and space, the way a females voice so loud and crisp feels like it is just floating in the air.

3. The fact that highs can be so detailed but not at all harsh on your ears like most of my IEMs are.

 

 

My biggest concern is obviously loss of bass which is why I have narrowed my search to a HP that is reputed for having good bass.  I listen to mostly EDM, Rock and Classical. But I listen to every genre often except for rap/r&b.

 

 

 

Thanks

 

Andy

 

ps sorry this is so long.


Edited by hpandy - 12/9/12 at 12:34pm
post #2 of 10

Ok, I'll wade into this minefield. smily_headphones1.gif 

 

Headphones and speakers offer different experiences, so I think you need have an open mind in transitioning from one to the other.  There's no telling what sort of sound signature you were hearing with your mid-level Sennheiser phones.  I'll guess you just plugged it into your integrated amp?  If so, you were probably listening to a cheap opamp circuit.  You may have had a setup that didn't sound too good or you may not like headphones much--no way to tell.

 

Can you find somewhere to audition some high end headphones powered by good amps?  That would help you on a lot of levels.  The LCD2s are superb headphones that deliver in every area you mentioned as long as they're powered by a good amp and fed by a high quality source.  The bass response is powerful, finely resolved and dead flat down to 10 Hz, so it's there when it needs to be and stays packed away when it isn't needed.  The mids are detailed, airy, and lush with plenty of dynamics.  The upper mids and treble range from dark to more forward, depending on the amp.

 

How much have you budgeted, because a high-end headphone will benefit a lot from a good amp. 


Edited by Barry S - 12/9/12 at 7:23pm
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yea I only used the headphone amp in the integrated amp.

I only have £1000 to spend and the lcd 2 will take 850 of that so not much left for amp.

I basically want to get as close to my speaker setup as possible for the money.

My biggest fear is a bass that doesnt engage me, but i listen to so many female singers and so much classical that a basshead set of cans like pro 900 might be a waste of money.

I use flac --> squeezebox --> dacmagic. For source.

I have to pick something because i cant listen to loud music often enough right now.
post #4 of 10

It's hard to imagine not being engaged by the LCD2 bass, but I'm sure there are bassheads that don't like it.  I listen to quite a bit of electronica and the LCD2 delivers explosive bass when it's present in the original recording.  If you want a thumpa thumpa thump with every beat of every song, you need to keep looking. 

 

You'll have to do some homework on the amp to find something good for £150--but whatever you buy at that price point may not do the LCD2 justice.  If I was set on the LCD2 and didn't have a lot of money for an amp, I'd buy the O2.  I haven't heard it, but know some people are using it to power the LCDs.  http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/our-products/heaphone-amplifiers/ehp-o2-portable-audio-headphone-amplifier/   The dacmagic gets good, if not great reviews around here. 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I think I'm just going to have to take a punt at the LCD's and hope for the best.  I wish there were somewhere I could demo these kind of HP's :(.  I will take a look at that amp.

 

I won't be allowing myself to open them until christmas, but once I do I will post back here for the benefit of others in my situation.

 

Thanks Barry,

 

Andy
 


Edited by hpandy - 12/10/12 at 9:08am
post #6 of 10

I'll make the decision easier for you. the LCD-2 is known to be one of the best headphones in the world, but in the bass area .. they are truly the BEST ( tight,defined and extend very deeeeep with a powerful amp ) and no one would argue with that. add to that they will shine with a powerful amp but even with a modest amp they'll do just fine. don't worry much about the amp, once you feed them a decent voltage you'll have a taste of how good these Headphone can be.

post #7 of 10

^^^^^^^

This

 

When I buy something at the level of the LCD2, I expect the angels to sing--and they did.  o2smile.gif  You might also consider the O2/ODAC combination for a few more sheckels.  That way you'd have a more portable/transportable setup that wouldn't anchor you to your dacmagic.  http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/our-products/heaphone-amplifiers/ehp-o2d-miniature-desktop-headphone-amplifier-with-usb-dac/   I look forward to your thoughts on the LCD2.
 

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi - I'm back  :)  I went ahead with the purchase of lcd2s a short time after my posts here .   I'd like to give some impressions and seek some more advice. 
 

My budget at the time of purchase only allowed for the o2 amp.  I will start off by saying that if this amp comes close to driving these headphones to their potential then I am dissapointed in them.  For these to be worth the money I feel like I need that extra 20-30%.  I have read all of navguys (sp?) site and read many discussions on here discussing amps; I'm concerned that not matter how much money I spend I will not find what I'm looking for.

 

The bass just doesn't engage me, it is so absent that I was almost tempted to send my headphones back to audeze to be tested.  I have given the phones to friends/family and they agree.. electronic music just does not work on these headphones, I'm very surprised that many people have said it does.  I used to listen to EDM for atleast half an hour a day, now it is once or twice a week.  I have tried EQing the bass, but I'm not satisfied with that either - it feels like I'm forcing these to do something they really don't want to do.  The bass just feels too flat and too close to everything else if that makes sense?  I do not want boom boom I just want it to be there.

 

The highs fatigue my ears when I listen at a moderate volume, and hurt when I listen on high volume.  The problem is I want to listen at high volume.  I can listen to both my speaker setup and sennheiser hd25-II's at high volume without pain and only moderate fatigue.

 

Everything in between is nice, I love that I can focus on each instrument and listen to it seperately, the clarity here far surpasses my speaker setup.  I just need to be engaged that little bit more here.

 

So the question is, how big a difference can an amp make to the concerns above?  Can anyone who has moved on from the o2 with these 'phones suggest how much it is holding them back?  I do not want to fork out £400-£600 on an amp only to find I should just try a different headphone.

post #9 of 10
Sorry to hear your setup is disappointing and sorry if any of my advice steered you wrong. It may be the LCD2s don't match your taste, but it sounds like you have a poor match with the O2 and/or your DAC. The LCDs shouldn't be fatiguing in the least, particularly the highs. I can tell you that in the Schiit product line, the lower-priced amps and DACs hold the LCD2s back quite a bit.

It's also possible the super flat bass response of the LCD2s is not going to make you happy. If there's any way you can audition your LCDs with other amps and DACs, that would be a good idea.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post

Sorry to hear your setup is disappointing and sorry if any of my advice steered you wrong. It may be the LCD2s don't match your taste, but it sounds like you have a poor match with the O2 and/or your DAC. The LCDs shouldn't be fatiguing in the least, particularly the highs. I can tell you that in the Schiit product line, the lower-priced amps and DACs hold the LCD2s back quite a bit.

It's also possible the super flat bass response of the LCD2s is not going to make you happy. If there's any way you can audition your LCDs with other amps and DACs, that would be a good idea.

 

 

Ha no need to apologise - I based my decision on many reviews, and I am the only one responsible for pulling the trigger. 

 

The problem is I am 3 hours from the nearest place to test an amp. and they only have one of the amps that I would consider purchasing.  I would love to hear from someone who has moved on from an o2, and can confirm there whether or not there are big sound imrpovements to be made if I can find the right amp. 

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