Originally Posted by henrikolsen
I need a speaker amp pig tail for connecting my LCD-3 to my upcoming Odyssey Cyclops amp. I've seen btg-audio mentioned for making these, but before ordering I have a couple of questions.
Hooking up with the Odyssey Cyclops, does it matter if I go with a single ended or 4-pin XLR connector for hooking up the LCD-3?
I plan on going directly to the amp without any resistor box in between, as it seems Gary had good success doing that. I'm still a little worried of having enough volume adjustment range - won't like having to make micro surgery adjustments turning the knob just tiny fractions.
Any special procedure for hooking up and turning on the gear, when no resistors are in place (other than start with low volume)?
Unless convinced otherwise, I will be ordering an Emotiva XDA-2 as DAC and input hub. It does have a "precision analog resistor ladder volume control that maintains resolution even at low volumes" that might be useful should the volume adjustment range of the Cyclops amp be to restrictive for me. I don't know if it will hurt sound quality until I've tried it. The remote for the XDA-2 could come in handy as well.
And thanks to the significant contribution Gary and the rest of you have made to this thread.
No reason not to go with 4-pin XLR, since the LCD-3s come with a balanced cable. I used Ron Kerlin (Hiflight here on Head-Fi) who built me an XLR-terminated speaker tap for $50 delivered, much cheaper than BTG and it was delivered in a couple of days. It works fine.
Just start with the amp volume at zero, turn on the music and turn it up slowly until you get the volume you're comfortable with. Unless you're either deaf or willing to sustain incredible sound pressure levels in your head, you'll stop turning before you could hurt the cans -- the LCD-3s will put out 120dB before breaking. Assuming the XDA-2 output is the same as my XDA-1, you can leave the DAC volume control at neutral (wherever they say that is... for the XDA-1 it is at 80dB, i.e. max volume, since it uses a digital volume control) and use the amp to control volume. You'll be between 7 o'clock and 8:30 for most recordings. The change is relatively gradual and easily controllable in that range.
Once your are comfortable using just the amp volume control, you can start playing with the DAC volume control to optimize sound quality by gettng the amp more into its sweet spot. I am interested to hear your impressions, since the XDA-2 might be added to my DAC comparo next summer. It should sound the same as the XDA-1, but having that extra volume control, plus another headphone jack, might come in handy, and at $400 when not on sale, it is pretty cheap.
Edited by Gary in MD - 9/27/13 at 4:01pm