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Putting Together A Rig (amp, dac, etc.) Around The LCD-3's - Need...

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 

Apologies if this isn't the correct forum.
 

Hi there.  Long time lurker here.

 

After years of considering taking the plunge into higher-end headphone/audio equipment, I think I've finally made up my mind to do it.  

 

I've spent a solid week reading these forums, and others, for hours a day trying to make up my mind what I want to get.

 

My current pair of headphones are the new ATH-AD900X's that I only got because I broke my AD700's.  This is what my headphone repertoire consists of and only that.  My experience with headphones is pretty limited.  I consider the AD900X's too bright and sibilant to the point of harshness, but in all fairness I'm running them off onboard sound.  

 

After doing tons of research it seems the headphones that would best suit me would be the LCD-3's, but after reading tons of 2 vs 3 threads/posts, it seems like the majority do not consider it worth the extra $1000.  

 

I guess what I'm looking for is some open cans that do a really good job with bass that aren't too bright, sibilant, and/or harsh with trebles.  I'm very sensitive to bright sounds and consider them extremely fatiguing.  Despite being sensitive to treble, I appreciate the detail, soundstage, imaging and separation of bright headphones and do not want to sacrifice much of those traits, but I plan on using these headphones every day for hours upon hours a day, so fatigue is one of the most important factors for me when deciding what I want, and I consider bright sounds much more fatiguing than dark sounds.  I also suffer from ADD, and when my ADD kicks in, and subsequently my OCD, overly bright trebles can go from just being bright to being harsh/tinny/distracting/painful, and then I can't appreciate the music because I'm only paying attention to the hi-hat and every "s" and "t" that are in the lyrics.  

 

When it comes down to it, I think I'm looking for a somewhat warm, musically fun pair of open cans with fantastic bass that can work with a wide array of genres.  What I really want to be able to do is turn on some good music and just close my eyes and leave reality.  I don't want to even think about reality until I open my eyes again.  I appreciate a good pair of technical/analytical headphones (especially ones that separate the instruments really well), but I'm more concerned about them just being fun/musical and transporting me to another world.  

 

These would be used not only for music, but also TV, movies, and gaming.  

 

As far as what type of music I listen to, I really do listen to everything.  No one genre really stands out.

 

 

So if I do get a pair of LCD-2.2's, would the WA7 be a good match for it, or would I be better off getting a separate amp and DAC for a similar price instead of the all-in-one WA7 solution?  I thought about the PanAm, but for best sound it seems you should get the battery version, and I just don't like the idea of using something battery powered for as much as I will be using it.  And would it be worth upgrading the tubes on the WA7 to the Electro Harmonix 6C45 Gold Plated Pins?


Edited by Meremoth - 4/1/13 at 10:42pm
post #2 of 60

I think the WA7 will perform well with the LCD-2.  You may want to get the bamboo version of the LCD-2 as I find it much lighter and easier to listen to for hours on end.

 

For me the LCD-2 and LCD-3 do not require a tube amp to sound their best perhaps because they are so quick which leads me to recommend something like the O2+ODAC combo.

 

It is my experience that purchasing a separate DAC and Amp when possible is almost always a lower noise solution especially if the units have their own power supplies.  I did not find a solution that I am familiar with under $1000.  Perhaps a few other users will chime in and make some suggestions that sound good with the LCD-2.

 

I vote O2+ODAC Combo.

post #3 of 60
I sense something's about to happen.

I read that burson amps are a great pairing with the LCD-2
As well as the ALO Pan Am
As well as the Beta22
post #4 of 60
I have the LCD-2 and have had the burson audio HA160DS as well as the Pan Am. I preferred the Pan AM between the two. I have the WA7 on order. According to reviews, they have similar sound signatures.

I think you will be happy with the LCD-2. The only concern you might have is the weight. They are pretty heavy and I've had neck cramps after wearing them for a few hours. If you can audition a pair, I highly recommend seeing how you find their comfort before buying.
post #5 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

I think the WA7 will perform well with the LCD-2.  You may want to get the bamboo version of the LCD-2 as I find it much lighter and easier to listen to for hours on end.

 

For me the LCD-2 and LCD-3 do not require a tube amp to sound their best perhaps because they are so quick which leads me to recommend something like the O2+ODAC combo.

 

It is my experience that purchasing a separate DAC and Amp when possible is almost always a lower noise solution especially if the units have their own power supplies.  I did not find a solution that I am familiar with under $1000.  Perhaps a few other users will chime in and make some suggestions that sound good with the LCD-2.

 

I vote O2+ODAC Combo.

 

How much of a weight difference is it between the two?  I was considering the Rosewood just because I think they look better, plus isn't rosewood more expensive than bamboo outside of the headphone world?  Either way, if the Bamboo's are really that much lighter, I might reconsider getting the Rosewoods (but they look so sexy).  

 

Another thing that I'm still up in the air about is whether to get the leather or vegan.  It seems a lot of people prefer the sound of the leather, but the vegan is more comfortable?  How difficult is it to change the earpads?  

 

The O2/ODAC is very tempting seeing how it could potentially save me ~$800.

 

How does the O2/ODAC stand up against the Pan Am and/or WA7 for the LCD-2.2's?  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariesq View Post

I have the LCD-2 and have had the burson audio HA160DS as well as the Pan Am. I preferred the Pan AM between the two. I have the WA7 on order. According to reviews, they have similar sound signatures.

I think you will be happy with the LCD-2. The only concern you might have is the weight. They are pretty heavy and I've had neck cramps after wearing them for a few hours. If you can audition a pair, I highly recommend seeing how you find their comfort before buying.

 

Did you try The Gateway or The Passport for the Pan Am?  I've heard The Passport is the way to go, but how long is that battery going to last when it's being charged/used all day long?  I'd rather have AC power, but I heard The Gateway doesn't sound as good.

 

What tubes would you recommend with the Pan Am?  

 

I'm really looking forward to hearing what you think about the WA7 + LCD2.2 combo.  

 

When are you suppose to get it?


Edited by Meremoth - 4/1/13 at 10:33pm
post #6 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meremoth View Post


Did you try The Gateway or The Passport for the Pan Am?  I've heard The Passport is the way to go, but how long is that battery going to last when it's being charged/used all day long?  I'd rather have AC power, but I heard The Gateway doesn't sound as good.

 

What tubes would you recommend with the Pan Am?  

 

 

Mine Pan-Am/Passport can use 8~9 hours after full charged.

 

Try Mullard

post #7 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by palchiu View Post

 

Mine Pan-Am/Passport can use 8~9 hours after full charged.

 

Try Mullard

 

Can you use the Pan Am while the Passport is being charged?  Does the charging make any noise?  

 

Also, how long is the life of the battery?  How many years will the Passport last if it's being used every day?  

 

 

Which specific Mullard tube do you recommend for the Pan Am + LCD-2.2 combo?


Edited by Meremoth - 4/1/13 at 10:54pm
post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meremoth View Post

 

I guess what I'm looking for is some open cans that do a really good job with bass that aren't too bright, sibilant, and/or harsh with trebles.  I'm very sensitive to bright sounds and consider them extremely fatiguing.  Despite being sensitive to treble, I appreciate the detail, soundstage, imaging and separation of bright headphones and do not want to sacrifice much of those traits, but I plan on using these headphones every day for hours upon hours a day, so fatigue is one of the most important factors for me when deciding what I want, and I consider bright sounds much more fatiguing than dark sounds.  I also suffer from ADD, and when my ADD kicks in, and subsequently my OCD, overly bright trebles can go from just being bright to being harsh/tinny/distracting/painful, and then I can't appreciate the music because I'm only paying attention to the hi-hat and every "s" and "t" that are in the lyrics.  

 

When it comes down to it, I think I'm looking for a somewhat warm, musically fun pair of open cans with fantastic bass that can work with a wide array of genres.  What I really want to be able to do is turn on some good music and just close my eyes and leave reality.  I don't want to even think about reality until I open my eyes again.  I appreciate a good pair of technical/analytical headphones (especially ones that separate the instruments really well), but I'm more concerned about them just being fun/musical and transporting me to another world.  

you wont find imaging/seperation/detail/analytical/warm/bassy/soundstage/non trebly in the lcd2.you have to prioritiz what you are looking for.

if you are looking for a warm,musically fun and bassy headphone as you said in the last paragraph,then the lcd2 will be perfect for you. Otherwise,ill suggest to look elsewhere.

And +1 on the poster who suggested audiotining due to weight issue.


Edited by midoo1990 - 4/2/13 at 2:10am
post #9 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by midoo1990 View Post

you wont find imaging/seperation/detail/analytical/warm/bassy/soundstage/non trebly in the lcd2.you have to prioritiz what you are looking for.

if you are looking for a warm,musically fun and bassy headphone as you said in the last paragraph,then the lcd2 will be perfect for you. Otherwise,ill suggest to look elsewhere.

And +1 on the poster who suggested audiotining due to weight issue.

 

Yeah, warm, musical, fun, and good bass are my priorities.


Edited by Meremoth - 4/2/13 at 4:27am
post #10 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meremoth View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by midoo1990 View Post

you wont find imaging/seperation/detail/analytical/warm/bassy/soundstage/non trebly in the lcd2.you have to prioritiz what you are looking for.

if you are looking for a warm,musically fun and bassy headphone as you said in the last paragraph,then the lcd2 will be perfect for you. Otherwise,ill suggest to look elsewhere.

And +1 on the poster who suggested audiotining due to weight issue.

 

Yeah, warm, musical, fun, and good bass are my priorities.

 

Then I reckon that your first idea was the right one: WA7 + LCD-2. smile.gif

post #11 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

Then I reckon that your first idea was the right one: WA7 + LCD-2. smile.gif

 

Okay, let me go ahead and say this; I'm a super indecisive person, to the point where it's an actual problem, hahaha.  tongue.gif  

I'm actually still struggling with the whole LCD-2.2 vs LCD-3 thing, and still wondering which I should ultimately get.  I assume the WA7 would be fine with the LCD-3's, right?  What about with the O2/ODAC and Pan Am?  

 

After doing some more research, it seems the O2/ODAC Combo stacks up pretty well with more expensive amps/dacs, and it seems to work pretty well with the LCD2.2.

 

The big question now is, is the WA7 worth $800 over the O2/ODAC or $400 more than the Pan Am?  Of course that's very subjective, but that's what I'm looking for, subjectivity.  

 

Edit:  BTW, I'm building a new PC and wonder if I should get a soundcard.  I only use headphones, no speakers.  Does the main source matter if you get an external DAC?  i.e. Will my onboard sound interfere in anyway with my amp/dac/headphones, or is the onboard sound essentially completely bypassed?  


Edited by Meremoth - 4/2/13 at 3:25pm
post #12 of 60

I'm currently using LCD-2's with the O2/ODAC combo until I save up more funds for a better amp, and while it doesn't sound as good as the WA6SE I used to pair with my old rev 1's, I have to say that I still feel very satisfied every time I listen to it and don't feel any urge for imminent upgrade (but it's not part of my primary rig so that has to do with it a bit as well). O2/ODAC will definitely serve you well to start off as far as LCD-2's are concerned IMO.

post #13 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meremoth View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

Then I reckon that your first idea was the right one: WA7 + LCD-2. smile.gif

 

Okay, let me go ahead and say this; I'm a super indecisive person, to the point where it's an actual problem, hahaha.  tongue.gif  

I'm actually still struggling with the whole LCD-2.2 vs LCD-3 thing, and still wondering which I should ultimately get.  I assume the WA7 would be fine with the LCD-3's, right?  What about with the O2/ODAC and Pan Am?  

 

After doing some more research, it seems the O2/ODAC Combo stacks up pretty well with more expensive amps/dacs, and it seems to work pretty well with the LCD2.2.

 

The big question now is, is the WA7 worth $800 over the O2/ODAC or $400 more than the Pan Am?  Of course that's very subjective, but that's what I'm looking for, subjectivity.  

 

Edit:  BTW, I'm building a new PC and wonder if I should get a soundcard.  I only use headphones, no speakers.  Does the main source matter if you get an external DAC?  i.e. Will my onboard sound interfere in anyway with my amp/dac/headphones, or is the onboard sound essentially completely bypassed?  

 

If you want to save money, sure, but you did say "Yeah, warm, musical, fun, and good bass are my priorities." so for that, the WA7 meets that criteria. Some of the WA7's cost is in that glass block, but if anything it is under-priced. The O2/ODAC is good value, but even though it has a great clarity for the price, I just couldn't sit for hours and enjoy listening to music with it.  That's probably because I've spent too much time with better gear and I know what I'm missing. I did, however, see Rust_A is selling a beefed-up O2/ODAC combo in the classifieds for $330 which might be good.

post #14 of 60
Thread Starter 

Okay, so I'm on the verge of getting the LCD-3's and the WA7.

 

After reading more about the LCD-3's, they really sound like the perfect pair of headphones for me, but good lord, $2k is quite a bit.  

 

I'm just torn because how many comments/reviews I have read that say they barely notice any difference in the LCD-2.2's and the LCD-3's.  

 

As for the WA7, it seems like a nightmare to actually get ahold of.  Just noticed a bunch of posts where people have been waiting 2-3 months and still haven't received theirs, with some people not even getting responses from Woo at all about their order.  

post #15 of 60

New products often have delays. I've waited something close to 2, if not more years, for about 5 products which were all new when I ordered them. Some were from large manufacturers as well.

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