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Looking for balanced cans to pair with Schiit Gungnir/Mjolnir stack.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I don't really have a specific price in mind. I'd like suggestions from a number of price ranges.


I listen to a huge variety of music, so I'd prefer a "jack of all trades" style headphone rather than one that focuses too much in any one area.


If you need any more information, let me know. Thank you.

post #2 of 10

May I be the first to recommend the Audeze LCD-3? I have been very pleased with this combo for almost a year. And while I listen mostly to rock and large scale classical, I haven't found a genre that isn't well served by the LCDs. Yep, they're pricey - but they do come with a balanced cable.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks. LCD-3 sound promising. Definitely on the expensive side, so I'll have to give that some consideration and maybe look for something closer to the $1k mark if I can't talk myself into it ;)

post #4 of 10

LCD2.2 hands down. If you're looking for a jack of all trades headphones, they lack a bit with imaging/soundstage but MAN they sound damn good everywhere else and I think the pros outweigh the cons easily.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

LCD2s look nice. My only concern with the LCD-2 and 3 is that there are a lot of reports that they are just really uncomfortable to wear. Given that I spend long periods with the headphones on, that's of some concern. But I've had other "uncomfortable" headphones before and didn't really see what people were complaining about. Maybe my head is just too hard LOL. Anything near the performance of the LCD-2 or 3 known for comfort?

post #6 of 10

There aren't really a huge number of headphones that benefit from balanced operation. The only others that come to mind that would benefit from balanced operation are the Senn HD800 (HD6x0 as well) and Beyerdynamic T1. Neither of which I've heard on the Schiit stack, so I can't say how they'd sound on it (or whether it'd even be a good pairing). Or the HiFiMan headphones like the HE-500 or HE-6, neither of which I've extensively heard so I can't say anything about how those two sound.


The headphones I'd be more inclined to recommend, the Fostex TH900 or TH600, won't benefit from balanced operation at all (I'm guessing on that actually but it's a very-educated guess based on previous experience with low-impedance high-sensitivity headphones).

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm not actually ordering my Schiit stack until today when I deposit a check in the bank, so might it be smarter to go down a notch to a Lyr/Bifrost setup so that I'm not tied to balanced operation?

post #8 of 10

First, if you can't afford the LCD-3s, the -2s are still excellent. Since I got the -3s my -2s have hardly left their box, so draw your own conclusions.


Comfort issues are weight and clamping force. Yes, the Audezes are far from light, but I don't find them oppressive. Nor too tight, though if you have a wide head or need to pull the cups all the way out that could be an issue.


Having had all the Schiit you mentioned, I can say that the two stacks are very different animals sonically. The Bifrost/Lyr will give a fast-paced but pleasantly tubey performance. Really nice with the -2s. The Mjolnir is a detail and transparency monster, and will tell you everything that's on the recording whether you want to know it or not. Notably more dynamic than the Lyr, faster all around and tighter bass. But no added warmth whatsoever. (That's what tubes are for.)


The Gungnir is a more open and detailed Bifrost, and more flexible (I use it with both my HP and speakers systems.) Once I heard the Gungnir, I sold my Bifrost. The -3s/Gung/Mj combo is a thrill ride, one I take almost every day. But not warm and fuzzy by any means. This is not in any way a criticism, just trying to give you the most accurate picture.


For economy and flexibility, the Lyr and -2s will do well. I would spend the extra for the Gungnir. You can of course put the Lyr atop the Gungnir but they obviously won't make a neat size-matched stack.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Decided to go with Bifrost/Lyr stack and some HE-500s! Thanks for all the advice.

post #10 of 10

Try going for Sony MDR-1R (about $250 - $400 at certain stored), Bowers And Wilkins P5 ($300 - $400) and the senheiser momentums ($400 - $00). also, try and check out reviews online and visit your nearest store frequently and check them out by yourself.

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