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Audeze LCD-X - Page 158

post #2356 of 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesure View Post

RCA 5U4G arrived and installed.

Hooked up the Norse Audio 8-conductor headphone cables to the LCD-X's.

Put on some live DMB.

Started grinning.

Last steps will be installing the 6F8G driver tubes when they arrive from Argentina and setting up the turntable (my Christmas gift from the family) on Wednesday.

Then I may not emerge from the man cave until spring.

 

I'm waiting on Mullard 5AR4s and then I hope I'm "done". :beyersmile:

post #2357 of 5082

After much contemplation, I decided to try out the LCD-X. Based on what people are saying here, I think I may end up preferring it to my LCD-3. If so, it should be an excellent complement to my electrostatic system, which sort of lacks that excitement and tactility that is the trademark of planar magnetic headphones.

 

I guess the ideal amp is GS-X mk2, but my recent purchase of other audio gears has been a setback to my budget, so now I'm torn between a few amps. Right now, I'm considering either WA22 ($2K) or Pathos Aurium ($1.5K). The latter is not that well known in the HF community since Pathos had never made any headphone amp until Aurium, and it has been released somewhat recently. Skylab however has done a quite favorable review on it in Innerfidelity, and he seemed to like it quite a lot with his LCD-3.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/pathos-aurium-hybrid-headphone-amplifier

 

There are certain points that I need to consider, and these are the following.

 

1. Output impedance. Basically, the WA22 is a tube amp with a high output impedance, while the Aurium is actually a hybrid amp with a low output impedance (less than 0.5 ohm). With a low impedance headphone like the LCD-X, it is ideal to use an amp with a very low output impedance. In this regard, Aurium scores. However, I should also consider that LCD-X's impedance is purely resistive, since it is a planar magnetic design, so it will be less affected by a high output impedance than other low-impedance headphones with fluctuating impedance curve. But then again, will it be audible?

 

Another thing to consider is that the WA22 has a gain switch. Now I know that LCD-X is a relatively easy headphone to drive for a planar magnetic headphone, but its sensitivity is 96 dB/mW and that is still considered somewhat low compared to most dynamic headphones. So if I use the WA22, I may listen to it on high gain... but high gain also means a higher output impedance. This is one of the WA22's dilemma... for anyone who use the WA22 with LCD-X, which gain setting do you prefer?

 

2. Another thing that worries me is how many people are saying tubes are a no-no with Audez'e headphones. Based on my experience with LCD-2 and LCD-3, I agree with this. LCD-2/3 are already quite warm and dark sounding headphones, so using a warm-sounding tube amp will only make it sound even more so. This is why I think Mjolnir is such a great combination with LCD-3. The thing is, the WA22 is known to be a very tube sounding amp, warm and lush sounding compared to other tube amps such as those made by DNA, EC, Cavalli Audio and the like. In fact most Woo amps are said to be quite tube-sounding in general. I know that LCD-X is less warmer sounding than LCD-2/3, so it may be more tube-friendly than its predecessors, but I don't know... Aurium is hybrid but its output stage is MOS-FET so it is said to sound more like a solid-state.

 

3. And another thing to concern is power. Audeze says that the optimal power requirement for LCD-X is 1-4 W, and that its sensitivity is 96 dB/mW. WA22's power rating is 1.5W at 32 ohms, and Aurium is 3.6W at 32 ohms. Aurium has more than double power, but will this give an edge over the WA22 when it comes to LCD-X?

 

4. I also realize that WA22 can be greatly improved with tube rolling. I wonder how great it can improve, whether its stock form is not as good sounding as Aurium but with the right tubes it will outperform it...

 

5. The most important aspects for me in sound are transparency and holographic 3D imaging. How does the WA22 fare in this regard?

 

6. Overall, when price is not really a factor, which do you think I should choose?

 

Choices, choices...

post #2358 of 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipers View Post
 

Who said that there isn't a Santa Claus, my LCD-X's and XC's have just arrived, perfect timing :dt880smile:

 

That is a nice present, enjoy it! :) Btw, wonder when Santa will be replacing his deers with drones?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMG52 View Post
 

Not to give you even more work :rolleyes:, but when things settle down, it would be interesting to hear how your turntable/phono front end compares to a current decent dac; maybe not so much as apples to apples (different technologies, after all) but just in terms of overall enjoyment? 

 

I also got a turntable for X-mas (old Thorens TD 2001) and have been enjoying it a lot. Difficult to do an apples to apples comparison with a DAC, but vinyl has some magic in those platters, just something about it that sounds right.


Edited by daerron - 12/25/13 at 1:50am
post #2359 of 5082

the WA22 will have great staging and imaging, much better than alot of amps but may not be the last word in transparency. also be prepared to spend 1k + in tubes to get it to sound good. 

 

i personally do not like the Mjolnir with the Audeze.

post #2360 of 5082

Inline replies in bold:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by songmic View Post
 

After much contemplation, I decided to try out the LCD-X. Based on what people are saying here, I think I may end up preferring it to my LCD-3. If so, it should be an excellent complement to my electrostatic system, which sort of lacks that excitement and tactility that is the trademark of planar magnetic headphones.

 

I had a listen to an Electra/009 rig on the weekend and while I still think it is is best at vocals of any headphones bar none, I reckon your description is spot-on.

 

I guess the ideal amp is GS-X mk2, but my recent purchase of other audio gears has been a setback to my budget, so now I'm torn between a few amps. Right now, I'm considering either WA22 ($2K) or Pathos Aurium ($1.5K). The latter is not that well known in the HF community since Pathos had never made any headphone amp until Aurium, and it has been released somewhat recently. Skylab however has done a quite favorable review on it in Innerfidelity, and he seemed to like it quite a lot with his LCD-3.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/pathos-aurium-hybrid-headphone-amplifier

 

There are certain points that I need to consider, and these are the following.

 

1. Output impedance. Basically, the WA22 is a tube amp with a high output impedance, while the Aurium is actually a hybrid amp with a low output impedance (less than 0.5 ohm). With a low impedance headphone like the LCD-X, it is ideal to use an amp with a very low output impedance. In this regard, Aurium scores. However, I should also consider that LCD-X's impedance is purely resistive, since it is a planar magnetic design, so it will be less affected by a high output impedance than other low-impedance headphones with fluctuating impedance curve. But then again, will it be audible?

 

Another thing to consider is that the WA22 has a gain switch. Now I know that LCD-X is a relatively easy headphone to drive for a planar magnetic headphone, but its sensitivity is 96 dB/mW and that is still considered somewhat low compared to most dynamic headphones. So if I use the WA22, I may listen to it on high gain... but high gain also means a higher output impedance. This is one of the WA22's dilemma... for anyone who use the WA22 with LCD-X, which gain setting do you prefer?

 

2. Another thing that worries me is how many people are saying tubes are a no-no with Audez'e headphones. Based on my experience with LCD-2 and LCD-3, I agree with this. LCD-2/3 are already quite warm and dark sounding headphones, so using a warm-sounding tube amp will only make it sound even more so. This is why I think Mjolnir is such a great combination with LCD-3. The thing is, the WA22 is known to be a very tube sounding amp, warm and lush sounding compared to other tube amps such as those made by DNA, EC, Cavalli Audio and the like. In fact most Woo amps are said to be quite tube-sounding in general. I know that LCD-X is less warmer sounding than LCD-2/3, so it may be more tube-friendly than its predecessors, but I don't know... Aurium is hybrid but its output stage is MOS-FET so it is said to sound more like a solid-state.

 

I'd disagree with the no-tubes thing. A tube amp with a lively treble and warm-of-neutral bass would work well with them IMO. I find the later Audeze cans' treble, being stronger makes the bass feel a bit weak at times and I feel a touch of warmth benefits them.

 

3. And another thing to concern is power. Audeze says that the optimal power requirement for LCD-X is 1-4 W, and that its sensitivity is 96 dB/mW. WA22's power rating is 1.5W at 32 ohms, and Aurium is 3.6W at 32 ohms. Aurium has more than double power, but will this give an edge over the WA22 when it comes to LCD-X?

 

I think you can fairly safely not concern yourself with power requirements in the price range of amps you're looking at. It is the amps that were purely aimed at high-impedance, high-sensitivity headphones that was more the issue IMO. Your concern about output impedance is more valid IMO. 

 

4. I also realize that WA22 can be greatly improved with tube rolling. I wonder how great it can improve, whether its stock form is not as good sounding as Aurium but with the right tubes it will outperform it...

 

5. The most important aspects for me in sound are transparency and holographic 3D imaging. How does the WA22 fare in this regard?

 

6. Overall, when price is not really a factor, which do you think I should choose?

 

I'm going to say a Studio Six or Master 9, but then I own the former and the predecessor of the latter. I think it comes down to whether you want to muck about with tubes or not.

 

Choices, choices...

post #2361 of 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post
 

After much contemplation, I decided to try out the LCD-X. Based on what people are saying here, I think I may end up preferring it to my LCD-3. If so, it should be an excellent complement to my electrostatic system, which sort of lacks that excitement and tactility that is the trademark of planar magnetic headphones.

 

I guess the ideal amp is GS-X mk2, but my recent purchase of other audio gears has been a setback to my budget, so now I'm torn between a few amps. Right now, I'm considering either WA22 ($2K) or Pathos Aurium ($1.5K). The latter is not that well known in the HF community since Pathos had never made any headphone amp until Aurium, and it has been released somewhat recently. Skylab however has done a quite favorable review on it in Innerfidelity, and he seemed to like it quite a lot with his LCD-3.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/pathos-aurium-hybrid-headphone-amplifier

Another solid state to consider in that price range would be the Bryston BHA-1.  Trying my old R1 LCD-2 with it almost made me reconsider ditching them.  I can only imagine how it would drive the nicer Audezes.

post #2362 of 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

Inline replies in bold:

 

Btw why did you sell all your electrostatic headphones & amps including the SR-007 and SR-009? Did you feel that Studio Six + LCD-X outperform top-of-the-line 'stats?

post #2363 of 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by figaro69 View Post
 

Too funny!!!

 

By then, they'll be using titanium for the earcups.

 

BTW Figaro, I finally received my first amp and am now listening with the A2/B.  I know it's not high-end like most of you, but it's good for me.

The Mozart AIFF sounds great.  What's your favorite Mahler symphony?  I don't have any of his music, yet.  Thanks for your help.

 

RCBinTN

post #2364 of 5082
Mahler's 6th, 5th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st, in that order. Enjoy!
post #2365 of 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

Inline replies in bold:

 

Btw why did you sell all your electrostatic headphones & amps including the SR-007 and SR-009? Did you feel that Studio Six + LCD-X outperform top-of-the-line 'stats?

 

No, the 009s are still the best I've heard for detail, but if I get a top 'stat rig, I'm limited to using it as it is. As you said in effect, the dynamic rig is far more engaging in many respects. If Audeze eventually catches up with the capabilities of the 009s, it'll only be another decade or more before Stax comes out with anything new most likely. 

post #2366 of 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 if I get a top 'stat rig, I'm limited to using it as it is.
... If Audeze eventually catches up with the capabilities of the 009s, it'll only be another decade or more before Stax comes out with anything new most likely. 

Indeed if you enjoy the quest (I see as sidegraditis on my good days, downgraditis on my bad days though smily_headphones1.gif ), as much if not more so than the achievement, then indeed, by all means, stay far away from stats as it may simply cut you away from this active consumerism (it did for me) wink.gif.

For the sr009 missing the excitement, I think it depends on what music you're listening to. If the main stuff I listened to was rock, r&b and other modern bass rythm driven music, I would probably feel the same way and I actually do keep alternative phone for that. I really enjoyed all the lcds in that aspect (bass kick and presence), but not to the point of it deserving its own space in my rig. Maybe that will change with the more recent attempts to develop lighter and more reasonably priced orthos from the likes of fostex and oppo.

Arnaud
post #2367 of 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by zackzack View Post
 

 

I have tried this setup and I have to say the Burson has enough power to drive the Audeze but not make them sing. 

There is plenty of upper bass but not enough of anything else to produce hard-hitting bass. It's a shame really Audeze

seems to have bottomless low end. The Conductor may be a better pairing from Burson.

Completly agree!

 

Ive owned both, and kept the Mjolnir as the Audeze just comes alive with the Mjolnir.

post #2368 of 5082

This may be a general question that applys not only to LCD-X but to all Audez'e headphones, but is there a meaningful sonic difference and between lambskin leather and microsuede (leather-free) ear pads?

 

For instance, when it comes to Hifiman headphones, there is a clear difference in sound between pleather and velour pads. In terms of looks and feel, I suppose they could be considered the Hifiman counterparts of lambskin leather and microsuede, respectively. The pleather pads offer a more forward midrange and bass, while velour sound brighter but offers a slightly better imaging and soundstage. Comfort-wise, both are quite comfortable but I sort of prefer the velour in this regard. I found that Hifiman headphone owners clearly have a preference of one pad over another, depending one their musical tastes.

 

So here are my questions. I would appreciate a detailed answer from a seasoned listener who preferably have had experience with both.

 

#1. Is there a meaningful--not merely noticeable upon critical listening, but meaningful that one may definitely prefer one to another--difference in sound quality between lambskin leather and microsuede?

If yes, please proceed to #2; if not, please ignore #2, #2-1, #2-2 and #3 entirely.

 

#2. If there is a meaningful difference, is there a general consensus (meaning the majority, say over 70-80% of people prefer specifically one type of pad to the other) as to which pad is overall superior-sounding? Or is the opinion mixed among people, somewhat 50-50?

 

     #2-1. If the answer to #2 is that there is a general consensus, is this consensus nearly consistent throughout all Audez'e headphones, or does it change drastically depending on the headphones (LCD-2/3/X/XC)? For example, in case of Hifiman, velour may be strongly preferred among HE-500 users, but pleather could be preferred by some HE-6 users--myself included--because it helps tame the somewhat harsh treble of HE-6.

 

     #2-2. If the answer to #2 is that there hasn't been a general consensus, how do these two pads sound different? Is it similar to Hifiman, that leather has more pronounced mids and bass while microsuede is brighter and wider-sounding? Or is it entirely different?

 

#3. For LCD-X specifically, considering its sound signature, do you think one type of pad may be more favored by many people than the other? If so, which one, and why?

 

#4. Sound-quality aside, let's talk about comfort. What I know for a fact is that the LCD-X is a rather heavy headphone, weighing 600 grams. That doesn't necessarily mean it's uncomfortable, as proper headband and cup design could evenly distribute the weight and thus make it more comfortable. Of course, I don't expect the same level of comfort as, say an HD800 or TH900. That being said, is there a significant difference in comfort between leather and microsuede? If so, which do you think is generally more comfortable with LCD-X, specifically?

 

#5. Lastly, are there any color options for microsuede? The only color I've seen so far is brown, I wonder if there are any other options.

post #2369 of 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post

[...]

     #2-1. If the answer to #2 is that there is a general consensus, is this consensus nearly consistent throughout all Audez'e headphones, or does it change drastically depending on the headphones (LCD-2/3/X/XC)? For example, in case of Hifiman, velour may be strongly preferred among HE-500 users, but pleather could be preferred by some HE-6 users--myself included--because it helps tame the somewhat harsh treble of HE-6.

[...]

#5. Lastly, are there any color options for microsuede? The only color I've seen so far is brown, I wonder if there are any other options.

 

No, no and no! the HE-6 are not harsh. Elevated, yes, harsh no way :veryevil:

 

This was an aside. I just got the micro-suede in the mail this morning. I will try them tonight before I send my pair to a fellow headfier.

I intended to try them with the HE-6 but I'll check if it can bring the air that's still missing to the LCD-X (on my station, YMMV, IMO, Merry Xmas, ...)

post #2370 of 5082

the HE-6 treble could use a bit of refinement, its not grainy or harsh, but definitely feels a little raw at times. its just very unforgiving. i do not use the pleathers on the HE-6 because they ruin the good bass it has, and then i might as well use the HE-500.

 

recently, been liking the HE-500 with velours more. though the HE-6 still has more clarity and bass, but it isn't perfect either. seems like if hifiman came out with an HE-600, it'd probably be a perfect headphone.

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