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SS Amp Recommendations for Audeze LCD-X

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Which would make a better pairing for the LCD-X, I'm torn between a Burson Conductor and the Schiit Mjolnir/Gungnir combo. Prices are pretty similar and what I'm looking to spend ($1500-$2000). Anyone have any advice or other recommendations for the X in my price range? Thanks!
post #2 of 6

I listened to the LCD-X on a GSX Mk2, audio GD master 8 & Mjolnir.  The GSX and master 8 were the best and very close to each other while the Mjolnir was a bit behind those 2 and didn't really seem like a good pairing TBH.

 

There wasn't a Burson, so I can't comment there but the Master 8 is about half the price of a GSX and you are literally splitting hairs and talking about that last 1%.

post #3 of 6

A fellow conductor owner was lucky to demo an LCD-X for an extended period of time. 

 

His impressions with the Burson were very positive. 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ok good to know, wasn't sure if the Mjolnir would be the best match, though I do kind of prefer the idea of balanced vs. non-balanced at that price range. But everything I've read about the Burson Conductor makes it seem like it would be a good match for the LCD-X

post #5 of 6

Who retails the Audio GD Master 9 amp?

post #6 of 6

I can't comment on either the Burson or the Shiit stack, but I've had the LCD-X for a few months now, and have enjoyed getting to know them on a couple solid state DAC/Amp combos.  

 

The LCD-X are quite an interesting beast:  one one hand it's insanely easy to drive (it has stupidly low power requirements -- you can run it off your iPhone and it sounds passable) -- but on the other hand it's also quite revealing.  The source/amp combo on these cans is less about how they drive, and more about what character of the sound you want to experience.  

 

One note of caution: the LCD-X are so sensitive, you can easily find yourself stuck in the first 1-2% zone of the volume knob on some headphone amps (like the Bryston) -- particularly when running them balanced.  Make sure you can audition them with the amps you're looking for before you buy-in.

 

Compared to the Sennheiser HD600 and HD800s, the LCD-X are very bassy and slightly more "polite-sounding" (think less etched-sounding treble).  The soundstage is smaller than the HD800s, but the powerful low-end tends to create a big envelope of sound (read: expansive sound, but it's harder to resolve specific instruments/locations)

 

I've been going back and forth between two setups (both in 4-pin XLR balanced mode):

- Benchmark DAC2 + Bryston BHA-1

- Oppo HA-1 (both DAC and amp)

 

The Benchmark/Bryston combination sounds fantastic.  The only catch is that the LCD-X are just too sensitive for the Bryston amp.  I have to pot the Benchmark DAC2 down from unity gain in order to listen to a reasonable sound level on the Bryston.  The BHA-1 sound is fantastic on the LCD-X, but it doesn't seem well-calibrated to run extremely sensitive headphones. 

 

The Oppo, on the other hand seems like it's in the goldilocks zone for the LCD-X.  I'm not sure whether it's the DAC or the amp portion of the Oppo that has this character, but it's just slightly more detailed in the treble than the benchmark/bryston combo.   This pairs really, really well with the LCD-X, making them feel slightly less polite and rolled-off in the top-end.  The low-end is powerful, but what sounds like just a little more detail in the treble really tends to round out these orthos.

 

Verdict:  the Oppo HA-1 is an amazing match with the LCD-X (it's also a fantastic, very high-quality all-in-one DAC/headphone amp).    The Benchmark/Bryston combo seems to fit much better with the Sennheiser HD600, though -- they and the HD800 benefit massively from balanced operation.  I'm still undecided which setup I prefer for the HD800, though.


Edited by jonahsfo - 9/7/14 at 10:34pm
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