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Want to upgrade from O2+ODAC for LCD-2.2F

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I want to eventually upgrade from my O2+ODAC for my LCD-2 to the Schiit Mjolnir to use balanced XLR output, but I don't have the money to pair that with a Gungnir. Does getting an equivalent DAC make that much of a difference, or could I just pair the Mjolnir with a Modi 2 or Loki and not notice a difference?
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatEskimo View Post

I want to eventually upgrade from my O2+ODAC for my LCD-2 to the Schiit Mjolnir to use balanced XLR output, but I don't have the money to pair that with a Gungnir. Does getting an equivalent DAC make that much of a difference, or could I just pair the Mjolnir with a Modi 2 or Loki and not notice a difference?

 

You're eliminating one option for driving the LCD-2 with a lot of power: not using the Mjolnir. If your O2+ODAC has analog outputs for the ODAC section (I'm assuming you have the single chassis version) then you can just get a Lyr. 

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

You're eliminating one option for driving the LCD-2 with a lot of power: not using the Mjolnir. If your O2+ODAC has analog outputs for the ODAC section (I'm assuming you have the single chassis version) then you can just get a Lyr. 

Yea I have the combo from Mayflower. If price isn't an issue, why should I get the Lyr over the Mjolnir? Also, if my O2 makes the LCD-2s loud enough for me at halfway on the volume knob, do I really need a more powerful amp? Or are they still not being driven to their full potential even though the volume is enough?

I've heard many people say that the Mjolnir in balanced drives the LCD-2 better than anything they've heard
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatEskimo View Post

Yea I have the combo from Mayflower. If price isn't an issue, why should I get the Lyr over the Mjolnir? Also, if my O2 makes the LCD-2s loud enough for me at halfway on the volume knob, do I really need a more powerful amp? Or are they still not being driven to their full potential even though the volume is enough?

The point on the volume knob is not what's important. It's how much louder the headphones can get beyond that, and that can be at different with different headphones or on different amps. The point on the knob only really tells someone with the same headphones and same amp how much volume you have left.

If you are at or near maximum volume (how loud it can get), you could be getting clipping of dynamic peaks. So more power could help.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatEskimo View Post

Yea I have the combo from Mayflower. ... Also, if my O2 makes the LCD-2s loud enough for me at halfway on the volume knob, do I really need a more powerful amp? Or are they still not being driven to their full potential even though the volume is enough?

 

To add to what cel4145 posted, there's also how much distortion you'll get at that listening level and louder. However given the clean output of the O2 that's hard to beat in terms of how clear and neutral it is.

 

In some cases what some people deem as "full potential" is either 1) unsafe or 2) methodologically flawed. They're either correct that the amp has less distortion, but it's already at a listening level that can damage their hearing (of course, turning it up for that one song in each album you love isn't necessarily bad), or they're listening at a louder level than on the other amp (or then again, maybe the other amp already distorts at that point).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatEskimo View Post

If price isn't an issue, why should I get the Lyr over the Mjolnir?
 
Size. Also, not just absolute price, but in how much more performance you'll get for that much more money.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatEskimo View Post

I've heard many people say that the Mjolnir in balanced drives the LCD-2 better than anything they've heard
 
Again, could be unsafe levels or there's a methodological flaw (you don't need to absolutely use an RTA, but have them run simultaneously and then match a simple vocal track by ear). If anything, it has much better current performance.
 
 
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The point on the volume knob is not what's important. It's how much louder the headphones can get beyond that, and that can be at different with different headphones or on different amps. The point on the knob only really tells someone with the same headphones and same amp how much volume you have left.

If you are at or near maximum volume (how loud it can get), you could be getting clipping of dynamic peaks. So more power could help.

It can get very loud (haven't turned it all the way up because I don't want to damage my hearing), and I haven't heard any distortion at comfortable listening levels or even when it's lowder than what I normally have it at. Does this mean it's properly driven and I don't need an upgrade?
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatEskimo View Post

It can get very loud (haven't turned it all the way up because I don't want to damage my hearing), and I haven't heard any distortion at comfortable listening levels or even when it's lowder than what I normally have it at. Does this mean it's properly driven and I don't need an upgrade?

If it goes a good bit louder than you listen to them, probably means it's OK.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


If it goes a good bit louder than you listen to them, probably means it's OK.
 

 

Awesome. I'll just stay with the O2+ODAC then.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatEskimo View Post


It can get very loud (haven't turned it all the way up because I don't want to damage my hearing), and I haven't heard any distortion at comfortable listening levels or even when it's lowder than what I normally have it at. Does this mean it's properly driven and I don't need an upgrade?

 

You're probably not hitting audible distortion. Does the sound tonal balance change? My D-Zero for example sounds brighter when louder, my Rega Ear sounds warmer when louder; my Meier Cantate.2's tonal balance doesn't change (at least not up the levels I can tolerate, even briefly). If the O2 doesn't change in tonality and you can still hear all the instruments properly then might as well stick with it.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

You're probably not hitting audible distortion. Does the sound tonal balance change? My D-Zero for example sounds brighter when louder, my Rega Ear sounds warmer when louder; my Meier Cantate.2's tonal balance doesn't change (at least not up the levels I can tolerate, even briefly). If the O2 doesn't change in tonality and you can still hear all the instruments properly then might as well stick with it.

Well Planars actually are known to sound better when louder, so they do sound better. It isn't a real tonal change though, they just sound more open and life-like.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatEskimo View Post


Well Planars actually are known to sound better when louder, so they do sound better. It isn't a real tonal change though, they just sound more open and life-like.

 

Actually every transducer sounds better when louder, just the same when people compare two amps without volume-matching. It's just a matter of how much distortion there is and how much SPL the listener can tolerate. The thing is that compared to a dynamic driver which has to "pump," a planar doesn't do such a violent motion so it naturally has less distortion on its own throughout the frequency range (louder lower freqs means more excursion, higher frequencies demand more pumping movements). Basically, even the best dynamic driver will hit its physical limits long before a planar would, whether it's max excursion, cone break-up, etc. Then add to that the amplifier's distortion, in some cases possibly due to the driver's properties, like some dynamic driver systems that swing too far from the nominal impedance range on some frequencies.

 

That said it's entirely possible to make a really cheap, badly designed planar driver, so against a good dynamic driver, it will probably be pointless to use a likely heavier planar.

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