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1000-2000$ to spend, but how?

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  1. heidimilk
    This is my first thread on this forum.
    As I've been mainly reading reviews on head-fi, I thought I might ask you guys for help.

    I want to buy a nice hifi headphone setup but I really don't know how to spend my money. I like to just lie in my bed and listen to Music for long periods of time. My favorite genres are classical music, progressive rock and EDM.

    After a long time of research I've decided that I'll probably buy a pair of Audeze LCD-2C, because I think they suit my type of listening. As I get headaches from too many high frequencies, I feel like the LCD-2C's are a good solution for this without losing a lot of clarity.
    What do you think?

    Next up comes the rest of the setup:
    I am really unsure what to do here. I don't even know from where to play my music.

    My first question is, if there is a significant difference between playing music from a CD player vs. my phone? I really enjoy Spotify as it has a great amount of songs to choose from and I don't really have the money to buy all those thousands of songs in CD format. Is there maybe an alternative solution?

    Further I am unsure what AMP would fit the LCD-2C's and if I need a DAC?

    Or maybe you have another idea for a nice setup that suits my sensitive ears? :)

    I really hope you can help me and wish you all a great day!

    Greetings, Heidimilk
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Ok, so you prefer to listen to streaming music (Spotify).
    Your source hardware could be a computer or tablet or smartphone.
    I would guess a tablet, connected to an external DAC/amp, would be a good setup, next to your bed or any other place, in your residence, where you might sit your butt down.
    Tablet would make it easier to use Spotify software app, compared to the smaller screen on a smartphone.
    Do you think you might prefer a tablet using Windows 10 OS or Android OS or Macintosh OS?
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  3. heidimilk
    Thank you for the answer. I am currently using an android phone.
    Is it necessary to have a DAC, I mean when the audio leaves through the aux, isn't it analog already?
    Maybe I just don't understand it quiet right.

    Do you have any recommendations for an Amp that pairs well with the LCD's? (Or other Headphones you've had a nice experience)
  4. protoss

    This is easy one for you.

    RME ADI-2 DAC (This is good amp/dac) almost endgame material here
    = $2000

    That is good enough for you.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  5. heidimilk
    Thank you for the advice. The amp looks really nice!

    But I have a question; how can I connect my Phone to it?

    Thanks in advance.
  6. protoss
    Connect it from the back. Into the usb slot.

    Watch this -
    heidimilk likes this.
  7. PopZeus
    In general, a DAC and an amp (or a DAC/amp combo) would very much help your overall sound, especially coming from a potentially lossy source like Spotify to such a nice, power hungry planar like the LCD2c. With a set-up like that, it’s important to minimize as many weak links as possible.

    In my experience, I’ve found that using a resistor ladder (R2R) DAC does a better job of making lossy audio encoded at 256kbps AAC or 320kbps MP3 far more palatable to my ears, than a D-S DAC, as I’m not noticing the compression artifacts in the treble region nearly as much.

    If you’re going to be using a wired connection, then you won’t need a decent BT receiver. But if you want to go wireless, make sure you get a well-reviewed BT receiver that can output optical digital so that your DAC can do all the converting.

    Personally I’m a huge fan of Audio-gd’s ladder DACs, so I’d probably just get an R-28 and be done with it. Or the R-1 and an amp that pairs well with the Audeze.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  8. heidimilk
    Great review/unboxing!
    Helped a lot, I'm definitely considering buying it.

    Does it mean I have to listen to my iPad/get an iPhone?
  9. heidimilk
    Thanks for the answer.
    As Audio-gd is not available here in Switzerland, what do you think of the RME ADI-2?
  10. protoss
    I woukd perfer you to use it on your computer. But you decide :)

    I also want you to watch this

    heidimilk likes this.
  11. PopZeus
    Audio-gd sells all their gear direct from China. No local distributors. You PayPal them the money, they ship the gear to *checks website* to Switzerland! You do tell them if you want any custom options, but they hand build everything and burn it in at the factory before shipping it out.

    I’m not familiar with the ADI-2. Tbh, as soon as discovered the R2R DAC, I never looked back. To me, they’re more life-like and holographic than a typical DAC. Almost like a piece of high-end pro-audio gear or a musical instrument. The only D-S DACs I bought for audio specifically are in my portable gear.

    Not to sell you too hard on it, but another benefit to the R-28 is that the device is fully balanced. Meaning, more power, and, likely, detail than the ADI-2 for your LCD2c. I just think what you get for your money from an Audio-gd DAC is far beyond what almost everyone else offers. The price/performance ratio is a huge value.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  12. Lewis Li
    So I have to say the earphone or headphone Jack on the front panel of adi2 is not usable for music listening, but designed for recording monitoring.
  13. heidimilk
    The problem is I don't want to import things due to high import taxes. Can't find a R2R DAC here. :triportsad:
  14. heidimilk
    What does that concretely mean for the listening experience?
    Do you have any other recommendations regarding Audio Source/Amp?
  15. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Ok, so it seems your preferred hardware source will be your Android phone.
    It is not necessary to use an external DAC (DAC/Head amp) to use headphones with a portable source (smartphone).
    Some headphones require higher amounts of power (voltage) to drive them, like headphones in the 250-Ohm to 600-Ohm range.
    But there are lots of easy to drive (10-Ohm to 80-Ohm) headphones (or IEMs) what you could plug directly into the headphone jack of your smartphone.
    It might come down to how good the DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) chip and headphone amplifier, built into your phone

    Guess you could say a lot of the regulars (old timers) on Head-Fi are always looking for a excuse to add a DAC/amp, to a source (and sometimes there is a good reason for it).
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