Amp recommendations for Audeze LCD-2
Jan 17, 2013 at 4:37 PM Post #5,356 of 9,206

Man7rah

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There can never be consensus on this topic.  Some people won't consider tubes; others won't consider solid state.  Some can;t spend more than $500; for others, money is no object.  Even given just those two factors, before we ever discuss actual synergy with the LCD-2, you have no chance at consensus.
 
For me, the ideal amp for the LCD-2 is the Decware Mini-Torii.  Lots of power, sounds great, not horribly expensive.  The downsides are that it really isn't good for using with other types of headphones, just other planars like the HE-6, and that while it's worth the money IMO, it's still $1,500.
 
I actually prefer the Leben CS300X with the LCD-2, but at the current US price of $3,800, it's getting really hard to recommend, given how good the Decware is at $1,500.

I really like your view on it, would you say the Cavalli Audio Liquid Fire fits in between the two with price/performance levels?
 
Jan 18, 2013 at 8:57 AM Post #5,359 of 9,206

Barry S

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What's the difference (sonically) between the Schiit Modi vs gungnir DAC? does an expensive DAC really makes a difference compared to a cheap one? 


The Gungnir resolves more detail in recordings compared to the Modi. With a low-end headphone, you might not notice a big difference, but because the LCD-2 is so high resolution--a high quality DAC and amp makes a very noticeable improvement in sound quality. I don't find the Modi to be a good match for the LCD-2, although others may feel differently, particularly if they don't have a higher quality DAC as a comparison.
 
Jan 18, 2013 at 9:38 AM Post #5,360 of 9,206

Francoy

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All this talking about DACs... I thought this thread was about amplifiers?! Silly me 
rolleyes.gif

 
I was trying to answer a question. And btw, what amp did you recommend? 8ooo000OOOO

 
 
I haven’t made an enormous amount of comparisons, but I’m satisfied with my Decware Taboo.
 
The stock tubes are absolute garbage to my ears though, so there was a bit of work/research done on my part to get the audio bliss I’m now getting from it.
 
Jan 18, 2013 at 6:41 PM Post #5,362 of 9,206

cswann1

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I absolutely agree with you, pp312. People who really have been in real concert hall to listen to classical music will never associate brightness with classical music. Real concert hall sound is dark. Bass and mids are predominant while highs are subject to substantial roll-off. I suspect those who claim LCD2 are not good with classical music are those casual classical music listeners. Before they have a real concert hall experience, they feel classical music is all about huge soundstage and spiking highs from violins. At least, I still remember my first concert hall experience really makes me stunned. That's the time I feel my HD650 really lacks the real life bass.

 
 
Concert halls are typically poor places for listening to music.  Some are much worse than others but even the best will add unwanted reflections/resonances.  Higher frequencies have much higher decay than lower which is the reason for the "darker" overall sound.
 
 Many folks like brighter headphones for classical because it lets them hear more easily all the great upper frequency information that is lost in live performances much of the time.  Lets face it, how many of us get to listen to a string quartet at 3m in an acoustically inert room?  This is however what a good recording can closely represent. Many like the accentuation of information that they typically don't get to hear, but it's a fine line you walk with bright cans, as in my experience bright often walks hand in hand with more fatigue.
 
Jan 18, 2013 at 11:01 PM Post #5,363 of 9,206

Francoy

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Francoy, how would you describe the sound of your Taboo with the chosen tubes?
Can you offer any comparisons to other amps you have heard with the LCD-2's?

 
Well, I can confirm to you that it is a significant step up from a monster Outlaw receiver, an entry NAD receiver and also a few Pioneer, Musical Fidelity and Onkyo oldies that I have lying around here. Compared to my Musical fidelity X-can v3, it’s also very impressive (wider stage, better clarity and all out sheer brutal power). But that is about it comparison-wise, I don’t have friends/relatives with decent headphone setups. I went for the Taboo based on comments from people and the fact that I have a fetish for all things wood.
 
Regarding the tubes, I’m far from done with the rolling. The stock configuration was very treble centric to my ears, so I ditch that pretty quickly in favour of something different. At the moment I can only safely assume that the rectifier is settled upon (Tung Sol NOS 5Y3GT). But the rest is a work in progress because I now have a very mid-centric sound that I fine tune with EQ. But with the EQ, I get a sound that is very wide, precise and frighteningly powerful and I get lost in the music and the tube hunt get’s easily forgotten.
 
I you are interested in more info regarding the Taboo here’s a handy link: http://www.head-fi.org/t/535131/review-decware-taboo-an-amazing-achievment
 
Jan 19, 2013 at 4:14 AM Post #5,366 of 9,206

Asr

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Concert halls are typically poor places for listening to music.  Some are much worse than others but even the best will add unwanted reflections/resonances.  Higher frequencies have much higher decay than lower which is the reason for the "darker" overall sound.
 
 Many folks like brighter headphones for classical because it lets them hear more easily all the great upper frequency information that is lost in live performances much of the time.  Lets face it, how many of us get to listen to a string quartet at 3m in an acoustically inert room?  This is however what a good recording can closely represent. Many like the accentuation of information that they typically don't get to hear, but it's a fine line you walk with bright cans, as in my experience bright often walks hand in hand with more fatigue.

 
I definitely agree that "concert halls are typically poor places for listening to music", and moreover will add that concert halls are really bad for listening to classical music. Of course, most live classical music is performed in concert halls, so it's also inescapable. I feel sorry for anyone who listens to classical music who's only heard it live in a concert hall, and thinks that's how headphones should present the music - as in, that "sitting away from the orchestra in a concert hall" kind of thinking. Because more than likely, in most classical recording sessions, the microphones are literally placed over the orchestra (suspended from the ceiling), or really close around it on stands. It's actually more accurate to not have a fake soundstage imposed on the music (I'm looking at you HD800!).
 
I have a bias here, as I've been able to play in orchestras before and know how close the entire orchestra can sound relative to the first-violin section (really close!). I view headphones that capture the sense of the orchestra as a massive entity virtually surrounding you to be more accurate than those that don't - and a headphone that puts you in the conductor's spot is even better, because that gives you the best "view" of the orchestra, aurally speaking. The entire orchestra up-close is something most people don't get to hear, which is too bad, because it's awesome-sounding.
smile.gif

 
Concert halls are so bad for listening to classical that I'd actually recommend that folks listen to a recording on headphones, or speakers as the case might be. Listening at home conveys more accuracy than buying expensive tickets to see any orchestra, regardless of how talented it is. Not that I'm discounting seeing the talent of live musicians - just that the acoustics/imaging and frequency balance will tend to be more accurate through a recording and listening at home.
 
Jan 19, 2013 at 5:46 AM Post #5,367 of 9,206

LugBug1

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Quote:
 
I definitely agree that "concert halls are typically poor places for listening to music", and moreover will add that concert halls are really bad for listening to classical music. Of course, most live classical music is performed in concert halls, so it's also inescapable. I feel sorry for anyone who listens to classical music who's only heard it live in a concert hall, and thinks that's how headphones should present the music - as in, that "sitting away from the orchestra in a concert hall" kind of thinking. Because more than likely, in most classical recording sessions, the microphones are literally placed over the orchestra (suspended from the ceiling), or really close around it on stands. It's actually more accurate to not have a fake soundstage imposed on the music (I'm looking at you HD800!).
 
I have a bias here, as I've been able to play in orchestras before and know how close the entire orchestra can sound relative to the first-violin section (really close!). I view headphones that capture the sense of the orchestra as a massive entity virtually surrounding you to be more accurate than those that don't - and a headphone that puts you in the conductor's spot is even better, because that gives you the best "view" of the orchestra, aurally speaking. The entire orchestra up-close is something most people don't get to hear, which is too bad, because it's awesome-sounding.
smile.gif

 
Concert halls are so bad for listening to classical that I'd actually recommend that folks listen to a recording on headphones, or speakers as the case might be. Listening at home conveys more accuracy than buying expensive tickets to see any orchestra, regardless of how talented it is. Not that I'm discounting seeing the talent of live musicians - just that the acoustics/imaging and frequency balance will tend to be more accurate through a recording and listening at home.

I agree with a lot of that, but I also love going to classical concerts and there are some brilliant halls that can provide exceptional sound aswell. I'm a little spoiled in this area as I have this on my doorstep.

 
And it looks like this in the biggest hall.

 
I've seen from Mozart to Wagner staged here and the sound has always been very good.
 
I think for peeps who love going to concerts and the thrill i gives, no hifi experience can recreate this. Headphones for e.g will give you a brilliant window onto the music to study more closely, but this is unrealistic in the sense that all the great symphonies/operas were written for a concert hall in mind. With no microphones, only room acoustic. If Beethoven could have used studio's and placed mic's would he have wrote in the same manner that he did, with massive layers of strings and timpani? Recording studios can do what they like to change/manipulate the sound to emphasize certain aspects or dull others but in the concert hall you get the orchestra in front of you (if you have good seat) warts n'all and the cellos come from where the cello's are and the soprano sounds where she is on stage. And when the crescendo builds with the orchestra in full swing, you feel the vibrations through your whole body and feel the music like you are part of it. It's real and tangible.
Oh well, back to my LCD2's .... :)
 
Jan 19, 2013 at 3:29 PM Post #5,368 of 9,206

JamesHuntington

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 A mixed recording with expensive equipment is going to be better in your headphones than live show because they process and fix the flaws and mix the sounds on the concert albums you buy, etc. It seem like an amp with no coloration will give the best results. I know W4S uses class A output for a uDacHD  headphone out, but their bigger amps I thought were class D. Would a class D amp be good for headphones? I've heard it's close to Class A but more efficient. 
 
Jan 19, 2013 at 4:16 PM Post #5,369 of 9,206

LugBug1

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Quote:
 A mixed recording with expensive equipment is going to be better in your headphones than live show because they process and fix the flaws and mix the sounds on the concert albums you buy, etc. It seem like an amp with no coloration will give the best results. I know W4S uses class A output for a uDacHD  headphone out, but their bigger amps I thought were class D. Would a class D amp be good for headphones? I've heard it's close to Class A but more efficient. 

Yes. Infact, I don't know why we still have concerts anymore... Not when we can listen to recordings of them (with all the flaws fixed!) through our headphones.
 
 
(tehehe)
 
Jan 19, 2013 at 4:18 PM Post #5,370 of 9,206

MatsudaMan

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 A mixed recording with expensive equipment is going to be better in your headphones than live show because they process and fix the flaws and mix the sounds on the concert albums you buy, etc. It seem like an amp with no coloration will give the best results. I know W4S uses class A output for a uDacHD  headphone out, but their bigger amps I thought were class D. Would a class D amp be good for headphones? I've heard it's close to Class A but more efficient. 

??????????????????????????????????????????????.........REEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeally?  Did you say that listening to your headphones is better than a live show?  That's like saying that looking at a Van Gogh through a calibrated monitor is better than seeing it in person with your own eyes.  That's like saying virtual sex is better than the feeling of.... uh....You need to get out, bro. 
 

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