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Amp recommendations for Audeze LCD-2

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by oqvist, Jun 4, 2010.
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  1. BassDigger
    [​IMG] Tell me more! Please! Tell me more! What about the bass? What does 12 watts do for the bass reproduction of the lcd2f? [​IMG]
    I'm not (yet) planning on getting a 12watt amp. But, I am 'saving' (read 'softening up the wife') for a Krell klone, which is supposed to have about 8 watts output.
    It's always interesting to read about the effects of 'excess' power; especially when there are those who quote sensitivity and power equations, and insist that a nanowatt (or something like that) is more than ample. [​IMG] 
  2. ToroFiestaSol
    Just avoid the hustle, NFB-1AMP is perfect for LCD-2, and uses higher quality parts than any of the amps you listed, fully balanced, zero feedback and class A.
    The difference between Master 9 and NFB-1AMP is that almost 3 watts of 8 in NFB-AMP at 40ohm are pure class A, and once passed that limit it switchs to class A/B to provide more power. Master 9 has 6 of 9w at pure class A, that's the reason of why it is like 3 times bigger with only 1 more W of power.
    With LCD-2, it can take 4w at 70ohm (NFB-1AMP has 5w of power at 70ohm), but that's the maximum they can take, way less power is used 99% of ocasions, so NFB-1AMP will run LCD-2 in pure class A almost all the time. NFB-1AMP is overkill and will drive 95% of headphones out there in pure class A.
    Thenewguy007 likes this.
  3. BassDigger
    Yeah, I am indeed sorely tempted by the A-gd products. They really are quite comprehensive in their connections, and features. And it's interesting to know that, most of the time, most of the power will be class A (although I still don't understand the technicalities, of this).
    Also, it's good that these A-gd amps have plenty of power: I'm a believer in 'excess' power: nomatter what the maths says, I still believe that amps need reserves, to really control a transducer.
    Although, one concern still remains: this regards the bass; I'm not sure that A-gd amps have much damping factor. I know this, because Kingwa told me so, when I enquired about one of his integrated amps. It's because of the unique circuit architecture. I've yet to hear one, but it seems like this line of products must be very tube-like, in their characteristics. And a characteristic of tube amps is low DF.
    This only really matters for those lowest of notes, and only then if the transducer is capable of reproducing them. But, be it headphones, or loudspeakers, that's what I'm trying to achieve, and that's what Audeze 'phones are supposed to be famous for.
  4. jodgey4
    Class A is the most "pure" amplification. But it's very inefficient and hard to keep low distortion on it, so it's usually found in audiophile gear only. It's supposed to sound more smooth and natural, though I've never really been able to test that myself. My A-GD NFB-28 certainly sounds that way at least, and it's Class A :D.

    Damping factor has to do with output impedance - most A-GD amps are 2 ohms or less, which IMO, is plenty. That'll keep any frequency response issues/bloating from happening. It otherwise shoudn't affect low frequencies differently from higher ones, especially on planars.
    ToroFiestaSol likes this.
  5. Lohb
    Anyone using the Nelson Pass DIY dual mono amp kit with LCD series cans ?
    This amp kit must be amazing for the price.
  6. BassDigger
    A quote from the 'Amp Camp'-
    "A Pure "Class A" Design 
    Most amplifier designs switch transistors on and off causing noise. Class A amplifiers are always operating in their sweet spot, which is why people say they sound "silky smooth"."
    I guess the transistors spend more time in the 'on' position; that's why class A amps run hotter, and use more juice.
    The ACA kit looks like an interesting headphone amp. I'm not convinced that it would be much use for the combination of rock and electronica, plus some transmission line speakers. But, if I lived in the US, I'd probably give it go, just for headphones.
    I'm still trying (and probably will never manage) to get my head around the differences between driving planar and dynamic diaphragms, as far as amping is concerned.
    Planar diaphragms have less mass (inertia): it takes less physical force to get them to move, and less to control that movement. So, maybe damping factor is less of an issue.
    But, that's just the physical aspect. The other part is the amp's ability to effect the driver. And planars, with their (struggling here!) circuit track(?) in the diaphragm, and magnet array, are less efficient, electrically speaking. This effects the amps ability to manage the movement of the driver.
    So, dynamic drivers = electrically efficient - more mass/inertia (to overcome)
          Planar drivers = electrically inefficient - less mass
    I've noticed that planar 'phones sound fast and tend to really hit the beginning of a (bass) note, but can then sometimes lose some oomph. e.g. Planars go 'THump', or 'KIck'; whereas dynamics go 'tHUMp' and 'kICk'. (if that makes any sense.) Planars really produce the initial impact of the note, very well.
    This would suggest that the amp can get the driver moving, quite easily enough. But, is then maybe losing some steam, as the less efficient planar circuit track 'voice coil' drains it of its reserves of power. (Does this make sense, to anyone?).
    If I'm right, then some extra juice, over the 2 watts that the H10 is already capable of, may do something to 'fill out' the lower registers, somewhat. But, it could also have the opposite effect, due to increased control and damping. [​IMG]
    I guess there's only one way to find out.......Audio-GD or ..........???
  7. ScareDe2
    I will not read the 579 pages of this thread but what about the deckard from audeze? Isn't suppose to be the best thing to match audeze headphones such as the LCD2?
  8. jodgey4
    It's got enough power (Class A too), and a clean DAC. It's a very safe choice :).
  9. BassDigger

    It's a shame that you're so adamant that you "will not" read through the thread. But, with so many pages, it's understandable. However, you could use the search function: it's a bit fiddly to use, but it serves a purpose. :cool:
  10. BassDigger

    TBH, if I didn't already have a good dac, I'd looking getting an A-gd dac/amp solution. But, I'd still probably go for separates, and use their acss connection.
    But now, I'm definitely looking at getting a stand-alone amp: if it's an ag-d, then the C2/NFB1. Or otherwise, maybe something more 'experimental'. :wink:
  11. sludgeogre
    I think the new Schiit Jotunheim is an insanely attractive choice, with how much crazy power it's capable of, especially balanced. I kinda want one.
  12. ScareDe2
    I am just listening to the LCD2, it's a good sound but I am surprised it doesn't have bigger soundstage than a closed cans like the dt770. I expected more on that end, the bass is OK but could be improved and the imaging is slightly weird. I hope to find a dac/amp that will correct these issues and everything will be perfect.
  13. sludgeogre

    Sometimes people can take a bit to get used to the bass, as they expect a ton of it, but then get addicted to the accuracy and texture of the bass. The headphones should image great, but yeah soundstage isn't actually that good, my closed AKG K550 has a bigger soundstage, but it doesn't sound anywhere near as good. You may be able to improve bass control and power as well as imaging with a more powerful headphone amp. Many people report great things when you increase power. I'm really tempted to get a new amp soon as well.
  14. BassDigger

    Sound-stage? I think that this is an often mentioned 'factor', with planar HPs: it ain't that good. I don't think that it's any wider, with my lcd2f, than with my closed headphones. Although, imaging is in another league.

    It also depends on which model (revision) you have: the fazors (apparently) have a very different sound signature, to the pre-fazors, such as improved imaging.

    This also includes the bass. Additionally, as Sludgeogre mentioned, the choice of amp can have a profound effect on the bass performance (I have further experiments to make). But generally, the lcd2f could never be labelled as a basshead's phone, unless (unlike me) you're happy to use EQ: planars are supposed to respond, very well, to this!
  15. Lohb
    Going balanced nudges the sound-stage wider and you can use this VST AU plug-in to dial sound-stage if your player support plug-ins...

    TB Isone

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