Amp recommendations for Audeze LCD-2
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hernandoco

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  This may be a silly question (I'm fairly new to the technical aspects of headphones and headphone amps), but I'm hoping someone can help since I've searched around quite a bit and couldn't find something that touched on this precisely.
 
Is the Woo WA7 w/ WA7tp powerful enough to drive the Audeze LCD-2 headphone to full capability/performance? I understand that the optimal power range for the LCD-2 as specified by Audeze is 1-4W (and they're a 70 ohms impedance headphone). The WA7 is specified to have a max output of 1W @ 32 ohms. So, I'm curious if the WA7 is enough to feed the power hungry LCD-2, especially since the WA7 is beautiful and I'd love to have it.
 
I'm using a chord mojo on my LCD-2 and it's fine.  The mojo has way less power than the WA7.
 
Edit:  I also use my LCD-2 on a Burson Conductor which has way more power and within the "recommended" power range.  I can't tell the difference.  I'm happy either way.
 
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SP Wild

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More power and better power supplies always seem to manifest itself in bigger bass. Going loud means more power and perhaps a warmer amp. But using bright gear, one does not need to crank up the LCD2s so much and exponentially less power is required. Portable gear seems to have an ability to emphasise details because bass is less bold overall. This seems to help significantly when listening at a lower level.
 
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Mosauwer

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Just a little bit off topic here. I am seeking help for my EL8
Anyone here using EL8 with Audeze Deckard? How is the performance? Should i get it? or should i go for schiit Jotunheim? or any other suggestions would have been great :)

THanks
 
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tbxmar

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Thanks for the replies, guys. Two different perspectives it seems.
 
This is where I just wish I understood how amps work a little bit better, as that would probably help me answer the question. Filtering through what's placebo and what's not.
 
Say I have a (max output) 4W amp. When I'm turning the volume knob up, from my understanding that's increasing the mW being fed to the headphone. A headphone should always reproduce the same sound level with the same amount of mW being fed, right (all else being equal, of course)?
 
And if I have a 4W max output amp, but I'm only using, say, 800mW, it's not like that other 3200mW is still being fed to the headphone because that would increase the volume. Only 800mW at that time is being used, correct?
 
If that 800mW is bringing my headphone to an appropriate listening level, then how would the headphone benefit from having an extra 3200mW that's not being used and not being fed to it?
 
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sludgeogre

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  If that 800mW is bringing my headphone to an appropriate listening level, then how would the headphone benefit from having an extra 3200mW that's not being used and not being fed to it?
It's called headroom, and you want it for big dynamic peaks. When you have some big dynamics in the signal, that extra power reserve can sometimes be used. Also, generally things sound better when you use less power on an amp. I don't know why, I'm sure other people can chime in, but IMO things sound best when you have a lot of extra power and you don't end up using it. My Sierra Tower speakers and Magnepan Tympani 1D speakers are like this as well. They just continue sounding better the more power you have available for them.
 
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hernandoco

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  Thanks for the replies, guys. Two different perspectives it seems.
 
This is where I just wish I understood how amps work a little bit better, as that would probably help me answer the question. Filtering through what's placebo and what's not.
 
Say I have a (max output) 4W amp. When I'm turning the volume knob up, from my understanding that's increasing the mW being fed to the headphone. A headphone should always reproduce the same sound level with the same amount of mW being fed, right (all else being equal, of course)?
 
And if I have a 4W max output amp, but I'm only using, say, 800mW, it's not like that other 3200mW is still being fed to the headphone because that would increase the volume. Only 800mW at that time is being used, correct?
 
If that 800mW is bringing my headphone to an appropriate listening level, then how would the headphone benefit from having an extra 3200mW that's not being used and not being fed to it?
I had the same dilemma when I had IEMs and I wanted an amp.  Decided to use a 1.2W @32 ohm Schiit Magni, the original one without the gain adjustment, bad choice on my part.  I can barely turn the knob past 9 o'clock.  Any lower than than I had channel imbalance.  Even when using the LCD-2 on a magni, I can't even pass 12 o'clock before it becomes too loud to enjoy.  Basically don't buy because of how powerful it is.  I'd buy that Woo Audio if I had the money but only because I think it would look awesome at the office lol.
 
 
  It's called headroom, and you want it for big dynamic peaks. When you have some big dynamics in the signal, that extra power reserve can sometimes be used. Also, generally things sound better when you use less power on an amp. I don't know why, I'm sure other people can chime in, but IMO things sound best when you have a lot of extra power and you don't end up using it. My Sierra Tower speakers and Magnepan Tympani 1D speakers are like this as well. They just continue sounding better the more power you have available for them.
 
I've done a lot of reading on this and since I'm no sound engineer I'm not really too understanding of how this works.  However I hear the difference more noticeably only on speakers.  On headphones, no matter how hard I try or convince myself that my headphones sound different on different powers of amps, I really can't hear the difference.
 
Can anyone chime in on this? I'm kinda curious how headroom works on headphones.  If you're listening to a song with high dynamics, how much more power does it actually demand versus a song that's less dynamic.  Headphone drivers are so tiny versus full sized speakers, that the power demand swing shouldn't be that much right?
 
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SP Wild

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If you want to experience the power of a live concert in the comfort of your own home without pissing of neighbours...I don't think there is a better headphone, combined with a watt of power. They can sink a full watt and drive them into your head, and it will be fun.

The other 90 percent of sane listening needs only a fraction of that watt.

I think with these headphones, driving the LCD2 to full potential means one watt, not because it must, but because it can. Without distortion. It's an experience upon itself.

But like every thing enjoyable, this isn't healthy for you.

It's an option, not a necessity.
 
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Another thing to consider is that sometimes amps will switch from like pure Class A output to Class AB to get more power on tap near the end of the volume knob. I'm generally not a believer in "more power is always better", but you really need to take it case by case and check out each amp. I'd take a pure Class A 1W amp (or less, really, the Fazor is pretty efficient) for Audezes any day over a more powerful but lesser topology. My current amp is a pure Class A NFB-28 which is gorgeous, and the extra power is nice for quiet sources and to be able to EQ the bass up when I want :p. Also, there's enough power to use my LCD-2's as speakers with no risk of driver damaging :).
 
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I just got the Audeze Deckard amp a few days ago, and the LCD-2 sounds fantastic. Lots of detail. Plenty of power. I am also considering the Burson Soloist, based on several reviews that rave about its abilities with the LCD-2, but I'm so pleased with the Deckard I will hold off for now.

Setup was nice and easy with my iPhone 7 too. No problem using the iPhone 7 > camera USB converter > USB a to b.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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I haven't heard the Deckard but I can tell you, I've been in bliss since I got my Soloist. Every time I fire it up I get the biggest smile on my face. 
 
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Ashah

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I just got the Audeze Deckard amp a few days ago, and the LCD-2 sounds fantastic. Lots of detail. Plenty of power. I am also considering the Burson Soloist, based on several reviews that rave about its abilities with the LCD-2, but I'm so pleased with the Deckard I will hold off for now.

Setup was nice and easy with my iPhone 7 too. No problem using the iPhone 7 > camera USB converter > USB a to b.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I have a Deckard that I purchased during the Audeze black Friday sale , just love this amp with LCD 2F 
 
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Anyone else here use/have used the Oppo HA-1 with the LCD-2f? I've built cables for my LCD that will allow me to go balanced, and now I'm curious. I could sell my Deckard for my purchase price, but is it worth the upgrade?
 
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  I've done a lot of reading on this and since I'm no sound engineer I'm not really too understanding of how this works.  However I hear the difference more noticeably only on speakers.  On headphones, no matter how hard I try or convince myself that my headphones sound different on different powers of amps, I really can't hear the difference.
 
Can anyone chime in on this? I'm kinda curious how headroom works on headphones.  If you're listening to a song with high dynamics, how much more power does it actually demand versus a song that's less dynamic.  Headphone drivers are so tiny versus full sized speakers, that the power demand swing shouldn't be that much right?
It varies quite a bit depending on the headphone design. With speakers, you're dealing with room gain and speaker power, so if you have really power hungry speakers with a wild impedance curve, a very powerful amp does wonders. It's the same with headphones, and planar headphones tend to need more power than many dynamic headphones. The size of the driver isn't what matters, it's the electrical design behind it. For planar headphones, the magnet structure and field strength has quite a bit to do with how much power you'll end up needing. Some headphones (like the HE6) can draw massive amounts of power, while others (sensitive IEM's, low imepdance/high sensitivity headphones) can run with barely any power and sound great. It all depends on the design. With the LCD-2, if you can get between 500 mW and 1 W into them, they are rather happy, but many report great results with more power, but as others have said this can sometimes have to do with how the amp is biased (when it goes from class A to class A/B). I have the Asgard 2, which doesn't put a ton of power into them, but it is fully class A and I think it sounds pretty good, but I would like to get the Jotunheim to get more headroom one day.
 
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Currently stuck between getting either a Soloist SL MK2 or Ember 2, pairing with a Modi Multibit for my LCD2.2's. Anyone here have any experience with these pairings? 
 
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  Currently stuck between getting either a Soloist SL MK2 or Ember 2, pairing with a Modi Multibit for my LCD2.2's. Anyone here have any experience with these pairings? 

i'm happy to answer questions about the Soloist SL MK2, let me know if you have any queries :) 
 
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