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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. Amish
    I have owned the Sunrise II and sold it. I bought it used from another guy and though I think it sounds awesome I prefer more power and If I recall it pushes around 850mW at 50 ohms. Sure it works and the LCD2 sounds good on it but I have found that more power brings these cans to life. The Ember will push a solid 2 watts @ 50 ohms and up to 2.4 watts. This is much more pleasing to me. Plus tube rolling is super easy in the Ember with its auto bias. You can roll a butt load wide range of tubes.

    I bought The Ember I, & Ember II from Garage1217 directly. The Sunrise II I picked up used off ebay and I was provided the Polaris by Garage1217 because I had a table at CAMJAM a number of years ago and I hosted the Garage1217 partial line up. Afterwards he let me keep the Polaris for helping spread the word. I'll never sell my Polaris for that very reason.

    If you are on the fence about rolling tubes or which amp to get you might consider the Polaris. It is a SS amp but it shares a striking sound resemblance to the hybrid Ember II. It also has the power to push just about any set of cans out there. If you want a tube amp with power and you want to experience the joy of rolling tubes then the Ember is the way to go. I have a large tube collection and it is so much fun rolling tubes in that amp.

    Frans knows his stuff and Jeremy is one heck of a dude. Awesome customer service.

    I wouldn't mind owning another Ember. If they ever release the Ember III I would have to buy it. This time I would keep it. I regret selling both my Embers but damn...how many amps do I need? lol

    My review of the original Ember amp: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/project-ember-review.746221/

    I'd like to add that the amp that replaced the Ember I was Bryston's BHA-1 and I was never satisfied with it so I sold it and bought an Ember II, now let me clarify...the Bryston is one awesome amp. But I soon discovered that tube amps are for me. I'm a tube nut and I don't think I'd buy another SS amp for headphones again. Nothing bad can be said of the Bryston though. Stellar amp for sure.

    The bottom line is if the Ember was placed in a proper enclosed case (like most amps) I would have it on my desk now. I loved the open design but keeping it clean became a issue for me. I hate dust and it would have to be taken apart and cleaned often.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  2. spookanide
    Main issue I have with those amps is they're so exposed to the elements. Do they rattle like crazy when you lay your phone anywhere near on the desk?
  3. Lohb
    Which tubes rolled in did you settle on for LCD ?
  4. FaezFarhan
    I only have the Grace M9XX from Massdrop currently. Would it be sufficient to drive the LCD2f? How much performance am I losing?
  5. Amish
    Sure it will work but I'd upgrade to something more powerful. That IMO will not drive the LCD2 properly. Less than a watt is not enough to really bring the LCD2 alive.
  6. FaezFarhan
    I’d probably will in the future but right now if I do get the LCD2 it’ll be with the M9XX. Maybe the Drop AAA 789 or something similarly priced in a few months time. Thank you for the reply btw!
  7. ucan
    What about the Schiit Magni 3 for the LCD-2's?
  8. tamleo
    A little thick sounding at times. Kinda "look at me" sound. I don't think it lacks power or something. But I always hope I find a new additional amp that sounds more natural and wider.
  9. Amish
    That would be fine. The Magni outputs 1.3 watts per channel at 50 Ohms. I prefer 2 watts per channel myself and run my LCD off 2 watts to 10 watts per channel depending on the amp I use at any given time. I think 2 watts is great for the LCD2. 1.3 is nothing to laugh at though and I'm sure it would be fine. I have not heard that amp though so I cannot comment on SQ.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  10. FaezFarhan
    What are the cheaper options that output 2 watts (maybe more) per channel?

    Btw would a ‘17 Fazor satisfy my bass needs, especially because mostly I listen to mainstream music & rap. I had the HD800S before but had to boost the bass with the Schiit Loki. Needed money so I sold them last year.
  11. Amish
    I can't think of anything new for $99 that would be better or worse than the Magni. Personally I'd skip it and just spend more money. I mean the LCD2 R2F was not a cheap headphone so why put it with a cheap amp? If I really couldn't spend money on a decent headphone amp then I'd just use any stereo receiver I had laying around the house.

    Garage1217 Project Polaris is what? $249? It powers the LCD2 wonderfully. I think it pushes around 2-2.5 watts per channel at 50OHm. Of course it is an open design so many people might not like it. $249 give or take can buy a nice used amp too.
  12. FaezFarhan
    I’m getting the LCD2 for a decent 2nd hand price, can’t really spend too much right now but I have the Grace M9XX with me at the moment. It’s probably better for me to save up and buy a decent amp in a few months or so.

    I’m from Malaysia so there’s not really much used option you can get from. Right now I’m in the UK for a week so looking for some steals if there’s any. What about the iFi iMicro?
  13. Amish
    Never listened to the iFi Micro but looking at the specs it would work better than your current amp. In turbo mode it will provide around 1 watt or maybe a bit more per channel. It is advertised as being a warm sound (burr brown dac) which I love but the LCD2 is a warm sounding headphone so might not be the best pairing, depends on the sound signature you want.
  14. FaezFarhan
    Definitely warmth but not to the point it becomes dark, & bass boost is always a bonus!

    What about the Audio GD NFB11.28?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  15. Amish
    Of everything you listed so far that is the one I'd buy. Yup.
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