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I see. Found another used one too, Schiit Lyr 2. Not sure if tubes are good for the LCD2f tho.
I can highly recommend the Schiit Mjolnir. Mine is the first SS version and it pairs incredibly well with my LCD2F. Running balanced and couldn't be happier.
I use my LCD2 almost exclusively with tube amps.
No rattle at all.
With the Ember II, I ultimately I never settled on one tube. I own a lot of tubes so I would roll all the time but if I had to choose a few I enjoyed the most it would be the following: 1960's Sylvania 6SN7GTB Red label, Black Triangle plates, halo getter w/ adapter, 1959 Telefunken 12AT7 and 1964 Amperex Holland treble clef logo Bugle Boy 12ax7.
LCD2 fazor version was mention earlier, i'd like to point they do not need as much power as classical (or non-fazor versions). i've been using fazors directly (without additional amping) wih fiio x5iii, lg v20/v30, pioneer xdp-300r and the sound was excelent, didn't feel something was missing. Of course most of the time i pair it with ifi micro idsd. The idea is they are made to be easily driven and some say they sound better than classical LCD2s, most likely they shouldn't have been part of LCD2 series, but some separate "versioning".
I have the same headphone, sure they work with low power but they sound better with more power. I have tested mine with all sorts of amps over the years including my iphone, some portable amps, and the A&K SR15 and non of them brought the LCD2 R2F to life like an amp with good power. The sweet spot for me is around 2 watts per channel. My LCD2 are 50 ohm. I understand that at some point the LCD2 F went to 70 ohms the same as the LCD2C but the older LCD2 R2F is 50 Ohms. You are correct that 50 ohms is easier to drive than 70 ohms but its not like they are 32 ohms which is easily driven by a smart phone. They do require more power for the best sound quality.
Specs stated on the latest LCD2 F:
Minimum power requirement >100mW
Recommended power level >250mW
So yeah I'm sure they work fine with say 250mW per channel but do they come alive at that power? Do you really get the most out of them? Not in my opinion. I would prefer at least 1 watt per channel myself.
My LF 339 is claimed to output around 800mW to 1watt per channel throughout the 25-600OHM range. Using the LCD2 R2F on that amp works great but not until I put the Tung Sol 5998 greens in did it output the power to make the LCD's really shine.
I guess what I'm saying is...yes 100 to 250mW will work but 1w plus sounds better...with the older LCD2's to me.
of course each to their own.
True, still, by comparing portables with what ifi micro idsd outputs, and it is very powerful and clean sounding device, there is not much difference, if any, in term of sound quality.
With higher quality dac and amps, the result will be better. Just saying that, in this case, medium quality devices will give close outputs.
lol I had deleted my post because I really do not feel like debating this but then you responded and I felt obligated to place my post back in so your post would make sense...haha
Yeah I agree with you on that.
Choices now are
M9XX(owned) + Schiit Lyr 2
Audio GD NFB11.28
iFi iMicro iDSD
i don't know about first 2 but i think ifi is the cheapest and has the best price/quality ratio. especially if you could find a good used one since i think it is discontinued and replaced by bl version which is more powerful. In Romania, used ones are sold with ~3-400usd.
it depends on how much money you're willing to spend and of course you're expectations.
Yes I have the LCD2rev2 and the LCD2C.
The rev2 is clearly more power hungry. Particularly if you want a solid bottom (which the rev2 gives you) you'll need a powerful amp.
The LCD2C or LCD2 fazor are less demanding. However you still need a decent power tu use them to their full potential..
Which one would you go with?
M9XX(owned) + Schiit Lyr 2
The Lyr is a little power-house.
LCD2rev2 without hesitation.
For me the LCD2C is a Mercedes while the rev2 is a Rolls Royce. I'm talking about the sound not the confort. LCD2C is faster but rev2 is more lush.
So I've decided on a pair of LCD-2C's, but that puts my budget for an amp/dac under 200. I've been really interested in the Topping MX3's for their really great functionality and ability to output to speakers as well, but I've heard some reviewers that aren't Zeos saying the distortion levels are quite high, and the unit itself isn't reliable.
In my budget, I could also pick up an Aune X7S, but that wouldn't leave me any money for a DAC. And, I'm also not too sold on using balanced, nor do I feel like I really have a good grasp on how to use balanced.
My question would be if it's worth it to get the X7S simply for it's performance, and stick with it's regular headphone out, while pairing it with just the internal dac of my 2016 MBP 15 for now, and upgrading to a better dac in the future? Or would the Topping MX3 be enough for now, and later down the line I can add an additional amp, and use the Topping as a preamp (set at 0db). Or should I get a JDS Atom or MP Liquid Spark, and spend the remaining $100 on a DAC.