Audeze LCD-2 and Cowon J3
Jul 2, 2011 at 2:51 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

Shubar

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Hello,
 
I have been wanting to move from iems to full size cans for sometime and recently the Audeze LCD-2 has intrigued me with the rave reviews on Head-Fi. I am very new to the music equipment area (having only owned a couple of sony earbuds and a shure se535) and have previously just been running my music from a Cowon J3. Am I wasting my time getting a headphone like a LCD-2 only to be paired with a Cowon J3? I am aware of the LCD-2 needing an amp and do intend to invest in one once I have enough money (looking at a Woo 6SE) however I still prefer to run my music through a mp3 player (personally preference - shrugs ). Would having a mp3 player as a source be so detrimental to music quality of the LCD-2 where it becomes a stupid choice?
 
Cheers 
 
Jul 2, 2011 at 3:17 AM Post #2 of 8

Ikelmonster

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Quote:
Hello,
 
I have been wanting to move from iems to full size cans for sometime and recently the Audeze LCD-2 has intrigued me with the rave reviews on Head-Fi. I am very new to the music equipment area (having only owned a couple of sony earbuds and a shure se535) and have previously just been running my music from a Cowon J3. Am I wasting my time getting a headphone like a LCD-2 only to be paired with a Cowon J3? I am aware of the LCD-2 needing an amp and do intend to invest in one once I have enough money (looking at a Woo 6SE) however I still prefer to run my music through a mp3 player (personally preference - shrugs ). Would having a mp3 player as a source be so detrimental to music quality of the LCD-2 where it becomes a stupid choice?
 
Cheers 


Yes you need an amp, would be a waste of money without one. Also you said you know the LCD-2 needs an amp, why post? Answered your own question. Lots and lots of threads on this site can be read on these phones.
 
 
Jul 2, 2011 at 3:26 AM Post #3 of 8

DaveBSC

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Quote:
Hello,
 
Am I wasting my time getting a headphone like a LCD-2 only to be paired with a Cowon J3? I am aware of the LCD-2 needing an amp and do intend to invest in one once I have enough money (looking at a Woo 6SE) however I still prefer to run my music through a mp3 player (personally preference - shrugs ). Would having a mp3 player as a source be so detrimental to music quality of the LCD-2 where it becomes a stupid choice?


Yes, that would be pretty much a total waste of money. The J3's amp is simply not enough, it's not something that you could use with the LCD-2 while you save for a proper head amp. You'd need to buy that first, then the headphones. Even with an amp, the J3 is completely inadequate as a source in terms of quality for headphones at that level. I have experience with this with my Cowon S9. Very generally, headphones up to maybe $200 or so are fine. The more you spend though, the more resolution you're going to get, and you'll notice the J3's deficiencies like the muddy bass, grainy midrange, and harsh treble that were not as apparent on cheaper headphones. It's the same as trying to stick a $1,000 lens on a cellphone camera, and without a line-out or dock capability to bypass the crappy amp and volume control, you're stuck.
 
If you want to use a portable player as your source, there are a couple of much better ways to do so. The first is the Hifiman HM-801. You could plug the LCD-2s straight into that, or use its line-out into the Woo. The second is the QLS Audio QA350 Mod V2. It's WAY cheaper than the 801 and also has enough power to drive the LCD-2 directly. It also has a line-out, as well as a coaxial digital output which allows for an external DAC (the 801 is internal DAC only, but it's DAC section is comparable to stand alone DACs up to $400 or so). Finally, you can use an iPod into the iTransport, or the Cypher Labs transport, the iStreamer, etc.
 
 
Jul 2, 2011 at 6:40 AM Post #4 of 8

zhunter

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The LCD2 wont shine without a good amp which could drive it properly, they are orthosdynamic driver based, pretty 'power-hungry'. And dont underestimate an amp, even low high sensitive iems, my W4 was brought to a new level when I plugged it to my Lyr, so investing a new amp is your first priority, just my 2cents.
Quote:
Hello,
 
I have been wanting to move from iems to full size cans for sometime and recently the Audeze LCD-2 has intrigued me with the rave reviews on Head-Fi. I am very new to the music equipment area (having only owned a couple of sony earbuds and a shure se535) and have previously just been running my music from a Cowon J3. Am I wasting my time getting a headphone like a LCD-2 only to be paired with a Cowon J3? I am aware of the LCD-2 needing an amp and do intend to invest in one once I have enough money (looking at a Woo 6SE) however I still prefer to run my music through a mp3 player (personally preference - shrugs ). Would having a mp3 player as a source be so detrimental to music quality of the LCD-2 where it becomes a stupid choice?
 
Cheers 



 
 
Jul 2, 2011 at 10:07 AM Post #5 of 8

ZARIM

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The LCD-2 can drive through J3 but it won't show the greatest details in music due to limited power, volume and resolutions. I will recommend to buy DAPs has lineout like S:Flo2, Sony X1060, iMod iPod and AMPs like iBasso PB2 for LCD-2  or less pricier headphones like RS1i, Pro 2900, AD1000, HD600, FA-002 and ES10.
 
Jul 2, 2011 at 10:28 AM Post #7 of 8

yeemanz

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As the above users have posted, I believe you will need a DAP with a line out to a DAC (the Schiit Bifrost is quite decent for it's price) then to an amp for best results.
 
Jul 2, 2011 at 10:34 AM Post #8 of 8

Shubar

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Thanks for all the comments, just trying to get my head around the all the jargon.
 
After doing a bit more browsing - i have now decided on a Schiit Bifrost/Lyr combo which is closer to my price range in terms of getting both a DAC and an Amp. My current understanding is because I cannot get a Line Out Direct for my Cowon J3 (effectively bypassing the J3), the quality would not justify such an expensive headphones like the LCD2.
 
Would an analog output from the cowon j3 into the Bifrost>Lyr>LCD2 really be that bad?
 
Subsequently, I have a D2X in my computer, would running a D2X> Bifrost>Lyr>LCD2 be a better option?
 
Many thanks 
 

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