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Emotiva basX A-100
took that original "taps planar power output hack" to the front panel.. just remove the jumper inside to have same power output on the 6.3" as the back taps. Has a vintage tonality to boot. Though it is more aimed at older inefficient (but stellar) planars primarily....
HE-6/LCD2.1/HE-4/HE-500. I'd have an extremely neutral DAC behind it though, or things might get too 'wooly'/'bloomy' at the end of the chain.
Edit :- For richer/ euphonic 2c, I'd personally wait for Monoprice Monolith THX 887 with its balanced out.
I am returning the demo pair to store soon but I still had to remove them from the box for a quick (two hours) listen. I think these work wonderfully with orchestra music, soul and rock, but with heavier metal and electronic music my Sennheiser HD-650 seem to be a bit better.
Xduoo TA-20 worked very well with 2C's using the balanced output. Nice punchy and full bass, very smooth and airy presentation. SE not so much. I'll be buying either the TA-20 or Monoprice's new THX AAA 887 as a christmas present for myself, difficult to decide which one. Slowly leaning towards the 887 as I already have a tube hybrid that sounds similar to the TA-20, a Vincent KHV-111. I do almost all of my listening using the 2C plus Vincent combination. It's so damn smooth.
I don't know if I actually need any other headphones than the dekoni 2C. I keep finding I don't want to use any other phones I own, and I'm not sure if I should get a pair of Anandas or Edition XX's to complement the 2C. I feel I wouldn't use them enough to justify paying the price. Literally the only time I don't use the 2C's is when I'm outside using ANC headphones.
I own both the 2c’s and the Ananda’s and I think they compliment each other nicely. My dealer actually told me not to buy them since they were too similar, but depending on the quality of recording and genre I find one can can excel over the other. The great thing is I find these two headphones tend to cover almost all of the kinds of music I listen to, mostly jpop, rock, classical and pop,
Ananda is more spacious, brighter, thinner with less bass impact (more diffuse). The 2C is perfect for modern genres and EDM with the best (most impactful) available bass under £1000. Ananda might be better for orchestral music, live recording or jazz. They do compliment each other, depending on your preferred music genres. The 2C was enough for me and I sold my HEXV2 even though I really liked the spacious sound it offered. At the end of the day I preferred the bass punch and more focused approach of the 2C with my music (60% progressive ambient, 40% everything else). It depends on your music preference I guess.
Since I broke my wallet and swapped my 2C for the Empyrean I am sort of enjoying the best of both worlds: focused bass to die for with a detailed and naturally spacious presentation.
I preferred the 2C to the Elear, Clear, all the ZMF line-up, HD800s, LCD2F, LCD3 which makes the 2C an exceptional bargain. Only the Empyrean was able to dethrone it for 4 times the price. Of course, the LCD4 and 4z sound better than the 2C, but they are heavy (+100g) and significantly more expensive than the Empyrean.
If you fell in love with your 2C like I did but you are looking for upgrade, go for the Empyrean whenever you are able to scrape the cash together. Nothing else will really satisfy your upgraditis.
LCD4 and 4z have 10/10 bass but only 7/10 upper mids and treble. Empyrean has 9/10 bass compared to LCD4 but 10/10 upper mids and treble. For me as a bass freak and a headphone enthusiast this made the choice easy.
Anyway, if you are not ready to report financial break down and want to stick with your 2C and you love your bass I can assure you, you have bet on the right horse. When you are ready to spend four times more you will experience a substantially better sound.
Of course you can improve your 2C with better source/amps to some extent, here I am talking about a 2C and Empyrean both driven to their limits. I know, prices are meaningless but I can tell you from experience that nothing will drive the 2C to its limits under £1000. Dac and amp are very important. This is just my opinion and my experience of course.
Only with Chord Qutest and CMA600i I started to understand what the 2C can offer.
Hi Betula, I'm glad to hear that even in such esteemed company the LCD2C can hold it's own, as it means that I can keep incrementally upgrading my dacs and amps as budget allows and the LCD's will just keep getting better! That's empyrean is sexy as hell, and it's got the sound to back it up too!
Audeze got its name from the original LCD2. To my ears the LCD3 was a faint try, LCD4/4z sound a leap ahead of LCD2/2C but they are very heavy and very expensive.
LCD4 is 730g. LCD4z is 610g which is advertised as 'light weight'. The 2C is the lightest LCD with its 540g. And now the LCD24 joins the club with a similar 540g.
Weight of course is not everything when it comes to comfort as I really love the huge memory foam pads of the LCD2C. Makes me want to wear them more than the 90g lighter Focal Clear. Still, after 2-3 hrs of listening you will definitely feel the weight. The Empyrean with its 430g will feel like a relief after any Audeze headphone.
Anyway, if you really like your bass and you are on a budget I would recommend to upgrade your DAC and amp instead of buying £1000-1800 headphones to bring the most out of your beloved 2C. Once you can't really go any further with your amps, buy a significantly better headphone like the Empyrean or 4z or Abyss.
Of course. this upgrade route is only for quality bass freaks like me. Depending on your preference you might prefer another upgrade route.
I've had the Ananda before and I did like it, but 2C with dekoni velours was way better for my personal taste. My plan was to buy the Ananda again to complement the 2C, but the longer I've owned the 2C the more I feel I wouldn't use the Ananda enough to justify paying the price.
At this point I feel I should benefit more if I invest in a quality, balanced amp for the 2C instead of another pair of headphones. My budget cannot do both. 2C really seems to like power. The difference between a weak and a powerful amp was much greater with the 2C than with other planars I've tried. I'm well aware placebo could be a factor here as well, but I figure as long as I'm happy with what I have, it's all peachy.
It is such a fake and mistaken route to think balanced is better than single ended. Balanced output in general is not better than single ended. In the price range of £500-1500 amps with balanced circuitry usually sound better than SE. Above £1500 however it doesn't matter if it is balanced or SE. They both can be good or bad.
Go after the sound you like! SE has more than enough power than necessary in most cases. BA is usually just marketing these days.
BA output between £500-1500 is usually better than any SE output at the same price.
IMO balanced is a gimmick under £1000.
Here is something to think about that few people talk about: 4-pin XLR is objectively better as a connector than 6.3mm or 4.4mm connectors. Forget balanced. The physical structure of XLR makes it superior. It will not break or snap off in port like the others because it is protected by a solid collar. It can lock into place easily and incredibly securely, which the others don't do nearly as well. The - pins make contact at the same time as the + pins, unlike the others, which means when you plug into a hot port you are not stressing your headphones or risking damage to your amp (and don't need extra protective internal parts to accomplish that). They also won't give off that half-plugged in buzzing. The XLR has lower contact resistance which means less noise. XLR ports generally are able to handle many more times plugging in and unplugging. The larger size and pin layout make it easier to work with, so you are less likely to encounter soldering problems or connectivity issues in the build of your cables. They don't rotate in port, so they don't scrape around, so they don't develop uneven contact points or wear away the protective gold layer.
And from my experience with the HE-6, HE-6SE (yep,I get it, not a fair comparison to the 2C), AND my 2C, running via XLR from speaker taps was clearly better than SE. Made me decide to keep the 2C instead of moving it.
Thanks for the opinion! Personally, I find that amps that cost more than $500, except perhaps tube amps, aren't worth it at all. Perhaps if I was wealthy it would be different, but alas no. Could you explain why exactly balanced is a gimmick for under £1000? Your post sort of isn't making sense to me, hope you can help with that - what I mean is that I'm not sure if I got the point because it seems a bit contradicting. I'm not trying to be an ass here, I swear. I just want to be sure the point got across to me properly.
I've found that I prefer running the 2C balanced. Other headphones, I don't really care either way. I'm sure there would be other ones if I had the chance to test more. I do like the 4-pin XLR connector much more than 1/4'' though. Whether going balanced objectively improves the sound or not doesn't really matter to me. As I said earlier, as long as I'm satisfied with what I have, everything is peachy. Besides, I can't think of anything better than the Monoprice 887 & drop 789, or TA-20 amps at their respective price points. I can't see any reason to pay more for an amp, and also my budget is limited at around $400 (plus around $100 in import taxes for items from outside of EU).
Perhaps you think amps over $500 are not worth it because you tried them from the same cheap DAC? Just guessing here. DACs should be on the same level as the amp...
Cheap balanced amps are often not even truly balanced. Manufacturers just put an XLR output on the amp and call it balanced. Most headphones don't even need the extra power of balanced circuitry. A lot of people think balanced equals better sound, but that is not always the case, it is more complicated than that.
DACs have always been on par with amps, so no. Mostly I've used a Parasound Zdac, which is my favourite for under 1k. That and RME ADI-2. You didn't actually answer my question. Why is bal a gimmick in amps under 1k? Do you mean to say the 789 is perhaps a cheap, not really balanced amp?