Audeze LCD-3 and $1K amp or Audeze LCD-2 and $2K, where is the sweet spot?
Jul 19, 2012 at 7:24 AM Post #16 of 210
I really liked the sound but they didn’t have  the bass impact that I knew I could get from dynamics. And I balked at the proposition of having to spend ~5K on an amp to get the best from them (and still not being sure if the bass kick would be there). 
So I decided to step down a rung or two on the ladder and go back to dynamics. But it’s worked out OK with the LCD3.

Ah, understandable. From what I've heard of the 007 from various Stax amps, they are polite/soft sounding although very refined and detailed. Not for everyone and definitely not suitable for harder music. The LCDx would be my recommendation if one primarily listens to rock or metal. 
Back to the topic at hand, I have yet to hear a tube amplifier brings the LCDx to their full potential, even including TOTL Eddie Current, Apex or WooAudio offerings. Solid state is the way to go with these as this really opens up their sound. At under $1k budget, if you can commission someone to build you a simple 2-channel β22 that would be the way to go. 
Jul 19, 2012 at 8:13 AM Post #17 of 210
I'd up the budget to 4k and get the best of both within that. Sorry about your wallet. 
Some thoughts that might help: I usually use the LCD-3s with a very resolving solid-state amp that was designed to be totally un-coloured as possible. I like this, as it brings out the detail, though, being that the Audeze headphones have a flat bass response, rather than the usual mid-bass hump, there are times when I wish there was a little more kick in the lower end. I have a tube amp here too, which can give the kick, but I lose a bit of detail as a consequence. It's not because it's a tube amp as such, though. Though I haven't heard them, it makes sense to me why someone would like the LCD-3s with an Eddie Current amp, given that they reputedly (from people's impressions I trust) present a wide soundstage (or headstage) and are very resolving.
Jul 19, 2012 at 11:53 AM Post #18 of 210
You really need to listen to your various options and form your own personal preference. A post like yours will generate a host of different conflicting opinions and more confusion than resolution. There's no right or wrong answer here.
I build amps for fun, but I think the order of importance in any audio system is transducer, source, amp, peripherals (cables,etc.).
I'd  buy a used LCD-3.  I'd never use a solid-state amp with any LCD.  These are the most tube oriented headphones  I've ever owned.
My $.002.
Jul 19, 2012 at 1:37 PM Post #19 of 210
Have everyone been talking about the LCD-2 Rev 1 or Rev 2 because there is a slight but significant difference (comfort, brighter etc) .

Valid point. Often people say things like "... I once listened to the LCD-2 ... and they were...". Their postings omit the rev. and that is a vital piece of information missing.

My experience was with the lcd-2 rev 2.
Jul 19, 2012 at 6:02 PM Post #21 of 210
LCD-3 and amp used.
As for tubes v ss.  The WA22 and B22 are pretty much stand ins for each other.  Other tube and ss amps didn't reach their level and the Burson Soloist and Apex Peak are both different than and as good as the B22 and WA22.  Will say this, push pull tube amps do well.  SET perform well below their price tag on orthos.
What the LCD definitely do not need is the stereotypical tube syrup.  They are quite full and liquid by nature.
Jul 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM Post #22 of 210
If that were my budget, I'd get the LCD3 and the Burson Soloist; or the LCD2 and the Apex Peak/Volcano.
But I'd be more tempted to save 1K and go with LCD2/Soloist. The LCD3 (IMO) is more of a $1000 side-grade; but if you like the flavour, go for it.
Jul 19, 2012 at 9:29 PM Post #23 of 210
I'd say the LCD-3 is both a flavour and technicalities improvement.  But its not 2x the headphone, closer to ~10%.  Lots of amp options in the $1K range that could be end game choices.  The Soloist is really good for the price but gives up weight and sub-bass to its more expensive competition while keeping up and surpassing others on inner detail and focus.
Jul 21, 2012 at 1:14 AM Post #25 of 210
I'll start this post the way I have several lately: ultimately you need to trust your own ears, not our opinions.  Demo all the equipment you are considering in your home before you plunk down $3K for any system.
That said, I just spent weeks comparing the LCD-2s (rev 2s) and -3s, among other high-end cans, and after hours of driving myself crazy trying to decide whether the -3s were worth 2x the price, I determined that they were.  There is a definite difference in the realism, depth of sound and ability to reproduce timbre between the two.  And trust me, I didn't want to spend the extra bucks.  What it came down to was that I thought I would forever be asking myself "how much better would this sound on the LCD-3s?"  So I took the plunge and while I've only had them a week or so, I'm not regretting my choice.  The LCD-3s sound as good as any sound producing device I've ever heard in 40 years of critical audiophile listening.
And yes both Audezes are hot and heavy and leak sound, but certainly don't leak as much sound as speakers at critical listening levels.  Your kids would have to be extremely light sleepers to be disturbed by the levels coming out the backs of the Audeze's in a separate room, unless you are listening at ear-damaging levels, in which case you should get a set of Bose, since you're probably deaf by now anyway.
I'm driving my LCD-3s with a 20+ -year-old Adcom GFP-555 preamp, and it sounded as good to me as the Burson HA-160 I was also demoing.  I could clearly hear the difference between headphones on either amp, but couldn't tell the difference between the amps (or cables, for that matter) with any of the headphones.  Would a multi-$K amp sound better?  The science and a/b testing say probably not if all had reasonably flat frequency responses across the audible spectrum, but only your brain can really be the judge of that:  If placebos make you feel better, you should take them.
I will add that I could clearly tell the difference between sources, however.  I played the exact same music through the analog outputs of my ancient Carver tube CD changer vs. the changer's digital coax out to my Emotiva DAC vs. FLAC rips from my computer via optical to the DAC:  the analog output of the CD changer definitely lacks high freq output. You are probably fine If you have decent modern equipment feeding digits to a decent DAC, but I wouldn't want to run any high-end headphone using really low-end inputs.
Hope all of that helps... but I still strongly recommend trying before buying.
Jul 21, 2012 at 6:58 AM Post #26 of 210
And yes both Audezes are hot and heavy and leak sound, but certainly don't leak as much sound as speakers at critical listening levels.  Your kids would have to be extremely light sleepers to be disturbed by the levels coming out the backs of the Audeze's in a separate room, unless you are listening at ear-damaging levels, in which case you should get a set of Bose, since you're probably deaf by now anyway.


i'm concerned about the leaking problem here, you don't mean they leak noise even outside the room, right
i like your comparing thread, really nice write up there BTW
Jul 21, 2012 at 5:02 PM Post #27 of 210
By leaking I mean that at normal listening volumes (for me anyway) people not wearing the headphones can hear what's playing if they are in the same mid-sized room.  It sounds kind of like soft background music, from a lo-fi radio at low volume.  It is less than normal talking volume, but maybe a bit more than a whisper.  Does that make sense?  Bottom line is that planars and other open phones should not be used where you need no noise outside of the ear cups.  But I would be VERY surprised if a child sleeping above or next to the room where the headphones are being used would be disturbed by the noise.
To all who have enjoyed my reviews, thanks for the compliments.  I just figured I'd add my .02 to the boards here, as I do have some different audio experiences, and because I was really thrilled at being able to try multiple pieces of high-end hardware before plunking down big bucks.  While I value the opinions of the folks on this forum (that's why I'm here!), I really was a bit uneasy spending thousands of dollars on equipment without trying it first.  I wanted to share how the Cable Co library solved that problem, in the hope that others would see value in it, and the industry would see that it is a very good way to market/sell audio equipment these days when most people do not have a high-end audio shop close by.  While many internet-direct manufacturers have trial periods these days, most obviously only carry their own products and a large percentage of them charge a "restocking" fee on returns.  The Cable Co has lots of different stuff in the library, and only makes you cover shipping (luckily headphones are light so don't cost that much to ship).  You put down a 5% deposit that goes toward your eventual purchase; however, as long as you know you are going to purchase something, you end up getting to try lots of hardware for at least a couple of weeks, in your own listening environment, for less added cost than it would take for the gas that would be used to drive around to various audiophile equipment retailers who are many miles apart these days. 
Just think, if all resellers had that kind of program, we would all be able to hear just about everything on the market, and we could have even LOUDER arguments about which stuff was better...

Jul 21, 2012 at 10:02 PM Post #28 of 210
Extend maybe a few hundred $ and go with a used SR-007 Mk1 + Woo GES. The spot doesn't get much sweeter than that, it's pure Summit-Fi.
Jul 21, 2012 at 10:45 PM Post #29 of 210
To each their own and music taste has a lot to do with it but...
LCD-2 w/ B22 is better than O2 MkI w/ KGSS and cheaper :wink:  I dropped my O2MkI/KGSS for a Rev1 and 2 channel B22.  Hate to see how fast I would have decided if it was the LCD-3 and Peak instead :D
Jul 21, 2012 at 11:05 PM Post #30 of 210
I hate to piggyback but I have to agree with Solude. I owned that exact combo of an O2 mk1 and The Woo GES. It was really good with a lot of things (clarity, tonality, imaging) but lacked dynamic impact. (either not enough power from the GES or just a limitation of the O2).
For that kind of serious money (just under 3k used), I would rather have the LCD3 and a really good amp. or, if looking for a brighter, more spatious sound, the HD800.

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