Audeze LCD-4
Dec 27, 2016 at 8:35 PM Post #5,236 of 10,507

x RELIC x

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I might be one of the exceptions, but I enjoy listening to my music at higher volumes. To get the sound to the volume I enjoy, the Dave will start clipping and distorting. I have taken my my rig to multiple meets, and others at those meets have come to a similar conclusion. Not everyone mind you. Just my two cents, some will find the synergy just right, others will find it lacking as they turn up the volume. 


Interesting as Rob says the DAVE doesn't clip until +4 dB on the volume. I want to be clear that I personally find nothing wrong with adding an amp if that's one's preference. Music is all about personal enjoyment!
 
Dec 27, 2016 at 8:53 PM Post #5,237 of 10,507

Torq

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Certainly wasn't a clipping, nor necessarily a power, issue for me.
 
But with the LCD-4 and Abyss I found DAVE to be much less involving than it was with less demanding cans vs. using it with an external amplifier.  The incredibly small loss of transparency, something I'd only notice if listening in "audition" mode, was easily overcome by the general sense of ease, authority and improved enjoyment when used with a serious external amp.
 
Is it flavor?  Maybe ... but it's proven to be the case for me in subsequent listening with a variety of external amps.
 
And I'd add the Utopia to the list of headphones I prefer externally amped vs. direct out of the DAVE.  Only the HD800S, out of my current TOTL can-stable (Abyss, LCD-4, Utopia, HD800S), works as well direct as it does externally amplified, there.
 
Again, not really about power, but across multiple amplifiers, all with VERY different signatures, DAVE on it's own its just not where its at for me.
 
Dec 27, 2016 at 8:58 PM Post #5,238 of 10,507

x RELIC x

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Curious Torq, what do you prefer with the external amps, even with the Utopia? Bass quantity, clarity/detail, mids, soundstage?

I highly respect your opinion and methodical approach, and I'm just fishing for what the amps bring to the table for you. Do these qualities the amp adds translate to all the headphones you have, including the LCD-4?

Edit: The fact that you prefer the Utopia, which is relatively easy to drive, hammers home my point of preference vs drive ability (as you've also noted in your post).
 
Dec 27, 2016 at 9:10 PM Post #5,239 of 10,507

Torq

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Curious @Torq, what do you prefer with the external amps, even with the Utopia? Bass quantity, clarity/detail, mids, soundstage?

I highly respect your opinion and methodical approach, and I'm just fishing for what the amps bring to the table for you. Do these qualities the amp adds translate to all the headphones you have, including the LCD-4?

Edit: The fact that you prefer the Utopia, which is relatively easy to drive, hammers home my point of preference vs drive ability (as you've also noted in your post).


Thanks for the kind words!
 
For the most part it's just raw enjoyment and involvement, and somewhat difficult to pin down to specific technicalities; this is based on listening at-length (I've had three multi-day sessions with DAVE at this point).  Though some specifics do standout, most notably less "tension" in the presentation when "rocking out" when using an external amplifier, which I would also phrase as "a sense of ease" or "authority" in the way music is portrayed.
 
In most cases, DAVE, un-amped, yields the greatest overall resolution ... though the difference requires actively listening for (at least for me).
 
These effects are apparent across my main-stable of headphones, but are most pronounced with the LCD-4 and Abyss, followed by the Utopia and then the HD800S; though they're also apparent, if rather less so, with the HD650 and TH-X00 Purpleheart (very easy to drive).
 
But, they're also entirely consistent regardless of whether I'm using my fully-loaded, 2nd gen, WA5-LE with Takatsuki 300B/274B and Sylvania 6SN7GT tubes or an iFi Audio Pro iCAN (in any of it's modes).
 
Dec 27, 2016 at 9:17 PM Post #5,241 of 10,507

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In Smazz' defense, he does listen at above average listening levels and for some reason his LCD-4s are less efficient than mine. They are both the 200 ohm version, mine being an earlier 200 ohm Cocobolo version. So in his situation, the Dave doesn't do quite drive them to his satisfaction and I would agree with that assessment in his particular situation.

As far as my situation goes, nothing in my experience has made all of my headphones (lcd3,4 Hifiman he-1k and he-6) sing like the Wells Audio Milo amp! It is incredible IMO. The review in Enjoy the music nails it perfectly.
 
Dec 27, 2016 at 9:26 PM Post #5,242 of 10,507

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In Smazz' defense, he does listen at above average listening levels and for some reason his LCD-4s are less efficient than mine. They are both the 200 ohm version, mine being an earlier 200 ohm Cocobolo version. So in his situation, the Dave doesn't do quite drive them to his satisfaction and I would agree with that assessment in his particular situation.

As far as my situation goes, nothing in my experience has made all of my headphones (lcd3,4 Hifiman he-1k and he-6) sing like the Wells Audio Milo amp! It is incredible IMO. The review in Enjoy the music nails it perfectly.


The headtrip?
 
Dec 27, 2016 at 9:29 PM Post #5,243 of 10,507

Hifi59

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The headtrip?


Can't afford that. The Milo is his latest creation at a more affordable price. It is 95% of the Headtrip(his words)
I have heard the Headtrip and the Milo is certainly right up there with it as unbelievable as that may seem..
Oh, and plenty, and I mean plenty, of refined power!
 
Dec 27, 2016 at 9:32 PM Post #5,244 of 10,507

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Can't afford that. The Milo is his latest creation at a more affordable price. It is 95% of the Headtrip(his words)
I have heard the Headtrip and the Milo is certainly right up there with it as unbelievable as that may seem..
Oh, and plenty, and I mean plenty, of refined power!


I did not know about the Milo, just saw it on their web after reading your post.
 
Yea the head trip is $7000 amp 
frown.gif

 
Dec 27, 2016 at 9:36 PM Post #5,245 of 10,507

Hifi59

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I did not know about the Milo, just saw it on their web after reading your post.

Yea the head trip is $7000 amp :frowning2:


See the review on enjoy the music. Also, Zach of ZMF headphones expressed to me that it is the best ss amp that he has heard to date and that includes his Cavalli Liquid Gold! At $1700, it's a steal.
 
Dec 28, 2016 at 7:05 AM Post #5,247 of 10,507

ufospls2

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Can't afford that. The Milo is his latest creation at a more affordable price. It is 95% of the Headtrip(his words)
I have heard the Headtrip and the Milo is certainly right up there with it as unbelievable as that may seem..
Oh, and plenty, and I mean plenty, of refined power!

I'd have to agree here with the Milo being awesome with the LCD-4. Really enjoyed that combo. 
 
 
Oh dear ...

Don't like the headtrip? How come? 
 
Dec 28, 2016 at 12:34 PM Post #5,248 of 10,507

Torq

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  Don't like the headtrip? How come? 

 
Short version ... two reasons ... first, I didn't particularly enjoy listening to it - beyond being powerful I didn't think it was anything special even when compared to much less expensive units.  Second, the chap that owned it took the top off to "show off" the insides - an experience that only served to increase my desire not to own one.
 
That's just me though.
 
When I was looking for a sensible, powerful, amp for a third rig, I found the iFi Audio Pro iCAN to be something of a surprise (I was highly skeptical going into it).  No, it's not on the same level as my WA5-LE, and for it to be good value you have to want to use both it's solid-state and tube modes, but it's very capable, powerful, nuanced, detailed and incredibly enjoyable ... it's also very compact for what it is.  Certainly drives the LCD-4 beautifully, along with any of the other TOTL cans I have:
 

 
Well worth an audition if you're looking for something around this price-level and need something with some grunt to go with it.
 

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