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Selling my like new lcd4, on eBay EU, if anyone's interested.
Had my LCD-4 for almost 1 year now. Love them - clean, easy to drive and built with high quality materials. I use a Chord Mojo and at red or yellow they are load - green is painfully low. Two thumbs up to Audeze and Chord. In the beginning LCD-4 seemed a bit uncomfortable after 90 minutes but now (I stretched the band a bit - do not do that! ) I can wear them for hours on end. LCD-4 are very clean and even my iPhone X can drive them loud. Super nice headphones.
No offense, but don't confuse loudness and properly driving a headphone or speaker. Just because it can play something loud doesn't mean it can drive them effectively and optimally. The iPhone SURELY can't. I won't comment on the Mojo.
You spent $4k on excellent headphones, do yourself a favor and auction other amps and DAC's mentioned in this thread. If you can afford to do so, you will be well rewarded with excellent sound,.
No offense taken - as I took physics in school. Have you seen the specs/measurements of the LCD-4? The Beyers are less sensitive.
Do the math and see what it takes to drive them at 90 db (in terms of V Rms) - that's loud enough unless you have damaged hearing. What's your scientific definition for "drive them effectively and optimally" ? Mine is this: less than 0.1% THD, 90db SNR, etc. and the iPhone is up for the task. Here are measurements for iPhone:
I had a similar conversation with another gentleman on this forum - IF I remember correctly I published an Excel spreadsheet with the V Rms it takes to drive the LCD-4 very loud. You'd be surprised.
You could also take a look here:
Speaking now of "You spent $4k on excellent headphones, do yourself a favor and auction other amps and DAC's mentioned in this thread." - let's not confuse price with quality - especially when it comes to "audiophile" gear.
There's far more to driving a headphone than simply pushing it to a certain decibel level...and I can tell you that with my Mojo, it cannot drive them anything like as well as my Pro iCan, it's not even close, it's not even a comparison. The current and voltage swing are vastly superior to what you get in the Mojo, not to mention the amplifier circuitry itself is vastly superior. If you took physics, you'd know that simply getting a sound of any kind at a certain decibel level out of your headphones is hardly the full measure of how they sound. Can I play a single tone at a decent volume with no distortion out of the LCD4s via the Mojo? Sure. Is that representative of using them to listen to music? Not at all.
You might have extremely sensitive ears, my Mojo cannot possibly drive the LCD4s as loud as the Pro iCan - in fact on some tracks, I can listen to them on high gain with the volume maxed even on this amp.
I'm fairly certain the voltage swing on the Mojo barely cracks the double digits, that's absolutely not sufficient.
No one's arguing about the DAC performance of the iPhone, it's adequate...you're claiming that you can drive the LCD4s straight out of the lightening jack or headphone jack, which is a bit silly, they barely make a sound when doing so. I should know, I've done both just for fun with my iPhone 6 Plus and my 7 Plus.
Please give me your scientific (pro) definition of "There's far more to driving a headphone than simply pushing it to a certain decibel level." Let's hear it if SNR / THD // output impedance don't cut it.
Are you referring to dynamic headroom?
Speaking of Mojo - do you know what is the SPL the Mojo can drive the LCD-4 at 0.001% THD and a very high SNR?
Here is an older post of mine (copy and paste):
Given the Mojo will clip at around 109 db SPL with the LCD-4 you should watch your hearing. Normal listening level should be 80-90 db SPL (should be 80 for people with intact hearing) and that is 0.15 Vrms to 0.5 Vrms for LCD-4. That's far from clipping Mojo. The only way someone gets Mojo to clip at "normal" listening level is when they have substantial hearing damage and 105-110 is their "normal" listening level. There are too many measurements of the Mojo in the wild showing it doesn't clip until 4.5 Vrms (1% THD + noise) and at 4VRms or less is cleaner than most other dacs (0.00017% THD + noise at 3Vrms). LCD-4 is an easy to drive headphone. For example is easier to drive the LCD-4 than the 600 ohm version of the Beyer DT 880: LCD-4 needs 0.5 Vrms while DT 880 needs 0.9 Vrms for the same 90 db SPL.
For people who keep saying they hear Mojo clip with LCD-4:
1. Clipping is defined as 1% THD + noise. Clipping happens when the amp runs out of juice and it is a fairly sharp showing, the amp goes from let's say 0.0001% to 1% within a few fractions of V rms (the case for Mojo)
2. Before clipping, the Mojo takes the LCD-4 to 109 db SPL. That is way louder than a jackhammer at 1m (that is 100 db SPL) - it is the equivalent of a non-electric chainsaw at 1 meter. Think again - at that SPL level your ears should "clip" and report false impressions .
3. An iPhone can put out 1V rms before reaching max at around 0.002% THD + noise(Apple doesn't allow it to clip). At that level the LCD-4 is at more than 90db SPL. BTW 0.002% THD + noise is way below the human threshold for detecting distortion.
That's like saying show me the science that this sounds better than that. Do yourself a favor, try out different equipment and let your ears tell you want sounds better.
I have 250 watt mono block amps driving each of my speakers. It is more than the requirement for the speaker. I borrowed a pair of 1200 watt mono block amps and tried them, and the sounds was superior.
I'll stop here. Never mind. Enjoy your gear!
I have already laid out why exactly a stronger amp than the Mojo is better for the LCD4s, just re-read my post. SNR and distortion aren't really a part of the discussion, any amp you buy these days is good enough in these areas. In fact my Modi Multibit DAC surely has measurably "worse" distortion than the amp I feed with it. That's not really what I'm getting at at all. The point is that the pure current and voltage swing of the Mojo is simply not adequate...and yes, the detail retrieval of my Pro iCan is also superior...it's not even close.
I don't know why you're trying so hard to defend something that's not even really up for debate...using your own spreadsheet, one can already see the Mojo isn't sufficient. Let alone a smartphone all on its own.
Again...refer to my post - it's not just about producing a flat tone at a given frequency at a given loudness....if it was, then all of this would be very simple and not worth talking about.
I don't think we'll come to any agreement here, so after this I won't bother to argue any further.
Sorry, one more question about amps. Anyone with experience with the Violectric Audio HPA V281? It's in my price range along with the iCAN and Wells Milo. Don't really see much talk about it so I thought I'd ask. Would it be a competitive (or better) option?
Yes. I do. I have this amp. It is excellent. Sounds great and more power than you need to drive these. It is a true balanced design.
Do a Google search and read the reviews. Dona search also for John Grandberg’s review of it on Headfi or his review from either Part Time Audiophile or Inner Fidelity.
Yes, I've read through a number of reviews and have definitely got the feeling that it is outstanding. I guess it's a struggle to figure out which is more outstanding or otherwise the best of these options for me when you can't try before buying.
I agree. You should contact Arthur at Violectric. You may be able to try it and return it if you aren’t happy with it.
I'll do that. Hopefully that can be an option.