Best tube amp for LCD-3
post-10914834
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 15

hmorneau

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
142
Reaction score
17
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Posts
142
Likes
17
I just got the LCD-3 that I'm running off the Vali at the moment, it sound great, but what is the best tube amp or SS for the LCD-3 I should buy?
 
I like to listen to classic, jazz, vocal mostly. 
 
At the store I had the opportunity to try the Woo 6, but I felt that the bass was a bit uncontrolled.
 
My DAC is the W4S DAC2
 
     Share This Post       
post-10915578
Post #2 of 15

OICWUTUDIDTHAR

Aka: DroppingDimes; trapper1, OGKoosh, kappachino, Yajirobe1
Rude and abusive
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
495
Reaction score
26
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Posts
495
Likes
26
little dot mk vi + would be the best, it can do something like 5-6w into 120ohms it will absolutely light up the lcd-3
 
 
its also reasonable price at $800 compared to other high end balanced tube amps
 
     Share This Post       
post-10915881
Post #3 of 15

davehg

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 8, 2014
Messages
198
Reaction score
74
Joined
Sep 8, 2014
Posts
198
Likes
74
I tried several tube and solid state amps that I felt were a great match with the Audeze LCD3.
 
First was the Luxman, both the DA-200 and the P1
 
Second was the Woo WA22.
 
Third was the Woo 6SE, with the upgraded Sophia Princess rectifier tube, which should be mandatory form this amp.
 
Last was the Burton Conductor.
 
I'd be happy with any of them, but choose the 6SE for cost.
 
     Share This Post       
post-10915959
Post #4 of 15

fabio-fi

fabio-fi, jackwess and formula1 are all the same person.
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
2,811
Reaction score
48
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Posts
2,811
Likes
48
The LCD3's will be fine running out with the Burson Soloist (in the SS category) 
 
     Share This Post       
post-10917552
Post #5 of 15

hmorneau

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
142
Reaction score
17
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Posts
142
Likes
17
What about the Cavalli Liquid Fire? Is it any good?
 
     Share This Post       
post-10920840
Post #6 of 15

fabio-fi

fabio-fi, jackwess and formula1 are all the same person.
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
2,811
Reaction score
48
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Posts
2,811
Likes
48
     Share This Post       
post-10931992
Post #7 of 15

Argo Duck

Formerly known as "AiDee"
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
2,245
Reaction score
416
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Posts
2,245
Likes
416
Here's a plug for the Decware Taboo, especially the mark II (because it's the one I own and haven't heard the mk III).

Originally a speaker-only amp it's a simple tube design - one rectifier, one driver and two power tubes. It's very responsive to tube-rolling, with the largest effects coming from changing rectifier and driver. Different rectifier classes set different voltage points which make the amp more analytical (crudely, 'SS'-like) or forgiving as the case may be. In combination with the driver I've found it can be made neutral/transparent (my preference) or more "tubey" as one likes.

I run my LCD3F and LCD2r1 balanced off the speaker taps, which sounds better than the provided SE hp out. The mark III provides both SE and balanced hp outs.

I haven't heard other serious tube rivals such as Eddie Current, Cavalli, Woo etc. However, it handily outperforms mid-range SS amps I'm familiar with such as the Violectric V100 and Meier Concerto and Classic. Key differences I found are micro and macrodynamics which provide detail and "liveliness" these other amps generally lack. Bass is tight and it's attack can be eye-blinking when it's there in the recording. With a good supporting DAC all the fine ambient information is there too...

(Note: Meier Classic though it is less lively does provide very precise layering which (edit) the 3F particularly benefits from and which I don't think the Taboo quite matches).
 
     Share This Post       
post-10932063
Post #8 of 15

hmorneau

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
142
Reaction score
17
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Posts
142
Likes
17
Here's a plug for the Decware Taboo, especially the mark II (because it's the one I own and haven't heard the mk III).

Originally a speaker-only amp it's a simple tube design - one rectifier, one driver and two power tubes. It's very responsive to tube-rolling, with the largest effects coming from changing rectifier and driver. Different rectifier classes set different voltage points which make the amp more analytical (crudely, 'SS'-like) or forgiving as the case may be. In combination with the driver I've found it can be made neutral/transparent (my preference) or more "tubey" as one likes.

I run my LCD3F and LCD2r1 balanced off the speaker taps, which sounds better than the provided SE hp out. The mark III provides both SE and balanced hp outs.

I haven't heard other serious tube rivals such as Eddie Current, Cavalli, Woo etc. However, it handily outperforms mid-range SS amps I'm familiar with such as the Violectric V100 and Meier Concerto and Classic. Key differences I found are micro and macrodynamics which provide detail and "liveliness" these other amps generally lack. Bass is tight and it's attack can be eye-blinking when it's there in the recording. With a good supporting DAC all the fine ambient information is there too...

(Note: Meier Classic though it is less lively does provide very precise layering which (edit) the 3F particularly benefits from and which I don't think the Taboo quite matches).
Thanks for the recommendation, but I think I might go with the woo WA22 since it's fully balanced (balanced input as well and my dac have the balance output). I don't know if it makes a big difference.
 
     Share This Post       
post-10932224
Post #9 of 15

Argo Duck

Formerly known as "AiDee"
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
2,245
Reaction score
416
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Posts
2,245
Likes
416
I don't know if fully balanced makes a difference either, not having experienced it yet.

FWIW (and as I mentioned) the Taboo II's balanced output (from the speaker taps) is better than the SE hp jack, although the Taboo's SE out was also better than the other amps I listed (and some others such as LD 1+, Meier Opera). If balanced in makes a difference too then going fully balanced makes sense. It certainly cannot be worse!
 
     Share This Post       
post-11073393
Post #10 of 15

jhljhl

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 23, 2013
Messages
869
Reaction score
80
Joined
May 23, 2013
Posts
869
Likes
80
How much better is the speaker tap from Taboo MkII than from the SE output for the LCD-3 etc.?
 
     Share This Post       
post-11073649
Post #11 of 15

Argo Duck

Formerly known as "AiDee"
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
2,245
Reaction score
416
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Posts
2,245
Likes
416
How much? As always YMMV.

The qualitative differences were (past tense as I haven't compared again since my first pseudo-A/B): less smooth (more prominent upper mids); seemingly faster transients/more attack (may be effect of upper mids; changed apparent frequency balance). Subtle, but enough for me to find it unpleasant at first. Too "hot".

After a few hours listening I began to prefer it. I could "hear" more. I dislike the phrase "a veil was removed" - it's overused and possibly it often means "sounds different" - but it was a bit like that.

By a day or two later I couldn't go back to the SE output. This is consistent with Steve Deckert's comments in the last two years that how he implemented the SE jack on the Taboo was a mistake; one I understand he rectified with the mk III.

I did make one change: the driver tube. Interestingly, a humble NOS Tung Sol 12AU7A made it just right to my ears. I've used this tube for the last year but (changing hearing or whatever) am sensing the need to roll again soon.
 
     Share This Post       
post-11074053
Post #12 of 15

Argo Duck

Formerly known as "AiDee"
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
2,245
Reaction score
416
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Posts
2,245
Likes
416
^ However, adding to the above...

When I made the change I had the LCD2r1. Just now I went back and compared (unsystematically - didn't level with pink noise). With the LCD3F the taps have a slightly colder, more sterile, distant focus than with the hp jack. With the jack there is more intimacy, particularly noticeable with vocals.

I'd have to do a lot more comparison (only used two tracks) but with the above-mentioned Tung Sol, a Tung Sol 5Y3GT rectifier and stock power tubes the 3F may be happier with the jack!

As is often the case around here, it all depends what 'sound' you're after.
 
     Share This Post       
post-11096185
Post #13 of 15

thisisvv

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
268
Reaction score
43
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Posts
268
Likes
43
Just bought a LCD 3F ...i have  ray samules Raptor......any suggestion if this is a good combination...
 
V
 
     Share This Post       
post-11098780
Post #14 of 15

hmorneau

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
142
Reaction score
17
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Posts
142
Likes
17
  Just bought a LCD 3F ...i have  ray samules Raptor......any suggestion if this is a good combination...
 
V
If you own both, the best way is to try it.
 
I had the SPL Auditor and I was so sure it wouldn't be a nice match (because the SPL is made for high impedance headphone >300ohms according to some). But so far I love it with my LCD-3F, they sound very nice, no sibilance, lot of deep bass, nice sound even at very low volume (I listen to my LCD-3F at a much lower volume then my T1, I'm talking about dB, not referring to the volume knob). So try it and see.
 
I was driving my LCD-3F with the Vali at first, and I did not like them, so it's true they are not good with everything. I start to agree with some who say that the LCD-3F really shine on SS amp. I'm considering buying the GS-X MK2 in the future instead of getting into the tube stuff. I think the most important thing is to check how many watts your amps deliver at 110ohms. The Auditor deliver 1,3watts (which is more then I expected) while the vali only around 500mW 350-400mW.
 
     Share This Post       
post-11602365
Post #15 of 15

Sonic Guild

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 11, 2015
Messages
446
Reaction score
51
Joined
May 11, 2015
Posts
446
Likes
51
  I just got the LCD-3 that I'm running off the Vali at the moment, it sound great, but what is the best tube amp or SS for the LCD-3 I should buy?
 
I like to listen to classic, jazz, vocal mostly. 
 
At the store I had the opportunity to try the Woo 6, but I felt that the bass was a bit uncontrolled.
 
My DAC is the W4S DAC2

Did u find the best tube amp for the LCD3?
Did u get the Wa22? How is it with the LCD3? What about noise level? 
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top