Bright/Sparkly electronics for LCD2C-Closed?
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MohawkUS

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I'm currently using onboard audio, a Schiit Asgard 3 running into a pair of Audezes LCD2C Closed and looking to switch my system in a different direction by adding in a DAC, replacing the amp, or buying a combo unit. Budget of $700. I have a long list of gear I've owned on my profile(My account here is 10 years old.)

I'm looking for a type of sound that I've only heard from Grado or select vintage/NOS components, a kind of 'spicy' sound with a strong presence region with a sparkly more tactile treble. I want the sound focused on the excitement and energy of the highs, not as worried about raw detail. I'll be keeping my Audezes as I like their V-cuved sound, they allow me to get along with an amp like the Asgard 3 which is strong in the lower/mid ranges(I find low-mid fullness fatiguing.) The Audezes are 70ohm and easy to drive for a planar(300-400mw should cut it, I'm guessing.) Unlike most planars they do respond to amp output-impedance and unlike most headphones it's by a boost in the upper-mids instead of bass. I'm open to this coloration.

I don't think I'm looking for something with a boosted frequency response but a subjective character(distortion?) I've owned objective focused amps such as the Schiit Hersey & JDS Atom with clean/crispy treble and I'm not getting what I'm after even EQing for volume. I heard sparkle from some of the hybrid amps I've tried such as the Lyr 2 but the bass/mids were stealing the show so to speak. I'm finding it difficult to get the treble timbre I like without roll-off, excess fullness down low, or the grainy sound of vintage gear. While I enjoy the Asgard 3 it does downplay the treble making it likely incompatible with the goal I'm after now. That's the hole I keep sticking myself in; I'm a picky treble-head and prefer gear that rolls off the treble over that which produces a bland treble.



TL:DR I'm looking for budget gear that's bright & exciting but not too clean. Dislike low end bloat. Needs to power efficient planars. DAC or Amp or both.
Any suggestions?
 
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etroze86

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I'm a fan of the Monoprice THX offerings for cleanliness with my LCD2CBs but I don't even get the energetic treble you are speaking of unless I EQ them a ton, even then the roll off is noticeable. You my friend have a long journey ahead of you to find that sound you are looking for with big planars.
 
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MohawkUS

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The Monoprice THX amps roll off the treble?

Edit: If it clarifies what I'm looking for: I listen to a variety of synth/drone music. In amps which are too clean some of the high frequency synths can sound just like a simple sine wave being played whereas sparkly amps tend to have subtle variations in the tone. I don't know if the added texture is accurate but it makes the music a lot more listenable, takes away the fatiguing feeling of listening to steady-state tones.
 
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etroze86

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The THX amps don't have the roll off but your audezes do. Okay I understand where you are coming from but I'm not very familiar with synth/drone music so it would be tough to suggest something to try.
 
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MohawkUS

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Are you sure? It seems to have more treble than the Elegia & TH909s according to the graphs here. https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/i...2-closed-back-headphones&catid=263&Itemid=203
It subjectively has more treble than the Hifiman Edition XX or Aeon Flow Open. Maybe that offers some insight as to what part of the treble I'm focusing in on?

Either way I found the treble to have enough volume with amps such as the Magni Heresy. Are you aware of any amps which would have that same volume with a different sound signature?
 
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etroze86

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The graphs are interesting my experience is they have less treble energy than my hifiman 4xx and HD58x about the same as my nighthawks and more than my iSine 10s. I do have a set of the new Aeon Flow Open Retunes sitting in my car and after I burn them in I can compare those as well. Picking up a tube amp and start rolling would be your best bet. In all honesty my tastes in sound signature are probably more at the opposite side of the spectrum than yours. I try to start with the cleanest DAC/AMP in my budget and by headphones that I know will work for my ears. So it is really hard to get my head into that sound signature you really want. Sorry if none of this is a help but I am very interested in hearing what you find.
 
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MohawkUS

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I guess it really does depend what else you have for comparison. They're not boosted like my Beyer or any of the Ultrasones I've owned, that's for sure.

I'm of the same mind with picking up a tube amp & rolling, I've seen a number of new production tubes whose description fits my criteria perfectly. I just have a history of buying the wrong tube amps for my taste where I've been unable to roll myself to neutral let alone anywhere north of it.
 
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etroze86

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I agree on Beyer being boosted as I have some tinnitus that a lot of their models really do mean things to my ears.
My next jump in amps will probably be a tube amp as well and I'd really like to roll till I find a few sets that sound different but really good in each of those differences.
 
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