Good amplifier for AUDEZE LCD-2 Classic and MrSpeakers AEON Flow
Nov 3, 2018 at 12:51 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

Andrey2019

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Hi All :)

I need advice from people more experienced in world of audio devices than me :)

I have Fiio X7 mark 2 player and Fiio A5 amplifier.
Now looking for a pair of hew headphones for them.
I listened several different pairs of headphones in local shop and liked AUDEZE LCD-2 Classic ($800).
Also salesman said that MrSpeakers AEON Flow ($1000) will be available soon, so I want to listen them too.
On some other well known headphones (Sundara) I can hear sibilant sounds in vocals (sometimes "s" or "z" sounds like "sss" or "zzz" to me).
So I decided to take some dark signature to be comfortable with everyday listening.
Now I inclined to take AUDEZE LCD-2 Classic, but want to try MrSpeakers AEON Flow too.


I listened this headphone with my mobile Fiio A5 attached to Fiio X7 mark 2.
In shop salesman adviced that I will need a good amp for AUDEZE LCD-2 Classic and he advised to take Accurate Audio HPA-A200 ($450). I could attach my X7 to it and use this combo.


My questions are:
1) Do I really need an amp other than Fiio A5? To my ears I have not noticed much difference on my A5 amp and Accurate Audio HPA-A200 amp.
(Or maybe I was to tired to notice it?)

2) What amp could be good enough for headphones like AUDEZE LCD-2 Classic or MrSpeakers AEON Flow?
In the future maybe I will also buy another headphones so it will be good to have general solution - but main goal for now is AUDEZE LCD-2 Classic and not sibilant vocal voice sound.

In the past I have not had experience with amplifiers, so now it is difficult for me to understand what will be good for my setup in this situation...

I will be glad if you will share your opinion with me :)
Thanks :)
 
Nov 3, 2018 at 8:51 PM Post #2 of 7

gimmeheadroom

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Maybe get some good desktop equipment. Good headphones are probably only going to make you hate your FiiO stuff.
 
Apr 22, 2019 at 8:00 PM Post #3 of 7

Monstieur

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The FiiO A5 will handle most headphones on the planet. Don't believe the BS. The LCD2 Classic is very sensitive and needs only 25 mW to hit 115 dB SPL.
 
Apr 22, 2019 at 10:23 PM Post #5 of 7

Makiah S

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I like this take on power from @Torq

In general, higher impedance requires the amplifier be capable of higher voltage swing and lower impedance will put a greater demand on the current delivery capabilities of the amplifier. After which, you can use the sensitivity rating to determine how much power is required to reach a given SPL for the frequency at which the sensitivity has been measured.
The 300 ohm, 104 dB SPL/mW HD650 require 3.46V to reach 120 dB and will draw 40mW in doing so. The 14 ohm, 92 dB SPL/mW AFC require 2.97V to reach 120 dB but will draw 630mw.
At more reasonable levels, lets say 110 dB peaks, the HD650 will max out the voltage rails on a Dragonfly Black at 1.1V, but will only be drawing a 10th of it’s available current. The AFC would need less than 1V, but require 50% more current than the DFB can supply … so they’d have been clipping hard not far north of 100 dB.

There are lots of potential reasons why having more power available than you actually need may sound better (as it invariably does …). For one, you don’t have to run the amplifier as close to its limits when you have ample power on tap. Which can mean components operating closer to their sweet spots, never running the amp up against its rails or exhausting available capacitance.
It’s also worth noting that the nominal calculations for “required power” are based on specifications that are generally expressed for a single point in the spectrum. The impedance and sensitivity numbers are usually taken at one fixed frequency (1 kHz is common), and that is not necessarily reflective of a given transducers MOST demanding (or least efficient) operating point - so things like power needed for deep bass notes may be way off the value used for the published specs.

AFC here stands for Aeon Flow Closed

I can't say where or what the magic number is. I however really like how the HeadAmp Pico Power performs with my LCD 2 Pre Fazor and my Aeon Flow Closed, I also like the improvements I get from stuff like the Aune B1S which has a current gain option [vs voltage gain] and I will also agree that the LCD 2 Classic [and Fazor] is much more sensitive then the older models that and that the AFC performs well with far less power than my LCD 2 PreFazor or HE 560 need.

It was older planars like the original LCD 2 and stuff like the HE 4/HE 500 HE 560 ect... that started the MORE POWER ideologies that's still prevalent

So will the A5 suffice, likely so. Heck you may love how the headphones sound with it! An if you enjoy how the LCD 2 or AFC sound from it than you've nothing to worry about other than maybe finding more music to just enjoy! You've nothing to prove to any one

Though if your curious, as I tend to be, MassDrop has a sale on the Pico Power [and sometimes the B1S] for around $300 [maybe less] and at that price point I think it's worthwhile! But I would strongly encourage your to listen to your X7MKii with something nicer than your A5 before committing to anything.

THAT said, on the topic of desktop amps the JDS Labs ATOM is realllllly nice, I quite like it!!!! In a few days I'll let you know how it does with the Aeon Flow Closed, I imagine it'll do just fine as I've been happy with the AFC on stuff with less power than the ATOM has. I can also hopefully speak of how the LCD 2 Classic does with ATOM here shortly as well so do shoot an @me in like 5-6 days
 
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Apr 23, 2019 at 2:20 AM Post #6 of 7

ProtegeManiac

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1) Do I really need an amp other than Fiio A5? To my ears I have not noticed much difference on my A5 amp and Accurate Audio HPA-A200 amp.

Accurate Audio HPA-A200 looks like a rip off Violectric V200, which might just mean "use the same chassis and some will think the internals and ergo the sound are exactly the same."

Don't they have any other amplifiers down there? I mean you're already at a physical store, you should try as many of their merchandise as possible.


(Or maybe I was to tired to notice it?)

Or you didn't have to crank it up to hear what you like to hear, so that means you can save money.


2) What amp could be good enough for headphones like AUDEZE LCD-2 Classic or MrSpeakers AEON Flow?
In the future maybe I will also buy another headphones so it will be good to have general solution - but main goal for now is AUDEZE LCD-2 Classic and not sibilant vocal voice sound.

In the past I have not had experience with amplifiers, so now it is difficult for me to understand what will be good for my setup in this situation...

If you like what the A5 sounds like now you just need a lot more power so it maintains whatever its sound is like at that same output level as on the A5 even when you're rocking out at considerably higher volume levels. Something like an AudioGD NFB-28, or an actualViolectric V200 if you can find a review that compares and states that that HPA-A200 doesn't sound enough like it.

Otherwise if you already liked the sound with the A5 just use that for now.
 

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