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Help deciding between HD800 with SDR and LCD-X?

  1. Crazyflyinpanda
    Hello, I am fairly new to headphones and hifi overall and my purchases are somewhat limited (AKG K7XX, 1More dual driver, VE monk espresso, pinnacle p1, smsl m3, LGv20 (I guess I sort of use it as a DAP). While i havent had the opportunity to try much, I find that I prefer an overall balanced signature with the mids being slightly forward, bass detail and speed is important but i still put some value in bass slam. I cannot stand it when bass bleeds into the mids though. As for treble i have a harder time describing what i like but i like it to be fairly detailed and resolving as i greatly enjoy female vocalists and piano. However, some instances violin has caused my ears to shreek in pain but only on a few occasions. I listen to a wide range of genres and continue to develop my tastes but the only genres i dont touch a huge amount of that i have tried are classical (mood dependent) and country (not to my taste).

    As of now i have been mosty eyeing the hd800 (sdr) and lcd-x due to very good used deals being available for me. My problem is figuring out which is best for my needs and what amp/dac to pair with it. My budget is around $2000 Canadian (1560USD) with both used hd800 and lcd-x coming to $1200 CDN (800 comes with a custom cable and sdr, LCD X with a case, stock cable, balanced cable, and custom headband. Drivers were serviced this year and pads were replaced at the samd time). While these two have been the most interesting to me so far, i am willing to co sider anu recommendations.

    I have the opportunity to purchase a crack speedball for $400 CAD, Lyr 3 with modi multibit + 4 tubes for $800 CAD, cavilli tube hybrid+sdac for $500CAD, and an audio gd 11 r2r for $450CAD for dac\amps as well. Same as headphones any recommendations are welcome!

    Thanks for any advice in advance! This is for celebrating a promotion, so im hoping to get as close to perfect as possible for what i am looking for! Im not 100% commited to any of these options though, ultimately finding what i am looking for is most important to me. To that end if throwing an extra hundred or two means a big step towards my sound so be it. At the same time though, money saved is money saved, so i wouldn't want to waste money for miniscule increases. Thanks for listening to all my picky specifications!
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  2. pbui44
    First off, congratulations on your promotion!

    Second, get back to work...by not going to the deeper end yet and getting a Audio Technica ATH-W1000Z and that Bottlehead Crack with Speedball:


    or if the seller want to ship to Canada and you don’t mind used, PM him at this thread:


    If you are extremely patient and very good at stretching pleather linings, get some HM5 Hybrid ear pads (regular, as the ATH-W1000Z is already ear-cup-angled) and make sure the inside creases point to your ear lobes:


    The Bottlehead Crack with Speedball will work well with your K7xx and ATH-W1000Z.
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  3. buke9
    A full built Bottlehead Crack with Speedball for $400 cad is a good deal I would buy it. It will be only good with high impedance cans but does great with my HD-6xx’s,700’s,800’s,and AKG K240 Sextetts and Monitors I would still buy it as you can sell it if you don’t like it. The Cavalli Tube Hybrid I also have. One of the ones I like the 650’s from and decent with the 800’s. I’m at a disadvantage as my Yggy is on its way for upgrades but can use my Chord Mojo if needed.
  4. marcussmj
    The crack will only work with high impedance dynamic headphones due to the crazy high output impedance. What this does is increase something in frequency response based on where the impedance swings lie in the headphones. As for your question, the HD800 is a no brainer for me. Sound better than the LCD-X when it comes to dynamics and overall tone. I have heard a few different pairs of X and they all sounded wildly different, my personal pair has a **** 3k dip which makes female vocals sound thin and subdued. Whereas the pair at the shop sounded better with less upper mid dip. All in all, the hd800 is the way to go.
  5. buke9
    That crazy output impedance on the Bottlehead Crack is what?
  6. marcussmj
    Depending on the type of tubes, but based on what a former owner told me his was around 180 ohms.
  7. buke9
    Probably less but not far off just checking. Would be better if you had the The amp before making the statement.
  8. marcussmj
    What's wrong with making the statement by quoting a former owner which has a considerable amount of experience with it?
  9. pbui44
    I forgot that my old K501 was 120 ohms and the guy I traded it to had a Crack with Speedball and loved the combo, so at 300 ohms, the HD800 would probably sound even better. If your co-workers truly like you and not two-face-you-to-mob-on-you-and-throw-any-positive-career-outlook-away, then go ahead and treat yourself to one of the best. :)
  10. Crazyflyinpanda
    Lol, ill be sure to be on the look out, you never know with people! But, i am going to treat myself to one of the best and go for the hd800 with sdr (done deal) and bottlehead (pending).

    I figure in my "endgame" setup ill have the bottlehead with a more versatile tube amp, along with a solid state and whatever dac suits my needs. Depending on how deep this rabbit hole leads me i may pursue the eikons and electrostats but i hope i resist for the sake of my bank account! For now though the hd800 sdr (with the mod down the line) and bottlehead with two to three tubes to swap around is enough.

    Thanks to everyone for your advice! I cant wait since being able to listen to my library with the akg k7xx and smsl m3 was revolutionary enough for me!
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  11. buke9
    Definitely look for a Tung Sol 5998 it is a really good tube for the Crack and also Tung Sol Chatham 6080 if you want to tone down the highs a bit . I don’t find a big difference in the input tubes but the power tubes make a big difference for me.

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