La Figaro 339
Jun 8, 2015 at 11:24 AM Post #3,076 of 6,544

adeadcrab

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  Was considering selling my Schiit Mjolnir to get a 339 for more versatility with my LCD2.2. The mojo seems to make them a little too bright for me taking away from the Audeze lush signature. I was hope that the 339 would allow me to add some additional lushness. However, I had heard from a friend that previously owned one that I may get bored with the 339 as it lack a bit in dynamics. Does anyone have any experience with the LCD2.2 that can give me some advice? I am also considering upgrading my 2s to an X so experience/advice with an X would be helpful as well.


I doubt an amp has much effect on dynamics of all things.. someone correct me if I'm wrong.
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 3:34 AM Post #3,077 of 6,544

Liu Junyuan

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Was considering selling my Schiit Mjolnir to get a 339 for more versatility with my LCD2.2. The mojo seems to make them a little too bright for me taking away from the Audeze lush signature. I was hope that the 339 would allow me to add some additional lushness. However, I had heard from a friend that previously owned one that I may get bored with the 339 as it lack a bit in dynamics. Does anyone have any experience with the LCD2.2 that can give me some advice? I am also considering upgrading my 2s to an X so experience/advice with an X would be helpful as well.


While the 339 is a great amp, I think you can find much better options for the LCD-2.
 
Jun 16, 2015 at 1:15 PM Post #3,079 of 6,544

Barra

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Was considering selling my Schiit Mjolnir to get a 339 for more versatility with my LCD2.2. The mojo seems to make them a little too bright for me taking away from the Audeze lush signature. I was hope that the 339 would allow me to add some additional lushness. However, I had heard from a friend that previously owned one that I may get bored with the 339 as it lack a bit in dynamics. Does anyone have any experience with the LCD2.2 that can give me some advice? I am also considering upgrading my 2s to an X so experience/advice with an X would be helpful as well.


While the 339 is a great amp, I think you can find much better options for the LCD-2.


What are your suggestions? I would like the versatility to change tubes and go both thick and Tubey euphoric to analytical without losing the bass response. Do you have better suggestions in the price range, and maybe best case above?

I will be auditioning the new Eddie current Zana deux shortly to see if it is worth stepping up. Listening to a friend's original ZD, it made both hd800 and Audeze HPs sing as well as the rest of the TOTL HP options, but then he got the EC 2a3 to really confuse things.

However, I am changing my mind on selling the mojo given my new r2r Havana tube dac that is smoothing out the highs and taking the mojo to a new much, much higher level with versatility.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 4:15 AM Post #3,080 of 6,544

Liu Junyuan

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What are your suggestions? I would like the versatility to change tubes and go both thick and Tubey euphoric to analytical without losing the bass response. Do you have better suggestions in the price range, and maybe best case above?

I will be auditioning the new Eddie current Zana deux shortly to see if it is worth stepping up. Listening to a friend's original ZD, it made both hd800 and Audeze HPs sing as well as the rest of the TOTL HP options, but then he got the EC 2a3 to really confuse things.

However, I am changing my mind on selling the mojo given my new r2r Havana tube dac that is smoothing out the highs and taking the mojo to a new much, much higher level with versatility.

Oh okay. Well given your preferences, then I think perhaps the 339 would be perfect for you. The ZD super will cost you more obviously, but should also be great. Whether it is an ideal amp with planars, though, is another question. At that price range, you have lots of options.
 
I was thinking more along the lines of hybrid amplifiers, which would allow you the chance to roll tubes while maintaining a tighter, solid state sound that tends to work well with planars, let alone the fact that hybrids tend to output a great deal more current than voltage, the former of which planars feed on.
 
Since you already own a Mjolnir, it may not make sense to step "down" to the Project Ember or the Lyr2, but both should be pretty nice for the LCD-2. The Cavalli Audio Liquid Crimson is in an entirely different price bracket (but in the range of the ZD), and it looks like one of the better hybrid amplifiers available right now. Based on some research and my sense of what planars need, if we are talking about just driving the LCD-2s, the Liquid Crimson seems like a competitive choice. However, if you really are serious about a thicker, tuber sound, then the 339 or ZD Super might "do the trick." 
 
I envy your opportunity to try out both the 2a3 and the ZD! 
 
Perhaps @MJS242 , who owns both the 339 and the ZD, has heard the LCD-2 from both and could make some comment? 
 
P.S. The 339 is a great amp!
 
PPS. It may be useful to know that Craig Uthus of Eddie Current uses the LCD-2.2 and HD 600 almost exclusively to tune his amps. So perhaps sending him an email about what he thinks could be useful. With that said, your wallet will whimper after buying one of his beautiful amps.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 8:58 AM Post #3,081 of 6,544

MJS242

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Perhaps @MJS242 , who owns both the 339 and the ZD, has heard the LCD-2 from both and could make some comment? 
 

 
I've never had the chance (or desire) to use the LCD-2 with the 339 or ZD.  I've heard both the LCD-2 and LCD-3F on higher end systems and was left feeling unimpressed.  Maybe my expectations were just too high.  Something about the presentation felt off to me.  I also don't think they're terribly resolving considering the price.  Maybe I'm just not a planar guy, well, except for the HE-1000 which is spectacular.    
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 2:17 PM Post #3,082 of 6,544

Barra

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What are your suggestions? I would like the versatility to change tubes and go both thick and Tubey euphoric to analytical without losing the bass response. Do you have better suggestions in the price range, and maybe best case above?

I will be auditioning the new Eddie current Zana deux shortly to see if it is worth stepping up. Listening to a friend's original ZD, it made both hd800 and Audeze HPs sing as well as the rest of the TOTL HP options, but then he got the EC 2a3 to really confuse things.

However, I am changing my mind on selling the mojo given my new r2r Havana tube dac that is smoothing out the highs and taking the mojo to a new much, much higher level with versatility.

Oh okay. Well given your preferences, then I think perhaps the 339 would be perfect for you. The ZD super will cost you more obviously, but should also be great. Whether it is an ideal amp with planars, though, is another question. At that price range, you have lots of options.
 
I was thinking more along the lines of hybrid amplifiers, which would allow you the chance to roll tubes while maintaining a tighter, solid state sound that tends to work well with planars, let alone the fact that hybrids tend to output a great deal more current than voltage, the former of which planars feed on.
 
Since you already own a Mjolnir, it may not make sense to step "down" to the Project Ember or the Lyr2, but both should be pretty nice for the LCD-2. The Cavalli Audio Liquid Crimson is in an entirely different price bracket (but in the range of the ZD), and it looks like one of the better hybrid amplifiers available right now. Based on some research and my sense of what planars need, if we are talking about just driving the LCD-2s, the Liquid Crimson seems like a competitive choice. However, if you really are serious about a thicker, tuber sound, then the 339 or ZD Super might "do the trick." 
 
I envy your opportunity to try out both the 2a3 and the ZD! 
 
Perhaps @MJS242 , who owns both the 339 and the ZD, has heard the LCD-2 from both and could make some comment? 
 
P.S. The 339 is a great amp!
 
PPS. It may be useful to know that Craig Uthus of Eddie Current uses the LCD-2.2 and HD 600 almost exclusively to tune his amps. So perhaps sending him an email about what he thinks could be useful. With that said, your wallet will whimper after buying one of his beautiful amps.

Thanks for the insight. I did try the Project Ember and it was very nice with the LCD2.2, especially when paired with my Havana 2. It had a nice wide sound stage that made my Mojo initially sound narrow with the original tube. However, the Mojo had superior depth and layering and with a tube change, matched the width as well. While I liked the Ember a lot, having heard the ZD, I felt that there was something still left on the table. I will try the Cavalli at the upcoming Seattle meet, but in the past was not overly impressed feeling that the sound stage was too set back.
 
The problem with the Art of the Audiophile is that there seems to be two general types of signatures based on the typical genre people listen to which causes confusion. Being more into EDM, new age, jazz, and rock genres, I tend to like the meatier euphoric tubey sound with a more intimate sound stage that passes through emotion. However, a large portion of the audiophile crowd focuses on classical which requires a set back sound stage to take the orchestra in as a whole rather than sitting in the horn section with a horn blasting in your ear. With the set back wider sound stage, transparency and delicacy are critical to the less intimate detail retrieval requiring a different setup - hence HD800 vs. Audeze signatures. My problem is that I like both, but prefer the prior.
 
The ZD vs. 2a3 was interesting to say the least. Unfortunately, my friend took on a new job and moved after receiving the 2a3 so he didn't have it dialed in yet with tube rolling. However, whatever tubes he had in it, the size of the sound stage was staggering unlike anything I had heard before. Like a HD800 on steroids. I really needed more time with it to get a better handle on its capabilities, but it was unique. I had heard the balancing act before too a number of years ago at a local meet which was really special and got me originally interested in the EC lineup.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 2:25 PM Post #3,083 of 6,544

Barra

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Perhaps @MJS242 , who owns both the 339 and the ZD, has heard the LCD-2 from both and could make some comment? 
 

 
I've never had the chance (or desire) to use the LCD-2 with the 339 or ZD.  I've heard both the LCD-2 and LCD-3F on higher end systems and was left feeling unimpressed.  Maybe my expectations were just too high.  Something about the presentation felt off to me.  I also don't think they're terribly resolving considering the price.  Maybe I'm just not a planar guy, well, except for the HE-1000 which is spectacular.    

That is what is fun about music, we all have different tastes and the are abundant options to suit everyone. However, I agree with you from my listening experience that the HE1000 seems to satisfy both sides of the fence. My love for the HD800 and its wonderful sound stage and dynamics is only tempered by its very delicate approach to bass. The HE1000 seems to have merged the best of the HD800 with the best of the Audeze signature to cover the gamut.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 2:39 PM Post #3,084 of 6,544

Liu Junyuan

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Barra

You have heard some great gear. But just looking at your description of the sound you are wanting to achieve, the 339 seems almost to be exactly what you are looking for. The only thing I dont know is what happens when you mix it with the LCD-2.

Yes, to the statement on signatures. I will say that I am not finding the HD 800 to lack bass at all, or at least it does not feel me wanting more. Its bass is actually sounding quite extended and textured for a dynamic. Of course, it will never be achieve the visceral thunder of a planar bass.

I hope you best of luck on your audio journey!
 
Jun 27, 2015 at 8:58 AM Post #3,085 of 6,544

adeadcrab

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I hope you best of luck on your audio journey!


Have you tried the Tung-Sol / RCA 6SJ7GT mesh plates yet?

I personally hear more difference in sound when I roll power tubes than driver tubes. For example the GE 6AS7GA is dark with a loose bass, Svetlana 6N13S is clearer, tight and more controlled. Stocking up on the Svetlana
gs1000.gif
.

Some are a little more bass-focused (Sylvania/RCA 6SJ7WGT, 5693) but they're all similiar. Though all I have driver-wise are various 6SJ7. No Telefunken EF8*. 
 
Jun 27, 2015 at 4:07 PM Post #3,086 of 6,544

Xenophon

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What are your suggestions? I would like the versatility to change tubes and go both thick and Tubey euphoric to analytical without losing the bass response. Do you have better suggestions in the price range, and maybe best case above?
 

You're overrating what can be achieved by rolling tubes imo.  Sound signature is determined for 40% by your cans, 50% by tube amp topology, the remaining 10% or so by tube rolling.  Assuming the same track, good recording and mastering.  With those 10% you can play.  339 is on the warm side but if you want really lush (technically:  inaccurate) sound there are other options available.  Differences between the same family of (power) tubes are overrated.  I'm pretty sure 90% of people listening with a good amp and a resolving set of cans like the HD-800 couldn't tell 2 6AS7 tubes apart if volume is matched.  Been there, done that.  
 
Jun 27, 2015 at 4:47 PM Post #3,087 of 6,544

kevjmj

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Hello everyone, I'm hoping to get some advice on the possibility of using a portable Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo (#ARTMSOLO3601) DAC with HD650s and a 339 (that I don't have yet).
I've been using a pair of JH-16 IEMs with their JH-3A amp and the above mentioned DAC but I'm not traveling for the moment and would like to start using my Senns again. The amp I have now is the X-can that I bought with the HD650s over 15 yrs ago so I think it's time for an upgrade.
 
Jun 27, 2015 at 9:07 PM Post #3,090 of 6,544

Liu Junyuan

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Have you tried the Tung-Sol / RCA 6SJ7GT mesh plates yet?


I personally hear more difference in sound when I roll power tubes than driver tubes. For example the GE 6AS7GA is dark with a loose bass, Svetlana 6N13S is clearer, tight and more controlled. Stocking up on the Svetlana :gs1000smile: .


Some are a little more bass-focused (Sylvania/RCA 6SJ7WGT, 5693) but they're all similiar. Though all I have driver-wise are various 6SJ7. No Telefunken EF8*. 


Yes, and I have a difficult time taking the Tung-Sol / RCA 6SJ7GT out to try my other tubes. I tried a brief swap with the Sylvania's today but replaced them after about five minutes. The latter sounded harsher, less refined, and flatter than the new arrivals.:D

I agree that it is very hard to exactly pinpoint the sonic changes from tube rolling. I have done some experimenting with different driver tubes in the amp at the same time, but the only thing that seems certain is that some are louder and fuller. For whatever reason, the TF EF 86 are louder than all of my other tubes, requiring me to turn the volume down. They also seem to fill up the entire headphone more Ina slightly aggressive and forward manner, from top to bottom, which is particularly noticeable with the HD650s (still getting used to the HD800s and best tube pairings).

The Svetlana EF 86s are more to my preference thus far than the TF; they confer less weight to the lower mids and just give a more relaxed listening experience with more sparkle in the highs. Unfortunately, one of them has started making noise, but thankfully they were far cheaper than all my other tubes and can be easily replaced eventually. I think I was supposed to get the TF mesh plates per advice here instead of the silver plates. Perhaps the silver are inferior to the mesh?

The new tubes sent by Lieven (along with chocolates!) are probably my favorite with the HD800, so far. They seem the most linear and are the cleanest. Yet take with a grain of salt as I am really struggling to put the exact distinctions into words. What is clear is that I like the sound of some driver tubes I own better and some worse, and it depends on the headphone.

I am with you on the Svetlana power tubes. I like them better with most music than the more expensive RCA 6AS7G's I purchased, the latter of which can make my HD650s treble sound harsh, as if there were too much gain. With the Beyers, however, the RCA power tubes and red drivers are really a nice combo, and so too with the TF 86 silver plates. My collection of power tubes is weak, though. I would like to roll others eventually.

Inspired by this discussion, I am doing a little casual tube rolling this evening with my newly modded HD800s. They do tend to reveal upstream gear quite adroitly. By casual, I mean I am not going to overly analyze but just try to enjoy some music, seeing which ones I prefer more for which tracks.

TLDR: I love the new tubes. Distinctions between tubes are difficult to translate into coherent language. HD800s sound lovely from the 339 and make tube rolling fun.

Have a good night!
 

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