LCD-2 and speaker amps.
Oct 10, 2012 at 11:22 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

pp312

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No, sorry to disappoint you, this isn't a thread about how much better the LCD-2 sounds when driven from the back end of a speaker amp, but of how a speaker amp used in the conventional way might be just what the LCD doctor ordered.
 
I have a Rev1. I don't find it dark but occasionally could use a touch more treble. I've considered the Rev2 but it's a big investment and I'm afraid of losing the special midrange magic the Rev1 has. Consequently I decided to consider a really radical possibility: a speaker amp with tone controls! (don't faint). I've never been against tone controls, I don't believe, properly designed, they introduce colouration, and I've never understood why they're shunned by the "in" audiophile crowd. Anyway, I went Ebaying and found a Rotel RA970BX at a not exorbitant price. The 970BX is a highly respected budget amp and had every chance of doing the Audeze justice, plus adding a touch of extra treble at no cost. Wrong! It sounded pretty horrible: harsh, rather hollow...just wrong. So I sold it and went back to my Muse (Aune) mini dac/amp. Maybe they're right, I thought, those venerable sages who insist that headphones should have dedicated amps. But wait, I thought. I've used integrateds with headphones before with good results, just not with planars. Maybe I'll give it one more try.
 
The upshot was that an Onkyo TX SR502 HT amp came up at a really good price and I grabbed it. Not really what I was looking for and I had few hopes of anything much more than reselling it at a profit. Wrong again! It sounded great--neutral, balanced, quite detailed, and what's more it allows remote control of the volume (ah, blessed convenience!). I add usually just +2 on the treble, never more than +4, and it opens the Rev1 up nicely. True, it sucks up the national grid, but hey, what do I care about that (kidding).
 
So, guys, this is just to encourage REV1 owners, or anyone needing a little treble lift, to consider speaker amps. They're not the evil empire, they're just amps, and many sound just as good as dedicateds--even HT amps it seems. It could be the solution you're looking for.
 
Oct 11, 2012 at 4:37 AM Post #3 of 12

pp312

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EQ software? My audio and computer equipment are well and truly separated and are going to remain that way. In any case the only EQing the LCD-2 really needs, as I thought my post made clear, is a decent treble control.
 
Oct 11, 2012 at 8:45 AM Post #4 of 12

MEDO

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i always thought you had the LCD-2 rev.2 but if i were you I'd go for the rev.2 ( softer pads, more durable wood finish, leather headbands, lighter, more resolving in treble department but NEVER HARSH ). it sounds like a big investment to me.
 
Oct 11, 2012 at 9:27 AM Post #5 of 12

TMRaven

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Quote:
EQ software? My audio and computer equipment are well and truly separated and are going to remain that way. In any case the only EQing the LCD-2 really needs, as I thought my post made clear, is a decent treble control.

 
But you're acting like a treble control on a receiver is miles ahead of a software EQ.  I don't see how a little treble bump in the upper treble of a good parametric EQ would be any more harmful than a hardware treble control.  Sometimes it could be even more accurate as well.
 
Oct 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM Post #6 of 12

LugBug1

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Quote:
 
But you're acting like a treble control on a receiver is miles ahead of a software EQ.  I don't see how a little treble bump in the upper treble of a good parametric EQ would be any more harmful than a hardware treble control.  Sometimes it could be even more accurate as well.

I think he means that he doesn't use a computer for audio. A lot of peeps still don't, good ole cd's are very cheap these days and can still give better SQ. But enough about that...
 
I agree, a little tweak on a good software EQ can transform a headphone in the direction you want it to go. Simple and easy fix. I used to tone down my K702's a fraction and it worked a treat.
 
Oct 11, 2012 at 10:45 PM Post #8 of 12

pp312

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Quote:
I think he means that he doesn't use a computer for audio. A lot of peeps still don't, good ole cd's are very cheap these days and can still give better SQ.
 
 

 
 
Thank you. To me audio and the PC are two different things, except that I use the PC to download music which I then transfer to a flash drive for use in a WD media player connected to my amp. 'Software' doesn't enter into my listening equation at all, so it's not a question of equaliser v. tone controls. Hopefully that puts us all on the same page.
 
In any case my post was just about encouraging those using regular dedicated amps and unhappy with the LCD-2's treble to think about a speaker amp with tone controls rather than selling their phones.   
 
Nov 8, 2012 at 3:02 PM Post #9 of 12

PeterK53

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Are you referring to using the actual speaker output terminals and a home made adapter like the one from ESP - Rod Elliott?
Or are you using something different?
 
Really interested in this idea. Thanks.
 
Nov 27, 2012 at 6:18 PM Post #10 of 12

jsplice

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I'm actually thinking of using my LCD-2 with my PrimaLuna Prologue Two, as I think it would sound much better than my Lyr.  Do I need to shell out $100 for the Hifiman adapter, and another $2xx for a balanced cable to use with it, or is there a cheaper way to just try this?
 
Edit: sorry, misread the OP.  The PrimaLuna does *not* have standard headphone output, and can only be used with the speaker terminals.
 
Nov 27, 2012 at 8:55 PM Post #11 of 12

MalVeauX

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Heya,
 
I use speaker amps as well. I find them better frankly than headphone amps and cost way less. I'm using an Emotiva mini-X A-100 (50 wpc).
 
I had a cable made with XLR terminations for adapters to both normal stereo jacks and speaker taps so I can use any Hifiman headphone with any amplifier. You can use any headphone of course, just introduce a resistor adapter perhaps if using a dynamic transducer headphone and not a planar magnetic.
 
You can buy hardware equalizers. It's not the devil to use them either.
 

 
Very best,
 
Nov 28, 2012 at 9:05 PM Post #12 of 12

jsplice

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Quote:
Heya,
 
I use speaker amps as well. I find them better frankly than headphone amps and cost way less. I'm using an Emotiva mini-X A-100 (50 wpc).
 
I had a cable made with XLR terminations for adapters to both normal stereo jacks and speaker taps so I can use any Hifiman headphone with any amplifier. You can use any headphone of course, just introduce a resistor adapter perhaps if using a dynamic transducer headphone and not a planar magnetic.
 
You can buy hardware equalizers. It's not the devil to use them either.
 

 
Very best,

 
Wow that's awesome.  I've been doing some research am now looking to be an aftermarket cable that will take me straight out of the LCD-2.2s and go to banana plugs.  I've also thought about buying a 1/4" to bananas adapter, but of course then I'd lose the "balanced" connection.
 
I'm glad to hear that you've had success WITHOUT using a resistor, because up till now that has been my main fear -- blowing out the my LCD-2.2s  Of course, I'm sure care must be taken when adjusting the volume.  I'm now very close to taking the plunge and buying a nice cable.
 

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