LCD2 Amp/Dac better than Nuforce HDP
Jan 21, 2012 at 3:34 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

cired

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I am trying to decide on a amp/dac that is a  good step up from the Nuforce HDP paired with the LCD2 rev 2 headphone
 
My setup is like this right now:    pc--->foobar, lossless file--->Usb out--->HDP--->LCD2
 
I have tried the Woo Wa6 with the Sophia princess rectifier analog out from the HDP using the HDP as a dac. It sounded better to me but not a huge step up from using the SS amp built into the HDP.
 
Lately I've been looking at:
 
Bel Canto
Benchmark
Audio-gd   
Meier Audio
Violectric V200
Wyred4sound Dac-1
 
I would like to keep my dac/amp setup to be under 2k. Hopefully less. I am just looking to get the LCD2 to their potential.
 
Thought about the idea of buying another amp alone and try using the HDP as a dac again but I am just not sure what the higher end dacs have to offer. Are they a night and day difference? Is the dac in the HDP good enough? 
 
My music taste is more towards female vocal (Natalie Merchant, Adele, Taylor Swift, Patricia Barber etc..), some pop, and occasionally some rock.
 
I've been reading these forums until my eyes hurt at night and waking up tired for work the next day for weeks now and it seems like I just do circles in my head about this stuff. So much information to take in.
 
Just looking for some input and or suggestions. This is going to be mainly a desktop pc system so let me know if I am looking at too high end for a setup like this. Thanks in advance.  
 
Jan 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM Post #2 of 17

obzilla

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Welcome to HeadFi. Sorry about your wallet.
 
I haven't used the NuForce, so I don't know how much better this would be relatively, but here goes.
 
I have 1.5 headphone rigs at home. They will be 2 when an amp I have ordered arrived. It will be my "better rig".
 
But at the moment I am using 1 functioning rig out the parts. I have the Wyred 4 Sound DAC2, feeding a Burson HA 160D. The Burson will later be a stand alone "all in one" DAC/amp (as is its design) unit for the LCD2s in the bedroom.
 
But since I am short an amp, I am using at as an amp only, feeding it the W4S DAC2. The Burson DAC is nice, but not on par with the W4S.
 
So, if I were you, I would look into the Burson 160 Headamp + the W4S DAC1. It keeps you in your budget and is a fine pair of components. The Burson is plenty capable of driving the LCD2s to their potential, and the DAC1 should be a significant step up for your DAC end.
 
I'm sure you couldn't go wrong with a Woo WA6-SE as an amp either, or some of the other DACs in the DAC1 price range, but I don't have personal experience with them personally, so I will leave it to others who have heard more gear to delve into comparisons for you.
 
Good luck!
 
Jan 21, 2012 at 11:40 PM Post #3 of 17

cired

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obzilla,
Thanks for your reply. The Burson is definitly one amp I have been considering. Now if I can only find a dealer close enough to go and try it out. Plus it looks like I might be able to find one used. After some more reading it looks like I should also look at the Lyr as well. An Audeze dealer in my area is having a shindig where Adeze will be there next week. Guess they will have the LCD2 and LCD3 for demo. I am going to go check it out and see what amps and dacs they have their phones setup with and take a listen. Hopefully this will give me some ideas. Might be out of my price range though. 
 
 
Jan 22, 2012 at 9:02 PM Post #4 of 17

MotifXF

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I decided to get the Dacmini instead of the HDP. You may want to go this route but the upgrade will not be huge.The Burson will be a slightly better and from the reviews that I have seen the V200 is great with the LCD-2 since it puts out a lot of power. If I were you I would get the V200 and pair it with the HDP dac. Later on if you can audition a better dac you may want to sell the HDP and upgrade to a better DAC. I have received the Dacmini but do not have my LCD-2 yet or I would tell you how good they are, but from the comments I have seen they pair very well.
 
Jan 22, 2012 at 11:34 PM Post #6 of 17

NinjaSquirt

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Quote:
I am trying to decide on a amp/dac that is a  good step up from the Nuforce HDP paired with the LCD2 rev 2 headphone
 
My setup is like this right now:    pc--->foobar, lossless file--->Usb out--->HDP--->LCD2
 
I have tried the Woo Wa6 with the Sophia princess rectifier analog out from the HDP using the HDP as a dac. It sounded better to me but not a huge step up from using the SS amp built into the HDP.
 
Lately I've been looking at:
 
Bel Canto
Benchmark
Audio-gd   
Meier Audio
Violectric V200
Wyred4sound Dac-1
 
I would like to keep my dac/amp setup to be under 2k. Hopefully less. I am just looking to get the LCD2 to their potential.
 
Thought about the idea of buying another amp alone and try using the HDP as a dac again but I am just not sure what the higher end dacs have to offer. Are they a night and day difference? Is the dac in the HDP good enough? 
 
My music taste is more towards female vocal (Natalie Merchant, Adele, Taylor Swift, Patricia Barber etc..), some pop, and occasionally some rock.
 
I've been reading these forums until my eyes hurt at night and waking up tired for work the next day for weeks now and it seems like I just do circles in my head about this stuff. So much information to take in.
 
Just looking for some input and or suggestions. This is going to be mainly a desktop pc system so let me know if I am looking at too high end for a setup like this. Thanks in advance.  

Consider the Rega DAC, it's fairly euphonic and will match the signature of your LCD-2 without being fatiguing, maybe match that up with a tube amp. WA3? If you like the LCD-2 sound, you may not enjoy the Benchmark DAC-1 even though it is an awesome DAC.
 
 
 
Jan 22, 2012 at 11:41 PM Post #7 of 17

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Quote:
Wadia will have a new dac w/headphone amp, 121 decoding computer.
 
Price should around $1,500, worth to wait if in your budget.

 

 
I have been waiting for the Wadia 121 for the past TWO YEARS. They keep saying that it is coming out "very soon", and then a year later, they are still saying the same thing. What's the deal? Do you think it will be released within the 21st century?
 
Jan 23, 2012 at 7:52 PM Post #8 of 17

palchiu

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Quote:
 
 

 
I have been waiting for the Wadia 121 for the past TWO YEARS. They keep saying that it is coming out "very soon", and then a year later, they are still saying the same thing. What's the deal? Do you think it will be released within the 21st century?


On Wadia's site, they note "almost there". I guess should be start selling @mid. 2012.  (Hope)
 

 
 
Jan 23, 2012 at 9:00 PM Post #9 of 17

jackwess

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The HA-160 is a good recommendation. You can also take a look at the 160D (with preamp) or the DS (no pre) both are known to pair very well with audeze. 
 
Jan 23, 2012 at 9:50 PM Post #10 of 17

cired

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I have decided to pair the Violectric V200 with the LCD-2's. I am still very undecided on a dac. I've been considering the Violectric Dac V800 or the Wyred4sound Dac 1. Then I start thinking around that price range there are others I should consider. Possibly even used. At some point soon I just need to decide and go for it. Any suggestions on a dac for the V200 and LCD-2 combo? Thanks for everyones help so far.    
 
Jan 23, 2012 at 9:54 PM Post #11 of 17

Surfvvax

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Quote:
On Wadia's site, they note "almost there". I guess should be start selling @mid. 2012.  (Hope)
 

 


Yeah, I have been seeing that on their website for quite some time now. In fact, they removed the 121 forum topic off their website because too many people were complaining about getting their hopes up over the past two plus years.
 
As soon as I heard that Wadia was going to release an affordable ($1500ish) DAC, I was super excited, along with everyone else I'm sure. It was announced around November 2009 if I recall correctly. They kept saying "next quarter, next quarter, next quarter".
 
I wrote them an email, and they assured me that it would be released no later than summer of 2010. Well, here we are in 2012, AND IT'S STILL NOT HERE!!! COME ON MAN!!! I pretty much all but lost interest, but I still check in on the website from time to time.
 
Anyways, I'm sure it will be awesome when it does finally get released. Back to the topic..
 
 
Jan 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM Post #12 of 17

Dubstep Girl

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Quote:
Consider the Rega DAC, it's fairly euphonic and will match the signature of your LCD-2 without being fatiguing, maybe match that up with a tube amp. WA3? If you like the LCD-2 sound, you may not enjoy the Benchmark DAC-1 even though it is an awesome DAC.
 
 

 
both are wrong.
 
the Rega DAC is a bassy and darker dac that would probably result in a slow and too warm sound.  the WA3 cannot power the LCD-2 since it's OTL and its only good for high impedance headphones. 
 
the WA6 wasn't a huge step up because its not powerful enough for LCD-2, try the WA6-SE and you will be amazed.
 
also, I think the Benchmark would be a good dac for lcd-2. 
 
Jan 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM Post #13 of 17

Dubstep Girl

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Quote:
The HA-160 is a good recommendation. You can also take a look at the 160D (with preamp) or the DS (no pre) both are known to pair very well with audeze. 



+1
 
Jan 24, 2012 at 12:40 AM Post #14 of 17

Dubstep Girl

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i love my WA6-SE with the LCD-2. smooth detailed and enough power to spare.
 
Jan 24, 2012 at 11:08 PM Post #15 of 17

cired

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After much thought and reading I have decided to go with Violectric. I went with the V200/V800 combo and hopefully this will satisfy me for awhile. Thanks for all your input.   
 

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