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Purchasing LCD-X Amp DAC Suggestions.

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by absent, Apr 9, 2014.
  1. absent
    So I'm going to take the leap and get a pair of LCD-Xs.  I was wondering if you all had some suggestions on AMPs/DACs to go with them.  I was eyeing the Bifrost Asgard 2 combo but would like some other suggestions.
    Fist thing, definitely looking for something solid state at this point.  Cleaner drier highs and punchier bass.  I'll probably grab a tube guy down the line for classical listening.  As of now though I listen to a lot of electronic, think Sphongle and Siruismo, and I'm looking for a stack to complement my tastes.  Maybe something ~$1000?  The LCD-Xs being so much easier to drive than the LCD2s-3s the DAC is probably going to mean more than the AMP, I'm guessing.
    Any suggestions are welcome as, while I have done quite a lot of research, my knowledge level doesn't even begin to touch some of yours when it comes to audio and equipment.
  2. OddE
    From one newbie (around here, at least!) to another - my go-to amp+dac for the better part of the past decade has been the Benchmark Media DAC1. It doesn't have a power switch, so mine has been left on for probably seven or eight years now - never let me down even once.
    The headphone amp will drive just about any load without any problems, the DAC is just about as good as they get - oh, and it is built like the proverbial tank.
    I believe the base model retails at $995 in the US; for this you get a 24/192 DAC w/coax, TOSlink and XLR inputs + headphone amplifier. The power supply is integrated.
    Performance-wise, it is about as neutral and transparent as they get, at least to my (untrained and skeptical) ears.
    -Odd Erling, Norway
  3. absent
    Thanks for the info!  That sound like a pretty good feature set for the price as long as it's a good amp/DAC.
  4. OddE
    I guess opinions vary, but it is my impression that the DAC1 (and its various brethren - DAC1 USB, DAC1 HDR, the recently released DAC2 in its various incarnations) have a very good name. Basically, they are pro audio products which have also found a following among hi-fi enthusiasts.
    The amp drives just about anything - a friend of mine was surprised when it could even drive his AKG K1000s to uncomfortable listening levels - they are orders of magnitude less sensitive than most headphones, somewhere around the 75dB/1mW mark. It is also dead quiet and hum-free. I'd buy another in a heartbeat if my current unit was to fail on me. (And around here, it is ~USD1500, not $995....)
     -Odd Erling
  5. Gray
    Another heads up for the Benchmark. I have the Dac2 HGC and the LCD-X's and the two together are much more than the sum of their parts. Sound fantastic together.
  6. Stoney Contributor
    I'm loving the Meridian Prime, $2000 including an amazing DAC (USB only). Also auditioned the Chord Hugo and it is great with more capabilities, and portable when needed.  Odd volume knob that is good for portable but not my taste for home, a deal breaker given I adjust volume very frequently. I believe Jude reviewed this combo. I also use Pure Audio with my iTunes library on my MacBook Pro as server. 
  7. Barry S
    For $900, the Dangerous Source gives you an endgame level DAC comparable to the Benchmark DAC2, Gungnir, NAD M51, PWD MkII, or DA8, and a very good amp. Not endgame good, but very neutral, reasonably transparent, and power to spare. When you're ready to move up, you buy a top level amp and feed it with the balanced outputs of the Dangerous Source.
  8. rendanator
    I'm in the same position as you OP and I'm wondering what you ended up deciding! My LCD-X comes in a couple days and im trying to decide what upgrades to make to my amp/dac to get the best out of them.

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