qwerter

Headphone amp for Audeze LCD3

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Getting a bit more serious with my headphone setup. What would you recommend for Audeze LCD3? Balanced is preferred. 

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6 minutes ago, Qwertyqaz said:

Try the new Chord.

Which one?

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The DAVE. It's amazing by all accounts but crazy expensive here. 

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1 minute ago, CryptiK said:

The DAVE. It's amazing by all accounts but crazy expensive here. 

I only need a headphone amp. Happy with the current DAC.

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I was just answering the 'which new chord' question. There's a few amps that pop up here. 

 

Best give a rough budget too and if you want a fully balanced or single ended amp. I'm a sending my Cavalli liquid carbon back to them for upgrades so it won't be available for at least a month I'd guess. It pairs well with LCD's. Else just keep looking :)

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8 hours ago, qwerter said:

Getting a bit more serious with my headphone setup. What would you recommend for Audeze LCD3? Balanced is preferred. 

 

The million dollar question is what price point are you looking at for a headphone amp?

Also, do you plan on using other headphones with the same amp?

 

Carl

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I think it's safe to say that recommending the Dave is not required until they say "hmm, anything over 16k is preferred"

Edited by Sime
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If you don't need portable (rockin' the big LCD in public not suggested), prefer balanced I would recommend one of the Violectric amps. Portable, E12 no question. A variant of the V281 would be my go to suggestion for any planar, and as a bonus all Vios that I've heard have an absolutely silent noise floor (to my ears anyway). The V181 bargain ATM. So their amps are more than powerful enough for hungry planars and quiet enough for other high sensitivity headphones you may use in the future.

I reckon unless it breaks, you'll never need another headphone amp. 

If you like the warm glow (read not sound) of a valve amp, then the Woo WA22 is very nice too. I don't keep on the cutting edge of headphone rigs as much as I used to, but no doubt there are no shortage of other models from other brands that would be more than happy for you to empty you wallet into their accounts. Pick the features you need, an amp you like the look of AND an option that a lot of people don't consider is something aimed at Pro use, rather than Audiophile use. Spend the change on some music.

But it's hard to go past the versatility of the Violectric and SS reliability IME, or a Taurus, or some Schiit if you must, Bryston BHA-1 et al. 

Right, free shameless plugs, now where's my cut? 

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I had a pair and used them with the Auralic Taurus mkii. plenty of power to drive them well, nice sound signature that gels with the Audeze house sound, ie it's not too rolled off on top, has good detail and good bass control. They can be picked up for circa $1 - $1.5 k too.

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If you can find a Cavalli Liquid carbon (gen 1 or 2 doesn't matter) I found it paired very well with the Audeze sound

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It's not balanced in the traditional way, but I'm enjoying my Meier Jazz ff. There are both more and less expensive options.

 

Greg

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11 hours ago, negatron said:

If you can find a Cavalli Liquid carbon (gen 1 or 2 doesn't matter) I found it paired very well with the Audeze sound

 

As awesome as it is after I get it back from Cavalli I'll probably be selling mine (yours). They're great amps!

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52 minutes ago, CryptiK said:

 

As awesome as it is after I get it back from Cavalli I'll probably be selling mine (yours). They're great amps!

When are you expecting it back?

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I think it will be about 4 weeks all up, and I just sent it this morning. 

Edited by CryptiK

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Earlier this year I listened to many amps with the LCD3.  I found the Violectric V220 & V280 the worst combo, and the Auralic Taurus the best, along with Questyle 800R.  A2A said that the Taurus was voiced for the LCD3, which didn't surprise me.  Off the top of my head I don't recall if any of these are balanced.

Edited by Kaynin

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Hi @Kaynin

 

Interested in your thoughts. We all hear and like different things, so what ways were the violetrics "worse" for you, or why the Auralic was better? Ta

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I auditioned the V281 with the special volume knob. It was ok. A tad bright and a tad thin. Seemed good, but didn't wow me. I heard the Moon HA430 after it and felt it was a far better amp. It was about 2k more, however. 

 

I really liked the Cavalli Liquid Carbon so much I bought one, but when the opportunity to try the Chord Hugo TT came up I jumped on it (I'd had my interest in Rob Watts designed piqued by the DAVE thread on HeadFi but could never afford the DAVE). It's great, I was considering running it into the liquid carbon but but with my HE1000's being so easy to drive I don't need a separate amp anymore. This was partly the reason I sold my Maxxed WA5, that and my kids going to be at an age where he wants to touch everything and I didn't want hot tubes on that list. 

 

The cavalli liquid carbon sounds very similar to the Liquid Gold (LAu), which is very slightly warmer than dead neutral. Very similar to the moon HA430 to my ears. Both are very musical and fun to listen to, and just drew me in to the music. The moon was huge, though and so was the LAu, so the small form factor of the liquid carbon won me over. The TT is now all I need, but since my LC is version 1 I've sent it back to Cavalli to be upgraded to version 2. 

Edited by CryptiK

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Lol Cryptik, your gearlist needs to include a pair of closed cans,  I'm not allowed to use my open ones anymore since they annoy the mrs and wake the kids and I'm sure you'll be along that point soon!

 

On that note qwerter, the v200 wouldn't be something I'd consider as IMO its best suited for high impedance dynamics.

 

if you can wait, I'd give Cryptik's LC a good solid listen.

Edited by negatron

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9 hours ago, Citroen said:

Hi @Kaynin

 

Interested in your thoughts. We all hear and like different things, so what ways were the violetrics "worse" for you, or why the Auralic was better? Ta

 

Hi Citroen,

 

Happy to provide my thoughts, for the little value they usually have!

 

I found the Auralic/LCD3 separation was a real stand out, just awesome, plus the gain was better than the Violectic/LCD3's, which is an important factor to me.  Also, pretty bloody smooth.  The Violectrics/LCD's I found the bass was deep (those LCD3's are incredible in that department), but a tad loose.  The 3's/Questyle 800i combo I found brilliant - the warmth/soundstage/bass control were the main standouts, but just so engaging I didn't want to put them down.

 

In the end I didn't buy any of them and went for other gear...

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16 minutes ago, Kaynin said:

 

Hi Citroen,

 

Happy to provide my thoughts, for the little value they usually have!

 

I found the Auralic/LCD3 separation was a real stand out, just awesome, plus the gain was better than the Violectic/LCD3's, which is an important factor to me.  Also, pretty bloody smooth.  The Violectrics/LCD's I found the bass was deep (those LCD3's are incredible in that department), but a tad loose.  The 3's/Questyle 800i combo I found brilliant - the warmth/soundstage/bass control were the main standouts, but just so engaging I didn't want to put them down.

 

In the end I didn't buy any of them and went for other gear...

Did you listen to a single Questyle 800i? Or two of them in balanced?

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20 minutes ago, qwerter said:

Did you listen to a single Questyle 800i? Or two of them in balanced?

 

 

Single unit earlier this year when doing these comparos, and loved it.  Then I listened to two units in a balanced config along with the LCD4's at the hi-fi show year - wow.  Made me cry...only because I couldn't afford it...

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3 hours ago, negatron said:

Lol Cryptik, your gearlist needs to include a pair of closed cans,  I'm not allowed to use my open ones anymore since they annoy the mrs and wake the kids and I'm sure you'll be along that point soon!

 

On that note qwerter, the v200 wouldn't be something I'd consider as IMO its best suited for high impedance dynamics.

 

if you can wait, I'd give Cryptik's LC a good solid listen.

 

I do have a pair of D7000's still. I just don't use them much anymore as the study is basically my domain now. When I had to share it with my wife it was closed cans or no cans haha 

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Posted (edited)

so the the Taurus & The 800i were the best matches for the lcd3? will need to try both.

 

the taurus mkII can be had for $1600ish new apposed to the double the price of the 800i so i'm leaning towards that.

 

The 600i would be more the direct comparison no? has anyone heard the 600i & taurus?

Edited by alphanumerix1

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