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I have the 789 paired with a Topping D70. Would the LCX be any sort of downgrade?
It would be a "different-grade," a sound different than what you're used to. I have the original Liquid Carbon v2 from Cavalli, and it's one of my favorite amps (I have 5 other SS amps, a couple of which cost way more). I haven't heard either the 789 or Topping D70, but read many reviews of each. Both those units are often called "neutral," "transparent," etc. Which to my ears (depending on headphone used) can sound harmonically threadbare, lacking the natural weight of live music in midbass to bass. This LCX will give you all of that--it's a very musical/music-first sound
Well right now I'm using either the 6XX or 58X. My amp and DAC are connected via balance cables and I use my headphones with the 4 pin XLR.
I can never get the new Sennheiser designations straight. Is "6XX" the same as HD600? If yes, I've heard that HP...but not the other.
What it comes down to is where your tastes fall along the spectrum of amp voicings. Imagine the coldest, most forensic-sounding amp on the far left; the warmest amp of all on the far right. Most amps fall somewhere in between. Your THX amp veers a little toward the left: many call it "neutral," which may mean revealing, or accurate, or not especially musical/forgiving (depending on the headphone). The LCX falls a little toward the right: more warmth (but not excessive), a bit of emphasis in the bass (many headphone lovers appreciate this), and an overall "musical" (ie, entertaining, suave) voicing. I like amps that are a little right of center, including tube amps. Many others go crazy for neutral amps that would give me a headache.
One thing is certain: w/the LCX instead of the THX amp, you'd hear different things from those headphones than you're now hearing.
So in gaining more "warmth" would I be losing any of the detail in the music?
That's maybe too simplistic. Warm/cold is only one sonic continuum to consider: others include dynamics (lifeless-to-headbanging); bass (thin/parched-to-bombastic/ear-crushing); treble (peaky/shrieky-to-closed in/syrupy).
It's quite possible for two amps to convey the same amt of detail in very different ways. One might be on the cold side, sharp-focus forensic-detail; the other a little warmer, a little more resonance & air. It's a subtle distinction, but real. I have 7 amps and have heard many others...they all do things a little differently.
You may or may not hear less apparent detail going from THX to LCX. I don't know because I never heard the THX. But based on user comments I've read about the THX (describing it as a relatively flat, neutral, non-exciting, but accurate...like a music studio wish-list)--it's possible the LCX would sound somewhat more dynamic, musical, entertaining. More like real live music.
Hmm well I wouldn't mind a warmer sound but not a dark sound. Not sure if that is possible. I've also considered the Schiit Jotunheim as well. That also seems to be overall well regarded.
I've heard that one at shows. It has a ton of power but IMO is a bit sharp/bright. Others will almost certainly disagree (this being 100% subjective)--so let's split it down the middle & say the Jot emphasizes dynamics over ear-friendly tonality.
All comments are obviously from my perspective: a long-time aversion to bright/etched sound, so prevalent in audiophile 2-channel gear as well as headphone audio.
Hmm okay. I'm not sure I'd want the sound to be too bright. Is the LCX the same with or without the SDAC built in? I know there is one with the SDAC built in.
I think the LCX amp circuit is the same whether in standalone configuration, or in the combo box w/SDAC.
I recommend you research reviews & user comments re SDAC. Many love it, and it's one of the most affordable well-made DACs around. But too often I read comments like "bright-sounding," "emphasizes upper midrange," etc.
The LCX & SDAC may well have synergy together of the warm + bright kind (just a guess--I never heard it). But I'd be careful about introducing DAC brightness into your system. If you heard that & didn't like it, you'd be stuck with it.
Again, purely my opinion. I'm a big fan of multibit & especially NOS digital...went in that direction 4-5 years ago and never looked back.
I had the standalone SDAC before. Both the standard and balanced version. But I have since "upgraded" to the Topping D70. The Schiit gear has multi-bit but I have not used such DACs before.
Did you like the sound of the SDAC? How does it compare to the Topping D70?
Well I'm not the best at describing sound. I'd say that the D70 is more refined than the SDAC-B. The D70 seems to bring out some more details I didn't hear with the SDAC-B. I'm controlling the volume via the D70 with the remote so I don't touch the volume on the 789.
The Drop x Senn 6XX is an HD650 in different colorway and a shorter cable terminated in 3.5mm. The HD600 and HD650 do differ slightly in their tonality. HD650 has more bass and less upper mid/low treble, generally speaking lots of revisions on these over the years.
100% agree. Closely compared with 789, of course, 789 has more power ( it has 3 levels), but it is very dry and clean, lack of musical taste. LCX has less power, recommend to use XLR output only. With XLR balanced output, it brings lots of musical to my Headphones (Hifiman and Sennheiser).