Jul 12, 2018818 views

Any amps for Audeze lcd series headphones ?

Hello all, long time lurker and first time posting. I have been watching and waiting for an Amp that would do either of my Audeze headphones any justice but I have yet to see any that actually measure up based on specs and reviews. I have the lcd 2 and the lcd-xc headphones from Audeze and I have been trying very hard to find an amp that will do at least 1 watt because based on my own testing you really do need some power to make those headphones shine. When connected to my AK Kaan, balanced out, I don’t feel as if I am getting enough power out of them like when I am running my IFI SE Amp but at the same time I want a nice tube amp to be run directly from the AK, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I've had great success with my Fostex HPA-4bl using the balanced line. I don't get any noise (not sure specs, but floor is low). To me, Fostex is the way to go unless you can jump up to $1k+. Like most audio-stuff, you have to go in leaps to notice real difference. I like the Fostex way more than Jotunheim (too dry for me). Anyway, you've probably already decided this late, but maybe someone can be helped.
Cayin iHA-6... the planars best friend (not tube but my personal favorite)
They need at least 4 watts according to Audeze. Schiit has a few options that'll make that much power.
try the lehmann audio linear, its just a great amp, that plays really nice with planar magnetic headphones. It adds a little bit of warmth, which destroys the clinical accuracy of xcs, but if your not a professional you will enjoy the really fun sound.
As Jackula suggests, most tube amps will pair well. The Bottlehead S.E.X. is an exception and would've been my top recommendation although I see you've chosen an Emotiva. Just note that power ratings aren't everything. A high power class D amp is still going to sound terrible for example, but I hope that Emotiva amp satisfies you. Volume definitely won't be an issue anymore at least.
Hello and thanks for the response. Sadly I will still need an amp for the LCD-XC, the emotiva sounds great on the LCD-2 but the ground noise is very noticeable on the XC due to it being the more “portable” version thus needing less power. I think I will just need to bite the bullet and go the 1k route for some Woo fireflies, or maybe I can find a bottlehead to try out. As for the emotiva, it was an inexpensive go to to see what more power could do. When I first got into this hobby I was so stoked to have my mirage omd 28 speakers and then I was so pissed when I had them hooked up because they sounded horrible with a top of the line marantz receiver. Then I found out it wasn’t the receiver , I was starving them. Once I had my 200 watt per channel on all 6 28 and the center channel on them they sounded great. If anything I now know that more power benefits the Audeze and I have a starting point.
The Woo Audio WA7 is severely overpriced, you can do much better for less. Sounds like the gain is too high on your Emotiva. Well, I stand by the Bottlehead S.E.X. recommendation.
Alternatively, if you don't want to build that (though you may be able to find built ones for sale on Head-Fi, Ebay, and elsewhere) and/or are willing to go with another solid state amp, I'd suggest a Dynalo from Mjolnir-Audio. There's even a used Dynalo on Mjolnir-Audio for the unbelievable price of $450, and his have a linear power supply built in. The Dynalo is a pure class A amp and extremely linear circuit, one of the best measured of any headphone amp.
Those Audeze headphones really need high current amplifiers to shine, tube amps are high voltage amplifiers that are better with high impedance headphones than planars. That's not to say you can't have a tube amp with your Audeze, it's just not optimal. If you really want to go the tube route, your best bet would be tube amps with transformer output, these transformers turns voltage into current, but are not cheap. Something like a Woo WA6SE or Auris HA2SE would work well with your Audeze.
Thank you for the response. I think I needed that confirmation since there is so little talk about the Audeze pairings that don’t cost upward of 2k. I went ahead and ordered an emotiva amp that can put out a ton of power (50 watts , use with care was advised). I had an emotiva xpa-3 (200 Watts each channel really to all 3 channels) with my mirage omd-28 speakers and loved it so I figured why not, $229 isn’t going to break the bank and I suppose I could use a preamp to change the stage if needed. Thanks again!