Lyr 3 Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by neogeosnk, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. pelagius

    pelagius Rando

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    I've had the Lyr 3 for a couple weeks now, and I am pretty happy with it. To preface, I'm using them to feed a pair of HD600 with rear foam removed, Damplifier Pro added, and Dekoni fenestrated sheepskin pads. Source is Eitr -> Modi Multibit -> Loki (2:30, 1 o'clock, 11 o'clock, 11 o'clock). I'm still figuring out exactly what my tastes are and how to describe them, but I would say that I like transparency and clarity, but I am also somewhat treble sensitive and prefer a strong low end. Listening was with the Tung-Sol tube on high gain, with the volume at about 9 o'clock.

    Before the Lyr 3, I was using an MCTH with the stock tube. I'm pretty skeptical of my own ear and was actually expecting to have to A/B to perceive any difference between the two, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the difference was actually pretty apparent. I noticed better instrument separation, bass quantity, extension, and definition, as well as improved clarity off the bat. I also think that dynamics and detail are a bit better with the Lyr, and that the treble is less prominent. I think that the reduced treble is good for me, as I found myself getting fatigued more easily with the MCTH.

    I do, however, feel that the soundstage has less depth than the MCTH. I still prefer the spatial presentation of the Lyr, however, because of the better instrument separation and air. Bass is also still a bit less than I'd like, but I think that's probably more a product of the headphone than the amp.

    I actually got the Lyr 3 along with the LCD 2C, expecting that the LCD 2C would replace the HD600 as my main headphone. I probably just have HD600-ear, but I felt like information was missing with the LCD 2C compared to the HD600, especially in the upper mids. The main reason I was looking at the LCD 2C was because I was getting fatigued frequently with HD600 + MCTH, but the Lyr 3 seems to have largely ameliorated this. I what second @Vtory said about the Lyr 3 having very good synergy with HD600 + Dekoni fenestrated sheepskin pads.
     
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  2. Nanekiu

    Nanekiu Rando

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    Just got my lyr3 amp, I'm considering purchasing either a psvane uk-6sn7 or a 6sn7-se, what's the SQ difference between these two tubes considering the SE costs way more?
     
  3. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    To my ears they sound nearly identical, within tube to tube variance. The SE is art which I appreciate and own one. But I listen more often to the UK as I can justify wearing it out more frequently, as I am putting hours on it even now with my Lyr3.
     
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  4. Nanekiu

    Nanekiu Rando

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    Ahh ok good to know as I can purchase the UK variant in my country, this is my first tube amp so I'm wondering do tubes silently degrade in SQ or is it that they will work until they die?
     
  5. nickwin

    nickwin Rando

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    Wow less bright than the MCTH? I thought the consensus was that the Lyr 3 was fairly bright and forward?

    Nice review regardless!
     
  6. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    My 10-month experience is largely the opposite: neutral and slightly laid-back. Unless compared to vali 2.
     
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  7. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Both?

    Most of the time they stay pretty stable for thousands - sometimes tens of thousands - of hours, then start getting worse and you swap them out, but they can also fail catastrophically.
     
  8. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Friend

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    I've been using the 6SN7-SE, but maybe I should adopt your more economical approach... Are you using the higher-priced hand-selected 6SN7-UK or the factory standard one? http://psvanetube.com/wordpress/store/products/6sn7-uk-pair/
     
  9. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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  10. Azimuth

    Azimuth Acquaintance

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    Maybe you are confused with Jotunheim. Both use the same chassis, but the Lyr 3 has the 6SN7 tube. Topology is different as it is not a Jot with a tube front end.

    I also think the consensus was brighter than the syrupy Lyr 2, but to more neutral.
     
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  11. nickwin

    nickwin Rando

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    Not mixing it up with the Jot per se but what I had heard may have been in comparison to the Lyr1/2 (I have Lyr 1 so those comparison were of particular interest). It sounds like it's not bright by todays standards though. Thanks for the info!
     
  12. nickwin

    nickwin Rando

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    Would anyone be willing to take a crack at ranking Lyr3, CTH and LP (and Mj2 if possible) on the spectrum of tubeyness, warmth and body vs forwardness, brightness and dryness?

    Im probably going to try most if not all of these myself, but I don't even know where to start! The lyr1 seems to be so far removed from all these I'm having a hard time figuring out how they stack up in terms of overall tone. FWIW Im finding the LP a bit dry and boring with my HE500s. The sound just seems have no weight/body.
     
  13. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    My experience is with the Lyr 3 and LP, and they're hard to rank because tube rolling can push them both in either direction. Overall, I'd call it a wash.

    Generally speaking, however, I'd say the LP has more potential to swing either way on the spectrum depending on your preferences and therefore gives a little more versatility. The Lyr 3 retained a neutral-ish and somewhat laid back presentation regardless of the tube with minor swings in either direction. I find the LP to be less laid back (more dynamic) with more warmth and musicality if you choose the tubes to push it in that direction.

    Going from the stock tubes to a pair of 1972 Amperex A-frames took the LP from dry/airy/clean to super wet and warm. The jump was significant.

    The Lyr 3 responds to tube rolling as well, but not as dramatically.
     
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  14. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Have you already tried LP? If not, I highly recommend you to read though LP thread from the beginning. Here is the rationale (mostly from non-sonic perspective):
    1. Owned and seriously compared both Lyr 3 and CTH. Both are rather similar than different, regarding your criteria. I prefer microdynamics and plankton of Lyr 3 with my headphones though. But can't say much about he500.
    2. As a current owner of Lyr 3, I find it fairly "annoying" neither having XLR headphone out nor accepting balanced inputs. There are many sources (except some like soekris) whose balanced outs are better. Also XLR headphone connection is far more mechanically robust. Additional money and effort to address these are definitely huge loss imo, not to mention doing so makes everything uglier.
    3. I am assuming LP as a step up from CTH for nearly every aspect, if not by much. Also, LP has no such troubles described in #2
    If Schiit releases a new amp that addresses #2, I will happily give it a try. Perhaps MJ3[1] this year or so? But for now, LP seems the most ideal way to go.

    PS. I also agree with @Skyline 's opinion.

    Footnote
    [1] Personally think this could be feasible. Because currently Schiit doesn't have any higher or full-sized products with their advanced (I mean, constant trans-conductance thing aka "continuity") output stage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 7:52 AM
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  15. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Having owned the 500 for years, it likes power and warmth. Since @nickwin already owns the LP, I'd say make sure you're running the 500s balanced for extra power and that you've rolled some warmer tubes into the amp.

    Otherwise, you're not going to hear the combo at its full potential.
     
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  16. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Between MJ2 and Lyr 3, Mj2 is brighter and sharper in the treble. In terms of warmth, wetness/dryness and body, both aren't very different. The choice between Mj2 and Lyr 3 will basically come down to bass slam, treble brightness, soundstage and the connection/port options. Mj2 slams harder in the bass, is brighter in the treble and has a slightly smaller stage with a touch more forward presentation. All these result in Mj2 being a touch more aggressive than the Lyr 3. I personally prefer the Lyr 3, with the exception of the bass slam of the Mj2. Lyr 3's bass slam can be a touch soft. Also here is famish99's thoughts on the comparison between the 2 amps:

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...-3-discussion-thread.5946/page-42#post-204680
     
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  17. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Oh, I didn't notice he is a LP owner. Then I am starting to worry all these amp candidates might not work for he500 and his taste unless other approaches (e.g., pad mods, other headphones, or totally different amps) are introduced. IMO all the mentioned amps except MJ2 share similar philosophy and character when optimally operated.
     
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  18. nickwin

    nickwin Rando

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    Thanks for the input @Skyline, @Vtory and @EagleWings !

    I do own the LP, and I did read all of the LP thread and most of this thread before making the decision to pull the trigger on it. My DAC is single ended (Modi MB), but I did try a balanced cable for the HE500s.

    My experience thus far with the LP has been limited and full of weird circumstances, it came with two different tubes, I tried those briefly and then swapped in some 60s Amperex PQs that worked really well in my Lyr 1 and to be honest I wasn't blown away with the LP HE500 combo with either set of tubes. BUT I came down with a cold a couple days after doing that initial listening and I think it may have been effecting my ears/hearing so I absolutely need to give it some more time before I make any final decisions. Monoprice then wanted me to return the whole amp instead of just exchanging the tubes so I only had about a week on the LP and Im still waiting for the replacement two weeks later.

    @Skyline I agree with you on what the HE500s requires in an amp. The LP has the power for sure (at least on paper), but it was definitely lacking in the warmth department, even with warm NOS tubes. The detail and separation and all that seemed excellent, but my initial impression was that the mids and particularly vocals seemed kind flat/dry and even recessed compared to the Lyr. It didn't give me that "in the room" experience at all and it just really didn't engage me. I kept trying to compensate by turning up the volume but it never really got there for me and eventually my ears would fatigue.

    I certainly haven't given up on the LP yet, but @Vtory you might be right in that last post, and this really what I was wondering. If it turns out Im not happy with the overall tone of the LP with the HE500s would any of the others I mentioned be better? It sounds like probably not, besides maybe the Mj2. Thanks for the insights!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 8:47 AM
  19. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    I'm a huge 500 fan and find this surprising. Flat/dry/recessed mids are the opposite of what I'm hearing with the LP. Vocals, especially, are popping for me and the sound has a liquid warmth that I'm digging. But hey, different headphones and different tubes, so who knows.

    @rtaylor76 has a pair of 500s. Hopefully, before long, he can bring them over for a test run.
     
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  20. nickwin

    nickwin Rando

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    Im not going to lie, on some level Im wondering if there was something wrong with my LP or one of the tubes I got was bad, just based on how different my experience has from most others here.

    But, like you say different HPs can make world of difference for sure so it could just be that. The Lyr 1 w/ Amperex tubes seems to have a great synergy with HE500s but it didn't do anything special for HD650 or TH-X00 at all. Another thing to keep in mind is Im coming from the extreme end of full/lush/warm with that combo and Ive been using it for several years so Im pretty used to it. But yeah, I definitely wasn't getting the warmth or pop in the vocals that you are experiencing. Thats what Im looking for, but dry and kind of flat is how I would describe what I got (I only have HE500s now, so can't comment with the other HPs).

    All that said, I have seen other Hifiman owners describe the LP as dry too, @songmic for example in the LP thread (technically LFF code-x in his case).

    Im definitely curious to hear your opinion if you do get to try it with the HE500s.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 9:21 AM

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