gain switch and volume control position


I have a Schiit Jotunheim headphone amp and a pair of Audeze LCD-2 headphones.  If I use the low gain setting on the amp, the volume knob is at about 1 o'clock much of the time.  If I use the high gain setting, the volume control is at about 11 o'clock.  Hard to tell much of a difference in sound quality.  

Is there any insight or advice on these two setting options?
marktomaras

Hi, Mark,

Sounds like the gain is just about right either way.

Regards,

Tom

Hi Mark, I am interested in the LCD-2 or LCD-2C. How do you like the Audeze/Schiit combo?

Regarding your question, I lack the knowledge to answer. As tketchem stated, it seems that either way is OK, however, it seems to me, the best option would de determined based on how the gain differential was configured. For instance, one question that comes to mind: Is there an additional gain stage for the high gain or an attenuation for the low gain? 
Mesch,

good call on finding out how the gain is configured.  I think I will ask Schiit and see what they say!

I really love the LCD-2.  It is amazing.  As a newcomer to high quality headphones, I am blown away that I can get a similar level of listening enjoyment from my headphones as I can with my Wilson speakers driven with an Audio Research tube amp.  Do they sound the same?  Of course not.  But when I am listening to them, I am nearly equally happy for the experience I am having at that moment.

I was using the Chord Mojo, but I sold it and went with the Jotunheim.  I use it at my desk (with built in optional DAC Card) and listen to music while I work on my computer.  I then move the Jotunheim to my audio rack and plug in some balanced inputs from my preamp to play music from the phonostage or dac that resides in my main system.

In short, I love the combo.  The sound is excellent.  Can the Jotunheim be bested by the competitors?  Probably, but maybe not for the same price.  $400 is a pretty great deal for that little amp.  Also, I chose it partially based on the sweet spot of wattage power that Audeze recommends for these headphones.  That said, I have only heard the LCD-2 through the Mojo and the Jotunheim.  I do not have experience with other headphone amps. 

Good Luck!
marktomaras
  Is there any insight or advice on these two setting options?


Always best to use the volume level that’s highest, as that way your using more/most of the signal that’s coming in, and not throwing it away back into the ground plane, which on the test bench equals to better signal to noise ratio. (and you may hear it as a blacker background) Nelson Pass is basically saying the same below.


Quote from Nelson Pass

"We’ve got lots of gain in our electronics. More gain than some of us need or want. At least 10 db more.

Think of it this way: If you are running your volume control down around 9 o’clock, you are actually throwing away signal level so that a subsequent gain stage can make it back up.

Routinely DIYers opt to make themselves a “passive preamp” - just an input selector and a volume control.

What could be better? Hardly any noise or distortion added by these simple passive parts. No feedback, no worrying about what type of capacitors – just musical perfection.

And yet there are guys out there who don’t care for the result. “It sucks the life out of the music”, is a commonly heard refrain (really - I’m being serious here!). Maybe they are reacting psychologically to the need to turn the volume control up compared to an active preamp."


Cheers George




Martomaras, thanks for your reply. I have created a thread asking for sonic comparison between the LCD-2 and LCD-2C as I am interested in the 2C version.

 I like George's position, the least attenuation is best. Having gain that is thereafter attenuated by a volume control is defeating a purpose. I would much prefer using a volume control between 12 and 3 o'clock, that from 9 to 12 o'clock.