posted this on January 15, 2012, 11:39 PM
When deciding what amp to buy It is very subjective and opinions vary a lot. Here are some thoughts on selecting a good amplifiers for LCD-2. We have tested the LCD-2 with quite a number of studios and recording engineers.
Lets us say you listen to symphony-orchestra. This type of music can have dynamic range of 60 dB. i.e if silence (room noise) is at 60 dB (LCD-2 is pen type headphone design with almost no attenuation of ambient noise) and the maximum occasional peak needs to be 120 dB. I am just giving an example here, but depending upon the type of music and the recording this varies. 120 dB is very loud - almost Rock Concert level close to the speaker.
For the LCD-2, if you put 1 mw of power, you get about 90dB output. For this example, let us assume 90dB is the level you listen normally. To reproduce the occasional 120 dB peak without clipping on the LCD-2, the amplifier would have to output 1000 times more power than 1mw, i.e 1 W.
So, an amplifier that can output 1w is the bare minimum. Amplifiers will have distortion metrics at different wattage levels. If an amp can output maximum 1w it would be barely sufficient and might have a lot of distortion at full output.
So I would suggest an Amp that would at least be able to provide a couple of watts of output without any clipping. Damping in amplifiers is not a big problem for LCD-2 since the impedance doesn't vary.
There is also a very long discussion about this topic on head-fi.org found here.