R2R DAC and AMP Setup for Audeze and ZMF Headphones

Hello HifiGuides \o

I’m looking for advice on a new setup. I’m currently using an Aune X1S with AKG K7xx and looking to upgrade. I’ve been eyeing an LCD-X or ZMF Auteur and an R2R DAC like a Soekris or Denafrips Ares 2. So the question I have is, what amp would pair well with a setup like this? I’m also very much open to suggestions about the chain as a whole. As for preferred music, I listen to everything really. Although I can make slight compromises when it comes to vocals. I’m more of an instrumental guy.

Edit: I also have a mild preference for solid state amps. EU located.

What would you say your budget is at the moment, and generally what aspects would you want to prioritize here (like soundstage, timbre, detail, etc)?

I guess I’m looking for a mostly balanced natural sound. I like detail, but not to the point where I’m listening to a single instrument instead of the orchestra as a whole. Soundstage is a bit more important to me I feel. But the most important feel is the timbre I guess.

As for budget, I’m looking at $500 - $750.

Gotcha. Hmmm, in that price range I might look for an auralic taurus MK2 which is pushing budget a bit but can be found used around 800-900 and I think is pretty worthwhile imo. It pairs well with the ares ii if you don’t mind tilting a bit warmer, the bifrost 2 if you wanted something more really balanced but organic. Nice presentation that’s slightly warmer relaxed, good dynamics, good detail that’s not in your face, a bit more intimate stage but with pretty great depth (and can be improved depending on the dac), and solid timbre. Also great control.

A violectric v200 which can be found for around 500-750 used and is a pretty solid piece, pairs well with a soekris (but the ares ii tilts it too far warm imo).

I would keep an eye out for those two imo

What about a LakePeople G111? That was my pick initially after reading the discussion here. Also do you have any opinions on the headphone choices?

Lake People sounds like a creepy Stephen King novel.


That’s a pretty solid pick and would pair pretty well. The reason I mention the v200 over the g111 is because the v200 ends up being a bit better technical preformer and also ends up having a bit better timbre and organicness, but the g111 is still a pretty solid pick imo

I do like the auteur, it’s a real solid all rounder and good technical preformer, while also being decently organic. It can be a bit more neutral slightly bright at times, so my personal preference for it is a tube amp to just give it a bit more warmth, reduce the treble a bit, give more weight and tonal density, and also give a more organic soundstage, but I do like it off of the warmer ss amps (the v200 checks a lot of those boxes, auralic as well)

The LCD x for me is highly hit or miss. It really depends on the revision you get. It’s been so inconsistent for me that I can’t really form a solid opinion tbh

What do you think about the Feliks Audio Echo mk2? They’re EU so it’s a pretty comfortable option.

It would be the 2021 version.

That’s a great choice for an auteur, but lackluster for the lcd x imo. There’s also the cayin ha-1a mk2 at that price point so that’s also worth a look, would be a bit better with an lcd x but still not ideal (and equally good with the auteur imo)

I haven’t gotten enough time with the 2021 to really comment

Thanks a bunch! I think I’ll end up with the G111 and a used soekris 2541 or new 1221 whenever that one gets released.