AKG – K240 (Sextett)
The Sextett is my personal stress-test headphone for any amplifier with its 600 Ohms impedance. It is one of the hardest to drive headphones I came across, not because of the high impedance but most amplifiers just don’t get the sound right.
It’s the first time the Lyr 3 has to flex its muscles, it has more than enough power to drive this vintage headphone though. Not only does it get freakishly loud, it also delivers in sonics.
The high musicality goes into the AKG and makes its way through to your ears. Bass is well controlled and textured. It reaches deep and in dynamic manner with excellent resolution. Midrange is enjoyable and organic. Timbre is spot on and natural. Sometimes I forget how good this fourty year old headphone can sound. The Lyr 3 makes me remember each time and sets new marks to memorize.
Empire Ears – Legend X
What really took me by surprise was how well the Lyr 3 had the Legend X under control. There was no sign of hissing apparent, and that says quite a lot for a tube hybrid amplifier. Even in low gain there is perfect channel balance at low volumes.
The Legend X is a monitor that does benefit from additional power. The Lyr 3 really knows how to work with the dual Weapon IX dynamic drivers, other sources don’t get them to this level, even much higher priced ones. The resolution and layering did get one or two steps up. The sound stage is mighty big for an IEM. Midrange is lush and emotional with moderate warmth. High notes are rich and energetic with superb clarity and extension.
JH Audio – Lola
Lola is a monitor that really craves good power. Without it she can sound underwhelming in my opinion, but fed with enough juice she rewards with an extremely musical and enjoyable sound. The dual dynamic drivers really demand some Voltage as the mids indeed open up quite a bit with superior resolution, emotion and layering. Lola is one of the very best monitors when it comes to convincing instrumental colouration, she does that even better when paired with a high power source like the Lyr 3.
The combination is absolutely fantastic and shocked me a little how great Lola can sound. I was never the biggest fan of her, but with Lyr 3 it is one of the very best in my opinion. These two create a very easy to love signature that I just can’t get out of my head. Plain wonderful.
It’s impressive how versatile the Lyr 3 is when it comes to powering headphones. It has no problem driving anything under the sun it seems. Hard to drive cans from the mid 70’s, planar magnetics, flagship dynamics and even IEMs. Lyr 3 becomes the Swiss army knife of amplifiers.
The Lyr 3 to me is a highly musical sounding device that really gets you into the music again, where you lose all sight of critical listening and just enjoy what is in front of you. Sure, the DAC could be more resolved or create a bigger venue, but in the end it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you enjoy the music you like, and the Lyr 3 gets you as close as possible for that price.
Take into account the immense elasticity of the product, letting you configure it to your needs, and the extreme output power you will be faced with one tough decision not to get the Lyr 3 when you’re looking for a new affordable desktop amplifier.
The only downside I came across with the Lyr 3 is the grounding issue, which however only comes forward with In Ear Monitors.
For the price, the flexibility and the sound it is highly recommended and gives every other amplifier of this year a serious run for Best Amplifier 2018.
Chapeau Schiit Audio!