I really need to make it down again to see you all. The June date always co-insides with my anniversary which would be a tough one to explain away but August seems fair game. Glad a good time was had by all.
The intrinsic benefit of balanced throughout is the overall noise cancellation. Noise will be out of phase within positive and negative signal, this means they cancel each other out. This will not be the case for single ended input ( even though the amp will convert it into a balanced signal ) . The benefit you will still get is the fact that both the positive and negative signal is active - which equates to better driver control and more power. The noise cancellation is...
I think the stock YHD3 are not the flat fabric pads of the YHD1/YHD2 ilk but rather "normal" raised pads but still low profile. I seem to recall seeing that thin foam damping pad in the YHD3 disintegrated in the set I had. I have never had the YHE50 so have no personal reference. My thoughts would echo yours that drivers should be similar. and yes, quite astounding little drivers.
The zebra ID1 are not neutral by any means but they have much more top end than the...
Just an FYI, the carbon is not lush, imo, it is more resolving than the HA-1. ( yes , I have heard both side by side) I like the versatility of the HA-1 and use it mostly as a preamp . It's headphone stage is solid but does not resolve to the same degree as the Cavalli..dB
my recommendation would be to look for CBS/Hytron long bottle 12SN7 - a great tube at a reasonable cost.
I was not a fan of the CV181-Z ShuGuang , the original Mullards were another matter entirely.