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Benchmark DAC1's XLR driving headphones--great results - Page 3

post #31 of 122
I use a Quail power cable from the group buy (14AWG shielded) into a Monster PC1000 for my power, and it is a definite improvement over wall power, in terms of highs (where I notice it most) and also a bit in detail.
post #32 of 122

...

I experimented with the DAC1 and SignalCable Digital PC and Quail 14AWG PC and found the best results with the PS Audio Plus PC (and removing the removable ground pin). I connect the Plus power cable to the PS Audio P300 power regenerator, which renders black-as-void backgrounds and expansive soundstages. The P300 plugs into a PS Audio Power Port outlet via another PS Audio Plus cable. This is indeed an expensive power system, but it is very satisfying and worthwhile for the level of audio reproduction that the DAC1/balanced HD650 provides.
post #33 of 122
I just got my new DAC1 yesterday and the built in amp sounds pretty good through my 650's with stock cable BUT I'm eager to get my Silver Dragon back from Moon Audio-- I'm having Drew attach female XLR's to my previous 1/4 tip cable (I've had for coming up on a year now)... I'll try and post thoughts when it comes in.
post #34 of 122
My cable is off to Zu to be reterminated for XLR, so it looks like we'll have a few new people joining the DAC1/XLR/650 club!
post #35 of 122
Congratulations!

At some point, I've got to A/B the headphile V2 XLR cable versus an XLR'd Zu. I've left my Zu single ended to use with my Mg head for now.
post #36 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by zdogg
One important word of warning: the unattenuated output of the XLR jacks(that is, with the switch in the back of the DAC1 set to "calibrated" rather than variable) is dangerously loud and certainly can potentially trash your ears and cans if one is not careful.
LOL, I was kind of in the middle of some thing else and totally misinterpreted this. Lemme explain, I have my DAC1 connected to a dvd-player and without thinking it through I quickly snapped the switch to calibrated mode and OMG! my head almost exploded! Jesus Christ that was loud!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zdogg
I use the calibrated setting with Foobar in conjunction with Foobar's digital volume attenuation (usually set to -33 up to -20 DB depending on the tune); this seems to sound a little better than the variable setting using the DAC1's pot, but remember, if you're surfing the web while listening and some annoying ad pops up and starts playing music without the benefit of Foobar's attenuation, your ears will bleed and cans crackle . I imagine this caution should be applied to any cans used in this fashion.
yeap, thats the part I missed.. LOL!

Have you tried connecting the DAC1 to a cd-player or a dvd-player using the variable mode and compared that to a computer based source with the DAC1 set to calibrated?
post #37 of 122
Dude, that'll definitely pickle your cerebrum! Glad you didn't blow out your eardrum, though your avatar looks a little more cross-eyed to me now

Quote:
Originally Posted by zool
Have you tried connecting the DAC1 to a cd-player or a dvd-player using the variable mode and compared that to a computer based source with the DAC1 set to calibrated?
I've tried to make this comparison, but it is difficult in that precise volume matching between the computer source using foobar attenuation and the CD/DVD player source using DAC1 volume pot is tough, and there's also the difference between the optical cable I use from the computer and the coax from the CD/DVD; my auditory memory isn't long enough to detect the subtle differences between the two that might exist given the time it takes to switch cables/switches/etc (even if I could get the volume matching right). I am currently actually using variable mode with both my computer and DVD sources; it's more convenient and seems not to sound much inferior to me (but I'm deaf from accidentally doing the same thing you mentioned above, so don't trust me )
post #38 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by zdogg
Dude, that'll definitely pickle your cerebrum! Glad you didn't blow out your eardrum, though your avatar looks a little more cross-eyed to me now
Haha, yea .



Quote:
Originally Posted by zdogg
I've tried to make this comparison, but it is difficult in that precise volume matching between the computer source using foobar attenuation and the CD/DVD player source using DAC1 volume pot is tough, and there's also the difference between the optical cable I use from the computer and the coax from the CD/DVD; my auditory memory isn't long enough to detect the subtle differences between the two that might exist given the time it takes to switch cables/switches/etc (even if I could get the volume matching right). I am currently actually using variable mode with both my computer and DVD sources; it's more convenient and seems not to sound much inferior to me (but I'm deaf from accidentally doing the same thing you mentioned above, so don't trust me )
I tried both variable and calibrated with my computer source and I actually agreed with the fact that It sounds just a little bit cleaner and the music seems have a bit more punch to it in calibrated mode.. Well at least I thought so at first. Until I started thinking of not changing the volume in foobar but on my DAC in variable mode. Using foobar at 0.00dB degrades the sound a little bit, making the sound card work harder and the DAC1 less, at least it seems like this is the reason. When I turned up the volume on on the DAC1 and left the volume in foobar at -19.00dB DAC1 sounded exactly the same in calibrated and variable.
post #39 of 122
How does the Dac1 in balanced mode compare to the Blockhead?
post #40 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyEPoD
How does the Dac1 in balanced mode compare to the Blockhead?
The biggest advantage of running headphones directly off the balanced DAC1 connectors is that it gives you twice the slew rate for only the cost of putting a couple of connectors on the headphone cable. It also has twice the voltage swing, but that just gives you louder music which requires turning the volume knob down to get the same comfortable listening level. Adding a balanced amp gives you more current flow for a much more powerful full sound. Get a balanced amp onto the DAC1 as soon as you can to have a complete balanced headphone system. I haven't heard the blockhead but I use the balanced Gilmore Dynahi and balanced Gilmore Dynalo amps.
post #41 of 122
BTW, who discovered this great combo? Was it Neil?

Who ever it was, I'm grateful .
post #42 of 122

Actually...

I believe it was Iron_Dreamer - he is the ultimate trend-setter for me (the RME DIGI 96/8 PAD, DAC1 and XLR-HD650 were all his pioneering efforts).
post #43 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilPeart
I believe it was Iron_Dreamer - he is the ultimate trend-setter for me (the RME DIGI 96/8 PAD, DAC1 and XLR-HD650 were all his pioneering efforts).
Thanks to Iron_Dreamer, then (and drminky for put me on the right track). I didn't think I could have such a great option for my head-fi needs.

Cheers
post #44 of 122
Can I just get a 1/4inch--->female xlr adaptor to use this option instead of changing the actual cable?
post #45 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by mneuwiueyagaobcf
Can I just get a 1/4inch--->female xlr adaptor to use this option instead of changing the actual cable?
Not really, since you wouldn't get the benefits of balanced drive (since that requires 2 wires to each driver, 4 contacts total).
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