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DAC1 and HD650 balanced

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
It seems a lot of people here prefer using Benchmark DAC1's balanced out directly with HD650. I am just curious to know how many of you prefer the headphone out to the balanced out? I remotely remember someone calling the balanced out unnatural and lacking in mid-range. Did some of you ever reversed to the headphone out after trying the balanced modification?

I am also wondering why Benchmark simply does not make a ready headpone out in a balanced way using the modification method offered here if they are aware of such a superior connection. They could even save the cost to build an amp section, which is more than a hundred dollar. Why don't they simply do it?

Well, I'm eagerly waiting for my DAC1 and have to overcome my impatience learning the potentials of the legendary DAC1...
post #2 of 68
Thread Starter 
Also there are two different ways to use the balanced out directly with HD650. Which is better?
post #3 of 68
[QUOTE=yanfeng]

I am also wondering why Benchmark simply does not make a ready headpone out in a balanced way using the modification method offered here if they are aware of such a superior connection. They could even save the cost to build an amp section, which is more than a hundred dollar. Why don't they simply do it?
QUOTE]

Well I don't think Benchmark ever considered that their balanced outputs could be used in conjunction with headphones. The original reason why balanced outputs were invented was for professional uses where long runs of wire prone to noise are often required, not for headphones. Just because the Benchmark was designed with headphone outputs doesn't mean that it was intended for headphone nuts like us! It's a rare example of a professional product that meets the requirements of home audiophiles.

Another professional product which has variable gain balanced XLR outputs is the Behringer DEQ 2496 equiliser. Better still, it doesn't have any headphone outputs!

There are already very few home audio setups which are fully balanced so can you imagine how small the market for balanced headphones are? It's just not worth it. There are very few headphones which are balanced without special modification.
post #4 of 68
Thread Starter 
Yes I can understand the situation that there are very few balanced headphone or head amp out there.
But why not make a conventional headphone out from the balanced out? Technically it would not be difficult. It woud save a head amp, with much better result, and very convenient for the end user.
post #5 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by yanfeng
(...)But why not make a conventional headphone out from the balanced out? Technically it would not be difficult.(...)
Technically it would be impossible, due to the shared ground of a conventional headphone connection.
post #6 of 68
Thread Starter 
Why impossible? So many headfiers here have made it either by ordering a balanced Zu cable or ordering plug converters from Sweetwater. If we can do it, why can't Benchmark do it from the very beginning?
post #7 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by yanfeng
Why impossible? So many headfiers here have made it either by ordering a balanced Zu cable or ordering plug converters from Sweetwater. If we can do it, why can't Benchmark do it from the very beginning?
I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing here? For balanced operation you need four conductors. There are only three with a standard phone plug. Won't work without modifying the cans.
post #8 of 68
I think you've misunderstood PeterR,

to put it simply, to have balanced operation, you require at least two lines for each channel. Like what PeterR said, that means two lines for the left channel and two lines for the right channel. Some equipment even requires three lines per channel in order to truely operate in full balanced configuration. I'd better not go into that.

Try take a look at each of the XLR outputs of the Benchmark. Three is for the left and another three is for the right. The conventional headphone jack, whether be it 1/4 or 1/8 size, simply doesn't have enough lines or conductors to run balanced.

It's kind of confusing I know! Some people are still debating whether there is actually any use for balanced outputs for headphones but I think there is no dispute that there are some sonic differences and technically, there are some benefits too.
post #9 of 68
Thread Starter 
We are talking about the same thing and we are not talking about the same thing.
I know we can't get true balanced out with unbalanced headphone plug and IC. I am just refering to the way people make use of the balanced out of DAC1 to work with HD650. Most of them get better result than with the headphone out.
I mean, if head-fiers can do it, true balance or not, why can't Benchmark do it?
post #10 of 68
to me, the balanced output put out way too much bass, the soundstage did become bigger though, i don't think it's worth it, especially considering the price of the dac1 is 1000 bux and the price of a, for example, zu xlr is 250 bux... 1250 bux for sitting on your butt teathered to a dac1 listening to something that is not shockingly high quality, whats that worth to you? certainly not 1250 to me
post #11 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by yanfeng
(...) I am just refering to the way people make use of the balanced out of DAC1 to work with HD650.(...)
...which involves chopping off the connector of the stock cable and soldering a pair of XLRs to it or buying a cable that's already configured this way. Otherwise all you can do is take one single ended output from the XLR (might as well use the RCA outs on newer DAC-1s BTW), discarding any benefits of balanced operation...
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flea Bag

Another professional product which has variable gain balanced XLR outputs is the Behringer DEQ 2496 equiliser. Better still, it doesn't have any headphone outputs!
So does the DEQ sound nice via the balanced outs? (i.e. anywhere near as nice as what ppl say about the dac1?)
post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterR
...which involves chopping off the connector of the stock cable and soldering a pair of XLRs to it or buying a cable that's already configured this way. Otherwise all you can do is take one single ended output from the XLR (might as well use the RCA outs on newer DAC-1s BTW), discarding any benefits of balanced operation...
I'd think rather than hacking your stock cable, you'd go out and buy 2 xlr plugs, and two plugs that go into your hd-600/650 and make a 4-conductor cable out of decent wire. Then you stil lhave your stock cable for everything else.

Granted I don't yet know where to get the sennheiser plugs, but I'm assuming they're out there.
post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwc
Granted I don't yet know where to get the sennheiser plugs, but I'm assuming they're out there.
Sennheiser doesn't sell them separately.
post #15 of 68
Same feeling. I have tried both Hosa XLR adapter, and XLR Zu cable, for my HD580. To me, the sound is 'not' right. Headphone out is correct sound.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dano1122
to me, the balanced output put out way too much bass, the soundstage did become bigger though, i don't think it's worth it, especially considering the price of the dac1 is 1000 bux and the price of a, for example, zu xlr is 250 bux... 1250 bux for sitting on your butt teathered to a dac1 listening to something that is not shockingly high quality, whats that worth to you? certainly not 1250 to me
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