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HeadRoom Desktop Balanced Amp Worth It?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi. This is my first post.

I'm thinking of purchasing a HeadRoom Desktop Balanced Amp with and the Sennheiser HD650 with Cardas Balanced Cable.

For me this adds up in terms of cost. My question is, Can anyone comment as to whether or not the expense is worth it? I'm quite willing to pay for it is.

Or, would a lesser amp with same headphones do?

I appreciate all responses.

Thank you.
post #2 of 28
Im thinking about this amp also.
post #3 of 28
With a little luck (and some time) I'll have a pretty complete review of this amp up in the next week. I spent a little over a month with a maxed out amp (Home DAC, Home Amp Module, Stepped Attenuator) driving my HD650s and a pair of balance K701s. I thought it did a very good to excellent job of driving both cans and balanced drive really does do something for the HD650s. And the convenience of having a built-in balanced source that can also take any single-ended source and turn it into a balanced one is really amazing. And all for either $299 (Desktop) or $399 (Home). Tell me where else you can even find a balanced source that'll take USB, coax or optical digital for less than twice that?

Also, many people had a listen to the amp at the recent NYC Head-Fi meet so you might post a question in that thread and see if you can get some impressions from those folks. I don't recal anyone listening to it who walked away disappointed.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you both. I will try to find someone I can speak with about the balanced amp (other than the folks who sell them).
post #5 of 28
Where in the world are you located, Gabi?
post #6 of 28

Balanced Desktop

How does the Balanced Desktop compare with your Millet Hybrid?
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by n_maher View Post
And all for either $299 (Desktop) or $399 (Home). Tell me where else you can even find a balanced source that'll take USB, coax or optical digital for less than twice that?
Unless I'm super confused HR's site lists this thing at $899 and you're saying $299 or $399? where is that price?
post #8 of 28
You can add an internal DAC to the amp for $299, so your total cost would be $899 + $299 = $1198 for an amp configured with the Desktop Amp and DAC modules. I hope that helps clear it up for you.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by n_maher View Post
You can add an internal DAC to the amp for $299, so your total cost would be $899 + $299 = $1198 for an amp configured with the Desktop Amp and DAC modules. I hope that helps clear it up for you.
ahh yes makes sense now the part that threw me off was that you said "and all that for $299" I was thinking wow thats cheap as hell.
post #10 of 28
the amp has always seemed like a good deal to me, the only think i would recommend against is the Cardas cable with the HD650. it seems to me as if the cable can have some deleterious affects on some aspects of sound quality. better to have the stock table reterminated instead.. imho.
post #11 of 28
I can't believe nobody said it yet, but . . . Welcome to Head-Fi and sorry about your wallet Gabi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by granodemostasa View Post
the amp has always seemed like a good deal to me, the only think i would recommend against is the Cardas cable with the HD650. it seems to me as if the cable can have some deleterious affects on some aspects of sound quality. better to have the stock table reterminated instead.. imho.
This amp does sound great and is undoubtedly the least expensive balanced amp and dac combination available. I have heard the amp with 650s and it drives them very well indeed. I agree 100% with granodemostasa that the Cardas cable really is not the way to go for a 650. It works much better with the HD600 for whatever reason. Headroom was supposed to be offering an xlr reterminated stock 650 cable -- it's discussed in the sponsored thread on the balanced amp -- and that would be an excellent economical choice. Member Blessingx has an xlr reterminated stock cable and it sounded quite good with his Lavry.

You cannot go wrong with this setup if you are looking to go balanced.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the welcome, Voltron.

I have a few more questions [I am new to headphones and all associated equipment]

You write, "Headroom was supposed to be offering an xlr reterminated stock 650 cable -- it's discussed in the sponsored thread on the balanced amp -- and that would be an excellent economical choice. Member Blessingx has an xlr reterminated stock cable and it sounded quite good with his Lavry."

It seems that HeadRoom offers balanced XLR cabling for the Senn HD 600/650 (as well as for the AKG K701 and the Beyeerdynamic DT880 (go to http://www.headphone.com/products/ca...able-10ft.php).

Here's my stupid question of the day: Is the Sennheiser HD650 with Cardas Balanced Cable the same piece of equipment as the Senn HD650 with the XLR cabling?

Here's my second stupid question of the day: How does the Gilmore Lite Amp WITH the Gilmore Lite Dedicated Power supply compare with the HEADROOM balanced amp?

Again, your responses/suggestsions are most appreciated.

Thank you.
post #13 of 28
Gabi,

For my complete thoughts and impressions on this amp have a look at this thread. You should find the answer to a couple of your questions there.
post #14 of 28
Some nice comments. Looking forward to the review.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you, n_maher. I'm going to read what you have written.
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