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W5000 and K701: balanced recable vs. stock - Page 2

post #16 of 44
I can't wait to see W5000 balanced impressions. Congrats on the cans/cables, Elephas!
post #17 of 44
As always, your detailed & candid impressions are much appreciated. Thanks Elephas!
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elephas View Post
I believe the Apache hasn't been announced officially, so I'm still waiting.
The pre order queue is open for business
post #19 of 44
what is the oracle made out of, copper, silver, both.

edit: wow. the Y on the black dragon really looks too short. is it. does it get in the way or just feel too short in general. could you provide the length of the Y section of each cable. i am curious. also i wonder if you could specify a longer Y portion on moon auido cables. otherwise, maybe single entry is the way to go, but i think dual entry is recommended for balanced, so maybe not.

edit2: that is nice setup. very clean looking. nice spacing between components, both up and across. what is that device between the ATH amp and the Sony CD player.
post #20 of 44
Now this is strange.

Let`s put all pros and cons of balanced mode aside,
just asking for clarification:

No balanced source is used, no balanced amp either.
Just an XLR-cable for the headphone, which turns into a SE-cable again via adapter before entering the amp.
Did I get that right?

I`m really wondering how these amazing differences are possible.
Someone care to explain?
I might miss something, I might be a bit slow or dumb (or even both),
or am I just witnessing one of these famous "Head-Fi mysteries"?

Any explanation would be very much appreciated!

post #21 of 44
Looks like a Chord Electronics DAC 64.



A bit OT but, but they make some startlingly beautifuly equipment!

post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenithon View Post
Looks like a Chord Electronics DAC 64.



A bit OT but, but they make some startlingly beautifuly equipment!

Never heard it but the DAC has a five second FIFO buffer to eliminate any potential jitter, very high end stuff and should be, in theory, very good.
post #23 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
edit: wow. the Y on the black dragon really looks too short. is it. does it get in the way or just feel too short in general. could you provide the length of the Y section of each cable.
Yes, the Y on the K701/Black Dragon is short. Each cable is roughly 11.5 inches, measured from the cable entry point to the Y-splitter. I would've preferred a bit longer length, maybe 15 inches at least. The two cables are also thicker and stiffer than the ones on the Enigma Oracle.

I bought both the recabled W5000 and K701 used. I don't know if different lengths of cable are available. I've had no contact with either Moon Audio or Enigma Audio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leonid05 View Post
Now this is strange.

Let`s put all pros and cons of balanced mode aside,
just asking for clarification:

No balanced source is used, no balanced amp either.
Just an XLR-cable for the headphone, which turns into a SE-cable again via adapter before entering the amp.
Did I get that right?

I`m really wondering how these amazing differences are possible.
Someone care to explain?
I might miss something, I might be a bit slow or dumb (or even both),
or am I just witnessing one of these famous "Head-Fi mysteries"?

Any explanation would be very much appreciated!
I don't have an explanation. I'm just reporting my experiences.

No balanced amp is used. The male XLRs on the headphones are plugged into an adapter with female XLRs on one end and a 1/4 plug on the other. The Chord DAC64 has balanced outputs, but it is used with single-ended amps, the Raptor and AT-HA5000.

The degree of difference is difficult to describe. I think the difference between the stock W5000 and recabled W5000 might have seemed particularly large to me because I am very familiar with the stock W5000.

I use other headphones, but the stock W5000 has been my primary pair for more than a year. I use it almost exclusively with the AT-HA5000. My other headphones go into the storage bags you see in the photos and into a closet. The stock W5000 has never gone into storage; it has "lived" permanently on the black cushion you see on the floor next to the rack.

Until now. The stock W5000 is currently in its case inside the closet.

When I listened to the W5000/Oracle, the difference with the stock W5000 was immediately apparent. It didn't take very long for me to conclude that I preferred it over the stock.

Maybe this difference was more apparent to me due to my familiarity with the stock W5000. The difference between the two W5000's seemed larger to me than the difference between the two K701's, or between the stock cable and an RnB G52 cable on the HD650. But I'm not as familiar with the K701 or HD650 as I am with the stock W5000.
post #24 of 44
Thread Starter 
I've been listening to the K701/Black Dragon the past couple of days using the adapter and the RSA Raptor, and it sounds very good.

The gray cable material is very nice. It is light-weight and reasonably flexible while coiling readily and being resistant to entanglement. It keeps its coiled shape better than the more flexible, thinner and softer Enigma Oracle.

I think the K701/Black Dragon addresses some of what I perceived as weaknesses of the stock K701. It seems warmer and more full-bodied. I sometimes think the stock K701 is a bit too thin-sounding or bland and un-engaging, especially with jazz music.

The K701/Black Dragon doesn't transform the K701, but it moves it a bit in the right direction, IMO. Imaging and instrument separation also seems a bit more precise. Along with the improved clarity, air, expansiveness, soundstaging and warmth, this increases the sense of realism and makes the K701/Black Dragon a more enjoyable and engaging listen.
post #25 of 44
Elephas, congrats on the new headphones. As usual, great pics and comments! I've always followed your posts and threads closely since I seem to share very similar listening tastes and experiences with you.

I've been toying with the idea of going balanced as well. I bought a balanced Silver Dragon from Ken but that's about as far as I've gotten. Balanced certainly seems to be the next step in this journey.

Have you decided on a balanced amp yet?
post #26 of 44
Thread Starter 
It seems some of us were lucky and bought balanced stuff from Ken recently.

I've been using single-ended dynamic headphones for some time now, and going balanced seemed to be the next logical step. I was actually still thinking about it, until I saw Ken's balanced W5000 and K701 for sale and bought them from him.

After using these two recabled and balanced versions with the XLR-6.3mm adapter, I'm no longer hesitant about recabling my other headphones with balanced cables. Originally, I thought I might have to keep the stock W5000 or K701 in order to use them with single-ended amps.

I've ordered three more Oracle cables from Enigma Audio and will have them installed on my L3000, AD2000 and SA5000.

I'm currently waiting for the RSA Apache.
post #27 of 44
Hi Elephas

I've been following the pros and cons of balanced like many of us are. As you know, there are still many manufacturers that say there is no advantage in using a balanced set up. After reading your impressions, it seems as though at least some of the perceived "balanced" improvement comes from re-cabling.

It will be interesting to follow your adventures into the balanced arena.

USG
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Hi Elephas

I've been following the pros and cons of balanced like many of us are. As you know, there are still many manufacturers that say there is no advantage in using a balanced set up. After reading your impressions, it seems as though at least some of the perceived "balanced" improvement comes from re-cabling.

It will be interesting to follow your adventures into the balanced arena.

USG
If there was no improvement ppl wouldn't be buying balanced amps/DACs & spending cash getting their phones recabled.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
As you know, there are still many manufacturers that say there is no advantage in using a balanced set up.
Like who.
post #30 of 44
I thank you the for additional impressions Elephas, but my wallet doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elephas View Post
It seems some of us were lucky and bought balanced stuff from Ken recently.

I've been using single-ended dynamic headphones for some time now, and going balanced seemed to be the next logical step. I was actually still thinking about it, until I saw Ken's balanced W5000 and K701 for sale and bought them from him.

After using these two recabled and balanced versions with the XLR-6.3mm adapter, I'm no longer hesitant about recabling my other headphones with balanced cables. Originally, I thought I might have to keep the stock W5000 or K701 in order to use them with single-ended amps.

I've ordered three more Oracle cables from Enigma Audio and will have them installed on my L3000, AD2000 and SA5000.

I'm currently waiting for the RSA Apache.
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