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DAC-1 w/Balanced Headphones? - Page 3

post #31 of 45
yes. i am very excited about that as well - balanced tube amp under $2000. not due out until May though, if not later. : /
post #32 of 45
I have done numerous "cheap" balanced experiments and balanced is the only way to go with Senn cans for me. I am in the process of trimming some gears to subsidize getting GSX soon...like delivery by early next week

Welcome to team balanced...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jh4db536 View Post
WOW the 650 has woke up. the soundstage is HUGE, imaging, and clarity is like damn. I am very impressed. I'm using a cheap Dowin cable. I think it might be time to sell everything for a GSX amp...
post #33 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jh4db536 View Post
Okay my HOSA balanced adapters (<$5 a piece) came in today. I put the XLR output jumpers at 0dB and fired it up.

WOW the 650 has woke up. the soundstage is HUGE, imaging, and clarity is like damn. I am very impressed. I'm using a cheap Dowin cable. I think it might be time to sell everything for a GSX amp...

only thing i dont like about the dowin cable is the flex is so rigid that it transmits sound into my headphone frame if it rubs something.

i just listened to a few of my reference tracks -
J Monheit (highs are bright now - might need to put the foam back in; so clear)
Fugue: complex orchestra (instrument separation and spacing improved)
Pop: Shaggy_Hotshot (better dynamic)
Lows are more balanced and less powerful i think (maybe it's because the gilmore/gs1 are no longer in the equation)

i'm pretty convinced that for a DAC1 + balanced HD650 is the craziest bang for the buck you can get if you can drop ~1000
So could you further elaborate on the jumper settings? Are you talking the setting where you calibrate the L/R settings? I'm still inexperienced with my DAC-1, as I've only had it about a month. I've just been running it as a direct line out to a volume controlled integrated.

Are the adapters you ordered just simple female to female couplers?
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jussei View Post
So could you further elaborate on the jumper settings? Are you talking the setting where you calibrate the L/R settings? I'm still inexperienced with my DAC-1, as I've only had it about a month. I've just been running it as a direct line out to a volume controlled integrated.

Are the adapters you ordered just simple female to female couplers?
Forgot about that.. To get decent volume you will need to set the jumpers to 0DB.. They are -20DB by default..
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
glad you're enjoying it. and when you decide to move up the chain to a dedicated balanced amp (whenever that may be), you will already have a balanced source in your dac1.

it all works out. everyone is happy except your wallet. . but trust me, it's worth it.

edit: when are they going to fix the evil smileys. those are the best ones!
When I get my income taxes I'll get the Balanced Desktop..
post #36 of 45
Pop the hood on the DAC1 by taking out 8 screws on the sides. Just move all 4 jumpers to the front most pins and replace the cover.
Flip the switch or move the jumper to use variable output.

Jumpers at zero dB around 11 o'clock is loud. I am listening to it ~9-10 o'clock. Seems the louder i go the better it sounds.
post #37 of 45
Thread Starter 
Got my XLR adapters today so I was able to get the HD650's up and running from the DAC-1 balanced outputs.
One word: Outstanding
Any comments stating that the DAC-1's balanced outputs aren't suitable for balanced headphone listening quickly went out the window for me.
Now, I'm sure a dedicated balanced amp would probably sound slightly better, but I'm not sure if it'd be worth the added costs.
I didn't modify any DAC-1 settings, jumpers, etc I just switched it balanced outputs to volume pot control and went from there.
I'm convinced that the DAC-1 is probably one of the best audio purchases I've made now. It's acting as (of course) a DAC for my 2 channel system, a single ended headphone amplifier and now a balanced headphone amplifier. For under $1000, I'm really not sure how I could have spent the money any better.
But back to the HD650's...
I feel that they sound is much tighter. Everything seems to be more controlled. The bass is extremely tight, deep and never 'bloated.' The treble and midrange is beautiful and not harsh in the least. Although the HD650's were enjoyable to listen to before, they are almost impossible to stop listening to now.
Anyone looking to try out balanced Senn's and that has a DAC-1, I'd definitely give it a shot.
post #38 of 45
If anyone buys the HD600/650 cable with female plug, to use with DAC1 or Apogee, and then later buy's an amp that has a female XLR jack, Here is a better XLR male-male adapter I think, so you don't have the splitter cable with the extra connector:

XLR MALE to XLR MALE MICROPHONE CABLE ADAPTER - eBay (item 180144625834 end time Mar-26-08 20:49:49 PDT)

I might get one of those instead of a new cable, as my cable is to plug into the back of the Apogee. Assuming I get a balanced amp later.
post #39 of 45
Hi, I did this for while when I was waiting for my amp. I just used a double ended male-male converter (about $8 at radioshack). This way I got the right cable for when I got my amp. I'd recommend the stock cable from Headroom at $100 it's much cheaper than the others and I'm convinced it will sound just as good, though it takes some searching around on their website to find it. One big plus to it is that it comes with a SE converter so you can still use your phones in SE amps as well.

Also note that the frequency response is changed up a little bit when using the DAC1 outputs due to the higher than ideal output impedance (discussed at length in a different thread) but I still preferred it to SE.
post #40 of 45
I ordered two of these cables in a female/female configuration. I ordered one in red and the other in black both in 3-foot lengths, so that I don't have to peer at the back of the unit when I want to use the XLR outputs with my 650s. I had purchased a pair of female/female adaptors at RadioShack, but I don't like the fact that they stick out so far from the back of the unit. I don't want to stress the XLR jacks of my DAC1 USB.
post #41 of 45
Well, I got the male-male XLR from eBay, just to have on hand for later. They look cheap enough that I may have to buy Neutrik males and run a short cable between them, to convert my headphone cable from female to male (when I finally get a balanced amp for my balanced apogee mini-DAC). That will let me connect my HD600 with balanced cable that has female ends for connecting to the DAC.

I do have two short 12" Neutrik female-male cables that I run into an XLR-RCA transformer before it goes into my Woo 6, and that same cable can bring the male connector to the front of the Apogee when I want to plug in the headphones.

I guess tomorrow I will open up the Apogee and switch the jumper to allow the volume pot to control the XLR output, so I can finally try my HD600/650 balanced. Been too lazy up to this point.
post #42 of 45
I posted a link to XLR converters/adapters in post #38 that turned out to be pretty cheaply made (not used yet, don't have my amp). The Zebra cables that illkemist posted after me look much better than the ePay ones, but are almost $40 each.

Here are some different inexpensive but "better than eBay" Neutrik XLR adapters, in case you have the wrong connectors on your phones, or need to use them on both the rear of the DAC (male) and the XLR out of an amp (female)

If your phones are cabled with a male plug that would connect normally to an amp, but all you have is a DAC for now, this will let you still use your phones connected to the back of the DAC Parts Express:Neutrik NA3FF/W XLR Adapter Female To Female

If your phones are cabled with a female that would connect to the back of a DAC, this adapter would let you use those phones with your new amp when you get one Parts Express:Neutrik NA3MM/W XLR Adapter Male To Male
post #43 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
If your phones are cabled with a male plug that would connect normally to an amp, but all you have is a DAC for now, this will let you still use your phones connected to the back of the DAC Parts Express:Neutrik NA3FF/W XLR Adapter Female To Female
Thanks for posting the links. I should mention that I went with cable extensions to avoid putting undue stress on the XLR terminals of the DAC1. I tried the female/female adaptor first, but they stuck so far out of the back of the unit that I grew concerned about screwing something up, or bending pins. I know this probably had zero chance of happening, but when you spend a lot of money on something, you tend to be a bit cautious.
post #44 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by illkemist View Post
Thanks for posting the links. I should mention that I went with cable extensions to avoid putting undue stress on the XLR terminals of the DAC1. I tried the female/female adaptor first, but they stuck so far out of the back of the unit that I grew concerned about screwing something up, or bending pins. I know this probably had zero chance of happening, but when you spend a lot of money on something, you tend to be a bit cautious.
Yeah, I forgot to mention I have a pair of 12" Neutrik cables running from the back of my Apogee to the front, and I can connect my HD600 to those. Or I can run the XLR to my Jensen Transformers XLR>RCA box and feed my Woo WA6 with RCA cables.

So, when I get my next headphones with a male XLR, I can put my adapter between the headphones and the Neutrik extension, with no stress on the XLR on the DAC.
post #45 of 45

I'm sorry to bring up such an old thread, but I don't quite understand how this works.

How I think it is:
To run at pair of HD 600 balanced through the DAC1 you need a balanced HD 600 cable that ends in either 2x female XLR or (regular) 2x male XLR and then add two adapters.

How I hope it works: 
You can get some adapter that will get you balanced sound through your regular jack HD 600 cable.

Could someone assist me? (ebay links would be GREAT) smile.gif

Thanks in advance
Regards Rune

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