I used to own the HD800, T1, LCD-2r1, HE5-LE among others but have sold all of them and stayed with the AD2K which Im happy with.
Im wondering if someone have compared the AD2Ks on a GLite with original cable vs. on a GS-X recabled, my question, which understandably is hard to answer for anyone else, but is there any discernable difference which makes it worth going to the more expensive amp and recable to balanced?
I used to own those headphones too and sold all of them, except for re-acquiring the HD800 as a counterpart to the AD2K.
My AD2K started out w/ original cable, though my first HeadAmp amp was the GS-1, not the GL, though I did later hear it on the GL, still with the stock cable. When I had the headphones re-cabled to balanced with the APureSound V3 in 2007, my amp at the time was the GS-X. So my experience incidentally meets your criteria.
I've already written this several times in other threads, including my AD2K 5-year re-review (which is linked in this article: http://www.head-fi.org/a/asr-head-fi-threads-compendium), and I'd recommend not re-cabling the AD2K, either with a single-ended or balanced cable. There was no difference to me between single-ended and balanced, and I thought the re-cable in single-ended form provided no sonic difference either.
If I owned only the AD2K, I'd part with the GS-X as it offers absolutely no advantages for it over the GS-1 or GL. The GS-1 offers a slight functional improvement for the AD2K with its switchable lower 3x gain (compared to the GL's 6x gain). The only reason I own the GS-X is for my HD800 and IEMs (as its unity gain is useful for that purpose). Though I use my AD2K balanced anyway, because that's just how it's cabled now, I don't recommend that anyone does the same as it was a net-loss pursuit. The AD2K w/ stock cable on the GL is the best it gets, IMO. There's no need to look into any of HeadAmp's other amps. The only other improvements to be had can be found from other single-ended amps like the Eddie Current Zana Deux, or others.
In my experience, re-cabling in general offers little sonic improvement, and balanced re-cables on low-impedance high-sensitivity headphones are an absolute waste of time & money. I've never heard a low-impedance high-sensitivity headphone that actually sounded better balanced. The only headphones I've heard that benefitted from balanced were either low-impedance low-sensitivity (AKG K701) or high-impedance low-sensitivity (Senn HD6x0, HD800).
I've found "balanced" to be overrated, and I've heard a fair number of balanced headphones, amps, & sources. If I could go back in time, I'd stop myself from getting into balanced equipment and would look into higher-quality unbalanced equipment.
Edited by Asr - 7/6/12 at 12:16am