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A relatively affordable balanced headphone amp? The CEC HD53N

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
As an owner of the Sennheiser HD650s, I have always been on the lookout for relatively affordable (<$1000) balanced headphones amps.

CEC, a reputable Japanese audio brand, is going to be coming out with a new balanced headphone amp sometime this spring: the HD53N.

http://image.blog.livedoor.jp/fujiya...b/8b3fc132.jpg
http://image.blog.livedoor.jp/fujiya...8/18b4a89e.jpg

Seems like this headphone amp will also be equipped with speaker terminals.

The base price is going to be 78,750yen (approx. US$800), but I've seen an online dealer that is planning to sell this amp at a pre-order price of 54,800yen (approx. US$550). Either way, I'd say those are pretty nice prices for a balanced amp.

Just wanted to throw this out to the head-fi community.
Does anyone else know more about this product?
post #2 of 16
Lift the top off, we'll see
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hehe, I sure would love to, but my wallet is frowning...
Besides, I first need to get a balanced DAC
I actually was looking at CEC's new DAC, the DA53N (which is the successor of the highly acclaimed DA53) when rolled upon this headphone amp.
post #4 of 16
post #5 of 16
Both look very nice, the MBA-1 specially so. Any idea on price? Thanks.
post #6 of 16
[link didn't work]
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1031tensai View Post

The base price is going to be 78,750yen (approx. US$800), but I've seen an online dealer that is planning to sell this amp at a pre-order price of 54,800yen (approx. US$550). Either way, I'd say those are pretty nice prices for a balanced amp.
seems like a good price.
post #8 of 16
4 discrete SS amps in one decent case. nice!

if you are into DIY, prob still better to go with a B22

post #9 of 16
Hi,

this is a link to a German Forum where the HD53N has already been tested.

CEC HD53N - die Details - open-end-music-professional

The Price in Germany is 998,- Euro, available next Week.
post #10 of 16
Hmm, the HD53N says "Made in China" on the back, ironically. Nothing wrong with that though.

The MBA1 they are asking serious money for at around $2000. I guess that mates well with the prices of headphones like the K701s, which are $880 here.
post #11 of 16
ah! CEC is not that known in the
US, but they're fairly big in Asia. I can say the brand is more "high-end" than Cambridge.

anyway, I had a listen to CEC's HD53R (CEC HD53R) and the sound is very nice indeed.

I wonder why CEC wouldn't include a single ended jack, like all other balanced heapdhone amp offering.

-edit-
I did a quick search and found a picture from Sasaki's blog:
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ting.mike View Post
I wonder why CEC wouldn't include a single ended jack, like all other balanced heapdhone amp offering.
Translation by Google:

The Neutrik combo jacks accept both a plug on both a symmetrical tripolar XLR connectors. For the symmetrical (balanced) operation of the headphones you need both combi jacks, one for the left and one for the right stereo channel. By Jack is holding the left jack internally with a 120 ohm resistor (of course, one resistor per channel stereo) in, hence the name "Hi". The right jack allows the low output impedance, hence the name "Low". Internal security is a pure resistance of 10 ohms running (again, of course, one for each stereo channel), so that the extraction and insertion of the electrical plug is not closing the channel or channels and the mass comes.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by draigh View Post
Translation by Google:

The Neutrik combo jacks accept both a plug on both a symmetrical tripolar XLR connectors. For the symmetrical (balanced) operation of the headphones you need both combi jacks, one for the left and one for the right stereo channel. By Jack is holding the left jack internally with a 120 ohm resistor (of course, one resistor per channel stereo) in, hence the name "Hi". The right jack allows the low output impedance, hence the name "Low". Internal security is a pure resistance of 10 ohms running (again, of course, one for each stereo channel), so that the extraction and insertion of the electrical plug is not closing the channel or channels and the mass comes.
brilliant! I didn't see that it was a neutrix combo jack.
post #14 of 16
You might consider the HeadRoom Balanced Desktop. There may be some used ones to be had now that they have the BUDA combo.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Decided to resurrect this thread because, now that I have purchased a PS Audio Digital Link III with balanced outputs, getting a balanced headphone amp has actually become a possible upgrade for me in the (hopefully) near-future. I'm still very interested in this amp especially because it seems like it can be a great "balanced" solution for the entry-level, or simply for the budget-minded, along with Little Dot's MKVI+ and MKVII.

The next time I go back to Japan (hopefully during winter break), I will make sure I go to a audio shop with the CEC HD53N to take a good listen with balanced headphones. Maybe FUJIYA AVIC in Nakano Broadway or Dynamic Audio 5555 in Akihabara.

In the meanwhile, now that this amp is officially out, has anyone had a chance to listen to this lovely amp? Or better yet, has anyone bought one? So far, it's getting great reviews on Japanese sites.

Any additional input about this amp will be greatly appreciated
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