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Audio-gd Phoenix balanced headphone amp. - Page 6

post #76 of 3344
Thread Starter 
The power supply looks more complex than the headphone amp! It's that way too in the Ref 1, which is mostly power processing circuitry.
post #77 of 3344
You beat me Curra, I was just about to say that, although I haven't seen the REF1 in front of me.. but looking at the pics.. Yes.

In fact it looks to me closer to a smaller version of the separate regenerated power supply which comes with the likes of Preamp C-8SE..
post #78 of 3344
I see 4 discrete paths. So, going on that visual cue, I would say it does #2 as well. It looks like a true fully balanced amplifier.

I want it! My Reference One needs a companion!
post #79 of 3344
May as well post the board pics here too:

post #80 of 3344
So discrete means that there are no opamps in the signal path?

I remember reading somewhere that the Headroom Ultra Desktop has opamps in the signal path...
post #81 of 3344
No opamps or caps in the signal path from what I understand of Kingwa's explanations thus far.

Sandchak is correct it's a scaled down version the C8SE power supply design which is a take on the Levinson No32 Ref preamp PSU design.

I agree Dro...this amp should mate perfectly with the RE1 !!! I will certainly find out soon enough when the Phoenix is ready from shipment in May (hopefully).

Peete.
post #82 of 3344
I will try to clear up the confusion about whether or not the Phoenix is fully balanced and will convert SE outputs to balanced to the best of my knowledge. Feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong.

The Phoenix is a fully balanced discrete headphone amplifier which consists of two separate amplifiers per channel for a combined total of four separate discrete amplifiers. It does not matter what kind of input signal you use (RCA, XLR, CAST) you will always get balanced drive to your headphones. This is of course only possible if your headphones are terminated in either single 4-pin XLR or dual 3-pin XLR and connected to one of the balanced outputs of the Phoenix. If your headphones only terminate to a single-ended output (TRS) and connect to the single-ended output of the Phoenix, then you will not get the benefits of balanced drive.

The Reference 1 for example is a fully balanced DAC and actually contains two separate DAC's per channel for a total of four discrete output stages. If this particular DAC were to be hooked up to the Phoenix either through XLR or CAST inputs (RCA will not output a balanced signal) then each separate amplifier inside the Phoenix will be paired with its own dedicated DAC section. The benefit of this would be a (most likely) significant increase in detail. If the Phoenix is connected to an unbalanced DAC then each DAC output stage (one for left and one for right) will be split and shared among the two amplifiers per channel of the Phoenix.

This means that no matter what you will receive a balanced driven signal from the Phoenix as long as your headphones are connected to one of the balanced outputs. In my opinion balanced drive will make the biggest difference and connecting a balanced source should be secondary (as in it's better to have a balanced amp with an unbalanced DAC VS. the other way around). Using a balanced DAC is basically a way of feeding the amplifier a more detailed signal but it's the amp that will create the main sound signature you will hear. This is of course assuming you have a fairly neutral sounding DAC as a tube DAC for example can have a great impact on the final sound signature.

By the way I love that Kingwa has included both single 4-pin XLR and dual 3-pin XLR as well as a single ended output. Awesome!

Hope this helps.
post #83 of 3344
I ask Kingwa some questions:

1. Could Phoenix drive K1000? What is the power output of Phoenix ?

Ans:

I plan to install the 4pins socket on the Phoenix.
I think think technology to drive K1000 is no problems.But I design it sound monitor, so it depend on the source QC and the personal sense.

It can output max 3W on 120 ohms.

2. Will there be a black, rather than silver, Phoenix?

Ans:

I think at first will only silver, but if lot customers ask black, I can make black.
Don't need preorder, I think can offer at May.


I want a black one....so those who love black, please send emails to Audio-gd
post #84 of 3344
Silver has the benefit of contrasting nicely with the black background of the LCD screen.

Here's a picture from the C-3SE page to show what black case would look like, notice the glare on the case when there's light.



I like how this silver preamp looks ^^

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/pre/P1/P11.jpg
post #85 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjames37 View Post
I will try to clear up the confusion about whether or not the Phoenix is fully balanced and will convert SE outputs to balanced to the best of my knowledge. Feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong.

The Phoenix is a fully balanced discrete headphone amplifier which consists of two separate amplifiers per channel for a combined total of four separate discrete amplifiers. It does not matter what kind of input signal you use (RCA, XLR, CAST) you will always get balanced drive to your headphones. This is of course only possible if your headphones are terminated in either single 4-pin XLR or dual 3-pin XLR and connected to one of the balanced outputs of the Phoenix. If your headphones only terminate to a single-ended output (TRS) and connect to the single-ended output of the Phoenix, then you will not get the benefits of balanced drive.

The Reference 1 for example is a fully balanced DAC and actually contains two separate DAC's per channel for a total of four discrete output stages. If this particular DAC were to be hooked up to the Phoenix either through XLR or CAST inputs (RCA will not output a balanced signal) then each separate amplifier inside the Phoenix will be paired with its own dedicated DAC section. The benefit of this would be a (most likely) significant increase in detail. If the Phoenix is connected to an unbalanced DAC then each DAC output stage (one for left and one for right) will be split and shared among the two amplifiers per channel of the Phoenix.

This means that no matter what you will receive a balanced driven signal from the Phoenix as long as your headphones are connected to one of the balanced outputs. In my opinion balanced drive will make the biggest difference and connecting a balanced source should be secondary (as in it's better to have a balanced amp with an unbalanced DAC VS. the other way around). Using a balanced DAC is basically a way of feeding the amplifier a more detailed signal but it's the amp that will create the main sound signature you will hear. This is of course assuming you have a fairly neutral sounding DAC as a tube DAC for example can have a great impact on the final sound signature.

By the way I love that Kingwa has included both single 4-pin XLR and dual 3-pin XLR as well as a single ended output. Awesome!

Hope this helps.
It does and thanks for those further details......

I'll just add that the CAST output from the RE1 to the CAST input on the Phoenix should negate any influence (positive or negative) cabling may have on the sound vs regular IC's be it XLR or SE'ed between source and amp. The advantage is keeping the signal in the current domain and having the Phoenix do the I/V conversion at it's output stage (to the headphones).

A balanced system to me means an entire chain from source to amp to cans. Feeding the Phoenix a SE'ed source signal is, in my mind, a half measure. Obviously the perfect companion to this amp would be the RE1, barring that a fully differential source of some type would be the next best thing for it. IMO at least.

Peete.
post #86 of 3344
Yeah no doubt.

I'd like to see this in black too
and I wouldn't mind crossfeed, but I it's not 100% necessary.
...wow I'm demanding
maybe I'll send him an e-mail.

EDIT: Is the Ref1 available in silver? I want them to be matching, however it turns out haha
post #87 of 3344
Do we know what the differences will be between the Phoenix and the C8SE or C3SE (besides case dimensions and appearance)? I'm looking to upgrade my preamp and if I can get balanced headphone outputs thrown in for free that's a nice bonus.
post #88 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamwhisper View Post
Yeah no doubt.

I'd like to see this in black too
and I wouldn't mind crossfeed, but I it's not 100% necessary.
...wow I'm demanding
maybe I'll send him an e-mail.

EDIT: Is the Ref1 available in silver? I want them to be matching, however it turns out haha
Kingwa doesn't want to do crossfeed for the foreseeable future, he really doesn't. (Although I don't want crossfeed, I would actually be very interested what a mind like Kingwa's would come up with if he tried to design one.)

I agree, I would prefer it in black too. There's a lot to be said for those jetblack blocks of Audio-gd aluminium.

And no, as far as I know the Ref One doesn't come in silver.
post #89 of 3344
I'm sorry for intruding in your conversation guys, but what is crossfeeding?
Has anyone tried the Panther? Does it look good for the price? Kingwa won't cut me a deal if I buy both Compass and Panther.
Regarding the Phoenix, what are those Data inputs and outputs? This amp has so many inputs and outputs that I can't figure out. Also, CAST technology works with balanced XLR plugs and cables right?
post #90 of 3344
Quote:
Originally Posted by punk_guy182 View Post
I'm sorry for intruding in your conversation guys, but what is crossfeeding?
Crossfeed

Quote:
Originally Posted by punk_guy182 View Post
Has anyone tried the Panther? Does it look good for the price? Kingwa won't cut me a deal if I buy both Compass and Panther.
See my PM for info on the Panther. I think the deal is already there. The Compass is priced very close to the cost of parts and labour and the price of the Panther has just been lowered quite a bit as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by punk_guy182 View Post
Regarding the Phoenix, what are those Data inputs and outputs?
They are for communicating the volume and selector information to the amplifier module. Basically, data communication between the two modules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by punk_guy182 View Post
This amp has so many inputs and outputs that I can't figure out. Also, CAST technology works with balanced XLR plugs and cables right?
No, CAST works with a special SATRI connector. You can get the cables from Kingwa. (You don't need very fancy cables for CAST, because the technology keeps the signal in the current domain and because of this is far less susceptible to interference and degradation.
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