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Audio-gd Master-5/6/8/9 balanced head amp/ preamp - Page 21

post #301 of 866

I understand the desire not to go balanced from the beginning. The 7.1, however, potentially opens a can of worms. If you utilize rca's and go SE from that point, you're obviously not going the optimal route. That said, I'm fine going optimal all of the way, and then using SE headphones. Volume aside, I don't think there is a night and day difference in SQ. If it was an ortho with removable cables, I would go balanced though. Easy to drive headphones that are valuable with fixed cables would be another story.

post #302 of 866

Hmm... If, hypothetically, I already own RE-7.1, LCD-2 and Master-8, would I invest a couple of hundreds more for (f.e. Norse Audio's) LCD-2/3 balanced cable? wink.gif

 

...perhaps even with matching 4-pin XLR to RTS adapter if it turns out I really, really do not like the sound of my balanced LCD-2.

post #303 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by customNuts View Post

As far as I am aware, no, you wont get the full 7 watts. 

 

I think so too.  In Audio Gd website, the output power only mentioned in Balance, don't even bother to say output power for SE.

 

50 ohm:   7000MW
100 ohm: 3500MW
300 ohm: 1200MW
600 ohm:   600MW
(Balanced , Class A , High power model)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmswjm View Post

The Master 6 is a great amp, either SE or Balanced. SE is not an afterthought.  I have no plans of balancing my TH900 or W3000ANV. I've heard my Phoenix (balanced) and a Leben at a meet and didn't think I was missing anything. It would be hard to imagine that you would be disappointed with the 7.1 > ACSS > Master 8 to whatever. I would get a balanced cable for the Audeze for power sake, but you probably will still get approx 2/3 to 3/4's volume SE.

 

That's what I thought too.  I have SE-only (BCL, Leben) amp and if I have to change my LCD-2 to balance to sound good, that would be quite troublesome having to swap cable when I want to use different amp.  Not to mentioned non-replaceable headphones like Fostex T50RP and AD700, which I like the sound too, I wouldn't want to cut cable for Balance.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post

Redbull: I am surprised you say you are not a believer in balanced yet you have a balanced DAC! I don't know what outputs you are using from the DAC but if they are RCA then you are probably missing out on what the DAC is capable off.

 

As regards power I use a volume level on my unbalanced T1's only slightly below my balanced HE6's. I could be wrong but it's always been stated that using any balanced Audio-gd amp single ended menas using half the amp and therefore half the output power.

 

The master-6/8 does have a good single ended output BUT it was designed for balance use and using it single ended would be like buying a super fast sports car and only use it to go to the shops.

 

I bought Ref. 7.1 not because I want the Balance function, but because I want the best SE DAC performance that I can afford. 

I asked Kingwa, what the best SE DAC performance he has.  He recommended DAC19, but I asked him again, SE to SE compared, which is better, DAC19 or Ref. 7.1? he said that Ref. 7.1 is still better than DAC19 even on SE performance.

I believe his statement because several feedback, like Headfonia, comparing Ref. 7.1 and Bryston, he (Mike) said that Ref. 7.1 is better, and he only test that on SE.

That's my consideration when selecting Ref. 7.1  of course if I have Balance amp, I will use the Balance connection, or even ACSS, but I won't change my amp or having to swap cables (inconvenience) just to get Balance connection out of my Ref. 7.1, no way.

I believe good sound can be churned out from either Balance or SE connection.

 

Maybe if I have HE-6, I will definitely reterminate to Balance as my other amps can't drive them anyway.  But the thing is, I don't think I like the sound of HE-6, I'm a darker sound person.

 

I don't mind buying sports car for buying groceries in the supermarket, if I can still enjoy the ride anyway basshead.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

I don't know know why you wouldn't spend $15-20 (and 15 minutes time) to reterminate to balanced just to see even if you're convinced it's placebo. At the very least you have more current with the same clarity.

 

As mentioned in my previous reply, I have other amps that have SE-only connection that the sound I like.  I won't sell them  redface.gif

post #304 of 866

Has anyone compared to another power monster like BCL, Lyr, V200, Darkstar or even Mini Torri if that make sense (SS vs tubes), Mjolnir anyone?  biggrin.gif, regardless of price, just performance alone.

I heard Lyr, Darkstar myself. 

I read a LOT about V200 and considerably Mini Torri, through Skylab review, not much yet on Mjolnir.

 

From experience reading forums, I can only get to understand the sound of a component through comparison.  This is darker than that, soundstage is deeper than that => I can accurately portray the sound in my mind, even without trying.  This is what I do before I buy Ref. 7.1 and when I finally decided to buy, I get exactly the sound that I imagine I would have.

post #305 of 866
Thread Starter 

 

 

As mentioned in my previous reply, I have other amps that have SE-only connection that the sound I like.  I won't sell them  redface.gif

I failed to mention the additional 10-12 minutes to create the 4-pin to SE adapter that costs another $7-8 in plugs. Hey, if it's too much, it's too much for you!

 

P7081538.JPG


Edited by tim3320070 - 7/8/12 at 6:49pm
post #306 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post

It's ok :)  I want the best performance out from SE connection. 

 

Will I still get 7 watts per channel out from SE connection?  or will I get just half of that?

 

At least, I can still utilize ACSS performance connecting to Ref 7.1

As far as I am aware, no, you wont get the full 7 watts. 

 

 

 

 

I think some one needs to verify this with Audio-gd.  I don't see how you can get the same watts out of a balanced output and the SE output.  This is a balanced amp by design.  From what I have seen on other balanced amps - balanced outputs are 2x the output of SE.

 

Just needs to be verified.

post #307 of 866

This is a balanced amp by design.  I think you will get your moneys worth if you go with a balanced source and balanced headphones.  Otherwise maybe you should get a SE amp by design.

post #308 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

As far as I am aware, no, you wont get the full 7 watts. 

 

 

 

 

I think some one needs to verify this with Audio-gd.  I don't see how you can get the same watts out of a balanced output and the SE output.  This is a balanced amp by design.  From what I have seen on other balanced amps - balanced outputs are 2x the output of SE.

 

Just needs to be verified.

SE doesn't employ the full circuitry of this design. This was established early on when the Phoenix was released. When I'm using my SE adapter, I have to turn the volume up an additional 25% (approx) to get to the same dB levels.

 

@ RedBull: I don't believe you need to balance the LCD2 to get it to sound good. Currawong could probably better confirm this.

post #309 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post

 

That's what I thought too.  I have SE-only (BCL, Leben) amp and if I have to change my LCD-2 to balance to sound good, that would be quite troublesome having to swap cable when I want to use different amp.  Not to mentioned non-replaceable headphones like Fostex T50RP and AD700, which I like the sound too, I wouldn't want to cut cable for Balance.

 

To go balanced to SE, all you need is an adapter.

post #310 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmswjm View Post

@ RedBull: I don't believe you need to balance the LCD2 to get it to sound good. Currawong could probably better confirm this.

 

I have re cabled all my cables for my B22 - I'll tell you.  It has made more of a difference besides volume levels.  Detail retrieval has improved as well.

post #311 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

I have re cabled all my cables for my B22 - I'll tell you.  It has made more of a difference besides volume levels.  Detail retrieval has improved as well.

x2 re balanced

if your using the M5/6/8, for you will get noticeably better performance balanced - regardless of the can. (unless too sensitive for M6)

post #312 of 866

I don't claim to understand amp circuits well, but I tend to look at things this way:

 

Audio equipment designers have quite a range of circuit topologies they can choose from, along with choices about components used and features they can include, along with any compromises made as a result. Since most amps output from the same, standard TRS socket, we don't have to give as much consideration to the topology, unless we're considering an OTL tube amp and its related impedance issues.  Balanced topologies are a design choice, like any other (just like whether or not to use OPAMPs or negative feedback or whatever), but for us, they affect us more directly, as they can't use a conventional headphone socket, due to the separated signal returns. As a result of this, I think people pay more attention to the benefits or issues with such a design than they might the finer points of the design choices in amps with a conventional output.

 

I reckon, if you have a Ref 7.1, getting the Master 8 would be a good match, because you can get the most out of the design of both, using the ACSS connection. If not that though, I'd still get an amp with a balanced design if possible.

post #313 of 866

For me I just trust Kingwa's ears - I think he puts a lot of work into tuning the sound signature of his amplifiers.  If an amplifier is designed to be balanced, using it single ended will halve the corner frequency the amplifier is capable of and designed to use and therefore you are getting a sound that is different to that intended by the designer.  With the Master 6 I find that sound a little less detailed and precise when running single ended.  Overall though I find the Ref 7.1 Master 6 combination very transparent and revealing yet also natural when used balanced.

 

With previous AudioGD amplifier I had I tried altering the output voltage to colour the sound, but in the end I found the stock setting to produce the best results.  Having said this I am guilty of using my Ref 7.1 and Master 6 using XLR IC rather than the ACSS connection - so I guess I better build myself some ACSS cablesbeyersmile.png  

 

EDIT to make my point cleartongue_smile.gif


Edited by drez - 7/9/12 at 8:13am
post #314 of 866

Just a short pick up for the balance headphone amps.

 

Advantage:

1, Less distortion : The balance amp built with two  amps for the hot and cold signal in each channel, the cold and hot signal will meeting at the headphone, so can  counteract most distortion .

2, Higher S/N : The philosophy as the point 1, the balance amp not only counteract distortion but also counteract  the noise from transmit between source and amp and the amps inborn noise . So balance amp not only have advantage in long distance transmit but short distance transmit for less noise .

3, Higher Slew rate Etc : If a single ended amp have 100V/us slew rate, a balance amp based on this single end amp can arrive 200V/us . The faster Slew rate can keep the signal output more follow the input signal  , thus have more neutral and monitor sound, easy arrive "the wire with gain" .

4, Less request from power supply : Even the power supply undulate but the balance amps based on the difference can avoid the effect .

5, Higher power output : In theory is 4 times .

6, Less effect by the parts model :  Keep the balance amps have same parameter parts can easy arrive the design target .

 

Weakness:
1, Higher cost : Four amps for the stereo headphone amp, compare to two amps in the single ended amp , usually have near double cost . And request the parts parameter exact match in the hot and cold amp cause the building cost higher.

2, Larger size : Usually have near double size .

3, Higher output impedance : Usually have double output impedance . For a Monstor power amp, lower the output impedance to 50% is much difficult but for a headphone amp, lower the output impedance to 50% just easy, maybe without any cost increase .

post #315 of 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

I failed to mention the additional 10-12 minutes to create the 4-pin to SE adapter that costs another $7-8 in plugs. Hey, if it's too much, it's too much for you!

 

P7081538.JPG

 

Not that it is too much, but I do not want to modify cables, ... ya, in other words it's too much for me ... biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

As far as I am aware, no, you wont get the full 7 watts. 

 

I think some one needs to verify this with Audio-gd.  I don't see how you can get the same watts out of a balanced output and the SE output.  This is a balanced amp by design.  From what I have seen on other balanced amps - balanced outputs are 2x the output of SE.

 

Just needs to be verified.

 

I asked Kingwa today, confirm I won't get full 7 watts out of SE, not even half  frown.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

This is a balanced amp by design.  I think you will get your moneys worth if you go with a balanced source and balanced headphones.  Otherwise maybe you should get a SE amp by design.

 

Agree, but which one?  biggrin.gif  V200?  I think Lyr sounds fun, but I'm afraid I accidentally burn my high sensitivity headphone and it's not so detail, but fun.  I'm a sucker for detail.

Anyone compared Master 8 vs Beta22 in SE mode?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmswjm View Post

SE doesn't employ the full circuitry of this design. This was established early on when the Phoenix was released. When I'm using my SE adapter, I have to turn the volume up an additional 25% (approx) to get to the same dB levels.

 

@ RedBull: I don't believe you need to balance the LCD2 to get it to sound good. Currawong could probably better confirm this.

 

Yes, definitely, I tried my friend Phoenix in SE more with T1.  It sounds .... so so ...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

I have re cabled all my cables for my B22 - I'll tell you.  It has made more of a difference besides volume levels.  Detail retrieval has improved as well.

 

To me, an amp that designed for Balance, going from its SE mode to Balance (which it is actually designed for) will definitely improve the sound.

But amp that's designed for SE (and added Balance for convenience), going from SE to Balance, degrade the sound.

That's the logic that I believe.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I don't claim to understand amp circuits well, but I tend to look at things this way:

 

Audio equipment designers have quite a range of circuit topologies they can choose from, along with choices about components used and features they can include, along with any compromises made as a result. Since most amps output from the same, standard TRS socket, we don't have to give as much consideration to the topology, unless we're considering an OTL tube amp and its related impedance issues.  Balanced topologies are a design choice, like any other (just like whether or not to use OPAMPs or negative feedback or whatever), but for us, they affect us more directly, as they can't use a conventional headphone socket, due to the separated signal returns. As a result of this, I think people pay more attention to the benefits or issues with such a design than they might the finer points of the design choices in amps with a conventional output.

 

I reckon, if you have a Ref 7.1, getting the Master 8 would be a good match, because you can get the most out of the design of both, using the ACSS connection. If not that though, I'd still get an amp with a balanced design if possible.

 

Correct though, but the limitation then is at the headphone amp which is less than half its Balance out.

It's either I maxxed out the DAC performance, which inherently optimized for ACSS, but sacrifice on Headphone SE out or

not maximizing my DAC out, but I'll get FULL headamp SE out with other (???) amp.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

For me I just trust Kingwa's ears - I think he puts a lot of work into tuning the sound signature of his amplifiers.  If an amplifier is designed to be balanced, using it single ended will halve the corner frequency the amplifier is capable of and designed to use and therefore you are getting a sound that is different to that intended by the designer.  With the Master 6 I find that sound a little less detailed and precise.  Overall though I find the combination very transparent and revealing yet also natural.

 

With previous AudioGD amplifier I had I tried altering the output voltage to colour the sound, but in the end I found the stock setting to produce the best results.  Having said this I am guilty of using my Ref 7.1 and Master 6 using XLR IC rather than the ACSS connection - so I guess I better build myself some ACSS cablesbeyersmile.png  

 

^ little less detailed, compared to?

I actually too, kinda like Kingwa's sound preference that's why I keep following A-Gd products, but why oh why every top end he design are Balance  frown.gif.  Just kidding, I'm sure he has strong reason for that.

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