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"Mad Dog" by MrSpeakers, modified Fostex T50RP review - Page 327  

post #4891 of 6388

The Sabre DAC has up to 8 channels, so you digitally invert the signal and yeah, it will do balanced.  It just has to be setup right.

post #4892 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post

The Sabre DAC has up to 8 channels, so you digitally invert the signal and yeah, it will do balanced.  It just has to be setup right.

 

Yup...

post #4893 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Does going balanced really do anything?

 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

Short question with a complex answer.  I'll start by stating that I'm NOT a balanced circuit expert.  I've designed them in the past, but it's been a while, nor am I biased that balanced is better, though it seems several of my absolute favorite amps at home for my theatre have been fully balanced.  

 

In the end, I did this project because I was getting a lot of requests for balanced cabling.  So I'm a pretty neutral person, in that regard, but I am also learning, so the following comments should not be considered gospel or assumed accurate.  For those who really want to study up go to this head-fi link.  There are others as well...

 

Regarding balanced headphone amps:

 

1) Electrically, the Fostex is inherently a symmetric driver.  From a pure system architecture, I like the elegance of balanced amps mated to balanced drivers, and I like the fact that noise and distortion that show up on both inputs to the phones gets summed to zero electrically, so the output will have lower noise and distortion.  How audible that is is a question because there is generally more circuitry in a balanced design, which can increase noise, much depends on the quality of the implementation as to whether it ends up being a net improvement.

 

2) It can reduce power supply induced noise and distortion.  Power supply noise and transients are minimized as one side of the amp swings one way while the other swings out of phase, so the net draw on the power supply is constant making it easier to keep voltages stable and clean.  Also, common mode noise that gets through the supplies is zero'd out at the headphone driver, so the noise floor is really low.  

 

3) In the case of the Mjolnir Schiit did a nice write up on how it allows them to use only N-Channel FETs, which is a good thing, as N and P channel devices are inherently not symmetric.  A topology optimized for balanced might not be the same as one that is single ended, it opens some other options.

 

4) Someone asked about cable length.  For the headphone cable interference isn't an issue, but balanced interconnects cause external noise picked up by the cable to zero-sum at the Amp inputs effectively killing noise that could have entered the system.  This is why it is used in studio and pro applications.  

 

On a practical basis, my first investment in serious balanced gear can't drive Single Ended, so there is no way to AB on the same phone on the same amp; I have to swap cables and compare the phone running on one of my very nice single ended amps, so doing real AB work is not viable.     

 

At the lower end, I tried a balanced portable, and once levels were matched the balanced seemed audibly superior. But the caveat is that this amp is DESIGNED to be balanced as the primary mode, so single ended is not going to be as optimized.  

 

So in the spirit of being fair and open, I have always felt that a good single ended can be as good as a good balanced.  I have to say that my current setup has me questioning if that belief was correct, because I think I'm finding the balanced to be more engaging, but whether that is solely due to be balanced I can't tell you.

 

FWIW I will offer either a single ended adaptor or a single ended cable at launch, and probably both at some point, so the phone can be used anywhere, and for balanced amps that have both outputs others can do AB tests.

 

Here's a great opportunity for owners of balanced gear to pitch in.  If you are in the NYC area, come to either of the events and share your thoughts.  

 

 

Thanks for that, Mrspeakers! I just don't know if I want to get a balanced amp/DAC(thats fine) but do I want to also get my headphones balanced also? Thats the one question I have been pondering..

post #4894 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Thanks for that, Mrspeakers! I just don't know if I want to get a balanced amp/DAC(thats fine) but do I want to also get my headphones balanced also? Thats the one question I have been pondering..

 

If you don't have a balanced amp or DAC, what is the point of having a balanced terminated headphone?

post #4895 of 6388
Hi Dan, Would it be possible to get the balanced Dogs with a Hirose termination?
post #4896 of 6388
The only benefit to getting the balanced phone now is that with an adaptor it can be used with a single ended amp, with the ability to use balanced at any time.

Of course there is a cost to that flexibility.

I don't have the hi rose connector to offer. Moon Audio uses them and should be able to make short adapters.
post #4897 of 6388
The only benefit to getting the balanced phone now is that with an adaptor it can be used with a single ended amp, with the ability to use balanced at any time.

Of course there is a cost to that flexibility.

I don't have the hi rose connector to offer. Moon Audio uses them and should be able to make short adapters.
post #4898 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Thanks for that, Mrspeakers! I just don't know if I want to get a balanced amp/DAC(thats fine) but do I want to also get my headphones balanced also? Thats the one question I have been pondering..

 

If you don't have a balanced amp or DAC, what is the point of having a balanced terminated headphone?

I'm planning on getting one..

post #4899 of 6388

Good info regarding "balanced"

 

Linky

post #4900 of 6388

Just having my first listen to the Mad Dogs I bought. Very impressed so far - I was skeptical and worried they were over hyped and I needn't have been

post #4901 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by kskwerl View Post

The E12 was very nice but I like a dead neutral sound so it wasn't really for me. The build of the E12 is pretty great IMO. I've owned a few FiiO products like the E12/E07K/E10 and haven't ever had any issues. The E10 did look cheap tho but it was cheap and I just used it only for watching movies at my desk at work.

 

 

 

Thanks for the input! I'm really looking for something a little warmer, and I've heard that the E12 is more on the neutral side.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jesterphile View Post

Just having my first listen to the Mad Dogs I bought. Very impressed so far - I was skeptical and worried they were over hyped and I needn't have been

 

+1 this. I actually bought the Aiaiai TMA-1 Studio's and the AKG 550's before I settled on the Mad Dogs. These are on a league of their own, but the other two had their strengths as well.

post #4902 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by OperatorPerry View Post

I like to think of the MD as pixie dust and the 650/880 as fairy dust.

Errr, gonna have to consult my fairy tale dictionary on that one... tongue.gif
post #4903 of 6388
After a lot of listening for a few hours: the MDs are a completely different headphone compared to my stock T50rps. Bass and treble extension is greatly increased and the Mad Dogs are a lot more neutral overall. Price is definitely justified and I'm certainly impressed.

I'm running them through a Fostex HP-A3 and it sounds great.
Edited by Jesterphile - 4/5/13 at 10:21pm
post #4904 of 6388
I run the MD through a xonar essence st and it does a pretty good job, gain set on +18 and EQ + 3 on bass,
On the pc's I put the header for the front panel connexion to the MD and He 400's plugged in the back (easy to switch)
The volume can get very high actually far too much !!, they are as easy to drive as my he 400's with good low level (not bass shy at all)

I bought them to get a decent pair of headphones at a good value price capable of not leaking sound and it's perfect
Edited by TontonJoK - 4/6/13 at 1:31am
post #4905 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by zhouf View Post

 

+1 this. I actually bought the Aiaiai TMA-1 Studio's and the AKG 550's before I settled on the Mad Dogs. These are on a league of their own, but the other two had their strengths as well.

 

 

It's not on the neutral side it's def warm. With mid tier gear like that people here always praise stuff for being dead accurate and blah blah blah, it's like if you go into the Vmoda M-100 thread they will tell you that that the M-100s aren't V shaped and there's no overemphasis on the bass. One of the things I learned from head-fi is that with mid-fi gear you really can't even get a general idea of what something is going to sound like and you need to hear it for yourself.

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