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The Centrance HiFi M8 thread - Page 326

post #4876 of 5768

Going through the blog, dont know if its helpful or not...anyway, I am tired after that.

 

The posts are fairly old and from the early days of development.

 

http://centrance.com/products/new/blog/2012/08/20/balanced-outputs/

 

http://centrance.com/products/new/blog/2012/08/22/unbalanced-outputs/

 

http://centrance.com/products/new/blog/2012/12/26/the-smallest-pcb/

post #4877 of 5768
He guys, someone brought to our attention that there is concern here. Let me pitch in.

Indeed, the outputs are balanced on the HiFi-M8, as we've said all along. That's still the case and it's not inconsistent with our marketing. The proper way to say that is that they are "impedance balanced." This means that the output impedance on L+ and L- pins (as well as R+ and R- pins) is same and neither wire is directly connected to ground.

On the contrary, with an unbalanced connection (typical three pin headphone connection), the common wire is connected to ground, where the impedance is lower. What happens is the signal that goes out to the headphones travels through a path with one impedance and the signal coming back on the common wire travels through a path of a different impedance. Such circuit is invariably more susceptible to common mode-induced electomagnetic interference and results in more noise.

Our circuit creates a balanced transmission line between the 4 pin output and the headphones. This minimizes common mode interference and results in a cleaner signal with lower noise floor and higher linearity.

Internally, the signal path varies from balanced to unbalanced, depending on engineering decisions at each stage. Our position is that short, well-shielded cable runs do not require a balanced connection, because interference is minimized by shielding. Inside the HiFi-M8'a PCBs, every trace is enveloped in a protective ground layer that together with our stringent RF protection circuitry isolates the trace and practically eliminates interference.

The real problem is not inside the unit, but outside the unit, where signal travels through headphone cables that are 1) long and 2) most of the time unshielded.

In order to combat the electro-magnetic interference on the Headphone Cable, we created the impedance-balanced outputs and they do their job very well. We have never heard complaints of signal degradation with any headphones and many customers prefer the balanced connection for this very reason.

Another potential benefit of a balanced output is the ability to drive twice as loud of a signal. We are giving you that same double output level, but not via a dual line driver, but rather with a single-ended line driver that runs off of a higher supply voltage (+/-10V DC). Two benefits here -- lower distortion AND lower power consumption.

A balanced high-current line driver would require twice as much power and would run the battery down in no time at all, so what we have created is a sound engineering decision -- you get the best of both worlds -- you get loud signal AND balanced lines to your headphones.

These battery-powered devices are tricky to get right, especially with high power outputs and I think that we have struck the right balance, as HiFi-M8 was recently placed on the Wall of Fame at the prestigious Innerfidelity publication, in addition to rave reviewed from many respected industry pubs. We've never heard complaints about the products' sound from our customers. Everyone loves the sound of their HiFi-M8.

If someone got confused with the terminology used on the website, we apologize. This is a complicated subject to put succinctly into marketing collateral.

Let us know if you have any questions. You can email me directly through the CEntrance website.
post #4878 of 5768
Thank you for the clarification, I still think that the term balanced is misleading here.

What still makes me wonder is that my 'balanced' output does not have the promised higher power output. If the Voltage is doubled I should expect 6dB more Sound pressure. Is my unit faulty? Or is the IEM mod the reason for this strange behaviour?
Edited by cucera - 6/16/14 at 8:14am
post #4879 of 5768

Look at it another way -- you actually get more, not less. You get the highly sought-after "double level" on ALL outputs, because we decided to do so at the outset.

 

In addition, the balanced outputs also feature the electromagnetic interference protection via an impedance-balanced connection (no ground wire, all wires see same impedance).

 

This way, ALL outputs have the highest power available in any portable DAC/AMP on the market AND you have the ability to drive long, un-shielded cable runs with no appreciable signal degradation.

 

This was all decided at the outset, 2-3 years ago, when we involved the head-fi community in designing this product. Thanks to everyone for your important contributions. HiFi-M8 truly offers you the best of all worlds and the fact that it's still selling so strong after several years demonstrates that sound quality is the ultimate test.

 

And the good news is that we are finally in stock on every model. It only took... forever to catch up. I'm truly sorry about the wait many of you experienced, but the comments we get back overwhelmingly say that it was worth the wait. For a small company such as ours, these things are good to hear.

post #4880 of 5768
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodman View Post


And the good news is that we are finally in stock on every model. It only took... forever to catch up. I'm truly sorry about the wait many of you experienced, but the comments we get back overwhelmingly say that it was worth the wait. For a small company such as ours, these things are good to hear.

Though I feel you still should not have included the M8 in your Black Friday 30% sales last year when the product had been launched in the same year. Many early buyers like me felt very disappointed. It's a great product but it tastes bitter. Very bitter.
post #4881 of 5768

Yes, in retrospect it was probably a dumb decision. I hope we learn from our mistakes.

post #4882 of 5768
Quote:
Originally Posted by phototristan View Post
 

Balanced does not mean more amplifiers. It's just an improved way of wiring. See;

 

Great explanation! 

The problem is most of the time people always think balance = adding one more amplifier

 

Well, in my case, the different between SE and XLR isn't hard to differentiated.


Edited by TheMiddleSky - 6/16/14 at 9:01am
post #4883 of 5768
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodman View Post

Yes, in retrospect it was probably a dumb decision. I hope we learn from our mistakes.
Michael,

I'm glad that you now at least acknowledge it as a dumb decision as my PM to you dated 20 Dec 2013 did not elicit a reply. This dumb decision, to use your own words, cost me USD317, not a small sum by any means.

Don't worry, I am not going to drag this any further. Suffice to say, you have lost an early adopter customer for good as far as Centrance products are concerned. You can redress it if you wish via PM.

Regards,
George
post #4884 of 5768
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgelai57 View Post

you have lost an early adopter customer for good as far as Centrance products are concerned.

We're sorry to see you go and thanks for the learning opportunity!

post #4885 of 5768

Thanks Michael for the clarification.

 

As I said before, I did not want to bash the M8.
I like it's performance, versatility and sound.

 

From my understanding a balanced amp has two output drivers per channel.
But I see this would be difficult to be built in a mobile device and would run the battery down in a short time.

 

I did not know about something like "impedance balanced mode".
I searched the web and found some information.

 

It does not provide double signal-amplitude (+6db) but it has lower noise (compared to single ended output).

 


So finally the M8 is not a balanced amp, the amp is single ended, but it provides an "impedance balanced output" which has the same signal aplitude as single ended output, but lower noise.


Regards Martin

post #4886 of 5768

Thanks for all the technical explanation Michael and Pink Panther...thanks for bringing up the balanced amp topic so now I'm learning something new. I can now confidently look forward to my upgrade of a balanced HE-6 or maybe HE-560.

post #4887 of 5768
Quote:
Originally Posted by pink panther View Post
 


So finally the M8 is not a balanced amp, the amp is single ended, but it provides an "impedance balanced output" which has the same signal aplitude as single ended output, but lower noise.

 

Not really. He said above:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodman View Post

Internally, the signal path varies from balanced to unbalanced,
 
 

So, one could not really make the statement that it is purely a single-ended amp because it runs balanced internally.  One probably could also not make the statement that it is a purely balanced amp though that said, it's more of a balanced amp than a single-ended amp due to the impedance balanced output. 


Edited by Mediahound - 6/16/14 at 12:02pm
post #4888 of 5768

No,

the DAC has balanced outputs (like nearly every DAC).

I/V stage is unbalanced, tone control is unbalanced, impedance converter and power amplifier are unbalanced.

 

The amp section is fully unbalanced, output is "impedance balanced"

 

Regards Martin 


Edited by pink panther - 6/16/14 at 1:09pm
post #4889 of 5768
Is it just me?

DAC/Amp topology savvy Head Fi'ers have no doubt known all along M8's weren't/couldn't be "truly" balanced...Those with out this knowledge and purchased an M8 because of this claimed feature were at best mislead, at worst, draw your own conclusion....Simple...

What's definitely more unfortunate, when having the opportunity to clarify in detail (as he's done today), when correcting Kenny Mr. goodman chose a different path...

Very Disappointing!
post #4890 of 5768

It still sounds good to me...

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