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Audeze LCD-2 - Balanced vs. Unbalanced input

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey again!

 

What kind of input method is better for an Audeze's LCD-2r2? Balanced or Unbalanced?

 

Which amp do you recommend for the input method you prefer?

 

I'm interested in the two amps from Violectric, the HPA V200 and the HPA V181.

 

Users are reporting that the HPA V200 is better than the HPA V181 if both are used with unbalanced outputs.

Will the HPA V181 be better if used with balanced output then the HPA V200 with unbalanced output?

 

 

Thanks so much!

post #2 of 12
Going from the amp to the head phone, balanced only buys you no cross between l/r channels. If you have an amp with SE and balanced outputs, the balanced path is typically twice the wattage, which often helps out in the bass / distortion areas.

It's 99% which amp will sound better with your phones. Balancing Act / Liquid Fire are some of the best amps with the LCD-2 and are SE.
post #3 of 12

Ok, sounds good.

 

Anyone to prefer the V181 over the V200 on balanced output?

post #4 of 12

Hi,

 

I think they are nearly on par, but the V200 is more powerful. IMO the LCD-2's sound much better on the V181 as it's a more neutral amp. The V200 is the superior headphone amplifier but I find the more neutral signature of the V181 to compliment them better.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by odyssey2001 View Post

Ok, sounds good.

 

Anyone to prefer the V181 over the V200 on balanced output?


Edited by Zombie_X - 8/26/12 at 10:58am
post #5 of 12

What does the V200 better than the V181 when you use them with unbalanced output?

 

Can I use the "Unbal In/Out" to connect them to my speakers or is this a pre-amp output?

post #6 of 12

Hi,

 

The unbalanced outputs on the V181 have half the power of the XLR out, so the V200 easily is more powerful there. I'd say the unbalanced outputs would be good for IEM's or other low impedance headphones as the gain is lowered on those and you have more control over the volume dial. The V200 is more refined sounding with better extension, more detail, better imaging. The V181 seems to have a slightly larger soundstage but that's probably because it's more neutral.

 

The RCA outputs on the back automatically are set to input mode, so you need to open the unit up and adjust the dip switches to set it to output. It will then convert the XLR input to a RCA output. It's not a pre-amp out as the volume is static and does not change. It will however go up or down depending on how the pre-gain is set. So if you have +6dB selected, the RCA will get this as well. You can probably use this on powered speakers but the input may be too strong and the use of in line attenuators might be required.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by odyssey2001 View Post

What does the V200 better than the V181 when you use them with unbalanced output?

 

Can I use the "Unbal In/Out" to connect them to my speakers or is this a pre-amp output?


Edited by Zombie_X - 8/26/12 at 11:00am
post #7 of 12

So all in all I should go with the V181 if I want to use Audeze's on the balanced output.

If I listen to both balanced and unbalanced headphones I should use the V200 and add an adapter so the Audeze's will play unbalanced?

 

The Unbalanced In/Out are the same on the V181 / V200? Do the V200 sound much more detailed? Will they add extra treble to the Audeze's?

 

Thanks for your help Zombie_X! :-)

post #8 of 12

Oh, I forgot to ask:

 

If I will buy a V800 (DAC) soon, is it better to use the Unbal In/Out of the V200 / V181 for my speakers or is the Unbal In/Out of the V800 the better way to go?

 

 

Thanks!

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Anyone? :-)
post #10 of 12

Hi,

 

Yes. If you want balanced than the V181 is the way to go. IMO the LCD-2 sounds the same in either single ended or balanced.

 

The I/O on the amps are the same. The V200 is more detailed but not leaps more. The V181 ends up having more treble energy as the V200 is more laid back.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by odyssey2001 View Post

So all in all I should go with the V181 if I want to use Audeze's on the balanced output.

If I listen to both balanced and unbalanced headphones I should use the V200 and add an adapter so the Audeze's will play unbalanced?

 

The Unbalanced In/Out are the same on the V181 / V200? Do the V200 sound much more detailed? Will they add extra treble to the Audeze's?

 

Thanks for your help Zombie_X! :-)

post #11 of 12
And where to connect the speakers to:
V181 / V200 or V800?

Thank you!
post #12 of 12

Hi,

 

If your speakers are powered then I recommend either using the DAC or the output of the headphone amp. Take note that the output of the amp might be too much and might have to be cut back with either attenuators or reducing the volume of the source.

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