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new cable for headphone : balanced or single ended - Page 3

post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Balanced lines have two advantages.

1) With microphones and high gain inputs, the differential inputs will reject hum and noise picked up by the cables, Common Mode Rejection. This doesn't help us any with cans.

2) With high impedance cans instead of one end of the transducer (coil) going to ground and the other to the audio signal, each transducer lead goes to the same audio, however, each lead is 180 degrees out of phase which causes the peak to peak voltage to be doubled.

So comparing to an amp that doesn't have the necessary voltage swing will have an obvious outcome. Otherwise you have to be very careful to A/B at the exact same volume due to the nonlinear way we hear frequency response. Remember those loudness switches on Hi-Fi gear, they're supposed to compensate for how we hear at lower volumes, I doubt if they are that accurate, so instead, turn it up some :o

I think the another factor is design...I would think that, in addition to the doubleing of voltage swing [for headphones that need a lot of power] there's also the increase of channels, in that 4 different channels are amped seperatly... which I'm sure leads to less distortion and better sound over all... it just makes sense and sounds better imo 

 

Oh stan... Oh ur very new 

post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

I think the another factor is design...I would think that, in addition to the doubleing of voltage swing [for headphones that need a lot of power] there's also the increase of channels, in that 4 different channels are amped seperatly... which I'm sure leads to less distortion and better sound over all... it just makes sense and sounds better imo 

 

Oh stan... Oh ur very new 

Actually I've designed plenty of analog and audio hardware. Less distortion is just a factor of better design, not the number of channels. If you picked an amp that is designed better, then you're going to be happy. All of the manufacturers like to quote THD distortion which is a tricky thing. At one point the numbers are so low that it makes no difference as to us hearing it, You can have two amps with the same figure and one sounds better because of the higher incidence of even harmonics which sound warmer. IM (Intermodulation Distortion) or TIM (Transient) which they don't quote is a nasty thing as they contain frequencies that have no relation to the music. Distortion is very difficult to characterize in a way that we can truly understand, unless the number is just plain bad.

It's a good chance that your amp is of a good design, which is why you like it, which is a good thing.

What did you mean by, " Oh ur very new?"

post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Actually I've designed plenty of analog and audio hardware. Less distortion is just a factor of better design, not the number of channels. If you picked an amp that is designed better, then you're going to be happy. All of the manufacturers like to quote THD distortion which is a tricky thing. At one point the numbers are so low that it makes no difference as to us hearing it, You can have two amps with the same figure and one sounds better because of the higher incidence of even harmonics which sound warmer. IM (Intermodulation Distortion) or TIM (Transient) which they don't quote is a nasty thing as they contain frequencies that have no relation to the music. Distortion is very difficult to characterize in a way that we can truly understand, unless the number is just plain bad.

It's a good chance that your amp is of a good design, which is why you like it, which is a good thing.

What did you mean by, " Oh ur very new?"

Good to know

 

and your joined head fi this month! I was happy... to see we gained another well... seasoned new member :3 most of our new members are very young... and yet... I doubt you are! You seem to know what your doing :3 Welcome to head fi :D 

post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

Good to know

 

and your joined head fi this month! I was happy... to see we gained another well... seasoned new member :3 most of our new members are very young... and yet... I doubt you are! You seem to know what your doing :3 Welcome to head fi :D 

Thanks for the welcome. I used to design, modify and repair Electronic Music Synthesizers back in the 1970's, I was young then and now. At that time they were essentially analog computers. I got to know many of my favorite musicians, frequenting some of the best recording studios in NYC. Since I could sight read I did my share of studio gigs as well. These days I design and write software for "The too big to fail."

post #35 of 45

I have only a balanced DAC for now, but thinking of getting a balanced amp too; so once I do I can give you my impressions.

 

On the other hand, people mentioned here the probable higher quality of the design of a balanced stage, which might improve the quality of the overall signal; that's certainly true.

 

Nothing will ever replace the personal experience everyone has with its own setup. Some balanced amp will have a better design than other therefore the difference with SE will be important or more pronounced. 

post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by zitounesup View Post
 

I have only a balanced DAC for now, but thinking of getting a balanced amp too; so once I do I can give you my impressions.

 

On the other hand, people mentioned here the probable higher quality of the design of a balanced stage, which might improve the quality of the overall signal; that's certainly true.

 

Nothing will ever replace the personal experience everyone has with its own setup. Some balanced amp will have a better design than other therefore the difference with SE will be important or more pronounced. 

I'm actually still amazed at how well my Hm801 Pb1 W1000x combo sounds... it was a SERIOUS upgrade to my old oDac M Stage RIg... much cleaner and the imaging depth and sound stage width... not to mention the left and right speration shock me every time I listen to it, it's not as good but it's DARN close to the nfb 10ES2, which sadly the 10ES2 is to cold for the w1000x 

 

Still a GOOD SE amp is a heck of a thing to have! 

post #37 of 45

Guys, keep in mind a good design can be either Balanced or Single Ended. If you find something that pleases you, you found the right amp.

post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

I think the another factor is design...I would think that, in addition to the doubleing of voltage swing [for headphones that need a lot of power] there's also the increase of channels, in that 4 different channels are amped seperatly... which I'm sure leads to less distortion and better sound over all... it just makes sense and sounds better imho.

What you're describing is what's known as bridged. Distortion, noise and output impedance all add compared to the same amplifiers used single-ended. Bridging doesn't really make much sense except in cases where you need to achieve maximum voltage from a limited power supply, such as battery powered gear. The whole "balanced" headphone amp thing got started by those who were working based on some rather fundamental misunderstandings (these same misunderstandings are rather common in the traditional high end market as well).

se
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Guys, keep in mind a good design can be either Balanced or Single Ended. If you find something that pleases you, you found the right amp.

Yup, as I said before I very much enjoy my SE portable set up 

post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post


What you're describing is what's known as bridged. Distortion, noise and output impedance all add compared to the same amplifiers used single-ended. Bridging doesn't really make much sense except in cases where you need to achieve maximum voltage from a limited power supply, such as battery powered gear. The whole "balanced" headphone amp thing got started by those who were working based on some rather fundamental misunderstandings (these same misunderstandings are rather common in the traditional high end market as well).

se

I love the misunderstandings about tubes and solid state. Some people think that all solid state amps are poorly designed Class B open loop circuits riddled with crossover distortion. I find it entertaining when a crowd starts going on about something they don't understand and parrot each other's stories. The same tube amp that I'd plug an electric guitar into for playing lead is far from the amp I'd want to listen with to the same music.

post #41 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

I love the misunderstandings about tubes and solid state. Some people think that all solid state amps are poorly designed Class B open loop circuits riddled with crossover distortion. I find it entertaining when a crowd starts going on about something they don't understand and parrot each other's stories. The same tube amp that I'd plug an electric guitar into for playing lead is far from the amp I'd want to listen with to the same music.

So who are we directing this comment to xD 

 

either way, I'm sure you have some insight on the matter mind sharing something more than a petty insult :3 

 

That being said, I used to plug my Bass Guitar into the little Hybrid tube I got for my Dt 880 pro 250... although I was listening to my bass with my dt 880s so... 

post #42 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

I love the misunderstandings about tubes and solid state. Some people think that all solid state amps are poorly designed Class B open loop circuits riddled with crossover distortion. I find it entertaining when a crowd starts going on about something they don't understand and parrot each other's stories. The same tube amp that I'd plug an electric guitar into for playing lead is far from the amp I'd want to listen with to the same music.

 

One of my favorites is that tubes produce even order (good) distortion and transistors produce odd order (bad) distortion.

 

se

post #43 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

 

A perfectly balanced hour glass shape... I wonder what else is better balanced :3 

 

Yes, balanced is best!

 

As for "balanced" headphone amps...................................it depends.

post #44 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

So who are we directing this comment to xD 

 

either way, I'm sure you have some insight on the matter mind sharing something more than a petty insult :3 

 

That being said, I used to plug my Bass Guitar into the little Hybrid tube I got for my Dt 880 pro 250... although I was listening to my bass with my dt 880s so... 

I'm sure you've noticed threads going on about technical details that people quote out of context or misquote/alter yet they might not fully understand. This tends to cascade into a misleading information at many peoples expense. Unfortunately many are almost religious about this and get into all sorts of angry exchanges and not just around here.

An amplifier for an electric guitar that is geared for lead, e.g., Marshal Tube Stack, has little if any negative feedback and creates a lot of even harmonics when overloaded and clips in a musically desirable soft manner. The speakers used for this purpose usually do not have an FR that an audiophile desires. This is the sound the musician wants to create and gets recorded. If this is the sound one wants to hear (as it was recorded) then an amp and cans/speakers should be clean and have a flat response. Some of us prefer a warmer or colder FR, but I don't know who would want to deliberately add more distortion.

You can find various adapters that plug into your axe and are designed to drive HPs, although I doubt that they'll adequately drive high impedance cans or very low impedance IEM's (BA). Some have various distortion and sound effects. Finding one that sounds good may be an exercise. I have such a device for guitar, I'll try it with my HD600, I doubt that it'll do a proper job, but it doesn't hurt trying. In any case it doesn't sounds as good as a nice tube guitar amp. Some of the newer solid state guitar amps make attempts to sound like overdriven tubes, IMO YMMV.

post #45 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post
 

 

One of my favorites is that tubes produce even order (good) distortion and transistors produce odd order (bad) distortion.

 

se

Yes, it's the even harmonics that have the desired warm tone. Solid state tends to clip flat with a hard transition/edge which results in plenty of odd harmonics, like a square wave, hence the buzz sound. The again some Metal folks are looking for this and even scoop the mids. They might be looking for the as you call it "odd order (bad) distortion."  I prefer the warm as you call it "even order (good) distortion." But then again it depends on the musical genre. For playback I want no distortion, but if I had to accept some, it would be even order. I have no use for any form of IM distortion (Intermodulation). Then again the ringing bell like tones from EM Synthesizers or guitar effects pedals use four quadrant multipliers to get the sum and difference frequencies for effect, but that's planned for and part of the musical expression for a particular piece and not everything - lol.

Then of course there's how the power supply and output transformers affect the dynamics and the output transformer may also color the sound. I doubt that anyone can tell exactly how it'll sound from specs alone which is never supplied in the right detail.

I still have some ARP 2600's and Moog Sonic VI Synths in my garage that I'll repair one day. I probably still have the parts.

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