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Is it worth saving up for a balanced amp? - Page 2

post #16 of 21

From my experience HD650 responded well to being driven in balanced mode.  However I would have waited for a pair of HD800 if I knew they were coming.  

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by InternetSandman View Post


I'm fairly certain. I had narrowed down my choice to between the LCD-3 and the HE-6, and I've -tentatively-decided on the LCD-3, because I was already partial to the aesthetics and the performance of the Schiit balanced stack and the LCD-3 seems to pair well with them from every review I've read. I am curious to see the reviews of the slightly cheaper (and also better looking) LCD-X, but apart from that I don't really have anything else I'd set my sights on other than maybe the Sennheiser 800's with their new amp-DAC combo, but either way the first step is saving up the money for an amp/DAC and I have plenty of time to weigh the two options there.

I do want it to be a significant jump though. I do prefer going as high end as possible on an initial rig, I made this topic just to try and decide whether or not balanced was truly worth the additional cost over SE if planning on upgrading to a headphone like the LCD-3

 

If you're dead-set on getting the HE-6, then the higher voltage can help. With the LCD-2 I'm not too sure - I've tried it on my Meier Cantate and even on low gain (but max volume) I can still block out the ambient noise at the meets with my Cantate.2. Sound isn't distorting or otherwise too warm or too thin, either. I couldn't try the HE-5 and 6 because all the ones I see at the local meets come with balanced cables, and I never see replacement/stock cables (or otherwise SE) anywhere.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 11/11/13 at 7:08pm
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

If you're dead-set on getting the HE-6, then the higher voltage can help. With the LCD-2 I'm not too sure - I've tried it on my Meier Cantate and even on low gain (but max volume) I can still block out the ambient noise at the meets with my Cantate.2. Sound isn't distorting or otherwise too warm or too thin, either. I couldn't try the HE-5 and 6 because all the ones I see at the local meets come with balanced cables, and I never see replacement/stock cables (or otherwise SE) anywhere.

I don't want the HE-6, it doesn't seem to have the sound signature I preferred and several reviews have stated that it doesn't match up well with the Mjolnir
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by InternetSandman View Post


I'm fairly certain. I had narrowed down my choice to between the LCD-3 and the HE-6, and I've -tentatively-decided on the LCD-3, because I was already partial to the aesthetics and the performance of the Schiit balanced stack and the LCD-3 seems to pair well with them from every review I've read. I am curious to see the reviews of the slightly cheaper (and also better looking) LCD-X, but apart from that I don't really have anything else I'd set my sights on other than maybe the Sennheiser 800's with their new amp-DAC combo, but either way the first step is saving up the money for an amp/DAC and I have plenty of time to weigh the two options there.

I do want it to be a significant jump though. I do prefer going as high end as possible on an initial rig, I made this topic just to try and decide whether or not balanced was truly worth the additional cost over SE if planning on upgrading to a headphone like the LCD-3

 

Then I'd imagine next year would be very exciting for you; doing research on various equipment and shopping for parts. I heard many good things about the LCD-3, but I know very little about them (since they weren't available when I got my HD800 in 2010). Anyhow, good luck on your journey!

post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by InternetSandman View Post


I don't want the HE-6, it doesn't seem to have the sound signature I preferred and several reviews have stated that it doesn't match up well with the Mjolnir

 

Just keep doing research on these. I'm not sure about the LCD-3, but the LCD-2 was driven well enough not just by my Cantate, but also a Stepdance. In any case, the Mjolnir would at least have enough headroom for anything else you might get later on.

post #21 of 21

I'm in a similar situation, though I'm taking a more progressive approach.  I currently own a Shure SRH440 headset and a Xonar STX.  I'm upgrading to a Mr. Speakers Mad Dog headset (with 1/4" plug), Ceentrance HiFi M8, and an iPod Touch.  All this scores to me as I gain portability, an improved amp/DAC combo, planar headphones, and an iOS device  (I can finally give the big, power-hungry PC a rest more often).

 

Maybe in a year or two I'll upgrade to a balanced Alpha Dog headset.  A year after that, I'll likely move to a more private living space where I have full intention of running loudspeakers.  In that situation, I'd like to buy a Schiit Gungnir and line it out to a mixer with balanced outputs for both speakers and headphones.  If I HAD to get other stuph after that, I may trade the Dogs for an Audeze or some other higher-end, balanced, planar headphone, purchase the Gungnir's other half (the Mjolner) to drive them, and trade the HiFi M8 for something more portable.  Music CDs take priority, though.

 

Technically speaking, using balanced headphones makes sense.  A two-channel home audio setup will typically include a receiver wired directly to flanking speakers, with positive and negative wires to each.  A balanced headphone system simply miniaturizes that setup, maintaining separate grounds for each driver.

 

Definitely spring for the balanced rig I say.  Mind, the Mjolner doesn't work with single-ended 'phones according to the FAQ on the product webpage.  Had I not discovered the HiFi M8 or balanced headphone audio, I'd probably just get a Schiit BiFrost/Asgard 2 combo and be happy.

 

EDIT: I ended up buying the balanced version of the Mad Dogs instead.  That driven by the HiFi M8's 4-pin XLR jack should keep me happy for awhile.  It's also the cheapest, full-power balanced rig that I'm aware of.


Edited by hourousiya1 - 11/23/13 at 1:57am
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