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Amp and DAC ($1000-$1500) for HE-500 - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 

Really considering the Emotiva mini-X a-100 + M-DAC combo now.

 

Can anyone speak towards the M-DAC vs the Resonessence Concero?

 

Also, regarding the BTG-Audio cable adapter. I've read on that site that 6.3mm to Banana plug adapter is not compatible on all amps, so I want to steer clear of that option. I would probably just get a cable that is directly terminated to banana plugs. Does that make more sense? (In this case, I would still have the stock cable as a backup whenever I want to use it).

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidVictory View Post

 

Also, regarding the BTG-Audio cable adapter. I've read on that site that 6.3mm to Banana plug adapter is not compatible on all amps, so I want to steer clear of that option. I would probably just get a cable that is directly terminated to banana plugs. Does that make more sense? (In this case, I would still have the stock cable as a backup whenever I want to use it).


Any cable with a 6.3mm or 3.5mm TRS plug going to banana plugs will only work with common ground amps. The Emotiva has common ground, but some amps don't, such as balanced amps or the cheap Topping T-amps. What this means is that the R- and L- terminals on the back of the amp  are connected inside the amp. They are both the same ground, and they are joined again inside the TRS jack -- both connect to the sleeve of the jack. So the BTG audio adapter will work with the Emotiva, but not every amp. 

A balanced (i.e. 4 pin XLR to banana plugs) adapter cable will work with any amp, because R- and L- are kept separate. TRS on the hand only has 3 pins. I built my own adapter for the Emotiva, and I only have 3 wires. My ground wire is just connected to L-, not R- at all. The HE-500 has 2 pins on each side of the headphone, so you could buy a balanced cable and a balanced adapter, then it works with any amp. 

EDIT: You could also get a Hifiman to banana plugs cable without any adapter. This would be balanced and work with anything. I was interested in this as well, and asked Brian at BTG about it. He said this is the cheapest option: http://btg-audio.com/webstore.htm#!/~/product/category=2706350&id=17894638

Of course, there are other companies that can do such a cable, but it has to be custom AFAIK.

 


Edited by manbear - 12/1/13 at 2:55pm
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


Any cable with a 6.3mm or 3.5mm TRS plug going to banana plugs will only work with common ground amps. The Emotiva has common ground, but some amps don't, such as balanced amps or the cheap Topping T-amps. What this means is that the R- and L- terminals on the back of the amp  are connected inside the amp. They are both the same ground, and they are joined again inside the TRS jack -- both connect to the sleeve of the jack. So the BTG audio adapter will work with the Emotiva, but not every amp. 

A balanced (i.e. 4 pin XLR to banana plugs) adapter cable will work with any amp, because R- and L- are kept separate. TRS on the hand only has 3 pins. I built my own adapter for the Emotiva, and I only have 3 wires. My ground wire is just connected to L-, not R- at all. The HE-500 has 2 pins on each side of the headphone, so you could buy a balanced cable and a balanced adapter, then it works with any amp. 

EDIT: You could also get a Hifiman to banana plugs cable without any adapter. This would be balanced and work with anything. I was interested in this as well, and asked Brian at BTG about it. He said this is the cheapest option: http://btg-audio.com/webstore.htm#!/~/product/category=2706350&id=17894638

Of course, there are other companies that can do such a cable, but it has to be custom AFAIK.

 

 

Thanks! I think I'll just keep everything balanced and go for an HE-500 to banana termination.

 

One question: as the Emotiva only accepts RCA inputs; my entire setup would no longer be balanced, correct? Even if say, I had an M-DAC; as soon as I move the output into an RCA output into the Emotiva input, the signal is no longer balanced throughout the entire chain, correct?

post #19 of 27
Yep, the Emotiva only has single ended inputs. So you would just have a balanced cable, but not a balanced system.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post

Yep, the Emotiva only has single ended inputs. So you would just have a balanced cable, but not a balanced system.

 

Looks like the solution is M-DAC + Emotiva XPA-200 with resistors on the HE-500 banana terminations? :)

 

This is getting more and more complex. I think balanced is not my priority right now but it certainly is alluring. I might just get the A-100 and the M-DAC and stick with unbalanced, with the possibility to upgrade later if I get upgraditis.

 

Where did you get the resistors from? I'm presuming BTG Audio can include them (there seems to be an option to add a 499 Ohm resistor to each channel).

post #21 of 27
I have a 3.5 to 6.3 adapter with 300 ohm resistors inside that I bought on EBay, and I have bare resistors that I bought from Mouser. The bare ones are higher quality 250 ohm Vishay wirewound, non-inductive resistors. I haven't got them in the mail yet, but I'm going to have one end stuck in the amp's binding post and the other end connected to my adapter's wires with alligator clips. Lol. I need to learn how to solder.

499 ohm with the HE-500 might be ok on the xpa-200, but that's too much for the a-100. I don't think you need any resistors for the a-100 and HE-500, unless the noise floor is noticeable too you. You might want to ask on the speaker amps thread about the best way to do it.
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post

I have a 3.5 to 6.3 adapter with 300 ohm resistors inside that I bought on EBay, and I have bare resistors that I bought from Mouser. The bare ones are higher quality 250 ohm Vishay wirewound, non-inductive resistors. I haven't got them in the mail yet, but I'm going to have one end stuck in the amp's binding post and the other end connected to my adapter's wires with alligator clips. Lol. I need to learn how to solder.

499 ohm with the HE-500 might be ok on the xpa-200, but that's too much for the a-100. I don't think you need any resistors for the a-100 and HE-500, unless the noise floor is noticeable too you. You might want to ask on the speaker amps thread about the best way to do it.

 

Gotcha. I'm definitely considering the Concero now after reading up on the engineers who work for Resonessence. Do you know if the Concero HD is worth it over the Concero? I might just pick up the Concero HD.

 

As for the resistors, I guess I will research further before buying one. I will probably listen to the HE-500 on the A-100 and see how much noise I hear when no music is playing. I'm sure I can handle a little noise, but down the line I would like some resistors to make it close to dead silent at low volumes.

post #23 of 27
According to the concero thread, it seems like the HD is a bit better. It also plays DSD. Too expensive for me though. I got my concero used. I can only compare it to the HRT MSII I had before, but I'm definitely happy with it. There's a lot of engineering in that tiny little box.
post #24 of 27

I have found the Matrix M Stage to do a pretty good job. If you get the one with the DAC in it would be good. I am probably going to move to the Asgard 2 soon though, M stage is a little low on juice at times. 

post #25 of 27

I have a similar question to the thread starter in that I need an amp that would power a HE500 or a Audeze LCD2/3. The best amp I've had in the past has been a solid-state amp, the Talisman T33H. I'm thinking of the either the Schitt Lyr or Corda Classic. My budget is about $700 and I need to be able to source my amps in Australia. No overseas buying at the moment. I've never had tubes before so before suggesting tubes, please give me an indication of what they are like. Basic usage instructions of tube amps would also be appreciated. 

post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 

Pretty set on getting the Concero HD + Emotiva mini-X a-100 at this point unless someone can change my mind!

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 

Actually, considering the Matrix X-Sabre + Emotiva mini-X a-100. Any thoughts on this combo?

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