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Wadia 121 balanced output question

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My Wadia 121 DAC has three pin balanced XLR outputs on the rear of the device. Can I use those to drive my LCD 2 headphones if I re cable them with balanced cables? The Wadia documentation isn't helpful. Obviously I don't want to spring for balanced cables unless I'm sure it will work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget67 View Post

My Wadia 121 DAC has three pin balanced XLR outputs on the rear of the device. Can I use those to drive my LCD 2 headphones if I re cable them with balanced cables? The Wadia documentation isn't helpful. Obviously I don't want to spring for balanced cables unless I'm sure it will work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


i'm not sure if thats possible, but i think any improvement , or difference would be minimal ,

i recently got a schiit mjolnir, and in comparing balanced and single ended, i'm not sure i can tell much, if any difference myself

plus, the wadia's headphone amp is really good, i have it, and the lcd2.2's, great combo !

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response. I certainly love my current setup but you know how it is--we are all looking for something "better". I've read several articles on balanced XLR cables vs the single 6.3mm plug and I'm willing to spring for balanced XLR cables for my LCD 2's but I'm not in the market for another amp if the Wadia will work. I recently switched from RCA cables to XLR balanced cables to my Emotiva Airmotiv 4 powered speakers through the Wadia and the difference is actually pretty dramatic; even my wife (no audiophile) notices the difference. A few hundred for new cables is fine, but throwing in a new amp as well isn't in my budget at the moment biggrin.gif

Anyone else care to weigh in on balanced vs other set ups?
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget67 View Post

Thanks for the response. I certainly love my current setup but you know how it is--we are all looking for something "better". I've read several articles on balanced XLR cables vs the single 6.3mm plug and I'm willing to spring for balanced XLR cables for my LCD 2's but I'm not in the market for another amp if the Wadia will work. I recently switched from RCA cables to XLR balanced cables to my Emotiva Airmotiv 4 powered speakers through the Wadia and the difference is actually pretty dramatic; even my wife (no audiophile) notices the difference. A few hundred for new cables is fine, but throwing in a new amp as well isn't in my budget at the moment biggrin.gif

Anyone else care to weigh in on balanced vs other set ups?


i'm really anxious to get my balanced cables for the lcd's to try them with the mjo, i'll be better able to tell if the difference i do hear is more just the differences between the lyr, and mjo, or balanced vs single ended, or most likely, a combination of both.

 

how do you like the emotiva's ?? i had really considered those, but i ended up getting the psb powered speakers, and now that i have balanced pre-amp outputs on the mjo, i thought about changing to the airmotivs

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'll be anxious to hear you reaction to balanced cables and the mjolnir because I'd considered that as an amp choice at some future point if the Wadia isn't an option. I can still use the Wadia as a DAC (balanced out to balanced in on the mjolnir). If balanced cables are a "significant" improvement I'd go that route. I also sent an inquiry to Moon audio asking about the Wadia and the LCD 2's. I would buy the balanced cables from them since I purchased the LCD's there but they are pushing the Bryston balanced amp and I'm not ready to spend that much without some evidence that it is worth it.

The Emotiva Airmotiv 4's are FANTASTIC near field speakers and at their current price of $299 a pair, I'd buy them again in a heartbeat!!! The Airmotiv 5's are a bit bigger and are $449 a pair currently but I prefer the smaller size of the 4's and I don't know if the extra $150 is worth it. The 4's are just KILLER with the balanced cables. Highly recommended.biggrin.gif:D:D

If you remember, let me know how balanced cables work out with the mjolnir.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget67 View Post

I'll be anxious to hear you reaction to balanced cables and the mjolnir because I'd considered that as an amp choice at some future point if the Wadia isn't an option. I can still use the Wadia as a DAC (balanced out to balanced in on the mjolnir). If balanced cables are a "significant" improvement I'd go that route. I also sent an inquiry to Moon audio asking about the Wadia and the LCD 2's. I would buy the balanced cables from them since I purchased the LCD's there but they are pushing the Bryston balanced amp and I'm not ready to spend that much without some evidence that it is worth it.

The Emotiva Airmotiv 4's are FANTASTIC near field speakers and at their current price of $299 a pair, I'd buy them again in a heartbeat!!! The Airmotiv 5's are a bit bigger and are $449 a pair currently but I prefer the smaller size of the 4's and I don't know if the extra $150 is worth it. The 4's are just KILLER with the balanced cables. Highly recommended.biggrin.gif:D:D

If you remember, let me know how balanced cables work out with the mjolnir.


we are on the very same wavelength here, i was real close to splurging for the bryston, but i figured the wadia's headphone out is so good, i really didn't need another single ended out, so i'm running the balanced out to the mjo, single ended out to a lyr, then out of the lyr to my ps1's

 

i bought my lcd's from a guy who lives near franklin, tn, where emotiva is located, and when i drove up to get the lcd's, i also went to emotiva's office, and got to hear some of there stuff, it was really cool, i didn't get to hear the airmotiv monitors, they only had the stealth series hooked up, but it was all very nice, and the folks were a nice as they could be, i tried out the stealth dac here, but the wadia was way better

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Interesting that we were headed in the same direction. I'll follow up with Moon Audio next week by phone about the Wadia balanced out (they also sell the Wadia 121) and ask if the balanced out on the back will work with my LCD's. If so, you would have two amps with balanced out to use and compare. I'll post the result here. If you are even thinking about the Airmotiv speakers, get them and you will not be disappointed!
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget67 View Post

Interesting that we were headed in the same direction. I'll follow up with Moon Audio next week by phone about the Wadia balanced out (they also sell the Wadia 121) and ask if the balanced out on the back will work with my LCD's. If so, you would have two amps with balanced out to use and compare. I'll post the result here. If you are even thinking about the Airmotiv speakers, get them and you will not be disappointed!


i might put the psb's up for sale i'll be considering that for sure

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
The XLR outputs on the back of the Wadia are line out (unpowered) so they will not drive headphones per Drew from moon audio. I should have been smart enough to figure that out but I was hopeful. Oh well--looks like there will be a balanced amp in my future...
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget67 View Post

The XLR outputs on the back of the Wadia are line out (unpowered) so they will not drive headphones per Drew from moon audio. I should have been smart enough to figure that out but I was hopeful. Oh well--looks like there will be a balanced amp in my future...


it was worth a shot, i was thinking it was probably a fixed line out, but wasn't sure,

so, going for the bryston , or the mjolnir ?? lol

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
I will be researching both the Bryston and Mjolnir. Unfortunately, I won't be able to audition them in person so I will be relying on others who have experience with balanced amps in combination with LCD 2 or 3 headphones. I'm actually pretty happy with my Wadia 121 but after hearing the obvious difference that balanced cables made with my Airmotiv speakers I'll probably do something and the mjolnir will be high on my list if only because of the cost and some of the reviews I've read to date. At the low end of the scale, I can buy the Mjolnir and balanced cables from Audeze for under $900 for both. I can go the more extreme route and buy the Bryston and silver dragon balanced cables from Moon Audio and spend over $2000. So, tell me--is the Wadia and Mjolnir combination that significant an improvement???
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget67 View Post

I will be researching both the Bryston and Mjolnir. Unfortunately, I won't be able to audition them in person so I will be relying on others who have experience with balanced amps in combination with LCD 2 or 3 headphones. I'm actually pretty happy with my Wadia 121 but after hearing the obvious difference that balanced cables made with my Airmotiv speakers I'll probably do something and the mjolnir will be high on my list if only because of the cost and some of the reviews I've read to date. At the low end of the scale, I can buy the Mjolnir and balanced cables from Audeze for under $900 for both. I can go the more extreme route and buy the Bryston and silver dragon balanced cables from Moon Audio and spend over $2000. So, tell me--is the Wadia and Mjolnir combination that significant an improvement???


to my ears, yes,

i was actually pretty skeptical going in, with the whole "balanced" operation , whether is going balanced specifcally, or the mjo just being a better, more powerful amp, or a combination, of both

i very much prefer the lcd2, and the hifiman HE-5LE, balanced out of the mjo, over single ended, out of the lyr, the burson soloist, and the headphone amp out of the wadia

i haven't heard the bryston, i've wanted to, but the mjo is great, i got a feeling i'll stay with this set up for a while

and with the mjo, it has balanced pre-amp outpouts, so it would work with your airmotivs too

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaywillin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget67 View Post

I will be researching both the Bryston and Mjolnir. Unfortunately, I won't be able to audition them in person so I will be relying on others who have experience with balanced amps in combination with LCD 2 or 3 headphones. I'm actually pretty happy with my Wadia 121 but after hearing the obvious difference that balanced cables made with my Airmotiv speakers I'll probably do something and the mjolnir will be high on my list if only because of the cost and some of the reviews I've read to date. At the low end of the scale, I can buy the Mjolnir and balanced cables from Audeze for under $900 for both. I can go the more extreme route and buy the Bryston and silver dragon balanced cables from Moon Audio and spend over $2000. So, tell me--is the Wadia and Mjolnir combination that significant an improvement???


to my ears, yes,
i was actually pretty skeptical going in, with the whole "balanced" operation , whether is going balanced specifcally, or the mjo just being a better, more powerful amp, or a combination, of both
i very much prefer the lcd2, and the hifiman HE-5LE, balanced out of the mjo, over single ended, out of the lyr, the burson soloist, and the headphone amp out of the wadia
i haven't heard the bryston, i've wanted to, but the mjo is great, i got a feeling i'll stay with this set up for a while
and with the mjo, it has balanced pre-amp outpouts, so it would work with your airmotivs too

My index finger was hovering over the "buy" button on the Schitt site earlier today. Still thinking, but that helps since you have the setup I'd end up with. What balanced cable are you using with the LCD 2's?
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget67 View Post


My index finger was hovering over the "buy" button on the Schitt site earlier today. Still thinking, but that helps since you have the setup I'd end up with. What balanced cable are you using with the LCD 2's?


well, i went ahead and got the stock one from audeze, it got here in a couple of days, i just ordered a custom one from Chris_Himself (HPL audio  http://hplaudio.com/store/)

i have the solid silver, with 4 pin xlr ordered

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaywillin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget67 View Post

My index finger was hovering over the "buy" button on the Schitt site earlier today. Still thinking, but that helps since you have the setup I'd end up with. What balanced cable are you using with the LCD 2's?


well, i went ahead and got the stock one from audeze, it got here in a couple of days, i just ordered a custom one from Chris_Himself (HPL audio  http://hplaudio.com/store/)
i have the solid silver, with 4 pin xlr ordered

Buttons pushed, Mjolner and Audeze cable ordered. Thanks for your help and advice (I hope).biggrin.gif
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