Balanced Amp Question
Sep 4, 2009 at 9:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

BMBROWN911

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After reading about a lot of the new balanced headphone amps that are flooding the market that use the phase splitting technology I was just curious about whether it only works with digital type connections such digital optical or digital coxial. The headroom website claims that their balanced desktop amp converts all sources to balanced drive. So using plain old analog rcas would still get turned into a balanced signal or am I misunderstanding something? Just curious. Cheers!
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 6:08 PM Post #4 of 8

vcoheda

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i question the benefits of these new affordable "balanced" amps that use phase splitters.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 6:54 PM Post #5 of 8

Uncle Erik

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The term "balanced" gets thrown around a lot for its marketing potential. I don't think people understand all the variations and differences between various purported balancing schemes. Many just see the XLR jacks and assume that they will provide a monstrous sonic upgrade over "lowly" single-ended, even when those XLR jacks lead directly to a single-ended circuit.

Some of the people who beat the balanced drum the loudest are listening to more or less single-ended gear with XLR jacks. What you read should be taken with a carton of salt.

If you want to go balanced, do your homework. You really have to understand what it is and how you obtain a system that truly is. It won't be cheap, either, and you might need some custom work.

Which is why I decided to stay single-ended. It's not worth the trouble, it's hugely expensive, it severely limits the gear you can use, and I'm not sure if the improvement is all that great.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 8:02 PM Post #6 of 8

nikongod

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Quote:

Originally Posted by vcoheda /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i question the benefits of these new affordable "balanced" amps that use phase splitters.


I question the value of amps that dont try to make the best of whatever signal they are fed. Some of the amps that have phase splitters are kind of on the expensive side, and some of the amps that dont have phase splitters are a bit long on price.

Can you demonstrate an amplifier taking a SE signal and running SE being better than a balanced amplifier (made up of 2 of the same SE amps) taking the same SE input and making it balanced with a phase splitter? No? with difficulty in a contrived situation?

There are plenty of older sources that still sound outstanding but only have SE outs, why not let them run with a balanced amp if that is how you choose to run your system?

Anyways, to agree with Uncle Eric, a single ended system can take you outstandingly far if it is built well. It would be exceptionally foolish to look down on a single ended amp simply because its single ended. By the same token, a balanced amplifier could really just twice as much junk as a stereo SE amp.
 
Sep 5, 2009 at 1:34 PM Post #7 of 8

twsmith

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BMBROWN911 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
After reading about a lot of the new balanced headphone amps that are flooding the market that use the phase splitting technology I was just curious about whether it only works with digital type connections such digital optical or digital coxial. The headroom website claims that their balanced desktop amp converts all sources to balanced drive. So using plain old analog rcas would still get turned into a balanced signal or am I misunderstanding something? Just curious. Cheers!


While it is true that amps like the new Headroom BUDA and, I think, some of the RudiStor amps do have a phase splitter that can convert SE to balanced, the conventional wisdom is that generally you will still get better results when your input to the amp is already balanced. Even Headroom mentions this in their BUDA manual- "...The unbalanced inputs go through a high-quality phase splitter to create a balanced signal internally. Using the balanced inputs usually provides superior performance...."
 
Sep 5, 2009 at 1:48 PM Post #8 of 8

BMBROWN911

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Doesn't really sound like its worth the money unless everything is balanced from the start. I don't really have any desire to go balanced nor do I have the funds. Waiting for Grahams SRGII to become available for purchase...lol! Would also like to delve into tubes sometime down the line to compliment my Solo. Was thinking of something like the Woo Audio 6.
 

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