Balanced input / SE output
Jan 14, 2021 at 6:35 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

npfries

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Hi all,

In the market for an amp to pair with an SDAC-B. I had the thought that I’d like to take advantage of the 4V provided by the SDAC-B’s balanced output as opposed to the 2V 3.5mm connection. I don’t have any balanced cables for my headphones and don’t plan to buy any - unless I end up buying an amp with good balanced performance but poor single ended performance.

Thats where I’m having a hard time. What options are on the market for amplifiers that have a “true” balanced input, and focus on single ended performance? By “true” balanced input I mean taking both signals not just one leg + ground, which would result in going back down to 2V.

Aside from the additional voltage, I really don’t want to use the 3.5mm connection on the SDAC-B as I tend to fiddle with my gear and want a more robust connection.

I came across the Geshelli Labs Archel 2.5 Pro, and it seems to be exactly what I have been searching for. Are there any others like this?
 
Jan 14, 2021 at 8:05 PM Post #4 of 8

buke9

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Both of those units have reduced performance single ended compared to their balanced outputs. I don’t really need or want balanced outputs unless it’s on the unit for convenience.
Are you looking for a amp that has the same output either balanced or single ended?
 
Jan 14, 2021 at 8:39 PM Post #5 of 8

npfries

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Are you looking for a amp that has the same output either balanced or single ended?

I’m mostly wondering why more amps like the Archel 2.5 don’t exist. Seems like the perfect amp design. Uses the extra 2 volts from balanced dac, and provides that to the single ended output. I don’t want or need balanced output from my amp.

Amps are not likely to have the same performance with balanced as single ended unless the balanced output is provided unless both channels share the same ground on the balanced output. This would not be a true balanced output, however.
 
Jan 14, 2021 at 9:44 PM Post #6 of 8

buke9

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I’m mostly wondering why more amps like the Archel 2.5 don’t exist. Seems like the perfect amp design. Uses the extra 2 volts from balanced dac, and provides that to the single ended output. I don’t want or need balanced output from my amp.

Amps are not likely to have the same performance with balanced as single ended unless the balanced output is provided unless both channels share the same ground on the balanced output. This would not be a true balanced output, however.
So the amp gives the same output from balanced as single ended ? It is a single ended amp with 1 watt @ 16 ohms what makes you think that the balanced inputs changes anything? I’m not going to get in a debate on “True Balanced “ but that amp is not if it doesn’t have a balanced output. You are not going to get more power from single ended than a balanced. Just because the amp has balanced inputs it doesn’t mean it has the same power as balanced.” True balanced “ as you say has separate grounds so how can that be single ended it can not. While if you don’t want to use balanced headphone connections fine but a single ended will be less powerful.
 
Jan 14, 2021 at 10:19 PM Post #7 of 8

npfries

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So the amp gives the same output from balanced as single ended ? It is a single ended amp with 1 watt @ 16 ohms what makes you think that the balanced inputs changes anything? I’m not going to get in a debate on “True Balanced “ but that amp is not if it doesn’t have a balanced output. You are not going to get more power from single ended than a balanced. Just because the amp has balanced inputs it doesn’t mean it has the same power as balanced.” True balanced “ as you say has separate grounds so how can that be single ended it can not. While if you don’t want to use balanced headphone connections fine but a single ended will be less powerful.

Right, I’m not trying to suggest that the single ended output is more powerful than a balanced output (if it had one) or that this is a “true balanced” amp - it is not. I don’t want to debate the merits of balanced vs single ended, but a lot of dacs measure better from their balanced outputs than their unbalanced outputs, so I would like to take advantage of that in addition to the RF rejection of balanced inputs on the dac.

I really like this design from Geshelli, because single ended performance isn’t an afterthought, it is the main focus, while retaining many benefits of a balanced input.

I think it would be really neat if other manufacturers (looking at you Schiit) would consider this in future designs. Perhaps there are other amps I’m not aware of that do this, which was really what I was trying to ask.
 
Jan 15, 2021 at 10:16 AM Post #8 of 8

Roseval

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