Entry Level Balanced Rig ?
Sep 7, 2009 at 12:08 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

boomy3555

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I've been around here for about a year and I would like to make my next steps ( baby Steps) to be into Balanced rigs. logically I would like to do it on a budget. I'm hoping the "Amp Kings" around here can give me some suggestions on what to start with. I've been bitten by the "Tube Rolling" bug so would be most interested in tubes but would also entertain S/S based on cost.


Edit: Approximate budget between 800-1K USD for both pieces.

[size=small]Any help would be appreciated[/size]
 
Sep 7, 2009 at 1:05 AM Post #2 of 18

El_Doug

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LD MK VI for the amp, no question.

You can easily balance any cans, though the HD650 is the classic first step into the balanced world.

When it comes to a balanced source, the sky is really the limit
 
Sep 7, 2009 at 1:12 AM Post #3 of 18

HeatFan12

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Hey boomy..

I just got my feet wet with balanced and have to say it's awesome.


http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/get...ssions-440697/


I love tubes and looking for a balanced tube amp now, but the MKVII solid state is slammin'...Listening to my AH-D5000s right now single-ended with it and contemplating re-terminating them for balanced. I have used this amp with the Senns HD580s and 650s (balanced & SE) and various other phones single-ended.

I have also tried four balanced sources and again powerful, clean sound.
 
Sep 7, 2009 at 1:20 AM Post #4 of 18

tintin47

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The mkVII is probably a good bet. The only other possibly price effective way to go balanced would be to diy something like a ck2III or M^3 with four channels, but that can be expensive. As far as a source, I really like the Cambridge DACmagic. It is pretty cheap and fully balanced, if I recall correctly.
 
Sep 7, 2009 at 2:22 AM Post #5 of 18

Lil' Knight

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tintin47 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
As far as a source, I really like the Cambridge DACmagic. It is pretty cheap and fully balanced, if I recall correctly.


x2

I had the DM twice and it never let me down. Great sounding DAC and very budget-wise.
 
Sep 7, 2009 at 3:17 AM Post #6 of 18

bergman2

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given my need for a full functioning audio/computer rig, I believe I am realizing a great cost/quality ratio out of my Lavry DA10 handling dac/amp duties with the balanced outs to my 650's
 
Sep 7, 2009 at 3:32 AM Post #8 of 18

boomy3555

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Thanks for all the quick responses. All of my cans except the new stock SE305s are already re-cabled to balanced with single ended adapters. I've had the opportunity to hear my HP's on other's balanced rigs and that's what convinced me to take the next step.
I like the DacMagic and it's really gotten some talk time here and the LD is nice as well. I'll most likely buy the DAC first and then follow it up with the Amp.
 
Sep 7, 2009 at 3:35 AM Post #9 of 18

moonboy403

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boomy3555 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for all the quick responses. All of my cans except the new stock SE305s are already re-cabled to balanced with single ended adapters. I've had the opportunity to hear my HP's on other's balanced rigs and that's what convinced me to take the next step.
I like the DacMagic and it's really gotten some talk time here and the LD is nice as well. I'll most likely buy the DAC first and then follow it up with the Amp.



IMO, you should get a balanced amp first. Having a balanced amp that has a phase splitter such as the Audio-Gd Phoenix will allow you to enjoy balanced drive even without a balanced dac.

Moreover, some balanced dac aren't fully differential.
 
Sep 7, 2009 at 4:33 AM Post #10 of 18

El_Doug

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Quote:

Originally Posted by moonboy403 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
IMO, you should get a balanced amp first. Having a balanced amp that has a phase splitter such as the Audio-Gd Phoenix will allow you to enjoy balanced drive even without a balanced dac.

Moreover, some balanced dac aren't fully differential.



i believe the reason boomy wants to get the DAC first, is so that he can space out his purchases - and while every balanced DAC has single-ended outputs, not every balanced amp has single-ended inputs.

it is a smart move, imo
 
Sep 7, 2009 at 11:06 PM Post #11 of 18

boomy3555

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Quote:

Originally Posted by moonboy403 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
IMO, you should get a balanced amp first. Having a balanced amp that has a phase splitter such as the Audio-Gd Phoenix will allow you to enjoy balanced drive even without a balanced dac.

Moreover, some balanced dac aren't fully differential.




I was surprised to find out how many "Balanced" Dacs were not fully balanced. What little I know about balanced, comes from reading the info pages at Headroom. I got an Alesis Io2 Dac/Midi,(similar to the EMU404) mixer assuming it was balanced as advertized, but it is not fully differential. It's a nice budget USB powered DAC which is pretty transparent and USB powered off of my netbook so it's gret for transportable use but I need to move up to better on my home rig.
Stax can be Yummy with certain types of music but overall I'm a Denon kinda guy and like a bit more flavor.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 2:50 PM Post #12 of 18

kugino

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the best price/performance in balanced DACs would be to find someone to build you a balanced opus or buffalo DAC. my balanced opus, which i had built before the buffalo was introduced, is fully balanced with a metronome and all the bells and whistles and probably cost just under a grand in parts/labor.
 
Sep 9, 2009 at 3:36 AM Post #14 of 18

rosgr63

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If you go for a SS amp, you might want to look at the RudiStor NX-33.
 

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