focal clear with rme adi 2
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I currently have hd 650 but decided to upgrade to focal clear. I feel like hd650 its not performing its best without a headphone amp and for some reasons im not completely satisfied. I tried smsl sp200 and rme adi 2 with hd 650 but other than higher volume nothing really improved in sound quality. This is why i decided to get focal clear and with low ohm i think it will perform its best even without headphone amplifier with rme adi 2. Do you think its worth upgrading? I will be very disappointed if theres not really a good improvements.
 
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On paper the Clear will be much easier to drive than the HD 650. I know the RME doesn't drive the HD 600/650/6XX well. The SMSL power is marginal at 300 ohms also.

The Sennheisers need more voltage than average to sound good. If underpowered they will sound lifeless even though they get loud enough.

You could try an OTL tube amp or a much stronger solid state amp and see what you think. The 600/650 scale like mad. It's almost impossible to throw too much amp at them.
 
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On paper the Clear will be much easier to drive than the HD 650. I know the RME doesn't drive the HD 600/650/6XX well. The SMSL power is marginal at 300 ohms also.

The Sennheisers need more voltage than average to sound good. If underpowered they will sound lifeless even though they get loud enough.

You could try an OTL tube amp or a much stronger solid state amp and see what you think. The 600/650 scale like mad. It's almost impossible to throw too much amp at them.
No wonder why hd650 was lacking in sound quality. So are you recommending a decent amp with hd 650 combo other than single focal clear headphone?
 
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No wonder why hd650 was lacking in sound quality. So are you recommending a decent amp with hd 650 combo other than single focal clear headphone?
I haven't heard any Focals. I know they have a lot of fans and are probably pretty good.

But the 600/650 is an all-time classic that is capable of amazing sound. And I have the RME and other sources that I don't like Sennheisers out of. It's to the point I can notice the problem immediately. So I can definitely say an appropriate amp makes all the difference.
 
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I haven't heard any Focals. I know they have a lot of fans and are probably pretty good.

But the 600/650 is an all-time classic that is capable of amazing sound. And I have the RME and other sources that I don't like Sennheisers out of. It's to the point I can notice the problem immediately. So I can definitely say an appropriate amp makes all the difference.
How about topping a90? will it drive hd and t1 well? If hd650 performs its best with topping a90 i will probably consider getting a90 and hd650 combo. Its way cheaper and i have have budget to purchase other headphones.
 
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I just checked the spec sheet. Looks like it has plenty of voltage but I would recommend running them balanced based on what I'm reading. You can buy a decent balanced cable for between 50 and 100 dollars.

But since you're in NYC it's worth checking on the forums to see what OTL tube amps are in your budget.
 
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I already have two 3pin xlr cable from amazon. Does high quality cables really a big of deal?
It's a religious debate. My opinion is that as long as the cables are made correctly with decent quality components there is no difference. But I haven't heard thousand dollar cables.

You will need a real XLR cable with 4 pins.
 
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It's a religious debate. My opinion is that as long as the cables are made correctly with decent quality components there is no difference. But I haven't heard thousand dollar cables.

You will need a real XLR cable with 4 pins.
But my rme adi 2 doesnt have 4 pin it only has 3 pin connector.
 
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But my rme adi 2 doesnt have 4 pin it only has 3 pin connector.
Ok, there is a difference.I was talking about needing XLR headphone cables to run balanced. They are 4 pin because they carry both channels.

The XLR out from the DAC is 3 pin because it is one channel. You need two 3-pin XLR patch cables to run between the DAC and a balanced amp. You need one 4 pin XLR cable to hook up your headphones to the amp to run them balanced.
 
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Ok, there is a difference.I was talking about needing XLR headphone cables to run balanced. They are 4 pin because they carry both channels.

The XLR out from the DAC is 3 pin because it is one channel. You need two 3-pin XLR patch cables to run between the DAC and a balanced amp. You need one 4 pin XLR cable to hook up your headphones to the amp to run them balanced.
Now i get what your saying haha. In order me to go fully balanced i need to buy 4 pin connector for my hd650. Thats like another 50 dollars.Its just endless game of spending money... lol I also decided to go with topping a90 but does it really make a difference between 4pin xlr cables and connecting phono or aux cables?
 
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marantzaux1212 I had Clear one week last year on a few weeks. I used Mytek Brooklyn also all in one like RME, from impressions it seems Mytek is a little warmer than RME. Focal Clear is one of the few hp (LCDX is another one) which I would call really easier drive. Clear with Brooklyn was usefull aceptable but it was still more on analitical side for my taste so not ideal, I would recomend you try seperate amp for them.
HD650 is darker headphone. So it depends what you like. Clear is different headphone very technical very dynamic good localisation acurate clear striving for reality but less soundstage less pleasent tones mainly in longer listening. It is very good headphone but it is not for everyone.
 
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Now i get what your saying haha. In order me to go fully balanced i need to buy 4 pin connector for my hd650. Thats like another 50 dollars.Its just endless game of spending money... lol I also decided to go with topping a90 but does it really make a difference between 4pin xlr cables and connecting phono or aux cables?
I think it would be a safer bet based on the voltages listed when you run balanced in and balanced out to the A90. It's worth running Sennheisers (well, 600/650/6XX, and 800/800S and 820) balanced. They love happy voltage. To me it's not worth saving 50 bucks if there is any question about driving the headphones as well as your amp is capable.
 
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marantzaux1212 I had Clear one week last year on a few weeks. I used Mytek Brooklyn also all in one like RME, from impressions it seems Mytek is a little warmer than RME. Focal Clear is one of the few hp (LCDX is another one) which I would call really easier drive. Clear with Brooklyn was usefull aceptable but it was still more on analitical side for my taste so not ideal, I would recomend you try seperate amp for them.
HD650 is darker headphone. So it depends what you like. Clear is different headphone very technical very dynamic good localisation acurate clear striving for reality but less soundstage less pleasent tones mainly in longer listening. It is very good headphone but it is not for everyone.
This is opposite of my impression! And it would be kind of unexpected given the chips used, but who knows. Hearing is a very personal thing.
 
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No wonder why hd650 was lacking in sound quality. So are you recommending a decent amp with hd 650 combo other than single focal clear headphone?
I touched on this topic in your other thread....

Basically you need to figure out which direction you are taking in this hobby before you decide between Focal Clear or an OTL amp.

If you go with an OTL amp you will be generally limited to headphones which are 250 ohms and up. Some examples are all ZMF dynamic headphones,Beyer DT series,T1,Sennheiser HD600/650/6xx,HD800. Im sure there are a few others out there that im forgetting.
Any headphone that is low impedance(0-100) will generally not sound good on an OTL amp. There are some exceptions,but lets stick with the basics.

OTL amps also take tubes,which can be very expensive. Most amps come with a starter set of not-too-great sounding tubes. You will want to upgrade those tubes pronto. Many OTL owners,myself included,have spent more $ on tubes than what the amp itself cost!

My journey in this hobby has taken me from tubes,to solid state and then back to tubes. I have found my end-game headphone in the ZMF Verite closed and have a great OTL amp(Glenn OTL)to drive it.
I do not own a good solid state amp,so if for whatever reason I wanted to buy a Meze Empyrean,Focal Clear,Utopia or Stellia,HEDDPhone,etc....i would need to also buy a good solid state amp for them. My Glenn can drive some of these headphones well,but it is one of the few exceptions to the rule,and it really wasnt designed for these types of low impedance headphones in mind.

If you go with a Clear you most likely will want to dump the HD650 because youve already mentioned that you do not like the way it sounds thru your amp/DAC. Chances are it will not do well with other high impedance headphones either.

The Clear will be an easier choice,wont require you to learn about tubes and most likely will be cheaper in the long run. Just understand that if down the line you want a ZMF or T1 or HD800 you will be right back where you currently are,being underwhelmed by the sound youre getting out of your current set-up.
 
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