Going balanced worth it or not?
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HoneysPoohBear

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I have a PS4 going to a Shiit Modi2uber that connects to a Massdrop Liquid Carbon X. The headphones I'll be using are HiFiMan He 500 and HD 650s, I have Fostex THx00Mahogany but are not modded for balanced yet. I won't need a cord over 8ft, so in my situation is it worth it?

Also, is there a way to hook up both my LCX and CTH to the Modi2uber without having to unplug the RCA out every time I want to switch?

Thanks
 
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Monsterzero

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The answer is … it depends on the amp and the headphones. Since the voltage swing is practically doubled, balanced (should say, "differential") is more advantageous with high-impedance headphones, like your 650. As for whether one amp that is balanced sounds better than another that is not, that depends on the amplifier itself. One unbalanced amp may sound better than a balanced amp and vice-versa.
 
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HoneysPoohBear

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The answer is … it depends on the amp and the headphones. Since the voltage swing is practically doubled, balanced (should say, "differential") is more advantageous with high-impedance headphones, like your 650. As for whether one amp that is balanced sounds better than another that is not, that depends on the amplifier itself. One unbalanced amp may sound better than a balanced amp and vice-versa.
So for HD 650s and HiFiMan HE500 using a Massdrop Liquid Carbon X, should I go balanced?
 
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buke9

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No harm in balanced and the 500’s will definitely respond to more power.
 
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I can't find out this amp's architecture to determine how much of an improvement in sound quality the amp would provide in balanced mode, but as above it appears to output a lot more power in balanced mode which could be useful.

For the full force of fully-balanced, your amp will need 4 amp circuits, 2 for each channel. Can your liquid carbon convert a single-ended input to a balanced output signal for that matter too? Not all balanced amps can. If it can't then going balanced won't work.
 
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I can't find out this amp's architecture to determine how much of an improvement in sound quality the amp would provide in balanced mode, but as above it appears to output a lot more power in balanced mode which could be useful.

For the full force of fully-balanced, your amp will need 4 amp circuits, 2 for each channel. Can your liquid carbon convert a single-ended input to a balanced output signal for that matter too? Not all balanced amps can. If it can't then going balanced won't work.
I believe the Carbon has a phase splitter I believe what is called it doesn’t matter if it is a single ended input or balanced still gives the same output. That is what the original Liquid Carbon has and they are supposed to be the same architecture other than power supply but could be wrong on that not for sure.
 
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Balanced probably won't make a huge difference unless you're headphones aren't currently getting enough juice to run properly. I run my LCD2c balanced out of an aune x7s, and the bass clips regardless, so I'm sourcing a more powerful unit. On the flip side, my 6xx sound just as good balanced as not, but my 400i sound marginally better out of balanced, at least to my ears. But the technical side of things reveals weaknesses and strengths to the concept.
 
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I have a PS4 going to a Shiit Modi2uber that connects to a Massdrop Liquid Carbon X. The headphones I'll be using are HiFiMan He 500 and HD 650s, I have Fostex THx00Mahogany but are not modded for balanced yet. I won't need a cord over 8ft, so in my situation is it worth it?
Balanced drive is not just for noise management but for maximizing the output of the amp. Unless using higher output like from balanced drive actually increases noise or distortion, or reduces channel separation, maximize power in this manner if you already have a balanced amp anyway. Otherwise if you didn't get a balanced drive amp there are single ended amps that can produce similar enough power levels without having noise nor distortion.

That said, one way to minimize the cost of balanced cables on all your headphones is either to get them cheap balanced cables or gut all your headphone cables and put in XLRs on all of them (or order an extention cable and gut all your cables to replace the Y-junction with an XLR to go into the XLR extension cable).
 
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