Has anyone ever used the Grado HP1000 with a balanced output amp?
Nov 12, 2004 at 5:59 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19
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Curious as to what the results would be. I've only heard the HD650 (major gains in soundstage and bass), PS1 (likewise), and DT880 (not much gain at all) used as such. It would be interesting if the soundstage expanded as it did on the PS1, since that is the achilles' heel of the HP1000 as far as I can see.
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 6:10 AM Post #2 of 19

rsaavedra

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I think differences perceivable between a balanced configuration vs an unbalanced one are more whole system dependent, rather than just related to the headphone per se. What balance cables do is allow for the use of very long cables with reduced introduction of outside noise. So except for systems with long cable runs, or with significant exposure to noise sources (e.g. interference), balanced doesn't intrinsically or necessarily mean better sound. In fact:

Quote:

In recording and for short cable runs in general, a compromise is necessary between the noise reduction given by balanced lines and the noise and distortion introduced by the extra circuitry they require.


That's from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_audio_connector
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 6:19 AM Post #3 of 19
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You are confusing the benefits of a balanced run of cable between say a source and an amp, versus those of driving headphones with a discrete positive and negative signal to each driver, rather than a positive signal with a shared ground. The balanced output amp drives the cans with twice the power because of this, and I believe 4 times the slew rate. This generally makes the cans sound better than with a standard amp. In fact, when used to drive headphones, because they are drive dy the potential difference of the positive signal and negative signal, running balanced actually doesn't eliminate noise as it does in runs between equipment.

So back to my original point, has anyone rewired their HP1000's for use with a balanced output amp like the Blockhead or Gilmore reference, and if so what kind of sound quality difference did you discern?
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 6:28 AM Post #4 of 19

rsaavedra

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
The balanced output amp drives the cans with twice the power because of this, and I believe 4 times the slew rate.


Is this so? Sorry for the OT, but if slew rates improve so much, why aren't balanced speaker wires common then?

(Or I'm now wondering, each speaker channel does have its own ground, doesn't it, so in that sense speaker wires are always "balanced" in the sense the term is used for headphone outs wiring?).
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 7:36 AM Post #5 of 19
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Quote:

Originally Posted by rsaavedra
Is this so? Sorry for the OT, but if slew rates improve so much, why aren't balanced speaker wires common then?

(Or I'm now wondering, each speaker channel does have its own ground, doesn't it, so in that sense speaker wires are always "balanced" in the sense the term is used for headphone outs wiring?).



Your latter statement is correct, my friend! Speakers already work the way a balanced headamp does. It is not that a balanced headamp gives cans a special advantage, it is more that they make up for the handicap that most headphones have as compared to speakers, the shared ground.
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 7:44 AM Post #6 of 19

rsaavedra

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Your latter statement is correct, my friend! Speakers already work the way a balanced headamp does. It is not that a balanced headamp gives cans a special advantage, it is more that they make up for the handicap that most headphones have as compared to speakers, the shared ground.


Thanks for the reply Iron, and apologies again for the OT. Already submitted a question in one of the DIY threads. I'm guessing the fact that each headphone driver can have its own ground wire doesn't necessarily mean the headphone amp has balanced inputs, or does it? It should just mean it has separate grounds for each channel, which is a different thing. But each driver having its own ground doesn't necessarily mean amp is providing or has to provide more power though, so something doesn't fit in what I understand so far. In any case, indeed originally I was confused thinking you were referring to a headphone amp with balanced inputs.
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 7:47 AM Post #7 of 19

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Slew rates and current output double because there are seperate amps for not only both channels, but both the + and - signals of each channel. It's more than just the channels sharing common ground.
EDIT
I'm guessing that any grado will benefit from a balanced amp due to their heavy current demands
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 8:04 AM Post #8 of 19

rsaavedra

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Quote:

Originally Posted by S_Dedalus
Slew rates and current output double because there are seperate amps for not only both channels, but both the + and - signals of each channel. It's more than just the channels sharing common ground.


Ah, but speakers are not amped that way in general, or are they?
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 8:06 AM Post #9 of 19

S_Dedalus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rsaavedra
Ah, but speakers are not amped that way in general, or are they?


No, but I'm guessing monoblocks work that way.
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 8:10 AM Post #10 of 19

rsaavedra

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Quote:

Originally Posted by S_Dedalus
No, but I'm guessing monoblocks work that way.


Well monoblocks are simply one channel amplifiers. That's why you need two monoblocks for stereo reproduction, one per speaker.

If speakers were powered in a "balanced" manner as for headphones, then you would need four monoblocks for stereo, but that's not the case, or at least I've never heard of such a configuration.
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 8:17 AM Post #11 of 19

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rsaavedra
Well monoblocks are simply one channel amplifiers. That's why you need two monoblocks for stereo reproduction, one per speaker.

If speakers were powered in a "balanced" manner as for headphones, then you would need four monoblocks for stereo.



Oh, okay. So I'm guessing they just are designed in a brute force kind of way.
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 8:32 AM Post #12 of 19

Xanadu777

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
So back to my original point, has anyone rewired their HP1000's for use with a balanced output amp like the Blockhead or Gilmore reference, and if so what kind of sound quality difference did you discern?


I am going to wire a pair of 325's balanced to see if my soon to arrive DEQ2496 with balanced outs will run in the same configuration as you are running with your Benchmark. If I can't output directly from that, I'll run balanced through dual PPA's. If I'm happy with the outcome, I'll try it with one of my HP-1000 drivered cans. What the heck, I'll wire all my cans balanced
biggrin.gif
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 8:35 AM Post #13 of 19
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Xanadu777
I am going to wire a pair of 325's balanced to see if my soon to arrive DEQ2496 with balanced outs will run in the same configuration as you are running with your Benchmark. If I can't output directly from that, I'll run balanced through dual PPA's. If I'm happy with the outcome, I'll try it with one of my HP-1000 drivered cans. What the heck, I'll wire all my cans balanced
biggrin.gif



Sounds like you have a heck of a plan there
biggrin.gif
Seems to me the ultimate setup would be a balanced Dynahi, though that would throw out a lot of heat.
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 11:24 AM Post #14 of 19

emelius

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Sounds like you have a heck of a plan there
biggrin.gif
Seems to me the ultimate setup would be a balanced Dynahi, though that would throw out a lot of heat.



my balanced ps-1 through gilmore (balanced) reference preamp is pretty fun
cool.gif
...
 
Nov 12, 2004 at 5:53 PM Post #15 of 19

Kurt

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Seems to me the ultimate setup would be a balanced Dynahi, though that would throw out a lot of heat.


biggrin.gif
 

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