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Hifiman 801 Appreciation thread

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by greenleo, Sep 29, 2009.
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  1. ClieOS Contributor
    ...and RE-ZERO as well.
  2. MarkTwain
    Easily converted. The stock cable of JH16Pro has only 3 strands of cables thus cannot be converted into balanced. You will need to order for a set from some of the usual cable manufacturer such as TWag from Whiplash. The TWag comes with 4 strands and Craig can terminate the cable for you balanced in TRRS Balanced plug (3.5mm plug).
    However, I tried both the balanced plug in to the balanced out with TWag V2 and using crystal piccolino cable plug in to the normal phone out, still prefer the normal stereo phone out (with the balanced amp module but remove the hump). Sounds much smoother!
  3. myared
    OK, That's good to know.  For the record, I've ordered Chris_Himself cables.  I don't know if they're balanced or not, but according to the message above and a few others I came across, it sounds like it doesn't matter because using the normal phone out still gives one access to the upgraded sound of the balanced module, without having the ugly hump on the back of the player.  Can we say that this is a consensus opinion or are there dissenters who think the sound out of the hump output is much better?
  4. flargosa
    Why don't you get a balance cable and a balance to single ended adapter as well.  You might want to AB both outputs to find out which one you prefer.  They sound like two slightly different amps.  
  5. nc8000 Contributor

    Unless you ordered it balanced with a trrs plug it will be single ended.

    To me balanced makes a posetive contribution but more with HE-500 than JH13
  6. MarkTwain
    You will need to tell the manufacturer you want a special balanced plug to make the cable a balanced cable, with 4 strands for Left +, Left-, Right +, Right-.

    There are many types of balanced plug, but for the 801, it is using the TRRS plug.

    Tried balanced and normal stereo phone out only with JH16 and have not tried with any headphones. it could be because of the sensitivity of this IEM, that using it balanced sounds a little too wide in sound stage for me. Prefers phone out as the increased soundstage is slightly less than the balanced out, and with just the phone out compared to GAME amp module is just nice for me.

    Don't get me wrong in terms of SQ of either ones. They both sound the best and you will enjoy both. Tested just the phone out with balanced amp module and a-b with DX100, thinking of possibility of "upgrading" to DX100. Conclusion for me is that DX100 will be a downgrade in SQ for me. With the balanced amp module, still nothing comes close in SQ.

    HM-801 remains to be the best portable DAP in terms of SQ (my preference over imod4, imod5.5, noisepod, iriver h140 with boomslang, sansa clip, Sony x1060, iPod with fostex HP-P1, ibasso DX100, etc).

  7. myared
    Wow!  That's saying a lot MT. 
    Thank you guys for all the helpful responses.  I've ordered my cable from Chris a while ago and it is supposed to be finished/delivered any day now so it might be too late to ask for it to be balanced.  Anyway, I think the vibe I'm getting from all the responses is that the difference in SQ is not enough to justify the trouble.  I've already ordered the balanced amp module.  I'll use it through the regular phone out for a while.  If I get the itch, I might order a set of balanced cables later on.  Now, if only I can get my JH16s and cable delivered!!!!
  8. myared
    Would the use of an adapter degrade the SQ to any significant degree?
  9. flargosa
    If you use the same quality wire for your adapter as the headphone wire and the adapter plugs are of good quality there should be no audible degradation in SQ.
  10. myared
    Is the hump (and attached red cable) detachable from the balanced module?
  11. nc8000 Contributor
    Yes, you only need to attach the hump if you need a balanced headphone out. If you only have single ended phones you just fit the stock back cover and use the normal headphone out plug
  12. myared
    So to detach the cable/hump, do I just pull on the white plastic bit attaching the cable to the card?  I was tempted to do just that before asking but I don't want to try something and damage the card (or the cable/hump as  I might get balanced IEM wires in the future...).  Thanks NC.
  13. nc8000 Contributor
    Yes that should be it
  14. MarkTwain
    You are right.

    Just carefully pull and detach the white plastic which is the connector to the amp.

    Keep the cable with the "hump" cover in case you wish to use the balanced connector in the future.

    The other side is the balanced amp module card that you can install into the Gangqi Bay of your 801. Once installed like the standard amp module, you can close it with the standard cover and you are good to go.

    If you are listening to a IEM like mine (JH16pro), I believe you will love the sound from the phone out instead of the balanced out. It is the best SQ I have heard, and the SQ that saved my money to upgrade...uhmm I mean downgrade... to DX100.

  15. myared
    Great!  Thanks guys.  Now twiddling my thumbs waiting for my JH16s and custom cable...
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