is there any point in getting hd650 balanced, if the rest of the set up (headphone amp, reciever) is not?
Feb 4, 2009 at 11:26 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

librarian

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I'm thinking about buying hd650. Some recommend that these should be balanced.

At the moment I have my mind set on Darkvoice 3322, which is a tube headphone amp - but is it balanced? And does it matter?

Will the 400$ for the balanced cable be wasted, when the source is my NAD C352 reciever (even if I have a balanced headphone amp)?
 
Feb 4, 2009 at 11:29 PM Post #2 of 22

ericj

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The only reason to have a balanced headphone is if you have a balanced amp.

The absolute value of a balanced source is debatable.
 
Feb 4, 2009 at 11:34 PM Post #3 of 22

librarian

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so, even if I get a balanced headphone amp, it would not do me no good, as long as my reciever is not balanced?
 
Feb 4, 2009 at 11:39 PM Post #4 of 22

Sovkiller

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The most important part in y opinion in the balanced setup, is the balanced output. What means the amp, as Eric pointed out, the output is what indeed offer a better control over the drivers (and for some drivers you will see noticeable benefits, as in the case of the HD650/600/580...) The rest of the setup could or not be balanced, and the benefits if any, are not that remarkable...just a few examples, if you use vinyl, rarely you can get into balanced sources, as the cartridges are not balanced in the majority of the cases, at least I have not seen any yet...Also the majority of the rest of the balanced sources (with some exceptions) what indeed do is use an internal splitter inside the unit to convert the single ended output of the DAC, into a balanced signal internally, and offer the balanced capability, even while right now we have more, and better balanced DACs, a few years back they were not so frequent, and mainly all were single ended...
 
Feb 4, 2009 at 11:43 PM Post #5 of 22

Sovkiller

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Quote:

Originally Posted by librarian /img/forum/go_quote.gif
so, even if I get a balanced headphone amp, it would not do me no good, as long as my reciever is not balanced?


Yes it will work, if you have a headphone amp that is balanced and take unbalanced inputs, as you will have an output amplification to run the drivers...
 
Feb 4, 2009 at 11:47 PM Post #7 of 22

ericj

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The amp may or may not require balanced input.

The sound quality difference between a balanced source and a single-ended source of equal price may be slim to none and occasionally favor the single-ended source.

So, find out what you're buying before you buy it. If you have no balanced sources and an amp that requires balanced input, you can either ground the negative pole of the input or convert between single-ended and balanced with either an active conversion circuit or just a simple transformer.
 
Feb 4, 2009 at 11:55 PM Post #8 of 22

librarian

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I hate to say it, but this is getting more and more complicated for me. I'm new into headfi, just thought I'd upgrade from my dt770m, which (imo) is no good for jazz at all...

Could someone tell me, if I'm making any huge mistakes, when I'm considering to go for:

HD650
balanced cable (SAA Equinox)
Darkvoice 3322

I've read some about this stuff here on this (great) site, and somehow this is what I feel like going for by now...
 
Feb 5, 2009 at 12:09 AM Post #9 of 22

wnmnkh

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You need:

1. Balanced source (DAC with balanced output)
2. Balanced amp
3. A headphone with balanced cable.

Thing is the cheapest balanced DAC I know of is Benchmark 1, which is whooping 1000 bucks.

Not sure about how much Darkvoice costs, but if it costs more than 1500$ with DAC, you'd better take headroom's offering.
 
Feb 5, 2009 at 12:11 AM Post #10 of 22

catscratch

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You need to make sure that your balanced amp has a phase splitter so that it will be able to generate a balanced signal from an unbalanced source. I don't know amp topology and don't know if that's standard to balanced amps or not...

For Senns, it's push-pull drive that matters most, and if your amp can run them in push-pull mode off a single-ended source, then you will get most of the benefits of going balanced. I did something similar running the HD600 and HD650 off a push-pull speaker amp and it was very good to say the least. The benefits to push-pull drive with 300 ohm Senns are significant IMO.
 
Feb 5, 2009 at 12:18 AM Post #11 of 22

MR294

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wnmnkh /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Thing is the cheapest balanced DAC I know of is Benchmark 1, which is whooping 1000 bucks.



I believe the cambridge dacmagic has balanced outputs at $399
 
Feb 5, 2009 at 12:22 AM Post #12 of 22

Wmcmanus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by librarian /img/forum/go_quote.gif
so, even if I get a balanced headphone amp, it would not do me no good, as long as my reciever is not balanced?


If you get a balanced headphone amp, you can take your receiver out of the chain so it becomes a nonissue.
 
Feb 5, 2009 at 12:30 AM Post #13 of 22

Max F

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wnmnkh /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You need:
Thing is the cheapest balanced DAC I know of is Benchmark 1, which is whooping 1000 bucks.



Aren't there pro-audio sources that are balanced? I'm pretty sure my DEQ2496 is (it has XLR connections). It's around $250, i think.
 
Feb 5, 2009 at 12:36 AM Post #14 of 22

wnmnkh

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Max F /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Aren't there pro-audio sources that are balanced? I'm pretty sure my DEQ2496 is (it has XLR connections). It's around $250, i think.



*facepalm.


XD


I am idiot.

Or,

I am insane.


.....


Yes, E-Mu 0404 costs like 200 bucks, and that's the one I am using now, and they are really, really great (in measurements very few DAC can match 0404.)
 
Feb 5, 2009 at 1:44 AM Post #15 of 22

Acix

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wnmnkh /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You need:

1. Balanced source (DAC with balanced output)
2. Balanced amp
3. A headphone with balanced cable.

Thing is the cheapest balanced DAC I know of is Benchmark 1, which is whooping 1000 bucks.



1. Apogee mini-dac, around $800 new.
2. RME Fireface 400/800. You can try on ebay for better price.

The Apogee mini dac and the RS-1, is one of the best combinations in my experience.
 

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