LCD-2 and LCD-3 Owners - which aftermarket cable do you use?
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DeadEars

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Quote:
 
 
 
  • Twice the power of what?
  • Four channels?  No there are two channels, left and right.  Grounds?  Where do you think the power goes that is emitted from the "+" terminal of the amp? 
 
 
Hey Kevin, stop baiting the trolls...   Seriously, there is a huge community here who believe that balanced = better, based largely on swallowing a lot of marketing malarky.  Their conviction is based on religion rather than knowledge, so you'll never convert them.  You only stir them up!   "Balanced = better" is taken on faith, since few people have your understanding of the difference between single-ended configurations and balanced configurations.  They don't want the truth...  They can't handle the truth (thank you Jack Nicholson).
 
I've had an ongoing discussion with a couple of guys on another forum who are into the radical fringes of low power single-ended practice.  They argue that "simple is better."  Their contention is that every component that passes a signal will affect to a greater or lesser degree.  Thus they feel that a truly balanced approach, where a dual-differential pair of amplification circuits are used with a floating ground, will always harm a signal more than amplification with a single-ended approach.  They argue that the former will use nearly twice as many components, and thus presents twice as many opportunities to harm the signal.  They are strong proponents of Japanese single-ended gear like Shindo or Yamato, which is characterized by purity of tone, and great delivery of timbre.  Actually, I've been on the opposite side of that discussion, which is fun!, but it has been an interesting dialog.

 
Frank
 
 
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post-7381045
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Skylab

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It's funny how many people have asked me why I don't own a balanced amp, and how people have taken my answer with some bewilderment

 
But Kevin has been VERY clear from the get-go that the LCD-2 needed a good amount of power, and he was/is very right about that.  Some people simply never heard a powerful amp until they got one that was balanced, but there are LOTS of very powerful amps that are not balanced.  You do NOT need a "balanced" amp to get the most out of the LCD-2 - you just need a good amp with a lot of power.
 
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post-7381120
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kwkarth

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Quote:
Hey Kevin, stop baiting the trolls...   Seriously, there is a huge community here who believe that balanced = better, based largely on swallowing a lot of marketing malarky.  Their conviction is based on religion rather than knowledge, so you'll never convert them.  You only stir them up!   "Balanced = better" is taken on faith, since few people have your understanding of the difference between single-ended configurations and balanced configurations.  They don't want the truth...  They can't handle the truth (thank you Jack Nicholson).
 
I've had an ongoing discussion with a couple of guys on another forum who are into the radical fringes of low power single-ended practice.  They argue that "simple is better."  Their contention is that every component that passes a signal will affect to a greater or lesser degree.  Thus they feel that a truly balanced approach, where a dual-differential pair of amplification circuits are used with a floating ground, will always harm a signal more than amplification with a single-ended approach.  They argue that the former will use nearly twice as many components, and thus presents twice as many opportunities to harm the signal.  They are strong proponents of Japanese single-ended gear like Shindo or Yamato, which is characterized by purity of tone, and great delivery of timbre.  Actually, I've been on the opposite side of that discussion, which is fun!, but it has been an interesting dialog.
 
Frank
You're right Frank, but I really didn't have baiting in mind when I posted.  I was honestly trying to get people to actually think about what they were saying, rather than simply parroting what they heard.  We all benefit from thinking occasionally.  Arguably, many balanced amps are better then many single ended designs, but the converse is true as well, and we must understand the strong/weak points of of any design to determine the advantages/disadvantages of each.  Bottom line though, is how something actually sounds.  So, I'm sorry for stirring up trouble, even though that was not my intent.
 
 
 
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post-7381123
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kwkarth

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Quote:
It's funny how many people have asked me why I don't own a balanced amp, and how people have taken my answer with some bewilderment

 
But Kevin has been VERY clear from the get-go that the LCD-2 needed a good amount of power, and he was/is very right about that.  Some people simply never heard a powerful amp until they got one that was balanced, but there are LOTS of very powerful amps that are not balanced.  You do NOT need a "balanced" amp to get the most out of the LCD-2 - you just need a good amp with a lot of power.

Thanks Rob.
 
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post-7381338
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DeadEars

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Quote:
You're right Frank, but I really didn't have baiting in mind when I posted.  I was honestly trying to get people to actually think about what they were saying, rather than simply parroting what they heard.  We all benefit from thinking occasionally.  Arguably, many balanced amps are better then many single ended designs, but the converse is true as well, and we must understand the strong/weak points of of any design to determine the advantages/disadvantages of each.  Bottom line though, is how something actually sounds.  So, I'm sorry for stirring up trouble, even though that was not my intent.
 
 
 
Actually, I had my tongue firmly in cheek.  There is certainly a tendency here for people to get on board a concept without necessarily understanding it.
 
I do like the noise-cancelling characteristics of a true balanced design, but OTOH, I agree with you that other design considerations are more important in the obtained SQ.  It just seems to me that in the cable discussion people have fallen in love with 'balanced" without understanding how often they can get far superior sound with a better amp even if it is unbalanced.  Like "ooo, you're so cool running your LCD-2's balanced!"   I certainly appreciate your efforts to help people better understand what really matters in achieving sound with which they will be happy!
 
Frank
 
 
 
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post-7381710
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gogogasgas

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All the recent postings are indeed very helpful. Kwarth, instead of saying an opinion is pish-posh, be more fulsome in your explanation why. That way, you get a chance to share knowledge in an enlightening way and we, 'the unwashed millions', will cease to seem like parrots...
 
In my case, I have ordered the Audio GD 'Phoenix'. This amp is designed primarily to be used in a balanced configuration. So, for better or worse, I am tied to the balanced path with cable selection choices for my LCD-2s.
 
As for that list of cables that Chigoran asked for, bring it on! (from a personal standpoint, silver cable owners in particular!)
 
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post-7381939
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scootermafia

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Now we're just arguing words here.  You can use the term channel to refer to left and right overall, but my beta22's left "channel" is made up of two identical channels for + and -, so four channels total between the four boards.  Some amps are 3-board like a 3-board B22 which has an "active ground channel"; the M3 is a 3-channel amp typically with a third opamp for the active ground.  It's still SE in that it uses a 1/4" plug but it did sound pretty good back when I owned one.   You can take a design like the mini3 or M3 and make it "balanced" by using each stereo board for a single channel, which doubles the power output.  Many people find that listening to their amp's balanced output sounds more clear and powerful than the 1/4" output on the same gear.  
 
In general, a lot of balanced amps have the power to drive LCD-2s well while a SE version of the same amp might not sound as pleasing.  I definitely did not come into this thread to say that there are no good 1/4" amps for LCD-2, loads of 1/4" amps like the Lyr are super-powerful and make a good companion to the LCD2.  It is not being balanced that makes an amp powerful on its own, it's that a balanced version of a certain amp that incorporates extra stages for the ground channel is going to provide twice the power output compared to the SE version of that same amp, and that my experiences with my Phoenix show this phenomenon, that LCD-2s benefit from the extra juice.  I don't doubt that the Lyr is at least as powerful as the Phoenix if not more so, despite being single-ended, I'd have to compare some spec sheets.  
 
There's nothing trendy about being balanced and I don't use balanced amps to be special or elite, I recognize that they provide additional power which high-end cans benefit from.  
 
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post-7381981
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kwkarth

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Quote:
All the recent postings are indeed very helpful. Kwarth, instead of saying an opinion is pish-posh, be more fulsome in your explanation why. That way, you get a chance to share knowledge in an enlightening way and we, 'the unwashed millions', will cease to seem like parrots...
 
In my case, I have ordered the Audio GD 'Phoenix'. This amp is designed primarily to be used in a balanced configuration. So, for better or worse, I am tied to the balanced path with cable selection choices for my LCD-2s.
 
As for that list of cables that Chigoran asked for, bring it on! (from a personal standpoint, silver cable owners in particular!)
gogogasgas,
I apologize for my sometimes laziness in posting.  
A "balanced" amp is no more inherently wrong than it is inherently right.  Just realize there is nothing "magic" or inherently superior in calling an amp balanced.  Particularly true in the environments we commonly deal with in our head-fi world.  The cable I settled on for my daily LCD-2 fix happens to be constructed as a 4 conductor cable right to the XLR4 termination.  Some call that a "balanced" cable.  It would be more correct to call it a dual mono SE cable.  That is of little consequence.  It sounds good, it is aesthetically pleasing to my senses, and should hold up as good as any.  The point is, it meets my needs and wants in a cable. 
 
 
 
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post-7382022
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kwkarth

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Quote:
Now we're just arguing words here.  You can use the term channel to refer to left and right overall, but my beta22's left "channel" is made up of two identical channels for + and -, so four channels total between the four boards.  Some amps are 3-board like a 3-board B22 which has an "active ground channel"; the M3 is a 3-channel amp typically with a third opamp for the active ground.  It's still SE in that it uses a 1/4" plug but it did sound pretty good back when I owned one.   You can take a design like the mini3 or M3 and make it "balanced" by using each stereo board for a single channel, which doubles the power output.  Many people find that listening to their amp's balanced output sounds more clear and powerful than the 1/4" output on the same gear.  
 
In general, a lot of balanced amps have the power to drive LCD-2s well while a SE version of the same amp might not sound as pleasing.  I definitely did not come into this thread to say that there are no good 1/4" amps for LCD-2, loads of 1/4" amps like the Lyr are super-powerful and make a good companion to the LCD2.  It is not being balanced that makes an amp powerful on its own, it's that a balanced version of a certain amp that incorporates extra stages for the ground channel is going to provide twice the power output compared to the SE version of that same amp, and that my experiences with my Phoenix show this phenomenon, that LCD-2s benefit from the extra juice.  I don't doubt that the Lyr is at least as powerful as the Phoenix if not more so, despite being single-ended, I'd have to compare some spec sheets.  
 
There's nothing trendy about being balanced and I don't use balanced amps to be special or elite, I recognize that they provide additional power which high-end cans benefit from.  
Back in the good old days when only SE head amps roamed the earth, the introduction of the first amp that was called "balanced" was introduced.  For that particular manufacturer, using existing amp modules in a bridged configuration was the most cost effective means for them to introduce to the world a more powerful headphone amp.  They chose to call it "balanced" which unfortunately as applied to dynamic headphones, is not entirely correct.  By definition a true balanced line has the same impedance between positive and negative drive and chassis ground for the purpose of common mode noise rejection.
 
That was history and today it not necessary, even for that same company that started all this confusion to use a bridged output to make a more powerful headphone amp.
 
It wasn't even a necessity when it was first brought to market by that company, but they chose to utilize the parts on hand rather than start from scratch with a new amp design.  Virtually no one else at the time besides them believed a more powerful amp was needed or would be commercially successful at the time.  The advent of re-introduction and interest in planar magnetic drivers for headphone technology has clinched the nail on that one.  Now everyone is scrambling to design more powerful head amps to meet the new market demands.    The originals were at the time, ahead of their time and I wish them continued success in the future!
 
Anyway, scootermafia, no offense toward you intended and none taken.  I hope you understand where I'm coming from.  I just want to clear up all the rampant misunderstanding that plagues many of us.
 
 
 
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MacedonianHero

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scootermafia

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Thanks for the reply; bridged is the word. Not many head amps out there are true balanced, mostly that's seen in high end speaker gear.
 
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kwkarth

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Thanks for the reply; bridged is the word. Not many head amps out there are true balanced, mostly that's seen in high end speaker gear.
The thing of it is that even at that, you've got a balanced input driving an unbalanced output, just like a headphone amp.
 
 
 
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gogogasgas

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Kwarth - are you saying that balanced cable connection designs are a similar concept to push-pull amplifiers - like applying negative feedback? (this is a layman's take) If so, is there a better way of connecting a single ended cable than using a jack style connector? Is that the XLR connection you opted for with your cables? Also, is the Phoenix a bridged amplifier design?
 
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kwkarth

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Quote:
Kwarth - are you saying that balanced cable connection designs are a similar concept to push-pull amplifiers - like applying negative feedback? (this is a layman's take) If so, is there a better way of connecting a single ended cable than using a jack style connector? Is that the XLR connection you opted for with your cables? Also, is the Phoenix a bridged amplifier design?
Huh?  
 
 
 
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