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oh.. good to know, thanks Drew.
Can i use the headphone balanced output if my input is not balanced (via USB or RCA or Optical)? Or is it necessary to go balanced in and out?
Will an audiophile grade USB cable makes a significant difference compared to stock or normal USB cable? If so what are the most commonly recommended USB cable?
Thanks in advance.
You don't need a balanced input to enjoy the balanced headphone out.
People have varying opinions regarding cables, both analogue and digital. I think good headphone cables and interconnects can make a difference but I have not heard any difference by using different quality USB's. I have just ordered an iFI Audio iUSB as I am told it does make a difference by filtering the power supply.
I have heard clicks and pops over a USB to DAC input, resulting from dirty \ underpowered USB output from my laptop dock. It was present on multiple cables. A powered USB repeater with a good voltage regulator solved that. (BTW, Schiit just announced their powered USB solution, the Wyrd).
I have had heard only high pitched static from a USB powered DAC (Fostex HP-A4) running off a laptop. That was solved by using a USB cable with ferrite chokes.
I cant say if USB cable 'quality' makes a difference, but in my experience clean power and ferrite chokes on the cable can.
I'm feeding the HA-1 via a LIV Zen music player and I'm very happy with this combo but I'm told the iFI iUSB really lifts the performance, we'll see....
My HA-1 is connected via USB 2.0 to my MacBook Pro. I've just noticed the following:
In Audio Midi Setup on my Mac, the HA-1 shows up at 44100 Hz, with 2ch-32bit integer. When playing a 44.1/16 AIF file, when running iTunes, my HA-1 shows the file as 44.1/32; when running Audirvana in iTunes integrated mode, the HA-1 shows the file playing as 44.1/24. Audirvana itself shows the file's correct definition, and shows the DAC as 44.1/32. When I play the 44.1/16 files using VLC, the HA-1 shows files playing at 44.1/16.
Any clue as to what's going on?
If you look at the sample rate/bit depth on the HA-1 you can see how the Audrivana will override Audio Midi Setup settings. You can always start using VLC setting the Audio Midi Setup set to 384 kHz sample rate with 2 ch - 32 bit integer when the HA-1 is selected in Sound preferences - device used for sound output. If you play a .m4a you will see the PCM 384/32 on HA-1 display, regardless of the much lower actual quality of the audio file, because core audio has been directed to upsample to your Audio Midi Setup setting.
So with Audrivana you are playing a 16/44.1 stereo file, the player interface will display the opposite order (bit depth/sample rate), but will retain the original audio file sample rate but increase only the bit depth to what the HA-1 is capable of which is 32 bit. This is all with no forced up sampling. However for example if you enable Power of 2 oversampling ( 2x, 4x...) you will see the sampling rate increase to 384khz matching what the HA-1 is capable of.
I think what's happening is that the set up in Audirvana is somehow processing the 16 bit into 24 bits. My understanding and correspondence with OPPO is that you should try to play the format file in it's native format. Therefore, it the file is 44.1/16, then, the HA-1 should play it in 44.1/16. The idea is that the HA-1 and any good external DAC should be doing the processing and not the medium like JRiver, Audirvana or Pure Music, etc....
There is nothing wrong with conversion of 16 bit to 24/32 bit depth software conversion that Audrivana Plus provides, like I said above you can have the Mac provide that capacity via core audio also instead of passing a 16/44.1 to the DAC. What Oppo told you is more against conversation of PCM files to DSD or opposite.
Thanks HiFiAudio! I am still trying or figuring out what is best... I have the Marantz SA11S3 at home and use that as a DAC as well with JRiver and at work the HA-1 and HD800...
Is there a way to get this to auto-mute the "speakers" pre-amp/bypass when the headphones are connected? right now it plays from both. Yes, there is a button to mute the bypass - but it takes a few button pushes.
w/o the headphones in it clearly shuts that internal AMP off (much clicking inside when the headphone is connected).
but.. holy crap this things sounds great
"Norah Jones - Don't know why" even sounds super over my desktop speaks (PSB image mini)
hrmm.. HD800 are going to be on all weekend
^No it can't be "automatic" because the hardware restricts it.
It would have to be done in the digital domain and then that would result in truncated sound quality,
so the current implementation is as good as it can be.
So which is sexier....black or silver?
^but it shuts off the headphone amp when it isn't plugged in.
the audioloab M-DAC could do it.. hrmmm... oh well.. a bit of a pain. an extra button to mute select outputs then would be cool.
black is always sexier
I'm going silver, since what's left of my hair is turning silver.
That and I'm waiting for a silver new one, and have a black beta unit.