Ok, now I have been listening with the HD650's more. I just realized that I can listen to much lower volumes with them balanced and not only is the sound better than SE and louder, there is more detail and I can still enjoy it. Known for leaking sound since they are an open phone, I can actually use them and not bother someone that is across the room. That is a nice plus. Lower volume, still very musical and better than SE at higher volumes and comfortable, fine with me.
Originally Posted by Jalo /img/forum/go_quote.gif More information pertaining to the ED8 cable please. What do you mean "more sophisticated inside"? Are these copper, sliver, SxC? what are the gauge size. This is the second time I have heard that the DE8 cable is not all that bad as stock cable goes. I am in the process of buying an ED8 for my Protector and home balance set up. How do you do it. Do you just reterminate it to protector balance connector? Do you make an adaptor for other amp uses?
How does that sound from Protector? Thanks.
What it looked like to me when I got the cable open for re-termination was that the return wires are stranded silver and the hot leads are stranded copper covered with teflon, with teflon wound in with the stranded copper. It was very easy to tin the return leads, but took some patience to isolate and tin the hot leads. I cannot say for sure what guage, but would guess probably around 24.
When Jamato and I compared notes after balancing the Ed.8s and 9s, he felt from my description of the Ed.8 that it and the Ed.9 probably used similar cable.
When I re-terminated mine, I cut off the mini-plug as close to the end as I could to preserve the most length, then used a male Mini-XLR as the replacement connector. I then made up a short pigtail of Protector connector to female Mini-XLR and also 1/8" mini-plug to female Mini-XLR.
This allows me to use my Ed.8s with my Protector as well as my other portable SE amps. I am also going to make up a pigtail to allow balanced use with my other T-amps, (Sig.30.2 and Virtue Classic) as T-amps cannot tolerate a common ground.
I is also my opinion, as is that of many other posters, that the Ed.8s sound better balanced than SE.
I just got a nice temperature controlled soldering station that even digitally shows the temperature of the soldering tip. I had some hard to solder wire due to the coating like the Ed. 9 and 8. My regular soldering iron took a long time to finally burn the coating off and it was still a hassle. Today I did some soldering (I just got it) and thought, wait, I'll just turn the heat up. I maxed it and in about 10 seconds had a hot enough tip that the wires tinned in nothing flat. Turned it back down to 300C, where I will normally use the station and on I went. Great fun when you have the right tools.
So today I am going to finish balancing the HF2's. I don't know what to expect.
Ok, I balanced the HF2. I am surprised, well I didn't know what to expect, but they opened up very nicely. There is better imaging and a real "air" to the music. For fun I put on some Brandenberg Concertos and the classical music is really done well. A very good tone and placement of instruments. I am using the stock cable that came with the HF2's.
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict /img/forum/go_quote.gif X3 - use your own ears, or wait for a more in depth review.
The Pico Slim is a fantastic portable for the size. I posted elsewhere that it's only 1/2" longer than my miniature iBasso T3, well above it in sound quality, and half as thick as the Protector. For a while I had stopped taking a portable amp with me for an iPod because I wanted something small enough to fit in my pants pocket when velcro'd or stacked with a Nano, iPhone or iMod. I ended up only looking at portable amps with USB built-in because the thicker amps available served me better being used with my Macbook Pro.
The thin Fiio E5 and iBasso T4 were not an improvement over the iPod, except in warming up the sound signature and giving more power - but not really hi-fi sounding as far as detail and soundstage. The T3 improved on that in terms of detail and transparency, and it could sound better than the iPhone 3GS headphone out, so I started carrying an amp again.
But I kept wishing for something that size that could match the P-51 (which is fatter like Protector). The Pico Slim is all that and more, based on the demo loaner unit I have here. It's a perfect match with my ES3X which can sound slightly aggressive paired with the P-51, and it gives a boost in the bass to them and my JH13Pro.
I'll be using Pico Slim as a portable with an iPod every where I go now, and Protector will be more likely to stay with my Macbook Pro using Pico DAC or DACport for source (at home or traveling). I see them filling two different needs for me. I am using the Protector A LOT with my HD600 and Macbook, rediscovering how much I still like them - I've missed using balanced HD600 since the PSU on my Sq Wave XL went bad, and then when my Sigma 22 PSU had a different issue that was causing problems.
Back to the amps in question: The Protector is slightly "harder or aggressive" sounding in the upper mids and lower treble like the P-51 Mustang, but also improved. The Pico Slim is slightly smoother in those upper registers and more refined, but has a upper bass hump instead which seems to resonate a tiny bit in my ears with the JH13pro. So, with the JH13Pro the Slim is a little more neutral in the upper mids and treble and the Protector is more neutral in the upper bass and lower mids. Switching to the Westone ES3X, which are what I used to audition the Slim at CanJam 09, I fell in love all over again.
Thank you. Thank You. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Your feedback has made life so much more simpler for me.
Well, as highly as I think of the Protector's sound, I can tell you that I am not going to start lugging around my balanced headphones for portable use. I don't like IEM's, and I am not going to re-terminate my balanced headphones with the connector that the Protector uses, since I need XLR's for when I use my balanced headphones with my Phoenix home amp. So while I think the Protector is a fantastic sounding amp (and I will complete my own review of it soon), for me personally, it's not something I would use. At home I prefer to use a home amp, and on the road, balanced headphones are too much of a pain.
But if you have balanced headphones that make sense for you to use portably, then the Protector is the bomb
My Protector arrived yesterday. Fired up to give it a good listen. I am going to give it the 100 hour minimum and then give it a good listen with the JH13 TWAG balanced. Will post some impressions once I have put it through the paces.