Going Balanced on HD800/HD600...Worth it or no?

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by GoldfishX, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Whitigir

    Whitigir Rando

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    Balanced will always have better stereos separation ...wider soundstage and better micro dynamic details. Basically the less crosstalk the better. I don't see why not?
     
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The problem with that statement is that an SE amp with better soundstage, better micro, etc. > balanced amp with worse soundstage, worse micro, etc.

    Using your logic, everyone running their HD800s with their ZDs would be ditching them and replacing them with Questyle CMA800Rs.

    ANSWER: An amp should be chosen on its merits and according to its maximum capability (that is, if there is a balanced option, use it). But balanced architecture by itself (in whatever way, whether bridged, transformer balanced, etc.), does not mean shit. Doing otherwise means that you are a moron.

    The OP had a good question.


    Finally, balanced output on say a BA does sound 2-5% better with the HD800s. On Ragnarok, balanced output sounds better by 25.34% to 37.32%. But the question of how much better is moot because if you are buying these amps, you would probably want to run them at their maximum capability.

    P.S.

    I probably need to write up something about this. This unnatural HF'esqe fascination with balanced must end.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
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  3. Cos

    Cos Acquaintance

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    For better or worse, I have the LH infinity DAC/Amp. For me there was a significant difference from SE to Balanced to the point where I am not going back to listening in SE.

    Surprisingly the same cans are nicer driven by the Shiit Vali than by LH infinity SE. Not sure if there is the SE output of the LH infinity that is not cooperating.
     
  4. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    If an amp's topology was designed as inherently balanced and has a SE out just for the sake of convenience then this amp balanced out will be significantly better than SE out. Example: Mijonir 2, Rag.

    If an amp is not inherently balanced then on this amp the advantage of balanced over SE should be marginal.

    Having a balanced jack (or even topology) on an amp doesn't guarantee any sonic performance. A well-implemented SE amp (i.e. old ZD) will sound royally better than an ill-excecuted balanced amp (i.e. AK120II balanced out).
     
  5. murray

    murray Friend

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    I see a lot of use and mis-use of the term "balanced". It means different things to different people. To some who know no EE it is a badge of honour conveying mystical greatness. Especially those who pop up righteously (on other forums) demanding to know "is it fully balanced?" or "is it truly balanced?" when only that will suffice (i.e. bridged outputs).
    What I think we have here is a red herring which is hiding what may be the true advantage in architecture: Dual Mono. It may be coincidence, but a lot of what are called "balanced" amplifiers are built in dual-mono configuration. This separates the power and ground circuits all the way to the transducers. For this reason you cannot use the classic TRS jack plug and must use a 4-pin connector. The advantage of dual-mono is gained by two matched and independent amplifiers (of whatever good architecture and design) driving the transducers with minimal cross-couplings.

    I give full credit to @purrin for bringing up these issues for discussion in a level-headed technical manner, without the dogmatic posturing (i.e. "balanced is best!!" ranting).
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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  7. GoldfishX

    GoldfishX Acquaintance

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    That is the main thing that came to mind...Utilizing the gear to its maximum potential. Gungnir Multibit has balanced outputs (a bonus really, in the grand scheme of going Schitt multibit), which is what made me consider the pros/cons/price of a balanced amp. It goes without saying, each amp is different. I just haven't decided on what I want yet.

    I wouldn't call it a fascination but more like a high-priced, widespread curiousity with a lot of variables. But yeah, any light that can be shed is appreciated!
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    That's part two. Balanced outputs from sources, balanced inputs, and how to take that into consideration.
     
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  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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