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Balanced headphone lead

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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Yes I know it would be pointless, but thought about making my own lead to prove it.
.....just need a Petaconn plug one end.....
and they want £12.60 postage :ROFLMAO:

For what it's worth (nothing), a complete (perfectly adequate) lead is only £13.40 from China.....still not worth bothering....anyone tried balanced want to convince me otherwise?
 

anort3

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Dec 8, 2019
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I've never tried the 4.4mm Pentacon since I don't have any amps with that as an out but I've got the bigger 4pin XLR Neutrik terminated balanced cables for Sennheiser and Focal. It's amp dependent. There's a slight difference on my Aune X7S. Soundstage and separation are better. There's less of a difference on the SP200. The SP200 also supplies the same power via both the 6.3mm and the 4pin XLR and the X7S doesn't. The X7S has 1w via 6.3mm and 1.7w via the XLR. So that's a factor I'm sure. So sure, get one to play with if you want.
 
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Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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I've never tried the 4.4mm Pentacon since I don't have any amps with that as an out but I've got the bigger 4pin XLR Neutrik terminated balanced cables for Sennheiser and Focal. It's amp dependent. There's a slight difference on my Aune X7S. Soundstage and separation are better. There's less of a difference on the SP200. The SP200 also supplies the same power via both the 6.3mm and the 4pin XLR and the X7S doesn't. The X7S has 1w via 6.3mm and 1.7w via the XLR. So that's a factor I'm sure. So sure, get one to play with if you want.
Thanks for that.
Interesting that there's more (relatively, quite a bit more) output for balanced on the X7S.
I'm sure you're right about that being a factor.
 
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ThisIsJimmy

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Nov 11, 2020
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Hi Gray

As @anort3 has said there are positives to having a balance, but it's effect can depend on :

- Headphones - The Beyerdynamic Amirons for example benefit from a balance due to cleaner soundstage, seperation and less noise when not sharing a ground connection.
- Power - Because you have seperate power circuitry driving each individual can, you have more power on tap. This can make a big difference in higher impedance headphones. I am awaiting my Beyerdynamic DT880 600 Ohms to return from being balanced at Custom Cans, so looking forward to the difference this will bring from the amplifier. The amount of power output per channel on low/medium/and high gain is dictated by the amplifier.
- Amplifier - Some Amplifiers have lower noise floors at low and medium gain rather than high. Using a balance on supported headphones may grant you a better experience if you don't have to drive them on high gain or 'higher' volumes.

Like Anort3 I also use the 4pin Neutrik XLR cable, but i do have the option to run the balanced 4.4mm Pentacon as well from my Topping A90.
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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Because you have seperate power circuitry driving each individual can, you have more power on tap.

Yes Jimmy, I think you too have hit on the crucial point - the benefit of more power.
I've seen the theory that the lack of a common return means you hear the benefit of no 'crosstalk'. A nice theory, but I'll take extra power as the explanation for any audible benefits of balanced.
Of course, 4 rather than 3 cores gives you extra conductor area, lower resistance is never a bad thing (not that I think that would explain any audible difference).
 
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