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Hifiman Edition XS

Ken Tajalli

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Thanks! But are they really balanced? I'm curious cause the price difference is staggering to say the least. Even other vendors on Ali are selling these for higher prices.
The difference between a balanced cable and a not-balanced cable is just the amplifier jack! (99 out of 100).
I doubt anybody would cheat that.
Best cable in my opinion are single solid core ones.
uncomfortable , and scientifically no reason why they should be better!
Yet they are.
 

Veri

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The difference between a balanced cable and a not-balanced cable is just the amplifier jack! (99 out of 100).
I doubt anybody would cheat that.
Best cable in my opinion are single solid core ones.
uncomfortable , and scientifically no reason why they should be better!
Yet they are.
Not the jack alone you obviously also need the wiring for it.

About 'solic core copper', Uh-huh.... :p sure buddy.
 

radimsky

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The difference between a balanced cable and a not-balanced cable is just the amplifier jack! (99 out of 100).
I doubt anybody would cheat that.
Best cable in my opinion are single solid core ones.
uncomfortable , and scientifically no reason why they should be better!
Yet they are.
Man, I still need to learn a bunch then. So, just to be super duper clear, I have mentioned manually made cable made from CANARE STARQUAD L-4e5c, brazed with a silver-doped binder(I have no bloody idea what that means, this is what translator pooped out) braided in nylon soft with PAILLICS 4.4 jack for around 60 bucks, so I'm mainly paying for handwork? Would like to know so I won't overpay in the future :D

handmade cable.PNG

Not the jack alone you obviously also need the wiring for it.

About 'solic core copper', Uh-huh.... :p sure buddy.

Oh, so we have a different opinion :D Would you kindly advise on above cable? BTW, guy making it gives lifetime warranty(probably).
 

Ken Tajalli

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Not the jack alone you obviously also need the wiring for it.
That was the one in hundred I allowed, for those cheap bastards who wouldn't use two wires all the way to the jack.
About 'solic core copper', Uh-huh.... :p sure buddy.
Uh-huh !
"if I don't get it, then it doesn't exist "- seems to be the favourite comment by wanna-be scientists.
Yet millions go to temples every week and these Scientists ! are some of them.
Buddy.
 

Ken Tajalli

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Man, I still need to learn a bunch then. So, just to be super duper clear, I have mentioned manually made cable made from CANARE STARQUAD L-4e5c, brazed with a silver-doped binder(I have no bloody idea what that means, this is what translator pooped out) braided in nylon soft with PAILLICS 4.4 jack for around 60 bucks, so I'm mainly paying for handwork? Would like to know so I won't overpay in the future :D

View attachment 201817



Oh, so we have a different opinion :D Would you kindly advise on above cable? BTW, guy making it gives lifetime warranty(probably).
I am not going to declare that this configuration is bollocks, and demand graphs for its effectiveness .
On Paper, a cable made out of coat-hangers should behave same as your cable or my suggested solid core cable.
But I can not ignore what I hear.
Regarding balanced cable, what I said is accurate.
Only the cheapest vendor on the planet, would share the ground cable, and solder a balanced jack at the end.
The choice of conductor is another matter.
I tried many conductor materials, from exotic expensive , to common cat5 conductors.
the only thing that consistently made a difference, was using one single solid conductor for each wire.
The second best, was a bundled cable from Focal, included with Clears.
 

radimsky

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I am not going to declare that this configuration is bollocks, and demand graphs for its effectiveness .
On Paper, a cable made out of coat-hangers should behave same as your cable or my suggested solid core cable.
But I can not ignore what I hear.
Regarding balanced cable, what I said is accurate.
Only the cheapest vendor on the planet, would share the ground cable, and solder a balanced jack at the end.
The choice of conductor is another matter.
I tried many conductor materials, from exotic expensive , to common cat5 conductors.
the only thing that consistently made a difference, was using one single solid conductor for each wire.
The second best, was a bundled cable from Focal, included with Clears.
Ok, got it, thanks again. For now I will wait for the recommended Toppings(L30 or L50 to have a headroom for more power hungry cans) to get a discount. Once that done I will consider checking out the balanced cables(if needed in the first place).
 

Blorg

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Thanks! But are they really balanced? I'm curious cause the price difference is staggering to say the least. Even other vendors on Ali are selling these for higher prices.
They are, yes. There's no magic to a balanced cable, it's exactly the same as an unbalanced cable in terms of the construction, both have four wires, two to each cup. The balanced cable just has each of the four wires connected to a discrete terminal in the amp jack end, while an unbalanced cable joins the return from both L and R to a common ground in the jack.

It's theoretically possible for an unbalanced headphone cable to do the split in the Y-splitter, and have only three wires from the jack to the Y-split and then split it there into two to each cup with a common ground but as @KenTajalli says this is extremely rare, the vast majority of regular SE cables to dual cup input headphones run four wires from both cups and join in the jacks. It's easier to do it that way, it adds complexity to try to do it in the Y-split.

Cables are not an inherently complicated or expensive thing, they are made so only through marketing and snake oil nonsense. I do not believe in any of this stuff about magic differences from cables. IMO, these two cables both sound fine and both sound the same as the stock cable, if adapted to SE as I do with my desktop amp- I have them balanced so I can use them on portable devices with better and higher power balanced outputs. I know Ken has a different view on this, I do not hear a difference personally.

Balanced isn't inherently better or necessary, either. But what can be the case and is quite common is that specific devices, if they have both, often do perform better out of their balanced outputs, often they have more power and lower noise and distortion. Not always- but it's common. So if you do have a source device that has a better balanced output, it makes sense to use a balanced cable. This does depend on the device, some devices have the same power out of SE and balanced and some the balanced may even measure worse. But more commonly, if it has both, the balanced is often a bit better, and I know on the specific devices I have (Fiio BTR5 and Qudelix 5K) that is the case.
 

radimsky

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They are, yes. There's no magic to a balanced cable, it's exactly the same as an unbalanced cable in terms of the construction, both have four wires, two to each cup. The balanced cable just has each of the four wires connected to a discrete terminal in the amp jack end, while an unbalanced cable joins the return from both L and R to a common ground in the jack.

It's theoretically possible for an unbalanced headphone cable to do the split in the Y-splitter, and have only three wires from the jack to the Y-split and then split it there into two to each cup with a common ground but as @KenTajalli says this is extremely rare, the vast majority of regular SE cables to dual cup input headphones run four wires from both cups and join in the jacks. It's easier to do it that way, it adds complexity to try to do it in the Y-split.

Cables are not an inherently complicated or expensive thing, they are made so only through marketing and snake oil nonsense. I do not believe in any of this stuff about magic differences from cables. IMO, these two cables both sound fine and both sound the same as the stock cable, if adapted to SE as I do with my desktop amp- I have them balanced so I can use them on portable devices with better and higher power balanced outputs. I know Ken has a different view on this, I do not hear a difference personally.

Balanced isn't inherently better or necessary, either. But what can be the case and is quite common is that specific devices, if they have both, often do perform better out of their balanced outputs, often they have more power and lower noise and distortion. Not always- but it's common. So if you do have a source device that has a better balanced output, it makes sense to use a balanced cable. This does depend on the device, some devices have the same power out of SE and balanced and some the balanced may even measure worse. But more commonly, if it has both, the balanced is often a bit better, and I know on the specific devices I have (Fiio BTR5 and Qudelix 5K) that is the case.
Much appreciated! What a fountain of coherent info, no site was able to explain it clearer. As you sure are knowledgeable in this topic, could you also give some tips on DACs and AMPs? Are recommended Toppings good enough for my XS cans(hopefully for Senns also)?
 

Blorg

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Much appreciated! What a fountain of coherent info, no site was able to explain it clearer. As you sure are knowledgeable in this topic, could you also give some tips on DACs and AMPs? Are recommended Toppings good enough for my XS cans(hopefully for Senns also)?
I use a Fiio K5 Pro which I feel has plenty of power for the XS. Amir measured 990mW into 33 ohm.

He measured the Topping DX3 Pro+ as having 1.5W into 32 ohm, so 50% more, it should be more than enough. The Topping also has substantially better I think if I was buying today, I'd get that. This is an all-in-one DAC and amp in one box.

Only possible issue is that the XS is very low impedance at 18 ohms and he did find that the amp went into protection at under 20 ohms. My understanding though, at 18 ohms this would only kick in around 2.7V output which would be around 118dB. This is unlistenably loud. So I'm not sure this would actually be any practical concern. There are others in the DX3 Pro+ thread with the XS or other low impedance Hifimans.

It would also be plenty for anything Sennheiser makes short of the HE-1.
 

SmokedBurger

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I would like to ask about the outer magnets near the grills, are they protected? my mum accidentally poked it and I'm not sure if it did any damage. I don't hear any difference on the audio quality though.
 

Ken Tajalli

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I would like to ask about the outer magnets near the grills, are they protected? my mum accidentally poked it and I'm not sure if it did any damage. I don't hear any difference on the audio quality though.
There is a mesh on the magnets that can protect it against larger items, or blunt objects, but a wire or a needle will get through.
Depends on how deep she went and what she used to poke it.
 

ExEnemy

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You don't need a balanced cables, most newer desktop amps have more than enough power to drive a Hifiman in their unbalanced output. Even portable amp like Qudelix 4k with 200mW/33ohm get loud enough with my Hifimans, and it sounds the same as my desktop dac/amp quality wise.
In case of cable, you go for build quality and ease of use, should be strong and soft enough, not prone to be tangled or microphonic. Alot of so called highend cables are actually bad at this cause they're built too fking thick and rigid for no reason other than look.
 

cheapmessiah

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I just found out about the smsl HO100, hope to see it reviewed by Amir soon, it seems great for EXS and complimentary to zen can, so i can use the can for high impedance phones and the HO100 for low z ones provided it performs.
 

odyo

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I just found out about the smsl HO100, hope to see it reviewed by Amir soon, it seems great for EXS and complimentary to zen can, so i can use the can for high impedance phones and the HO100 for low z ones provided it performs.
Yeah i want something new too but honestly i prefer some features(relay volume control, led display) over subjective shenanigans. May get the SH9 if i see a price drop, discount or something.
 

odyo

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I settled on this EQ:
Filter: ON LSC Fc 40 Hz Gain 6 dB Q 0.8
Filter: ON PK Fc 78 Hz Gain 2 dB Q 1
Filter: ON PK Fc 200 Hz Gain -2 dB Q 1.3
Filter: ON PK Fc 340 Hz Gain -1 dB Q 2
Filter: ON PK Fc 950 Hz Gain -1 dB Q 6
Filter: ON PK Fc 1700 Hz Gain 2 dB Q 2.2
Filter: ON PK Fc 3200 Hz Gain -4 dB Q 3.8
Filter: ON PK Fc 12000 Hz Gain -3 dB Q 3
 

Jimbob54

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For those of you in the UK Amazon Warehouse (their open box outlet) has the XS for £378- usually around £450

 

aravaioli

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For those of you in the UK Amazon Warehouse (their open box outlet) has the XS for £378- usually around £450

I just bought brand new ones at 404£ this week. After extensive testing I can say "what a deal that was"!
I have yet to determine if I prefer them to my Arya V2: it is much closer than I expected from various reviews.
The only thing that left me disappointed, and certainly not a reason to return them, is that they are power hungry and both my BTR5 and Qudelix 5K barely power it ok with little to no headroom,while the Go Blu does better but still at close to 90% of the power. So it's not comparable to the Ananda as power requirements go: unfortunately also in this the gap with the Arya is less than expected.
 
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