Author Topic: Pono balanced  (Read 775 times)

Offline Cuco

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Pono balanced
« on: March 20, 2017, 10:31:42 AM »


Pono Player with HD800 balanced cables. Cardas cable and connectors assembled by HiPhibian, excellent quality. Volume increased considerably, probably 2-3 times. It gets uncomfortable when turning the volume to max. It is very difficult to compare it to the normal unbalanced mode since the volume is so much higher. If I had to comment - I'd say that the bass and mids area bit more pronounced. Sound stage is wider. However, these probably are all a result of the volume increase. The music quality is faultless. It makes me wonder why I spent so much money on other equipment. I'll compare it to the Jotunheim + Jotty internal DAC or Vivere DAC combo when the Jotty arrives and send an update. Does anybody else have experience with Pono in balanced mode, what is your opinion?     

Offline gavinbirss

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 10:38:51 AM »
Cuco,

That is the very reasons why I recommended it.

The discrete output stage from Ayre is very capable.

Get a 4-pin to dual 3-pin (2 pins used) adapter and try it in your stereo system (line level output) if you have XLR pre/power inputs.


Offline Cuco

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 10:58:19 AM »
Cuco,

That is the very reasons why I recommended it.

The discrete output stage from Ayre is very capable.

Get a 4-pin to dual 3-pin (2 pins used) adapter and try it in your stereo system (line level output) if you have XLR pre/power inputs.


Hi Gavin, yes thanks.


Offline Wolvebain

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 10:59:49 AM »
My Pono Player sounds great in balanced mode as well... both on my HD650 and HD800S's.
However, the pace and impact of the bass, seems weaker than when I run them with my Onkyo Granbeat DP-CMX1 DAPhone...  also: the interface is better, ability to stream (Tidal HiFi, etc.) on WiFi & LTE, Bluetooth pairing with my smartphone for music control, etc., etc., make it a better device for me.

If you're around the Centurion area, pop by for our next headphone meet, and bring your HD800 along.. experience it for yourself.

Also, compared to my NOS11 & Pink Faun main system, the sound (instrument separation, texture & depth of bass, smoothness of MIDs, clarity of HFs, as well as overall detail and engagement) falls behind... and that distance increases when I put my Little Dot MK6+ head.amp into the mix, as it replaces the 'coldness' the solid-state amplification provides with the 'colour'/tone and warmth of the tube NOS 5691 RCA Red Base pre-amp tubes.  -- the reason is clear why I spent so much money on this 'other' equipment.


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Offline Cuco

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 11:40:29 AM »
Wolvebain, thanks for your comments. Nice equipment you have. Yes, I agree 100% with what you say. In may case, specifially the chord mojo, run with Roon Labs at high sampling rate delivers tighter bass and clarity. However, this doesn't make the Pono less enjoyable :). The Pono feels less analytical.

Offline Cuco

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 11:32:56 AM »
I also received the Jotunheim a few days ago. I ordered the unit with the extra DAC. I'm not a headphone sound quality expert and don't have the equipment and experience as some of the av forum members. I've listened to the unit with a HD800 with balanced cables. T1 and PS1000 normal, unbalanced cables. Listening to the unit through its own DAC with the balanced HD800's was the best headphone experience I had, again based on my limited experience. I did try the Hd800 unbalanced, tried to set it to same volume as the balanced mode, but there is something special that the balanced mode brings to the overall sound quality. It appears faster with a crunchier bass and more clarity. Overall more enjoyable then anything else that I listened to. I also connected some more expensive DAC's (a lot more expensive) but I prefered the sound quality of the internal 99$ DAC. Again all subjective. I'd probably need a better amp to drive out the potential of the better DAC's... :teach:??

Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 11:38:51 AM »
Great that you are having such fun with it all now.  Great pic, I am stealing it. 







[Anyone who thinks that wealth is measured in money is blind and narrow minded.  Wealth is obviously measured in turntables and records.]
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Offline thomas24

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 12:41:15 PM »
I also received the Jotunheim a few days ago. I ordered the unit with the extra DAC. I'm not a headphone sound quality expert and don't have the equipment and experience as some of the av forum members. I've listened to the unit with a HD800 with balanced cables. T1 and PS1000 normal, unbalanced cables. Listening to the unit through its own DAC with the balanced HD800's was the best headphone experience I had, again based on my limited experience. I did try the Hd800 unbalanced, tried to set it to same volume as the balanced mode, but there is something special that the balanced mode brings to the overall sound quality. It appears faster with a crunchier bass and more clarity. Overall more enjoyable then anything else that I listened to. I also connected some more expensive DAC's (a lot more expensive) but I prefered the sound quality of the internal 99$ DAC. Again all subjective. I'd probably need a better amp to drive out the potential of the better DAC's... :teach:??

Congrats on the Jotunheim purchase. Now I'm even more excited to get my HD800 balanced cable.

Offline gavinbirss

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 01:19:23 PM »
but there is something special that the balanced mode brings to the overall sound quality. It appears faster with a crunchier bass and more clarity.

Glad to read you have conclusively made that conclusion.

High end revealing headphones will take advantage of any improvements, in layman terms a unbalanced headphone can sound closed but should sound like open headphones in a balanced cable/balanced headamp.

Offline Wolvebain

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2017, 07:50:32 PM »
I'd been keen on your feedback with the Pono as a source to the Jotunheim (balanced, of course)
I'll even build you the cable for it :)  -- Just let me know & pickup from Centurion.
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Offline Cuco

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2017, 09:46:04 PM »
I'd been keen on your feedback with the Pono as a source to the Jotunheim (balanced, of course)
I'll even build you the cable for it :)  -- Just let me know & pickup from Centurion.

Ok, deal 😃. My current source is a Pi as Roon endpoint. Mainly Flac files. I also wonder how the Pono as source will sound now that you mention it. You're welcome to compare it with me. A beer increases the sound quality even further.

Offline Wolvebain

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2017, 12:17:59 AM »
Why stand on a silent platform?
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Offline Cuco

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2017, 10:52:12 AM »
Is this the cable already made?

Offline Wolvebain

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2017, 01:37:44 PM »
Yes, indeed it is :)
Made it from balanced Mogami W3106 cable, 2x Neutrik 3-pin male XLR connectors and 2x Rean TRS 3.5mm connectors..
Wiring as per:
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Offline Cuco

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Re: Pono balanced
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2017, 04:52:36 PM »
I'll PM you before I come to collect the cable. :thumbs: