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I just want the Grace Designs DAC. I don't care about the faux balanced headphone jack. Just a nice DAC with SPDIF or AES in and balanced XLR outs.
I have to laugh at the comments 'I have better DAC already'.
This is the cheapest I've ever seen Grace Designs. The other DAC of theirs I was looking at is $2000.
Grace is pretty solid stuff. Their mic pres, AD, DA converters are consistently among the best you can buy for any price.
That said, the blurb about the 'new AKM AK4452' is laughable. That converter chip has been around for at least 3 or 4 years.
So, I am very new to this audiophile stuff so I ask this out of desire to be cleansed of my ignorance, but why is the balanced headphone jack "faux?"
I'm from an audio engineering background so I find it ludicrous to refer to anything which drives a common dynamic driver as balanced.
A simple dynamic driver only has a positive and negative terminal. There is no ground wire.
A balanced signal, in pro audio, is one which has a positive and negative wire with signals 180 degrees out of phase with each other, and a reference ground/shield. That is three connections per signal.
At the receiving end the in phase and out of phase signals are combined in a way that eliminates any noise or interference which was not in the original signal.
The 'balanced' headphone thing is a misuse of the terminology. But I'm not going to say it's a bad idea to have two wires for each headphone driver. Ordinary headphones use 3 wires. One for left, one for right, and a shared ground reference. Which works fine for most cases. But if you want to get better separation between left and right I can see how eliminating the shared ground path between drivers would be a good place to start. This would also enable your left and right headphone drivers to be powered by different amps. Tube on the left, solid state on the right!
It would be better if they called the whole arrangement discrete headphone connection. Since each driver has a discrete positive and negative connection, not electrically connected to it's twin on the other side of your head.
But I'm just some cranky old dude vs the hype of audiophile marketing.
Wish i saw this sooner. Bought on impulse. Already had topping 9038ess dac. :( should i trade down to a lcx And how much price difference is there? Nvm saw +80 difference. Guess it’s not a big enough difference for me atm And i wanted to try and have yet another dac For comparison.