Zynsonix Link

December 1, 2011

The Kobiconn Connector for Balanced Portable Amplifiers

Ray Samuels, one of the most prolific builders of portable amplification, created one of the world's first portable balanced headphone amplifier back in 2010; the Ray Samuels Audio Emmeline SR-71B. Shortly thereafter, The RSA Protector was added to that list. These were the first headphone amplifiers to make use of the Kobiconn 163-157J-E connector as balanced headphone connector. The Kobiconn is a repurposed camera connector from Mouser that ultimately serves balanced duty quite well. The connector has four pins and is relatively inexpensive at under $4 for the corresponding plug, the 163-191J-E. 

Mouser's catalog page detailing the Kobiconn Connector Offerings
A pair of photos of a Kobiconn in the wild

Another connector to watch is the Hirose 6 pin, used in the iBasso Toucan PB1 and PB2. These connectors require a steady hand to solder to and retail for approximately $11 as of this writing. It's hard to say if either of these connectors will be adopted as a standard in the portable amplifier world, or some other option will surface later on. 

When wiring up the connector as per the Ray Samuels website, balanced pins are terminated as follows:
Left channel: PIN # 1 is Positive Signal. PIN # 3 is Negative Signal.
Right Channel: PIN # 2 is Positive Signal. PIN # 4 is Negative signal.

Below is a photo of a Denon AH-D2000 headphone recabled with a short four foot cord and Kobiconn for portable listening.
A Denon D2000 wired for a Ray Samuels amplifier

Below is a photo of an AKG Q701 that was internally recabled for balanced operation using a 4 pin mini XLR, then a cable was made for it with a 4 pin XLR to Kobiconn adapter.

Balanced Q701 with a special custom cable

Need a cable or headphone cable making use of a balanced connector like the Kobiconn or Hirose connectors? Please contact Zynsonix for an affordable and excellent sounding solution. 

The Fine Print:
The above information detailing the building of a cable are for entertainment purposes only, and not to be performed under any circumstances. The owner of this blog and all associated parties can not / will not be held responsible if you attempt the process posted and cause physical harm to yourself, your surroundings or your property. Please keep this in mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment