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Thread: XLR balanced interconnects vs RCA/Phono

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Posts: 519
    I'm Andrew.

    Default XLR balanced interconnects vs RCA/Phono

    So now I have a source with XLR outputs ( E sounds CD-5 signature edition) and my amp (Teac Distinction Ai3000) has XLR inputs should I go for it and buy some ? Bearing in mind I've just bought new Mark grant rca's to rca's !!
    Is it just marketing bollocks like some say ?

    BTW I've no idea what the balanced means anyway!!

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Witney Oxon

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    I'm Martyn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyrlb View Post
    So now I have a source with XLR outputs ( E sounds CD-5 signature edition) and my amp (Teac Distinction Ai3000) has XLR inputs should I go for it and buy some ? Bearing in mind I've just bought new Mark grant rca's to rca's !!
    Is it just marketing bollocks like some say ?

    BTW I've no idea what the balanced means anyway!!

    Balanced cables are only really relevant in prof. audio on long
    microphone cables to avoid rf interference.

    Not really relevant with home audio.

    Another case of the Manufacturers of home audio kit jumping
    on the prof. audio way of doing things to sell their kit...

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

    Posts: 2,310
    I'm Neil.

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    Yep, go for it. RCA cables have more of a sound signature whereas XLR cables are transparent. I think this is because of a dedicated ground wire, which is impossible with RCA as you need ground and return to be connected.

    If your source and amp are balanced, then even better, because you will be making the most of the circuitry and it will only make things better through noise cancellation rather than making things worse.
    Mana Acoustics Racks >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

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    I'm Neil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martyn Miles View Post
    Balanced cables are only really relevant in prof. audio on long
    microphone cables to avoid rf interference.

    Not really relevant with home audio.

    Another case of the Manufacturers of home audio kit jumping
    on the prof. audio way of doing things to sell their kit...
    If the kit is fully balanced, then IMO it sounds better when used in balanced mode, regardless of single ended vs. balanced arguments.
    Mana Acoustics Racks >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Milton Keynes

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    I'm Andrew.

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    Hmmm ?


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  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

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    I'm Neil.

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    Try for yourself, this is all the XLR cable you'd ever need: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Van-Damme-...-/282215887582 (you'd need to buy 2x, but under 30).

    Mark Grant does a Canare XLR cable too albeit more expensive.
    Mana Acoustics Racks >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  7. #7
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Milton Keynes

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    I'm Andrew.

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    Cheers Neil

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 15,445
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yomanze View Post
    Yep, go for it. RCA cables have more of a sound signature whereas XLR cables are transparent. I think this is because of a dedicated ground wire, which is impossible with RCA as you need ground and return to be connected.

    If your source and amp are balanced, then even better, because you will be making the most of the circuitry and it will only make things better through noise cancellation rather than making things worse.
    Agreed - it's the arrangement I use in my system: CD -> preamp -> monoblock power amps
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

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    I'm Dennis.

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    The advantages of balanced are more hum elimination than RF problems, and in professional setups where frequent plugging and unplugging occur because of different implementations, reliable no hum is a great time and work saver.

    Strictly, balanced circuits have about twice the distortion of SE ccts, but nowadays is so low that IMO it can be ignored.

    I have had three pairs of ATC actives with balanced I/Ps, fed from SE preamps with no problems, and am currently using my balanced ADAM Gamma actives which are balanced I/Ps with an ATC SCA2 preamp which is also balanced.

    All work smoothly and the currents into amps are so small that fine mic. cable is more than adequate, no need for hefty.

    The (what I believe to be) best S/S pre available, the Benchmark, is all balanced, incredible spec, and sound.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: Surrey

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    I'm Mike.

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    Direct comparison from Rega Isis to Pass Labs Pre Amp

    RCA-RCA good

    XLR-XLR better. Nice step up
    Technics 1210, MCRU Linear PSU, Mike New Bearing & Platter, Stillpoints LP1 weight, Speedy Steve Ebony armboard, Fidelity Research FR64FX arm, Ortofon SPU. LP12/Aro/Lyra Dorian, Aurorasound VIDA Phono Pre Amp, Ortofon ST80SE SUT, Rega Isis CD, Marigo Labs Clear Transformation CD mat, Belles VT-01 MK II Pre Amp, Belles MB200 Mono Power Amps, TAD E1 speakers. Creaktiv racks, Mains Cables: Coherent, MCRU Ultimate, Interconnects : Coherent and Yannis 223.5 Connect Litz, TQ. Coherent speaker cable. Audio Magic Transcendence Conditioner. Coherent socket

    Mike

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