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Thread: XLR balanced interconnects vs RCA/Phono

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jul 2011

    Location: Northamptonish

    Posts: 1,595
    I'm Peter.

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    Andy ... I have some unused XLR interconnects ... pm me your address if you want them, and I'll stick them in the post ... no charge, as I got them for peanuts.
    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” - William Bruce Cameron

  2. #12
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Posts: 524
    I'm Andrew.

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    What a guy ��

  3. #13
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,361
    I'm Ken.

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    If the source/amp circuits are designed as balanced then they will usually sound better using balanced interconnects.

    If the source/amp circuits are designed as single ended then they will usually sound better using single ended Phono interconnects.

    There may be exceptions to these generalisations, but remember its not about the type of leads, as they are equally good over short distances, its about using the right leads for the equipments topology.

    Also, just because a unit has XLR sockets does not mean it is a true differential balanced circuit so do a bit of research before spending to much. On the other hand its easy enough to try if you can borrow some leads and settle on what sounds right to you.

    I like the robust no nonsense feel to good XLR connectors, but that has nothing to do with how they sound.
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Ortofon MC20 Supreme / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / DIY Sealed Three Way Speakers / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Belfast/Northern Ireland/UK

    Posts: 16,599
    I'm Neil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yomanze View Post
    If the kit is fully balanced, then IMO it sounds better when used in balanced mode, regardless of single ended vs. balanced arguments.
    + 1
    Regards Neil

    System 1: AMG Giro turntable, AMG 9W2 tonearm, Air Tight PC3 cartridge, Passlabs Xono phonostage, AMG Reference armcable. Accuphase DP57 CD player, Marantz SA7 SACD player, Sony HAP Z1es Digital File Player + Audioquest Jitter Bug, Veracity Mystra DAC + Dell Laptop + iFi i power + JKenny JKSPIDIF, Wireworld Starlight USB + Audioquest Jitter Bug, for computer audio, Audio Valve RKV2 headphone amp, headphones Grado GS 1000, Balanced Audio Technology VK300se integrated amplifier, Anthony Gallo Reference 3.1 speakers. Cabling: Signal - Audience AU24, Analysis Plus, Atlas Mavros, Speaker - QED Genesis Silver Spiral. Mains Cabling: Audience AU24, Analysis Plus, TCI. Mark Grant distribution blocks, Equipment tables Target Audio B series.

    System 2: Loricraft Garrard 401 turntable + SME 5 tonearm + VDH MC10 cartridge + Graham IC70 tonearm cable, Modified Technics 1200 turntable + Triplannar 7 tonearm + VDH Frog Gold cartridge + Paul Hynes SR7 PSU, SME Model 20 turntable + Graham Phantom tonearm + Ortofon MC5200 cartridge + Graham IC70 tonearm cable, Balanced Audio Technology VK10se phonostage, Moon Andromeda CD player, Esoteric P5 SACD transport and P 5 DAC, Toshiba 9500 DVD Audio player, AMR DP777 DAC + HP laptop + iFi i power + Wireworld Starlight USB - for computer audio, Kenwood 8300 tuner, Revox B760 tuner, Magnum Dynalab signal sleuth, Leak Troughline tuner + EAR Stereo decoder, Revox B77 mk 2 & Revox A77 mk3 reel to reel recorders, Balanced Audio Technology VK52se pre-amplifier, Music Reference RM200 mk1 power-amplifier, Anthony Gallo Reference 3.5 speakers. Cabling: Signal/Speaker - Atlas Mavros. Mains Cabling: Audience AU24, TCI. Mains distribution blocks Mark Grant and Russ Andrews, Equipment tables Clear Light Audio.

  5. #15
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Belfast/Northern Ireland/UK

    Posts: 16,599
    I'm Neil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qwin View Post
    If the source/amp circuits are designed as balanced then they will usually sound better using balanced interconnects.

    If the source/amp circuits are designed as single ended then they will usually sound better using single ended Phono interconnects.

    There may be exceptions to these generalisations, but remember its not about the type of leads, as they are equally good over short distances, its about using the right leads for the equipments topology.

    Also, just because a unit has XLR sockets does not mean it is a true differential balanced circuit so do a bit of research before spending to much. On the other hand its easy enough to try if you can borrow some leads and settle on what sounds right to you.

    I like the robust no nonsense feel to good XLR connectors, but that has nothing to do with how they sound.
    + 1 With bells on.
    Regards Neil

    System 1: AMG Giro turntable, AMG 9W2 tonearm, Air Tight PC3 cartridge, Passlabs Xono phonostage, AMG Reference armcable. Accuphase DP57 CD player, Marantz SA7 SACD player, Sony HAP Z1es Digital File Player + Audioquest Jitter Bug, Veracity Mystra DAC + Dell Laptop + iFi i power + JKenny JKSPIDIF, Wireworld Starlight USB + Audioquest Jitter Bug, for computer audio, Audio Valve RKV2 headphone amp, headphones Grado GS 1000, Balanced Audio Technology VK300se integrated amplifier, Anthony Gallo Reference 3.1 speakers. Cabling: Signal - Audience AU24, Analysis Plus, Atlas Mavros, Speaker - QED Genesis Silver Spiral. Mains Cabling: Audience AU24, Analysis Plus, TCI. Mark Grant distribution blocks, Equipment tables Target Audio B series.

    System 2: Loricraft Garrard 401 turntable + SME 5 tonearm + VDH MC10 cartridge + Graham IC70 tonearm cable, Modified Technics 1200 turntable + Triplannar 7 tonearm + VDH Frog Gold cartridge + Paul Hynes SR7 PSU, SME Model 20 turntable + Graham Phantom tonearm + Ortofon MC5200 cartridge + Graham IC70 tonearm cable, Balanced Audio Technology VK10se phonostage, Moon Andromeda CD player, Esoteric P5 SACD transport and P 5 DAC, Toshiba 9500 DVD Audio player, AMR DP777 DAC + HP laptop + iFi i power + Wireworld Starlight USB - for computer audio, Kenwood 8300 tuner, Revox B760 tuner, Magnum Dynalab signal sleuth, Leak Troughline tuner + EAR Stereo decoder, Revox B77 mk 2 & Revox A77 mk3 reel to reel recorders, Balanced Audio Technology VK52se pre-amplifier, Music Reference RM200 mk1 power-amplifier, Anthony Gallo Reference 3.5 speakers. Cabling: Signal/Speaker - Atlas Mavros. Mains Cabling: Audience AU24, TCI. Mains distribution blocks Mark Grant and Russ Andrews, Equipment tables Clear Light Audio.

  6. #16
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 397
    I'm Dennis.

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    I tend to disagree with your second statement Qwin, have never experienced a deterioration caused by feeding single ended source into balanced I/P.

  7. #17
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,361
    I'm Ken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    I tend to disagree with your second statement Qwin, have never experienced a deterioration caused by feeding single ended source into balanced I/P.
    Not quite what I said.

    Edit: Re reading what I wrote it can be misinterpreted, I meant if both source and amp are balanced or if both are single ended, not a mix.
    Last edited by Qwin; 09-07-2017 at 05:55. Reason: clarify
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Ortofon MC20 Supreme / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / DIY Sealed Three Way Speakers / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  8. #18
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 614
    I'm Russell.

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    I've always been single ended until I got my big Krell amp. It has both single ended and balanced inputs, but I need some little pins to short pin 2 and 3 together, or some such, in order to use the single ended inputs, and I didn't get any when I got it second hand. But it just seems that if the signal has to run through the balanced jack to use single ended, it's only making the path longer? I've been using microphone cable while I shop for decent XLR cables. I don't really expect a huge improvement by buying nicer cables, but must keep up appearances and all.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  9. #19
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,361
    I'm Ken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alphaGT View Post
    I've always been single ended until I got my big Krell amp. It has both single ended and balanced inputs, but I need some little pins to short pin 2 and 3 together, or some such, in order to use the single ended inputs, and I didn't get any when I got it second hand. But it just seems that if the signal has to run through the balanced jack to use single ended, it's only making the path longer? I've been using microphone cable while I shop for decent XLR cables. I don't really expect a huge improvement by buying nicer cables, but must keep up appearances and all.
    The balanced inputs on your Amp will be the shortest path if it is a balanced circuit.
    If your source is single ended, there wont be much advantage using the balanced inputs on your Amp.
    To connect a single ended device to the balanced input just use a single ended to balanced lead, made up as follows:

    Use std balanced cable (2 conductors in a screen).
    At the XLR end use std pin out of Hot to pin 2, Cold to pin 3 and Screen (ground) to pin 1.
    At the phono plug wire Hot to the centre (+) and Cold plus Screen to the outer (-).
    That's it.

    Good quality microphone cable is just that, it is one of the toughest tasks for a cable, so if it was designed to perform well at this and over long distances it is more than capable of connecting your hifi. When looking at the "decent XLR cables" check the spec isn't worse than the mic cable.

    The DIY Klotz MC5000 interconnects that everyone hear finds so good are made from mic cable, you could do a lot worse than making up a set of leads with this.
    I use it throughout my fully balanced system, with the exception of my balanced Turntable leads which need to be a lot thinner in my case. For this I use the Sommer SC-Goblin, which is a miniature mic cable, but still of high quality. See my DIY cables below.



    Last edited by Qwin; 09-07-2017 at 08:47.
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Ortofon MC20 Supreme / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / DIY Sealed Three Way Speakers / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  10. #20
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 397
    I'm Dennis.

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    I thought your previous statement was very clear Quin.

    I agree fully with your last post, having used Van Damme and Klotz, and for the 2 pins" you refer to AlphaGT, I use just a length of tinned copper wire. It is a bit od a pain though, as is soldering XLRs, they wriggling all over the place on a table top on the end of flexible rubber coated mic. cable.

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