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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:10 am 
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Audio_Guy wrote:
Using pseudo balanced I/O connectors is cheating the customer, it certainly make audiophiles look like idiots. Please name name's - who doe this?

I only buy bryston products and bluejeans cables mostly when I can, then I don't have to worry.


You must hold an extremely low respect toward audiophiles or those involved in this hobby if you think they are being cheated by manufactures who provide a connection for convenience. There are no rules to this hobby – you should stop trying to write them!

The only real benefits to XLR or a true differential circuit is if they can be applied to one’s environment and thus out perform a single ended connection. There is 0 proof that a XLR connection is actually better than RCA should noise or long runs not be a factor. And even those are debatable. There are poorly implemented differential circuits just as there are exceptionally engineered single ended circuits. There are pro’s and cons to both methods, however there is no right or wrong.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:42 am 
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Don't overthink this. If you want to try using your equipment balanced, go for it.
Whichever one sounds better, go with that.
Me, I use and like balanced gear. Bryston and Classe'.
I have ran them single ended and they sound great.
I just happen to believe they sound a little greater balanced.
Push comes to shove, I'm not sure I could tell the difference.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:51 am 
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Audio_Guy wrote:
Using pseudo balanced I/O connectors is cheating the customer, it certainly make audiophiles look like idiots. Please name name's - who doe this?

I only buy bryston products and bluejeans cables mostly when I can, then I don't have to worry.

The vast majority of Bryston amplifiers are NOT fully balanced internally, and their preamps are not at all, they have "psuedo" balanced connections only.

If you ask Bryston they will confirm this for you, and of course this entire subject has been covered at length on these forums before.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:58 am 
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electrafixion wrote:
Audio_Guy wrote:
Using pseudo balanced I/O connectors is cheating the customer, it certainly make audiophiles look like idiots. Please name name's - who doe this?

I only buy bryston products and bluejeans cables mostly when I can, then I don't have to worry.

The vast majority of Bryston amplifiers are NOT fully balanced internally, and their preamps are not at all, they have "psuedo" balanced connections only.

If you ask Bryston they will confirm this for you, and of course this entire subject has been covered at length on these forums before.


Shhhh….you don’t want to make him look like an idiot.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:14 pm 
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Early Classe pre-amps and amps had balance connection but were single ended in design.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Balanced audio is a signal transmission system.Driver-line-receiver.
It's only purpose is common mode noise.

Gary


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:25 pm 
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When was the last time anyone read A J Van Den Huls Hi Fi Tips?

5-8 Balanced is better
When possible, always use balanced connections. From many years of experience I can tell you that balanced equipment
at least sounds equal to unbalanced, but in most cases much better, especially when the signal level is very low like in
turntable and tape head connections. Better here means: higher resolution, more air and space and the instrument
separation is higher. Also the acoustics of the recording space are easier to hear. So focus on balanced. It may take
several years before your equipment collection is complete, but the result is worth the investment, especially in an
environment blessed with spurious high frequency signals (which sources nowadays are ever increasing). With balanced
connections (i.e. having XLR type connectors at the cable ends) the signal Live and signal Return are both shielded,
whereas with unbalanced connections the signal return is also the shield. And it is there where the problem starts (see our Cable FAQ’s point 6-9).

12-1 Hum; How to avoid
An important source of hum are transformers, especially unbalanced constant voltage transformers/power stabilisers. So
avoid the latter whenever possible.
Keep in mind that transformers work by building up an internal magnetic field. But... these wonderful fields tend to also
radiate from (non-toroidal) transformers. They can penetrate the circuitry of the next amplifier and induce hum. (Here,
due to their high signal gain, especially phono pre-amplifiers are sensitive). So don’t pile up equipment (also see 3-1), but
reserve space with enough distance between your devices. Try to keep your interconnect cables well away from
transformers and (unshielded) mains cables (see 6-2). Also, do not loop cables which have excessive length. Loops form a
pick-up coil; An effective way for interference to find its way into your system.
A special source of hum can be the environment of a phono cartridge: Serious attention must be given to ground loops
built along the ground lead of the phono cartridge. And make a separate grounding for the arm and the rest of the
turntable, thus again avoiding another ground loop. So, keep the tone arm electrically isolated from the rest of the
(metal) turntable. (Also see our Phono FAQ’s points 48, 126 and 130).
Take care of the proper ground connections at the rear of your amplifier(s). Keep them clean and when necessary use
“The SOLUTION”, our contact fluid.
There must always be a good signal ground connection between all equipment to ensure a correct signal return. When
something is wrong there, you have hum!!! Try finding the culprit by swapping interconnects and using logic. Measure
suspect candidates with an Ohm meter, checking for (intermittent) shorts between and interruptions in the signal and
ground lines. Also verify that the cable is correctly wired; See the “Audio and Video Cable/Connector WIRING DIAGRAMS
for DIY purposes” available on our website.
It is furthermore very important that all equipment receives its power from the same mains socket (also see 8-4), this to
ensure that all equipment is connected to the same ground point. By feeding all equipment from one socket, you avoid
another huge ground loop in your listening room and with it another potential source of hum. Regarding hum problems
caused by antenna, cable TV, set-top box, video recorder, satellite receiver or computer sound card connections also see
our Cable FAQ’s point 5-11.
An additional measure to further reduce hum is to minimize the residual ground currents flowing along your interconnects, see 8-5.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:22 pm 
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Location: Langley, BC, CA
Here is the theory...

Single ended uses a single conductor to carry the signal from one point to another. So for example your preamp sends a +2v signal down a single wire to your amp which receives the +2v signal. An issue arises with radio signals since any wire acts like an antenna. So your preamp send +2v but a radio signal is induced in the wire and your amp receives a 2.1v signal. That signal is then amplified.

Balanced connections or XLR use 2 conductors to carry the signal. The signals will be mirror opposites of each other. So your preamp send both a +2v and a -2v signal down separate connectors. At the amp the signals are subtracted from each other (+2) - (-2) = +4v. Now when a radio signal is induced in each connector we get +2v and -2v leaving our preamp but +0.1v is induced in each wire. We get +2.1v and -1.9v at the amp. The amp will subtract the 2 signals and we get (+2.1) - (-1.9) = 4v. The common noise resulting from the radio signal has been cancelled.

So in theory balanced connections are superior to single ended. But in practice your mileage may vary. As noted some components with xlr connector are not true balanced circuits. They are not going to reject the common noise. Balanced circuits are always more costly to engineer and build. If you pour the same money into a single ended circuit you can potentially get a better result. If you are running very short interconnects the value of a balanced circuit is diminished. Longer interconnects make better antennas and pick up more interference.

Try a few configurations where possible and decide for yourself...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:00 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:05 pm 
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The main thing is if your equipement is design and is fully balanced source, preamp. power amp that is out put are both live (+ and -) and not refered to ground
then it's worth to use a balance line.
The balanced line does not transport a ground, the third pin is a shield either shielded from the source or at the terminaison end or both ends.
This shield is only for it's purpose shield EMI, and noise, therefore like a RCA connector a live signal is carried with the shield.
RCA is fine for short distance, but long or short is balanced a better method to transmit a signal in a differential system of course.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:13 pm 
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GuySmiley,

".. As noted some components with xlr connector are not true balanced circuits. They are not going to reject the common noise."

That part doesn't quite compute ... when the signal(s) get summed the common noise will be nulled, period; this makes the reasonable assumption the signal *does* get summed (not doing so would be odd - to say the least).

Now that can occur immediately upon being received, then fed through a single ended circuit, or it can happen further down the chain, e.g. in a balanced circuit design.

Either way common node noise is eliminated.

....

That said, I acknowledge that for the more common cable lengths (3/6 ft) common node noise issues are likely insignificant (allowing for exception to the norm).


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:59 pm 
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Lots of great posts. My listening space is always a challenge because it is very small. I have to use taller component stands. A 2 meter cable just makes it. 3 meters would be more comfortable length for me. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:06 pm 
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It's easy to get hung up on the theory behind topics such as this, but listening will provide the most important insight.

A decade or so ago I was using XLR's in my rig, since I assumed they were better. When discussing my setup with a local Dealer (Dave from Loyalty) he suggested I try RCA cables since as he found my preamp (Classe CP-35) sounded best that way. Much to my surprise, RCA's did sound better. As it happens, that preamp only has pseudo balanced connections. Later I changed the preamp to a fully balanced model from Balanced Audio Technology (VK-3i), and it clearly sounded best with XLR.

Years later I was running a Sunfire Stereo 300 power amp and the matching Sunfire Classic Vacuum Preamp. Despite the Sunfire owner's manual suggesting the use of XLR's, that set sounded way better on RCA's than XLR's. Sure enough, both the Sunfire amp and pre and single ended circuits.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:47 pm 
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Studios use the XLR method of connection because they crowd multiple long interconnect cables together, so they need the inherent common mode hum rejection of balanced lines.

As a result, signal quality is lost because twice the amount of amplifier circuitry is in the signal path.

In a home system this is not normally a problem and you can therefore benefit from the simpler better sounding circuitry driving unbalanced connections.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:32 am 
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Another benefit of a XLR, who does't like to hear the "click" of a secure connection that cannot wiggle loose.


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