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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:05 pm 
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I've been getting a lot of mixed messages on this topic. One thing that is true is that it is quieter.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:51 pm 
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From personal experience with using my xlr connections i find about 3db gain in the signal.
Yes and a quieter noise floor.
Besides that they are a better physical connection to the gear.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:01 pm 
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I believe there are a few advantages to using true balanced cables over rca's. The first and probably most important is, you can have long runs without losing any quality in the audio. Second, I found when I used the balanced inputs in my integrated resulted in a louder volume over the rca input. That my take but, I'm use someone will give more insight on this matter.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:02 pm 
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XLR is great for longer runs of interconnects and easily dealing with ground loop issues. Unless one output is poorly implemented, both should sound more or less the same with balanced being louder (commonly 6db but it varies).


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:30 pm 
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This answers a lot for me. I have a Bryston 4B SST squared. There's a switch for using the XLR connection or RCA connection. There's a switch that is a 6dB difference. I guess a quality pair of XLR interconnects is in order.
Cheers guys.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:50 am 
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Chipmunk1957 wrote:
From personal experience with using my xlr connections i find about 3db gain in the signal.
Yes and a quieter noise floor.
Besides that they are a better physical connection to the gear.


All of the above but I also feel true balanced connections tend to remove a lot of the variations from one cable brand to another.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:02 am 
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The benefit of a XLR cable will be dependent on the circuit in which it is employed. Some amps have XLR input/outputs but the signal is single ended.


Last edited by brf on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:22 am 
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Exactly. The manufacturer better say it's a balanced topology and balanced throughout. Otherwise the XLR input/output was put on for convenience rather than any sort of sonic benefit.

The differences among balanced cables is minimal at best vs. SE cables. I personally would not spend a lot on them.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:40 am 
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Balanced cables and associated I/O electronics work as a system. The system was designed to eliminate noise in a studio environment. Like all other proper cables the system is designed to carry the analog music signal without adding or subtracting anything. The balanced I/O technology can also prevent noise on digital signals, especially low latency studio applications.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:49 am 
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brf wrote:
The benefit of a XLR cable will be dependent on the circuit in which it is employed. Some amps have XLR input/outputs but the single is single ended.

Exactly. There are companies that provide XLR outputs but do not have the truly differential circuitry inside, so it's not "balanced" at all!

Long runs: in a normal (not high RFI environment) a well constructed cable with RCA connectors is just as good as a cable with XLRs.
If a long cable with the RCAs is a better quality cable, it will sound better than a XLR terminated cable that is not as high quality.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:09 am 
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AVguy wrote:
brf wrote:
The benefit of a XLR cable will be dependent on the circuit in which it is employed. Some amps have XLR input/outputs but the single is single ended.

Exactly. There are companies that provide XLR outputs but do not have the truly differential circuitry inside, so it's not "balanced" at all!

Long runs: in a normal (not high RFI environment) a well constructed cable with RCA connectors is just as good as a cable with XLRs.
If a long cable with the RCAs is a better quality cable, it will sound better than a XLR terminated cable that is not as high quality.


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.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:21 am 
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Audio_Guy wrote:
AVguy wrote:
brf wrote:
The benefit of a XLR cable will be dependent on the circuit in which it is employed. Some amps have XLR input/outputs but the single is single ended.

Exactly. There are companies that provide XLR outputs but do not have the truly differential circuitry inside, so it's not "balanced" at all!

Long runs: in a normal (not high RFI environment) a well constructed cable with RCA connectors is just as good as a cable with XLRs.
If a long cable with the RCAs is a better quality cable, it will sound better than a XLR terminated cable that is not as high quality.


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.


I'm not going to name names. These are things that I have seen over the years, and those companies may well have changed their habits and/or gone out of business by now....and I can't remember them all anyway! :shock:
(Bryston was not one of them, so you're okay)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:54 am 
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Audio_Guy wrote:
AVguy wrote:
brf wrote:
The benefit of a XLR cable will be dependent on the circuit in which it is employed. Some amps have XLR input/outputs but the single is single ended.

Exactly. There are companies that provide XLR outputs but do not have the truly differential circuitry inside, so it's not "balanced" at all!

Long runs: in a normal (not high RFI environment) a well constructed cable with RCA connectors is just as good as a cable with XLRs.
If a long cable with the RCAs is a better quality cable, it will sound better than a XLR terminated cable that is not as high quality.


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.


Not all manufactures that employ balanced inputs on a single ended circuit are out to mislead customers. Some simply offer it as a matter of convenience for those customers who only have source components with XLR out.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:01 am 
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I have a Bryston 4B SST and a Bryston BP 17. Wired in balance. It works, it's quiet. No worries.
I doubt that running them single ended would have much, if any, impact on the sound.
One nice thing, you don't need to spend a lot on balanced cables to get good results.
You can, but you don't have to.
At the moment I'm using XLO cable and have used Van Damme and Mogami with excellent results.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:32 am 
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The Glass Prison wrote:
I've been getting a lot of mixed messages on this topic. One thing that is true is that it is quieter.


Point form no bs answer:

* XLR is better for longer runs (over 10 feet)
* XLR is actually 3dB-6db louder (depending who you ask) due to the voltage increase

Generally speaking most will tell you to stick with RCA and keep your cable lengths around 1 meter or smaller.


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