XLR or RCA

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Jag_97470
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XLR or RCA

Post by Jag_97470 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:45 pm

If you had the option would you use XLR or RCA? This would go between my Theater grand processor III and my newly acquired 300X2 (when it arrives). Have a chance to buy at a good price Cardas Golden Cross XLR's. Just wanted to see what the opinions are out there comparing the two? Or maybe it would be better to play with the voltage/current source using RCA's? I have never used XLR's so really don't know if the cost would be justified. Thanks guys

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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by helicopterpilotdoug » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:01 pm

I use the XLR's between the TG IV and the 400/5. You can go either way you want. Unless you have a very long run between the pre and amp, or are picking up noise on the RCA cables the balanced connections won't make much difference. You will notice the balanced connection will have a higher output level than the RCA's though. Compared to Unbalanced signal, Balanced signal adds about 6 to10 dB of extra headroom to your equipment so your speakers will sound louder with less gain.
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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by Magnaryder » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:15 pm

All things being equal, cables will alter the outcome.

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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by bob p » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:32 pm

XLR connectors can be either balanced or unbalanced, depending upon wiring.
RCA is unbalanced.

If the question is intended to ask whether unbalanced XLR is better than unbalanced RCA, I don't think it matters.
If the question is intended to ask whether balanced XLR is better than unbalanced RCA than I'd say yes -- go with balanced lines.
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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by radioeng2 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:39 pm

If the equipment and cable involved is done right, then with balanced you have no ground current flow potential.

No grounding potential differences means you don't get hum that way.

With unbalanced interconnect, it shows up much easier because you're sharing grounds and can have current loops develop between the equipment in ways the designer didn't intend.

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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by Jag_97470 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:02 pm

It sounds like adding headroom is a good thing, and balanced is also a good thing, might give um a try. Thanks!

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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by Snoop65 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:20 pm

I use xlr between my Lightstar and Sunfire tube per. I hear the difference clearly.
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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by angelod307 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:42 pm

Balanced is for using long runs of cable to reject noise. When asked, i recall bob saying he likes coax but the hifi tweaky guys wanted balanced even though no gain is accomplished and the circuit is more complex adding parts .
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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by bob p » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:29 pm

No gain is accomplished?
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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by Robert R » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:20 pm

Perhaps meant gain in the sense of "improvement in the sound" rather in the sense of voltage.

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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by F1nut » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:28 pm

It's always been my understanding that unless the circuitry is a true balanced design such as BAT gear there is no benefit from using XLR's.
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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by radioeng2 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:45 pm

I most certainly don't agree with that Jesse. (Assuming XLR=balanced) Right off the bat, balanced brings you the ability to not share grounds and common mode rejection.

There are pluses and minus's all over the place, most certainly though.

One thing I've always wanted to ask about the "it all has to be totally balanced"....if that's the goal...where does the common mode rejection come from?

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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by fill35U » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:20 am

Fiber optics solves a lot of these problems.

Should one send the inverse signal on a parallel fiber cable for true differential? :D
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Re: XLR or RCA

Post by stereo_buff » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:58 pm

F1nut wrote:It's always been my understanding that unless the circuitry is a true balanced design such as BAT gear there is no benefit from using XLR's.
Mine too. Also, there is negligible difference, if any, between balanced XLR connections and single-ended RCA type. The advantage (and reason for the development of XLR cables) was for long runs, e.g., concert halls and auditoriums, where cables are highly susceptible to noise pickup and common mode problems associated with long cable runs. In the average audiophile listening room, unless your room is the size of an auditorium, or your equipment's single-ended (RCA) connections are inferior due to the circuit design of the component, with respect to the XLR ones, there will be no difference in sound, given otherwise similar wire characteristics.

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