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Balanced xlr or single ended phono?

ridley

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Apr 12, 2007
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Simon
Hi, i would value your opinions on which is best, thats assuming one is better than the other, & what in your experiences are the differences in sound? many thanks.

 

Davewhityetagain

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Jul 24, 2005
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ridley wrote:

Hi, i would value your opinions on which is best, thats assuming one is better than the other, & what in your experiences are the differences in sound? many thanks.
not better different

balanced is good for very long runs too

the voltage on a balanced system is higher too

Some USA based companies like phono more ie DK and Manley

if you have kit with both try and see which you like........ me I like Phono better

 

Hawk

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Jul 25, 2005
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Where Ive had a choice with kit in the past Ive always prefered the phono option. To my ears phono sounds much more natural and open. XLR tended to have more gain, slightly less noise but sounded more clinical and HiFi to me.

Thats just my experience though, and its down to taste as well as how the individual systems have been designed. You really should try both options for yourself.

 
G

Guest

Guest
I think its very system dependant so would borrow both sets and see what you prefer.

 

hifi addict

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Sep 28, 2006
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Paul
HiFi Trade?
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I have found it a vey system dependant thing. I prefer to use balanced if poss between pre and power then try what sounds best with the rest of the set up.

However amps like the ASR Emitter prefer rca input.

one thing to look into when trying balance is the phase. Different companies use different pins for the XLR sockets and some cable manufacturers have done the same.

RCA is not bad as DWYA mentioned in an erlier post its different, and always its what you prefer in your system.

 

monya

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Apr 5, 2007
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I have found balanced to have a greater dynamic range but at the expense of pace and upper frequency detail. Overall prefer single ended. Remember some equipment doesn't offer true balanced outputs but a cheaper pseudo - balanced circuit.

 

Davewhityetagain

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Jul 24, 2005
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hifi addict wrote:

RCA is not bad as DWYA mentioned in an erlier post its different, and always its what you prefer in your system.
Where did I say it's "bad" all i can see is this..............

if you have kit with both try and see which you like........ me I like Phono better
phono = rca
 
E

Effem

Guest
A good number of "balanced" connections are little more than an XLR socket wired with the + phase and ground connected for the 2 single ended connections and the minus phase not connected at all. Others provide a single ended option on a true balanced input using the above configuration across pins 1 and 2 of the XLR socket.

 

doctorjuggles

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Apr 13, 2006
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London, UK
HiFi Trade?
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For some reason, balanced/XLR is seen as the holy grail over on Head-Fi.org. I've done my share of reading up on it and I've also tried out plenty of kit in balanced/single ended modes and, when the gain is adjusted to negate the extra volume, I don't really think there's too much in it. As far as my understanding of these things goes, a well designed single ended system will always make mincemeat of a poorly designed balanced one and vice versa.

A well designed system of each, however, is probably a personal preference thing, in my experience. I find small improvements in one area lead to losses in another, but I've never really heard a system win hands down with one over the other.

 

Boxer

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Nov 2, 2005
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A lot depends on the circuit design of the kit: my Krell has a fully balanced circuit, I'm pretty sure the MacIntosh has a genuine balanced output (someone will correct this if need be, please), &, to my ears the combo sounds better running off XLR I/Cs.

However, YMMV...

Have a play, `specially if you can get hold of S/E & balanced versions of the same cable, eg Krystal Kables Sterling 2 & Galaxy (that is right, isn't it?).

 

cjr

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Aug 8, 2005
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1m long I cant hear any difference betweem RCA-XLR apart from 2.0V v 4.0V.

At 5m + XLR is hugely benefitial. No argument at all.

Decent XLRs can be made for £15 DIY :

Van Damme 3 core Mic cable £1.50/M

Neutrik Metal XLRs £12 for 4 plugs. Search the DIY forum, they are easier to solder than RCA cables too.
74_74.gif.e35fe9be22561407fdbfee747b876f81.gif
.

 
G

Guest

Guest
Gotham have started making balanced xlr leads. They sound good to me. But i have never heard any others. But for 23 quid including postage they must be worth a try.

 

cjr

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Aug 8, 2005
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UK
robbyrtp wrote:

Gotham have started making balanced xlr leads. They sound good to me. But i have never heard any others. But for 23 quid including postage they must be worth a try.
An excellent brand purely on pricing levels alone IMHO. Worth a try indeed that is getting very close to DIY cost of XLR cables.

Its great to see some sanity (IMHO)in cable makers for a change, long may it continue.

 

Gilman

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Wammer
Apr 11, 2007
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Edinburgh, , United
I use XLRs between my BAT and my Stax headphones, and RCA between my BAT and my preamp. There is a difference between ear-speakers and room-speakers, but I could not discern and important difference because of the RCA/XLR factor.

 

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