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I understand, in principle, the difference between balanced and unbalanced connections. What, in the usually short distance world of hifi, is the advantage of using balanced cabling, and has anyone done any A/B tests?

Cheers,

Carlton.

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I think it makes very little difference, if any, when considering home Hi-Fi with short cable runs.

In fact, I was talking to my dealer recently about which output to use on my Uphorik, and they recommended using the RCA/unbalanced connections over the balanced connections, due to there being less circuitry in the path.

i suppose YMMV though.

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Tend to  agree with Kelly .The sonic differences between the cables themselves are probably more significant in our typical context.

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3 hours ago, Smokestack said:

Tend to  agree with Kelly .The sonic differences between the cables themselves are probably more significant in our typical context.

And isn't it the case that the balanced connections on Linn devices are not truly balanced? I remember reading the explanation on several occasions, but I'm afraid I don't remember ever understanding it.

David

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I have convinced myself I prefer balanced connections. I have tried both and I think the balanced ones sound better. I also prefer they way XLRs lock into position rather the RCAs. 

Perhaps I was influenced by Linn’s statements: “The Linn Silver balanced interconnect cable is our highest performing interconnect cable.If your audio equipment has high quality balanced inputs and outputs, the Linn Silver balanced interconnect cable will let you hear just how much better this can sound than an ‘unbalanced’ interconnection”.

Edited by Nestor Turton

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I can feel the itch to reach for my Cynic's hat....if Linn can support a, "...just how much better......" claim, then why have unbalanced interconnect circuitry at all?

Carlton.

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4 minutes ago, carlton bunce said:

I can feel the itch to reach for my Cynic's hat....if Linn can support a, "...just how much better......" claim, then why have unbalanced interconnect circuitry at all?

Carlton.

Because balanced connectivity is more component intensive (more expensive) . The Linn eco system has therefore only supported balanced in upper tier products. 

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56 minutes ago, carlton bunce said:

I can feel the itch to reach for my Cynic's hat....if Linn can support a, "...just how much better......" claim, then why have unbalanced interconnect circuitry at all?

Possibly because a large amount of non-Linn equipment then wouldn't be compatible with it.

Personally I wish balanced connections were just the standard option like in pro-audio, but I do of course appreciate that RCA sockets, cables and associated electronics are cheaper.

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@David:  Wasn't it because it is the way Linn does daisy chaining amps? In the Klimax range XLR and RCA inputs are mirrored  and you can use one of the 2 as output to the next amp in the chain. For bi-amping my speakers I connected KK RCA out -> Twin#1 RCA in and then Twin#1 XLR in to Twin#2 XLR in. I think this requires unbalanced but I am not an expert either. 

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