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Converting XLR to RCA


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Hi guys, I am replacing my Akurate Exaktbox 10 (Katalyst) for a Klimax Exaktbox 6 (Organik) and just received the new unit. As excited as i am, just realized that it has XLR outputs and I completely forgot to buy converters....My 4200's have RCA inputs and have my Linn silver RCA cables. What's the best solution in your experience? I am seeing converters, converter boxes and cables (not an option really). Thanks!

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There is a gain difference between balanced and unbalanced so be careful. I’m not sure but the difference is almost 6db. Not sure but most people with xlr connections prefer to stay that way.

You can buy xlr to rca cables but if it was me if prefer to stay either rca all the way or xlr all the way.


Adsm/3 >> Akurate 4200/1 >> Akurate 242 (mark 1) Silvers/K200

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I think you have to use a converter or you will have ground problems? That is frustrating as will it be as good as the rest of your electronics? Best option might be to sell/swap the rca 4200s for the balanced model? 

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My KDSM came with converters from linn for the balanced outputs to RCA so would be my option. Just plug in to the XLR ports and then use your existing RCAs

Edited by Coalboy68
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7 hours ago, Solanum said:

Best option might be to sell/swap the rca 4200s for the balanced model? 

Thanks. Yes eventually my plan is to update to Solos. 

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10 hours ago, zee9 said:

There is a gain difference between balanced and unbalanced so be careful. I’m not sure but the difference is almost 6db. Not sure but most people with xlr connections prefer to stay that way.

Yes there is a difference in output but as long as you're consequent for all channels this shouldn't be a problem. 

11 hours ago, zee9 said:

You can buy xlr to rca cables but if it was me if prefer to stay either rca all the way or xlr all the way.

Agreed and this is the plan! 

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On 31/08/2021 at 15:54, frans5508 said:

My 4200's have RCA inputs and have my Linn silver RCA cables. What's the best solution in your experience? I am seeing converters, converter boxes and cables (not an option really). Thanks!

You should be able to de-solder the XLR or RCA from a Linn Silver on one end and make an XLR>RCA cable using the Linn Silver. I remember doing this a couple of times in the past. If memory serves, you just need to ensure that the hot pin on the XLR end is connected to the same lead as the conductor pin on the RCA end, and you can connect the other conductor lead (Silver is a balanced cable) as well as the neutral/ground (shield) to the collar of the RCA. It takes a bit of work and a soldering iron but have done this with a couple of setups in the past and it worked just fine.

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On 31/08/2021 at 17:58, zee9 said:

There is a gain difference between balanced and unbalanced so be careful. I’m not sure but the difference is almost 6db. Not sure but most people with xlr connections prefer to stay that way.

You can make an XLR>RCA cable using Linn Silver as outlined above without any gain issues, since the cold pin is connected to the collar/ground of the RCA, thus the pin is shorted and not carrying the additional voltage (gain) of the XLR connection.

It would be best to keep everything XLR in this case if possible, would only recommend the XLR>RCA option as a temporary fix until the 4200's can be swapped for XLR input versions. Or upgraded to Twins or Solos :)

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On 01/09/2021 at 00:54, frans5508 said:

Hi guys, I am replacing my Akurate Exaktbox 10 (Katalyst) for a Klimax Exaktbox 6 (Organik) and just received the new unit. As excited as i am, just realized that it has XLR outputs and I completely forgot to buy converters....My 4200's have RCA inputs and have my Linn silver RCA cables. What's the best solution in your experience? I am seeing converters, converter boxes and cables (not an option really). Thanks!

Hi Frans,

sorry for asking a bit OT, but as you have a similar system (5140s, AExaktbox), I'm really anxious to hear more about the improvements, your upgrade did. Did you have a chance to audition before buying? I'm still asking myself, what investment would brings a higher return in SQ

- upgrading to a NKDSMH (a better clock, et al.), or

- upgrading to a KExaktbox Organik (a better DAC, and output drivers)

Hopefully, I'll be given the opportunity to do an experiment at my dealer's in a few weeks.

Cheers, TMCW

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4 hours ago, TooManyCatweazles said:

sorry for asking a bit OT, but as you have a similar system (5140s, AExaktbox), I'm really anxious to hear more about the improvements, your upgrade did. Did you have a chance to audition before buying? I'm still asking myself, what investment would brings a higher return in SQ

- upgrading to a NKDSMH (a better clock, et al.), or

- upgrading to a KExaktbox Organik (a better DAC, and output drivers)

Hopefully, I'll be given the opportunity to do an experiment at my dealer's in a few weeks.

Cheers, TMCW

Hi there, yes did an addition of the NKDSM at a dealer. Unfortunately I didnt have the luxury to audit in my own system so not a real apples to apples comparison. But friend of mine upgraded his Exaktbox from Katalyst to Organik and trusted his opinion. I had the chance to hear the old Klimax DSM and the new generation in a straight forward comparison. The difference was quite significant and with my ears, I heard more clarity, more controled bass and more 'peaceful' sound stage. I was really impressed.

I got the recommendation to upgrade the Exaktbox first and then the SH. But from what i understand from the ones that really know what they're talking about, the improvement is for 40% in the new Organik DAC and 60% in the new housing/power supply. 

Once i have the converters from XLR to RCA, I'll report back on the improvement in my system! 

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17 hours ago, Elad Repooc said:

You should be able to de-solder the XLR or RCA from a Linn Silver on one end and make an XLR>RCA cable using the Linn Silver. I remember doing this a couple of times in the past. If memory serves, you just need to ensure that the hot pin on the XLR end is connected to the same lead as the conductor pin on the RCA end, and you can connect the other conductor lead (Silver is a balanced cable) as well as the neutral/ground (shield) to the collar of the RCA. It takes a bit of work and a soldering iron but have done this with a couple of setups in the past and it worked just fine.

Thanks! This is too technical for me to be honest, i wouldnt dare. 

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On 01/09/2021 at 17:17, Coalboy68 said:

My KDSM came with converters from linn for the balanced outputs to RCA so would be my option. Just plug in to the XLR ports and then use your existing RCAs

Those parts were supplied by Linn, and came in the box?

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1 hour ago, Jail4CEOs2 said:

Those parts were supplied by Linn, and came in the box?

Yes I will take a photo at some point. All the boxes are in the loft. 

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On 05/09/2021 at 14:09, frans5508 said:

Thanks! This is too technical for me to be honest, i wouldnt dare. 

This is why it's best to consult with a Linn specialist (i.e. dealer, retailer, or distributor) for things of this nature. It may take some time, but typically you will find the dealers quite helpful.

Though personally, I would try to keep things XLR all the way through. Or vice versa, RCA. Converting one to the other can sometimes be a compromise, depending on the overall setup.

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On 11/09/2021 at 01:45, Jail4CEOs2 said:

Those parts were supplied by Linn, and came in the box?

I have seen this but I am not sure it's a consistent thing, based on my recollection. It seemed a bit random when they were included. 

On 11/09/2021 at 02:54, Coalboy68 said:

Yes I will take a photo at some point. All the boxes are in the loft. 

It would be interesting to compare notes with others on this. As I said I remember seeing converters included but I can't recall how consistent it was. 

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