Balanced to unbalanced and visa versa

Headcoat

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Pondering a potentially easy solution to a source and amp select problem.

I use a Schiit Lokius before my amps (speaker and headphone amps). My integrated doesn't have power in or audio out, which means lots of switching of cables for source and amp select.

Just realised the Lokius has both unbalanced and balanced input and output i.e. two inputs and two outputs.

Could a 2 x rca to balanced male be run from a source into the balanced input on the Lokius, and a balanced female to 2 x rca from the balanced output to one of the amps?

Are there any issues to consider with balanced to unbalanced cables, obviously it will make the balanced signal unbalanced but that's of no concern to me.

The Lokius has both outputs on at all times, input is selected via a switch in the front.
 

Non-Smoking Man

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There arent any issues with that.
It may sound better and be more convenient to some extent but the watchword with balanced and unbalanced is that the full benefits of balanced connection is its best if all the way through.

I use to run the horns with hybrid connections so I have Van Damme cables that do just what you say. I was asked about them from a Wammer so I dug them out. I have a 2 meter pair male XLR to RCA which could be useful (or 1m each in both the formats you need.

Jack NSM
 
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Headcoat

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There arent any issues with that.
It may sound better and be more convenient to some extent but the watchword with balanced and unbalanced is that the full benefits of balanced connection is its best if all the way through.

I use to run the horns with hybrid connections so I have Van Damme cables that do just what you say. I was asked about them from a Wammer so I dug them out. I have a 2 meter pair male XLR to RCA which could be useful (or 1m each in both the formats you need.

Jack NSM
Cheers. I'd take you up on the Van Damme's but have audio-nervosa re. cables with silver! It's no doubt psycho acoustic but incurable, hence moved away from Van Damme.

Thanks again.
 
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zeta4

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Balanced interconnects and balanced working within electronics are two different things. Balanced interconnects are for reducing
noise pick up and balanced working with electronics is primarily for reducing even order distortion. So you could use single ended
ie non balanced interconnects with balanced electronics and vice versa and get different results..
 

Headcoat

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Balanced interconnects and balanced working within electronics are two different things. Balanced interconnects are for reducing
noise pick up and balanced working with electronics is primarily for reducing even order distortion. So you could use single ended
ie non balanced interconnects with balanced electronics and vice versa and get different results..
Sorry, that makes no sense in relation to my question... ?
 

Headcoat

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So, reading around it seems there *can* be two issues, both of which are beyond the limit of my knowledge:

- The cable can be wrongly grounded and with approx. 1% might cause an issue and damage to kit
- The balanced output can be above that anticipated by the RCA in e.g. 4v from a DAC via balanced rather than the 2v maximum recommended for RCA input. Result clipping and little control over volume.

On the second point, both source outputs will be via RCA (and I assume therefore not over 2v). One source output will go to the Lokius balanced input, and the other to the Lokius unbalanced input.

The Lokius will then output to the RCA ins on a headphone amp and also an integrated, one via balanced and the other via unbalanced at the Lokius output. I assume the Lokius doesn't up the voltage from the original source input, is that right?

All I can find is a maximum output for the two Lokius outputs, as follows: Maximum Output: 10V RMS (SE), 20V RMS (balanced)

I guess that suggests I'm right in assuming the Lokius output at balanced and unbalanced is dictated by the source input selected...

Any thoughts from the Wam knowledge base on either of these possible issues?

Here's a thread at everyone's favourite forum regrading this:
https://www.******************.com/forum/index.php?threads/safe-xlr-to-rca-cable.18714/
 

zeta4

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Balanced interconnects and balanced working within electronics are two different things. Balanced interconnects are for reducing
noise pick up and balanced working with electronics is primarily for reducing even order distortion. So you could use single ended
ie non balanced interconnects with balanced electronics and vice versa and get different results..
I was expanding on a comment that "balanced working is considered best if used all the way through " rather than answering your question directly.
Sorry if it didnt help.
 
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Headcoat

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I was expanding on a comment that "balanced working is considered best if used all the way through " rather than answering your question directly.
Sorry if it didnt help.
No problem, I was just a little confused trying to relate your comment to the original question. Understood, balanced all the way or it's unbalanced.

Came across some info. suggesting balanced to unbalanced cables can create various sq issues. Colour me even more confused after reading that.

If anyone wants to chip in re. 1. sq degradation via balanced to unbalanced cables 2. potential issues around higher v rms output from balanced to unbalanced cables in a set up where both original sources come from an unbalanced output but one of the outputs from the Lokius will be from a balanced output on the Lokius and 3. issues around grounding inside the balanced - unbalanced cable... then that'd help me proceed.

For now, I've held off ordering the cables.
 

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