Pre to Amp. XLR or RCA, Which is better?

Noob here to balanced inputs. Now that I have amps and pre with XLR connections I would like to know if I can expect any noticable improvement. I am currently using a good set of "Acoustic Research Pro series directional balanced line audio cables".

Thoughts?
Home System: see
SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
800 Va Dreadnought
B&K Reference 50 Pre
B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
Cambridge Audio DVD 99
Sangean HD FM Tuner

Barn system:
SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
Carver C-1 pre
Carver M1.5t

Comments

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 5,210
    edited April 2018
    Generally it depends on the way that the balanced connectors are integrated, and if it is a truly balanced design.
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 12,054
    YES to ^^^^^
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,378
    agreed, just because a piece has balanced connections, doesn't make it a completely balanced circuit.

    As always, try for yourself and find out, but...I might opt for some better cables than those AR's.
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  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 602
    How am I supposed to know if it is"truly balanced" then? Tony, if you think the cables I have need upgraded, where should I start? What's a good compromise between budget (say $100) and quality?

    Thanks all!
    Home System: see
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    800 Va Dreadnought
    B&K Reference 50 Pre
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    Cambridge Audio DVD 99
    Sangean HD FM Tuner

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 5,210
    Try out some inexpensive XLR cables from Monoprice and see what you think of the sound of the balanced connection. Probably the cheapest way to proceed.

    https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=4754
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 602
    Ok. Ordered some from Monoprice. I also have another set of RCA' s I found. No name on them but they look like good quality and appear shielded. I'll give them a try too
    Home System: see
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    800 Va Dreadnought
    B&K Reference 50 Pre
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    Cambridge Audio DVD 99
    Sangean HD FM Tuner

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 5,210
    Cool. Interested to hear your thoughts. I use those XLR cables to hook up my powered monitors! :)
    audioluvr wrote: »
    Ok. Ordered some from Monoprice. I also have another set of RCA' s I found. No name on them but they look like good quality and appear shielded. I'll give them a try too

    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 602
    So I hooked up the name cables and either it's the placebo effect or the high frequencies have just been turned up a notch! Can't wait to see what new XLR's will do!
    Home System: see
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    800 Va Dreadnought
    B&K Reference 50 Pre
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    Cambridge Audio DVD 99
    Sangean HD FM Tuner

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 12,054
    So you go from AR to Monoprice seems a sideways move to me. I wouldn't buy monoprice anything. We use them at work and the failure rate is very high.
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 4,722
    I dont think he went sideways, I think he got some Monoprice XLR's. If that is in fact sideways I'll be a onkeys muncle
    Parlor: ifi iDSD Micro*Yamaha RX-A2030*Parasound Halo P5*Parasound Halo A-31*Parasound 2250v2*Emotiva XPA-200 Gen1*LSiM707 Fronts*LSiM706c Center*LSiM702f/x Surrounds*Monitor70 Series II Rears*Monitor40 Series II Presence*SVS PB2000 Sub X2*OPPO BDP-103D*Sony PS3*Samsung-55" LED 1080p Smart 3D HDTV UN55H7150AFXZA*TEAC TN-300*Wireworld Solstice cables* Wireworld Stratus power cables*Blue Jeans Cable LC-1's IC's*BJC Silver-Plated IC's* Bens Silver IC's

    Dungeon: Dancer Mini-Two Diamond*Auralic Aries Mini*Dayens Ampino Preamp*Dayens Ampino Monoblocks*North Star Intenso DAC*Wireworld Oasis cables*Wireworld Oasis IC's*Wireworld Aurora power cables*IFI nano IDSD bl*Pangea Silver USB*Cambridge CXU*

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    Mr. Sharpe wrote: »
    Meh these were extra $70 as an open box item so it didn’t much to me either way:)

    Modern physics would have us believe that the universe is made up of quarks, gluons, photons -- and morons

    Jesus H. C H R I S T - Afterburner - can you ever be courteous and stay on topic. If you want to blather on about "Family Affair" start your own dam thread! I get tired of your inane comments. You're not clever and you're not funny and most time you're posts are completely irrelevant to the topic.
  • voltzvoltz Posts: 5,009
    Also Audio Advisor's has some Pangea's they just started selling

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGIXCA
    2 ch- Polk CRS+ * Vincent SA-31MK Preamp * Vincent Sp-331 Amp * Marantz SA8005 SACD * Project Xperience Classic TT * Sumiko Blue Point #2 MC cartridge

    HT - Polk 703's * NAD T-758 * Adcom 5503 * Oppo 103 * Samsung 60" series 8 LCD
  • gmcmangmcman Posts: 1,312
    edited April 2018
    audioluvr wrote: »
    I am currently using a good set of "Acoustic Research Pro series directional balanced line audio cables".

    Thoughts?

    I used those once, until they removed an outer shield of one of my board mounted RCA terminals.

    If those have a tight grip also I would use them carefully.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 12,054
    edited April 2018
    gmcman wrote: »
    audioluvr wrote: »
    I am currently using a good set of "Acoustic Research Pro series directional balanced line audio cables".

    Thoughts?

    I used those once, until they removed an outer shield of one of my board mounted RCA terminals.

    If those have a tight grip also I would use them carefully.

    That is not a problem with XLR. They lock in and use a ground pin unlike RCA
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 602
    gmcman wrote: »
    audioluvr wrote: »
    I am currently using a good set of "Acoustic Research Pro series directional balanced line audio cables".

    Thoughts?

    I used those once, until they removed an outer shield of one of my board mounted RCA terminals.

    If those have a tight grip also I would use them carefully.

    Yes they are quite tight. I twist them as I take them on and off
    Home System: see
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    800 Va Dreadnought
    B&K Reference 50 Pre
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    Cambridge Audio DVD 99
    Sangean HD FM Tuner

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
  • DaveHoDaveHo Posts: 2,051
    I use these between my Oppo 205 & Parasound P5. They are nice & won't break the bank.

    cullencable.com/copper-series-xlr/
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 5,210
    Nice suggestion and possible upgrade path if he likes the sound of the XLR connection with the Monoprice wires.
    DaveHo wrote: »
    I use these between my Oppo 205 & Parasound P5. They are nice & won't break the bank.

    cullencable.com/copper-series-xlr/

    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 602
    DaveHo wrote: »
    I use these between my Oppo 205 & Parasound P5. They are nice & won't break the bank.

    cullencable.com/copper-series-xlr/

    Thanks Dave! That's perfect! Just under budget too!
    Home System: see
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    800 Va Dreadnought
    B&K Reference 50 Pre
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    Cambridge Audio DVD 99
    Sangean HD FM Tuner

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,204
    edited April 2018
    tonyb wrote: »
    agreed, just because [your equipment] has balanced connections, doesn't make it a completely balanced circuit.
    this refers to your gear, not the cables
    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
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  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,204
    edited April 2018
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    We use them at work and the failure rate is very high.
    is “them” XLR cables?

    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 976 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, DirecTV Rcvr, Xbox 360, Dennon LDP, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside & out

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7. Woofers, Rotel 98X amp; M & T, P'sound HCA-1000
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: 1 Evidence at each corner
    Surrounds: Hafler XL280 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3*
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
    *Bi-amped by years end
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 12,054
    edited April 2018
    gp4jesus wrote: »
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    We use them at work and the failure rate is very high.
    is “them” XLR cables?

    Monoprice interconnects in general. HDMI, RCA but no XLR stuff.

    gp4jesus wrote: »
    tonyb wrote: »
    agreed, just because [your equipment] has balanced connections, doesn't make it a completely balanced circuit.
    this refers to your gear, not the cables

    Yes not all gear with balanced inputs/outputs is a balanced topology inside.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 5,210
    How'd it go with the Monoprice XLRs?
    audioluvr wrote: »
    Ok. Ordered some from Monoprice. I also have another set of RCA' s I found. No name on them but they look like good quality and appear shielded. I'll give them a try too

    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 602
    I could not tell the difference between the XLR's and the RCA's I have. Could just be my poor old ears have finally hit their sonic limit.
    Home System: see
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    800 Va Dreadnought
    B&K Reference 50 Pre
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    Cambridge Audio DVD 99
    Sangean HD FM Tuner

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 5,210
    Perhaps. Or it's possible that the way the XLR connectors are implemented on the B&K amps aren't dramatically different/better than the RCAs.

    Another possibility is that the Monoprice cables are "not good". But you didn't mention that they detracted or took anything away from the sound.
    audioluvr wrote: »
    I could not tell the difference between the XLR's and the RCA's I have. Could just be my poor old ears have finally hit their sonic limit.

    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • motorstereomotorstereo Posts: 919
    On my gear I have a choice of either xlr and rca connections. The specs show there's 4db better s/n using the xlr's. With that and a more solid connection with the xlr's I use balanced where ever I can.
    Does it make a difference in the sound? Nothing startling that jumps out at me. The biggest change I've noticed is a quieter background. It seems like a no-brainer to me to use the xlr's and I'll gladly take that 4db difference for just a simple cable swap.
  • gmcmangmcman Posts: 1,312
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    gmcman wrote: »
    audioluvr wrote: »
    I am currently using a good set of "Acoustic Research Pro series directional balanced line audio cables".

    Thoughts?

    I used those once, until they removed an outer shield of one of my board mounted RCA terminals.

    If those have a tight grip also I would use them carefully.

    That is not a problem with XLR. They lock in and use a ground pin unlike RCA

    Correct, I mis-read his post and was referring to the un-balanced AR RCA's which had a death grip on the ones I used once before.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,924
    balanced interconnects can cancel out common-mode noise and (of course) are also shielded.

    http://www.rane.com/note110.html
    http://www.rane.com/note151.html
    http://web.mit.edu/jhawk/tmp/p/EST016_Ground_Loops_handout.pdf
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,492
    I have been very happy with how my Signal Cable analog 2 XLR's compared to my former Hero WBT RCA's. SC's = $59, Hero's = $329! I run them from my Benchmark DAC2 to my Parasound A21 amp.

    icw7zwiw4s0a.jpg


    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Kimber Hero XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; Belden 1694A Dig Coax | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM
  • helipilotdoughelipilotdoug Posts: 1,186
    If you are looking for a great bang for the buck balanced interconnect cables, please take a look at our Bravo XLR IC's with Vampire Wire XLRF and XLRM connectors. At $139 for a 3 ft. pair, I'll just about put them up against anything else out there. Of course Polkies get a 10% discount too :)
    Sunfire Theater Grand IV
    Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature
    SRS 2.1TL
    SDA 2BTL's
    CSiA6
    FXiA4
    FXiA6
    SDA 2A's
    Monitor 10A's

    http://www.douglasconnection.com
  • rburgess714rburgess714 Posts: 319
    If you are looking for a great bang for the buck balanced interconnect cables, please take a look at our Bravo XLR IC's with Vampire Wire XLRF and XLRM connectors. At $139 for a 3 ft. pair, I'll just about put them up against anything else out there. Of course Polkies get a 10% discount too :)

    Hey Doug - I received mine today and they look great and sound even better.
    Living Room
    Yamaha Aventage RX-A 1060, Parasound P5, Parasound A23, Yamaha BD-S681, Auralic Aries Mini, Polk S60, Polk S30, Samsung 60" LED

    Office
    B&K Ref 50, B&K 200.2, Chromecast, LSiM 703s

    Douglas Connection ICs and Cables
  • helipilotdoughelipilotdoug Posts: 1,186
    If you are looking for a great bang for the buck balanced interconnect cables, please take a look at our Bravo XLR IC's with Vampire Wire XLRF and XLRM connectors. At $139 for a 3 ft. pair, I'll just about put them up against anything else out there. Of course Polkies get a 10% discount too :)

    Hey Doug - I received mine today and they look great and sound even better.
    Thanks Ray. Glad to hear they arrived and you are a happy camper. :)
    Sunfire Theater Grand IV
    Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature
    SRS 2.1TL
    SDA 2BTL's
    CSiA6
    FXiA4
    FXiA6
    SDA 2A's
    Monitor 10A's

    http://www.douglasconnection.com
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