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‘Unbalanced is Best'? a comparison of balanced and unbalanced

Discussion in 'audio' started by duckworp, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. AndyU

    AndyU pfm Member

    The more people that leave this thread the better.
  2. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Jez, unless you're talking about Roman market places, it's FORUMS
  3. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    Jeez, talk about pompous! But he won't see this as he's out.
    Watch this space.:p
  4. mikemusic

    mikemusic pfm Member

    Comparing the excellent VFM Yannis Tome cables between my Rega Isis CD and Pass Labs XP-20..
    The XLR was noticeably better than RCA
  5. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member


    This thread is about the reported differences experienced between the use of balanced and single ended interconnects between components that support both. Duckdorp brought up some absurd interconnects and associated nonsense, but that's a side issue.

    Jolly good.
  6. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    If I can catch you before you are out of the door, I was wondering whether you could enlighten me on the typical topology for Xlr only active speakers (eg atcs). Would they just be using a balancing transformer input to a typical unbalanced power amp, or something else.
  7. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    ATCs have an op-amp based input (the 'discrete' versions have similar topology I think). Good old NE5532 types IIRC.
  8. demotivated

    demotivated pfm Member

    linnfomaniac83 likes this.
  9. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

  10. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Yes but if they just used decent mains cables there would not be any 'noise' to worry about.:rolleyes:

    Great article but far too technical for the 'I believe' brigade.

    There are some consumer products that have "balanced" inputs with a CMRR of 0 dB. Let's just call these "fake" balanced inputs. The input is equipped with an XLR connector, but the - pin (pin 3) is ignored. These are just unbalanced inputs wired to an XLR connector. They offer no advantage over unbalanced RCA inputs. In most cases, pin 2 of the XLR is tied directly to the center contact of a nearby RCA input. This makes the XLR jack nothing more than an adapter.

    Thus helping propagate the beliefs in the OP. that unbalanced is best. Though a ? was added to the thread title later.
  11. abbydog

    abbydog pfm Member

    And you own the language now, do you?

    “The thing that is oft overlooked is that as language changes, the rules that govern it change as well.”

    But I’m sure you’ll correct me.

  12. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    Benchmark DAC3

  13. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    The above graphs and the associated articles both outline that the improvments in snr are related to the signal being hotter not the use of balanced.
    In fact the article admits that there is a 3db reduction in snr due to the use of balanced that would render it worse but for the +24DBU gain advantage.
    Quite aside from the noise performance, the increased component count will increase distortion on the balanced connection, a point also conceded in the article.
  14. radamel

    radamel Music Fiend

    Interesting. My DAC, a Mytek Brooklyn, has quite hot output levels (4.9v single ended IIRC).

    Could this be the best of both worlds considering that I use very short single ended interconnects?
  15. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    I see neither a high component count or high distortion level on my amps.

    Key features of the Parallel-86:

    • Ultra-low 0.00012 % THD (1 W, 8 Ω, 1 kHz).
    • Ultra-low 0.00020 % THD (55 W, 8 Ω, 1 kHz).
    • Ultra-low 0.00043 % THD+N (55 W, 8 Ω, 1 kHz).
    • 60 W output power into 8 Ω.
    • 120 W output power into 4 Ω.
    • Ideally suited for high-power amplification.
    • Differential input with nearly 90 dB CMRR eliminates hum and ground loop issues.
    • Phenomenal power supply rejection ensures consistent, high performance even using unregulated power supplies.
    • Elaborate use of planes and copper pours to maximize circuit performance by minimizing supply and ground impedances.
    • Low-inductance signal ground connects to power ground at one point only for maximum performance.
    • On-board Zobel and Thiele networks for maximum stability even with capacitive loads.
    • On-board EMI/RFI input filter and ESD protection.
    • On-board low noise voltage regulators for the driver op-amp and DC servo.
    • Power and output terminal blocks accept wire sizes up to AWG 10 (5.2 mm2).
    • All leaded. Easy to solder. 98 × 85 mm board footprint.
    • Bill-of-materials includes a Mouser Electronics Project Link as well as Digikey part numbers.
    An assembled Parallel-86 board is shown below. This is the exact board used for characterization of the circuit and measurements posted here.

  16. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    My MDAC has Balanced out 4.5V, the OP has 6V.
    My MDAC has unbalanced 2.25V the OP has 2V.
  17. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    Who said high? I said increased!
    radamel likes this.
  18. radamel

    radamel Music Fiend

    How is it "ideally suited for high power amplification" with max 60w output power at 8ohm?

    Or is it just some marketing meaningless talk?
  19. radamel

    radamel Music Fiend

  20. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

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