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

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

  1. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    You can have 240W/8 OHM from his Modulus 686.

    360 W (4 Ω), 240 W (8 Ω) balanced composite amplifier achieving 0.00025 % THD+N
  2. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    I can live with 'increased' distortion of 0.00043%.
    Strictly Stereo likes this.
  3. radamel

    radamel Music Fiend

    That could certainly be considered high power IMO.

    But 60w @ 8ohm? I guess they should alter their marketing talk for the sake of credibility.
  4. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    But Tom also designs valve amps with a 10W output so use of the term high power depends on how many Watts you listen to.

    My Mod 86 Parallel is run as bridged monoblocks so roughly double that.

    From his build guide.

  5. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    No it's fora... cos I say so:D
  6. radamel

    radamel Music Fiend

    Hehehe... That's a good one!
  7. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Only fora short while.:D
  8. demotivated

    demotivated pfm Member

    Those DAC articles about why they use very high output levels to make their S/N figures more exciting, avoid the fact that the level is far more than the input level of a power amp, so it needs to be cut back with a pot, with more noise added back in. Granted any noise on the cable from DAC to amp is reduced when you do that, but so what? Noise levels in hifi are not a problem to me.
  9. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    I used to think the same until I reduced my 'noise levels' in several stages.
    Each time I was presented with the darker blackness and lifted veils that people describe.
    The noise I refer to cannot be heard just by listening to your speakers with no signal, it does not manifest as a hiss or buzz.

    Even the smallest amount of noise from your source is amplified 10/20 fold in your amplifier.

    It is noise that was not on the original recording and not what I wish to listen to.

    You may have noticed from the above Benchmark and Mytek links that the pro-audio community go to even higher levels of differential signal transmission than we do. - Must be for a reason?

    Maybe because they have noisier environments and longer cable runs ;)
  10. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    The OP's power amp has assignable input sensitivity levels of 2/4/8 V RMS for this reason, I asked him and he posted the details on page 3 of this thread.

    Though as with all these cable threads no one seems interested in much detail.
    It's all about which camp you are in.

    If we actually had some sensible debate about input/output voltages and general system gain structure we might actually make some progress.
  11. audiopile

    audiopile pfm Member

    In my home hi-fi system - the easiest way to get rid of the very slight residual hum is switch to balanced between amps and pre-amp -changing nothing else. Pre is a Benchmark DAC-3 hgc and the lower noise floor holds true for either running into a pair of Wyred 4 Sound mAMP s or a Bryston 9BST/as sold by Lexicon - the hum on unbalanced is very slight but completely gone to my ol nun handles when hooked up balanced. Noise is the reason pro-sound went balanced for most everything 50+ years ago. Do i hear any other qualitative difference between XLR balanced or RCA single ended with this set up -not so far.But I am lazy and if I can just plug in a 15 buck balanced cable and it drops my noise threshold - good 'nuff fer me.
  12. davidjt

    davidjt pfm Member

    There's an informative article titled 'Balanced Versus Unbalanced' by John Siau, Benchmark's Director of Engineering in the current issue of 'Enjoy The Music'.

    Nothing to do with cables. ;)
  13. Joe

    Joe pfm Member

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  14. John Phillips

    John Phillips pfm Member

    That is a really good article. Well, at least it corresponds with my own engineering prejudices regarding optimum signal and noise levels in the line-up of a high dynamic range audio system.

    Certainly it's intended to put Benchmark in a good light, but it does so using good engineering practice.

    One should not conclude that unbalanced signals, unbalanced systems and unbalanced interconnects are unsuitable. They can still be engineered well enough for most purposes although you have to deal with potential imperfections at a higher level.

    We have sources available to us today with extremely good dynamic range. So it pays to look very carefully at how to keep it.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018

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