Balanced XLR vs. unbalanced RCA analog outputs

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SalR406
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:40 pm

Balanced XLR vs. unbalanced RCA analog outputs

Post by SalR406 »

I'm interested in using my M1SE as a source feeding a single-ended triode (SET) tube amplifier. The amp has only unbalanced RCA inputs. I could connect the unbalanced RCA outputs of the M1SE directly to these amp inputs. Or I could connect the balanced XLR outputs of the M1SE to some kind of conversion device, such as a Jensen Iso-Max PC-2XR, and then connect the conversion device via RCA to the amp. Would you anticipate any performance difference between these two approaches that would recommend one over the other? Does the first approach using the M1SE RCA outputs mean I'd be wasting half the balanced circuit design of the M1SE?
Bricasti M1SE | Benchmark HPA4 | Focal Utopia | Genelec 8030C | roon
indranilsen
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:28 am

Re: Balanced XLR vs. unbalanced RCA analog outputs

Post by indranilsen »

Hello,
If you use an unbalanced connection or a bridged connection like using a balanced to unbalanced adapter you are not going to get the benefit of common mode rejection of noise. Whether that makes a significant difference in the audio performance is debatable like anything it is in audio. For a shorter length of the interconnect cable run you might not find any difference and it's definitely worth a try. Unfortunately there is no absolute yes or no answer in this audio domain and perhaps this uncertainty keeps the audiophile community entertained....
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bricastibrian
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Re: Balanced XLR vs. unbalanced RCA analog outputs

Post by bricastibrian »

the RCA out of the M1 is made for this use, you can just use it. If you wanted to use the balanced out of the M1 you can use a simple XLR to RCA adapter or cable, do not use a transformer, the adapter does the same thing to the balanced out as the RCA out of the M1, it takes the negative to ground to create the return, so you end up with the same positive and ground same as the RCA out, thus its unbalanced. We made the 2 outputs with separate buffers so each one was made to be used as needed without having to adapt on to the other and they can be used at the same time to drive different devices like amps or preamps. so use the RCA out and reserve the balanced out for use with a balanced input.
Current setup: Platinum Series M20, M21, Classic M28s, Tidal Piano G2 Diacera, Gotham AG Power, Bricasti Solid CC Interconnects, Bricasti SF8 Speaker Cable.
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SalR406
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:40 pm

Re: Balanced XLR vs. unbalanced RCA analog outputs

Post by SalR406 »

Perfect. I will use the RCA outputs of the M1. Thank you both for responding.
Bricasti M1SE | Benchmark HPA4 | Focal Utopia | Genelec 8030C | roon
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