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Old 04-13-2020, 11:09 PM
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Stahle Stahle is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oregon
Posts: 666
Default Simaudio XLR vs RCA Output Level

I recently acquired a Simaudio 300D V2 DAC and I have discovered that the XLR outputs from the DAC are audibly lower than those from the RCA outputs. It's not a subtle difference either. My preamp is the McIntosh C22III and if you assume that the volume control knob is a clock with the volume knob being able to go from 7:00 all the way around to 5:00, I would have to increase the volume knob to around 10:00 with XLR cables to get the same output as that by RCA cables when the volume knob is at 9:00.

I contacted a friend of mine that has a different Simaudio DAC, I can't remember which model but it's newer than mine. Anyway, his is connected to his McIntosh C2300 preamp and he is experiencing same issue. I always thought that the XLR outputs should have the same or higher output level than the RCA output from the same unit. Anyone else experience this?

My concern is that by using XLR cables, it will require more work for my preamp over the long run because I would always be using more gain.

FYI, it didn't matter what quality of cables I was using, they all had the same affect.
McIntosh MC462, C22 IV, and MR7084; Simaudio Moon 300D V2 DAC; Technics SL1200G, Mac Mini Server; Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home; and Wireworld Cables.

Last edited by Stahle; 04-13-2020 at 11:24 PM.
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