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Old 07-04-2018, 11:25 AM
Blackstone Blackstone is offline
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Default Single Ended to Balanced Cables

I have QX-5 Twenty and AX-5 Twenty. Between the two units is single ended interconnect. I am told balanced is the way to go.

Has anyone made the change from single ended to balanced cables and if so, could you describe the change in sound? Thank you.
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:45 PM
Rex Anderson Rex Anderson is offline
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For the cost of a pair of XLR cables, you should try it for yourself and see which you like better.

Some folks say single ended sounds better sometimes.

You can get some Mogami 2549 XLR cables made by Redco, not expensive, but very good cable. If you like the sound of balanced connection better, you can go down the rabbit hole of "better" (read: more expensive) balanced cable.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:06 PM
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Unless you use the same cable for both balance and single ended interconnects, it is not really a fair comparison.

I have always felt that balanced cables sound quieter in my system. But I think it depends on whether your gear is truly balanced or not. My gear is truly balanced and balanced cables sound better to me.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:29 PM
Rex Anderson Rex Anderson is offline
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You can make unbalanced cables using any balanced cable if you feel the cable itself makes a difference.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:36 AM
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Not all single ended cables can be made into truly balanced cables from what I was told. Sure you can take the RCA connectors off and slap on a pair of XLRs but you might not get a truly balanced cable.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCAudiophile View Post
Not all single ended cables can be made into truly balanced cables from what I was told. Sure you can take the RCA connectors off and slap on a pair of XLRs but you might not get a truly balanced cable.
That's true, for example a coaxial single ended cable cannot be made into a balanced cable since it only has two conductors. On the other hand a balanced cable (which has to have at least three conductors) can be made into a single ended cable by combining some conductors.
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:58 AM
GSOphile GSOphile is online now
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I believe most Ayre gear is fully balanced internally, a premium design with double the components vs. single ended. So if you use a single ended cable to communicate with a fully balanced unit, the single ended signal will be converted to balanced internally before it's processed (and converted to single ended prior to output on single ended cable) - unnecessary step(s) if you use balanced interconnects. The reverse is also true of other manufacturers who offer balanced connections into units that are not fully balanced internally. This is one reason why manufacturers (other than for long cable runs, which favor balanced) may favor one interconnect implementation over the other.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:42 PM
Rex Anderson Rex Anderson is offline
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What would be the benefit of balancing the unbalanced line at the input of the next stage? The idea is to use a balanced line from the source output to the next stage input so it is balanced all the way. You're trying to keep the path balanced from output to input to avoid hum and RF being induced in the cable. If the signal is unbalanced at the source output and using unbalanced cable to the next stage input, what's the point of turning it into a balanced signal once it's in there?
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:22 PM
GSOphile GSOphile is online now
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If both components are fully balanced internally, there is no point in using an unbalanced IC (and forcing each component to do an internal conversion). Likewise, if both components are single ended internally, there is no point in using a balanced cable to connect them (unless there is an overriding need to take advantage of a balanced cable's noise cancellation properties over a long cable run). This was the point I was trying to make.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:33 PM
Rex Anderson Rex Anderson is offline
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I understand. Blackstone's original question is whether to use unbalanced or balanced interconnects and he's using unbalanced now.

It seems he should be using balanced. Thanks for clarifying how Ayre handles it's inputs.

Last edited by Rex Anderson; 07-07-2018 at 10:18 PM.
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