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El Hefe's picture
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XLR vs RCA
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Hi, I have just got myself into trying out XLR connection as opposed to RCA. I am currently testing out 2 models of XLR ICs from VDH. I am using it between MF M1 DAC and MF M6i integrated amp. Besides relying on my ears to compare the sound, what would be the technical explanation of XLR being superior than RCA?

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Re: XLR vs RCA

XLRs have 2 signals which cancel out noise. RCAs dont do this so any noise in the signal stays in the signal


However, for XLRs to work, the whole system must be balanced (so the source an the amp must be truly balanced). Many components are not truly balanced designs, and so convert at some point (In which case standard RCAs are better)


XLRs are generally preferred for long runs (over 3meters)

El Hefe's picture
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Re: XLR vs RCA

Thanks Alienrik,

When u say that source must be balanced as well, can mine be considered balanced as well?

XRay V3 to M1 DAC via coaxial then to M6i via XLR?

Secondly, if XLR is good for length of more than 3 metres, why are the manufacturers selling them in 1 metre length?

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Re: XLR vs RCA

I believe the M1 DAC and M6i are fully balanced for XLR


And I apologise, I made it sound like they were no good for short lengths. XLRs are fine for short lengths as are RCAs, XLRs are preferred for long lengths

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Re: XLR vs RCA

I can definitely vouch for XLR supremacy over RCA(at least for my system). I spent the weekend listening to my set up using the XLR and it just blew me away. I was expecting to get the same trait from my new amp as per my home demo (using RCA). But when listening using XLR, it is just much more detailed and tonally balanced in all aspects. OK, I might exagerate a bit but it is definitely sound better than RCA.

El Hefe's picture
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Re: XLR vs RCA

After listening to the set up for a few days, I noticed that the sound level from XLR is somehow amplified. I just need to put the volume knob at 8 o'clock and it is as loud as when I use RCA connection at 9 o'clock on the volume knob.
Is this normal?

XLR however does give more detail in low and high ends. The tone is definitely balanced with minimal sign of bloatness. Vocal transparency is evident.

However, on certain type of music, I still prefer the RCA connection via the X10v3 tube buffer.

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Re: XLR vs RCA

XLRs do run at at a different voltage to RCAs, so thats quite normal

El Hefe's picture
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Re: XLR vs RCA

Thanks alienerik,

See how much I know about XLR !!!!

I need to read up some of this stuff. ANy good reference?

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Re: XLR vs RCA

Cant say as ive really come across anything really in depth on XLRs

And even if I had, chances are it would go against the site rules so couldnt post it anyways

Sorry

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Re: XLR vs RCA

I found that the Atlas cables website has a fairly good reference section on cables including  the differences between balanced, non balanced & pseudo balanced cables.  It does not go into any great depth though.


http://www.atlascables.com/index.php?id=75

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