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harry_t's picture
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rca vs xlr connection
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Hi all,

 

i currently use rca cables to connect my new streamer pro-ject stream box rs with the primare a30.1 integrated amp. I'm very satisfied with the sound i get but since i bought the streamer 4 days ago i will wait 1 month and then try also the xlr connection. What do you think? Will i notice any sound improvement? Thank you in advance.

 

Regards,

 

Harry

 

P.S. There is a huge difference in sound between stream box ds net & stream box rs

nopiano's picture
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RE: rca vs xlr connection

By coincidence, I had just been reading part of an instruction manual before seeing your post.  It says:-

 

Preference should be given to the XLR connectors since they may provide better noise rejection and signal integrity 

 

 

That is probably as good as any explanation.  The balanced connections were originally for studios where they had to tolerate being connected and disconnected a lot (so are stronger) and often run over long distances (think stage to mixing desk).  Neither applies at home, but it's usually recommended to use it when you have the choice - as I do from CD to my amp.  Bear in mind the cables can be pretty costly so choose carefully, preferably on sale or return.

I've no idea if you will hear something, and if you do whether you will prefer it.  Those who believe in expectation bias will expect it to sound much better because you think it will!  Do let us know...  

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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RE: rca vs xlr connection

I like balanced XLR connections as they seem to be less cable fussy and you can unplug and replug equipment without having to turn your amplification off. A pair of XLR leads will only cost you £5. You might as well try them.

harry_t's picture
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RE: rca vs xlr connection

Thanks for your replies!

 

 

Harry

 

 

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RE: rca vs xlr connection

The benefits for XLR over RCA are a more secure connection and rejection of electrical interferance due to close proximity of other current carrying cables.

These only apply though, if both ends of your equipment are balanced.

Sound quality is otherwise unaffected.

XLR/balanced connections come into their own in an electrically noisy environment and for runs in excess of 5m.

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RE: rca vs xlr connection

Go to somewhere like www.studiospares.com and get some with Neutrik connectors, and you won't go far wrong, for very little money.

 

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RE: rca vs xlr connection

Sound quality of XLR is subjective. One thing you will notice is XLR sounds louder than RCA. I use it between my DAC and amp and also from CDT to DAC with excellent result. But it may not be for everyone.

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