Have your say & ask the experts!

What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

46 replies [Last post]
Electro's picture
Offline
Joined: 30 Mar 2011
Posts: 993
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

All Electrocompaniet equipment is fully balanced from input to output , it was specifically designed to be connected using balanced interconnects so it is sounds far better connected this way .

Some equipment has balanced XLR connections but they are converted to single ended  internally because they do not have fully balanced circuitry inside . In this case using XLR interconnects will sound exactly the same as single ended and will be of no advantage at all .

Balanced XLR interconnects are usually cheaper than single ended RCA cables   Smile .

 

__________________

Electrocompaniet EMC1UP Cd player , EC 4.8 preamp , AW180 monoblock power amps , PMC PB1i speakers .

Linn LP12 Lingo , Ittok lv3 , Lyra Lydian , EAR834P .

"Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler."     Albert Einstein .

GSB
GSB's picture
Offline
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Posts: 1353
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

Yes i can understand what you say...ironi is that i'm thinking of a primera i30/32 which has them... rolling on the floor laughing & now i don't want them twisted

__________________

PanasonicTX-P46GT30B..Yamaha RX-A1010...Music Fidelity M3i...OPPO105EU...KEFR100/R200C/3001SE/HTB2SE...SkyHD2TB...QED Copper Speaker Cable /HDMI/Analogue...PS3...IPAD2

busb's picture
Offline
Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 920
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

My M-DAC has XLR balanced outputs as well as RCAs. My Primare power amp has both types of input connectors. Both DAC & amp are genuinely balanced right up to the amp's output stage. I originally used a pair of Chord Chameleon Plus 0.5m RCAs because my previous amp had RCAs only.

I had guests around last Christmas day evening & played music through my new amp. After an hour, I swapped over to a pair of cheap Amazon-sourced 0.5m XLR leads then went off to make tea of everyone. I could hear the others exclaming their approval. I told them what I'd changed. The XLRs were a sixth of the price. Their view was better clarity, imaging etc. I merely pass on the experience of others with my own system. I'm aware the difference over such a short distance should be non-existent. The designer of the M-DAC stated it might be down to better noise cancellation but he didn't seem surprised it sounded better.

__________________

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds - the pessimist fears this is true."

James Branch Cabell

 

_________________________________________________________

MAIN: Apple TV2, Mac Mini (controlled from various iThings using Remote), CA Azur 751BD & Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 class D power amp via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros. DALI Kubik Free in my kitchen

ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.

nopiano's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Feb 2009
Posts: 1060
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

GSB wrote:

Yes i can understand what you say...ironi is that i'm thinking of a primera i30/32 which has them... rolling on the floor laughing & now i don't want them twisted

Don't let anything deter you from Primare gear.  I think it is fab!

__________________

Hi-Fi: Krell KAV-300cd, Michell TecnoDec/RB250/Grado Prestige Black1, KAV-300i amp, Transparent balanced interconnects and bi-wire to Sonus faber Concerto grand piano speakers, Nakamichi ZX-7 cassette deck, Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Hitachi FT-5500 and Sony S570ES tuners, BCD Engineering stand, RA Powerlink, Chord powerchord, Grado SR60i cans.

AV: Sony Bravia KDL-32EX503 telly, BDP-S370 player with QED HDMI. Currently unused: Denon AVR-1705, DVD-1710, KEF KHT1005.2 

GSB
GSB's picture
Offline
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Posts: 1353
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

Unfortunatley primare do not have an av bypass.I need(can't afford 2 systems) to intergrate the new amp into an avr system

__________________

PanasonicTX-P46GT30B..Yamaha RX-A1010...Music Fidelity M3i...OPPO105EU...KEFR100/R200C/3001SE/HTB2SE...SkyHD2TB...QED Copper Speaker Cable /HDMI/Analogue...PS3...IPAD2

lindsayt's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Apr 2011
Posts: 974
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

busb, just out of interest, when you swapped from RCA to XLR connections, did you make any adjustments to the volume control on your Primare? Or did you leave it at the same volume control setting for both?

Sorreltiger's picture
Online
Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 948
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

I am using my Primare A30.1 with my AV system without any problem. Just connect via pre-outs and set the volume level on the stereo amp before doing the auto set-up.  Don't be deterred - the Primare is superb (an EBay triumph). It's the last model of A30.1 and, according to reviews, sounds more or less the same as an i30, but much cheaper.

GSB
GSB's picture
Offline
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Posts: 1353
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

Could you talk me through the process,is there a button you press when you stop music and want to put a film on? embarassed

__________________

PanasonicTX-P46GT30B..Yamaha RX-A1010...Music Fidelity M3i...OPPO105EU...KEFR100/R200C/3001SE/HTB2SE...SkyHD2TB...QED Copper Speaker Cable /HDMI/Analogue...PS3...IPAD2

busb's picture
Offline
Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 920
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

lindsayt wrote:

busb, just out of interest, when you swapped from RCA to XLR connections, did you make any adjustments to the volume control on your Primare? Or did you leave it at the same volume control setting for both?

As far as I can remember, I switched off both the power amp & M-DAC, swapped the cables, switched the amp to balanced mode, switched both back on, resumed play then left the room. I cannot comment if the levels will be the same between the two modes but the volume on the DAC wasn't changed. Two of the friends present are returning tomorrow with the short pair of Chord RCAs so we could repeat the exercise.

I'm fairly sceptical of such changes myself so will report back. I tend to want to hear a noticeable difference, not a very marginal one before I say I heard any at all.

__________________

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds - the pessimist fears this is true."

James Branch Cabell

 

_________________________________________________________

MAIN: Apple TV2, Mac Mini (controlled from various iThings using Remote), CA Azur 751BD & Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 class D power amp via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros. DALI Kubik Free in my kitchen

ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.

Sorreltiger's picture
Online
Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 948
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

 I use the CD input for CD, AU for streaming Spotify via a DAC and the TU (tuner) input for TV and films. I set the volume to 60 for the latter, higher than for music, but the auto set-up didn't work when it was lower. My Harmony One simplifies matters, but it isn't infallible with the Primare. Overall, it's very simple and the results are well worth it.

GSB
GSB's picture
Offline
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Posts: 1353
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

Sorreltiger wrote:

 I use the CD input for CD, AU for streaming Spotify via a DAC and the TU (tuner) input for TV and films. I set the volume to 60 for the latter, higher than for music, but the auto set-up didn't work when it was lower. My Harmony One simplifies matters, but it isn't infallible with the Primare. Overall, it's very simple and the results are well worth it.

Thanks for your time:)

__________________

PanasonicTX-P46GT30B..Yamaha RX-A1010...Music Fidelity M3i...OPPO105EU...KEFR100/R200C/3001SE/HTB2SE...SkyHD2TB...QED Copper Speaker Cable /HDMI/Analogue...PS3...IPAD2

Sorreltiger's picture
Online
Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 948
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

No problem. Worth saying that the Primare defaults to 50 volume when you change input - loud for music in my room, but it means that when the kids switch on the system for TV, they can't do any damage. I turn it up to 60, but they don't bother Smile

GSB
GSB's picture
Offline
Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Posts: 1353
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

I'm nearly in a position to arrange demo's for an integrated amp...the list so far is:

Naim Nait XS

Music Fidelity M3i

Roksan Kandy K2(but it looks a pig!)

The Primare keeps being recommended so if i get the chance i would love to look into this,but new they are too expensive for me,plus my stereo bookshelves were only £600...

Also,would it be ok to stand either of the amps on top of my avr...or do they need more space?

__________________

PanasonicTX-P46GT30B..Yamaha RX-A1010...Music Fidelity M3i...OPPO105EU...KEFR100/R200C/3001SE/HTB2SE...SkyHD2TB...QED Copper Speaker Cable /HDMI/Analogue...PS3...IPAD2

lindsayt's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Apr 2011
Posts: 974
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

When changing from unbalanced RCA to balanced XLR connections you can expect a 3db increase in the volume if you keep the volume knob in the same position. So it's possible busb that some of the improvements reported in your test were due to the louder volume with the XLR connection.

busb's picture
Offline
Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 920
RE: What stereo amps have XLR Balanced connectors?

lindsayt wrote:

When changing from unbalanced RCA to balanced XLR connections you can expect a 3db increase in the volume if you keep the volume knob in the same position. So it's possible busb that some of the improvements reported in your test were due to the louder volume with the XLR connection.

Hi Lindsay

We did indeed experiment & as expected, there was a ~3dB decrease when swapping  to the RCA cables. It was a fairly easy task to shift 3dB on the M-DACs volume. We started off with Coyote on Joni Michell Hejira. We both agreed that the difference was too small to call. Dave remembered what we played on Christmas day so we listened to Snatam Kaur's album Anand that's a 1st rate recording that includes her vocals, some backing, wind instruments & tablas - all unamplified. We tended to just listen without conferring. At first we weren't sure so swapped the cables a couple of times. We both concluded there was a worthwhile difference, not huge, not day & night or anything like that but most non-tonal differences are nearly always subtle. The XLRs gave greater instrument separation - better sense of location, of soundstage if you will. Dave added that the vocals came forward slightly. So a small but discernable difference. Both cables sounded absolutely fabulous. My system is extremely revealing so takes no prisoners whatsoever when it comes to poor recordings & does not round off the upper registers.

__________________

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds - the pessimist fears this is true."

James Branch Cabell

 

_________________________________________________________

MAIN: Apple TV2, Mac Mini (controlled from various iThings using Remote), CA Azur 751BD & Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 class D power amp via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros. DALI Kubik Free in my kitchen

ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.