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Old 1st September 2011, 06:56 AM   #1
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Default RCA to XLR Converter

Hi I have a few pairs of studio monitors that have XLR inputs. I connect the rca/line level outputs from my ipod,bly-ray player, and macbook pro ect... using simple rca to xlr cables and this sounds pretty good but it also sounds somewhat off to me.

I also have two firewire soundcards that have actual balanced outputs and Ive noticed that it sounds somewhat more balanced (no pun intended). It seams everything is projected more correctly top to bottom, and when using the rca ouputs to them to me it sounds like the sound is kind of being projected at a slight angle and like some frequency ranges are slightly more pronounced while others slightly less, it doesnt sound bad just somwehat "off" and it bugs me.

Anyways Im thinking this might be due to an impedance mismatch between the rca outputs and xlr inputs or maybe something else? Could a di box that converts unbalanced to balanced signal correct this problem? Or is there another solution?

thanks
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Old 1st September 2011, 08:17 AM   #2
erin is offline erin  Australia
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I presume you are grounding the cold pin of the XLR when connecting an unbalanced source?

Yes you can get unbalanced to balanced active converters.
You could also use a transformer. RDL make a range of products that would do the job for you.

As for the difference in sound, there shouldnt be much difference if the cold pin is grounded. Perhaps you are hearing the difference in the "sound" of the cables.

Consumer equipment has a different output level to professional equipment which will be expecting a hotter signal. This may account for some difference in sound.
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Old 1st September 2011, 10:34 AM   #3
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
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Read Jensen app note AN-003.
They show a variety of methods to convert single ended to balanced.
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Old 2nd September 2011, 02:21 AM   #4
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Rane has a line of products. Maybe the BB 44X Balance Buddy.
Peter C.
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Old 2nd September 2011, 03:31 AM   #5
Lavcat is offline Lavcat  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mill23bay View Post
Rane has a line of products. Maybe the BB 44X Balance Buddy.
Peter C.
I considered the Balance Buddy for my setup but went with Jensen instead.
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Old 2nd September 2011, 04:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
I presume you are grounding the cold pin of the XLR when connecting an unbalanced source?

Yes you can get unbalanced to balanced active converters.
You could also use a transformer. RDL make a range of products that would do the job for you.

As for the difference in sound, there shouldnt be much difference if the cold pin is grounded. Perhaps you are hearing the difference in the "sound" of the cables.

Consumer equipment has a different output level to professional equipment which will be expecting a hotter signal. This may account for some difference in sound.
Yes Im pretty sure that what the cable basically does. Im pretty sure its not the sound of the cables I have 4 sets of RCA to balanced cables and I hear it with all of them.

""Consumer equipment has a different output level to professional equipment which will be expecting a hotter signal. This may account for some difference in sound""

Yeah this cold be it, I do hear it at all volume levels though, but maybe balanced amplifiers are made to respond better to the hotter output signal of balanced outputs?

Quote:
Read Jensen app note AN-003.
They show a variety of methods to convert single ended to balanced.
Thanks, I dont have enough knowlegde to fully understand what they're talking about it seems that they rate minimal better and best to the methods that rejects common mode noise the best not really sound quality? Would a passive DI box fall within the better or best category?



I would preferably like to use a passive solution, Currently I'm considering the rolls db24 Rolls DB24 - Stereo Direct Interface DB24 B&H Photo Video
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Old 2nd September 2011, 06:38 AM   #7
Lavcat is offline Lavcat  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverStrings View Post
Yes Im pretty sure that what the cable basically does. Im pretty sure its not the sound of the cables I have 4 sets of RCA to balanced cables and I hear it with all of them.

""Consumer equipment has a different output level to professional equipment which will be expecting a hotter signal. This may account for some difference in sound""

Yeah this cold be it, I do hear it at all volume levels though, but maybe balanced amplifiers are made to respond better to the hotter output signal of balanced outputs?



Thanks, I dont have enough knowlegde to fully understand what they're talking about it seems that they rate minimal better and best to the methods that rejects common mode noise the best not really sound quality? Would a passive DI box fall within the better or best category?



I would preferably like to use a passive solution, Currently I'm considering the rolls db24 Rolls DB24 - Stereo Direct Interface DB24 B&H Photo Video
What is the input impedance of your speakers that take the XLR inputs? I'm guessing the impedence is too low for what you are driving them with, in which case using a step up transformer to increase the level would only make the problem worse, as the impedance seen by the driving circuit would be even lower than if there were no transformer.

Even if only for a test try going through a good preamplifier that can drive low impedance loads. It does not have to be a balanced preamp for the test.
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Old 2nd September 2011, 06:44 AM   #8
erin is offline erin  Australia
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RDL FP-UBC2 Unbalanced to Balanced converter 2 channels | eBay

http://www.rdlnet.com/product.php?page=45
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Old 2nd September 2011, 06:53 AM   #9
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Have you checked out this converter? I designed it to save a group buy organized by "rhysh".
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Old 2nd September 2011, 07:18 AM   #10
erin is offline erin  Australia
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and how much is that one fully assembled and delivered to USA?
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