4 pins Mini XLR to dual 3 pins XLR adapter. - diyAudio
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Old 19th August 2014, 04:37 PM   #1
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Default 4 pins Mini XLR to dual 3 pins XLR adapter.

Hello!

I'm thinking on buying an Oppo HA-1 to use it as my main DAC/Preamp. I want to use its "balanced" 4 pin mini XLR output to use the Class A headphone amplifier as my main line level output. I know the Oppo HA-1 has standard XLR to output line level signal, but this signal is turned into line level with common Opamps, and my goal is to use the discrete class A amplifier.

As far as I know, to be honest, not much, a balanced connection should have the hot, the ground and the return, as any standard XLR connection.
The 4 pin mini XLR that's supposed to be a balanced output in the Oppo's HA-1 frontpanel has only 4 pins (total) for both left and right channels. I searched around the web for an adapter and could not find anything like that, but a 4 pin (not-mini) XLR to dual 3 pin XLR at Audeze's website which, at 70USD, IMHO, costs a fortune.

Is the 4 pin mini XLR built to transport the hot and return signal for each channel? If yes, in order to make an adapter, would I have to buy 2 standard XLR and solder the return and hot properly leaving the ground free? If it's not right, how can I proceed?
And well, just to achieve more knowledge... can a connection without ground be called balanced?

Thanks for your attention and sorry for bad english!

Peace,
Eduardo Barth.
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Old 19th August 2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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In a balanced circuit, the ground is used for shielding and is not involved with the signal. Since headphone cables are generally unshielded, its omission is OK. In professional studio wiring it is typical to only connect the shield at one end, typically the receive end, to avoid unbalance ground loops. So feel free to connect the shield at the power amp input and float it (unconnected) at the transmit site. If you are going into an unbalanced amp the connections would be different.

Are you confident that the driving impedance and level of the headphone output of the oppo are compatible with your power amp?
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Old 19th August 2014, 05:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpantuso View Post
In a balanced circuit, the ground is used for shielding and is not involved with the signal. Since headphone cables are generally unshielded, its omission is OK. In professional studio wiring it is typical to only connect the shield at one end, typically the receive end, to avoid unbalance ground loops. So feel free to connect the shield at the power amp input and float it (unconnected) at the transmit site. If you are going into an unbalanced amp the connections would be different.

Are you confident that the driving impedance and level of the headphone output of the oppo are compatible with your power amp?
Thanks for your quick reply! To be honest, I don't know. What I have to see to know if my amp is compatible with the HA-1 haedphone balanced output?
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Old 19th August 2014, 06:12 PM   #4
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The headphone output provides power to drive the headphone. Your amp likely does not need power, but will just lightly load the voltage output of the oppo. The low output impedance of the oppo will be fine, assuming your amp input is at least 10x higher, but the performance increase you are seeking may not materialize as the unloaded voltage Signal-to-Noise ratio at the headphone output may swamp any of the class-A improvements you seek. If you can evaluate the oppo I would try the balanced outputs first, before going for the headphone outputs. Likely most of the music you listen to has gone through several op-amps on the way to recording anyway.

For almost the same price as the headphone amp, you can get the oppo BDP-105 with high-quality balanced outs and a file (USB,ethernet, and/or bluetooth) /CD/SACD/DVD/BluRay Player in the bargain.
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Old 19th August 2014, 06:40 PM   #5
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You're right, my amplifier doesn't need any power. My amplifier has this at its specs:
XLR Balanced Input Impedance 40kΩ
And the output impedance of the balanced headphone is 0.5ohms. If the K means 1000, I assume it's more than secure.
About the class A gain, I read lots of reviews of people who already own and they claim that by using the headphone output as line level achieves better soundstage and an overall better imaging. That's because I want to try that.
Thanks for your help buddy!
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