Balanced CD Player
I have heard a lot of benefits about having a balanced signal throughout the path. However, if your source is a cd player then you need a phase splitter (ofcourse). From what I hear you can either have a seperate phase splitter or a cd player with a balanced output.
Does a phase splitter recieve a digital signal from the cd player (a transport) and break it into 4(stereo) signals, then decode all 4 individually to analog? This is the only way I can see it work. If you used a regular cd player then there would be an unbalanced signal sent to the splitter which would pick up noise (wouldn't there?).
Also, does this principle apply in a balanced cd player (digital phase splitting)?
Sorry if this question is trival.
differential output DAC's
The advanatages of a balanced signal path confer from noise rejection (which in theory is common to both paths in equal measure) and some distortion rejection.
A large number of DAC's are inherently differential balanced outputs; what you (or the designer) does with them is a matter of choice. In some DAC's or players, one side is ignored; in some a balanced differential signal is passed on to the outputs; in some, the balanced is converted to single ended and output single ended. There may even be those that convert to single ended from the balanced output, then add an opamp phase splitter...
Permutations include the use of transformers for conversion and or isolation and filtering; quite useful on a balanced output DAC, as the common mode switching spikes will be mostly rejected. I like using a line bridging transformer for isolation but retaining balanced operation as an option. (Jensen transformers).
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