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Old 4th January 2003, 11:56 AM   #1
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Default unbalanced or balanced

I haven't decided on a soundcard that i'll be using to output to my amps( of which I haven't decided). I thought the first thing I'd like to know on picking a card before i build the amps, speakers is should i use +4dbu or -10dmv (balanced , unbalanced) analogue outputs. I definitely will be using some sort of rack card instead of an internal one, but I don't know if i should use bal/unbal, what's the differences advantages/disadvantages of each. Will most amplifiers support balanced inputs, most I've seen at local stores use rca jacks, are these unbalanced?
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Old 4th January 2003, 12:23 PM   #2
dhaen is offline dhaen  Europe
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Most domestic stuff is unbalanced.
RCA jacks are unbalanced.
Personally I have a strong opinion for balanced. You can read one of my recent "rants" here:
Quote:
IMO The reason that balanced interconnects have never taken off seriously in HiFi is that they would no longer be able to sell outrageously priced connectors and leads.

Consider:
The music you cherish coming off a CD or LP, has already been through at least a dozen balanced interconnects in studio, probably nickel.

How would you rank the difference one more would make?
a) A lot
b) Some small effect
c) Sweet FA

I'm for c).

In studio, we don't look at the make of the cables. It's whether they are well made, and correctly wired.

Unbalanced interconnects, properly made, in a quiet environment are OK. But the coming of switch mode power supplies, dimmers, mobile phones, made that a thing of the past.
Why on earth should thick unbalanced cables sound (generally) better than thin ones? The reason in my book, is 2 fold.
1) Better screening against sh*t.
2) Better earth bonding between chassis, thus reducing sh*t.

You can buy bigger and better unbalanced interconnects each year. Or, you can use what the professionals use.

Oh alright they're available in gold as well!
BUT THEY SOUND THE SAME

Rant over Back to normality
Now wheres my RCA/Cinch/Phono......I must have put it somewhere............


Insomnia does strange things.........
Well, even in the cold light of day, I still stand by it.

If you can afford balanced - go for it. But it has to be "wholesale" - conversion back and forth is not desirable.
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Old 5th January 2003, 12:35 AM   #3
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You forgot the best reason - elimination of
ground loop noise.
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Old 5th January 2003, 01:03 AM   #4
Cobra2 is offline Cobra2  Norway
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Default Balanced !

Quote:
You forgot the best reason - elimination of ground loop noise.
Ref.: The BOSS

I might add, that most equipment I have tested, have been (plesantly) less "cable-sensitive", I have with good luck used fairly cheap cables. (By chance?).

Arne K
NORWAY
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Old 5th January 2003, 05:52 PM   #5
dhaen is offline dhaen  Europe
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Quote:
You forgot the best reason - elimination of ground loop noise
It's one of those things you take for granted - like a good wife - until you get reminded
Quote:
I might add, that most equipment I have tested, have been (plesantly) less "cable-sensitive
As I suggested, why should another metre of cable make any difference.
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