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Old 30th October 2011, 11:08 PM   #351
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Originally Posted by rsdio View Post
If you're concerned about grounding issues, then you really should just stick to XLR balanced signal interconnects. I would not recommend speakON for line level signals, but rather restrict that connector to power and speaker interconnects.

RCA was designed as an interconnect within a single chassis. The unfortunate fact that it was abused to link multiple chassis is a mistake of the consumer market. If you use XLR balanced instead, then these grounding issues that you describe fall out (provided that you properly wire your XLR outputs and inputs).

Unfortunately, I don't know what to suggest for the preamps and amplifiers that do not support balanced I/O. Personally, I am limiting my DIY experiments to balanced, so that means skipping the unbalanced designs or modifying them for balanced. There are plenty of balanced designs from Nelson Pass to keep me busy, so I'm not fretting over the limitations.
The Speakon connectors are to bring the DC power and ground to the FE module from main amp case with output and PSU and is not for interconnects. It allows the use of one PSU for multiple FE choices.
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Old 30th October 2011, 11:23 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by buzzforb View Post
The Speakon connectors are to bring the DC power and ground to the FE module from main amp case with output and PSU and is not for interconnects. It allows the use of one PSU for multiple FE choices.
That seems fine. I thought I read "signal ground" on the speakON in one of your earlier posts, so I was only raising issue with signal grounds in that context.
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Old 31st October 2011, 05:53 AM   #353
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IF done properly, I don't see why it would be any different than a usual preamp/amp setup. If I like what i hear, I will probably go to a passive volume control as the BA-3 will become the new "preamp". The reason I like the idea is ease of construction on FE options. If you can run it off the PSU of the output stage, you drop building complexity and interchangeability becomes simple. Connections can be as short as 1-1/2' feet.
I have mine set up as a separate preamp gain stage, with a separate passive source selector and volume control. I also have a separate BA-3 power supply. It all works noiselessly and without hum.

I have a three-conductor power cable connecting the BA-3 power supply to the BA-3, and the F4 power amp has its own internal power supply. I have star grounds in both the power supply and the gain stage, with copper bus bars as you can see in the picture.

The passive front end, the BA-3, and the F4 are all connected with standard RCA unbalanced interconnect cables.

Click the image to open in full size.
The white cable is the power cable, which permanently joins the P/S with the BA-3.
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Old 31st October 2011, 06:18 AM   #354
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Originally Posted by timbarnes View Post
The white cable is the power cable, which permanently joins the P/S with the BA-3.
I learned this from my uncle, who hand-built some of my first electronics: The most reliable connector is no connector at all!

It's certainly a little inconvenient to have two enclosures tied together like this, but you also do not have to worry so much about corroded or failed connectors in the midst of all the other DIY variables.
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Old 31st October 2011, 10:33 AM   #355
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Originally Posted by rsdio View Post
I learned this from my uncle, who hand-built some of my first electronics: The most reliable connector is no connector at all!
Totally agree with the no connector design, from signal to power where possible. However, easier on the back if you can separate them when bending and lifting. Young man's game this.
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Old 31st October 2011, 10:54 AM   #356
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The speakon connectors are well designed being very similar to an Eichmann RCA plug, which are highly regarded. It was designed for professional audio who also happen to be big on balanced cables signal protection and preservation. Of course much of this is dismissed by audiophiles because it eliminates the possibility of selling uber expensive interconnects and cables. I will be able to compare both implementations as I am building two output stages and will have two BA-3 Few boards.@
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Old 31st October 2011, 11:08 AM   #357
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Agreeing with everything this morning. I am just fitting a Speakon socket for an external power supply. I like its solid connection and also the size of its connection points which allow flexibility when connecting different cable diameters. On interconnects I am just developing one myself and am investigating patents etc. Of course mine works so much better than all the others.
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Old 31st October 2011, 11:21 AM   #358
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Look at Mogami wire. They have both a star quad for xlr's and a quad speaker cable. For RCA, try their coaxial. I would bet it is about as good as you can buy without spending a great deal more money.
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Old 31st October 2011, 11:24 AM   #359
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Originally Posted by buzzforb View Post
Look at Mogami wire. They have both a star quad for xlr's and a quad speaker cable. .
I'll check that out, thanks.
Chris
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Old 31st October 2011, 11:55 AM   #360
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Agreeing with everything this morning. I am just fitting a Speakon socket for an external power supply. I like its solid connection and also the size of its connection points which allow flexibility when connecting different cable diameters.
Check out the powerCON product line at Neutrik. They look to be equivalent to the speakON. The entry level connector is spec'd at 20 A and the next level is 32 A !!

About the only shortcoming is that they're not rated for disconnection or connection under load, but I hope nobody plans on yanking the power to their BA-3 without powering down the supply first.
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