You won't get the benefit of using balanced cables unless you have fully balanced connections at both ends. It may work out OK, but then again, it may not.
27 responses Add your response
From reading your OP, I get the impression you intend to use XLR to RCA adapters at the RCA inputs to your 2-channel single-ended amplifier. That will "work", but as vinylzone said, you won't get all the benefits of balanced lines. Use good quality adapters, for sure. Cardas makes nice ones, albeit the best adapter is no adapter. If your amplifiers are not internally a balanced circuit, that's the best way to go, and I wouldn't worry any further. You could also have your ICs terminated in male RCAs, rather than XLRs, to avoid using an adapter. How to do that optimally, with respect to ground, is another matter.
Ok, I couldn't remember the name, but what you lose is the common mode rejection of a fully balanced connection. Meaning, that it is effectively using one leg and ground from the xlr.
This pretty much means an xlr cable with a xlr to rca adapter performs exactly the same as a single ended cable. So if you wouldn't use 30 foot SE cable, you also shouldn't use a 30 foot xlr to rca cable.
@elliottbnewcombjr You'll want something to convert from balanced to single-ended at the other end of that 30 and especially 50 foot cable.
If you simply install an RCA connector at the output end, the entire connection will be single-ended. You can't have both, its either one or the other. The result won't sound as good- you may experience a high frequency roll-off (common with long single-ended connections). 50 feet will really demonstrate this.
But you can make it work:
Jensen Transformers makes things for just this sort of situation. You'll want one of their ISO-MAX products for this, perhaps a stereo unit that has dual XLR inputs and dual RCA outputs. Then you would just run short RCA connections into your stereo setup.
You'll want to order it with XLR inputs and RCA outputs.
Jensen's pi2XR seems to be the one
I was told ART CleanBoxPro is good for the conversion XLR to RCA
the ART output level control seems a nice optional feature, but isn't it like adding a Pot in-line, unless one setting is a simple pass thru
I bet, after setting up these ’awesome’ flexible uses, it goes back to music only: Oppo rca/rca to Cayin amp. Need to set it up using TV/internet to see it’s menu: factory reset, update firmware, modify audio settings; them move it over there.
Amazon delivers tomorrow:
xlr 35lf F into oppo, M end
that xlr M into cleanboxpro xlr F input
cleanboxpro rca F out
short rca M/M to amp.
Oppo 105 has a volume control, to adjust prior to these comparisons:
a. existing Sony carousel into nearby Cayin A88T integrated amp, rca/rca (don’t laugh, it has matched some darn good stuff)
b. Oppo adjacent to Sony: rca/rca. Oppo better be better!
IF it sounds better, then get the drill for 2 holes down to crawl space. Send Donna down there (she is 5’-0" tall on a warm day). Pull, curse loudly, Donna says she’s leaving if I keep cursing, mutter curses.
c. Oppo in HT far away from amp: xlr/cleanboxpro/rca. still great? still beat Sony carousel? Listen particularly for reduced highs.
That would leave me the convenience of Sony Carousel near amp for easy listening for parties; add the Oppo ’over there’ for ’real listening to CD/SACD. Always connected to video to see it’s menu; connected to ethernet for firmware updates
Oppo 2 channel audio to music system
Oppo built-in streaming/dac/usb/blu-ray to Sony AVR to Sony Smart TV, and/or direct to TV.
Existing HT Sony Blu-Ray down to garage for CDs there. Or give it to my son ...
Elliot, if you do not feel like spending a lot of money on this just run 30 foot single ended Low loss coaxial cable. Like Canare L-4.5CHWS. Someone will have to terminate it and may have to modify RCAs because this cable is rather thick. The inner conductor is 18 gauge which is huge for a single ended cable. I believe you can buy the cable by the foot. If you can not terminate them yourself I would be happy to do it for you. I do not charge for this kind of work. It might take me 20 minutes.
I have a 105. Just use the RCAs outs of the OPPO to the RCA ins of the amp. Don't use extra adaptors. Waste of money.
If you pick up RF and or have ground loop problems with the 30 ft RCA cables, purchase a Jensen Transformer ISOMAX input transformer. Mount it as close to your amp as possible using short interconnects. Link:
Multiple posts here say balanced must be fully balanced or there is little or no benefit. I agree. Don't waste the extra $$$ on expensive balanced cables if all your components are not fully balanced. 30ft is a long run and you will have SQ losses running not fully balanced.
I see the OPPO retails at $1199.
So I guess a good used one is around $600.
If you really want to use it in two rooms 30ft apart why have the inconvenience of moving between rooms to access it and the cost of 60ft of decent cable. Just buy a second OPPO.
Not a bad idea clearthinker, but the losses with the right cables are not the bad, he might lose 1 dB at 20 kHz which many of us can not hear anyway. Before balanced ins and outs became popular those of us with amps behind our speakers frequently had to run long single ended lines. The benefit of mono amps and short speaker cables was well worth the longer lines. With good cable it is not the end of the world. But, when you buy commercial interconnects you really do not know what you are getting. Companies like Canare and Belden publish the specs of their cable so, you know exactly what you are getting. Plus, when you make your own you can make them as short as possible. You do not have to go to the next longer length and coil the excess behind the equipment.
Funny, my first post two days ago was a recommendation of Jensen transformers. I’ll do it again here and suggest the PC-2XR
Regarding the Canare XLR-m to RCA adaptor: I don’t recommend it. It shorts pin 3 to ground. I prefer connecting pin 2 to the RCA + and pin 3 to the RCA ground using a shielded twisted pair cable. Its shield would terminate to pin 1/shell of the XLR.
I finally understood a simple XLR/rca adapter defeats the advantage of using Balanced,
so, it's balanced for 35 lf
into this conversion box, which maintains the advantage of balanced for the long run.
last 5 lf rca out of the clearboxproto to amp's rca in
I had to choose between 22 awg OFC
or 16 awg Pure Copper
considering the 35 ft length, I chose 16 awg pure copper.
I read somewhere that the % of purity between Pure and OFC is very slight, the difference in conductivity hard to measure actually; whereas I would think, the difference in conductivity 16 awg to 22 awg is definitely measurable at 35 lf.
interconnects; speaker wires (16 lf 13 awg/leg); speaker wire spades are all OFC
speakers are horns/15" woofers, 16 ohms from 1958, efficiency over 100; amp has 16 ohm taps.
cayin tube amp is 45 wpc, so volume should not be an issue, noise free and modification to frequency response the culprits to listen for.
under the floor there is no machinery, I will see if/how many electrical feeds to nearby wall outlets I cross. Original to 2 wall outlets BX; 1 new 15 amp sep ckt for the amp is ROMEX I presume
1st, Two units? That is not in my DNA.
2nd, the lowest current price for BDP-105 is $950, that’s the one I bought for $900. The Darbee unit (even better video?) is another $100. typically.
These things hold their price well, I missed a very good price, $700, however I suspect it’s laser had done a LOT of work, mine barely used. The lasers go bad, I just had to return a BDP-83 with a failed laser.
3rd: IF I get superior audio from 35 lt, and superior video and audio in HT, that’s an accomplishment I would have denied myself if I didn’t try. How clever/brilliant I am!! LOL.
4th. I want to try it, learn, fail? back to it’s primary audio near the amp.
Conductivity of copper is a constant. What you want is resistance per unit of length. There are tables on line for that in terms of AWG. If it even matters. Yes, 16ga has a lower resistance per unit of length than 22ga.
I would have sourced the transformer from Jensen and installed it right at the amplifier input, saving several interconnection s in the signal path.
IF I stay with the long run, I will probably upgrade to the Jensen.
IF, without a proper transfer box, it defeats the advantage of Balanced, why do they make and sell these?
Ah, the best made plans of men and mice.
What I learned: How smart I am!
Huh? Yes, smart enough to know a whirlpool bath combined with a mixture of 2 Naproxen and 1 Aspirin helps relieve the pain from the worthless job of hunching over in the crawl space for this worthless attempt.
All went well: into Video system. factory reset, firmware update.
Watched James Taylor mentioned above, excellent video and audio.
Tried Blue Nile CD via 35 ft XLR to Music system. Whoopee, works!
OH NO, infrequent popping noises. I had read that some of the early firmware update(s) were to eliminate popping noises. Latest firmware incorporates all prior fixes. Yet, there they were, before, and infrequently/randomly within the music.
Out, into Music System, interconnects direct to Cayin Integrated Tube Amp. (both Oppo and Cayin have remote volume).
Blue Nile: great, subtly better than current Sony Carosel.
How to describe the difference? You hear the same things, it's all there from both players, yet the Oppo is subtly more precise, not sterile, just like your ears are working a speck better. Perhaps it's the timing, and better coherence of fundamentals to their overtones, I need more time to listen.
The image that comes to mind is rays of light passing thru a Chinese finger Trap. (we loved these things as kids in the 1950's)
Tight, no light gets thru. Loosen a speck, precise rays of light get thru (Oppo), loosen a speck more, the same light becomes less focused (lesser players).
More listening coming up today, some well known, some SACDs.
Was the problem the clearboxpro? Would the problem be gone if I used the Jensen? Given the history of firmware to solve pops, I think not.
I'm glad I tried. Thanks to all for their knowledge and advice.
It sounds sooooo good on the Oppo 105. I love Jazz Bass as well as Betty, the rise and decay of the bass notes is the best I ever heard them.
I'm looking for this on Vinyl! The Oppo is gonna give my TT a real challenge.