Help: getting around balanced inputs on pre/pro?


Many of the best prepros need balanced input for 2 channel bypass. My cd/dvd doesn't have balanced output. My questions:
1)Obviously, I could use an rca/xlr adapter, or similarly a cable with rca and xlr connectors, but would that degrade performance?

2)Assuming the DAC's in my pre/pro (still to be purchased) are very good, can I can simply go digital in and use the pp's dac and get best 2 channel SQ?

3)I also have a Sonos with an Apogee MiniDac. The Apogee (great little dac btw) has balanced output, so I can use that through the bal inputs and improve that experience as well, right?

Just need to be clear before I pull trigger on used pre/pro purchase, as I want to get best 2 channel performance.

thanks Jeff
A pre/pro does not have 2 channel bypass (unless you mean it is bypassing any processing within the pre/pro, which is what I will assume you are refering to).

I may be mistaken on this, but I have not seen many pre/pos that don't offer the compatible single ended input along with the balanced input for running pure 2-channel audio (without any internal processing in the pre/pro). I have owned a couple pre/pro (Krell HTS 7.1, McIntosh MX 132, etc. . .) and while all of these have balanced inputs for this, I believe they also have single ended input.

Does you Apogee minidac accept more than one digital input? If so, you could take the analog signal from your CD player into this and then from that DAC to the pre/pro via the balanced (assuming it doesn't have the single ended input option for pure analog). For movies, you would simply run the digital signal from the CD/DVD player into the DVD input on your pre/pro for surround processing.

Will the adapters affect sound? I suspect not. I would say one would need to have an extremely revealing system to be able to identify when they are being used vs. not being used. We are talking about a huge bucks system.
I use BAT RCA/XLR adaptors with AQ Sky IC's and after a short burn-in period I could hear no difference.

Ckoffend: sorry for the confusion but you got what I meant. However, it seems some of the best ones I'm looking at, Parasound Halo C2, Proceed AVP2+6, Classe SSP600, and I believe even the Cary Cinema 11 all have ONLY balanced input for their 2 channel pass-through (no processing, just preamp).

BTW, how did you like the Mac MX132? I have the possibility of picking up that one too, along with a Mac 7205 amp.

Probably the best solution is to use a Jensen output transformer on your DVD player to convert its output to balanced. I've used one for years.

DM2-2XX The actual model number would be DM2-2RX -- RCA inputs and XLR outputs.
I had an AVP ...and currently have an HTS 7.1.. Both use the configuration mechanism to point whatever input is used directly to the analogue preamp, if that config is selected.
XLR/RCA adapters. Come on guys. This is like running a high performance engine on regular gas. It will work, but you won't get near the performance that's there.

Truly balanced architecture DEFINES hi-end. Everything is is a pretender. Wake up and swap out your single ended gear to discover what hi-end magic is.
The Cary Cinema 11 will accept RCA or balanced just FYI
Tweak1, I hope you're not confusing Jensen transformers with adapters. Transformers have a long history of being the best way to interconnect components whether balanced or unbalanced or mixed. Jeff Rowland, where cost isn't a big issue, still uses them.
Thanks Bob_Reynolds even though I am not in this type of a situation I did not know that such a device other than the adapters existed;thanks for putting your solution up as a excellant suggestion.How is the performance of this for you in your system?
Rleff, I can't say that I noticed any obvious change when I added the Jensen output transformer to my Arcam FMJ CD23T several years ago. I simply wanted to utilize the balanced inputs of my ARC preamp since I was already connected balanced from the preamp to the Bryston 7B SST amps.

I now use a Benchmark DAC1 for music and I've moved the transformer to the unbalanced outputs of my Denon 3910 for movies.

BTW, there are other companies that offer audio transformers besides Jensen. Jensen does have a good reputation in the industry, a long history and excellent customer service.
I've looked more closely at the Cinema 11, and it does allow Input One to be deemed bypass and to use either rca or xlr. However, I also realized that this is the only input I can use to bypass processing, and I have both a cd/dvd (pioneer dv47a) and a Sonos via outboard dac (BelCanto or Apogee) that I want to run in bypass. I don't know if the Cinema's (or the Parasound C2's) dacs are as good as those found in my cd/dvd or the BC/Apogee. So unless there is a great pre/pro that allows several analogue inputs to bypass processing, or has a great dac, I'm starting to think that CKoffend and others who are preaching the virtues of running a sidecar 2 channel setup may be right. I can get a preamp or integrated that takes multiple inputs, and either use their HT Bypass or get the Niles amp switcher that switches on voltage signal, with default to my Pioneer vsx49tx receiver, so my kids don't get confused. Hmmmm.....