If your BAT preamp has available RCA inputs, use them. There is most likely no SQ advantage from using the balanced XLR input with an unbalanced source. There is a slight, insignificant increase in gain via XLR, but your signal will also negotiate an extra adapter.
If you need the extra RCA input, I've used the Cardas Clear adapters on Ayre equipment with good results. I think BAT also makes some adapters for its systems.
The Cardas adapters connect pin 3 (the minus leg of the balanced signal) to pin 1 (ground). This turns the BAL input into a single ended input. No advantage and maybe some adverse effects.
Thanks for all the responses. I will leave it be.
When you can afford it, buy a true balanced phono stage to go with your balanced linestage. Then, you've got something.
", buy a true balanced phono stage to go with your balanced linestage." Or buy a single ended phono pre with an output transformer like the K&K Audio Maxed Out. Transformer coupling can provide a true "balanced" out.
True, but then you are dealing with the limitations imposed by the transformer.
Sell the BAT preamp AND the single-ended phonostage and buy an Atmasphere MP-3 fully balanced preamp with a fully balanced ALL-TUBE phonostage built right in! You will need an XLR-terminated phono cable (from the tonearm to the MP-3's phono input) but that's it! And then you can really enjoy that MC cartridge, which actually is a balanced output device to begin with! No common ground (no crosstalk!) Big, big soundstage. And more (effective) output from the MC cartridge. Unless you have a really low output MC cartridge (less than 0.2 microvolts) the (3 gain stages) all-tube phonostage in the MP-3 preamp has plenty of gain - WITHOUT the need for a step-up transformers, or a (yucky) FET first gain stage.
Ralph (Atmasphere) doesn't want to toot his own horn, so I will! I'm still hounding him to come up with a standalone phonoamp, but life is short ;~)
Dear Nsgarch: IMHO could be not a good idea to have that standalone phonoamp because you will need additional connectors ( both ways ) and cable to IC to a line stage and maybe to a line stagev that maybe could not match on electrical parameters as input/output impedance in phono and line stage.
Of course that's an alternative to a Phonolinepreamp as the SUT is an alternative to active high gain phono stage. In all these alternatives exist trade-offs and we will choose those trade-offs that fulfil our music sound reproduction targets.
I'm with the Phonolinepreamp alternative and right now I started a " new adventure " with the SUT's option to evaluate it again.
regards and enjoy the music,
"True, but then you are dealing with the limitations imposed by the transformer"
And the limitations of output coupling capacitors have no sonic consequences? Or OP amp buffers? Personally, I much prefer the "limitations" of a quality transformer to the other alternatives. But then I'm not in the business of selling OTL amps.
John-tracy is correct in that coupling caps have consequences -- don't all circuit parts? Ihe issue is which devices' "consequences" you think di the least harm, right?
For neutrality, I'd personally take today's high quality caps over step-up transformers any day -- but there was a time when SUT's were the only way to go, which I think might explain the huge numbers of them now available used.
Nsgarth, the discussion here was line out transformers, not MC input transformers. Although even here good SUTs are very competitive. For example the new Lundahl silver LL1931AG at $800/unit. That's performance competitive, maybe not price competitive as OP amps cost a few dollars at most. FYI, SUTs supply gain. Capacitors do not. That requires active circuits. That means transistors or tubes or OP amps. All of which have there own issues.
I don't usually think I can catch John in error, but in this case I think it's better to say that SUTs or any transformer, can alter the ratio of current to voltage of whatever is put into it. In the case of a SUT, voltage of the phono signal goes up and current goes down. This enables the cartridge's output signal better able to drive the downstream phono stage. Transformers per se do not supply gain. I am absolutely sure John knows this better than I. But readers can go off with the wrong idea.
Lew, the term "gain" is commonly used to refer to "voltage gain," the ratio of output voltage to input voltage. It is often (although not necessarily) expressed in db, corresponding to 20log(Vout/Vin). So in that sense transformers can supply gain, although as you realize they cannot provide "power gain" (i.e., they cannot increase the product (multiplication) of voltage and current).
NsgarCH, the discussion here was line out transformers
Quite right John; I missed that ;~)
yeah. ok. But someone who does not know the "common" usage of the term gain might go away thinking that a transformer is an active element. That's all I was trying to clarify.