RCA to XLR adaptor for Ayre, is it worth it?

I have an Ayre V3 which has both XLR-in and RCA-in; according to Ayre, it is much prefered to operate the V3 in the balanced mode.

Currently I only have RCA-out from my source/pre and I'm using the RCA-in on the V3. Is it worth the effort to use a RCA-XLR adaptor and have the V3 switched to the balanced mode?

Currently I don't have the space and $ to switch to a balanced pre setup.
From my experiences, adapters hurt the sound as much or possibly more than they can help the sound. I've used power cord and interconnect adapters from many manufacturers, and they all seem to leave their own sonic footprint on the music.

I would recommend you just run in single ended mode with a good interconnect until the time comes when you can afford to run fully balanced.

Using an adapter will not give you balanced operation. You need a balanced component to connect w/the V-3 (via XLR) to achieve a truly balanced mode.

Also, just because there is an XLR jack, that doesn't mean the piece is balanced. The Ayre is, so no worries there.
Using an output transformer is the proper way to convert an unbalanced output to balanced.

DM2-2RX is the product you need. The cost is ~$200.

Whether or not the resultant common mode noise rejection is of benefit to you or not depends on your environment.
Yea, to parrot what's been said, my understanding (albeit superficial) is that the benefits of running a balanced system is all or nothing -- you either run 100% balanced or you're effectively not at all. Put differently, the signal either is or isn't balanced from start to finish, and switching up connectors in the stream doesn't change a thing.

Far as I see it, the only reason to ever use a converter is when you've got two components that otherwise wouldn't be able to talk to each other. For example, my preamp has XLR inputs only for the HT bypass loop, but my HT Receiver is single ended only. Thus, the only way to plug the two into each other (preouts for the mains on the HT Receiver into the HT bypass loop on the preamp to drive the main speakers) was to either get some converter plugs or some RCA to XLR terminated wires (otherwise, I'd be pleased as can be to simply run RCA to RCA). Ultimately went with the terminated wires rather than converter plugs (on the theory that it's one less piece of junk in the chain to mess stuff up), but, either way, it's a 100% single ended feed 'cause, once it starts that way, that's how it stays.

So I'd have to agree, even if you found the perfect sonicly neutral converter/adaptor (which might itself be a mythical beast), it likely wouldn't be worth it as you'd simple be plugging into a different hole, not changing the nature of the signal. Or, at least, that's how I understand it. Meantime, enjoy.
Thats right. All or nothin..and nothing is no good if you're using Ayre. Ayre components all sound much better balanced...that is...completely balanced. No shorcuts.
common mode noise rejection isn't a requirement cos I don't plan to run any cable longer than 4 ft.

I think the long term plan is to get something like a Benchmark DAC1, Lavry or Apogeee DAC to drive it directly.

it's a 2nd system in the house ... so no budget no space (if I have $ i would put it against the primary system)

I guess I'll leave it as-is for now.

thanks to all :-)
I used these until I discovered they added pronounced noise through my CDP to amp connection.
You didn't say how long your RCA is. If it's real long you might get a plus with an adaptor but it would be the lesser or two evils. If it's short, you're probably better off without one but trying is believing.

One way or another, if you don't have a balanced pre, the signal will be going thru some conversion. I'd let the inside of the Ayre do it.
Hello All-

Like all Ayre amplifiers the V-3xe will convert an incoming single ended (RCA) single to balanced as soon as it hit the input stage. The signal will still be a few DB down from a true balanced signal but using an XLR adapter will not change that.

If you have any other questions please feel free to call us at Ayre Acoustics


Steve Silberman
303-442-7300 x233
Steve, you mentioned V-3xe. I was under the impression the V-3 was the only designated model number, regardless of upgrades. At least the two units I had were represented as such.

I'd be interested in knowing what constitutes the xe from the V-3.
Yea, to parrot what's been said, my understanding (albeit superficial) is that the benefits of running a balanced system is all or nothing -- you either run 100% balanced or you're effectively not at all.

The source can be unbalanced, the connection between the preamp and amp balanced and the differential input at the amp will cancel common mode noise.

Is it better to run balanced lines between the source and preamp rather than unbalanced? Probably.

Is it better that the preamp and amp use a balanced design from input to putput? Probably, but there is a benefit of CMNR at the differential input whether or not the amp is balanced end-to-end.
Old habit- There is no V-3xe, just x I'm just used to writing xe all the time.