Sex and the balanced interconnect.

Caught your eye, didn't it.

I am contemplating a new line level crossover, and it comes with XLR balanced outputs. My power amps have XLR balanced inputs, so I thought...why not give balanced a try. The problem is that both the crossover and the amps have female connectors, so that the interconnect needs to be male on both ends (just like an rca interconnect). I find cables offered with a wide variety of connector configurations, but I can't find any XLR cables configured male-to-male, although I could put in a special order and have them made.

Is it unusual to require male-to-male configuration?
eldartford up the soldering iron? Sounds unusual though. The male-female thing ordinarily makes them dummy proof with component males for outputs, component females for nature first intended :^)
One of your ic need sex change? this sound very
In the XLR connector the three pins are within a shroud that protects them from damage, so the male-to-male configuration is OK in that regard. By the way, I do live in Massachusetts, so same-sex interconnects are legal.
If you don't want to spend can order a set at Cobalt Cable. Just click-on the drop down box for male-male.

I find this difficult to understand. The gender of XLR connectors is defined by whether they are outputs or inputs. You might check the crossover to see if you are looking at the right ones.
I have the same concerns as Kr4. On all the products I have had, ARC, BAT, Aesthetix, Counerpoint, Wolcott, etc., the inputs on the electronics has always been female and outputs are male. This is an industry statndard. The only thing the industry did not standardize on was the pinout.

It sounds like maybe your crossover might support single-ended and balanced inputs but perhaps only single-ended outputs as there are no male XLR connectors on the chassis. So before you do anything, you need to verify this.
What amps do you have? Are you sure they're truly balanced, and not just using internal conversion to single ended input?
check out
I have the power amps, CarverPro zr1600, and the manual and inspection of the hardware confirms that a male plug is necessary on the input cable. The connectors on the chassis accept XLR, TRS, or TS 1/4 phone plugs, all male. (TS are used for single ended operation). The circuit is truly a differential input for balanced interconnects, as one can check on the schematic available on the web site.

I do not physically have the crossover: an Ashley is what I am considering. However, I do have the manual which clearly states that the interconnect needs a male connector.

Industry standards don't seem to be universally followed. In reading the Ashley manual I learned that JBL drivers pull the cone IN for a positive input. OUT is standard for other brands. I discovered this for myself when I wired up my subwoofer systems. (Actually I thought I had mixed up the connections at the drivers and didn't unscrew them from the enclosure to check).
On most preamps all the RCA's are females. But industrial strength XLR's tell you at a glance which are the inputs and which the outputs. Otherwise, fault finding while in front of a bank of components with speaker arrays roaring could be disconcerting, pun intended. Could Ashley be stating the obvious, that you'll need a male at the other end of the interrconnect? Let us know once the suspect is in custody.
Unclejeff...Thanks for the info. Looks like good stuff.
Any cable company will configure the cable anyway that you want, if you pay for it and it may not cost anything extra.

But, I too would be very surprised that you need such an interconnect. I have never heard of such a situation, and would be leery of a company that required this strange hookup. If you can afford it, Krell probably make the best electronic crossover and will configure it for virtually any speaker....and it uses the standard setup.

Your electronic crossover should require two types of XLR interconnect ends, both male and female. One is for the input and one for the output.

Thanks to everyone who remarked on the unusual male-to-male XLR cable configuration. Very careful rereading of the Ashly manual suggests that the XLR chassis output is a male. All the diagrams about pin assignments show only male XLR connectors. The female reference occurs once burried in text about other things.

I wonder why this is the standard. RCA and phone plug interconnects are all male-to-male.

I am considering this crossover, to replace very satisfactory Marchand units, because I want to be able to easily change the SW/Main crossover frequency. My Marchand crossover consists of three of their boards which I put together into a chassis, which is located in the cellar, with my power amps. Changing frequency involves taking off the cover and pluging in a different frequency select module. I have determined that there is no best crossover frequency for my system, which includes custom built multi driver subwoofers that are capable of good response to higher frequency than most subwoofers. Organ music, loud orchestral pieces, and mass chorus performances are best when the six big dynamic drivers pump it out: X/O 80 - 150 Hz. Chamber music is best when the Maggies do most if not all: X/O 50 Hz.

Because the new X/O will be located with the source equipment, (not in the cellar with the amps) the interconncts to the power amps will get a lot longer, and that's why I am interested in trying the balanced line capability.

Thanks again. I'm glad I asked.
You asked: "I wonder why this is the standard. RCA and phone plug interconnects are all male-to-male."

The answer is that it makes it nearly impossible (without significant effort) to connect an output to an output or an input to an input. With RCAs, anything's possible.
I was about to say the same as Kr4. Indeed, it is a good thing. And I like the locking mechanism that comes with most XLR, female and male, connections on the chassis.
Yup. In fact, putting aside potential advantages in regard to noise pickup, the security of the connections and connectors makes all the fancy RCA permutations seem like toys.

Jafox...It has been pointed out that with a locking connector if someone trips over the wire (and don't say it never happens) the electronics end up on the floor. Nothing is perfect.