And I thought it was bad having 40 feet of interconnect! I am no expert, but my understanding is that running balanced vs. single-ended is better for long runs of interconnects, in terms of better low level detail and maybe a little in the highs. I don't think it will improve the bass, though. If you have very little noise now, I don't know if it's worth it, although maybe someone out there can say if the Classe equipment is light years better when run balanced?
Rcprince has already touched on some important parts, I might add that unless your components are TRULY balanced, there may actually be a loss by going to balanced connectors.
Some equipment appears to be balanced, but the jack is supplied as a convenience for those who want balanced or already own the cable. Often the connection inside the chassis runs over to the RCA jacks and then on to the circuit. I am not saying this is the case with Classe equipment, I don't know.
I am running 40 feet runs of Purist Dominus RLS single ended RCA, from my preamp to my mono amps. The times I have tested balanced against single ended showed improvement only once in several trials. The time the balanced worked was between two identical brands of gear, both absolute TRUE balanced designs, with the cable carrying the signal from the main output to a stepped volume control. Obviously this was a hyper critical application, and even then it was a fairly small gain.
Decide what is best for your gear, even consider a call to the factory before dropping the bucks. The money may be better spent on another piece in the system. In any case, please post results.
gerryn: you need to get an interior decorator to design some really good-looking "socks" or multi-hued prophylactics to cover your ic's, so you can pull 'em outta' the walls. by doing so, you'd probably save at least 5 meters of required length. if you can't or are unwilling to leave your ic's visible to the world, i'd not bother with xlr's. -cfb
RCPrince: Thanks for your insights...
Albertporter: Your response has really triggered more questions. Time to call Classe'. Very interesting. Thanks...
Cornfed: I know exactly what you're saying....It's not the "look" of the cables I have a problem with. It's the fact that they have to intersect walk areas from my rack and go over the fireplace mantle as my Salons are on each side of the fireplace.
I do like the multi-colored "sock" idea :) but that would only draw attention to them and any "baby doll" I have over to the house probably wouldn't like them. Appreciate your comments
I cannot even begin to answer your question, but you should call Karen Sumner at Transparent. She is great to deal with and extremely knowledgeable of equipmnet. She started out in the industry as the US importer for Electrocompaniet and the went to Roland and MIT. Good luck.
Cellorover: Thanks for your suggestion. I have spoken to Transparent a number of times. They are great people and very helpful...but they do want to sell cabling. They tell me its the thing to do to lower the noise floor and improve the overall sonics. However, they don't claim that it will make a DRAMATIC difference either so this is why I asked. I'm sure Karen is great, just like Jim Shannon and Doug Blackwell have been. Probably the best customer service organization in cabling I've experienced to-date.
$2500 is a lot of money. I can't imagine that you would be better off spending that on some other component than cables. You could buy a decent analog rig and a bunch of albums for that kind of money.
Don't get hung up on equipment, buy some music.
I completed 2 pairs of DIY silver interconnects about a month ago. I have never heard bass so tight and with such impact. It auditioned Bryston 7B-ST's in my system for a week prior to this. My current setup laughs at the 7B-ST's.
Jazzdude: Thanks for the reply, but I don't fully understand your comments. How did you terminate the DIY interconnects? What amps are you using?
I have all Classe equipment and under the advice of Robert at Classe Audio I switched to balanced interconnects. The difference is very significant but Im mot sure its $2500 worth of change. If you are going to upgrade the level of the cables I would say its worth it but if you are going to replace them with the same model then I think $2500 would make a greater difference elsewhere.
I have noticed that Classe equipment likes good cables.
Well, I will only speak to the balanced part. If you are not stringing wire from down the block immersed in strong electric fields there is nothing balanced wire will do for you. You are spending money to fix a problem you do not have. Pros use it because they string so much wire through areas having tons of electronics in it and a balanced system can get a clean signal even if the noise signals are greater than the amplitude of the signal. This is not a problem in residential systems. Balanced line has the pro mystic because pros have a use for it and people demand it and there is a market for it. As Abe noted many amps that accept balanced line do even have the circuitry for it (looks cool though)! If the XLR would somehow be better for another reason I cannot say. There are plenty of real improvements to make in any system, eh?
Balanced cords will not improve your base, at least i have never encountered that claim although the way wire is marketed I would not be surprised to hear it.
Sincerely, I remain
Sincerely, I remain clueless. Cluless is hardley cluless. Please email my good friend Jcbtubes. He is using over 50 feet of OTA IC with no problems. Please read the Sakura OTA Cable Kit thread. Email some of these very friendly people who's knowledge is second to none. Dekay, Jcbtubes, Redkiwi, to name just a few. I have owned transparent cable. IMO, OTA will compete or surpass the transparent, Nordost, Kimber, just to name a few. Give it a try. At least read the OTA thread. What do you have to lose except a large amount of money that at least 75% goes to advertising. Good hunting. Be wise. Don't swallow the bs that can be very nasty tasting.
I would try a set of Innersound balanced cable and put the $ into other areas.
Point is that my interconnects made the purchase of a better amp unnecessary. If I had any more bass slam I might not be able to stand it. I have two pair of IC's one is terminated with WBT WCA, the other with Neutrik XLR.
You asked, "if YOU had the oppty to switch from 50 (15 meters) foot runs of Transparent Ultra RCA's to Balanced Transparent Ultra XLR's of the same length for an additional $2500, would you do it?" Based upon my experience for less than $500 you should easily be able to make interconnects that blow away Transparent Ultra XLR's, plus you will have all the bass you can stand.
Balanced cables have better noise rejection than RCA, provided that you don't float the ground. The increased bass slam which I mentioned above is not a function of the XLR's but rather minimizing the capacitance of the IC's and therefore preserving the signal. If Gerryn's current IC's have a high capacitance per meter then pushing that signal through 15 meters could easily be a reason he doesn't get the bass impact he expects.
Note that I never said that I have more bass. I said that I have more bass slam and impact or if you prefer the bass is tighter and has much more weight behind it. Any tonal shift in my system would be mitigated by my use of Tact RCS.
The OTA Cable Kit gave me the inspiration to do my own DIY IC's.