Should I buy XLR cables?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Sebastian.Athea, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    I was referring to the connection to the jacks inside the amp, not topology. He's the one assuming confusion is going on here.
     
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  2. Sebastian.Athea

    Sebastian.Athea Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Istra
     
  3. CoolJazz

    CoolJazz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern Tennessee
    No confusion here. I never referred to using XLR wiring to single ended circuitry.

    I made two points...

    1 - That advantages to balanced wiring is not negated by having any single ended circuitry at some point in the system.

    2 - That building a differential device has significant complexity to truly be of benefit.

    CJ
     
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  4. Sebastian.Athea

    Sebastian.Athea Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Istra
    :righton:
     
  5. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    Agreed. People should stop implying that using a particular connector (XLR, HDMI, etc.) defines the connections within. Balanced wiring is of value as long as properly implemented.
     
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  6. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    If there is no scientific advantage to fully differential topology, then whey was it invented and implemented in the first place?

    An RCA jack that is wired to a case ground and then wired in parallel or an XLR connector provides no benefits at all over over a simple RCA cable, if the outer shield on the XLR cable shares a common ground with one of the wires on the inside of the shield.
     
  7. Frost

    Frost Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    I have a degree in EE and I dont understand what you are talking about.
     
  8. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    What I find is that XLR cables are a great value. I generally use Mogami Gold balanced cables and they perform better than RCAs I’ve had that cost much more. I am not a big cable believer, but I do think that quality cables matter. Even if the Mogami cables are only equal in SQ to equally priced RCAs, they are far more reliable and durable.

    FWIW, I do have some much more expensive balanced cables and the cheaper are every bit equal (or better) In fact I’ve not seen any reviews (either pro or anecdotally) that claim otherwise, except from sales guys -though I’ve not looked hard.

    Of course to get the best, you need gear with true balanced designs.
     
  9. Frost

    Frost Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    If youre saying that things connected with xlr are immune to ground loops, you are very wrong. As an EE I dont even understand what you are talking about with that silliness of mains power and harmonics flowing through the shield of the rca. Please explain.
     
  10. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    With a balanced design, the signal is a differential signal and while still referenced to ground,it should shield the signal path from the common ground.

    Grounding is a black art whose effects can be extrememly difficult to grasp. Me equipment I used to work on was extremely sensitive to ground eddy currents in the chassis of the gear and it took several changes to the design to prevent signal interaction between modules on the assembly. It absolutely made no sense whatsoever, but gave us fits to work around.
     
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  11. CoolJazz

    CoolJazz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern Tennessee
    Put it back in the envelope and send it back! Quick...get a refund!

    CJ
     
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  12. What about the risks/dangers of hot-plugging RCA vs XLR cables while the equipment is powered up? I know that's not safe with RCA. Is it safer with balanced XLR?
     
  13. Sebastian.Athea

    Sebastian.Athea Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Istra
    For exactly the same reason that interconnects with built in batteries for "better performance" were invented.
    XLR is safe to hot connect/disconnect. You can hot connect RCA too, you just need to be very, VERY careful not to touch anything with center pin, especially not ground.
     
  14. MusicNBeer

    MusicNBeer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    I vote yes, only because they virtually eliminate ground loop hum problems.
     
  15. Sebastian.Athea

    Sebastian.Athea Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Istra
    Don't be mean.
    I believe @CoolJazz is talking about this
     
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  16. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I doubt if the pro-sound community would be in agreement with you on that one.
     
  17. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Nice informative video, though how often does an audio system get from from two separately grounded sources? I’ve seen loops develop within a small system as well. Usually seems that subwoofers are most subject, but them they would be most subsceptible to 60hz.

    Come to think of it, the case that I had with a Yamaha Sub was likely because of an RCA to XLR adapter.
     
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  18. Needing to be very VERY careful when plugging in RCA cables is the definition of not safe to do. It's impossible to be that careful and exact and precise every time. I try that when the equipment is off and end up accidentally touching the center pin on the cable to the outside ground ring on the equipment. I can be a klutz. It's like an expensive game of Operation. Only instead of just making the red light for the nose light up you instead fry something in your audio gear.

    One of the things that worries me with RCA connectors is that just moving the gear a few inches can be enough to cause a cable to come loose from the gear. Very easy for the center pin to come in contact with ground if that happens. And if the gear is on when that happens... A locking RCA connector can prevent that, but I hate locking connectors. I consider locking RCA connectors dangerous (because I'm a klutz and stupid).

    I really wish they had standardized on a better and more fool-proof connector for unbalanced signals. And same for the TRS plug standard for headphones. I wish they had standardized on something better.

    For those reasons I prefer using an XLR connection when I can.
     
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  19. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen an RCA cable in a pro environment....but being on the lighting side, I have certainly had some run ins with the “noise boys”. They tend to blame ground issues on everything but their rig!
     
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  20. Sebastian.Athea

    Sebastian.Athea Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Istra
    BNC connector is used on pro equipment for single ended.
     
  21. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    You'll note, that if there is any XLR connector in the system, it will be between the processor and the sub.

    Here is the back of my current 4k processor.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Sebastian.Athea

    Sebastian.Athea Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Istra
    Can you name any pro gear that is "fully balanced" and isn't an headphone amp? Even the best studio monitors from Focal have single ended amp, as well as DACs from RME and Lake People, none of them are "fully balanced".
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  23. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    BNC has always been a great connector that seems to be used less these days. Back in my CCTV days, I made thousands of them, a bit more tedious but so much better than the UHF connectors that were common.
     
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  24. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    How many decades ago was that?
     
  25. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Don't think you ever will either...
     
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