Should I buy XLR cables?

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    If only consumer gear had standardized on the BNC connector instead of the RCA connector. I think Naim uses the BNC connector for unbalanced connections, but not many other consumer audio companies. If you own a full stack of Naim gear you can use BNC, otherwise...
     
  2. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Lack of clarification on my part. When I think of the "pro-sound community", I think of live sound enforcement, not a recording studio, where many use home audio gear.
     
  3. Sebastian.Athea

    Sebastian.Athea Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Istra
    Dude I'm 27 years old, every piece of equipment in lab where I work has BNC, from scopes to function gens, and reference clock. And BNC is used on pro video gear, look up 12G SDI.
     
  4. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    I see mostly TRS for single ended connections, but not “stereo” TRS, those are for high density balanced connections.

    My aggravation with XLR is the use of similar connectors, keyed differently for different applications. I live in the “pro” lighting world, so our DMX XLR cables are 5 pin whereas the DJ world uses three pin that look just like audio cables except keyed differently. Sure wish they would standardize on 3 pin for audio and 5 pin for lighting, but that ain’t happening any tome soon!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  5. Sebastian.Athea

    Sebastian.Athea Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Istra
    I never saw an consumer gear used in sound enforcement. only thing different from studio gear are the amps and speakers, things like Crown amplifiers, and sorry do disappoint you but they are all single ended. Although some of them can operate in bridged mono mode, but that's not the same as balanced.
     
  6. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Yes, that’s always been the case, but I’ve never seen BNC used much for audio. Not unheard of, but not exactly common either. Video gear and test equipment, yes, but the only really common audio use I see is AES/EBU digital. Audio just doesn’t need the bandwidth that BNC supports.
     
  7. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    See above post.

    I know what and where BNC connector's are used.

    So does BayouTiger...

     
    BayouTiger likes this.
  8. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    In my military days our test station handled DC to deep in the Ka band. I think I’ve dealt with about every goofy connector that Neutrik, Amphenol, Cannon, Molex, and about everyone else has made over the decades. Way too many to think about! :)
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  9. Sebastian.Athea

    Sebastian.Athea Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Istra
    Oh god, fing molex, they won't connect and when they do connect they won't disconnect, hate those bloody things!
     
    BayouTiger likes this.
  10. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    I think I carried one of these in my back pocket for 14 years! Lol
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    SandAndGlass and Sebastian.Athea like this.
  11. jbmcb

    jbmcb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Troy, MI, USA
    One more data point - when I worked at an electronics shop a decade ago, all the lab equipment was BNC, except for the weirdo RF stuff which used small screw connectors. The audio test equipment (AF generators, Audio Precision, harmonic distortion analyzers, RTAs) had BNC and 3-pin XLR connectors. All the pro-audio stuff had 3-pin XLR connectors. The only thing that used RCA was the TacT digital preamp we used, mostly to route digital signals around and as a volume control. We also had a Perpetural Technologies P1A hacked to use low-voltage I2S so we could tap directly into the digital output of audio gadgets, bypassing the on-board DAC.
     
    BayouTiger likes this.
  12. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Yep, the weirdo RF stuff was likely 5/16 SMA connectors.
     
  13. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Don't look up SMA in Urban Dictionary.
     
    Kyhl and BayouTiger like this.
  14. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    My wife would tell you that I am a culturally illiterate old fart, and prefer to stay so!
     
    SandAndGlass and Ham Sandwich like this.
  15. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    Yup, cuz most of them don't understand how the stuff works.
     
    SandAndGlass and BayouTiger like this.
  16. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    Location:
    Abingdon UK
    As an EE, I'm not going to spoon feed you. Think about it, read widely, and you will understand.
     
  17. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    XLR is a professional connection standard. I don't see the point in domestic equipment.
     
  18. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    Location:
    Abingdon UK
    That is just following conventional dogma, alas. Single ended phono connections were introduced 60-odd years ago, and were used to make short internal signal connections in all-in-one wooden cased radiograms. All of the internal power cables were connected together internally to a single two core power cable. But noise (and distortion) from the electronics was high, and the dynamic range from the record deck in there was 70dB.

    Since then the dynamic range of sources has progressively improved, distortion has fallen to almost unmeasurably low levels, yet still we're stuck in the past with phono and single ended connections.

    Now we have 20 bit audio with a dynamic range of 120dB, or even 24 bit with a dynamic range of 144dB.

    That means that, in order to enjoy the full dynamic range of these sources, you need less than 1uV noise for 20 bit or 120nV at 24 bit (below full modulation at 2V unbalanced signal).

    I am convinced that background white noise from the electronics, and hum and buzz (even at very low level) is behind the reason that most people cannot hear any difference in sound quality from red book 16 bit digital and 20/24bit high resolution digital. The least significant 4-8 bits are simply buried in audio system noise.

    Now getting white noise "hiss" down to sub microvolt is a really tough ask. And getting systematic noise sources relating to mains power, lamp dimmers etc down to those levels is difficult even with balanced interconnection, and I absolutely still contend that it is impossible with the historically ancient phono connected single ended cables.

    All that explains why there is a somewhat fanatical sub-set of audio enthusiasts who battery power everything. Even power amps - I have personally seen piles of car/auto batteries for the power amps, and smaller battery power bricks for lower power components. Somewhat crazy - but there is absolutely zero hum and buzz!
     
  19. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    Location:
    south florida, usa
    XLR... I'd give them a try!
     
  20. BMWCCA

    BMWCCA Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central Virginia
    "are" or "are not"??
     
  21. Myke Reid

    Myke Reid Forum Resident

    Oops, sorry. I meant "are not." Thanks for the catch.
     
  22. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    I do. When using XLR connections in my system it is totally silent. With RCA connections I get a slight hum/buzz from all speakers.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  23. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    Location:
    Abingdon UK
     
  24. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    The only problem I've had with balanced is when the cable is between +4db professional recording equipment and -10db consumer recording/amplification equipment, where the +4 will overload the -10 equipment and cause great distortion which can not be corrected. Also, hot pins may not share the same position between some brands.
     
  25. sethICE

    sethICE Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Would connecting the XLR output of an Oppo 205 to the XLR input of a McIntosh MA6900 integrated amp be a good use of an XLR connector (i.e. are these pieces of equipment correctly made and "fully balanced")? I ask not only because it might sound better but also because using the XLR input on the Mac will free up an extra RCA input.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page