M700s with Single End Preamp

I am considering a set of M700s. The preamps I’m interested are all single ended. Just curious if anyone has compared using single ended preamps vs. balanced. I’ve searched and searched and haven’t found much discussion on this.


I am running two M700’s single ended (for now) with an SGCD/Preamp. I will be adding single to differential (RCA to XLR) conversion circuits that utilize OPA 627 Op-Amps/1% resistors/high quality caps and beefed up power supply) to the EQ box that feed my two amps. These are pre assembled circuits with all connections mounted. While it’s not a true differential path like the SGCD and M700’s are. The single ended signals are dead silent. I run true differential pairs (XLR) from my hacked by me Sony AVR which feed the SGCD/Preamp, the output of which feeds my single ended EQ box whose output goes to each M700.

A fully Balanced true differential signaling setup as Paul has Preached is the best way to go if you can do it. But my experience with these amps is they did an excellent job both on the single ended (RCA) and differential (XLR) inputs.


Thanks Joe.

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The M700s are excellent amps and a great value. When I bought my SGCD/Preamp and M700s a short while back, I had a chance to compare my ancient Bryston single-ended preamp to the SGCD. The SGCD was more detailed, open, and lively than the Bryston, even when both were using my Straight Wire interconnects with RCA connectors to feed the M700s. Although I purchased an inexpensive balanced IC from Blue Jeans Cable to use between the SGCD and M700s, the sound was too bright and fatiguing in my system so I am back to using the Straight Wire single-ended IC between the SGCD and M700s while I wait to receive a new Cardas balanced IC. The M700s still sound great in single-ended mode, and I haven’t had problems with hum or hiss with using the RCA connections. As would be expected, the XLR cable gave me a louder signal, but that is fixed easily by turning up the preamp volume - and there’s still no background noise in my system.

If you have problems with hum or background noise (or have to run long lengths of IC between preamp and amp), balanced connections have advantages. If you don’t have those problems, single-ended connections can often work out well.

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