XLR or RCA outputs?


#1

My next power amp will only have single ended rca inputs which means losing my xlr connections.

Two things:

  1. Has anyone noticed a difference between the two outputs? I used to have a Schiit dac and there was a subtle more refined sound from xlr than rca.

  2. I use the attenuator now to lower floor noise but have a bit of a volume boost using balanced connections, which I will likely lose with the new amp. And so, I feel the best way to do this is to build a passive transformer xlr to rca box. Can someone please specify how the balanced connections (pin-out) should be connected in relation to the rca out? I’ve seen xlr to rca cables but this is not the best way to do things, using a transformer is. I just want to ensure the instructions I give to the builder for connections from the DS are as painless as possible.


#2

I just posted a similar reply on another thread. I use this XLR to RCA transformer from Decware (Model ZBIT) with my DSD DAC and cannot recommend it enough.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/ZBIT.html


#3

This I can comment with certainty: I have the same Zu Audio “Event” interconnects, same length, one SE, one XLR going from my PS DSD to a fully balanced FirstWatt J2 amp. The xlr sounds much more detailed, especially at lower volume.

That said, I don’t think the difference is sufficient to do your “step 2”. Why add more stuff in the loop?


#4
Jeff of Arabica said

I just posted a similar reply on another thread. I use this XLR to RCA transformer from Decware (Model ZBIT) with my DSD DAC and cannot recommend it enough.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/ZBIT.html


The Decware appears to isolate grounds between the source and output, which is nice, and will give the balanced voltage output to the RCAs. The output pot will have a big influence on its sound and, if it is 100Kohms as shown in their schematic, the output impedance will be quite high at half volume, which could be a problem with some amps.

#5
Jeff of Arabica said

I just posted a similar reply on another thread. I use this XLR to RCA transformer from Decware (Model ZBIT) with my DSD DAC and cannot recommend it enough.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/ZBIT.html


Jeff knows I use the same ZBIT from Decware. It definitely allows me to enjoy what I consider the superior sound from the balanced output of the DSD.

#6

The audio XLR outputs have pin 2 as +, pin 3 as - pin 1 (and the shield) are grounded. If your amp truly has a floating differential RCA input (i.e. neither side of it’s connection is grounded (which is very unlikely)) you can use a simple wired point to point adapter from the XLR to the RCA. Most of the time you’ll need a quality transformer based adapter in the audio interconnects - once you have a transformer you can select just about any output level you want.