Originally Posted by Ken Rahaim
For what its worth, I followed up and called B&K and Emotiva (very nice folks over at Emotiva) and got an earful of good info
. Both the B&K and the yet to be released Emotiva pre-amps sport fully balanced (differential circuit) XLR connections as opposed to Parasounds quasi-balanced connection.
FWIWx2, if the Emotiva RSP-1 were available today, I'd definetly be giving it a try for 30 days (full money back, no questions asked if not 100% satisfied).
So, as of now the Parasound (quasi-balanced), the B&K and the Emotiva "budget" pre-amps are the only 3 sub $1K units w/ any form of XLR connections?
Fully balanced input/output connections are not the same as a fully balanced input-to-output design. It's just more double-speak of sorts.
My Anthem AVM 20 has "true balanced" inputs and outputs that (evidently) would be along the lines of those in the B&K and Emotiva. However, the Anthem does NOT have fully balanced circuits from input to output.
The answer you get depends on the question you ask.
If the question is "Does this thing have fully balanced inputs and outputs?" and the answer is "YES", then it's a true statement.
But, if the question is "Does this thing have fully balanced circuits from input to output?", I'd bet a dollar the answer is "NO" for both of them and probably 90%, or more, of all other gear.
Of course, maybe a fully balanced design is not what you are really after. In that case, there is probably little, if any, difference in actual function between the quasi-balanced (what ever that is) outputs and the fully balanced outputs of the others you checked.
It may well be merely the author's terminology referring to balanced input/output without fully balanced circuits in between as "quasi-balanced". If this is the case, that would make the Parasound no different in this regard than the B&K and the Emotiva. When I go back and read the reviewer's remark, it seems clear this is exactly what he was referring to.