Correct way to connect Studio Monitors to preamp outputs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-23-2014, 03:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Correct way to connect Studio Monitors to preamp outputs

What is the correct way to connect amplified studio monitors to a receiver with preamp outputs? I tried connecting via RCA unbalanced on the back of the monitor to the RCA preamp outputs on the receiver, and it sounds softer than it should. I'm pretty sure the signal is too weak. I'm guessing the speakers were designed to be used primarily via balanced connection, hence the softness to the tonal sound. How do you convert from unbalanced RCA preamp outputs to balanced TRS or XLR inputs?

Maybe something like this? http://www.amazon.com/ROLLS-DB24-Stereo-Direct-Interface/dp/B001032GK8

Or perhaps this? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ay_Stereo.html

Last edited by NetTechie; 08-23-2014 at 04:45 AM.
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-23-2014, 08:58 AM
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This solution is popular around here

http://artproaudio.com/artcessories/.../cleanbox_pro/
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post #3 of 18 Old 08-23-2014, 01:09 PM
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I'm waiting for a couple cleanbox pros for my own setup. I got fed up with dealing with my Emotiva and the bulk of it and wanted to use self-powered pro speakers for a long time. There is a sound card called Motu which has a full 8 channels of balanced outs for around 5 bills, but that's only USB or Firewire interface, so it wouldn't let me have surround sound on my Xbox One as well as my HTPC. Unfortunately, I'm using the analog outs of my PC's built in sound card, which, while it's leaps and bounds better than the on board sound of old, it's still nowhere near as good as a receiver.

The cleanbox pro route seems to be the only affordable way to get balanced audio from consumer level stuff for multichannel 7.1 audio.
I've got my first pair of LSR 308s waiting patiently for parts express to deliver these baluns (unofficially, that's what people seem to call these types of devices, AFAIK).
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-23-2014, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
This solution is popular around here

http://artproaudio.com/artcessories/.../cleanbox_pro/
Any thoughts on the quality and longevity of an ART brand product? I was thinking maybe the Rolls MB15b Promatch 2-Way Stereo Converter would be better quality, as it is made in USA and Rolls is an older company that has been around a long time. I called Guitar Center and they don't carry it, and can't order it (well they could but it would take over a month), but they thought I would be better off with Rolls than an ART product.
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-23-2014, 10:00 PM
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I don't know from personal experience, just passing along the solution I have seen most often on these forums. I haven't read anything negative about the cleanbox, and I've never seen any feedback on the Rolls.

Now that doesn't really mean much. The Rolls could be a far superior product, I just don't know. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Good luck and let us know what you end up with and how it works. I may very well need one of these myself in the near future.
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-23-2014, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLBURNSIDE View Post
I've got my first pair of LSR 308s waiting patiently for parts express to deliver these baluns (unofficially, that's what people seem to call these types of devices, AFAIK).
Would love to hear your impressions of the 308. I'm getting some M2's but I need to decide on surrounds. I'm leaning towards the LSR 6328P or the 6333, but haven't ruled out the 308's.
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-25-2014, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
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After a lot of contemplation, I decided to buy a preamp with XLR outputs, so I wont have to use adapters to convert 8 channels.
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-25-2014, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by NetTechie View Post
After a lot of contemplation, I decided to buy a preamp with XLR outputs, so I wont have to use adapters to convert 8 channels.
Which one did you end up getting? Even 4 cleanboxes for 8 channels would only amount to 260 dollars + shipping, I'm assuming your XLR preamp is probably over a grand or two?

I would have done that as well had I had the funds, but then again, I could also just spend the money I would have saved on something else.
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-27-2014, 08:21 AM
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I got it all connected, sounds great.
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-29-2014, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLBURNSIDE View Post
Which one did you end up getting? Even 4 cleanboxes for 8 channels would only amount to 260 dollars + shipping, I'm assuming your XLR preamp is probably over a grand or two?

I would have done that as well had I had the funds, but then again, I could also just spend the money I would have saved on something else.
I got the Denon DN-500AV receiver, which used isn't too bad in price.
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post #11 of 18 Old 08-29-2014, 09:02 AM
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I looked it up, it looks really nice, but I worry that they cut corners in their design and that it's not true differential signalling to create the balanced outputs.

Does anyone on this forum know which XLR-out receivers have true balanced outputs? I read somewhere (here, probably), that the third pin is often simply not connected to anything.

NB: I could be totally off the mark here. I wouldn't want to pay an extra 500 bucks for balanced outputs that are electrically no different than some 2 dollar a piece open ended dummy unbalanced / balanced adapters.
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post #12 of 18 Old 08-29-2014, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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It does have a +4db or -10db switch on the back, but you could be right that they aren't what I had hoped. It's kinda cheapish feeling, knobs etc.

Edit: from the Denon Professional DN-500AV thread "...and the ground-loop hum is all but gone." so maybe that means it's true balanced? I don't know.

Last edited by NetTechie; 08-29-2014 at 10:31 AM.
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post #13 of 18 Old 08-29-2014, 11:01 AM
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A balanced home theater pre-amp is going to be expensive. The Marantz AV7701 comes to mind, you can get it refurbished at www.accessories4less.com for $1100. Emotiva makes the XMC-1, but it's $2000.

Denon AVR-1713 | EMP E55Ti | EMP E56Ci | EMP E5Bi | BIC F-12
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post #14 of 18 Old 08-30-2014, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
A balanced home theater pre-amp is going to be expensive. The Marantz AV7701 comes to mind, you can get it refurbished at www.accessories4less.com for $1100. Emotiva makes the XMC-1, but it's $2000.
Think the Denon one is not true balanced? Is there a way to check this? I paid $650 for mine with shipping in mint condition used, so a lot less then the AV7701, which was the cheapest one I could find besides the Denon.

Last edited by NetTechie; 08-30-2014 at 09:19 PM.
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post #15 of 18 Old 08-30-2014, 09:58 PM
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Not sure, I don't really keep up with pro-audio equipment. Try seeing if you find any information on google, or I think the gearslutz forum was mentioned at some point.

Denon AVR-1713 | EMP E55Ti | EMP E56Ci | EMP E5Bi | BIC F-12
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post #16 of 18 Old 09-08-2014, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RLBURNSIDE View Post
I got it all connected, sounds great.
Just got my adapters today. The Rolls Promatch adapters caused hiss, so I'm returning them. The CleanBoxPro's work splendid. Much better sound now than before on unbalanced connections.
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post #17 of 18 Old 09-08-2014, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
This solution is popular around here

http://artproaudio.com/artcessories/.../cleanbox_pro/
Thanks for the recommendation, it works far superior to the Rolls one I was contemplating. I've tried both, and there is no comparison, the ART one is just so much better.
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post #18 of 18 Old 09-09-2014, 06:16 AM
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Great, glad they worked out. I might be using them myself, so thanks for the update.
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