I want to use a high quality CDP/DVP in my HT setup. I am seriously considering buying one of several pre/pros (ie, Classe SSP600, Parasound C1/C2) that only allow 2 channel analogue bypass/passthrough via XLR balanced inputs from CDP/DVP, but I may only have unbalanced RCA out. Will I significantly degrade SQ (or defeat purpose) by using an RCA-to-XLR cable to overcome this obstacle? Thanks much. Jeff
Doug: because the dacs in the CD/DVP will be better than the dacs in the C1/C2. For example, I'm looking at an Esoteric DV50 or 60, and some modded units like an APL Denon 5910. The DV50/60 does have XLR out, but it's better in unbalanced RCA out.
Doug, I really just want an answer to the question itself first. Then we can have some fun reviewing and debating the possible options: DACS, their implementation specific to a particular pre/pro or dvp, and the SQ implications. Certainly there are some pre/pros that have excellent dacs, but few that can compete against an Esoteric, or other high-end dvp as respects 2 channel CD playback. Thanks...Jeff
The answer is no, it won't likely produce any degradation of sound. The purpose of balanced connections is to obviate some of the issues will long cable runs. That's why microphones, as an example, are always connected in a balanced manner. As long as the distances are less than, say, 30 feet, unbalanced will work just as well.