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It's really a "should I upgrade" question. I have a 3-channel B&K amp (TX4430) that will take balanced cables. I have a 2-channel B&K amp (EX442) that does not. Both have the same output. I just upgraded my pre/pro, which now gives me the option to move to balanced connections. The 2-channel amp drives my surrounds. I know that balanced cables are preferred for long runs. However, that isn't the case here -- all the gear is in the rack so cables aren't going to be longer than 1m. Given the short cable length, should I care about balanced or unbalanced?
 

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I still used balanced cables even for short runs when possible - here is why:


- locking connection (at least on my gear)

- very flexible cable. Usually these balanced cables are also mic cables which makes them pretty thin and extremely flexible. This makes it easy to route.

- very reasonably priced. I get mine from a musical instrument store.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EC /forum/post/0


I still used balanced cables even for short runs when possible - here is why:


- locking connection (at least on my gear)

- very flexible cable. Usually these balanced cables are also mic cables which makes them pretty thin and extremely flexible. This makes it easy to route.

- very reasonably priced. I get mine from a musical instrument store.

These are good reasons but if the OP is in a rack, these probably don't matter. The other reason is that long runs of cables or packed racks are more susceptible to picking up noise. The shielding and higher voltage of balanced cables helps this problem. If you are not experiencing any noise or hum, the switch is probably not worthwhile.


Some high end guys will tell you that the balanced and unbalanced inputs/outputs might sound slightly different and might be worth a listen just to see if you can hear a difference. I myself would play with it just to see if I could hear any difference but since it is only your surrounds, even I probably wouldn't bother.
 

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Quote:
The other reason is that long runs of cables or packed racks are more susceptible to picking up noise. The shielding and higher voltage of balanced cables helps this problem.

Noise rejection in a balanced interconnect has nothing to do with shielding or signal level.

The differential drivers and receivers cancel out common mode noise, induced into the interconnect.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targus /forum/post/0


Noise rejection in a balanced interconnect has nothing to do with shielding or signal level.

The differential drivers and receivers cancel out common mode noise, induced into the interconnect.

But not all amps (or preamps) with "balanced" (XLR) outputs actually have true differential balanced circuits. With those the RCA connection is probably more than sufficient for short runs. Remember that usually the balanced outputs add 6 dB to the amp gain, so re-adjust volume levels and channel balance.
 

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But not all amps (or preamps) with "balanced" (XLR) outputs actually have true differential balanced circuits.

Yes, it's called false advertising....still hos nothing to do with sheilding or signal level though.

Quote:
Remember that usually the balanced outputs add 6 dB to the amp gain,

No, they don't do anything to the gain of the amplifier, the signal, after the differential receiver, is 6dB higher then an unbalanced signal through the same differential receiver.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 /forum/post/0


But not all amps (or preamps) with "balanced" (XLR) outputs actually have true differential balanced circuits. With those the RCA connection is probably more than sufficient for short runs. Remember that usually the balanced outputs add 6 dB to the amp gain, so re-adjust volume levels and channel balance.

Don't start with him, Targus has far more experience being argumentative and insulting than he has with real equipment in his own home. He likes to hijack threads, quote other peoples information and start fights and then insult you. Read his past posts.
 
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