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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a B&K Ref 30 and am thinking of getting the Ref 50 which has the balanced inputs. I already have a Rotel 1095 amp with balanced inputs. Will using the balanced inputs make a noticeable difference in sound quality versus the RCA jacks i'm using now to connect the preamp and amp?
 

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Probably not unless you have a long cable runs. If you are having some noise issues currently it could though.


The purpose of balanced cable is for long cable runs.


It will never hurt to use them though. :)


You will notice an increase in volume when the volume knob is set to the same level. But that is a gain thing. Not a sound quality thing. :)
 

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You system will sound better using the unbalanced inputs as long as you aren't experiencing noise from interference. All the gear made these days is *electronically* balanced, and that adds more electronics into the path of your signal. If your goal is to remove as much of the electronics between the source and the signal, then you want unbalanced.


Balanced was designed primarily for pro systems where the setup could be different and unpredictable every time. Balanced is a must because you never would know where noise would pop up and it's a PITA to track it down.


Most home systems don't have this problem.


Having said all that, I doubt you would ever hear a difference either way.
 

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Az Barber,


Well said, most home applications do not have the problems that arise in pro audio. You don't have the amount of equipment, the different equipment, the long runs, and all the other factors in the home as in pro audio.


I think the only difference that could be noticed is if you are having problems to start with.
 

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Most home audio systems have short cable lengths between amp and preamp (three meters or less), very low common mode noise, and interconnects that can be secured tightly. If this sounds like your situation then you probably won't hear a difference between balanced and unbalanced.


I use balanced primarily because they lock in place and can't "wiggle" out of their receptacle (some RCA connectors are prone to do this). The sound I get is exactly the same as my unbalanced interconnect.


MT
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tboling
especially use balanced if you have an RF cable from your cable provider running anywhere near your components. Major noise source for unbalanced cables.
No it isn't. the signal levels on an RF cable are in the millivolt range, and sheilded. Even if the RF signal was induced into an interconnect...it's RF, the lowest frequency is going to be 54MHz. No audio amplifier is going to pass that, and no speaker is going to reproduce that.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ontheinside
6db lower noise using balanced over RCA connections. If you have them use them.
Just to clarify, you experienced this yourself or you're saying that this is a universal?


6bd is a lot of noise.
 

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The signal level on a balanced circuit, compared to an unbalanced circuit is 6dB higher is voltage...so you could say that the noise floor is 6dB lower,

This is a universal fact due to circuit topology.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for your expertise. I currently have no issues with noise, and the amp and pre/pro are within two feet of each other, so from what I'm gathering, it won't make any noticeable difference.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by xswl0931
I believe the "balanced" inputs on the Rotel 1095 aren't really truly balanced (see review ) anyways.
It would seem that they are indeed not fully balanced circuits. Seems to be the trend in consumer gear. Guess it gives one that warm fuzz feeling of thinking you got fully balanced gear. :D
 
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