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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone tell me if there are any processors with XLR balanced Outs other than the Lexicon (out of my price range) or the Anthem which I am considering. I am a mix engineer building a HT and plan on using Genelec Or Mackie 824's for speakers.

Any advise would be great.

Tones
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by TONES
Thanks for the reply

Any oppinion on Ref 50, DTC 9.4 or AVR 20.
I have an Anthem AVM 20 connected via balanced belden 9451 to Crown Microtech amps and am very happy.
 

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The Bryston SP-1.7 has balanced outs for 5.1 and there is one at audiogon for about $2,650. Also, Classe SSP-75, and maybe the 60 also; ATI AP-8500; Simaudio Attraction 7.1; Cary Cinema 7B/8B; Bel Canto PrePro; B&K Ref. 50; Krell Showcase and HTS 7.1, and Parasound Halo C1/C2. Granted some of these are out of your range also, but you may find them used in good condition.


Dsmith
 

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I was in the exact same boat. I needed a processor with balanced outs to feed my 3 mackie hr824's (which I'm using as front L,C,R) but didn't want to spend a fortune on a high end prepro. This left me with looking for used gear... such as the b&K ref 50, anthem avm20, bryston sp1. But then I discovered the DTC 9.4 that had balanced outs at a price that was cheaper than the used pre/pro's I was looking at.


Just to see what it was like, I auditioned the lexicon MC12B in my home and for 2channel music with logic 7 it was amazing. But in the end, the lexicon was too much money.


I also tried the bryston sp1 which was lifeless and flat for multichannel using it's dacs. though the 2 channel was very nice. I do not recommend the sp1 for HT. I have never heard the sp1.7 though.


I never got to listen to the anthem or the b&k on my setup. But have heard them in other setups. The DTC seems to be on par with both of these more expensive pre/pros in terms of audio performance for HT (I am not commenting on 2 channel direct... just HT) In fact, I couldn't really tell the difference between the mc12 and the dtc for HT in my own setup. Given that the the DTC is cheaper new... than any of these other pre/pros used, I ended up getting the dtc 9.4. I'm very content with my purchase. Overall, there's nothing that sticks out about it to me. It does its job and stays out of the way. I am extremely content with the sound. The noise floor is pretty low... especially with XLR's. There's lots of head room as well... I RARELY go past -20db on my processor... albeit my ht room isn't that large. Overall... I think the DTC 9.4 is the best way to go if you want XLR's and don't want to spend much. I am in the chicago area if you want to check it out in person.
 

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The proceed AVP also has balanced outs for LCR and is available used for less than $1600. Also you can take an XLR cable and solder RCA connectors on the processor end tying pin 2 to the positive pin (assuming your speaker inputs have pin 2 as positive)of the RCA and the other two to ground. It won't be a real balanced signal but a lot of processors are not truly balanced but offer XLR outs.
 

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There are a few other brands that have balanced outs on their pre-pros that have not been mentioned: EAD, Theta, and Aragon. Some of the older EADs and the Aragons might be in your price range used.


I considered a lot of these pre-pros before I bought the Integra DTC 9.4. I am pleased as punch. Outside of room correction, there is nothing that I want that this pre-pro lacks. If you just have to have Logic 7 or Trifield, then maybe it is worth the extra money, but for those occasions when I want a matrixing mode (not very often), Neo works really well.


Tim
 

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Oops, forgot one thing. While some pre-pros may not have true balanced output circuits connected to their XLR outputs, the DTC 9.4 does. I have opened the sucker up, and the XLRs connect to discrete balanced output circuits.


Tim
 

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Listen to several because it sounds like some do balanced right and others don't. I listen to some and can't hear an audible difference between the two, and that tells me they don't all do dual differential balanced design, but instead just give you a way to plug cables in that way.


Sunfire also does it for cheaper then Lexicon, but keep in mind that you can pick up old MC1's by Lexicon for a song right now, and while I don't love them on music, some do, and on movies for 2k range they are still pretty awesome for HT applications even today.


You can also find Theta Casanova's the baby to the C2 used for a song right now, and they again are really still nice compared to say B&K and many of the more mass market stuff. Just a thought, but even a C1 is better then the entry level pre pro's to me, and you can always upgrade down the road also
 

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Classe's SSP60 and SSP75 are fully balanced input to output also.


I agree with addicted - listen to both on each prepro/amp. In at least one case (a 2-ch preamp, don't remember whose) I found that the unbalanced sounded BETTER than the balanced, and not by a little. The difference was big enough that it couldn't have been interconnects, either. (and, I realize now that I didn't think of this back then, it could have been the power amp that was different, too.)
 

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Unless you are running really long cables between your pre-amp and amp, or have a large transformer next to your equipment, do you really notice a difference going balanced or non balanced? Blind test? I haven't done a blind test, but I just question it. I've demo'd the B&K 50, quite a bit... and it's no slouch... both in HT and 2 ch.


my 2 cents..
 

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I use balance out from my Anthem AVM20 to my Bryston 4BSST with great results!
 

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mendes9 is right on the money --- the best job a balanced interface can do is to deliver the signal as cleanly as possible to the destination. It cannot improve a signal, and can only prevent degradation, and even that is not a given, because there are many bad ways to implement a balanced connection. If you're not hearing noise, hum, buzz, or any untoward sounds from your system, it's very doubtful that a balanced interface will improve matters much.


--Andre
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Diode1
Kris,

I suggest you recheck your information about the B&K Ref 50 balanced outs.
How do you mean? I talked to the engineer at B&K and asked that question specifically. I was told they weren't true balanced, only XLR outputs. If I am wrong it was because I was given bad info from THEIR engineers.
 

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Kris,

Here it is in simple terms.

This is a cut-paste from Brian Florian from the HTF.
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...850#post465850


We need to make a distinction between True Balanced and Full Differential. Let's look at it in 3 stages:


Fake "adapter" Balanced - the preamp/amp has an XLR input, but pin 3 is grounded. Electrically, this is nothing more than a convenience connection. Euh!


True Balanced - what the AVM20 and MCA use: The XLR I/O have an op amp inverter to take advantage of common mode rejection. The negative phase is inverted and added to the positive phase (if it's an input), to cancel interference picked up by the cable. Both phases go through the op amp, not just the negative phase. Bottom line: If you want to reject noise pickup in long interconnects, then this is for you.


Full Differential - what so many people seem to think they want when all they're really after is True Balanced connection. This is used in sensitive lab gear etc., and more expensive audio gear (including I believe some of Sonic Frontier's 2-channel tube stuff). It requires twice the circuitry, since each phase is amplified separately. What's the advantage? Rejection of interference generated under the hood. If a SE circuit with a real balanced input is laid out properly and the S/N ratio is already acceptable, there's no reason to pay through the nose for a full differential circuit, because you don't gain anything...or at very least you don't gain enough to come even close to justifying the enormous increase in cost. And if each side of the circuit is not absolutely matched, you will actually be worse off! This means even more cost...


With this understanding/terminology the B&K Ref50 is considered True Balanced just as is the AVM20

Not many available cheap with Full Differential.

-Jerry
 
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