Explanation of "balanced"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom_Sm, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. Tom_Sm

    Tom_Sm Auditioning

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    Can someone explain the benefits of using balanced/XLR connectors for hooking up the pre/pro and amplifier? How do they differ from the unbalanced type?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Len Cheong

    Len Cheong Second Unit

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    Balanced connections are what the broadcasting/professional industry uses since they have connections that are >50 feet in length. They are supposed to cut down on signal degradation. I can't offer you a more technical explanation or whether for home use, they make a difference. Somebody else could chime in.
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    To put it simply, Tom, balanced signals have a separate signal (+) and (-) that is isolated from the equipment’s chassis, whereas unbalanced signals piggyback the signal (-) on the shield; thus the signal has a path through the component’s chassis.

    The main advantage of balanced signals is as Len said, the ability to endure long cable runs with minimal degradation in professional applications. In residential applications, where cable runs are short, balanced signals offer no functional advantage over unbalanced signals. Also, balanced signals require additional circuitry in the signal path, something many audiophiles like to avoid.

    However, in the sparsely-available residential gear that has it, balanced signals typically utilize XLR connectors, which are far superior in to RCA connectors.

    Regards,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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