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How are balanced inputs diff from reg inputs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike_Reznik, Sep 19, 2001.

  1. Mike_Reznik

    Mike_Reznik Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been really into home theater for several years now and I'm almost embarrassed to be asking this question, but I'm starting to upgrade my HT from Denon and Rotel to possibly B&K or Carver and I'm not sure what balanced inputs are. This was never an issue with the Denon and the Rotel. But some of the new equipment that I'm looking at boasts balance inputs and I don't know what that means.
    Please help.
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  2. Jah-Wren Ryel

    Jah-Wren Ryel Stunt Coordinator

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    This is probably too techno-geek cryptic, but hey, what do you want for free? Balanced inputs are like differential scsi while unbalanced, or regular, inputs are like single-ended scsi.
     
  3. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    Hi, Mike.
    The balanced in/out's (typically identified by the XLR jack, like a microphone jack) offer a few worthwhile advantages over single-ended. For one, they are a little less susceptible to interference. If you are doing longer runs, this is great. Additionally, balanced connections and cabling give you about twice the bandwidth to swing a signal, so you should notice much more dynamic frequency response. The only caveat I can think of is that some manufacturers have claimed to have balanced outs, but really only stick XLR's on the back of a single-ended output. This probably won't help anybody except people who sell balanced cabling.
    I recently switched from single-ended to balanced between my processor and amp, and noticed a huge difference.
    Hope this helps.
    Matt
    [Edited last by Matt Gordon on September 20, 2001 at 08:00 AM]
     
  4. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Jay-Wren hit on the differential nature of a "true" balanced solution....
    It is the summing of the differential signal that gives you Common Mode Noise rejection, assuming a balanced signal was fed to the input.
    You also won't realize any benefits if the signal isn't truly balanced, which is the case with some companies -- this requires double the circuitry -- one side drives the + leg, one side drives the - leg, which gets expensive in a hurry. It also gets hot if you're talking about tube based units [​IMG]
    Regards,
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    John Kotches
    Contributing Writer
    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
     

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