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Questions dealing with XLR balanced jacks to Samson amps.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard Watt, Sep 17, 2001.

  1. Richard Watt

    Richard Watt Agent

    Jan 24, 1999
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    I didn't mean for the subject line to sound like I was specifically talking about connecting a XLR output to a Samson amp. I had other questions too. I meant it to sound like I was covering everything from anything to XLR.
    Ok, I tried to search for these, but the search function doesn't seem to be working now. I also decided to put all of my questions into one thread as to not take more space than needed.
    I recently got interested in SACD and while looking around I saw a Marantz 2-Channel SACD player (SA-14) that has XLR balanced outputs. I talked with someone else on this forum who told me that XLR is generally for the more high-end crowd. While I may not have the money to spend on high-end components, it did get me curious as to the benefits of XLR over the standard RCA analog outputs.
    In a kind of related question I was trying to find an amplifier that would take XLR inputs. While looking at the SVS Subwoofers I noticed that the Samson amps they sale have XLR inputs on them. And the 2-channel S700 is not that expensive either. Is an amp like this good for regular speakers (i.e., not driving a sub)?
    I guess my overall question is whether or not it is beneficial to spend more for XLR. Would an amp like the Samson S700 be fine for driving a main set of speakers, such as Norh's or Paradigm's?
    Thanks for your help. If there is anything you need from me as far as details and what I would like to do, just ask. BTW, I currently have a Yamaha RX-V995 for a 5.1 channel setup. The reason I brought this thread up was to deal with my 2-channel setup. Thanks.
    Would my pre-amp also need XLR inputs on them as well?
    Edit 2:
    I just saw something about tube amps. Specifically one rated at 3.5 watts in a monoblock form. How in the world can 3.5 watts drive a speaker. For comparison the Samson amp above I talk about is 350 watts per channel!! Man, I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to audio.
    [Edited last by Richard Watt on September 17, 2001 at 03:05 PM]
  2. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

    Jun 4, 2001
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    San Jose, CA
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    Jeff Lam
    Being a musician I have noticed XLR and 1/4" connectors are mostly used for Pro Audio applications. I have never seen any normal HT gear use these connectors(At least in my personal experience). That doesn't mean they can't be used though. However I don't know for sure if it will help or make a difference at all.
    The Samson amps are in fact Pro Audio amps designed for studio and concert type applications, they were not designed for HT subs, However they work great for HT applications as well. To answer your question, they can power any speakers with the capability of handling the power that the Samson produces. It is a general purpose AMP plain and simple.
    Maybe someone with a little more experience in this issue will step in to answer your questions better then I can.
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt


    Aug 5, 1999
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    Corpus Christi, TX
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    While XLR connections may be tour de force with high-end consumer audio gear, they are more typically used with pro-audio equipment for balanced signal runs. Balanced signals separate the signal (-) from the shield (and consequently the component’s chassis) and the components at both ends have balancing transformers or circuitry. Balanced audio signals are the standard in pro-audio where long signal runs are common (like from the stage to the mixing position at a concert) because of the protocol’s superior noise rejection properties.
    Needless to say, balanced signal runs are not commonly used in consumer audio because of its typically short connection lengths. Therefore the only real advantage to using equipment with XLR outputs would be for the actual connectors, which are far superior to RCAs.
    Yes, you would need a pre-amp with XLR or ¼” TRS balanced inputs. Trying to mix balanced and unbalanced signals generally should be avoided, because of mismatched signal levels and the possibility of hum or noise.
    Regarding the 3.5-watt amplifier, you would need speakers of extremely high efficiency to go with it. The old Klipsch speakers from the 50s and 60s had efficiency ratings of something like 95-110dB @ 1 watt and worked very well with the low-powered amplifiers of the day.
    Wow, 1000 posts! Someone congratulate me!
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
    My Equipment List

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