Balanced to single-ended converter (XLR to RCA / BAL to SE)

Discussion in 'DIY' started by purr1n, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    Thanks. I was aware of the posted values, but wasn't sure how it would equate to actual gain levels. Double the input volume into the amp compared to se?

    Edit: I'm checking on the Bottlehead forums to see what the designer has to say about a 4v input with Mainline.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2021
  2. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    I've never measured it and it's been awhile since I've A/B'd trafo converted vs se but the difference is definitely enough to give you a jolt if you forget to adjust the volume after switching se to trafo converted.
    I'll let someone smarter than me chime in with actual data.
     
  3. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    It will depend on your pot but in my experience it's about the difference between 8 o'clock and 10 o'clock, or 9 and 11, and so on.
     
  4. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    Wonderful. I appreciate the real-world example. I'm sure I can also look into attenuation of the signal at some point if it's an issue.


    Update: In case this is useful to anyone else, PB on the Bottlehead forum had this to say...

    "The maximum input level to the Mainline is primarily limited by the dissipation rating of the stepped attenuator resistors, and it's so high that it's not even worth mentioning.

    Doubling the output voltage represents a +6dB change, which is four steps on the fine attenuator."
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2021
  5. Watchara

    Watchara Acquaintance

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    [​IMG]

    For solid state device I found Pass XP-10 used unity gain jfet differential input covert from Balanced to SE.
     
  6. wadec22

    wadec22 Almost "Made"

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  7. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Yeah, without the transformers you’re sending the balanced signal over the SE wires which could damage an amp.
     
  8. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    That unit should not even be sold. Makes me not want anything made by Nobsound.
     
  9. wadec22

    wadec22 Almost "Made"

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    thanks guys.

    added:
    so the Schiit Lokius can apparently take xlr in and send signal over rca. is that posing the same risks then I assume?
     
  10. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Yup. Their “Nexus stuff” does a safe conversion but that isn’t in the Lokius.
     
  11. Baten

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    Not sure how that one will work but I would bet on false advertising and it not working at all like a true balanced to single ended converter. About the Lokius, it can definitely do a safe conversion (specs indicate its SE can output up to 10Vrms just check that your amp handles high voltages safely) but it might up the noise floor and distortion; might not sound the best so the cautionary advice here is fair.
    A transformer will also introduce some third harmonic distortion mind you, but transformers are known for breaking ground loops & great noise rejection. I use one of these Radial boxes (from page 1, the converter and cable combo). Sounds superb. I'd also hope you not buy a Lokius for $299 just to use it as a converter ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
  12. wadec22

    wadec22 Almost "Made"

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    No, I wouldn't buy a Lokius for that purpose. I did a lengthy write up on it in the impressions thread, and it's not for me. Schitt Lokius Tour Impressions
    However, I don't see how spending $299 on it to use as a converter would be silly. All the ISO-MAX units mentioned previously are $269-$299 and that's all they do. If the Lokius is reliable as you say, seems to me a good purchase given you get that function and EQ. Of course others say it isn't reliable, you say it is - my head is spinning. :)

    Really do appreciate everyone's thoughts though. I keep telling myself I want to find a great electronics course to learn some of this stuff. I know the resources are online but they are full of jargon from the get-go and I feel I need my hand held to get started by a proper teacher. :)
     
  13. Baten

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    I'm positive it can do what you want it to do. The Lokius is an active EQ, the Little Bear abomination linked above claims to work passively, there's no way. It likely just shorts out half the balanced output, which can cause distortion or absolute worst case hurts your source gear.

    I'm just fairly sure Lokius' conversion won't sound even close to the level of a dedicated transformer.. Your point about that being a bonus on top of the EQ functionality is true of course. Maybe @purr1n can chime in if the Lokius will sound like ass converting inputs or not.
     
  14. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    The problem with this calculus, as you readily admit, is that it assumes a 1:1 relationship between SQ and $value$. There is a reason why as you move upmarket, and certainly by the time you get to the respected brands such as EC, DNA, ECP, McIntosh, etc. the transform between SE and BAL is handled by (granted expensive) hunks of metal called transformers. As much as most of us like Schiit, many of us have to work around their summing transform implementation(s), and that's why threads like this one exist. In other words, the Lokius implementation and the ISO-MAX units can't be directly compared based on price alone...
     
  15. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    to sum up, the Lokius CAN do it safely, but won't sound nearly as good as a dedicated balanced to SE TRANSFORMER unit like the iso Max units.

    Get one of the iso Max units, do it properly and then you don't need to worry about it.
     
  16. wadec22

    wadec22 Almost "Made"

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    Thanks guys. This is 100% my plan. Really appreciate the replies and explanations.
     
  17. fastfwd

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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    The Jensens in the Radial are more square sounding compared to the Cinemags. (There's a little bit of house sound with each). I think someone a while back may have posted some measurements of the Jensons vs. the Cinemags. Their distortion profile is slightly different. If you are running an Yggdrasil GS, you could end up finding the J-ISO too dry. It's all about synergy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2021
  19. Josh Schor

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    Is there anyone who I could pay to build me a cinemag balanced to single ended box to use with gungnir or burl b2 to EC studio b.
    best
     
  20. Pancakes

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    Hit me up in a few weeks if you don't find anyone. Friend price = free. I just need to get some other projects out of the way before committing to another one.
     
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