XLR to RCA cables

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by Garns, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    If you don't want to diy, here is a custom cable that should do the job (adjust length to taste):
    http://www.redco.com/Custom-Cable.html?cableid=2DYK97

    I am going to order up a pair and see if it yields an improvement with Yggdrasil -> Valhalla 2
     
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  2. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    I'm sure Blue Jeans Cables can accommodate any XLR->RCA needs with correct pinout for a reasonable price. But if you're not sure what your gear needs use single ended or get a Bal->Single ended transformer.
     
  3. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Did you get a chance to try out those cables? Thinking of ordering a pair for my Gungnir Multibit -> Sonett 2(which only has single ended inputs) stack. Much cheaper than the Isomax for similar performance it seems.

    Just to be clear, the above cables should not harm my equipment correct? All the fore warnings have me cautious, but I guess that's why I don't DIY much.
     
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  4. Mshenay

    Mshenay Barred from loaner program. DON'T SEND ME GEAR.

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    I've got this page bookmarked as well, their prices are phenomenal! I'm also curious to see how they worked out for @Garns Lastly, I'd imagine the pin out for the Gungnir Multibit will be the same for my Audio GD NFB10ES2, I've got two sets of RCA outs on it in addition to the 3pin XLR outs
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  5. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    I got those cables in. They work and won't blow anything up. I don't want to comment on sound yet because I didn't find the time to do an A/B against SE ->SE. This way is definitely not worse but the improvements are I think more subtle than with other tweaks I've tried. I'll try to do a comparison at the weekend.
     
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  6. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Thanks! Yea, I'm trying to find my best option now that my setup is complete for the long term I hope.
     
  7. uncola

    uncola Friend

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  8. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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  9. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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  10. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    Those are very cool actually, but is there a version that converts to RCA?
     
  11. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Yes, the PI-2XR, right there on that page.
     
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  12. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    Nice. Going to check that out.
     
  13. willsw

    willsw Friend

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    I made myself a set of these cables, have the Jensen XLR>RCA box, and have a box I made with Cinemag transformers and no attenuation in the circuit, just XLR>transformer>RCA, unlike the slightly more complex Jensen circuit. I have yet to do any meaningful listening tests, as the only balanced DAC I currently have access to is a Denafrips Ares, and could not tell a difference between its balanced and single-ended output when the balanced output was translated via these devices.

    My box:
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    The idea for this really came from Schiit DACs and folks who realized (or believed) that the SE summing circuit wasn't transparent. In the case of DENAFRIPS!, who knows. I remember @drfindley @philipmorgan @brencho and I hearing a noticeable difference in soundstage more than anything out of a Gungnir Multibit when the Jensen XLR to RCA device ( @ogodei just read the page @Kattefjaes linked) was inserted. In later subjective tests, I determined a cheap homemade cable to be at least as good as the Jensen. So it was like if a > b and b > c then a > c for me when I had the Yggdrasil. ;-)
     
  15. MrTeaRex

    MrTeaRex His head's not fat, he's my brother!

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  16. willsw

    willsw Friend

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    I discussed this with a local guy who did his own comparison in a system that I believe had an Yggdrasil, but I can't remember for sure. He preferred the XLR>RCA cable to the Jensen. The consistent thing seems to be that the balanced outputs are the ones you want regardless of the means. In my DAC to DAC comparisons with the deenafrrwips, using transformer converted balanced outputs, the depth of stage is where it seems weakest. I imagine the single-ended output would just be a bit more compressed.
     
  17. Johnman1116

    Johnman1116 Rando

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    so its seem that i have purchased the exact cable referenced...
    https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=115&cp_id=11509&cs_id=1150902&p_id=4777&seq=1&format=2

    Both speaker rep and cable rep recommended that i do not sure the RCA to XLR cables from unbalanced source to balanced speaker.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  18. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    I spent some time the last few days comparing a few expensive XLR to RCA converters. TLDR summary at the bottom of the post.

    I listened to two solutions so far:

    Jensen PI-2XR ISO-MAX Stereo Audio Input Isolator (http://www.jensen-transformers.com/product/pi-2xx), which aside from its conversion function is a line input isolator designed to prevent and eliminate noise and ground loop hum. Idea is you place it at the end of the cables, right before the amp and it cleans up the line if it picked up interference or whatever. It offers a multiple configuration dip-switch for ‘grounding schemes’ and a hard-wired output panel. Cost is $289 on Ebay. Thanks to @Kattefjaes for pointing me to this.

    Radio Design Labs TX-AFC1F Balanced to Unbalanced Audio Transformer (http://www.rdlnet.com/product.php?page=165). This is built for professional to consumer level conversion with an integrated pad to drop the unbalanced output by 10dB. Although it isn’t marketed for isolation like the Jensen it offers galvanic isolation and has a single ground lift switch for the cable shields on the front. This is a smaller form factor than the ISO max and you need two of them for stereo. Cost is $92 per unit at Markertek, so $184 for two of them.

    Neither of these surprised me during listening. I fed these from XLR straight from the DAC split into both transformers. The RDL transformer dropped the signal by 10dB, other than that the sound was identical. I couldn’t detect any changes to music as between the two transformers. Listened for a few hours with my normal testing process, I got nothing. Measurement sweeps indicated no more than 1db difference at any particular frequency which is within the margin of error for the meter I was using.

    Between the two I would take the RDL transformers based solely on the $100 price difference, given that the amp can easily make up the 10dB difference. If I had 50 foot runs of XLR cables feeding the amp I suppose the Jensen’s would be a better deal.

    Next week I’m going to compare the transformer to standard a standard XLR to RCA canare cables, which I suspect will perform just as well at a much lower price point. In short I suspect either of these solutions is massive overkill for my needs.

    TLDR:

    The Jensen PI-2XR ISO-MAX Stereo Audio Input Isolator and the RDL TX-AFC1F Balanced to Unbalanced Audio Transformer work just fine as transparent XLR to RCA converters but 1) they both cost way too much unless you have ground \ line noise issues you need to fix, and 2) the RDL unit drops the signal 10dB, which you don’t need or want in most headphone set ups.
     
  19. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    Ok, so I'm a bit late on this one, but I did finally make the time to A/B SE out Yggdrasil -> Valh 2 versus XLR out -> bal to unbal cable -> Valh 2.

    I think the XLR is very subtly clearer and less congested in busy mixes, and in particular in the bass. But it is super subtle and I can't rule out that I am imagining it. In the end, I am sticking with SE to SE because the difference in quality is not noticeable to me if I am not listening for it, and otherwise I would keep having to replug XLR cables to switch between headphones and speakers.

    I also noticed that using the XLR to RCA cables seems to make the transformer in Yggdrasil hum (externally). Pin 1 to ground, pin 2 to signal, pin 3 disconnected. Dunno why this is, or if it's bad.
     
  20. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    External hum = dc offset.

    Get something like the Emotiva CMX-2 to fix it.
     

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