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balanced or rca for avp700/p1000 ?

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by paulst10, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. paulst10

    paulst10
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    im currently in the process of saving for my next upgrade the avp700/p1000 combo (not long now) and was wondering whether to use balanced or rca type connections ?
    i downloaded the manuals and they say "if the cables are less than 3m and your processor doesnt have balanced outputs use RCA" --- so does that mean using a 0.5m balanced phono will be superior to using a 0.5m RCA phono??????
     
  2. niceguy235uk

    niceguy235uk
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    Balanced all the way :thumbsup:

    Better signal path etc etc therefore better sound.

    Not cheap if you go for good quality cables (Chord) but well worth it in my opinion.
     
  3. cpd

    cpd
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    Sorry, but I disagree with niceguy. Balanced cables were originally created for pro audio. They are meant to reduce the 60Hz hum that can be picked up over very long cable runs (such as wiring up a stage). If you are just connecting a pre/pro to an amp with reasonable cable runs, you are NOT getting better sound from balanced. Naturally, the manual is going to encourage you to use them to justify their existence. From other things I have read, it should read more like "if your cables are more than 10m, you might avoid 60Hz common mode noise (that MIGHT be present) by using balanced cables".

    This whole topic strikes a nerve with me. There are so many people spending a ton of money one cables when there is no benefit (other than a very strong placebo effect). Speaker wire is the same way. When I was less informed, I bought 12 gauge wire for 10 foot cable runs, when 16 gauge sounds *exactly the same* at five times that distance. Balanced outputs on pre/pros have just become a garnish for most home users. They are "expected" in higher end equipment just to look good on the spec sheets, and misinformed users spend more and more on cables.

    Chris
     
  4. niceguy235uk

    niceguy235uk
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    Hmmm point taken, but the manual actually states:

    'If the cables are to be 3Mtrs or longer the balanaced outputs are likely to give better results'.

    So, in my opinion, these will offer the better connection regardless of the length.

    I know a few manufacturers use balanced connections for their amps. Plus the fact, why do Naim and a few companies still use the ageing Din configuration? Because its better than the 'convenience' factor that rca was intended for.
     
  5. cpd

    cpd
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    Well, my speaker manual claims that bi-wiring produces better sound, but it is pretty much universally agreed that bi-wiring makes no sonic difference unless you were using something like 20 gauge wire. Bi-amping is another story. I could point out a bunch of other inacuracies in manuals, some done on purpose, some just out of bad editing or poor writing.

    Chris
     
  6. niceguy235uk

    niceguy235uk
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    Bi wiring does not produce a better sound, agreed, but will allow a 'cleaner' sound if you will. i must admit i have not noticed a remarkable difference in just bi -wiring but i think all the little things add up to one big thing.

    As for the 'cables make no difference', im afraid we will have to agree to disagree on than one.

    I am the biggest sceptic when it comes to cables and racks and all that and i would not waste money on needless things. ( im not made of money) but if i notice an improvement etc then i will.
     
  7. cpd

    cpd
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    Yes, I (and lots of others) would "agree to disagree" about this. I'll leave it at that.

    I never said cables make NO difference. Just that the differences almost never matter unless the resistance is too high (which it probably isn't). This is a VERY good web site that explains a lot of the wire myths, and cites numerous scientific studies, and should be required reading for audio buyers:

    http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm

    Chris
     
  8. cjohnson6

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    Balanced can be good, if the input and output are really differential. I've seen some equipment that cheats in this department. They give you a balanced connector at either end but have only a single ended driver or receiver. Humm... not impressed. If you want to really appreciate balanced then you have to pay for it, real kit costs loads. Single ended is good enough for most. A lot of analogue interconnects pretend to be balanced by having a twisted pair ( or triad ) with screen.... but this is again rubbish... If you have single ended circuitry then all you need is a centre core and screen... and you must keep the capacitance low.

    God alone knows how Nordost keep out the RF stuff... I guess here in Scandinavia these cables sound better in the mountains where there's no RF... perhaps that's a new thread... move your hi-fi to the hills!
     
  9. mikeyc8

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    Does the AVP 700 have "true" balanced outputs? I remember reading Andy Dutton of Arcam indicating that they weren't "true" balanced but some form of hybrid. If I'm correct I believe true balanced outputs are only found on very expensive gear such as Krell, Sim, Classe, BAT etc.
     
  10. Exirion

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    I'm going to use the XLR outputs of my AVP700 with 6 mono amplifiers that have Jensen tranformers on the inputs. As I was interested in the quality of the XLR outputs of the AVP700 I did some googling and found out the AVP700 has balanced outputs that are provided by Burr Brown (currently daughter of Texas Instruments) converter chips. I forgot the exact type, but they are commonly used in studio equipment as well.
     
  11. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    FWIW, I asked the people on the Chord Company stand at Bristol what the maximum length of normal phono cables should be before you considered using balanced ones. Now, presumably given that they provide both types and I'm assuming the XLR's are probably more expensive, I was expecting them to say balanced were better. Their answer was that in domestic situations they couldn't think of a length of nomal cables that wouldn't work and not to worry about it. They said to avoid power cables on your runs, but that was all.
     

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