Quantcast

New sub - Which is best, RCA or XLR cable?

DannyBoy73

Active Member
Hi,

I've got a SVS SB16 Ultra on the way and I need to buy a new sub cable.

All my other amps are RCA but my pre-pro does support XLR.

Is XLR better than RCA, particularly for subs? I've got a lot of cables out the back and have read XLR is better for interference?

Thanks
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Yes, an XLR cable will offer better shielding. In practice you may not notice any difference but balanced is technically better and so is what I'd use in your position.

I'd recommend these cables as being well made and sensibly priced:


They also sell via Amazon and eBay, with which place being cheapest depending on exactly what cable you want.
 

DannyBoy73

Active Member
Yes, an XLR cable will offer better shielding. In practice you may not notice any difference but balanced is technically better and so is what I'd use in your position.

I'd recommend these cables as being well made and sensibly priced:


They also sell via Amazon and eBay, with which place being cheapest depending on exactly what cable you want.
Thanks @Ultrasonic
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Over a longer distance XLR is the better option. Three meters or under it's negligible.
 

rccarguy

Active Member
I'm using 5m RCA and no noise..use XLR if you can but don't worry about it.

Also if you have a antimode you'll need to stick with RCA, even if your pre is XLR. Benefit of antimode outweigh advantages of XLR
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Over a longer distance XLR is the better option. Three meters or under it's negligible.
It will depend what potential interference sources are nearby. A shorter RCA cable right next to a mains lead could still be an issue. Obviously trying to move the cables apart should be plan A but just making the point there is no hard limit on length where balanced connections are better.
 

Ultrasonic

Well-known Member
Also if you have a antimode you'll need to stick with RCA, even if your pre is XLR. Benefit of antimode outweigh advantages of XLR
Agreed.

I use a balanced cable between my miniDSP SHD and sub but you're absolutely right this isn't an option with most DSP options.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
It will depend what potential interference sources are nearby. A shorter RCA cable right next to a mains lead could still be an issue. Obviously trying to move the cables apart should be plan A but just making the point there is no hard limit on length where balanced connections are better.
Depends on how neat the rat's nest is behind the cabinet or rack. I'm afraid to look at mine......out of sight out of mind.:)
 

Conrad.

Well-known Member
Just to add, you lose all the benefits of a balanced cable if you use an XLR to RCA convertor as well. The noise rejection benefits of XLR only work if the devices on both ends are fully balanced as well. Just having an XLR connector doesn't mean that they are.
 

rccarguy

Active Member
Also fake XLR products just because it's XLR doesn't mean it's full balanced. Not sure what av pre are true fully balanced and not unbalanced to XLR wired internally.
 

Conrad.

Well-known Member
SVS subs are properly balanced as well.
Longer quality runs of XLR are usually cheaper than their RCA equivalent (I'm thinking VanDamme vs something like Audioquest) and, personally, I prefer the connector on an XLR. If you're not going through an unbalanced device like a miniDSP 2x4 I'd go balanced.

You might not get any benefit, but you're very unlikely to suffer any detriment.

Plus it's easy to get XLR cables made to spec, any colour, any length.
 

stevelup

Distinguished Member
As you say, no need to spend silly money on XLR leads. Although the starquad stuff above is nice, it’s really meant for microphones and so is extremely low noise / flexible / robust. Basic single pair installation cable that costs about 30p/metre is perfect for subs.
 

DannyBoy73

Active Member
Thanks everyone.

If I go for XLR, my Anthem has one output XLR per sub, so does it matter if I plug in left or right on the sub? Or maybe I need an XLR splitter to turn one cable into two?
 

Similar threads

Trending threads

Top Bottom