Question What type of interconnects do you use and why?

XLR or RCA


  • Total voters
    12
  • Poll closed .

JohnnyNapalm

Active Member
Having invested in RCA’s over the course of my life I now own equipment that allows me to choose what type of interconnect to use and am wondering if it is worth pursuing the XLR option or should I stay with RCA? I know distance between units isn’t a factor in my setup but I am still wondering if anything could be gained. Cheers.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
If I had XLR and compatible equipment, I would use it.

But XLR is made for Studios and Concerts where cable distances are very long. For short Home Audio distances, it doesn't add much benefit.

Also, understand that is has to be XLR on both ends. XLR to RCA is no better than RCA to RCA. The real benefit of using XLR, by which I mean Balanced Lines, is noise rejection. Because of the nature of Balanced Line, common noise cancels out.

I don't currently have equipment on both ends capable of XLR/Balanced, so I don't use it.

But like I said, if I had it, I would use it. But...only because I had it.

Just one man's opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Steve356

Distinguished Member
I've recently bought a stereo amp with an XLR output to add to my AV receiver. Previously, with an RCA to RCA connected to my sub, there was a slight hum from the sub. It was very slight and could only be heard by putting my ear up against the sub. As my new stereo amp had a balanced XLR output and my sub has a balanced XLR input, I thought it would be worth trying. Hum was completely gone with the XLR cable (4 metres long). So it might be worth trying XLR to XLR if you can.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
With a short run there's no difference and for XLR to really work then all units in the chain really need to be true balanced ones. Over a long run then there is certainly an advantage in running XLR.
 

3rdignis

Active Member
I have a true end to end balanced system.
Before my balanced dac I used a chord mojo with 3.5mm rca which musically did nothing wrong and the dynamics stood out more (shorter signal path?)
Now many aspects are improved which I put down to component change. True end to end balanced improves noise floor, which wasn't a problem before.
 

3rdignis

Active Member
So I connected some Amazon basics rca cables £10 to compare against my £150 xlr cables.
I pressed pause on tidal at normal volume using xlr cables and could hear noise from tweeter at <4 inches.
I connected rca cables and guess what... noise at <4 inches.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
...
I pressed pause on tidal at normal volume using xlr cables and could hear noise from tweeter at <4 inches.
I connected rca cables and guess what... noise at <4 inches.
I can't say this is happening to you, but turn the Amp OFF, and listen to the Tweeters, do you still hear Hiss or Noise? The shape of the tweeter is like holding a Shell up to your ear so you can hear the sea, what you really hear is a slight acoustic amplification of ambient noise.

It is also possible and likely that the noise you are hearing enters the system AFTER the XLR cables.

Just a thought.

Steve/bluewizard
 

3rdignis

Active Member
Switched amp off - no noise.
Unplugged xlr, amp on - noise present.
Makes sense, amp has weakest snr ~80-90.
 

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