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Adapt RCA to XLR - compromise?

Soul-Man

New member
Feb 5, 2013
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Hi everybody

Anyone with experience or technicial insight that can tell me if using adapters to fit RCA out from one unit to XLR in to another unit is ok?
More precisely I have a Tube preamp - only unbalanced RCA - that I would like to hook up to a pair of monoblocks that only has XLR. (haven't bought the monos yet but auditoned them and am very impressed).
Question is: even if I buy these Neutrik adapters should I prepare for some loss in quality?
http://www.neutrik.com/en/accessories/circular-adapters/na2fp
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
301
128
19,070
Soul-Man said:
Hi everybody

Anyone with experience or technicial insight that can tell me if using adapters to fit RCA out from one unit to XLR in to another unit is ok? More precisely I have a Tube preamp - only unbalanced RCA - that I would like to hook up to a pair of monoblocks that only has XLR. (haven't bought the monos yet but auditoned them and am very impressed).Question is: even if I buy these Neutrik adapters should I prepare for some loss in quality? http://www.neutrik.com/en/accessories/circular-adapters/na2fp

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Use the RCA phono connections if both don't have balanced, but an adaptor otherwise. There is no difference in sound quality between unbalanced or balanced when used at line levels.
 

Soul-Man

New member
Feb 5, 2013
10
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Hi Trev

The pre only has RCA - the monos only have XLR.
Question was more if the passing signal through an un-necessary connector (the adaptor) would mean a loss so significant, that the idea as such is wrong.
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
301
128
19,070
Soul-Man said:
Hi Trev

The pre only has RCA - the monos only have XLR. Question was more if the passing signal through an un-necessary connector (the adaptor) would mean a loss so significant, that the idea as such is wrong.
Connectors don't cause a loss of quality, but you will obviously lose the noise cancelling aspect of the balanced feed, not that it matters unless you are using very long cables.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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Are just a little more complex than you think.

In theory you simply use pin 2 or 3 as the signal (check your amp, some people consider absolute phase important) with the unused pin connected to pin 1, ground.

This is of course signal ground, there is usually a fourth connector in an XLR, the metal case of the plug itself, which usually earths to the chassis ground which may be different to the signal ground.

Getting this wrong can cause a low level but audible buzz, it is experience and trial and error, there really are no standards in this situation. I would start with the connections as described in the first paragraph and not connect the plug case to the cable.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
732
118
19,070
Soul-Man said:
Hi Trev

The pre only has RCA - the monos only have XLR. Question was more if the passing signal through an un-necessary connector (the adaptor) would mean a loss so significant, that the idea as such is wrong.
Why dont you buy a rca to xlr cable (what has the right xlr plugs and lenght like one of these cable)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-ft-Pro-Series-2-XLR-Female-to-2-RCA-Male-Audio-Cable-w-Gold-Plated-Contacts-/280791549207

or

http://www.ebay.com/itm/6ft-CablesOnline-Pro-Series-2-RCA-Male-to-2-XLR-Male-Audio-Cable-/271160249645
 

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