XLR vs. RCA interconnects: is there a difference?

Jasonovich

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The advantage of balanced interconnects such as three pin XLRs, is the ability to run long lengths of cable without signal loss or interference.
XLRs also generally have better sheathing, better grounding but does this equate to superior sonic performance over RCA?
Where balance connections are available, I tend to prefer XLRs (or TRS) over RCAs, when you hear that little click of the XLR going into the socket, it's like going for a drive in your car with your seat belt on.
I prefer the professional cable types, such as Mogami, Canares, Gotham Wire, over the HiFi premium type such as Chord, Audioquest and et'al. The latter without blind test, I cannot say it is sonically superior?
What are your thoughts or experience relating to balanced or unbalanced interconnects?
 

Revolutions

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if you’re spending £10k on a turntable, it makes sense to put in place simple ways remove any instances of interface & noise. If they were an option on my gear, I’d probably use them with the same standard type of mic cables I use for music stuff.

In almost every instance except recording with mics that need phantom power, and live music where you’re trailing 10s of metres of cable, I highly doubt balanced cables are going to make any difference at all vs the rest of one’s system.
 
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The advantage of balanced interconnects such as three pin XLRs, is the ability to run long lengths of cable without signal loss or interference.
XLRs also generally have better sheathing, better grounding but does this equate to superior sonic performance over RCA?
Where balance connections are available, I tend to prefer XLRs (or TRS) over RCAs, when you hear that little click of the XLR going into the socket, it's like going for a drive in your car with your seat belt on.
I prefer the professional cable types, such as Mogami, Canares, Gotham Wire, over the HiFi premium type such as Chord, Audioquest and et'al. The latter without blind test, I cannot say it is sonically superior?
What are your thoughts or experience relating to balanced or unbalanced interconnects?
Years ago i compared the KIMBER KABLE
Timbre RCA and XLR balanced interconnects on a friends Musical Fidelity M6 CD / Amp (£4.5k) combination.

Neither of us could detect any sound quality difference other than the XLR cable was louder at the same volume setting...
 

Jasonovich

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Below the last post here, amongst 'similar threads' there's an 'XLR vs. RCA' one.
It confirms the technical differences...as well as the general opinion that balanced is hardly worthwhile for short runs on domestic hifi.

Balanced is essential for long microphone cables though, preferably with starquad cable.
I'm using Mogami and Gotham star quad XLR on my active speakers, there's a perfect silence in the background, though I haven't tried turning the volume to the absolute maximum, probably not a good idea :)
 

jjbomber

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I'm using Mogami and Gotham star quad XLR on my active speakers, there's a perfect silence in the background, though I haven't tried turning the volume to the absolute maximum, probably not a good idea :)
I read somewhere the other day that the XLR connection produces a stronger signal, better S/N ratio, etc. Trouble is, I can't find the damn thing now I need it! Was probably Eversolo or HiFi Rose.
 
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Vincent Kars

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Jasonovich

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I read somewhere the other day that the XLR connection produces a stronger signal, better S/N ratio, etc. Trouble is, I can't find the damn thing now I need it! Was probably Eversolo or HiFi Rose.
I don't understand in the domestic HiFi scene, why British manufacturers don't switch to mini XLRs, the small form factor is not that much larger than standard RCA and has all the benefits you mentioned.
The Chinese have adopted XLRs in their mid to high range HiFi.
We Brits are a little slow to adopt.
 
Unless you are in a studio environment then XLR for domestic hifi is just another unnecessary piece of kit you don't need. Your money your choice.
However, if you already own the cables then, if your equipment has XLR connectors I would use them....
My amp has one pair of inputs but I don't own any XLR cables but would use them if I did.
 

abacus

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XLR Connectors are far superior to RCA connectors, so if your equipment has XLR connections, then use XLR cables as they will be more secure, and they cost little more than RCA cables. (It will not make any difference to the sound (At least over short lengths) but good quality connections will last much longer)

Bill
 
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landco

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XLR Connectors are far superior to RCA connectors, so if your equipment has XLR connections, then use XLR cables as they will be more secure, and they cost little more than RCA cables. (It will not make any difference to the sound (At least over short lengths) but good quality connections will last much longer)

Bill
Ha ha ha :D I think in this forum there will be a lot of people who have a regular, inexpensive RCA cable running 15-20 years
 

DougK1

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With all the name changes, he's more like Grant Shapps, or whatever he's calling himself this week...
I'm not very tech savvy but on this occasion not my fault. Why should I have to change my email address just to continue using this site? After several emails to Admin support and zero response from them the only way forward I could see was to rejoin with a different username.
 
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