How do I connect a balanced source component to an unbalanced preamp?

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 394 times.

witchdoctor

I just acquired an Onkyo DP X1 DAP. I can use "line out" into my Marantz 7702 processor using a 3.5mm to RCA cable no problem. It also has a 2.5mm balanced connection that has superior SQ. There is a warning in the manual that connecting the balanced connection to an unbalanced connection may damage the device.

How do I connect it to my processor?

With a Y splitter cable?

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K1CY2VT/?coliid=I10DSOL8E231ON&colid=3FZCE25EQQAE3&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

With a channel level converter?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003S7T49K/?coliid=IDYITVFDQO0TR&colid=3FZCE25EQQAE3&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Or something else? Thanks

gab

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 585
maybe start here first:

https://www.rane.com/note110.html

https://www.rane.com/note151.html

and google up: "The G word or How to get your audio off the ground" pdf from DIYaudio


richidoo

Ime, cheap pro audio devices should not be inserted into audiophile signal path. I would bet that the DAP SE output sounds better than the BAL + ART converter. Buy from a seller that allows easy returns.

The cable you linked claims that it works specifically with your device, so it could be the tickt. But it will apply the full P-P  balanced (4V?) voltage to the SE input and that might overload (voltage clip) the input which only expects 2V (consumer RCA input.) You may have to turn down the volume on your DAP, which will reduce S/N slightly, but nothing you can hear.


EDIT: The mfg is warning you against doing a hillbilly BAL>SE conversion by plugging a stereo plug into the balanced output jack. That would short out the negative leg of the balanced driver which will draw a lot of current and damage it. But Amazon that cable has a 4 terminal plug, so it doesn't short the negative inside the output jack.

FullRangeMan

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 12376
  • To whom more was given more will be required.
    • Never go to a psychiatrist, adopt a straycat or dog. On the street they live only two years average.
Balanced have a third pin, reference ground that the RCA does not have.

witchdoctor

maybe start here first:

https://www.rane.com/note110.html

https://www.rane.com/note151.html

and google up: "The G word or How to get your audio off the ground" pdf from DIYaudio

That is a GREAT paper. I like the premise of use balanced connections, period. Most of my active speakers are connected via XLR. It really made me think twice about plunging ahead with a workaround for my issue. My DAP also has a USB out that I can connect to a USB DAC as another alternative. Thanks

witchdoctor

Ime, cheap pro audio devices should not be inserted into audiophile signal path. I would bet that the DAP SE output sounds better than the BAL + ART converter. Buy from a seller that allows easy returns.

The cable you linked claims that it works specifically with your device, so it could be the tickt. But it will apply the full P-P  balanced (4V?) voltage to the SE input and that might overload (voltage clip) the input which only expects 2V (consumer RCA input.) You may have to turn down the volume on your DAP, which will reduce S/N slightly, but nothing you can hear.


EDIT: The mfg is warning you against doing a hillbilly BAL>SE conversion by plugging a stereo plug into the balanced output jack. That would short out the negative leg of the balanced driver which will draw a lot of current and damage it. But Amazon that cable has a 4 terminal plug, so it doesn't short the negative inside the output jack.

Thanks very much for posting this, I am going to pass on the pro audio alternatives. I'll check with the makers of that cable for more info.

witchdoctor

Balanced have a third pin, reference ground that the RCA does not have.

Hmmm, I can use a 2.5 mm Y splitter to XLR termination. Then connect it to the balanced input of the Schitt Jotenheim headphone amp which also doubles as a preamp and I can use its RCA out to my processor. An audiophile step up from the ART alternative I posted before:

https://www.schiit.com/products/jotunheim

I think another alternative is to skip the balanced connection altogether and use the USB out into an MQA capable USB DAC like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X6C3MKD/?coliid=I1W91U0FZEO6P&colid=3FZCE25EQQAE3&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

or this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Pro-Ject-Pre-Box-S2-Digital/dp/B073WD644G/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=project+s2&qid=1575256539&s=electronics&sr=1-3

Anyone have a recommendation? I am thinking just go the USB route now that I got your feedback.

pursuitofnow

I use the Decware ZBIT which uses a transformer for converting. It works and sounds great. https://www.decware.com/newsite/ZBIT.html

mikeeastman

I use the Jensen Transformers Iso-Max PI-2XR - 2-Channel Line-Input Isolator (XLR In/RCA Out) for connecting to my sub amps, works great.

witchdoctor

Those are both great options, thanks for posting and I'll check them out.

Speedskater

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2258
  • Kevin
Balanced have a third pin, reference ground that the RCA does not have.
Pin 1 of an XLR connector is a shield, is is not an audio ground reference.

Speedskater

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2258
  • Kevin
There are three & a half types of balanced outputs. No one adapter will work for all three:
1] transformer
2] passive/impedance
3] active/powered
 a) with neither output can be connected to audio ground
 b) with either output can be connected to audio ground

witchdoctor

Based on all the feedback I am going to just use the balanced out for headphone listening with the proper cable and headphones. I am going connect to my main rig using the USB out to a USB DAC. Very helpful everyone, THANKS  :thumb:

FullRangeMan

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 12376
  • To whom more was given more will be required.
    • Never go to a psychiatrist, adopt a straycat or dog. On the street they live only two years average.
Pin 1 of an XLR connector is a shield, is is not an audio ground reference.
It depend on the circuit used.

Speedskater

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2258
  • Kevin
It depend on the circuit used.
No, Audio Engineering Society standard AES48, states that XLR pin 1 is the shield (chassis). But while it almost always has continuity to audio circuit ground, it is the shield. It must be attached to the chassis at the connector.

FullRangeMan

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 12376
  • To whom more was given more will be required.
    • Never go to a psychiatrist, adopt a straycat or dog. On the street they live only two years average.
No, Audio Engineering Society standard AES48, states that XLR pin 1 is the shield (chassis). But while it almost always has continuity to audio circuit ground, it is the shield. It must be attached to the chassis at the connector.
This is the obvious for the second time, thanks anyway but Iam aware the XLR layout, ''It must be attached to the chassis at the connector'' means that manufacturers are aware of this detail, but they do what is best suited to their circuit.

audioengr

Simplest way is to connect XLR pin 2 to + and XLR pin 1 to -.  IF the amp is designed right, it will not need earth ground.  If it needs earth ground to stop humming, then connect pin 1 to the shell ground.

witchdoctor

Simplest way is to connect XLR pin 2 to + and XLR pin 1 to -.  IF the amp is designed right, it will not need earth ground.  If it needs earth ground to stop humming, then connect pin 1 to the shell ground.

Look, you just hit 3000 posts!  :thumb: