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Balanced vs Unbalanced inputs for monitors

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I recently got my hands on some KRK rokit6s and they quite nice. I'm currently using my xonar dx and a 3.5mm to rca cable to power them. I suppose I have two questions:

 

1. If you have no noise using unbalanced connections, is there truly a benefit to going to balanced?

 

2. Currently my monitors are set at the lowest gain setting and in truth, that can get loud enough to suit my purposes. However, would increasing the gain (and in turn decreasing the volume at my computer) yield a higher quality sound?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkb2948 View Post

I recently got my hands on some KRK rokit6s and they quite nice. I'm currently using my xonar dx and a 3.5mm to rca cable to power them. I suppose I have two questions:

 

1. If you have no noise using unbalanced connections, is there truly a benefit to going to balanced?

 

2. Currently my monitors are set at the lowest gain setting and in truth, that can get loud enough to suit my purposes. However, would increasing the gain (and in turn decreasing the volume at my computer) yield a higher quality sound?

 

Thanks!



If you are getting no noise or interferance then the answer is no to the first question. Sometimes the balanced does not sound as good as unbalanced actually though for the most part they are equal or slightly better,not enough to get bothered by.

 

To the second question it is preferable to keep the monitors volume low & the computers volume higher as with digital sound eventually you start to hear quantization distortion when the digital volume is set too low & the analog (monitor) volume is set too high as the music is being represented with too few bits when digital volume is set too low. This is not really a problem with 24 bit digital though at some point even with 24 bit adigital audio you will start to hear noise from the analog section following the dac with the monitor volume boosted too high. Quantization noise with 24 bit audio should remain below the noise floor of the analog section.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info!

 

Are the unbalanced/balanced signal paths typically on different amplifiers? I thought I read that somewhere...

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkb2948 View Post

Thanks for the info!

 

Are the unbalanced/balanced signal paths typically on different amplifiers? I thought I read that somewhere...

 

The balanced & unbalanced signals go to the same input amp. The balanced signal is tied to both the + & - input of the input amp whereas the unbalanced signal leads only to the positive input & the negative input is grounded to prevent noise.

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