small cable dilemma
Jul 5, 2009 at 5:28 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

roker

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I have a dacmagic on the way and I'll be using one set of outputs from my speaker to my pot to the RCAs, and the other remaining out put is XLRs.

I plan to buy a headphone amp and use an XLR to RCA cable to feed it . . . will this be a good idea? Should I return my RCA pot and get an XLR pot and output my speakers directly to that output instead, while reserving the RCA out on the DAC for a future Headphone amp?

All this is coming down to is:

Is there a degradation in quality regarding RCA to XLR cables?

That's my biggest concern, otherwise I'd rather keep my setup the way it is because the RCA pot is more flexible (ipod in, other DACs which omit XLR, etc.)
 
Jul 6, 2009 at 9:42 PM Post #4 of 9

Steve Eddy

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All else being equal, and assuming that the XLR output is an actual balanced output and not just an unbalanced output wired to an XLR (i.e. just using pin 2 for signal and pin 1 for ground), you'll just lose about 6dB of signal level, owing to the fact that you're just taking signal from pin 2 and pin 1, rather than the differential signal between pin 2 and pin 3 as would be the case if you were feeding a balanced input.

k
 
Jul 7, 2009 at 5:30 PM Post #5 of 9

roker

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ph0rk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
what is this pot you speak of? A passive preamp?


yes, a passive volume control, that's all it is.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Koyaan I. Sqatsi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
All else being equal, and assuming that the XLR output is an actual balanced output and not just an unbalanced output wired to an XLR (i.e. just using pin 2 for signal and pin 1 for ground), you'll just lose about 6dB of signal level, owing to the fact that you're just taking signal from pin 2 and pin 1, rather than the differential signal between pin 2 and pin 3 as would be the case if you were feeding a balanced input.

k



so no loss in quality, just db?

I suppose when I buy an amp in the future I'll just supplement it with xlr to rca cables to work with my dac.
 
Jul 7, 2009 at 5:42 PM Post #6 of 9

Steve Eddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by roker /img/forum/go_quote.gif
so no loss in quality, just db?


Yup.

Quote:

I suppose when I buy an amp in the future I'll just supplement it with xlr to rca cables to work with my dac.


That, or by an amp with balanced inputs.
atsmile.gif


k
 
Jul 7, 2009 at 5:50 PM Post #7 of 9

roker

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Koyaan I. Sqatsi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That, or by an amp with balanced inputs.
atsmile.gif



at my budget, it's few and far between

unless you have a recommendation that'll cost me under 400 bucks.
 
Jul 7, 2009 at 7:03 PM Post #8 of 9

Steve Eddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by roker /img/forum/go_quote.gif
at my budget, it's few and far between

unless you have a recommendation that'll cost me under 400 bucks.



I'm not intimately familiar with what all is available out there, but hey, if they can make the DacMagic for under $400 with a balanced output, a headphone amp with a balanced input for under $400 must also be possible.

k
 

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