[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/viewtopic.php on line 35: Use of undefined constant topic - assumed 'topic' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP)
Agoraquest • View topic - CD player observations

        Advanced search
It is currently Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:44 pm
Please Login or Register to take advantage of all of our forum benefits.

View topic - CD player observations

CD player observations

This forum addresses questions on installation, configuration and troubleshooting you might encounter with your Sony MD/CD/SACD.

Moderator: jttar

by scott1019 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:33 am

I have been looking at several Balanced CD players to try, but none of them are truly balanced, they just have the balanced outputs, which would completely defeat the purpose as is explained by this article.

http://www.avguide.com/blog/balanced-connection-better

I stumbled across the Marantz PMD321 which has rave reviews. I was considering a Tascam or Sony as well. Are there any true balanced players you guys would recommend trying?

Also, would it still be worth it to connect my pre-amp to my amp with XLR's despite not having a balanced source that I currently use?
scott1019
Sony Aficionado
Sony Aficionado
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:00 pm
Location: USA>>Ohio

by mykyll2727 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:20 pm

I just read that article and was surprised at it being written by Robert Hartley. I would think he'd know better as I found it misleading. In articles I've read, threads I've been in with many including Kal Rubinson, I think Robert is confusing and misleading the readers. Many people are caught up in the balanced/true balanced thing. It's partly a matter of terminology. It's that mixup that really confuses people. It's not about balanced and true-balanced but rather balanced and fully differential. But when people get caught up with untrue-balanced vs true-balanced they develop a misconception of what it is. There is no untrue-balanced. When people hear XLRs are not true balanced (untrue-balanced) they think un-balanced. That's not true. They're balanced and some of those are fully differential (what some erroneously call true-balanced)._mykl



mykyll2727
Sony Fanatic
Sony Fanatic
 
Posts: 4144
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas

by mykyll2727 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:00 pm

Scott_ FYI and for anyone that's interested, Wikipedia gives an excellent explanation of balanced and differential audio signals. I think it's good info for anyone that's seriously into this hobby._mykl
mykyll2727
Sony Fanatic
Sony Fanatic
 
Posts: 4144
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas

by mykyll2727 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:07 pm

I am really shocked that someone like Bob Harley got it wrong and put it on the net and noone called him on it. Just goes to show that "noone knows everything about anything". Also shows that you can't always take what an expert says as gospel just because they said it._mykl 
mykyll2727
Sony Fanatic
Sony Fanatic
 
Posts: 4144
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas

by scott1019 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:11 pm

I have read the wikipedia article, and have read many opinions by a lot of different people.  Most think that its unnecessary to go with a balanced signal unless its a really long run, or has a lot of interference.  

My head is spinning about all of this.   I just really want to know if its worth hooking my amp to my pre-amp using XLR vs. standard interconnects and if there is a true balanced CD player to try that will take advantage of having balanced outputs that is worth trying.  


  

scott1019
Sony Aficionado
Sony Aficionado
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:00 pm
Location: USA>>Ohio

by scott1019 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:37 pm

From wikipedia

"Most professional audio products (recording, public address, etc.) provide differential balanced inputs and outputs, typically via XLR or TRS connectors. However, in most cases, a differential balanced input signal is internally converted to a single-ended signal via transformer or electronic amplifier. After internal processing, the single-ended signal is converted back to a differential balanced signal and fed to an output. A small number of professional audio products have been designed as an entirely differential balanced signal path from input to output; the audio signal never unbalances. This design is achieved by providing identical (mirrored) internal signal paths for both pin 2 and pin 3 signals (AKA "hot" and "cold" audio signals). In critical applications, a 100% differential balanced circuit design can offer better signal integrity by avoiding the extra amplifier stages or transformers required for front-end unbalancing and back-end rebalancing. Fully balanced internal circuitry has been promoted as yielding 3dB better dynamic range."

From my understanding, unless the entire signal path is balanced, it completely defeats the purpose of having a balanced signal.   I believe my Classe Thirty pre and Seventy amp are balanced and could benefit from a balanced CD player.   Unless the source is balanced, it may do more harm than good to connect the pre to the amp with XLRs.


-----------------
Starting rotation...TA-E1000ESD, CDP-508ESD, TA-N330ES, PS3, MDR-V6, DSC-H10

In the Bullpen...STR-DB930, STR-V555ES, SDP-EP9ES, STR-GX9ES, STR-DA3300ES, DVP-NC555ES, DVP-NS3100ES, CDP-C701ES, TA-N110, XDR-F1HD

On injury reserve... DVP-CX777ES, STR-G

scott1019
Sony Aficionado
Sony Aficionado
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:00 pm
Location: USA>>Ohio

by mykyll2727 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:59 pm


On 2011-08-14 17:37, scott1019 wrote:
From wikipeida

"Most professional audio products (recording, public address, etc.) provide differential balanced inputs and outputs, typically via XLR or TRS connectors. However, in most cases, a differential balanced input signal is internally converted to a single-ended signal via transformer or electronic amplifier. After internal processing, the single-ended signal is converted back to a differential balanced signal and fed to an output. A small number of professional audio products have been designed as an entirely differential balanced signal path from input to output; the audio signal never unbalances. This design is achieved by providing identical (mirrored) internal signal paths for both pin 2 and pin 3 signals (AKA "hot" and "cold" audio signals). In critical applications, a 100% differential balanced circuit design can offer better signal integrity by avoiding the extra amplifier stages or transformers required for front-end unbalancing and back-end rebalancing. Fully balanced internal circuitry has been promoted as yielding 3dB better dynamic range."

From my understanding, unless the entire signal path is balanced, it completely defeats the purpose of having a balanced signal.   I believe my Classe Thirty pre and Seventy amp are balanced and could benefit from a balanced CD player.   Unless the source is balanced, it may due more harm than good to connect the pre to the amp with XLRs.





I'm not so sure about that and again remember that if a unit has XLRs it's balanced and therefore it's true balanced. It just may not be fully differential. (IMO Wikipedia isn't as clear as it could be on this but then it was written just to give a general understanding.) RCAs, which are definitely unbalanced, are the norm for home audio. XLRs are the norm for pro audio where there is typically more interference, greater power(that's often not as refined), and longer runs than you see in home audio. Remember not all pro-audio features fully differential circuitry either. Yet balanced provides superior performance over unbalanced which is why it's used so extensively in the pro arena because of all of it's issues. Many, if not most, pro audio units don't even feature RCAs just like most home audio units don't feature XLRs. My power amp has balanced ins but only operates as fully differential when the channels are bridged. What happens with a balanced signal with regard to it being converted by a transformer or amp is reminiscent of how AC is used in audio components. How well that happens internally in a component will have alot to do with how well the component does the job. There's no negative effect to the balanced signal simply from it being carried by the cable. The cable may have a negative effect if it doesn't do it's job well. Some will argue that all cabling has a negative effect and that the trick is to use cabling that has the least negative effect. Because of the way balanced works differently from unbalanced a balanced cable of lesser quality should provide a cleaner signal than an unbalanced cable would. There's nothing inherently wrong with it being carried by a cable other than the limitations of the cable. It doesn't defeat the purpose to use balanced connections in a non differential system as the signal passed thru the cable will be cleaner (Or should be) and thus let the components do their job of converting the signal easier and better. Now differential systems should do this even better because of the lack of conversions. Kinda like what Sony was doing with iLink and their S-Master Pro amps. Connecting one unit to another by XLRs when a component upstream is connected by RCAs is no different than using better cabling downstream in an unbalanced setup. Or vice-versa. It may or may not appreciably help but it sure won't hurt.

  IMO in general using a balanced connection won't hurt.  To me the real question is, will it help?  All things being equal balanced is going to be quieter, but how much so? IMHO that'll matter on the system. Then after that can the listener tell the difference.
mykyll2727
Sony Fanatic
Sony Fanatic
 
Posts: 4144
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas

by mykyll2727 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:08 pm

 Scott_I aslo had a thought on your concerns of the source being differential. IMO your concerns are unfounded, and no disrespect, off-base because of the way balanced works. To my mind it's the last component in the chain not the first that matters most. You see when the signal leaves a component thru the XLRs it's balanced (i.e. "truly" balanced) whether the unit it came from had a differential circuit or not. Therefore it matters the least, and maybe even not at all, if the source is of differential design or not. Because it is the first. The only way it would matter is, if by it's being differential, it may send a cleaner signal to the next component downstream. Now if you want a differential signal or at least the fewest conversions possible in the chain everything downstream from the source becomes more important as you go. Because every signal leaving a component thru the XLRs is balanced it arrives to the next component thru the cables balanced. So the amp having a differential circuit would be of the most significance as it's the last link in the chain. It's what sends the final signal to the speakers._mykl
mykyll2727
Sony Fanatic
Sony Fanatic
 
Posts: 4144
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas

by scott1019 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:09 am

So the moral of the story is to hook up my pre-amp to my amp with my Signal (brand) XLR cables in balanced mode... And be skeptical about a balanced source since it may be a differential source anyways despite having balanced outputs... and may not offer much to improve the sound.

My question is.. are there any truly balanced and non-differential CD players that will offer me an improvement in sound quality when hooked up via XLR? Like a Tascam, Sony, or Marantz pro unit? Have you experimented with balanced players to comment on the improvement?
scott1019
Sony Aficionado
Sony Aficionado
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:00 pm
Location: USA>>Ohio

by mykyll2727 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:53 pm

All balanced signals are "true" balanced. A signal is either balanced or it's not (unbalanced). There is no "false" balanced, no more or less balanced. There is no gray area to it. It's just that black and white. If you use XLRs the signal passing thru is balanced. That's the horrible ramifications of someone like Harley stating that there is such a thing as balanced and true balanced signals. He's not only misleading, and misinforming people but ultimately confusing them as well. He's simply furthering their confusion and ignorance. What he refers to as a "true balanced" circuit is a misnomer as well. And that just further propogates the confusion. What he's refering to is a fully differential circuit. A balanced signal is not the same as a differential circuit. They are two different things. Differential circuitry can produce a balanced signal but there are other ways of doing it too. Someone in his place should make sure they know what they're talking about before he passes on his "expert" knowledge. In this case he just doesn't know what he's talking about. It still seems to me you're still abit confused too.

Let's look at another situation which I feel might clear things up for you before I answer your question directly. I feel a better understanding will help you to better understand the answer.

My speakers (as do most) require an analog input to work. Therefore the amp I use must send an analog signal to them. There is no false analog or true analog, there's only analog. For the speakers to work the circuitry of the amp doesn't matter as long as it sends an analog signal out to them. The amp could be class A, A/B, D, H or whatever, it must pass along an analog signal to the speakers for them to work. Audiophiles will argue endlessly on which design inheherently does a better job of passing the analog signal on. The fact is an A/B amp of poor design/quality will do an inferior job than a D amp of great quality/design. And vice-versa.

Please get balanced and true balanced out of your mind set. They are misconceptions. They are erroneous and misleading and will only confuse and misdirect you. If you use the XLR ins of one unit and the XLRs out of another the signal passed between them will be balanced. There is no true balanced only balanced. There is no "truely balanced and non-differential CD player" in the world. There are non-differential, differential, and fully differential circuits that all produce a balanced signal. Wikipedia's "100% differential balanced circuit" statement is somewhat misleading but is meant for easy understanding for the masses. I've always wondered if this is the best approach because of situations like this. What they are refering to is a fully differential circuit. What it does is to take in a balanced signal and keep it balanced throughout the circuit without any conversions unlike the others.  

  You said "be skeptical about a balanced source since it may be a differential source anyways despite having balanced outputs...and may not offer much to improve the sound". Why? The proponents of a fully differential circuit for balanced signals are advocating the less is better theory. They say that it's inherently better because it doesn't do any signal conversions and thus introduces less artifacts into the signal. I would say maybe, but only if it's good at it's job. Obviously we know of components that do alot of conversions in their circuits and do a great job. Some with little or no conversions sound like crap because they are. In the end it depends on the unit. IMO there's no reason to be more or less skeptical of a component with a differential circuit than you would any other component. If it's proponents are right there would in fact be even less reason. Also it does make sense to me from a purely logical standpoint that the further down the chain you go the more effect balanced signals would have because the balanced signal would go thru fewer conversations on it's way to the speakers. All things being equal. Yet I feel since that in the real world that's rarely the case what will matter the most are the components involved and how well they do their job. Only experimentation will determine that. You may find in your system that going balanced from the source works best.  

I don't have any personal experience with balanced connections in my system as I've simply never had any available to me there. Only RCAs. I do have experience with balanced connections in pro audio because that was all that was available there. No RCAs. So I can't really make comparisons. The question I ponder is, if balanced is so much better than unbalanced in both the pro and the home arenas why isn't there more of it in home audio given home audio's in general more refined nature? Especially in the ultra high end area. Where, if it's decidely better, you'd think it'd be used exclusively as the prices charged and the goal of the best sound would certainly justify it's use.

Interestingly, I'm noticing XLRs becoming more common in the high end HT arena than I have before. I think the reason is that high end HT, with sometimes longer cable runs and greater power, more closely resembles the pro arena than home audio typically does. I would like to experiment with XLRs to know. When you get your cables I'll be very interested in your findings._mykl

mykyll2727
Sony Fanatic
Sony Fanatic
 
Posts: 4144
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas

PreviousNext

Return to MD/CD/SACD