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evilhomer74

Balanced inputs

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Hi everyone, I have a noob question sorry.

 

I am looking at a decent amplifier upgrade in the near future. I have always wondered, what is the difference between the normal banana plug speaker inputs on an amp and the balanced inputs with the 3 pronged plug? Do the balanced inputs from amp to speaker provide a better listening experience?

 

Currently, I have KEF LS50's connected to my Myriad amp. My Myriad doesn't have balanced inputs, but i've seen them on others, possibly higher end. I am looking to spend maybe around $5k on an upgraded amp, should I look at using the balanced inputs to connect to the speakers? And also, are my KEF speakers suited to the balanced inputs or should i look at a speaker upgrade as well?

 

It will mainly be used for listening to vinyl.

 

Any advice will be appreciated, thanks for looking!

 

Shane

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The 3 pin XLR cables are used as interconnects between a DAC/Preamp to your amplifiers, not between the amp and the speakers. They provide better signal integrity over longer distances and more input gain to your amplifier. Others can provide better advice on this, bur thats my understanding.

 

The speaker connections are still just pos/neg connections though :)

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Unless you are running your cables over extended lengths through an electrically noisy environment, then balanced will not be of any value.  In a normal home hifi system it matters not.

 

I have a mixture of XLR and RCA cables simply because I have run out of sockets of one sort or the other.  I could run all balanced if I wanted to but no need and it makes no difference in my system.

 

Do not change amp or speakers just because of balanced availability.

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Posted (edited)

PA systems often use balanced TRS or XLR connectors from the drive rack to the speakers because balanced is essential when running long and uneven cable runs.

For home use, XLR connectors are confined to line level signals between sources and pre amps, power amps etc.

There is no definite benefit in the home.  Some gear is designed with the focus on the balanced inputs, thus making them sound better, other gear is designed with the focus on single ended inputs, thus making them sound better.

Entry level to mid range home hi fi equipment doesn't use XLR at all.

Edited by DJGopal

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My Electrocompaniet sounds noticeably better using XLR (I used the same cable terminated balance and unbalanced). On my previous Krell set up it made zero difference.

 

I am assuming EC just put more effort into their balanced connection?

 

Try it with the same exact cables - one pair xlr, one rca and see for yourself.

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Thanks so much for all of the advice, and I certainly have a much better understanding now.

 

I've wondered this for years, wish i'd asked earlier lol.

 

Would my KEF LS50's be a good match for a Luxman L507uXL? I currently Have a Rega P3/Blue MM Ortofon TT i'm looking to upgrade on as well.

 

And then theres cables lol..............

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When it comes to matching speakers and amps, there are 2 main criteria.

1. Electrical suitability. The Luxman L507, like every Luxman I've heard, is able to drive almost any speaker load very well, with little effort.  It is also powerful enough to reach loud volume levels in a reasonable sized room.

2. Sound matching. the LS50 are a lovely transparent speaker and takes on a lot of the character of the amp. The Luxman has a slightly warm character, transparent, open and detailed and I believe should suit the KEF's very nicely, if that is the direction that you want your system to go in. They will sound larger and bigger with the Luxman driving them, then some other amps.

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1 hour ago, BMC HiFi said:

1. Electrical suitability. The Luxman L507, like every Luxman I've heard, is able to drive almost any speaker load very well, with little effort.  It is also powerful enough to reach loud volume levels in a reasonable sized room.

Thats a big statement that I don't agree with.

My memory of Myriad amps were that they were a little thin and grey in their soundstage.

I agree with @aechmea.

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10 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

Thats a big statement that I don't agree with.

My memory of Myriad amps were that they were a little thin and grey in their soundstage.

I agree with @aechmea.

Huh?

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15 hours ago, furtherpale said:

Huh?

First part of that was the statement on Luxman amps. Misleading to me.

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