Friday, November 14, 2014

Measurements and Opinion: Balanced vs Unbalanced in consumer audio applications

Sometimes I wonder why we are stuck in the RCA/single ended era. I feel all amps should have transformer coupled inputs or something if we still want to have single ended output at the transducer. Its just better! No need to deal with the lack of noise rejection in wiring. Whoever said," Oh single ended is okay in short run high end applications." was either stupid or stupid.

Here we have a shielded RCA cable that I got from the local AV store, I purposely ran the cable across a DAC with R-core transformers and loopback for the results. This may be induced but the situation is true for many an audiophool running unbalanced lines with equipment racks, the induced EMI can be a nightmare. Perhaps there is a case for audiophool ultra-shielded RCA after all? The cable's length is 2m.

 Blue is for induced noise with a DAC's transformer, Red is for the same wire adjusted to induct the least noise.
 For the same loopback though with a balanced line running pass the transformer, we can see the benefits for balanced drive which is, no spurious tones.

XLR wire run pass a R-core transformer in a DAC's case, as you see, no induced noise as all of it is rejected

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