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Simultaneous XLR and RCA output


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For pre-amps or DAC/pre that have both balanced and unbalanced output, I have noticed that a subset can do both simultaneously, while others can only do one or the other.

 

For those that output simultaneously to unbalanced RCA and to XLR, is this done at the expense of making the XLR output unbalanced (essentially a second RCA output with different connectors)?

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For pre-amps or DAC/pre that have both balanced and unbalanced output, I have noticed that a subset can do both simultaneously, while others can only do one or the other.

 

For those that output simultaneously to unbalanced RCA and to XLR, is this done at the expense of making the XLR output unbalanced (essentially a second RCA output with different connectors)?

 

Not quite correct. This only occurs IF you actually have interconnects attached to both outputs. If you only use the balanced outputs you get the benefits of a balanced connection, but if you ALSO connect to the unbalanced outputs, then you lose the benefit of having a balanced output. This is how it was explained to me by someone at Ayre when I asked about using the unbalanced outputs for a headphone amp.

Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, Sonore opticalModule (X2)

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My DSPeaker AntiMode Dual Core has both kinds of outputs active simultaneously. I have no idea how the circuits operate, but the output voltage of the balanced output is about double that of the RCA, which might suggest the two operate on separate circuits.

 

interestingly, one of the suggested connection schemes involves connecting a powered subwoofer to the RCAs and a stereo amplifier to the balanced output. That's how I have it.

For my system details, please see my profile. Thank you.

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Some have separate circuits that prevent RCA loading from effecting the balanced output.

They really do have both single ended and balanced output. This is almost as good as having a four channel Dac for a system with subs.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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Some have separate circuits that prevent RCA loading from effecting the balanced output.

They really do have both single ended and balanced output. This is almost as good as having a four channel Dac for a system with subs.

 

Is there any way to determine this? I know Ayre's QB-9DSD does not work that way (unfortunately).

Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, Sonore opticalModule (X2)

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The only way I know to determine this is from the manufacturer. My Dac had the output circuit details released. They included seperate circuits for performance reasons. It does give more flexibility with a minimal cost increase.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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The only way I know to determine this is from the manufacturer. My Dac had the output circuit details released. They included seperate circuits for performance reasons. It does give more flexibility with a minimal cost increase.

 

The person you contact at the manufacture, might not know or understand the engineering in this situation.

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"For those that output simultaneously to unbalanced RCA and to XLR, is this done at the expense of making the XLR output unbalanced (essentially a second RCA output with different connectors)?"

In most cases yes. You can tell by looking at the components specs. A fully balanced component should list 2 sets of specs. One for SE and the other for Balanced. Someone above mentioned the Ayre. Here's the specs for it as an example of what to look for.

 

Output Level

Headphone or Preamp Mode : 7.0 volts balanced, 3.5 volts single-ended

DAC Mode : 4.0 volts balanced, 2.0 volts single-ended

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I do this with my Audiolab MDAC. There was a discussion with the designer on the pinkish media forum, and it seemed that as mentioned above it is all down to the particular circuit design. The MDAC is one (among others) with "true" balanced design I believe.

Mac Mini > RME ADI-2 DAC > Hypex Ncore monoblocks > ATC SCM-11 speakers & C1 subwoofer

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