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  1. #1

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    Default Interconnect question

    I am thinking about upgrading the interconnect cables from my processor (Sunfire TGP-5) to my amp (Sunfire Signature 405X5) on the front 2 channels only at this time. This is just to upgrade the "2 channel" portion of my dual purpose system. I listen more and more to 2-channel from SACD's and vinyl..

    The question is should I use XLR or RCA connections??? I am currently using very cheap XLR's from Monoprice (I think that's where I got them) I am also using a Y cable/splitter so I can bi-amp the front speakers - 1.2TL's.

    I plan to stay with the bi-amp, so whatever I go with will have to include plans for this.

    All input is welcomed..
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  2. #2

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    Default

    Opinions???

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    Upgrade cables; if you like balanced then look for balanced cables, and using a "Y" adapter to bi-amp is doing nothing, nada, not a thing but adding another item in the signal path. Ditch the Y adapters.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Upgrade cables; if you like balanced then look for balanced cables, and using a "Y" adapter to bi-amp is doing nothing, nada, not a thing but adding another item in the signal path. Ditch the Y adapters.

    H9
    H9,

    Thanks, but how does one bi-amp correctly??? I'm not saying balanced is best, I don't know. That is part of the question.

    Which is best, XLR or RCA, how does one correctly bi-amp?? The signal has to go to 2 places, one for highs and one for lows

    If I am going to invest in better cables, I want to get the best bang for my bucks:o

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    Quote Originally Posted by vmaxer View Post
    H9,

    Thanks, but how does one bi-amp correctly??? I'm not saying balanced is best, I don't know. That is part of the question.

    Which is best, XLR or RCA, how does one correctly bi-amp?? The signal has to go to 2 places, one for highs and one for lows

    If I am going to invest in better cables, I want to get the best bang for my bucks:o
    Bi-amping is just as it states..............using (2) amps; many prefer a "sweeter" amp on the highs and "solid iron fisted" amp on the lows. All you are doing w/a Y-splitter is splitting the same single signal into two parts, no difference whatsoever. In fact you may even be degrading the signal by using the Y-adapters. You are actually doing a slightly bastardized form of bi-wiring, but it's not completely that either.

    As far as which is best XLR (balanced) or RCA (single ended).............that's a hot topic and it has been discussed hundreds of times on CP (search). For me personally in my set up with a single ended class A amp I actually prefer the singled ended RCA's to balanced XLR's.

    Let the vigorous discussion begin about which is "better" :)

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 05-12-2010 at 10:19 AM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Where are you using the Y-adapters? I assumed at the speaker outputs........but then I thought how would you wire that.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Bi-amping is just as it states..............using (2) amps; many prefer a "sweeter" amp on the highs and "solid iron fisted" amp on the lows. All you are doing w/a Y-splitter is splitting the same single signal into two parts, no difference whatsoever. In fact you may even be degrading the signal by using the Y-adapters. You are actually doing a slightly bastardized form of bi-wiring, but it's not completely that either.

    As far as which is best XLR (balanced) or RCA (single ended).............that's a hot topic and it has been discussed hundreds of times on CP (search). For me personally in my set up with a single ended class A amp I actually prefer the singled ended RCA's to balanced XLR's.

    Let the vigorous discussion begin about which is "better" :)

    H9

    H9,

    Thanks again, I appreciate your help. But I still need to know how does one take the front right output from the processor/preamp and send it to 2 amps without a splitter???:o:o I have only one output per channel on the processor and it needs to go to 2 places(same would apply to the left output)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Where are you using the Y-adapters? I assumed at the speaker outputs........but then I thought how would you wire that.

    H9
    The output on my preamp/processor is split into two cables, One goes to the amp for highs and one goes to the amp for lows.

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    Wow, I am confused .

    Bi-amping takes a single signal from a pre-amp (many higher end pre-amps have two sets of outputs) (1) set of outputs goes to amp #1 and then is hooked to the top terminals on your speakers. (1) set of outputs goes to amp #2 and then is hooked to the low terminals on your speakers.

    How are you inputting (2) signals into your amp to get a single output? Unless it's a multi-channel amp. If you don;t have (2) separate outputs on your pre-amp then yes many would suggest a Y-adaptor at the output of your pre-amp.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Wow, I am confused .

    Bi-amping takes a single signal from a pre-amp (many higher end pre-amps have two sets of outputs) (1) set of outputs goes to amp #1 and then is hooked to the top terminals on your speakers. (1) set of outputs goes to amp #2 and then is hooked to the low terminals on your speakers.

    How are you inputting (2) signals into your amp to get a single output? Unless it's a multi-channel amp. If you don;t have (2) separate outputs on your pre-amp then yes many would suggest a Y-adaptor at the output of your pre-amp.

    H9
    I am probably doing a poor job of describing the connections:o Here is what I am doing...

    Front right XLR output from Sunfire TGP5 into a Y splitter (also XLR). One lead from the splitter going to channel one of Sunfire Signature 405X5 amp and the speaker output from that amp channel going to the right 1.2TL tweeters. (no jumper on speakers) The other lead from the splitter going to channel 2 on the amp and the speaker output from that is going to the lows on the 1.2TL.

    Does this help any??

    Thanks for your help!

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    Unless you are going to use and external crossover between the preamp and the amps to separate the highs and the lows, then you have no choice than to use a 'Y' connector on each channel. When I biamp'd my 1.2TLs, used a 'Y' connector that Frank from Signal cable custom made for me to split the signal to my Parasound (highs) and my Adcoms (low) and it did a fantastic job.

    If you have a 1.2TL manual it goes into great detail as to how to use the various methods to biamp.

    Billy if you need a copy of the manual, email me and I'll send you the pdf of the manual.

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    You can go RCA from the TG to the amp, then go RCA from the second inputon that channel to the next channel. It's all in the manual. No need to use Y-splitter. Incidentally, unless you're having a noise issue with RCA, I found with the Sunfire equipment there's not much difference between XLR and RCA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    Unless you are going to use and external crossover between the preamp and the amps to separate the highs and the lows, then you have no choice than to use a 'Y' connector on each channel. When I biamp'd my 1.2TLs, used a 'Y' connector that Frank from Signal cable custom made for me to split the signal to my Parasound (highs) and my Adcoms (low) and it did a fantastic job.

    If you have a 1.2TL manual it goes into great detail as to how to use the various methods to biamp.

    Billy if you need a copy of the manual, email me and I'll send you the pdf of the manual.

    Thanks a lot, I already have one. ( I think you may have been the one to send it to me).. As far as XLR or RCA what do you think?? I am considering PNF Audio XLR interconnects and Y cables. Any thoughs?? I want to do this only once,,,

    Can't afford to keep trying, this is why I want to learn from others experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vmaxer View Post
    Thanks a lot, I already have one. ( I think you may have been the one to send it to me).. As far as XLR or RCA what do you think?? I am considering PNF Audio XLR interconnects and Y cables. Any thoughs?? I want to do this only once,,,

    Can't afford to keep trying, this is why I want to learn from others experience.
    IMHO, if you are not having any noise issues with the single ended RCAs, i.e., dead black presentation then I would just stick with them.

    I heard an all balanced system at Ted's house during his Polk Fest and it was dead quiet, then again all the gear was BAT at the time and all you could use was XLRs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vmaxer View Post
    Thanks a lot, I already have one. ( I think you may have been the one to send it to me).. As far as XLR or RCA what do you think?? I am considering PNF Audio XLR interconnects and Y cables. Any thoughs?? I want to do this only once,,,

    Can't afford to keep trying, this is why I want to learn from others experience.

    Check up one post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    Unless you are going to use and external crossover between the preamp and the amps to separate the highs and the lows, then you have no choice than to use a 'Y' connector on each channel. When I biamp'd my 1.2TLs, used a 'Y' connector that Frank from Signal cable custom made for me to split the signal to my Parasound (highs) and my Adcoms (low) and it did a fantastic job.

    If you have a 1.2TL manual it goes into great detail as to how to use the various methods to biamp.

    Billy if you need a copy of the manual, email me and I'll send you the pdf of the manual.
    Great info Joe, but totally irrelevant because as far as I can tell he's using a single amp.

    I am still totally confused? To Vmaxer; so does each XLR (you only have 2) carry a stereo signal..........if not, I'm not getting how you can only use a single XLR for the "right" and a single XLR for the "left" and then split it to go into the amp.

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 05-12-2010 at 11:54 AM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Looks like he is using a couple of multi-channel amps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    Looks like he is using a couple of multi-channel amps?

    Gordon
    That may be the case. I'm a 2 channel guy and when people start talking 2 channel I automatically assume a 2 channel amp. I'm sure someone else will chime in and help. I just can't picture it, but I'm not familiar with the gear he is using either and if it's a multi channel set-up I'd have to see a diagram.

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 05-12-2010 at 12:14 PM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    Looks like he is using a couple of multi-channel amps?

    Gordon
    Atleast one according to his first post.

    Quote Originally Posted by vmaxer View Post
    ... my amp (Sunfire Signature 405X5) ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    That may be the case. I'm a 2 channel guy and when people start talking 2 channel I automatically assume a 2 channel amp. I'm sure someone else will chime in and help. I just can't picture it, but I'm not familiar with the gear he is using either and if it's a multi channel set-up I'd have to see a diagram.

    H9

    See post #12; that is the amp the OP is using. Read the thread!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNRabbit View Post
    Read the thread!
    Why, it's not my set-up? If your post helps the OP, then great, problem solved. Now all he has to do is decide on brand/type of cables. :)

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Why, it's not my set-up? If your post helps the OP, then great, problem solved. Now all he has to do is decide on brand/type of cables. :)

    H9
    You said you'd need to see a diagram; there was one in post #12, that's why I said read the thread~


    :p
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNRabbit View Post
    You said you'd need to see a diagram; there was one in post #12, that's why I said read the thread~


    :p
    Ah, well I finally looked closer at it. I assumed your diagram was a suggestion, not the way the OP had it hooked up, since it wasn't the OP providing the diagram. :p;)

    Atleast we're getting somewhere now :)

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by vmaxer View Post
    I plan to stay with the bi-amp, so whatever I go with will have to include plans for this.

    All input is welcomed..
    Those monoprice XLR cables are low cost but not "cheap".

    I'd go so far as to say that "cheap" XLR beats $250" RCA cables every time. The reason is that the expensive RCA cable try to minimize problem that balanced connects just don't have. Not only does the XLR connector use a balanced signal, which is pretty much immune to common mode noise, it sends it at a higher level (more volts) So it's not just the physical wire that is different but the signal itself.

    Well, that's the ideas, now it could be your equipment "fakes it" and sends consummer level, single ended signals over XLR. In that case most of the advantage of using XLR goes away. But you still do have the advantag of the much more robust and reliable physical connectors, theRCA connectors themselves are not a great design. Almost every other connectors is better, BNC, XLR, 1/4" phono and so on. So even in the case where your equipment "fakes it" I'd go with XLR if you can

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    You can do a WHOLE lot better than mono-price cables, very easily.

    Single ended RCA's are most excellent so no worries there. You may notice a difference if you run a truly balanced system in which ALL components are truly balanced input to output. XLR connections are most times better served for very long runs where signals can degrade over a long distance.

    I'm not saying in every situation one or the other is better, but as I stated in my own personal system I prefer a very nice high end single ended RCA to the XLR's.

    H9

    P.s. There are certain specific designs of amps that favor a truly balanced I/C, like BAT an Pass Labs "X" series of amps. Those are designed to run balanced and actually have slightly better numbers when run that way. But, those are the exceptions not the rule. XLR's typically do have better noise rejection but not always for shorter runs which are typical of most hi-fi component users
    Last edited by heiney9; 05-12-2010 at 01:08 PM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA View Post
    Those monoprice XLR cables are low cost but not "cheap".

    I'd go so far as to say that "cheap" XLR beats $250" RCA cables every time. The reason is that the expensive RCA cable try to minimize problem that balanced connects just don't have. Not only does the XLR connector use a balanced signal, which is pretty much immune to common mode noise, it sends it at a higher level (more volts) So it's not just the physical wire that is different but the signal itself.

    Well, that's the ideas, now it could be your equipment "fakes it" and sends consummer level, single ended signals over XLR. In that case most of the advantage of using XLR goes away. But you still do have the advantag of the much more robust and reliable physical connectors, theRCA connectors themselves are not a great design. Almost every other connectors is better, BNC, XLR, 1/4" phono and so on. So even in the case where your equipment "fakes it" I'd go with XLR if you can
    Nope and Nope.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by vmaxer View Post
    I am probably doing a poor job of describing the connections:o Here is what I am doing...

    Front right XLR output from Sunfire TGP5 into a Y splitter (also XLR). One lead from the splitter going to channel one of Sunfire Signature 405X5 amp and the speaker output from that amp channel going to the right 1.2TL tweeters. (no jumper on speakers) The other lead from the splitter going to channel 2 on the amp and the speaker output from that is going to the lows on the 1.2TL.

    Does this help any??

    Thanks for your help!
    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Great info Joe, but totally irrelevant because as far as I can tell he's using a single amp.

    I am still totally confused? To Vmaxer; so does each XLR (you only have 2) carry a stereo signal..........if not, I'm not getting how you can only use a single XLR for the "right" and a single XLR for the "left" and then split it to go into the amp.

    H9
    Sorry guys, had to leave for a while...

    For the 2 channel I am using a 5 channel amp which has 405 watts each. The description above is for the front right speaker only (2 XLR cables and one splitter) The left is set up the same way.

    Thus, I am using 1 channel for the left highs, 1 channel for the left lows, 1 channel for the right highs and 1 channel for the right lows all at 405 watts each.

    I also have another 5 channel 200 watts per for the surround speakers. This systerm serves as both home theater and 2 channel. I am using it more and more for 2 channel thus the desire to upgrade the cables for that portion.

    My signature list most of the remaining equipment.

    It seems as though there may be some merit in using the XLR cables, it also seems that I may benefit from a active crossover that has XLR ins and outs.

    Thoughts?????
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    Not being used:
    RTi 38's -4
    RT55i's - 2
    RT25i's -2, using other 2 in shop
    LSI 15's
    CSi40
    PSW 404

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA View Post
    Those monoprice XLR cables are low cost but not "cheap".

    I'd go so far as to say that "cheap" XLR beats $250" RCA cables every time. The reason is that the expensive RCA cable try to minimize problem that balanced connects just don't have. Not only does the XLR connector use a balanced signal, which is pretty much immune to common mode noise, it sends it at a higher level (more volts) So it's not just the physical wire that is different but the signal itself.

    Well, that's the ideas, now it could be your equipment "fakes it" and sends consummer level, single ended signals over XLR. In that case most of the advantage of using XLR goes away. But you still do have the advantag of the much more robust and reliable physical connectors, theRCA connectors themselves are not a great design. Almost every other connectors is better, BNC, XLR, 1/4" phono and so on. So even in the case where your equipment "fakes it" I'd go with XLR if you can

    I am not saying the cables aren't any good, I just thought maybe I could upgrade and get some benefit from it. I do know that cables can make a difference.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Great info Joe, but totally irrelevant because as far as I can tell he's using a single amp.

    I am still totally confused? To Vmaxer; so does each XLR (you only have 2) carry a stereo signal..........if not, I'm not getting how you can only use a single XLR for the "right" and a single XLR for the "left" and then split it to go into the amp.

    H9
    Wow did I miss something here? I thought he was talking about using a "sweet" sounding amp on top and a ballsey amp on the bottom.

    EDIT: I just read post #27 and am no longer confused.:D

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    Wow did I miss something here? I thought he was talking about using a "sweet" sounding amp on top and a ballsey amp on the bottom.

    EDIT: I just read post #27 and am no longer confused.:D
    When I got the Sunfiire 405 x5 the manual recommended this type of hookup. It did "seem" to help the overall clarity, especially at higher volumes

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