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  1. #1

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    Default Unbalanced to Balanced cables

    So I bought a pair of B&K M200 monoblocks, and both have a VERY finicky unbalanced connection at the amp. I took them into a shop and they tested out fine, but with my cables, if you so much as BREATHE on them, major distortion & popping comes out of the speakers that could potentially fry them.

    I don't want to risk this with the new Totem Hawks that are on the way.

    The amps have balanced connections that I'm sure are much more stable, but I don't have a balanced preamp (Dared SL2000a). Would there be any issue with using unbalanced to balanced cables (rca to xlr) from the Dared to the amps?

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    i personally would have a problem running a piece of gear i know isn't right. is it a problem to have it repaired, or is there a mystery?
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    There shouldn't be an issue . I'm running unbalanced to balanced until I get a better preamp. What kind of cables are you using?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zane77 View Post
    There shouldn't be an issue . I'm running unbalanced to balanced until I get a better preamp. What kind of cables are you using?
    I was using some cheap monster stuff from the pre to the amps. I had my best cables going from the dac to the pre (Blue Jeans LC-1), but I just placed an order to replace all my IC's with BJC LC-1's to keep it consistent.

    I wonder if my monoblocks are truly balanced. I would assume they need a real balanced signal to function properly. If that's the case then does it affect the sound negatively to use an unbalanced signal?

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    Not sure about the B&K but when using unbalanced cables with my Pass, you have to short pins across 2 of the female pin outs.

    The jumper is nothing more than a 3/4" piece of 12awg copper shorting 2 of 3 outputs the your balanced cable plugs into.
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    You should be able to run RCA on source end and XLR on the amp end. Do you know the XLR pin out on the amp? You simply short the ground to one of the pins on the XLR plug, and run signal to the other.

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    I would work on getting the issue fixed instead of working around it. but that's just me
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    http://www.jensen-transformers.com/a...%20seminar.pdf
    At the end of this article it shows you the pin outs for using unbalanced to balanced connections
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    Everyone should read the Jensen (Bill Whitlock) paper that 'zane' linked to above!
    Both jensen-transfomers.com and rane.com have many good technical papers on subjects like this.

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    Sometimes with amps a shorting pin is used on balanced when connecting single ended. The pin connects pins 1 (ground) and 3 (the inverting signal) to ground the inverted input. RCA would connect to pin 2 and ground. Got a manual to check? I see B&K does not have one for download for the M200.

    Quote Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
    I took them into a shop and they tested out fine, but with my cables, if you so much as BREATHE on them, major distortion & popping comes out of the speakers that could potentially fry them.
    Since you had your amps looked at I'll presume the RCA's have good ground. I've repaired some amps where the RCA's connected direct to board and the ground was broke/pulled loose from rough connecting/something falling on cables while connected.

    If your interconnects have a loose connection at ground or center pin, that can also cause what you describe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    I would work on getting the issue fixed instead of working around it. but that's just me
    +1, and try a different repair shop. BTW, if you must interface balanced and unbalanced connections, I use XLR-RCA male/female adapters from Parts Express to interconnect the pro EQ and active crossover I use in my party system with the other equipment, which are RCA only. The adapters work just fine.

    XLR-RCA adapters
    Last edited by Glen B; 05-28-2013 at 02:29 PM.
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    So I swapped in the Blue Jeans LC-1's today to go from the pre to the amps, and it worked perfectly. The LC-1's are making way better contact I guess. No problems and I even wiggled the connections a bit to test them out.

    Thanks for all the feedback guys.

  13. #13

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    Smile

    I guess the lesson learned is to always use quality interconnecting cables.
    Main system: Denon DP-59L | Audio-Technica AT33EV | Marantz Reference Series SA-11S2 | Classé CP-50, modified | Classé CA-300, modified | Classé DR-10, modified | Classé RC-1 | PSB Stratus Gold i's | DIY Balanced AC Power Conditioner with surge/spike suppression | Acoustic Zen and NeoTech cables | Oyaide and Furutech AC power connectors and receptacles | Hi-Fi Tuning Supreme fuses | Dedicated 20A IG AC line

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen B View Post
    I guess the lesson learned is to always use quality interconnecting cables.
    It really is!

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