I have recently purchased an Aune S7 (full balanced AMP), so now I would like to upgrade my DAC, which currently is a SDAC.
I was considering the Topping D50s as an upgrade because of how well it has been engineered. However, the output is not balanced, so I am also evaluating the option of a SMSL SU-8 v2.
I know that many people would say that balanced is overrated, and that you don’t really need it for short distances. However, I have noticed that XLR connections have more power (usually two times more than RCA), as such wouldn’t there be any volume increase because of the signal being higher ?
I am not saying that the output wattage of the AMP is increased, I am saying that the volume is increased.
Could somebody give me some insight on this matter, or perhaps share your experience with RCA and XLR ?
Also, any advice on any of the two DACs, or others, is very welcome.
A balanced signal typically carries more voltage then unbalanced, so it’s a stronger signal you are feeding the amp vs unbalanced
The smsl su-8 v2 is great, and would recommend if you are looking into it. Lots of features with great sound
Also an SMSL SU-8 user here, it is great. Super happy with it. I prefer the XLR signal coming from it, but that is probably more of an amp dependency.
If you want to go Topping look at the D70. It has balanced outputs.
Hi mon got a question about xlr, I have a couple DACS with xlr and was needing to run them to amps with rca. I’m already using the rca outs of the DACS to another amp so I bought a female xlr to rca cable to connect to my amp. Is there anything wrong do this? It works and really haven’t noticed any sound difference but could doing this possibly damage any equipment?
As long as you take +ve and drain to the RCA it’s probably fine, if you try and connect the negatives to the outside of the RCA, you’ll hurt something (most likely the DAC) because you’ll be shorting the output of the DAC.
If the DAC is balanced internally you’ll lose some quality doing this, since the actual RCA’s probably use an op amp to convert to single ended.
The “right” way to do this is with a transformer, but That gets expensive and those also alter the sound.