Balanced vs Unbalanced - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 19 Old 10-17-12, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Balanced vs Unbalanced

Unless I'm mistaken, unbalanced speaker connections are simply bare wire or connected to spades, etc.. I've seen the inputs on amps for unbalanced. What are the benefits of one over the other? Or is it just another adapter, like a spade, that attaches to bare wire? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-17-12, 05:50 PM
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Re: Balanced vs Unbalanced

If you have not already have a look here for info on the differences.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #3 of 19 Old 10-17-12, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
tonyvdb wrote: View Post
If you have not already have a look here for info on the differences.
Huh. Makes more sense to me now, thanks. Not sure why I thought it was a speaker connection. So, from what your other thread said, balanced connections are primarily for when your preamp/AVR is more than 25' from your amp. I know this is pretty simplistic so just correct me if I'm wrong.
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-17-12, 09:10 PM
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Re: Balanced vs Unbalanced

Balanced simply put is just a better shielded cable nothing less nothing more. Its better suited for longer distance runs because the signal voltage used is also a bit higher (up to around 2.5volts) where unbalanced usually peaks at about 1 volt. but Ive known people including myself that have had no issue running unbalanced lines for over 50' without issues.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #5 of 19 Old 10-17-12, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Well thanks again for clearing all that up for me. It's great having these forums to come to where there's plenty of people with more knowledge than me.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-17-12, 09:42 PM
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Re: Balanced vs Unbalanced

no problem, believe me i am still learning things as well. It never ends thats why we are here

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #7 of 19 Old 11-12-12, 02:16 PM
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Depending on your gear, balance output may seem to be more sensitive than unbalanced, that will vary in impressions when you do direct comparisons.

You can check that out with specs on your gear, input sensitivity/output sensitivity.
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post #8 of 19 Old 11-12-12, 03:43 PM
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Re: Balanced vs Unbalanced

Balanced is usually preferred, but it's always on expensive equipment and the cables are more expensive too (though I've never priced Monoprice since I have no balanced gear). If you have quality components and you can do it, why not?
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post #9 of 19 Old 11-13-12, 06:03 AM
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Re: Balanced vs Unbalanced

I like to use balanced where my gear supports it. The idea is improved noise rejection, as explained. Only about 1/3 of my gear supports it, though, and it's not a top priority for me in making a purchase, but I welcome it when it is available.

Every system is unique. "System" includes house, wiring, appliances, local power distribution, RF sources.... all kinds of fun stuff creating and conducting and radiating noise. When & where you'll benefit from using a balanced connection is hard to predict. I figure if you have the option and can use it cheaply, just do it.
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post #10 of 19 Old 11-15-12, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
I like to use balanced where my gear supports it. The idea is improved noise rejection, as explained. Only about 1/3 of my gear supports it, though, and it's not a top priority for me in making a purchase, but I welcome it when it is available.

Every system is unique. "System" includes house, wiring, appliances, local power distribution, RF sources.... all kinds of fun stuff creating and conducting and radiating noise. When & where you'll benefit from using a balanced connection is hard to predict. I figure if you have the option and can use it cheaply, just do it.
Agreed.

I do feel that using balanced cables will give you less 'coloration' in theory', simply because there's more noise in the unbalanced.
Some folks use cables as form of EQ for their system. I'm not too sure if that's the best idea, but it happens. Scientifically, adjusting/moving your speakers by an inch will 'change' the sound of your system, and there goes your 'made to measure' EQ with the cables.

So get the fullest value of your system by using decent XLR cables, re-look the room when you feel the sound differs for your liking, but get the basics right first:
Speakers has got to fit the room, size, technical design... Amps will need to match the speakers, and your ears. Amps need to match impedance of speakers, to provide you will a justifiable response from the speakers, usually most expensive investment.

On another school of thought, just set up the room just the way you like it. Your money, your ears.
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