xlr vs. rca

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

What exactly is the difference between these two different termination? Or, am
I confoozed?


Best,

Mark Allen Zimmerman * Chicago
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    On 25 Sep 2004 15:09:29 GMT, markzimmerman@aol.com (MarkZimmerman)
    wrote:

    >What exactly is the difference between these two different termination? Or, am
    >I confoozed?

    RCA is a two-conductor coaxial connector used on most domestic audio
    gear, while XLR is a professional grade shielded and locking gas-tight
    connector with three, four or five pins, plus the external screen
    body. There is a *world* of difference!

    --

    Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    Stewart Pinkerton <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<cj4bt10gd2@news1.newsguy.com>...
    > On 25 Sep 2004 15:09:29 GMT, markzimmerman@aol.com (MarkZimmerman)
    > wrote:
    >
    > >What exactly is the difference between these two different termination? Or, am
    > >I confoozed?
    >
    > RCA is a two-conductor coaxial connector used on most domestic audio
    > gear, while XLR is a professional grade shielded and locking gas-tight
    > connector with three, four or five pins, plus the external screen
    > body. There is a *world* of difference!

    Is there suppose to be a difference sonically? Because in *most* cases
    I can't tell the difference. In longer runs the XLR is defintely a hum
    fighter when compared to the RCA connections. Of course, I always use
    XLR professionally (my videography business) because you can't afford
    to have an untimely disconnect as will happen with insecure RCA
    connections. Besides all my video gear has only XLR for the main
    connections, although there are RCA connections for monitoring
    purposes.

    But for my audio systems, over the years, as long as I keep my
    interconnects short, and had no inherent hum problems, I have found
    there was little or no difference in sound that I could readily detect
    between RCA and XLR connections.

    Also, I have found that some gear has some very high quality (visually
    well constructed) RCA connections, while other gear could have cheaply
    made XLR type connections.

    Robert C. Lang
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    "Robert C. Lang" <langvid@pacbell.net> wrote in message
    news:cjfi1901vi3@news1.newsguy.com...
    > Stewart Pinkerton <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:<cj4bt10gd2@news1.newsguy.com>...
    > > On 25 Sep 2004 15:09:29 GMT, markzimmerman@aol.com (MarkZimmerman)
    > > wrote:
    > >
    > > >What exactly is the difference between these two different termination?
    Or, am
    > > >I confoozed?
    > >
    > > RCA is a two-conductor coaxial connector used on most domestic audio
    > > gear, while XLR is a professional grade shielded and locking gas-tight
    > > connector with three, four or five pins, plus the external screen
    > > body. There is a *world* of difference!
    >
    > Is there suppose to be a difference sonically? Because in *most* cases
    > I can't tell the difference. In longer runs the XLR is defintely a hum
    > fighter when compared to the RCA connections. Of course, I always use
    > XLR professionally (my videography business) because you can't afford
    > to have an untimely disconnect as will happen with insecure RCA
    > connections. Besides all my video gear has only XLR for the main
    > connections, although there are RCA connections for monitoring
    > purposes.
    >
    > But for my audio systems, over the years, as long as I keep my
    > interconnects short, and had no inherent hum problems, I have found
    > there was little or no difference in sound that I could readily detect
    > between RCA and XLR connections.
    >
    > Also, I have found that some gear has some very high quality (visually
    > well constructed) RCA connections, while other gear could have cheaply
    > made XLR type connections.
    >
    > Robert C. Lang

    In pro audio, the XLR is used mainly to prevent hum (as you point out) on
    long runs of microphone cable. Very little benefit otherwise.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    On 29 Sep 2004 23:55:21 GMT, langvid@pacbell.net (Robert C. Lang)
    wrote:

    >Stewart Pinkerton <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<cj4bt10gd2@news1.newsguy.com>...
    >> On 25 Sep 2004 15:09:29 GMT, markzimmerman@aol.com (MarkZimmerman)
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> >What exactly is the difference between these two different termination? Or, am
    >> >I confoozed?
    >>
    >> RCA is a two-conductor coaxial connector used on most domestic audio
    >> gear, while XLR is a professional grade shielded and locking gas-tight
    >> connector with three, four or five pins, plus the external screen
    >> body. There is a *world* of difference!
    >
    >Is there suppose to be a difference sonically?

    Depends if balanced operation makes a difference.

    > Because in *most* cases
    >I can't tell the difference. In longer runs the XLR is defintely a hum
    >fighter when compared to the RCA connections.

    Quite so.

    > Of course, I always use
    >XLR professionally (my videography business) because you can't afford
    >to have an untimely disconnect as will happen with insecure RCA
    >connections. Besides all my video gear has only XLR for the main
    >connections, although there are RCA connections for monitoring
    >purposes.
    >
    >But for my audio systems, over the years, as long as I keep my
    >interconnects short, and had no inherent hum problems, I have found
    >there was little or no difference in sound that I could readily detect
    >between RCA and XLR connections.

    Agreed.

    >Also, I have found that some gear has some very high quality (visually
    >well constructed) RCA connections, while other gear could have cheaply
    >made XLR type connections.

    I guess that's a possiblity, as bad connections IME account for more
    than 90% of reported sonic differences.
    --

    Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
  5. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message news:<cjfua802v3t@news1.newsguy.com>...

    > In pro audio, the XLR is used mainly to prevent hum (as you point out) on
    > long runs of microphone cable. Very little benefit otherwise.

    Quite true. One huge benefit of XLR's in live sound is ruggedness,
    plus it is of a size and shape that is easy to handle in the dark, and
    there is no chance of screwing up and plugging a delicate microphone
    into a high level output jack.

    There should be negligible sonic differences -- if an amplifier is a
    "wire with gain" then a connector is a "wire without gain."

    But the cost and size of XLR's has led to a search for alternatives,
    even in pro audio. A growing number of gadgets use 3 conductor 1/4
    inch TRS connectors for balanced signals.

    I would think that a potential use for XLR's in high end home audio
    would be if your power amps are located remotely from your playback
    devices.
  6. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message news:<cjfua802v3t@news1.newsguy.com>...
    >
    > In pro audio, the XLR is used mainly to prevent hum (as you point out) on
    > long runs of microphone cable. Very little benefit otherwise.


    An XLR connector as originally designed is a LOCKING connector; this
    has IMMENSE benefit in pro audio applications.
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