Xlr sound quality

Im thinking of dumping some money into a sound system for either my desktop or hometheatre. My question is, what benifits other than nooise and interferance reduction does XLR3 cables offer?

What is better/the same with respect to crispness/ clarity?
RCA, XLR, Optical, Or COAX
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  1. XLR is only found on studio monitors, stand-alone power amplifiers, and exotic receivers in the >$7,000 range. I've never seen one on a typical receiver.

    Optical is theoretically superior to coaxial because it operates on light pulses and thus is not affected by electromagnetic interference. RCA is the least hi-fi.
  2. Thanks. Alot of people report Optical and Coaxial being about the same because they both deal with digital signals.

    I do have my eyes set on some reference studio moniters and a matching active sub though. Their in around the $2,400 range.

    I have no experience with XLR connections other than knowing that it is less susceptible to noise and interference because of its being composed of a negative and a positive where as RCA is a positive and ground? or something like that.

    So Im thinking of just getting a second set of the logitech z-5500's. They seem to do me pretty well. Just in case though, does anyone know if the typical studio reference monitors would be a better idea or not?(Performance wise)
  3. And with a active sub, would I need a receiver? or would the sub act as its receiver?
  4. There's a very big difference between a standmount monitor and tiny computer speakers like the Z-5500s in performance, yes.

    The only difference between an active and passive subwoofer is the active one is self-powered. I have yet to see a stand-alone receiver with the capability to power a passive subwoofer, so one does not replace the other.
  5. If you are looking for an active subwoofer, I would recommend Rythmik (direct servo).

    Their subwoofers are very linear (-2db point is at 14hz). Their stuff is very affordable (starts at $699 for the F12). All their subwoofers are voiced the same (same FR curve), the higher end models are just tuned for more SPL, so you can daisy chain as many as you want for greater output.

    +/- 3 dB points: 12.5 Hz - 109 Hz
  6. Thanks also astrallite. That again helps alot. I think I might end up going for the studio moniters instead of the speakers. I'm not the type to crank it stupid loud, but am newly becoming interested in the community of audiophiles. concept audio quality FTW.

    sooo...... If Ive got an m-audio active sub paired with 2 studio reference monitors, how would I connect this thing to a pc? Would I need a specific sound card? USB? And so just so i get this straight, XLR quality of studio reference moniters is better than that of optical or digital audio of a set of speakers like the z-5500's (by logitech) ?
  7. Best answer
    XLR and RCA are both analog signals, transferring the full waveform. Optical and coaxial are digital and only transmit the sound as 1s and 0s and require the signal to be decoded at the other end to waveform (analog) format. They are not directly comparable as they are different transmission types, but digital is less prone to errors/interference, and optical is not affected at all.

    Personally I am not a fan of studio monitors. Mounting the amp on the speakers is just another source of cabinet resonant noise. I like to keep my amps out of sight where I can't hear them, heh.

    The kind of subwoofers that monitoring companies sell are designed mainly for rock/pop music and have very little output below 40hz. If you listening to movie scores, orchestra music, etc, you are missing out on a large part of the subsonic range. To me those aren't even true subwoofers, just lower mid-bass modules.

    Also, I prefer to listen to speakers at a distance, where the left/right channels will intersect (this is what they call a soundstage). Listening to monitors nearfield is basically like listening to headphones--it's more like "dual mono" rather than stereo. The one advantage to nearfield monitors (like headphones) is that the treble is aggressively rolled off to reduce listening strain. But meh, I'd rather listen to all the music personally, all the treble (and bass included) even if it is a little more fatiguing.

    My personal setup is a Rythmik F15 subwoofer with a Paradigm Signature S2v2. Gives me flat response from 14hz to 45KHz +/- 2db. I have the bookshelves on a pair of sturdy 40lb steel stands and sit around 5.5 feet away from them. Studio monitors would start aggressive dropping output above 16KHz, and the subs take a dive around 40hz...not my cup of tea--it's great for most music, but I like a lot of movie scores (and movies...), and the impact isn't there without a extended, linear frequency response.

    My Rythmik replaced an Infinity Cascade 15...the Cascade was no slouch, it weighed 100lbs, was a sealed sub with an 800W amp and a 4x6x6 array of drivers. But it had no output below 32hz and I just didn't feel the impact. (Just fyi, the cascade retailed for $1,500...the rythmik was much cheaper so it's not like more $$ = better)...I'm not trying to push the Rythmiks either. Elemental Designs, Hsu Research, and SVS have just as good of a pedigree and I would recommend any one of them over a "monitoring sub".
  8. Best answer selected by abc1234560.
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