Balanced XLR vs RCA for phono stage

My new BAT VK 3500 has balanced inputs, and my Goldnote PS-10 has 1 balanced output, rated at +12dB.

I have no clue what the pros and cons are for balanced XLR vs. single ended RCA, other than XLR is preferred for long runs.

I’m currently using a 1.5m Zavfino Fusion RCA cable. Is there any benefit in getting the exact same cable terminated with XLR?



@atmasphere Thanks Ralph. I've asked Goldnote and BAT to weigh in but I'm trying out an XLR cable regardless.

@atmasphere Wrote:

This might be easier to understand if you think about a simple output transformer with only 2 output wires, driving pin 2 and pin 3 with no connection at all to pin 1 (which is chassis ground).


The diagram below shows that!


The Absolute Best Right Way To Do It

The method specified by AES48 is to use balanced lines and tie the cable shield to the metal chassis (right where it enters the chassis) at both ends of the cable.

The absolute best way to wire audio cables

Figure 1a. The right way to do it.

I think it remains debatable that using a balanced circuit consistent with AES48 is the "absolute best right way to do it." That's why there are so many excellent components (such as the ARC that I mentioned) that use operational amp circuits to generate both halves of the signal.

The middle diagram matches the Zavfino XLR cable so if BAT and Goldnote got it right too, I should be good.

Thanks for posting.

High end audio designers are aware of standards. They will follow them when it results in the best sound. Frequently standards have large compromises embedded in them and may not be worth following to achieve the best result. There are always trade-offs.