Is this considered a "balanced" cable?

I have a Rotel 1056 processor and a Rotel 1080 amp. The 1056 has only rca outputs but the 1080 has both rca and xlr balanced inputs. If I use a rca cable with an xlr adapter going into the amp is it considered balanced? Or do I get the same results just staying with the standard rca unbalanced inputs/outputs.

If xlr/rca adapters are the answer I would appreciate any sources. Thanks
If you use the adapter, you are not running "balanced and you will likely get the same effect as running RCAs (although the adapter may introduce some alteration to the sound).
I may be mistaken but I don't think the Rotel 1080 is a balanced topology internally, it just has both RCA and balanced inputs as a convenience to the user. In this case, it won't matter and you'll be better off without the extra contact points of the adaptors; stay with the standard RCA inputs.

If I am mistaken and the Rotel 1080 is a balanced circuit internally, it still won't matter since you're coming from unbalanced outputs from your processor; stay with the standard RCA connections.
It depends on your amp and how it was designed. If the amp is a true balanced design and more effort (money) put into these inputs, then use the adaptor. I have a Marsh a400s amp which even has difference specs for the XLR inputs. No doubt using the XLR inputs with an adaptor is a huge improvement on this particular amp. Experiment with using both the RCA and XLR inputs to find out for yourself.

Nothing like first hand experience and knowledge.

You should read the description of balanced circuits on this site.

After reading that, it should be apparent that running a single ended cable (rca terminated) from a preamp without a balanced topology into an amp with a balanced topology does not result in a balanced circuit.

That question aside, all the other advice and comments above may drive you to try and use the adapters anyway. Dunno what the results of the experiment would be. Try for the adapters.


if you find out what the rotel actually implements behind it's balanced connections (is it actually a fully balanced topolgy), i'd like to know. :-) I was considering a pair of these as rear channel monoblocks in my theater.
Objective1...The term "balanced" should be reserved for wires. An amplifier circuit that has mirror image circuitry for inphase and inverted signal should be called "complementary". The push/pull output stage of an amplifier is complementary, regardless of the rest of the circuit. An amplifier with complementary circuitry can be driven by a single ended (unbalanced) inverter stage is included at the input. It is also reasonable to use balanced lines between circuits that are not complementary, but which include appropriate output and input circuitry. The balanced lines give greater imunity to noise pickup.
Where did this rumor get started that the merit of a balanced interface has to do with whether an amp is a "complementary" design?

Actually, a single ended output connected to a balanced input circuit may help an installation as the grounds between the two components is are not connected.

So have at it, give it a shot. You can get the cable pre-made with rca/xlr ends from a guitar store or Markertek.



my bad.... i over simplified the conversation with my lack of full understanding(?)... sorry for muddying the waters...

I just hate to see someone ask a question that appears to have a simple answer, "If I use a rca cable with an xlr adapter going into the amp is it considered balanced?" ...and the person get a bunch of confusing conversation that doesn't actually answer the question.

Tigermark89 ... good luck. Hope the link to the BAT site helped.