Very good AES presentation on inter connects and ground loops.

If everyone has not read the papers on Jensen Transformers on interconnects by Bull Whitlock I suggest doing so. An update that makes a lot of things clear was a paper he did for AES in the subject, a bit updated.  Search You-Tube for it. It is an easier presentation than app note 009.

Makes me wonder about the current fad of XLRs on home systems with 1M cables and why folks like Chord have RCA only.  Do you trust China Inc. to do it correctly? Even ASR has identified most of what they measure does not follow IEEE or AES standards let alone understand the details of the architecture. 


I don't think you can expect manufacturers to anticipate every possible scenario for noisy power, noisy environment, vibrations, RFI, EFI, etc.  The costs would be very high for those components.  Should everyone pay for those features if they do not need them?  They design to standards and our homes must conform to certain standards.  The same for the modem and router.  Beyond that, it is up to us- the hobbyist to either accept the performance as is or experiment and find ways to enhance the sound.  That goes from what is most obvious and accepted such as isolating your turntable from mechanical vibrations to the more controversial audio grade Ethernet switch and silver plated Ethernet cables.  Results vary from user to user which should be no surprise.  A DAC or music server may already have adequate isolation or perhaps its performance is of such a low level that a difference cannot be detected.  

I have an 8 meter run of balanced cables from my preamp to my amps.  My shorter runs are also balanced connectors.  Nowhere here was it mentioned that the output of DACs and preamps is higher for balanced out than for SE.  I consider that another benefit.  I also like the connectors much better than RCAs.  Some electronics may have XLRs but not be a true balanced design.  In that case figure no electrical advantage over SE.  

For high end ,YES I DO expect them to deal with the environmental issues. That is what you pay the high price for.  For commodity grade, sure as people make decisions on features and price so every corner must be cut. 

Yes, the balanced lines have higher voltage REFERENCE which makes any interference relative lower by a few DB.  But, that is only because there is a pseudo standard for the professional industry ( many OEMS do not comply to anyway). Just as some pre-amps have much higher maximum output voltage.  I think my old Nak did about 9V se. All three of my preamps have two gain ranges. On the flip side, I run about 70 feet of coax to my antenna and it carries microvolts just fine. Note that amps do not all have the same front end overload or the same gain. THX has sort of pushed for a voluntary gain standard so at least multiple amps in a system can match levels.    Lack of standards was one of the key points the presentation mentioned and why the committee exists. And some standards are not standards. HDMI for example.  Like the old saying :" I love standards as there are so many to choose from" 

8 meter? I sure would also go balanced. That is what it was designed for. Did that in my last house where my pre was across the room from the amps and speakers.  My desk dac has 6 inches of coax to the pre and 2 feet to the amp. Noise is not an issue. Balanced connections would be useless feature not providing any advantage.  Don't tell me a $5000 DAC can't afford an optical isolator on the USB when my $99 Schitt can!  Power line RF? Bought a pack of 30 ferrites for about $12.  No excuse. 

Another place where balanced does make sense is with amps like the Purify where the amp architecture is balanced  by design, not by input add on. Like I said, look at your reality, not the marketing one. If I could stand a class D, I might have a March and would do balanced DAC and pre.  I can't, so I don't. 


HDMI on the other hand is a disaster and who ever designed the plug needs a dope-slap.

Thanks for posting the article. I’m lucky to not have line noise problems right now, but I have had them in the past, tried everything to no avail, and now have some understanding of why I failed to fix it.

I’m using a computer with HDMI output going into a cheap Denon receiver. I’m not having any issues with power noise coming through the system. This may be the quietest setup I've ever had. Usually I can hear a little buzz if I put my ear right up to the speaker, but now it’s dead silent, other than the amplifier’s own hiss if I turn it up. However, I switched out to a different used receiver to test out and am now getting what sounds like CB radio coming through once in a while. What’s really strange is that it came through the right rear speaker, so I figured it was a problem with that amp channel. Last night it came through the left rear speaker. Scared the crap out of me. I thought my system had become demon possessed. The voices are distorted and weird sounding. I can’t make out what they’re saying.

Cutting open several HDMI cables, as I was having issues with POD and ARC, I found on several the shield drain was not connected and some the foil had the insulated side ( mylar) against the drain making it totally ineffective.  Bought a Belden cable and no more problems.  Belden, Belken, or for a few bucks BlueJean. No magic, just made correctly. Connector is junk. Not secure, prone to falling out and can't support the weight of a correctly made cable.  I wish it was a DB-25

Many years ago I had long speaker runs and someone in the park had a "foot warmer" in their truck.  For the younger crowd, it was a modified Lafayette 1000W amplifier on CB which was limited to 2.5W non-side band.   Picked it up, feedback loop amplified it and fried a tweeter.   I went to Kimber cable leads and when I tracked him down, a pin through his coax took care of the root of the problem. 

If your speaker leads are not twisted, you might try that. 

Of all the "cheap" audio gear, I have always found Denon to be on top of the category.  They have even at various times made some truly high end. 🙂

Hello tvrgeek.  I would point out to you that if you look at my system page, (something you might want to post as well) you will see that my phono preamp sits directly below my turntable.  I will also mention that the cable from my turntable plus the cable from my phono preamp to preamp likely cost more than your stereo system based on what I have read into your posts.  I’m not even talking power cords yet.  I’m not bragging.  I am pointing out to you that you have no idea what audio can do.  You will not experience it with a short visit to a high end store.  If you are lucky, you might catch a shadow of a glimpse of the possibilities at a well run, well set up store.  Audio sound reproduction has levels that go beyond what you  think you know is possible- but it is not cheap to get there.  For example, audio can create a holographic sound stage that puts sounds in various points in space from the floor to the ceiling and beyond the walls and in some cases behind the listener- all with just two speakers.  It is not just sounds but actual body, shape to the sounds.  When I got to this level I was playing my Pink Floyd DSotM album.  At the end of side two the laughing voice was right at my ear.  I jumped out of my chair the first time that happened.  A Roger Waters album plays sounds 90 degrees to my right and my left.  It’s uncanny.  I don’t know how they do it.  Sure, its about phase and amplitude in each channel.  No VR glasses needed.

 Beyond that and more amazing is how a high level system can convey the soul of the musicians.  That’s the best way to put it.  This is going well beyond making sound, good bass or clear highs.  These are systems that invoke emotional and physical responses.  Systems that make you feel what the performer is feeling.  Systems that can make you soar, make you sad, invoke tears, goosebumps and toe taping.  A good system can build that intimacy just as if you are sitting at the front table of a small club.  Carly Simons live Grand Central recording is fun to listen to.  The ambience comes through so well it feels like I am standing in Grand Central.

These types of systems are not plug and play no matter how much one may spend.  They require tuning, and yes some tweaking.  The room is as important a component as the amplifier.  Cables matter.  Good cables cost a lot.  Opinions abound in these threads about what makes sense and what doesn’t but until you have experienced it for yourself it is something difficult to believe is possible.