XLR to RCA interconnect. Does mixed connectors provide less noise compared RCA to RCA?

I am currently using Signal Audio Cable which is XLR to RCA. between the pre-outs of Rogue integrated amp and a Balanced Audio Technology VK-200 amp which has both XLR  and RCA connectors.  I

 was holding out to replace the Rogue with either a BAT pre-amp with both XLR and RCA or another brand of pre-amp which is equal to the BAT.   However, I got a great deal on a Conrad Johnson PV-14L SE ( with the upgraded caps) which has all RCA's. 

My questions is it worth getting the same XLR to RCA to connect an Ayre CX7e mp CD player which has  XLR outputs to the CJ preamp's CD inputs, or just stay with the Harmonic Technology "Truth Link" RCA to RCA  IC  ( previous model but highly rated) I currently use. 

Is there one brand of XLR to RCA interconnects that is better sounding than others. I almost bought  a Mogami XLR to RCA, but it was too long and more money.    Thank you

Well done, Jim. You finally found a good preamp.

Good advice by Al to call Ayre. Most adapters do tie ground pin 1 to pin 3 as l have found, and Al has commented on other threads.
A follow-up to my previous post: I took a look at the manual for the CDP. It states:
It is not normally recommended to use both sets of analog outputs simultaneously.
Also, Stereophile’s measurements of an earlier version of the player show output amplitudes and impedances that are exactly twice as much for the balanced outputs as for the unbalanced outputs.

The relevance of all of this is that it suggests that the signal provided to the RCA connector for each channel is not independently buffered relative to the signals provided to the XLR connector, and that the RCA connector is wired directly to XLR pin 2. Meaning that both XLR pin 2 and the RCA connector are being driven with the same signal from the same output circuit. Which would seem to confirm that changing to an XLR-to-RCA cable is unlikely to be helpful.

Best regards,
-- Al

Like another has said, the negative-polarity signal pin in an XLR-to-RCA cable is usually connected to ground/shield (if at all).  There is no benefit to getting an XLR-to-RCA cable instead of just an RCA cable unless the XLR connector on the one side is superior to what RCA connector is available.  There is absolutely no signal difference between these cables, as the target devices (i.e. amp) will only use the one RCA signal wire anyways.  The only real benefit that you might get is if you run a true XLR cable and then use a Jenson Transformer XLR-to-RCA converter right next to the amplifier.  You're spending a lot more money here.

Better off just to get a really good RCA cable in this situation.

There are possible changes either way, but not enough to spend a weekend trying to figure out which is which. :)

Your ideal (though not often something you can hear) is XLR to XLR.

One reason to go TO an XLR at the amp is when the XLR inputs have greater impedance than the RCA equivalents, often XLR inputs are double. If the preamp is sensitive (like many tube preamps are) then the higher the input impedance of the amp, the better.

Using an XLR output to RCA may help isolate from ground loops as the RCA pin and shield will be actively driven, with very high impedance to ground and the shield only connected on one end.


I was going to suggest the Jensen Transformers, but Auxinput beat me to it. Though I would disagree that they are 'a lot of money'. For $300 bucks, they cost less than many RCA cables, and XLR should provide you more audible improvement for the money.