Hello everyone,

Like most of you, this time off has given me a lot of time to play around with my gear. Here's my question:

I have an old school amp(Carver Sunfire Cinema Grand 5) which I had overhauled . New caps, resisters etc..I  can't figure out what standard it is. I have a Marantz 7705 processor that is European standard for XLR. There are different versions of my amp which say USA and European XLR standard in the manual.. My amp was manufactured in 6/2000. I can't find the original manual only manuals for different amps. Will connectoing an XLR Euro to USA amp cause damage or degradation to music. Hope everyone stays safe and well.


The simplest most direct and ultimately correct answer is if the plug don't fit, you must acquit. Oh wait sorry that was the lawyer. If it the plug fits then use it. Electrical standards vary from country to country but the one thing you can always rely on is if it plugs in then its okay to use.
I agree with Miller. In this case the only difference between the two standards is whether the non-inverted signal is present on pin 2 of the XLR connector and the inverted signal is present on pin 3 (which is the usual practice on components intended for the USA) or vice versa.

Either way, neither damage nor major sonic degradation will occur if you connect the 7705’s XLR outputs to the Carver amp. The only consequence, if any, would be a polarity inversion, also known as an inversion of absolute phase. The audible significance of that is controversial, and is also dependent on how the particular recording was engineered. It is most likely to be audible in the case of recordings that have been engineered with a minimal number of microphones and that have been subjected to minimal electronic post-processing, but the difference in most cases is likely to be minimal or none.

If that concerns you, though, try reversing the plus and minus connections between the Carver amp and the speakers (only at one end of the cable), and see if you notice a difference on various recordings. Doing that would correct for a polarity inversion, if present. I suspect you won’t notice much if any difference. (Although if your speakers contain built-in amplification, such as for bass frequencies, I wouldn’t do that without first checking with the speaker’s manufacturer, to be sure that the amplification circuitry in the speaker doesn't ground the signal on the Carver amp's + output).

-- Al
Thank you both for responding. Each makes total sense. Had to hear it from some veterans!

to the best of my knowledge there is no difference, both should adhere to IEC standards. We do. read more here:
Note there are 3 and 5 pin XLRs. What you are really talking about is balanced audio over XLR physical layer
Bottom line, i think there is no difference.
Could you post or send me the reference that says otherwise?  I'd like to know.

OK, thanks Almarg.  I was not aware.  But as you say, in a balanced signal it makes no difference - since they are (ought to be) mirror images of each other.
The key thing is that ground remains in the same place.
Good to go.  I wonder why on earth they differ?  Kinda like FLAC and ALAC being big-endian and little-endian I guess. 

Thanks, itsjustme. Through my research regarding XLR, the info is on par with what everyone mentioned. I needed reinforcement from some other experts before I pulled the trigger. Marantz advises against it per the manual. They recommend to swap the pins. Not feeling that adventurous as of yet. Thanks for chiming in.