Balanced out of Rossini to single-ended converter?

I want to use the balanced outputs on Rossini Apex to power a single ended headphone amp.

I see most XLR-female to RCA adapter cables join pins 1 & 3 to the RCA shield and use pin 2 as the RCA signal pin.

Is this safe for Rossini?

In other words: Would it damage the Rossini balanced output to tie pin 3 to ground?

Hello Miguel

I went through a similar exercise with my 3rd party totl Stax T2 electrostatic headphone amplifier. I researched the issue and settled upon these CARDAS adapters. They are endgame

My use case was different to yours in that I took the RCA out from my Linn Klimax DS and fed my headphone amp which has balanced XLR inputs. A phone call with Cardas confirmed:
“pin 1 tied to pin 3 and pin 2 hot”

Look at the Cardas webpage - they make 4 different permutations of this plug


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Understood. My concern is whether the balanced output on the Rossini is effectively floated or not. If each polarity (pins 2 & 3) are separately driven by active devices then I cannot safely join pins 1 & 3 as I would be shorting the output device feeding pin 3.

If on the other hand the output pins 2 & 3 are transformer-coupled, it is probably ok.

If both sides are driven by out of phase single-ended active stages, the other option is to leave pin 3 disconnected and simply make pin 1 the RCA ground and pin 2 the RCA signal.

I am nigh on certain that the XLR outputs on the Rossini are transformer-coupled, Miguel, but hoping @James can confirm that you’re not doing anything naughty :slight_smile:

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Found the answer in the manual:


So YES, we can safely link pins 1 & 3 to be the ground for the RCA output.

Just curious, why wouldn’t you use Rossini’s single-ended out for this?

Because the single-ended outputs are connected to my main system. The headphone amp is separate, don’t use it often. No overarching reason other than that.

Did you ever consider to use an Audio Switch, such as this one?

They offer XLR and RCA versions. If you use single-ended for your main system, and also have a single-ended headamp, it looks like the way to go.

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Interesting. But I think I prefer the setup where I am using RCA and XLR at the same time. Was just listening to this today. Works alright.