dCS Bartók have really balanced XLR output?

dCS Bartók have really balanced XLR input?

Hi Lele80, welcome to the dcs.community.


I also highly recommend;

  • Reading the Bartok User Manual - specifically page 32 which explains about the line outputs
  • Search function here on dcs.community - where there are multiple discussions about the balanced vs. single ended outputs.
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Anup, Lele80 is not asking about a balanced output. His question related to a balanced input.

Edit: since writing this I have seen his other posting and he has mixed input with output. So your answer is what he wants.

Yes and no. XLR relates only to a type of connector. It is conventionally used only to refer to analogue inputs ( or outputs) which are balanced or sometimes only quasi-balanced. As Bartok has no analogue inputs it being a digital converter it does not have one of these.

However it does have two balanced digital inputs. These happen to have XLR connectors but are called AES inputs. AES (or AES/EBU) refers not to the connector but to the digital protocol that they accept.

You haven’t told us what you want to connect to Bartok so I hope the above explanation is sufficient.

As I have remarked elsewhere now I have seen your other post you really seem to be asking about outputs not inputs and @Anupc has dealt with this aspect.

Sorry I corrected the title. I’m interested in the output that goes to the preamp.
I meant the XLR output that goes to the Diablo.
I would like to know if for each channel there is actually a double circuit or if the balanced output is created with a processor.
As far as I know, to be considered truly balanced, it must have double circuitry and not a processor that reverses the sound wave.

The Diablo 300 accepts up to 6v of input.

Should I prefer 2v or 6v?
With what tension does Bartók work best?

Balanced connection between two components requires the signal to be split into to two phases in inverted relationship to each other. At the receiving end the difference between the two is amplified thus suppressing any parasitic noise. This can be done with a circuit or using transformers. It is not necessary for the entire circuitry of either component also to be duplicated and inverted vis-a vis each other. That is a fully balanced circuit but it is not required for balanced connection. The analogue output of all dCS products is fully differentially balanced. I would expect the receiving balanced input on a high end component like a Gryphon product to be differentially balanced too but you would need to research this if in doubt. It does not require the rest of the amplifier to be balanced, only the input receiver.

Choosing the line voltage to use is dependent upon many factors including the source material normally played, listening levels that are comfortable for you, the rest of your system including the sensitivity of your speakers and the size of your room. You should select an output voltage that allows you to place the usable range of your volume control in a reasonable position (say between 9 o’clock and 12) and where that provides a comfortable range of volume for you. 6V provides a marginally better signal to noise ratio in theory but this is not relevant to humans as , whatever the numbers, you cannot hear -110dBfs. Try various settings and settle on the one that best fits the above criteria.

Thanks for the reply. I am asking this question, because until now I have always been taught by more experienced users that when one of the 2 electronics is not really balanced with a double circuit, but the inverted phase is obtained by simply reversing the phase with a processor, this leads to less musicality. In that case the RCA output is preferred.
Previously I had a Luxman DA-06 DAC (really balanced with 2 circuits for each channel), but the Luxman L-590AX2 amplifier it was connected to did not have dual circuitry and phase reversal was achieved with an operational processor .

We did a test with the same Audioquest Earth cable, in RCA and XLR versions. With that amplifier, RCA was more musical.

So now I am investigating whether in the case of the Bartok it is better to use RCA or XLR. I think I will use XLR, in accordance with what you said, but I was looking for confirmation regarding the electronic scheme.

Looking at a photo of its interior It looks like it has a proper balanced analogue output ( yes 2 circuits for each channel). Bartok also has a proper differential balanced analogue output on the XLR connectors.

Just a small detail. If I remember correctly Luxman follows the Japanese standard for XLR connection where pin 3 is hot. dCS and ( I have little doubt) Gryphon follow the international AES standard where pin 2 is hot. That should not affect you as you no longer have the Luxman. Bartok XLR out to Luxman XLR in would invert polarity. Many people ( including me) however seem to be insensitive to this in any case. So just for your information.

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I use a Rossini DAC with my Accuphase pre-amp, so I’m subjected to this polarity inversion. However, the Accuphase pre-amp allows for a phase setting on each input - so I select inverted phase on the balanced input to which I’ve connected the Rossini! Problem solved.

Perhaps Luxman amps and pre-amps have the same facility.

No problem for all of us dCS owners. All of the DACs also have phase invert selection. Those with the universal remote can select it from there.

Hah - have not seen that yet (I have the remote). In an otherwise full Accuphase stack that may well be the better option to use :wink:

Though truth be told, I’m not particularly sensitive to the issue.

Me neither.

Rereading the manual carefully,
it is clearly written that the balanced outputs are obtained electronically.
I therefore remain doubtful about the best quality compared to RCAs in which there is no processor that can dirty the signal.

Page 46 of manual v02:
“These outputs are electronically balanced and floating …”.

It means that it is electronically balanced ( 2 circuits, one inverted in relation to the other in respect of each channel) and not passively balanced. The latter option is where transformers are used to carry out the channel inversion .
Both of the above methods provide genuine balanced connection.

What you are trying to avoid and seem to be confused about are connections that only appear to be balanced but are not. They do not function differentially and just use an XLR connector.

The use of an XLR connector does not define a balanced connection. In fact balanced connection for headphones appears to be moving away from 4 pole XLR connectors to trrrrs jacks.

In short as we keep saying ; Bartok and all dcS DACS have true balanced analogue outputs. They do this by one of the two methods , electronically not passively.

Be aware that dCS’ early days were in providing studio equipment where balanced connection is standard. They have over 30 years experience of doing it and doing it right.

That is the correct way to do it. There is no “processor”.

I understand clearly that the balanced outputs are “true” balanced.
What more experienced users than me have warned me about is that from their tests, if one of the two interconnected electronics does not have a double circuit per channel, then it is often better to avoid using them. In any case we have made it clear that on Bartok there are 2 separate circuits for each channel.

Thanks again.

My 2c…

“Balanced” refers to sending the same single over two wires, one inverted in polarity, so that ambient RF/EMI does not impact the signal. The receiving device uses the difference of the two signals to derive the signal actually sent on to the amplification/whatever stage. This is the usage the applies to the analog XLR outputs. In this regard, having two entirely separate circuits is not a benefit, and maybe even a detriment, because they will generate slightly different analog signals so when the receiving device takes the difference of the two, you have error introduced. Using a transformer to do the phase inversion means the two signals really will be about as close to perfectly inverted as you can get, and thus have less “error” introduced.

“Balanced” is also mistakenly used when talking about headphones. Headphones are NOT balanced designs. They are single-ended designs that either share a common ground or do not. If you have a 4-pin “balanced” headphone connection, what you really have is separate singled-ended left and right channels. So in the case of a headphone output, having separate circuits for the left and right channels can be an advantage, as your overall power rating goes up and in theory you reduce crosstalk potential.