Split Bartok XLR output?

Hi, I want to split with two Y XLR balanced cables my Bartok’s outputs to send the signal to two sets of preamps-amps-speakers. One source for two closer rooms or just in the same room to do some tests . I’m doing now this but using both outputs XLR and RCA but I want to have exactly the same balanced output, and not one different by RCA.
But I’m not sure if splitting the output balanced signal I will lost something or not…Thank you for your help.

I would not recommend this with an AES/EBU output. The digital interface requires a characteristic impedance of 110 ohms and this will not be possible to attain using split outputs with XLR connectors and two cables in parallel. You will have a result of some sort of sound but it will be unpredictable. Anecdotally my experience of using an incorrect interface provided an outcome that was basically not listenable.

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Ok thank you I was thinking that probably this is not the best idea. Will be better with both outputs XLR and RCA as I’m doing now. I used this XLR split previously whit pre amplifiers to amplifiers with I think good results , because of that I was thinking in do the same with the Bartok.

Bartók does not have AES/EBU outputs. We are talking about analogue line level outputs.

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My apologies as I have misread your original post. I though that you were talking in terms of a digital interface but I now understand that it is the analogue outputs.

In a way the 110 ohm point remains but I think that the margin of error may allow a greater degree of variance with less audible impact. Nevertheless any relevance depends upon the test you intend.

I think you can safely do this. But you will not be able to control volume independently for both amps, which may have unwanted results.

But better be safe than sorry, and hope that @Phil or @James will comment.


I think there are several different things here which need to be considered before a real answer can be given.

Can an audio XLR output be split and fed to two XLR inputs - yes it can, either by the use of a passive splitter cable or an active splitter unit.

(Just as a note - there are active splitters for AES/EBU outputs too - I saw that mentioned above.)

The active splitter is obviously the best way if that’s what you want to do - it avoids a single output being used to drive multiple inputs which will load the output more than driving a single input would.

A passive splitter will work (but electrically it isn’t ideal) - it might work well enough for what you want and it’s a cheap solution if it does but myself I’d be looking at an active splitter.

Do you need independent volume control to the two XLR inputs? If you do then you’re looking at needing some sort of active splitter with volume controlled outputs and I haven’t looked for anything like those previously so I don’t know if they even exist…




There are so called distribution amps available, like this one:

Thank you all for your comments and advices. About the volume there is not any problem with passive split because both are going to two differents pre amplifiers and each of them has their own volume control. Output on the Bartok is set to 6v.
There is a misunderstanding with the split , I’m just thinking split XLR outputs no AES EBU. Seems is safe do it so I will try , and both sets pre-amp-soeakers will receive the same balanced signal …I hope.

Interesting ! I will check this device to. Thank you!!

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He’s asking about analog outs.

As long as the input impedance of the preamps you’re feeding is high enough (ie no load on the source), then it should be fine to do a y-splitter on the XLR or RCA analog outs. There surely are RCA y-splitters, not sure if there are XLR y-splitters available off the shelf.

The active splitter will likely degrade the sound. As long as the input impedance of BOTH preamps is high (say around 100kohm) then you’re fine. If, on the other hand, one or both of your preamps only has single-ended connections, or if they have fake balanced connections (can check by checking continuity between pin 1 and pin 3, see below), simply split the RCA out, there’s zero benefit to using the XLR in this case.


However, I think you’re simply winding yourself into a pointless loop. If you use RCA and XLR at the same time you’re likely better off as you’d be using two separate line drivers (one for each) getting what is likely better sound regardless.

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I use this for similar kind of need.

Distribution amps are typical pro audio equiment.
Their qualities (and prices) vary and are anywhere up to approx. €1000.
Lake People ANA-TOOL F844 active (best tech specs I could find)
Lake People ANA-TOOL F844 | Analog-Tools | Kategorien | Lake People (lake-people.de)(https://www.lake-people.de/kategorien/analog-tools/lake-people-ana-tool-f844)
Drawmer DA6 active
Drawmer Electronics - DA6
Radial LX2 passive,transformer based (IMHO input impedance of 716Ω too low)
LX-2 - Radial Engineering