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Neutrik NA2F-D0B-TX XLR to RCA Adapter Review

Rate this converter:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 121 82.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 9 6.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 14 9.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 3 2.0%

  • Total voters
    147

PeteL

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These devices seem to be designed to be used with the RCA on the source side and the XLR on the load side (see PMA measurements).
The goal is to 'solve problems' and those usually occur with RCA out (ground loops).
This device breaks ground loops and balances the signal so should be used near an RCA source and as long as the signal isn't too hot works good enough for that usage.
Just not suited for hifi sound reproduction with 2V output levels.
In the early days RCA out was closer to 400mV b.t.w. which would be a bit too hot but can be padded if need be.
Balanced works fine for small mic signals over long distances as well.
But the device PMA reviewed had male XLR, this one is female. The general Idea, I think, in this configuration at least in most case, to keep the signal balanced to do the distance, and use a short RCA if you absolutely need the said signal to be connected to an unbalanced input. Not saying that it wouldn't work the other way around with the proper M-M turnaround coupler (Neutrik obviously sell those in it's an other practical tool), but why would you? All Live venues and Broadcasting facilities have a couple dozens high quality DI boxes that performs miles better than this and are made to do exactly as you said. They are essentials, not "Problems solvers" You will need to use them if you want to use unbalanced sources, located more than 15 feet or so away.
 

sarumbear

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He means the signal level, not that a literal microphone is connected.
What other audio signal are there that is at microphone level that use an RCA connector, other than a turntable cartridge, which is surely outside the use case of this adapter?
 

dualazmak

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We (at least I) need clarifications:

Amirm tested on this thread NA2F-D0B-TX (female XLR & RCA).
PMA tested on his thread NA2M-D0B-TX (male XLR & RCA).

My naive understanding is that;

NA2F-D0B-TX (amirm tested) is designed for balanced-XLR into unbalanced-RCA conversion,
and
NA2M-D0B-TX (PMA tested) is designed for unbalanced-RCA into balanced-XLR conversion.

If my understanding is correct, the two threads are quite different stories with each other, as I pointed and shared here and here on this amirm's thread.
 
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pma

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We (at least I) need clarifications:

Amirm tested on this thread NA2F-D0B-TX (female XLR & RCA).
PMA tested on his thread NA2M-D0B-TX (male XLR & RCA).

My naive understanding is that;

NA2F-D0B-TX (amirm tested) is designed for balanced-XLR into unbalanced-RCA conversion,
and
NA2M-D0B-TX (PMA tested) is designed for unbalanced-RCA into balanced-XLR conversion.

If my understanding is correct, the two threads are quite different stories with each other, as I pointed and shared here and here on this amirm's thread.

Yes. Regarding NA2M, I think the purpose and use is clear. Regarding NA2F I find the purpose confusing, because the manufacturer shows exactly same circuit schematics for both versions:

CE291D7B-0AD6-4FA6-A679-8EBF7FDC15EE.jpeg

I may try to measure my NA2M in reverse direction to make it same as NA2F. However, I do not expect almost any changes, because L1 is same as L2, as I have measured in the second thread. The biggest and main difference is that I measured the adapter from preamp with 0.056 ohm output impedance, though Amir used AP with 40 ohm output impedance. This is a crucial difference with respect to laws of electrical circuits and principle of audio transformer function.
 

Rja4000

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I may try to measure my NA2M in reverse direction to make it same as NA2F. However, I do not expect almost any changes, because L1 is same as L2, as I have measured in the second thread.
The biggest and main difference is that I measured the adapter from preamp with 0.056 ohm output impedance, though Amir used AP with 40 ohm output impedance. This is a crucial difference with respect to laws of electrical circuits and principle of audio transformer function.
Yes.
But I wonder what kind of line level source could have this low an output impedance in real life.

Especially in Pro Audio, where the motto is "shit happens", any output is designed to survive a short.
Which typically means some resistors are in line with the output, to protect it.
The last thing you want is to break your mixer or expansive preamp outputs because you connected a shorted cable.
 
Last edited:

pma

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We (at least I) need clarifications:

Amirm tested on this thread NA2F-D0B-TX (female XLR & RCA).
PMA tested on his thread NA2M-D0B-TX (male XLR & RCA).

My naive understanding is that;

NA2F-D0B-TX (amirm tested) is designed for balanced-XLR into unbalanced-RCA conversion,
and
NA2M-D0B-TX (PMA tested) is designed for unbalanced-RCA into balanced-XLR conversion.

If my understanding is correct, the two threads are quite different stories with each other, as I pointed and shared here and here on this amirm's thread.
Yes. Regarding NA2M, I think the purpose and use is clear. Regarding NA2F I find the purpose confusing, because the manufacturer shows exactly same circuit schematics for both versions:


I may try to measure my NA2M in reverse direction to make it same as NA2F. However, I do not expect almost any changes, because L1 is same as L2, as I have measured in the second thread. The biggest and main difference is that I measured the adapter from preamp with 0.056 ohm output impedance, though Amir used AP with 40 ohm output impedance. This is a crucial difference with respect to laws of electrical circuits and principle of audio transformer function.

I made measurements in both directions and the adapter behaviour is unchanged.

But I wonder what kind of line level source could have this low an output impedance in real life.

Just look here for the real life application:

This is the example of adapter use – the system with Topping DAC, Headamp2 and Cosmos ADC has ground loop issue (if USB isolator is not used) that results in this horrible buzz spectrum:



This is exactly where it would help. Preamp (with headphone drive capability) output to power amp with hum/buzz on the SE line. Conservative consumer audio line level of -10dBu as defined here and the power amp with +30dB gain.
I have experienced the hum/buzz situations in audio chains of various customers many times and the adapter between pre and power amp would be an instant help. And the level was always below 500 mV.
 

Rja4000

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@amirm
I was just thinking :
In terms of measurements, for such a device.
SINAD dashboard makes sense, as does IMD vs level (you combine 60Hz with higher frequency and you'll see at what level saturation starts)
but Multitone tells you immediately almost all you want to know:
Frequency response for audible band and distortion profile vs Frequency in one shot.

And one immediately sees the problem ;-)

Catapult MT 192kHz 1.9V_crop..png
.(NB: picture for example. Not the device under test here)
 
OP
amirm

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but Multitone tells you immediately almost all you want to know:
Good suggestion. Will include in future tests. I think owner has bought two more devices to send in.
 

morillon

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the pros will continue to use it for their "troubleshooting" use, in sound system etc.
and the world of hifi will forget them..
that's all.

amateurs just need to not see it as a cheap solution due to lack of understanding , of symmetrization or desymmetrization...
because that's just the worry....
;-)
"pas de quoi en faire un fromage"
;-)
 
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morillon

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has anyone already measured the small db24 rolls or the equivalent at art audio etc?
 
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solderdude

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Dont use,
This device should not be used with home audio equipment but only because it is not suited for home audio signal levels.

XLR is a balanced input, how can an unbalanced RCA input convert to balanced input?
By using a transformer (passive, requires no power, galvanic separation, signal fidelity is lowered)
or electronics (requires power, no galvanic separation, higher signal fidelity) .

One can go in both directions (balanced > unbalanced and unbalanced > balanced).

Balanced = signal between 2 wires.
Unbalanced = signal between 2 wires where one of those wires is referenced to ground which may be shared (common) with other channels.
 
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dualazmak

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I posted the same contents here, and because of the nature of our current discussions, I assume it would be allowed to have the same here on this thread.

Has anyone here ever tested RDL Model RU-AFC2?
Its datasheet can be found here. (We need 24V DC power supply like RDL PS-24-AS, though).
 

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solderdude

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I will leave the same answer here.

Won't break ground loops though. (there is a ground lift option though)
This is where the transformer does its thing.
It is pretty easy to get top performance using electronics.
A handy option is the gain control but is per channel. This is not so easy to do using transformers.
 
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