• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

RCA to XLR trouble

nab1828

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
61
Likes
3
Hi, I'm obviously new to pro audio. My setup consists of a stereo music system and a separate 5.1 system. I'm having trouble figuring out how to do an unbalanced to balanced connection for the music system. My speakers are the 8030c studio Genelecs which have XLR inputs, unlike their home oriented G series counterparts. The source is a Wiim Pro Plus streamer/preamp/DAC which has RCA and digital outputs.

I'm going to be adding a sub now, most likely the F series also from Genelec, because I have a great deal on it, it will integrate well with the speakers and looks good to me. The F series is also a consumer product and has RCA inputs and outputs, as well as a digital input.

Now Genelec on their site have an article concerning RCA to XLR situations, with a wiring diagram for suitable cabels. The one I have doesn't correspond to that.

They also told me the following:

"With 8030C those cables will not be the right ones since 8030C has balanced XLR and those cables are not, so there can be issues with those cables.

1714416512611.png


The noise can be issue most likely and the signal grounding wont happen with that cable. And in long run it can even harm the speaker since it is not meant to be used with that speaker."

Unlike the picture above, the cable I have is wired thusly:

1714416587392.png


Can anyone please advise on what cable to get? I've seen threads here mentioning the Monoprice one, but I'm in Europe and can't find that.
The Cordial CFU 3 MC seems to be wired according to the diagram, but I'm not sure. Also this cable on Amazon:

1714416825750.jpeg


But you can see that the Cable Matters one that they advised against is similar, not like on the right above. So I'm not sure what the difference is.

They also advised me to connect the Wiim with Toslink to the sub. I'm just not sure what to connect the speakers with. This is the link to the article on their site:


Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
21,254
Likes
38,658
We have a few threads on this. So run XLR from your speakers all the way to your source. Use an RCA to male XLR adapter at that point. It will give you the connection you want in a quite simple way. The XLR cable need not be expensive.

EDIT to Add:

The reason the above is a good way is the reason staticV3 has posted. You are less likely to get noise this way. You are sure the connection happens very close to the RCA end.
 
Last edited:

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
8,785
Likes
14,170
The correct cable will keep XLR Pin 1 and Pin 3 separate all the way to the RCA plug. Only inside the plug will they then be connected.

That disqualifies the J&D, Cable Matters, and Cordial Cable:
1714416825750.jpeg 1714416587392.png Screenshot 2024-04-29 211112.jpeg
 
Last edited:

pablolie

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
2,298
Likes
3,926
Location
bay area, ca
The correct cable will keep XLR Pin 1 and Pin 3 separate all the way to the RCA plug. Only inside the plug will they then be connected.

That disqualifies the J&D, Cable Matters, and Cordial Cable:
View attachment 366721 View attachment 366722 View attachment 366723
It's really not complicated... you can combine the ground/shield or you can leave the shield alone. The one thing you shouldn't do is combine the ground/shield with the signal. which nonsenically the "other" cable seems to do. And the Cable Matters pic seems a big ambiguous, I am not sure if it implies that 1 and 3 are connected or not.

Naturally in an ideal state you'd have a preamp with XLR, but converters work just fine unless you have long runs in a very hostile environment.
 

radix

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
1,440
Likes
1,410
The F has coax in. Use wiim -> coax -> F sub, then XLR out to the 8030c.
 
OP
N

nab1828

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
61
Likes
3
The F has coax in. Use wiim -> coax -> F sub, then XLR out to the 8030c.

I don't get it. Where's the XLR out? It has Toslink in as well.

Why is this so complicated? ‍Who makes the correct cable? I don't see a difference in the diagrams they posted vs some of these cables - lines 1 and 3 always seem to be connected, I guess it's where the connection happens that matters. Why did they say it might damage the speakers? That's what I'm worried about, not the potential noise.

I can try the adapter, which one do you guys suggest?
 
OP
N

nab1828

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
61
Likes
3
Also, if I run Toslink to the sub, then the sub does the digital to analog conversion?? I can also get the F One (A) - the older variant - for even cheaper; that one only has 3.5 and RCA connections.
 

radix

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
1,440
Likes
1,410
Also, if I run Toslink to the sub, then the sub does the digital to analog conversion?? I can also get the F One (A) - the older variant - for even cheaper; that one only has 3.5 and RCA connections.

Yes, if you use Toslink or Coax to the sub, the sub does the D/A conversion.

If you use the F One, you need the same RCA to XLR cables. If you use the F Two, it has XLR outputs, so you use a normal XLR cable between the sub and the speakers. I'd go with the F Two.

If you do not want to make your own cables, I would just get the Monoprice RCA to XLR (or a similar brand). No, they are no true 2-conductor plus shield as shown in all the pictures, but they might work just fine. If you have a hum problem, I would use SESCOM RCA to XLR transformer adapters (https://www.sescom.com/products/vie...to-xlr-unbalanced-to-balanced-audio-converter).

But if you're going to get the F Two, skip all that cable craziness and transformer adapters and just do it the simple way with XLR cables and the F Two.
 
OP
N

nab1828

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
61
Likes
3
Yes, if you use Toslink or Coax to the sub, the sub does the D/A conversion.

If you use the F One, you need the same RCA to XLR cables. If you use the F Two, it has XLR outputs, so you use a normal XLR cable between the sub and the speakers. I'd go with the F Two.

If you do not want to make your own cables, I would just get the Monoprice RCA to XLR (or a similar brand). No, they are no true 2-conductor plus shield as shown in all the pictures, but they might work just fine. If you have a hum problem, I would use SESCOM RCA to XLR transformer adapters (https://www.sescom.com/products/vie...to-xlr-unbalanced-to-balanced-audio-converter).

But if you're going to get the F Two, skip all that cable craziness and transformer adapters and just do it the simple way with XLR cables and the F Two.

I might save for the F Two then. Also, I found this adapter from Emotiva. They address the issue in the product description. But it's an XLR output to RCA input, and I need the reverse.

Btw, I'm bypassing my Wiim DAC if I connect it via Toslink to the sub? I don't know what the subwoofer even uses.
 

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
21,254
Likes
38,658

This one will work and search for that part number with European suppliers and you should find it.

You also could use this one with a very short RCA cable to take strain off your RCA jacks.

 

radix

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
1,440
Likes
1,410
I might save for the F Two then. Also, I found this adapter from Emotiva. They address the issue in the product description. But it's an XLR output to RCA input, and I need the reverse.

Btw, I'm bypassing my Wiim DAC if I connect it via Toslink to the sub? I don't know what the subwoofer even uses.

The F Two can take several types of inputs:

- TOSLINK or COAX for digital input
- RCA input (you could use regular RCA cables from Wiim analog out to F Two)
- 3.5MM stereo input

Of those, TOSLINK would give you the best hum isolation. But I bet using the RCA or COAX inputs would likely be just fine. But I don't know if hum is even a problem for you.

In any case, the F Two would solve your cabling problems, regardless of if you use toslink, coax, or RCA-RCA analog inputs from the Wiim.
 
OP
N

nab1828

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
61
Likes
3

This one will work and search for that part number with European suppliers and you should find it.

You also could use this one with a very short RCA cable to take strain off your RCA jacks.


Bought those, bit costly for what they are though. Thanks for the help guys.
 
OP
N

nab1828

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
61
Likes
3
The F Two can take several types of inputs:

- TOSLINK or COAX for digital input
- RCA input (you could use regular RCA cables from Wiim analog out to F Two)
- 3.5MM stereo input

Of those, TOSLINK would give you the best hum isolation. But I bet using the RCA or COAX inputs would likely be just fine. But I don't know if hum is even a problem for you.

In any case, the F Two would solve your cabling problems, regardless of if you use toslink, coax, or RCA-RCA analog inputs from the Wiim.

I'd do that of course, but EUR1500 for the sub is sadly too steep at the moment. In the future, maybe.
 

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
21,254
Likes
38,658
Bought those, bit costly for what they are though. Thanks for the help guys.
I had no idea what the cost would be where you live. Very little more than cheap made brands here in the USA.
 

sam_adams

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
1,060
Likes
2,658
We discussed this recently—again for the millionth time. Follow Bill Whitlock's recommendation as illustrated below:

2conductorsor3-ano.png


If you make them yourself, use a 'regular' XLR connector and a good Shielded-Twisted Pair (STP) cable that does not have a drain wire. If you're so inclined, you can even use a star-quad cable like Mogami W2534. Additionally, it is imperative to maintain the twist of the inner conductors right up to the solder cups in the connector—at both ends. Using an adapter and a two wire cable gives you no rejection. If you use a STP unbalanced cable to the adapter, the 'untwisting' of the pairs in the adapter will defeat the purpose of using an STP cable.

If you buy pre-made cables, you should open them up and examine the layout and the build quality on both ends of the cable. Bad solder joints, stray wires, or untwisted pairs in the cable? Send them back and find another vendor.
 
Top Bottom