I use RCA. Would using XLR be better? HQP+PCM/DSD

I use RCA cables to connec t the DAC to the AVR.

I could use XLR and the only reason I have not is because I didn’t know what they were and the RCA are WireWorld.

So…is there a really valid reason to use XLR instead? A reason that will be audible like the micro rendu was?

BTW I am just using an ethernet cable that was laying around to connect the MR to my network. Any real benefit in a more expensive one?

I use a QED USB lead to connect the MR to the 83009CDQ. That was laying around from years ago when I had for something similar.

I have just ordered some Audioquest speaker cables to bi-wire the fronts.

Oh and have discovered that listening to multichannel film discs using PD gives the best multichannel sound we have ever heard.

Also discovered something else.

That PCM files are best played back in PCM with settings we like. Playing back and converting to DSD on the fly with HQP is not as good to us, after trying several settings. It also uses the most power. Playing back DSD128 but not using Direct DSM in HQP, but rather leaving HQP to work on the 128 files in the same way as it would PCM except I change the option to DSD, gives excellent sound and uses much less power than the DSD on the fly, more than PCM to higher PCM.

I have been gradually recording all of my music into DSDS128. I have a 4tb ssd disc so plenty of room to hold my 17000 tracks and plenty of room for more. It is a somewhat slow and boring process. Either direct ripping from CDs to DSD128 or file conversion to DSD128.

I don’t need advice on the files. We are settled by listening.

I would like to know what others think about XLR instead of RCA before I decide to spend money on them.

kind regards

Main XLR benefits: 1) more resistant to external induced noise (common mode rejection); 2) can handle much longer cable runs for pro applications. The only situation I’ve experienced in my home audio setup where XLR was better than RCA had to do with AC hum being induced into the RCA cables from a nearby power cable when I had amps that only took RCA. Rerouting the AC cable helped a lot. Better (but not extravagant) RCA cables helped. Using a shielded power cable allowed closer routing of the RCA signal cables and the AC cable without interference. But basically, decent RCA cables routed well away from induced noise sources are fine. If that routing is not possible to block induced noise, XLR may be the next step if your components support it (as they do). I use Canare L-4E6S Star Quad Balanced.


At some point, it’s time to stop buying stuff and listen to the music. :grinning:


I’ve been using XLR in preference to RCA phono for some time. I found it sounds better. I think when i tried it originally it was with a fairly standard set of XLR cables bagged off eBay, to try them. Or could you borrow a set from a dealer? No harm in trying if it doesn’t cost anything. Although I’m with you @Jim_F :slight_smile:


I think this is something that is easy enough to try without breaking the bank.

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Seems to me from you are saying, that I am just fine with my Wire World RCA.

Thank you for answering.

And remember, any attempted SQ improvement at this subtle level is audible to some and not others. That always begs the question does it really make any difference or not. That makes me wonder if you’re 99 percent there, is it worth chasing the other 1 percent? Rhetorical question.

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and regarding ethernet cable, any bog standard ethernet cable will deliver the digital data perfectly unless it is broken.


@garym Stop spoiling things with mere facts :rofl:

As to the OP, generally speaking unless you’re running several metres of cables I doubt you’d notice a difference but a pair if half decent XLR cables isn’t expensive so you could give it a go.

Buy from Amazon and return if you don’t notice a benefit perhaps?

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Thank you.

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I agree with you Jim. When I first realised I had to start spending to get the sound I had dreamed of since I was 16, when I wanted a Technics system with their SOTA reel to reel, I was duped by a load of crap, especially with regard to cables. Not any longer.

As we were being taught back then, yes in 1975, about global warming and cutting down of the trees, which has not stopped, I was worried about the ability to make recordings when we ran out of whatever it was, and also of silver which was at the heart of film, photography being my other passion.

Who knew we would have what we have now? The one good thing about being an old fart is that I am still excited about all this new tech. Young people grew up with it. They miss out on the excitement of it. I am still astonished by vinyl. Although death doesn’t bother me nor it’s manner as that is taken care of, it does bother me I won’t be here very much longer to see what else they come up with.

I am glad I asked the question as I now know I do not need XLR. I just wondered why it was on most hi fi I have bought.

I am likely to upgrade the TV but only if the new flagship model has a very obvious visible improvement, as our present one did on the previous. It was a case of WOW! when we saw it. It will have to wait if we do. I need to build the bank balance up. My WAV needs a 7 grand deposit. I certainly want to wait until that is put back.

The Micro Rendu was also a WOW! moment for us both. I was VERY reluctant to buy it but Martin at Audiostore/Vortexbox is a very nice man and I just knew after a few conversations he was honourable. Plus I was told to send it back if it made no difference. I could not understand how it could make a difference. Now I know it makes a huge difference tho I still don’t understand how.

The one thing I have no intention of doing is changing from using a MacBookPro as my core. HQP comes in Windows, Linux and MacOS so clearly it was made with computers in mind. When it comes time to change I could of course not change up with a new MBP but it is likely I would.

Things change so quickly in tech. Apple are splitting with Intel and using their own silicone chips. Thank goodness I put buying a higher spec MBP. Tho my humble quad core i5 plays all the different whatsits (My mind has gone blank on the proper term). Fortunately the set up we both like does not put so much pressure on the cores.

Anyway, I started replying quite a while ago and kept pausing for other things, then forgot I was writing and now can’t even recall why and can’t be bothered going back to see.

take good care

Probably best not to debate such topics here as global warming as our world is melting.

My 72 year old retired drummer/pilot ears seem to enjoy my simple Bose system, although I would like to hear a high quality amp and speaker system to see how much difference I can detect. I do enjoy using my three headphone listening situations for “better” SQ.

You would be blown away. Sorry to tell you the bad news.
It doesn’t have much to do with one’s hearing frequency response. A great system will give pinpoint imaging, a huge soundstage, and dynamics that hit you in the face.
That said, its another question of whether it is worth it. Good music on a decent system that makes you tap your toes is a substantial part of the whole deal. And it may not be worth it.
But you’d have to be nearly deaf not to notice the difference.

Why is that bad news? I love my Bose. I’m sure I would love some HQ speakers also. But, I doubt it would be worth the price or an unhappy wife.

You might try high end headphones instead of a full stereo system.

Thanks, I have three headphones setups including Meridian Prime and power supply, Oppo 203 RCA out, and Dragonfly Cobalt. My headphones are Sennheiser, Sony WH-1000Xm3, and Aeon. However, I still like to listen without headphones several hours per day. I’m not looking to upgrade anything, but would like to listen to a very high quality speaker system sometime.

I could set up a “listening room,” in one of our spare bedrooms, but I don’t want to go upstairs and sit in isolation for hours on-end every day.

I Love totem speakers.

I know what you mean, but if you were really into the music, it would matter not.

In effect, when truly listening, my 6 dogs and 1 husband disappear.

For me, and it doesn’t happen every time I listen, I do sort of leave myself and go into the music and all else fades away. Very good on bad pain days.

I used Grado GS 1000 e for headphones. I also have 325i and PS500, by Grado, but prefer the GS.

I had not heard open cans until I went to buy a high end pair and discovered I preferred open cans BUT I am still open to using a closed pair if I could get the SQ.

I am sure there are plenty of recommendations?

I am really into music and it matters to me. I know how to listen to music. I listen 12 hours per day. I have no desire to isolate from my wife.