Paul McGowan writes ...
In my mind, there’s no question that between components the best connection is balanced. Balanced cables offer lower noise and better sound.
I understand there are single-ended holdouts (wait, we disagree on something in audio?). Perhaps their equipment doesn’t support balanced. Perhaps their cable collection doesn’t include balanced. Or maybe they don’t agree with me. Whatever the reasons, I think they are missing out on an entire level of sonic bliss enjoyed by those of us who have seen the light of balanced connections.
One nagging problem remains. I continue to get questions about using balanced to single-ended (or the opposite) adapters. The stores and “experts” advising unsuspecting customers on their use are guilty of fake news. Seems to be a popular thing these days, non-factual fake news.
The facts in this matter are simple. Balanced to single-ended adapters do not somehow “convert” or take advantage of the benefits of a balanced connection. What they do is simply ignore the two-wire balanced convention, leaving the unused signal conductor floating. Balanced to single-ended adapters should be avoided if at all possible.
If your source rig has a balanced out but what it’s feeding hasn’t a balanced in, you’re much better off using a proper single-ended cable. Exceptions might include when you haven’t a choice and need to feed a secondary component like a subwoofer.
I hope this helps those who are struggling to find the proper way to connect.