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XLR Outputs for the CSP3? (Read 256 times)
Trey Hutchison
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XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
11/25/21 at 15:10:01
 
Is it possible to order the CSP3 with an XLR Output ? I didnít see it as an option. I currently have a Super Zen Triode on order with the optional XLR inputs/transformers.

Happy Thanksgiving
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Acozynut
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #1 - 11/26/21 at 02:57:12
 
The ZTPRE is the xlr version of the csp3.  Itís twice the price but it looks like you get 2 csp3 in 1 chassis with xlr input/outputs.  Now they just need to make a xlr output ZP3 and the chain would be complete.
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Archie
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #2 - 11/26/21 at 05:57:27
 
Doesn't the ZBit come into play here?
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Lon
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #3 - 11/26/21 at 14:43:38
 
Yes, a ZBIT is a wonderful component. It will mean the cost of a pair of interconnects, but imo the flexibility of the adjustable gain is a big added plus.
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Lin
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #4 - 11/26/21 at 15:47:03
 
Acozynut wrote on 11/26/21 at 02:57:12:
The ZTPRE is the xlr version of the csp3. †Itís twice the price but it looks like you get 2 csp3 in 1 chassis with xlr input/outputs. †Now they just need to make a xlr output ZP3 and the chain would be complete.


Balanced from a balanced source to a balanced amplifier is the only complete way. Wink
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Lin
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #5 - 11/26/21 at 15:52:38
 
Lon wrote on 11/26/21 at 14:43:38:
Yes, a ZBIT is a wonderful component. It will mean the cost of a pair of interconnects, but imo the flexibility of the adjustable gain is a big added plus.


I don't understand the adjustable gain part since the ZBIT can only attenuate the incoming signal.

It doesn't matter how big your fire hose is if has to go into a garden hose (amp input sensitivity) eventually.
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Lon
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #6 - 11/26/21 at 16:11:39
 
Yes, you can attenuate the signal with the ZBIT. I find the attenuation of the signal very useful in gain riding between all the components. I never run the ZBIT full out in either of the two systems I have them in.
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Lin
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #7 - 11/26/21 at 16:19:44
 
Okay, so you were not saying it adds gain.

Just wanted to make sure because there have been some that thought it does.
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Edsonic
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #8 - 12/05/21 at 03:30:05
 
To clarify for the OP;

If I'm reading it right, the above discussion about the ZBIT means using that between the CPS3 and the unbalanced input on the amplifier, instead of the balanced input option on the 84UFO2. So then removing that option from your order and adding on the ZBIT. It's the same transformer and the same function either way, with the ZBIT having the flexibility of attenuating signal output of the transformer vs. the fixed (full) output of the installed transformer input on the amplifier.

One way or another, a balanced signal must be converted to unbalanced before going to internal input of the amplifier. The PSA BHK amplifier you have runs unbalanced, not in differential mode, so then does this same thing, the balanced input being converted to unbalanced prior to the amplifier input stage.

Differential mode uses a separate voltage amplifier each for the "+" and "-" leg of the signal. It is rare to see a fully differential power amplifier because it essentially doubles the cost. OTOH, one could go 'Full Monty' and get a pair of two-channel amplifiers and connect them in balanced mode, like Forum Fellow CAJames has done.

An amp or preamp having -balanced connection- at input and/or output, does not a priori indicate that the device is truly balanced (differential mode) in operation. As example, almost all pro gear gain / preamp sections or outboard devices operate single ended (unbalanced) in function; and if it's indeed "pro", everything has balanced inputs and outputs.

I'm a bit confused about actual operation of the PS Audio DirectStream DAC in this regard, due to its use of a transformer in the analog output. Is this just for the gain, or is it for conversion of SE to balanced out? They don't make it clear whether the DAC section is balanced or SE. Even the Holo May DAC description requires full reading to glean that it is indeed balanced in operation. This is what I like so much about Denafrips DACs in their description, citing "dual mono arrays DAC", leaving no doubt as to which mode of operation.

In any case the PSA phono stage is definitely single ended, with a (converted) balanced output option. In that case I might prefer using the RCA unbalanced out to save trouble of having to convert it back to unbalanced as required by the amplifier. You lose 6dB in that event vs. balanced out, but easily counteracted by setting the gain from 44dB to 50dB, e.g.

If you want to keep everything as balanced connection until the end, then the -differential mode- Decware ZTPRE would be the way to go, which would still require a ZBIT between the preamp balanced out to the amplifier unbalanced input, OR sans-ZBIT to the balanced input (to the inboard transformer) of the amplifier, if you go that route This would be equivalent to what you have now, with the truly balanced BHK †preamp feeding the BHK unbalanced amplifier via balanced connection.

Were it me, I would just use the RCA unbalanced outs of both the DAC and the phono pre into the CSP3 at the outset. If at some future point I thought I might like to make full use of the balanced DAC through a balanced preamp, I would then get the ZTPRE + ZBIT.
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Lon
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #9 - 12/05/21 at 11:56:15
 
Just a note: PS Audio states that the DirectStream DAC is "fully balanced from input to output." Transformers are used as I understand it to actually perform DSD to analog conversion.

I have used both balanced and single-ended outputs from mine and the balanced have clear advantages in my system.
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Edsonic
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #10 - 12/05/21 at 21:28:12
 
I'm sure you're right about that. I saw that bullet point too, in the product description. †I just wish they would have elaborated on that further in the description or in the manual. Re "fully balanced from input to output"; In the first place, neither the DirectStream or any other DAC has balanced inputs, being that the input is just bits, not signal. Aside that 'electronic non sequitur' I guess what threw me off a bit was this, from the manual: "We use balanced signals when practical". Not exactly the clarification one would hope for.

But in describing the final stage of the DSP: "To maintain low noise and linearity, the design incorporates both high speed symmetrical video amps and a passive output filter.The first challenge in such a design is the output switch that generates the final 1ís and 0ís of the modulator."

Which description of: "DirectStream relies on high speed differential video amps, which are essentially class A switches." (Emphases mine).

Bingo! But what a tortuous venture. All they had to do was make it plain that the analog output section was balanced.

Whereas in describing the BHK preamp they get to it right away. "The BHK Signature Preamplifier features two 12AU7 dual triode vacuum tubes in the input stage that act as a zero feedback balanced input amplification pair." And elsewhere states that the preamp "converts all input signals into a balanced signal for the lowest possible distortion."

That's how you do it!

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Lon
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #11 - 12/05/21 at 23:47:00
 
Well they are two very different components and designs, one more conventional and conventionally described than the other. And I've been a member of the PS Audio forum and reading about the DSD DAC since its development and was an early owner. . . if their statement about its fully balanced output wasn't true they would have been challenged and outed five or six years ago.

Anyway I can highly recommend a ZTPRE and ZBIT if one has a balanced source and a Decware amp with single-ended input. Great gain-riding combo.
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Edsonic
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Re: XLR Outputs for the CSP3?
Reply #12 - Yesterday at 03:45:15
 
Thank you for your patience. I'm likely carping overly much about a minimal issue.

To be clear, I'm not accusing PSA of being 'less than truthful,' just saying I'd wish for a bit more insight regarding balanced operation. I'm just curious about how that occurs in practice in the DAC (any DAC) as a whole. I'm just trying to learn.

TBH, I'm not clear on why balanced operation would be in the digital section to begin with. That being the case, for my taste a balanced analog output suffices to consider the unit as a whole to be in balanced operation.

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