Balanced Configurations and XLRs


XLRs are an additional charge – please bear in mind that there is not enough room for both XLRs to go through the 24mm mounting hole used for Origin Live arms. There are 2 solutions to this:

  • You can detach one of the XLRs, then pass both external leads through the 24mm mounting hole. After this re-attatch the XLR to the arm cable.
  • You can order the 5-pin DIN connector option for the external cable attachment. This means you do not need to detach the XLR as you can plug the cable in after mounting the arm.

It is worth mentioning that there may be no need to use XLRs in the first place. This depends on your phono stage design – some are under the misunderstanding that you must have XLRs to run a balanced configuration. While this is true for balanced output of the phono stage, it is NOT true for the phono input. The cartridge only has a hot and cold but no zero volt rail. This means you can run a balanced configuration through a normal RCA phono plug. However, it then depends as to whether your phono stage has RCA plug inputs that connect to a balanced circuit inside the phono stage. You will need to contact your phono stage manufacturer to establish this one way or the other.

Balanced Configurations

Origin Live offers a superb fully balanced phono stage that has no need to use an XLR rather than a normal RCA phone plug as there is no zero volts on a cartridge – only an earth from the tonearm which can be attached via a single wire to the earth terminal on the phono stage. If a phono stage is putting the earth into the zero volts then it is a mistake in our opinion and unnecessary. All it does is inject RF picked up by the screen into the circuit – whatever people may argue from the theory, that this doesn’t happen, our findings are that it is detrimental sonically and should go to earth. The worst thing about using XLRs instead of phonos (for no reason) is that it is non-standard and creates unnecessary palaver. If manufacturers use screened cables and want to earth them, they can simply attach a lead out wire from the screen leading to the earth of the phono stage – this avoids users having to mess around with fitting XLRs for no reason and then if they change phono stage having to re-solder RCA’s etc.