Dac balanced connection?

I’m waiting for an SMSL SU8 Dac to use between my Auralic Aries and Quad Artera Analogue Pre the Dac has balanced output and pre has balanced input before I shell out on new cables will they be better than the RCA connection.
Also the Dac has a volume control which I won’t be using is it better to use AV input on my pre or alter the gain on my pre which I can do for each input.

Not necessarily. If the DAC is a twin balanced converter design and preamp is a balanced design then there may well be advantages, as the electronics are not having to convert balanced to unbalanced and vice versa.
Balanced is best for native balanced designs and / or carrying signals over longer distances without picking up noise.
Unbalanced is best for natively unbalanced deigns, like most of Naim, and for interconnects over short distances, upto a metre or two.
Balanced pick up less noise over longer distances, but electronic noise and distortion can be higher than unbalanced designs… possibly at so small levels though, it’s not really noticeable.

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Thanks Simon that’s very helpful as I’ll be using short cables either 1m or 0.5m.

New balanced cables like the Van Damm star quad are relatively cheap, so you might want to experiment yourself.

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I got the SU9 recently very happy with it. Hope you like the SU8.

Yes the SU9 looks really nice if I like the SU8 enough when funds allow I’ll upgrade to the SU9.

Is there any particular reason why Naim doesn’t offer balanced? The dCS Bartók that I’m getting, has balanced and unbalanced output.

I guess because Naim’s internal design for sources and NACs upto 500 series is unbalanced… so offering an option for balanced would necessitate a drop in quality.
But that is Naim’s stance, others such as Chord offer both options, even though the balanced output of the natively unbalanced designs according to the designers will be slightly less performant


You could always head towards the Statement series amp which does offer balanced inputs :grinning:

Good choice with the Bartok. Lovely machine.

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Chance would be a fine thing! :joy:

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