Boulder 508 Phono Stage Better Balanced?

Better Balanced?

The output of a pick-up cartridge is inherently balanced, despite which it is normal practice – and has been throughout audio's history – to tie one side of each audio channel to earth to create an unbalanced connection to the preamplifier. This remains the norm because it works very effectively in typical domestic circumstances where sources of electromagnetic radiation are benign enough not to result in significant levels of interference. While this suggests that a balanced connection – with its inherent immunity to external interference – is unnecessary between cartridge and preamp, there's an obvious belt and braces attraction to exploiting the opportunity, you could say invitation, to use it. If there's a downside it's that a balanced interconnection, depending on how it's realised, doesn't always deliver enhanced sound quality, particularly if it involves greater circuitry complexity. But, happily, a balanced input can be made barely more complex than an unbalanced equivalent. KH

Colorado, USA
Supplied by: Padood Ltd, Cambridge, UK
01223 653199