Node 2i Loudness

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    Sam R.

    Hello,

    Two things I would look at here: balanced vs unbalanced, as you said, but also digital vs analog. 

    The VDA-2 is doing the analog to digital conversion in your first scenario. Depending on the DAC chip and a number of DSP processes, that may be the source of some of increased loudness, though I imagine it would be a difficult time pinpointing wherein that exactly it is. I've heard people describe the NODE's DAC as very neutral. 

    Also, balanced connections (the cables especially) are designed to preserve/shield the connection from interference. The unbalanced connection may be losing some signal on the run. 

    Regards,
    Sam R.

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    ric982

    Thanks Sam.

    I've noticed that the VDA-2 seems hot compared to what's coming out of my TV monitor - maybe about +6dB - but again that is unbalanced so could still be balanced vs unbalanced.

    The cables are short - say 2 ft. I'd buy that unbalanced is more susceptible to noise (on a much longer cable), but probably not that it is loosing signal level.

    It's probably not too important why they are different. I was hoping someone would pop up and say - hey - the level's your are assuming are wrong or that I did something wrong in the calculation.

    My first guess is that the amp does compensate for balanced vs unbalanced, my calculation was correct (though the amp compensates for this),  and that the VDA-2 vs the Node 2i are about 6 dB different for whatever reason. I'll let it go at that.

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