Many years ago, in another life, I ran a Marantz CD7 with a Pathos Classic One mk2, which was a nice combination with the Ruark Equinox speakers I used then (now moved on) but after awhile I began to sense there was something not right in that set up. Purely by accident I discovered that the Marantz CD7 XLR output was wired to the American wiring system and the Itlaian Pathos XLR input was wired to the European system.
Despite there being these days a standard way XLR should be wired, within the domestic audio high end world that is not always the case, with some companies still following the older wiring pattern.
‘Prior to the introduction of this standard, the wiring of pins 2 and 3 varied. The pin 2 “hot” and pin 3 “cold” convention was typically used by European and Japanese (not all) equipment manufacturers, but American companies used pin 3 “hot” and pin 2 “cold’
The upshot of this is that if you connect a piece of equipment wired to the USA pattern to a European one with the pin 2 and 3 swapped the music will end up out of phase and it was this that I was hearing. Now some listeners are not sensitive to this but some are, and I am one of those who can hear phase being inverted.
Back when I first came across this issue, the solution was to have a cable made with pins 2 and 3 awapped at the input end. However a fixed solution means that your cable will not be wired correctly when both pieces of equipment follow the same XLR scheme.
Recently wanting to use a Meridian G02 pre-amplifier with some American XLR configured sources but not wanting to have my reference Atlas Mavros cables altered I looked for a solution and found the Neutrik NA3FMX adapters which solved the problem simply.
Each NA3FMX connector has pins 2 and 3 reversed at the female end and can thus be used as an output or input adapter, even a joiner, thus linking two XLR cables together. Its simple and quick to use and was an elegant solution to my problem.
How did it sound afterwards? Better, with definite improved focus, resolution and bass. Now I must concede that while these improvements for me were noticable and worthwhile, for others they may not be.
For me this was worth doing for the modest cost of £8.45 for a single NA3FMX (I bought 6) and the supplier had the NA3FMXs with me very quickly. These are well made, robust and to my mind a no brainer.
Retail Price – varies in this case £8.45 because I bought 6
Source of loan – enduser/reviewer Purchased.
Specifications: 3 pole XLR female – 3 pole XLR male (contacts 2 – 3 inverted) Supplier Ref. NA3FMX
Product Dimensions (mm) 75x20x20
Height (mm) 75
Width (mm) 20
Depth (mm) 20
Net weight (kg) 0.057
Product EAN 5021196570080
Display Footprint (mm) 170x100x25
Gross Weight (Packaged) (kg) 0.06
Item priced per 1
Packaged dimensions (HxWxD mm) 170x100x25
Packaging Poly Bag
Plastic weight (kg) 0.003
Transport dimensions (mm) 170x100x25
Manufacturer website – https://www.neutrik.com/en
Principality of Liechtenstein Neutrik® AG – Headquarters
Im alten Riet 143
EBay Supplier – pookeyclara – https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/pookeyclara?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2754
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