The Signal Transfer Company

The Signal Transfer Low-Noise Balanced Input Card

Low noise balanced input card
The conventional balanced input stage built with 10kOhm resistors and a 5532 op-amp has a far worse noise performance than a simple unbalanced input, and is also much noisier than any of our power amplifier designs. Its output noise is approximately -104 dBu. (22-22kHz)

The Signal Transfer low-noise balanced input card solves this problem by the use of a multiple amplifier array that causes the noise from each amplifier to partially cancel, and in a similar way improves the common-mode rejection ratio; this array is driven by a multiple-buffer structure that allows the input impedance to be much higher than usual, preventing loading of external equipment and also further improving the CMRR. The elegant design does not require selected or exotic components. The noise output is less than -115 dBu. This is an 11 dB improvement over standard technology.

The principle of operation is fully described in the Fifth edition of Douglas Self's book "The Audio Power Amplifier Design Handbook".

This card handles a single channel, so that the two required for stereo can be spaced apart to minimise interchannel crosstalk.

  • PCB 0012: 19:80 each

F E A T U R E S

S P E C I F I C A T I O N S

  • Gain is unity (0.0dB)
  • Noise out: Less than -115 dBu (Rs=50 Ohms, 22-22kHz bandwidth, rms sensing)
  • Input impedance: 47 kOhm (customisable)
  • Maximum output level: 11.5 Vrms +/-18V supply (at 1% clipping THD)
  • Output impedance: 70 Ohms
  • Minimum recommended load on output: 500 Ohms
  • Distortion : Less than 0.0005% THD 10 Hz - 10 kHz, at 10 Vrms output.
    Less than 0.0015% at 20 kHz
    Level in actual use is approx 1 Vrms so distortion will be much lower.
  • Frequency response: -1.0 dB at 90 kHz, -0.1 dB at 20 kHz (customisable)
    -0.1 dB at 10 Hz
  • Common-Mode Rejection Ratio: Better than 50 dB, 10 Hz - 50 kHz
  • Power supply: +/-15V to +/-18V; an +/-18V supply is recommended to maximise headroom.
  • Power consumption: 50mA from +/-18V supply.
  • PCB size is 62 by 76 mm. It incorporates four M3 fixing holes.

C O N N E C T O R S

  • Signal input 3-pin. +, -, and Gnd
  • Signal output 3-pin. +, -, and Gnd
  • Power supply 3-pin. V+, V-, and 0V

Graph of THD at 5 Vrms and 10 Vrms; distortion is below the noise floor up to 10 kHz.

Measurement system: Audio Precision SYS-2702.

Measurement bandwidth: 80 kHz, RMS sensing.