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Benchmark RCA to XLRM Adapter Cable for Analog Audio - pin 3 to RCA shield




Price is for one cable, order 2 for a stereo pair.

Hand assembled in the USA with true silver solder


This special adapter cable connects unbalanced analog RCA outputs to balanced analog XLR inputs.

Use this cable to connect unbalanced line-level RCA analog audio outputs to the balanced analog audio inputs on an AHB2, LA4, HPA4 or an ADC1. May also be used to connect the unbalanced outputs on a DAC1,DAC2 or DAC3 converter to the balanced inputs on an amplifier (if the balanced outputs on the DAC are already in use). This adapter cable will work with electronically-balanced XLR inputs or with transformer-coupled XLR inputs. Do not use this cable with digital signals.

Special Wiring to Reduce Hum and Interference

  • Back-referenced audio ground - for common-mode rejection
  • Star-quad conductors - for magnetic immunity
  • Dedicated shield connection - for immunity to ground loop problems
  • RCA center pin to star-quad + to XLR pin 2
  • RCA ring to star-quad - to XLR pin 3
  • RCA ring to shield braid to XLR pin 1

How it Works

This adapter cable extends balanced wiring to the RCA connector using star-quad wire to maximize the effectiveness of the balanced input:  One half of the star-quad ties Pin 3 of the XLR to the shield of the RCA connector.  The other half of the star-quad ties pin 2 of the XLR to the center pin on the RCA.  The braided shield ties pin 1 of the XLR to the shield of the RCA.

Using this special wiring, a ground-loop between the two audio devices will produce a current in the braided shield, but not in the audio signal lines. This keeps ground-loop currents out of the critical signal lines and greatly reduces the potential for interference. The separate connection from the RCA ground to pin 1 of the XLR provides a dedicated path for the audio ground reference. This wiring leverages the common-mode rejection of the balanced XLR input to reduce conducted interference.

To reduce magnetic interference, the audio signal is carried on two twisted pairs arranged in a star-quad configuration. This star-quad configuration provides immunity to hum-inducing magnetic fields produced by nearby electronic devices.

This cable provides the best method for directly interfacing an unbalanced output to a balanced input. Do not confuse this cable with similar-looking RCA to XLR cables and adapters!

Benchmark Adapter Cables

Benchmark Adapter Cables combine the best cable, connectors, and construction techniques in order to offer high performance and excellent durability. Canare StarQuad L-4E6S Microphone and Audio Line Cable is flexible, satin smooth to the touch, and extra strong. The cable offers excellent immunity to hum-inducing magnetic fields (due to 4-conductor StarQuad construction), excellent shielding from RF interference (due to high-density braided shield), very low handling noise (due to internal construction), excellent flexibility (due to 40-strand conductors and special super-flexible insulation), and extended frequency response (due to low capacitance). Benchmark Adapter Cables are handcrafted with true silver solder, using gold-contact Neutrik premium series connectors. These are the most reliable XLR connectors available - providing excellent contact quality, strain relief, pullout resistance, and durability. A Benchmark-branded sleeve is your assurance that you have purchased a genuine Benchmark Adapter Cable.


  • 21 AWG effective AWG of combined twin conductors
  • 24 AWG, 40-strand copper conductors, Qty. 4
  • Special cross-linked PE insulation
  • Flexible in extreme cold weather
  • High-density (> 95% ) TAC braided copper shield
  • Conductor DC Resistance: < 29.9 Ohms / 1000 ft.
  • Shield DC Resistance: < 9.1 Ohms / 1000 ft.
  • Capacitance between twin blue and white conductors: 46 pF / ft.
  • Capacitance between conductors and shield: 56 pF / ft.
  • Nominal Impedance: 44 Ohms
  • Hand assembled in the USA with true silver solder
  • Input end is RCA-Male, output end is XLR-Male


This Benchmark product was designed, assembled, and tested in the USA using USA and imported components.

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