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Author Topic: Cable Question  (Read 1975 times)

William Boyle AKA Elfy

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Cable Question
« on: October 17, 2005, 02:25:21 am »

Im using planet waves 1/4 inch jack cables for my Events.
Ive been told i should be using stereo cable and not mono.
Also balanced and not unbalanced.

So how do itell the difference and would anyone like to elaborate please and will mono cables sound much different to stereo.

Thank you guys.
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Nicolas

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2005, 09:36:58 am »

"Stereo" is often used the same as "balanced" when people talk about a cable.
Both terms mean the cable has two wires (plus shield) as opposed to a one-wire (mono, unbalanced) cable.

But:
Microphone and headphone cables both have two wires, with the microphone cable being a mono cable that is balanced and the headphone cable being used for stereo unbalanced.
Instrument (guitar) cables are unbalanced mono.

Have a look at these:
http://www.soundcraft.co.uk/download.asp?filename=pdf/palz/c onnections_lead1.pdf
http://www.soundcraft.co.uk/download.asp?filename=pdf/palz/c onnections_lead2.pdf

Best wishes,
Nicolas

William Boyle AKA Elfy

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2005, 10:13:01 am »

Thanks heaps Nicolas.
Im using unbalanced cables.
In the manual it says
Input 1 This balanced 1/4" line input jack accepts a male two-conductor
1/4" TS or three-conductor 1/4" TRS connector, wired for either balanced or
unbalanced operation. For unbalanced operation with a TS connector, the minus
signal is automatically grounded; with a TRS connector you have the option of leaving
the minus input open or grounded. We recommend, however, that you ground the
unused input.

Would you say the cables that im using are suitable.

Thank you vey much
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Ronny

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2005, 07:22:35 pm »

William Boyle AKA Elfy wrote on Mon, 17 October 2005 10:13

Thanks heaps Nicolas.
Im using unbalanced cables.
In the manual it says
Input 1 This balanced 1/4" line input jack accepts a male two-conductor
1/4" TS or three-conductor 1/4" TRS connector, wired for either balanced or
unbalanced operation. For unbalanced operation with a TS connector, the minus
signal is automatically grounded; with a TRS connector you have the option of leaving
the minus input open or grounded. We recommend, however, that you ground the
unused input.

Would you say the cables that im using are suitable.

Thank you vey much



Some guitars and basses are stereo, Nicolas. Two TS jacks, one running bridge pu and one running neck pu. Other configs are top half of a split bass guitars pu going to one jack and the bottom half going to the other jack. Also, synths can be stereo and balanced on both sides using two TRS or XLR cables for L and R sends. IOW, instruments aren't all mono and some require a stereo cable or 2 two conductor cables for non balanced sends and/or two TRS or XLR for dual mono balanced outputs used for L and R.

William, if you aren't hearing any buzzing, hum or noise when going unblanced, as the TS is unbalanced than you are ok, you'll only lose -6dB gain from not balancing, but other than that no sonic difference as long as you aren't getting EMI or RFI, from tv sets, amps, puters, dimmer lights on the same grounding circuit as the audio, etc. I would go balanced myself just to get the +6dB more gain and to be safe when bringing future gear in, to be recorded. This would only take two TRS cables at a cost of about 20 bucks, unless you like to solder your own cables, which will save you about half the cost. You may hear a difference immeadiately in the noise floor if your gear isn't on isolated grounds when switching between the TS and TRS cables. Isolated from your lighting, ac, fridge, dryer, microwave, etc. When other non audio high powered electronic devices are using the same ground as the gear, you are apt to hear more noise without a balanced system.  
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Nicolas

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2005, 05:09:49 am »

Ronny,

I was not talking about the instruments, I was talking about the cable only. If you go to a shop and ask for a guitar CABLE, you will get an unbalanced cable with 1/4" jack.

And,
"Two TS jacks, one running bridge pu and one running neck pu."
still are two seperate unbalanced mono cables. One for each pu. You can use one of them only or both, but in case of a bass guitar no matter how many outputs you have they will still each be mono unless you pan them hard l/r which wouldn't make much sense musically.

Nicolas

Teddy G.

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2005, 07:17:29 am »

Elfy,

Answer: Your TS cables are not the best option if you have other options.

I am no technician and can give no expert insight into "how things work", still, I can say what I would do(Have done.). If given the option of either XLR, TRS or TS "interface/sound card output to speaker connection":

Best - XLR to XLR.

Second best - 1/4" TRS to 1/4" TRS.

Third best - 1/4" TS to 1/4" TS.

Anything less than this - 1/8", RCA, etc/, is "amateur stuff". Even 1/4" TS is NOT "made" for serious work - though many(Most?) keyboards/synths, this kind of thing have them and must be dealt with.

Balanced XLR I/O on everything is one of the main reasons I bought my Lynx sound card and is the number 1 primary "thing" I look at when considering anything to add to the system(Saves alot of "look" time!). Know it's best, don't know exactly why?(May never know..?). The "Pros" use it - good enough for me... That said, if your soundcard output is, for instance, 1/4" TRS, you might just stay with 1/4" TRS and not bother having a cable with TRS on the interface end and XLR at the speaker end - Though as they have them at the store, I get them anyway, when I have to.

If you like you can learn the why's(College maybe?). All of us SHOULD now the "why's" before we even consider buying any of this stuff, but..? Next life, maybe..?

Point? Stay "XLR balanced", as much as possible - EVERYWHERE is "best". 1/4" TRS balanced, if all you can do. "Unbalanced TS"(Or anything else unbalanced), nowhere, if possible.


TG
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William Boyle AKA Elfy

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2005, 07:27:21 am »

Thanks guys.
Teddy G
Because im running with a 002 as far as XLR goes what do you think of XLR to 14/TRs jack

Ronny, i think i love you
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William Boyle AKA Elfy

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2005, 09:50:05 am »

What are  good quality cables for xlr/trs as in Brand wise.
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Greg Youngman

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2005, 10:09:09 am »

Nicolas wrote on Mon, 17 October 2005 06:36

"Stereo" is often used the same as "balanced" when people talk about a cable.
Both terms mean the cable has two wires (plus shield) as opposed to a one-wire (mono, unbalanced) cable.

Best wishes,
Nicolas




Not where I come from.  A "stereo" cable two different signals in the same bundle... and has nothing to do with "balanced".

A "balanced" circuit has three wires – one for positive signal flow, one for negative signal flow, and one for the ground.
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Nicolas

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2005, 10:22:15 am »

Sorry Greg, but please read the whole post in context.

William wrote:"Ive been told i should be using stereo cable and not mono. Also balanced and not unbalanced."

So there's different people telling him stuff that confuses him. And they do mess up "stereo" and "balanced".

You wrote:
"A "balanced" circuit has three wires – one for positive signal flow, one for negative signal flow, and one for the ground."

Which is exactly what I wrote: "[...]two wires (plus shield)[...]"
-> Two plus one makes three.
If you now start to discuss whether shield and ground is the same, I want to see and hear you use a non-shielded(!) three wire cable for recording.

Nicolas

Ronny

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2005, 04:07:24 pm »

Nicolas wrote on Tue, 18 October 2005 05:09

Ronny,

I was not talking about the instruments, I was talking about the cable only. If you go to a shop and ask for a guitar CABLE, you will get an unbalanced cable with 1/4" jack.

And,
"Two TS jacks, one running bridge pu and one running neck pu."
still are two seperate unbalanced mono cables. One for each pu. You can use one of them only or both, but in case of a bass guitar no matter how many outputs you have they will still each be mono unless you pan them hard l/r which wouldn't make much sense musically.

Nicolas



Stereo is two mono channels, Nicolas, whether it's balanced or not. I was just pointing out that not all instruments are unbalanced mono. William is already using what you call guitar cables. I use 1/4" TS phone cables to connect a lot of things besides guitars and basses. They are only guitar cables when they are hooked up to a guitar.  Smile

Just run some TRS cables to your monitors and you'll have the best configuration. No mystery. The system takes a balanced input signal, so utilize it.
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Ronny

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2005, 04:27:14 pm »

Teddy G. wrote on Tue, 18 October 2005 07:17

Elfy,

Answer: Your TS cables are not the best option if you have other options.

I am no technician and can give no expert insight into "how things work", still, I can say what I would do(Have done.). If given the option of either XLR, TRS or TS "interface/sound card output to speaker connection":

Best - XLR to XLR.

Second best - 1/4" TRS to 1/4" TRS.

Third best - 1/4" TS to 1/4" TS.

Anything less than this - 1/8", RCA, etc/, is "amateur stuff". Even 1/4" TS is NOT "made" for serious work - though many(Most?) keyboards/synths, this kind of thing have them and must be dealt with.

Balanced XLR I/O on everything is one of the main reasons I bought my Lynx sound card and is the number 1 primary "thing" I look at when considering anything to add to the system(Saves alot of "look" time!). Know it's best, don't know exactly why?(May never know..?). The "Pros" use it - good enough for me... That said, if your soundcard output is, for instance, 1/4" TRS, you might just stay with 1/4" TRS and not bother having a cable with TRS on the interface end and XLR at the speaker end - Though as they have them at the store, I get them anyway, when I have to.

If you like you can learn the why's(College maybe?). All of us SHOULD now the "why's" before we even consider buying any of this stuff, but..? Next life, maybe..?

Point? Stay "XLR balanced", as much as possible - EVERYWHERE is "best". 1/4" TRS balanced, if all you can do. "Unbalanced TS"(Or anything else unbalanced), nowhere, if possible.


TG




There is no sonic difference between a balanced XLR connection and a balanced TRS connection. The XLR's can be locked in and are typically built stronger, but that's the only real difference. Sensitivity is still typically but not always +4dBu with both connections. It's not all about the connector though. A 16 gauge cable connected to TRS connectors, will maintain frequency integrity longer than an XLR connected 22 gauge cable. The short length of either XLR or TRS connectors is inconsequential to frequency attenuation, that's totally relative to cable gauge versus cable run (length of run). What you refer to as pro gear often uses XlR balanced connnections, but TRS has become widely accepted as a replacement on budget type consoles and recorders. Sonically as I mentioned, there is no difference and although you hear +4dB levels considered pro and -10dBv sensitivity as consumer, in reality both intermingle in most commercial studios. There are other misconceptions, for example some devices using -10dBv balance their innies and outties, so it's not always a given that +4dBu means balanced and -10dBv means unbalanced, or that XLR is any better sonically than TRS without considering the cable specs.  
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theo mack

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Re: Cable Question
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2005, 12:35:40 am »

You might as well go balanced.
I think the 002 is 1/4 trs balanced out. Your events (If they are like the 20/20's I've seen) has neutrik combo connectors that will take xlr or 1/4 TRS and keep your balanced line integrity.
The easy cable then is a 1/4 TRS to 1/4 TRS cable. Good wire, 16gage if possible, equal lengths, as Under 20 feet can't hurt.

Proco and Whirlwind are 2 good companies.
You may find good cables at www.fullcompass.com www.markertek.com
www.redco.com

The redco site has a link for build a cable.
http://www.redco.com/shopexd.asp?id=653

using redco standard mic/line cable and canare 1/4 trs ends they come to about $18 each per 12 foot cable complete.

If you are handy with an iron; you can order parts and build it at home and save a bit of $. Depends on how much your time if worth.
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theo mack
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