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Balanced vs. unbalanced


(@blutic1)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 280
Topic starter  

When making connections between the mixer, power amp, headphone amp, computer, etc. I try to use XLR's when possible. When not possible, I use TS 1/4" cords although most input/outputs are balanced and accommodate TRS and TS. I've never used TRS cords, but have read that they reduce noise. Is there any other advantage?


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(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1309
 

Here's a good article that explains balanced I/O

http://www.dplay.com/dv/balance/balance.html

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


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(@kachman)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 155
 

TRS is a similar construction to XLR. TRS is balanced. The difference between TRS and XLR is the connector type. TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) is a single plug connector (like 1/4 inch or 1/8 inch, eg your headphone plug), while XLR has 3 pins, but they both essentialy have two channels and a virtual ground. The fact that it has this ground/neutral terminal is what makes them less noisy.

http://www.myspace.com/kachman


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(@rob77)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 137
 

Please excuse my ignorance, I'm new to PA & recording gear (normally I just play). What is balance & unbalanced?

"Who says you can't 'dive bomb' a bigsby?!"


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(@kachman)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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but they both essentialy have two channels and a virtual ground.

To put it simply, the quote above from my previous post is the characteristic of a balanced cable. there are 3 paths consisting of 2 channels that carry the signal, and another path that serves as the ground on a TRS cable, the 3 paths are the Tip, Ring, and Sleeve.

Unbalanced cables have 2 paths ....( compare it to your 3-pin plugs versus the 2 pin blade types on appliances)

http://www.myspace.com/kachman


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(@rob77)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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...agin, pardon my ignorance but I'm keen to learn - why do you need TWO channels to carry the sound?

"Who says you can't 'dive bomb' a bigsby?!"


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(@hyperborea)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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...agin, pardon my ignorance but I'm keen to learn - why do you need TWO channels to carry the sound?

It's to remove noise. The signal is sent down the two wires as the difference between the voltage on the two wires. Most induced voltage noise will affect both wires equally. This means that the difference between the voltage on the two wires will remain the same. The third wire is the ground which wraps the two wires as a shield just like as is done for unbalanced wiring except that this shield ground is not also used as a signal ground.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@rob77)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 137
 

aaahhhhhh........

Cheers :D

"Who says you can't 'dive bomb' a bigsby?!"


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