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question for SuperPuss (or anyone else who knows this) [unbalanced TRS cables]

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  • question for SuperPuss (or anyone else who knows this) [unbalanced TRS cables]

    I was reading some info on balanced and unbalanced cables: a balanced cable has seperate wires for hot, cold and ground and an unbalanced only hot and cold+ground combined. The first is better to stop interference. OK.

    Then I saw a picture of an unbalanced, stereo kabel with stereo jacks: the tips were connected to one wire and both the ring and sleeve to the other wire. So what's the difference compared to using a mono cable with mono jacks if the ring and sleeve share the same wire? I always thought a stereo cable had two hot signals (left and right channel) and one cold, so the amplifier can send the sound to the right channels.
    Last edited by eric_B; 07-11-08, 01:39 PM.

  • #2
    You said you saw a picture of an UNBALANCED "stereo" cable. In other words, it's an unbalanced connection that was wired using TRS jacks. That sounds pretty wacky to me, like someone cobbled together a cable with parts they had on hand. A real balanced TRS cable uses shielded twisted pair cable. That is, two conductors, each insulated, twisted around each other, and encased in the outer ground shield. You can't have a balanced cable without three conductors. Period.

    But don't confuse stereo with balanced. Two different things, although in some cases they might use the same cabling.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by eric_B View Post
      I was reading some info on balanced and unbalanced cables: a balanced cable has seperate wires for hot, cold and ground and an unbalanced only hot and cold+ground combined. The first is better to stop interference. OK.

      Then I saw a picture of an unbalanced, stereo kabel with stereo jacks: the tips were connected to one wire and both the ring and sleeve to the other wire. So what's the difference compared to using a mono cable with mono jacks if the ring and sleeve share the same wire? I always thought a stereo cable had two hot signals (left and right channel) and one cold, so the amplifier can send the sound to the right channels.
      I'm not 100% sure I understand your question. However, a TRS cable (which most people think of as a stereo cable) is sometime used for a balanced connection. If you plug a mono or TS cable into a TRS balanced jack it just make it unbalanced. Here's a picture:
      XLRtoTRS.jpg
      alesisDRUMMER.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Both balanced and stereo cables have two signal lines and a ground (common). The only difference is what is sent down them. Stereo has two disticnt signals whereas balanced is the same signal; just 180 degrees out of phase.

        What you saw sounds weird. Maybe you misinterpreted the wiring? Can you show us the picture?
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Look here: .

          This a picture from a PDF cable guide a music dealer in The Netherlands put online.

          The caption is (translated from Dutch): Unbalanced cables (connected with 2 wires). And the info on cable 5 says: instrument cable: stereo jack - stereo jack. used to connect instruments and effect equipment.

          Comment


          • #6
            Eric... I just saw my name in lights so being the ever curious cat, you got my attention

            In regards to cable 5 in that picture, it is electrically identical to an unbalanced cable using mono (TS) plugs. In my opinion, wiring such a cable with stereo (TRS) plugs is misleading. The cable could be mistakenly selected for use in a balanced system when, in fact, it is not balanced at all.
            The same thing applies to cable number one and eight. They would appear to be a balanced cables when, in fact, the are unbalanced.

            As an experienced live and studio engineer who has come across cables like these on occasion, I would be tempted to shoot anyone who makes them!!!! ...... OK, well perhaps not shoot them but you get the idea!

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi SP, well you got my attention so why wouldn't I get yours !

              You confirm that these cables are just crap, not balanced nor stereo. So, it's either balanced or stereo cables, not both combined? That would mean a left channel, left channel 180 out of phase, right, right 180 out of phase and ground: don't think I've seen them before. Is there no use for them?

              Comment


              • #8
                Eric, mono balanced cables and stereo unbalanced cables (both use TRS plugs) are the same thing and can be used for either application. They are electrically identical.
                My point above was that using TRS plugs (and/or XLR connectors) on mono unbalanced cables is misleading because they look like they would be balanced cables.

                You are correct in that a stereo balanced system requires a minimum of five conductors (left hot and cold, right hot and cold and earth). Most stereo balanced setups simply use two balanced cables, one for the left channel and another for the right channel.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SuperPuss View Post
                  Eric, mono balanced cables and stereo unbalanced cables (both use TRS plugs) are the same thing and can be used for either application. They are electrically identical.
                  My point above was that using TRS plugs (and/or XLR connectors) on mono unbalanced cables is misleading because they look like they would be balanced cables.
                  OK, you confirm that my conclusion is right and that I'd better not buy cables at that store!

                  Originally posted by SuperPuss View Post
                  You are correct in that a stereo balanced system requires a minimum of five conductors (left hot and cold, right hot and cold and earth). Most stereo balanced setups simply use two balanced cables, one for the left channel and another for the right channel.
                  Yes, SP (do you have another name by the way?), that is the common way. Maybe din cables could do the trick. But they're probably not twisted and have thin wires, so not suitable for longer cables.

                  OK, topic finished!

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