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TRS Cables for Idiots
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billzoe
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#1
29th January 2008
Old 29th January 2008
  #1
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TRS Cables for Idiots

Hi all,

I though i knew what was what on TRS connections, obviously i am wrong.

I recently ordered some "AP Audio" (Ace Products, CA) brand (i tried to contact them , but they are No longer in Business) TRS Patch cords. However, on the box it says:

"Stereo Patchcords for UNBALANCED Systems"

They are TRS (Tip, Ring and Sleeve) and test Continuity Tip to Tip, Slv to Slv, etc..

the box says also:

"70% Braided Sheilding - EMI/RFI Resistant"


....am i just overthinking this? I thought TRS (Stereo as AP calls it) is BALANCED (assuming your gear is BAL-TRS, of course) or is there such a thing as a TRS UNBALANCED cable ? If so what makes it different? As i'll need to return these.

Thanks all!

BZ
billzoe
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#2
29th January 2008
Old 29th January 2008
  #2
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Please disreguard - unless you too have these cables. AMS support says this is a Logo Error and to ignore..

Cheers,

BZ
#3
29th January 2008
Old 29th January 2008
  #3
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You're both Right. think of it this way, you have 2 lines plus a ground, you can use those two lines for either a mono balanced source OR stereo Unbalanced.

i've seen it marketed both ways which seems a little confusing, but rest assured that it is the same thing.
#4
29th January 2008
Old 29th January 2008
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kmbmotorshop is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by billzoe View Post
Hi all,

I though i knew what was what on TRS connections, obviously i am wrong.

I recently ordered some "AP Audio" (Ace Products, CA) brand (i tried to contact them , but they are No longer in Business) TRS Patch cords. However, on the box it says:

"Stereo Patchcords for UNBALANCED Systems"

They are TRS (Tip, Ring and Sleeve) and test Continuity Tip to Tip, Slv to Slv, etc..

the box says also:

"70% Braided Sheilding - EMI/RFI Resistant"


....am i just overthinking this? I thought TRS (Stereo as AP calls it) is BALANCED (assuming your gear is BAL-TRS, of course) or is there such a thing as a TRS UNBALANCED cable ? If so what makes it different? As i'll need to return these.

Thanks all!

BZ
I think the key word is "stereo". For mono balanced, they should work fine.
#5
29th January 2008
Old 29th January 2008
  #5
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with only 70% shielding i'ld pass on this shit... i bet the capacetence is higher too...
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#6
30th January 2008
Old 30th January 2008
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All things being equal, 70% sheilding will have less capacitance than 99%.





-tINY

#7
30th January 2008
Old 30th January 2008
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sorry tiny... but i dont think this is true.... two entirely different issues... IIRC the capacitence is measured between the two conductors... but am willing to hang on to see if someone else chimes in...
#8
30th January 2008
Old 30th January 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dementedchord View Post
sorry tiny... but i dont think this is true.... two entirely different issues... IIRC the capacitence is measured between the two conductors... but am willing to hang on to see if someone else chimes in...
I'm with tINY on this one.
Capacitance in a cable is measured from lead to ground . Think of it this way, if capacitance is causing a high freq. drop it is like a capaciter between signal and ground in a circuit. A cap inline with the signal causes a low freq. drop.

Now crosstalk, that is between the two leads.
#9
31st January 2008
Old 31st January 2008
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Ignore the capacitance issue. Presumambly these are short-length patch cords. Cable capacitance only becomes an issue for long runs.

Check if tip shorts to ring. If it doesn't (and tip shorts to tip, ring shorts to ring and sleeve shorts to sleeve) then your patch cables are fine for mono balanced patching.
#10
31st January 2008
Old 31st January 2008
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Sorry, let me be correct myself. Check if ring shorts to sleeve. If it doesn't well you're ok for balanced. Doh!
#11
1st February 2008
Old 1st February 2008
  #11
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Just how much of a no no is it to use unbalanced TRS to patch things that have balanced TRS connectors? my local music shop had run out of balanced so I used a set of unbalanced last night to patch in an outboard device. It's not humming or catching on fire? Am I ok or should I run and grab a balanced set before I do irreparable damage to myself, the unit and the space time continuum? The lead is a regular audio cable with, I assume pin 1 & 3 tied to sleeve and 2 to pin. Cheers people.
#12
1st February 2008
Old 1st February 2008
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byrd62au View Post
Just how much of a no no is it to use unbalanced TRS to patch things that have balanced TRS connectors? my local music shop had run out of balanced so I used a set of unbalanced last night to patch in an outboard device. It's not humming or catching on fire? Am I ok or should I run and grab a balanced set before I do irreparable damage to myself, the unit and the space time continuum? The lead is a regular audio cable with, I assume pin 1 & 3 tied to sleeve and 2 to pin. Cheers people.

Well there is no such a thing as Unballanced TRS, TRS is By definition ballanced because of the 3 conductors....If you are talking about TS Cables like Guitar patch cords then those are Unballanced and only have 2 conductors hence the TS.....
As long as your cable runs are short and you don"t run your unballanced cables over Power chords and such then there should be minimal extra noise from useing Unballanced cables but there will be a 6db drop in output level by going unballanced....
#13
1st February 2008
Old 1st February 2008
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If you plug a TS cable into a TRS output, you short the cold ( the "-" side ususally going to the ring) output to ground.

Some units don't like this - others are alright with it. The worst you'll do is cause a fire... But the only damage you'll probably do is take out the output of the sending unit - and this depends on the unit.




-tINY

billzoe
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#14
1st February 2008
Old 1st February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaChunkyStudio View Post
Ignore the capacitance issue. Presumambly these are short-length patch cords. Cable capacitance only becomes an issue for long runs.

Check if tip shorts to ring. If it doesn't (and tip shorts to tip, ring shorts to ring and sleeve shorts to sleeve) then your patch cables are fine for mono balanced patching.


.....thanks all... yeah , these are 2 feet cables .

BZ
#15
2nd February 2008
Old 2nd February 2008
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" TRS cables for idiots"..Hummm, I'll take a few......
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#16
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
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Is it ok to make an unbalanced (mono) cable using a TRS plug?
#17
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
Is it ok to make an unbalanced (mono) cable using a TRS plug?
Yes
#18
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
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That's what I thought and I allready did that in the past but I red somewhere that some gear might not like to see a TRS connector in an unbanlanced i/o...
#19
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
That's what I thought and I allready did that in the past but I red somewhere that some gear might not like to see a TRS connector in an unbanlanced i/o...
The extra connection (the ring) is not seen by an unbalanced input in normal use.
Reversing the situation and plugging an unbalanced cable into a balanced I/O does short the ring to ground which is potentially bad for some circuits.
#20
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
The extra connection (the ring) is not seen by an unbalanced input in normal use.
Reversing the situation and plugging an unbalanced cable into a balanced I/O does short the ring to ground which is potentially bad for some circuits.
makes sence,
thanks
#21
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
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It's always a really good idea to know what kind of 1/4" connector is inside of each box you own and know what's connected to each connector. Understanding signal flow will help you get better performance out of your gear, and make troubleshooting easier. The various permutations of unbalanced, impedance balanced, electronically balanced, ground compensating, and transformer balanced sources feeding unbalanced, electronically balanced, and transformer balanced inputs over 2- and 3-conductor cabling makes for 30 different possibilities. Some work better than others, some don't work at all. If you don't know what (if anything) is connected to the ring terminals inside the box, or if you don't know whether the cable HAS a ring on the plug at either end, it's going to be hard to predict your results.
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