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How high end is a y-split cable? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 20th December 2010
  #1
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How high end is a y-split cable?

I am using quite a few y-split cables in my studio now, and I don't notice a degradation of the signal quality. For example I split the signal after the preamp. I get the impression that this is an often overseen way of working in the studio.

What do you think? Is a y-split cable a good splitter and in which situations? It's passive for sure .

What's good and bad about y-split cables?
Old 20th December 2010
  #2
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pongmaster's Avatar
 

.

hi marky

instead of me, an electronician should answer that question, but to my knowledge, it depends on impedancies and level.

i'd say for line level signals between modern studio gear, its no problem for one split, easiest way is to do that on the patchbay instead of a splitcable.

don't do it with pickup-signals from a guitar or a bass or microphone-level signals, if you're not 100% sure how it affects your sound and compensate for it with appropriate utility-gear.

-maybe someone knows how the situation is with line level signals between modern gear and very old gear?
Old 20th December 2010
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyGoldstein View Post
How high end is a y-split cable?
INCREDIBLY High End heh

Happy Christmas Marky
Old 20th December 2010
  #4
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Thanks merry xmas to you too
Old 20th December 2010
  #5
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JonesH's Avatar
How high end is a y-split cable?

The reason, or at least one of them, that we use higher input impedance than output is to allow this. With line level outputs that is.
Old 20th December 2010
  #6
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I just read that a split cable lowers the impedance to half, right?

A cable is very high end, but how much high end is half a cable? I know it is a stupid question, but still what are the details to this question.
Old 20th December 2010
  #7
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Jim Kerr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyGoldstein View Post
I just read that a split cable lowers the impedance to half, right?

A cable is very high end, but how much high end is half a cable? I know it is a stupid question, but still what are the details of this question.
It depends on the load of the split. I think logically it would be the sum and then divide by two. The average. I should know this like the back of my hand by now. I have to take out the trash and go to sleep.
Old 20th December 2010
  #8
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huub's Avatar
In practice (it depends on impedance of connected equipment, but in my practical experience;.. )
Splitting line level signals does not degrade the audio quality whatsoever and leads to a very very small loss (- 0,2 dB or so) of level..

There are situations where splitting leads to loss of high frequencies.. Depends on impedance like I said, but I do not have the knowledge to explain this properly.
Old 20th December 2010
  #9
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lynngraber's Avatar
technically, i think you could do a series parallel split to 4 and maintain the same load.
Old 20th December 2010
  #10
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

I use Y cables after the pre all the time, NO problems...
The pre should NOT have a problem driving 2-3 inputs..
For the Lunch Box I made short XLR to XLR Y cables..works great...
Old 20th December 2010
  #11
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Y-Splits are one of the best fast workarounds you can use if you don't have access to an active/passive/transformer isolated split system.

Basic Rules : -

*It's Fine to Y-Split 1 dynamic mic into 2 pre's.
*It's Fine to Y-Split 2 dynamic mics into 1 pre.
*It's Fine to Y-Split 1 Line Level Output into 2 Inputs (essentially the same as Mult'ing on a Patchbay).
*It's not fine to try to sum 2 Line Level Outputs into 1 Line In with a Y-Split. A World of Pain will ensue.
DONT's-
*It's Not Fine to Y-Split between 2 audio systems running on different Power Sources. You must use a Transformer Isolated Splitter System if this is the case. (PA and OB Truck)
*It goes without saying that you should never Y-Split ANY Line with Voltage on it. Eg : Phantom Powered Mics, ShowComs, etc ..

Note : Y-Splitting a signal will create an incremental Tone Change due to the change in Impedance. Y-Splitting a passive Ribbon mic can be a Bit Hit or Miss IMO but YMMV.

Happy Christmas EveryBody
Old 20th December 2010
  #12
See? All the popular kids are doing it.

I've never been popular.

Merry Christmas!

Ward
Old 20th December 2010
  #13
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andychamp's Avatar
You could make one from some $7500,-/meter audiophile cable.
I guess that'd qualify as high-end.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_subsonic View Post
Basic Rules : -

*It's Fine to Y-Split 1 dynamic mic into 2 pre's.
*It's Fine to Y-Split 2 dynamic mics into 1 pre.
*It's Fine to Y-Split 1 Line Level Output into 2 Inputs (essentially the same as Mult'ing on a Patchbay).
*It's not fine to try to sum 2 Line Level Outputs into 1 Line In with a Y-Split. A World of Pain will ensue.
DONT's-

*It goes without saying that you should never Y-Split ANY Line with Voltage on it. Eg : Phantom Powered Mics

What about a Y-Split of 1 condenser mic into 2 pre's?
Old 22nd December 2010
  #15
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ARIEL's Avatar
This is what I purchased for doing any splitting radial JS2 or JS3- did some tests very transparent , and allows you to split phantom powered mics, They also have an 8 channle unit with jensens in it as well.
Radial Engineering - JS-2 Jensen transformer equipped mic splitter
Old 22nd December 2010
  #16
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That's actually a really good question. I've always accepted this as a No-No because it was what I was taught by older engineers who I learnt under. I can't remember the science as it was explained to me so in a way, I have believed this based on hearsay.

I don't consider myself an authority at being able to explain to you what is happening at the electronic level when you Y-Split a mic line with +-48 Volts on it into 2 preamps. I'm going to ask a tech to post an answer about this.

Likewise, this got me thinking as to what will happen when you use a Y-Split cable from a mic to 2 mic pre's on a small desk with universal phantom such as a Mackie. I doubt that the Sun would implode, but I don't think it would be a good habit to get into. More to follow.

Cheers RAy
Old 22nd December 2010
  #17
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myles's Avatar
 

See if you can find an electronician...
Old 22nd December 2010
  #18
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Quote:
This is what I purchased for doing any splitting radial JS2 or JS3- did some tests very transparent
Yes, I have one of these too... but all I understood from them is that they isolate one signal from the other and that seem to be good for some cases. But I got the feeling that in most cases a y-split cable is good enough.. it's actually a waste of money to buy expensive splitter hardware, but maybe someone can explain when to buy expensive splitter hardware and when not.

Or does this isolation retain the impedance?

I still can't hear the difference.. maybe my ears are gone, or it's only audible under certain conditions..

Maybe half a cable is better than isolation
Old 22nd December 2010
  #19
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Boschen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyGoldstein View Post
Yes, I have one of these too... but all I understood from them is that they isolate one signal from the other and that seem to be good for some cases. But I got the feeling that in most cases a y-split cable is good enough.. it's actually a waste of money to buy expensive splitter hardware, but maybe someone can explain when to buy expensive splitter hardware and when not.
Or does this isolation retain the impedance?
I still can't hear the difference.. maybe my ears are gone, or it's only audible under certain conditions..Maybe half a cable is better than isolation

Yes, in most cases the Y split will be fine, within the limits described by other posters.

The time to buy splitter hardware is when you need to do a remote recording of a larger band, for which you would use a splitting snake with isolating transformers, which do indeed preserve the original impedence. They are cheaper to rent, unless you do a lot of this kind of work.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #20
Gear Maniac
How high end is a y-split cable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by therecordinghous
technically, i think you could do a series parallel split to 4 and maintain the same load.
You are right... But there is still signal loss!
Old 22nd December 2010
  #21
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How about in this scenario: If you have a preamp/eq with separate mic and line inputs, could you take the signal from the patch bay and y-split it to both inputs? The benefit being that you would not have to have separate patch points for mic or line in. You could just patch into the same point for either pre/eq or just eq.
Is that a bad idea?
Old 22nd December 2010
  #22
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Sorry if its a bit off-topic, but if I'm using a mic plus a di, does anyone know how to sum both signals to a single mic pre? I tried using a Y splitter, but I can't control the respective volume balance. And I presume putting them into two separate mic pres and then summing them together with a Y cable is dangerous.
I have no spare channels on my desk and I'm using 8 track tape so recording onto two separate tracks and bouncing them together later isn't always an option.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #23
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CompEq's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyGoldstein
For example I split the signal after the preamp.
Splitting a line level signal like you are is basically what a mult does. If you're looking for how much degradation it does, you'll need to dig into electronic theory. Sorry, can't help you much there, but mults are a common way to split signal and are found in many patchbays. It's done often and in practical use I wouldn't be concerned about degredation. If you're asking for education's sake then I'd be interested to know as well.

Quote:
I get the impression that this is an often overseen way of working in the studio.
I believe you're misusing the word "overseen".
Old 22nd December 2010
  #24
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ddageek's Avatar
 

How high end is a y-split cable?

Yep all those mults on patchbays in studios around the world are fancy Y cables.
When not to use a Y ? When it sounds like crap, hums it's own tune, or isn't really doing what you want .
Transformer are much less problematic at microphone level but add their own color.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_subsonic View Post
I've always accepted this as a No-No

I don't consider myself an authority at being able to explain to you what is happening at the electronic level when you Y-Split a mic line with +-48 Volts on it into 2 preamps. I'm going to ask a tech to post an answer about this.

Sounds like you were talking splitting 1 condenser mic into
2 separate pres? I was wondering if it's okay to split 1 concedser mic into
the same pre using a Y-splitter. That should be okay, right?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myles View Post
See if you can find an electronician...
If you can't maybe you can ask an electriciple engingineer.
Old 19th October 2016
  #27
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I would like to split the signal from the output of my TG2 into my distressor, 1176, and LA2A for quick comparison of the compressors when tracking.

Is there any issue with making a three-way y-cable to do this?
Old 19th October 2016
  #28
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(My experience) Just give it a try. Use your ears to control whether the signal is the same (simple form of measure equipment). I guess in theory there would be enough current out of the TG2 to feed the paths.
Old 19th October 2016
  #29
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Mr. Massenburg uses a Y cable to split the Vocal mic to 2 preamps with different gain settings.
Old 19th October 2016
  #30
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arkade's Avatar
I'll advise against doing that (hardware, dont know bout mics). I cant find any info about the output impedance of the TG2, though the input impedance of the ditressor is 20k, 600 for the 1176 and (probably) 600 for the LA2A. You will get undefined frecuency response behaviour in such a coupled system as every input impedance of the units will affect the output of the TG2 differently, even if it has enough power to drive all the loads in parallel. It will sound different than using a single unit at once. Better use some switchable device to make an A/B setup.
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