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Balanced and Unbalanced? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 15th December 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

Balanced and Unbalanced?

So believe it or not, I've been dabbling in production and audio work for about 2 years now and never really thought about balanced vs. unbalanced cables until I just saw it mentioned in a thread. I know this is probably a newbie question but I already tried to do some research of my own on the topic. Most of what I found consisted of hyper-technical explanations that went way over my head.

Basically, I'm just concerned that I may have been doing something wrong with my cabling and general set-up this entire time without even knowing it. Right now I'm using an SM57, connected to an Echo Audiofire 4 with a Mogami XLR cable. The Audiofire is running out to the ports labeled "RCA (Unbalanced)" on the back of my KRK RP6s. The speaker end of the RCA cable branches into two, one balanced and one unbalanced. I'm assuming I'm supposed to use the unbalanced plug for an unbalanced port? But if my Audiofire is balanced (really have no idea), will this introduce extra noise/hum?

I also just ordered a GAP 73 pre, which further complicates the matter. What type of cables do I need to connect this to my mic/interface, and should they be balanced or unbalanced?

Thanks a ton. This board has proved extremely helpful in the past with all my questions, no matter how noob.
Old 15th December 2010
  #2
Gear Addict
 
jmik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BK4life View Post
So believe it or not, I've been dabbling in production and audio work for about 2 years now and never really thought about balanced vs. unbalanced cables until I just saw it mentioned in a thread. I know this is probably a newbie question but I already tried to do some research of my own on the topic. Most of what I found consisted of hyper-technical explanations that went way over my head.

Basically, I'm just concerned that I may have been doing something wrong with my cabling and general set-up this entire time without even knowing it. Right now I'm using an SM57, connected to an Echo Audiofire 4 with a Mogami XLR cable. The Audiofire is running out to the ports labeled "RCA (Unbalanced)" on the back of my KRK RP6s. The speaker end of the RCA cable branches into two, one balanced and one unbalanced. I'm assuming I'm supposed to use the unbalanced plug for an unbalanced port? But if my Audiofire is balanced (really have no idea), will this introduce extra noise/hum?

I also just ordered a GAP 73 pre, which further complicates the matter. What type of cables do I need to connect this to my mic/interface, and should they be balanced or unbalanced?

Thanks a ton. This board has proved extremely helpful in the past with all my questions, no matter how noob.
1. All RCA connections are unbalanced. Regular RCA cables from your Audiofire to your KRK's will work just dandy. You won't typically run into any interference/noise issues with unbalanced connections unless you're doing long cable runs.

2. The outputs on the GAP Pre 73 are balanced, as are the line inputs on your Audiofire. Connect a TRS (tip, ring, sleeve, i.e. the one with two rings around the tip) cable from the ouput of the 73 to one of the line ins on your Audiofire. No sweat!
Old 15th December 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 

Cool, thanks a ton man, I appreciate it.
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