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Balanced vs Unbalanced 1/4" Cables for Synths
Old 25th February 2016
  #1
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Balanced vs Unbalanced 1/4" Cables for Synths

Hello! I'm starting to get in to hardware synths and just scored a used Minibrute on CL. It has a one master audio out and a headphone out. While reading through the manual I noticed that it says to connect an unbalanced cable to the master out.

This means a TS instead of a TRS cable, correct?

Is this standard for synths? If I had something with two stereo outs (like a Prophet '08) should I use two unbalanced cables for that too?

Is the headphone output balanced?

Will using a balanced cable harm anything? I assume it will just halve the signal but want to make sure using a balanced cable won't damage the synth/speakers.

Thanks for answering my n00b questions.
Old 25th February 2016
  #2
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Use unbalanced but dont go near eelectricity cables....sometimes balanced trs cables gives wierd whine to background if u put volume up.....at least with my yamaha motif rack es and cs1x.....korg ms2000 is ok with balanced....check for yourself
Old 26th February 2016
  #3
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Yep, unbalanced for most synths TS
Old 26th February 2016
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawctur Funk View Post
Hello! I'm starting to get in to hardware synths and just scored a used Minibrute on CL. It has a one master audio out and a headphone out. While reading through the manual I noticed that it says to connect an unbalanced cable to the master out.

This means a TS instead of a TRS cable, correct?

Is this standard for synths? If I had something with two stereo outs (like a Prophet '08) should I use two unbalanced cables for that too?

Is the headphone output balanced?

Will using a balanced cable harm anything? I assume it will just halve the signal but want to make sure using a balanced cable won't damage the synth/speakers.

Thanks for answering my n00b questions.
Always check your documentation to determine what sort of I/O your devices have. Yes unbalanced is the norm for synths. Yes there are plenty of synths with balanced outputs.

Headphone outputs are not balanced.

It is generally not advised to use off the shelf balanced cables/connectors. Will it harm anything? It's very unlikely. It is, however, likely to introduce noise. Balanced connections can be modified to eliminate this noise, but then they're really not balanced connections any longer. If you plug in the balanced cables and everything sounds good then carry on. If there's a bunch of noise go get unbalanced connections.
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