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Noob TRS 1/4” cable length vs XLR question
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Noob TRS 1/4” cable length vs XLR question

How long can a 1/4” TRS cable be without sound degredation? I know TS/guitar cables roll off high end with long lengths.
It’s also said XLR cables can go hundreds of feet without signal or sonic loss. Does that same rule apply to 1/4” TRS?

The application for 1/4” TRS would be coming out of my Suhr RL/RLIR or Two Notes reactive load boxes into my interface.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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Xander's Avatar
The 1/4" TRS balanced line output on that unit is essentially the same as an XLR balanced line output. It's not really the connector type that matters, it's the load impedance, input impedance, and cable type that actually matter. You can run your 1/4" TRS balanced signal over a couple hundred feet, as long as you are connecting to a balanced line input with at least 10k input impedance.

They just use a 1/4" TRS connector on that output to give you the option of using a 1/4" TS cable to connect to an unbalanced input.

The reason that a guitar signal will lose high end with a long run is not because the end is 1/4", but because of the high impedance load presented by the pickups, and the fact that a long unbalanced cable run has inherent capacitance. The longer the cable, the higher the capacitance. A capacitor in parallel with a load creates a low-pass filter.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post
The 1/4" TRS balanced line output on that unit is essentially the same as an XLR balanced line output. It's not really the connector type that matters, it's the load impedance, input impedance, and cable type that actually matter. You can run your 1/4" TRS balanced signal over a couple hundred feet, as long as you are connecting to a balanced line input with at least 10k input impedance.

They just use a 1/4" TRS connector on that output to give you the option of using a 1/4" TS cable to connect to an unbalanced input.

The reason that a guitar signal will lose high end with a long run is not because the end is 1/4", but because of the high impedance load presented by the pickups, and the fact that a long unbalanced cable run has inherent capacitance. The longer the cable, the higher the capacitance. A capacitor in parallel with a load creates a low-pass filter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post
The 1/4" TRS balanced line output on that unit is essentially the same as an XLR balanced line output. It's not really the connector type that matters, it's the load impedance, input impedance, and cable type that actually matter. You can run your 1/4" TRS balanced signal over a couple hundred feet, as long as you are connecting to a balanced line input with at least 10k input impedance.

They just use a 1/4" TRS connector on that output to give you the option of using a 1/4" TS cable to connect to an unbalanced input.

The reason that a guitar signal will lose high end with a long run is not because the end is 1/4", but because of the high impedance load presented by the pickups, and the fact that a long unbalanced cable run has inherent capacitance. The longer the cable, the higher the capacitance. A capacitor in parallel with a load creates a low-pass filter.
Got ya! I wasn’t sure how that worked with TRS vs xlr in regards to impedance and the signal it carried. I knew the guitar cable had capacitance that would add up. Is the reason TRS gets used in long cable runs is because it rejects noise better? Otherwise, you could probably use a TS cable to drive those lengths for line in, but TS is more susceptible to noise, right? Is that how that works?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
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Xander's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thenewexhibit View Post
Got ya! I wasn’t sure how that worked with TRS vs xlr in regards to impedance and the signal it carried. I knew the guitar cable had capacitance that would add up. Is the reason TRS gets used in long cable runs is because it rejects noise better? Otherwise, you could probably use a TS cable to drive those lengths for line in, but TS is more susceptible to noise, right? Is that how that works?
If you use a TS cable, it will be an unbalanced run since there are only two conductors: signal and ground. An unbalanced run is more susceptible to noise than a balanced cable run. This is because the ground is part of the signal path, and can pick up noise along the way.

When you use a TRS cable to connect a balanced output to a balanced input, now you have a balanced signal run with three conductors: positive, negative, and ground. A balanced cable run will be less susceptible to noise because the ground does not have to carry the signal, and because of what's called common mode rejection. On the balanced output, the hot carries the signal and the negative conductor carries either a polarity-flipped version of the signal, or in some cases, no signal at all. But on the balanced input, there is a differential amplifier (or a transformer) which flips the polarity of the negative conductor again and adds it to the positive conductor. So you have no signal loss, but any noise that may have been picked up along the way on the two conductors is now cancelled out.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thenewexhibit View Post
Got ya! I wasn’t sure how that worked with TRS vs xlr in regards to impedance and the signal it carried. I knew the guitar cable had capacitance that would add up. Is the reason TRS gets used in long cable runs is because it rejects noise better? Otherwise, you could probably use a TS cable to drive those lengths for line in, but TS is more susceptible to noise, right? Is that how that works?
Stop thinking connectors; think balanced and unbalanced.

A balanced cable run rejects noise much better, but you can run into issues with earth loops.

For short runs it shouldn’t make much difference and can even be better to run unbalanced; for long runs balanced is much better.

What connectors you have aren’t relevant.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Stop thinking connectors; think balanced and unbalanced.

A balanced cable run rejects noise much better, but you can run into issues with earth loops.

For short runs it shouldn’t make much difference and can even be better to run unbalanced; for long runs balanced is much better.

What connectors you have aren’t relevant.
Got ya! Why could unbalanced be potentially better for short runs? Ground buzz or something similar?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post
If you use a TS cable, it will be an unbalanced run since there are only two conductors: signal and ground. An unbalanced run is more susceptible to noise than a balanced cable run. This is because the ground is part of the signal path, and can pick up noise along the way.

When you use a TRS cable to connect a balanced output to a balanced input, now you have a balanced signal run with three conductors: positive, negative, and ground. A balanced cable run will be less susceptible to noise because the ground does not have to carry the signal, and because of what's called common mode rejection. On the balanced output, the hot carries the signal and the negative conductor carries either a polarity-flipped version of the signal, or in some cases, no signal at all. But on the balanced input, there is a differential amplifier (or a transformer) which flips the polarity of the negative conductor again and adds it to the positive conductor. So you have no signal loss, but any noise that may have been picked up along the way on the two conductors is now cancelled out.
Cool!! Thanks so much! I appreciate it! God bless!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thenewexhibit View Post
Got ya! Why could unbalanced be potentially better for short runs? Ground buzz or something similar?
Yes - you can’t set up an earth loop.
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