The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
An oldie but goodie... Creating an unbalanced to balanced connection... dangerous?
Old 26th September 2012
  #1
Gear Maniac
An oldie but goodie... Creating an unbalanced to balanced connection... dangerous?

So I've had a good bit of luck making cables connecting an unbalanced source to a balanced input. This all done using the technique of, using balanced cable, on the unbalanced end connecting what would be ring point to the ground so that it sends the ground signal into pin 3 receiving end to be reversed and thus provides some noise cancelation. This is great but I get concerned about knowing that there is some gear to watch out for that may not be so friendly to this due to electrical reasons. Can anyone tell me what I should be looking out for? And what might be a symptom if something was damaged? Is it input transformers that I need to look out for? Are we talking actual damage or is it just plain bad sound? i havent noticed bad sound, in fact it's been noise free.
Line in XLR on a 70's Studer console and TRS inputs on a Metic Halo audio interface are my two common uses of this.
Any thoughts? Am I risking something here?
Old 26th September 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 

You can use unbalanced cable and plug into balanced input
you will have 6db lower level

some good quality di box is always great to have
you can plug pretty much everything U want like electric guitar, bass, synths
or even plug speaker out from the amp to di box if it has 40dB pad
Old 26th September 2012
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by coilandmagnet View Post
...Can anyone tell me what I should be looking out for? And what might be a symptom if something was damaged? Is it input transformers that I need to look out for? Are we talking actual damage or is it just plain bad sound? i havent noticed bad sound, in fact it's been noise free.
...Am I risking something here?
As was stated above, going from an unbalanced source to a balanced input will never cause any problems or potential damage, just the lower signal level. You do have to be sure that the "low" side of the input connection is grounded. That is taken care of automatically if you're going into a TRS jack as the TS plug will ground the ring connection. However, if you're going into a XLR input, you should wire a cable or the plug to ground the unused side of the balanced input or it may not work at all.

The concerns are raised when you try to connect a balanced output to an unbalanced input. Most current gear that is either electrically balanced or uses fully floating output transformers works perfectly fine. You do, of course loose the basic noise rejection of a fully balanced signal path. With some early solid state devices, and transformer coupled devices using grounded center taps, connecting a balanced XLR or TRS feed to a TS input jack shorts out half of the output signal. It's still unlikely to cause actual physical damage, but should be avoided unless you know the circuit can handle it (via confirmation from the manufacturer.)
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
UnDeFiNeD / So Many Guitars, So Little Time
38
teknosmoker / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
15
Zsn / So Much Gear, So Little Time
2
comradec / So Much Gear, So Little Time
1

Forum Jump
Forum Jump