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XLR versus Balanced Line in

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by golfnut, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Jan 15, 2008
    Canada
    I just bought a powered stage monitor for use in the band I'm in. Its a Yorkville YX10P. On the back its got an XLR input labeled "Mic" and a 1/4" input labeled "Balanced Line in". The lead singer has the exact same monitor and where he bought it the music store owner through in a cable that could connect to the XLR input then to the unpowered board, the other end is 1/4". My thought was just to use one of my extra guitar cables (as I was told with a powered monitor that was ok). My question is. Would the modified XLR cable be a better signal, hotter, etc? Or would there be no difference just using 1/4" to 1/4"? The board doesn't have XLR for the monitors so simply using a regular mic cable wouldn't work.
     
  2. DavidSchwab

    DavidSchwab TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    44
    Jul 13, 2010
    Staten Island, NY
    The 1/4” balanced jack is going to be a stereo (tip/ring/sleeve) plug.

    The XLR is the same but with a different connector.

    However, one is line level and the other is probably (lower) mic level.
     
    darren7 likes this.
  3. R.S.Fraser Sr.

    R.S.Fraser Sr. Tele-Meister

    273
    Jun 6, 2010
    canada
    MIC inputs are expecting a lower electrical level than LINE inputs are.
    LINE inputs are expecting a higher electrical level than MIC inputs are.

    A mic level signal into a line level input will appear much too low.
    A line level signal into a mic input will appear much to high.

    Both inputs are balanced.

    But just because you can make it physically fit together by way of adapters or special cables,
    does not mean it will fit electrically.
     
  4. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 15, 2006
    Berlin
    Which board is it?
    none the less, it probably has balanced 1/4" TRS monitor outputs.
    so that's how i would connect it on both sides.

    14_inch_TRS_to_14_inch_TRS_Balanced_Cable.jpg
     
    golfnut likes this.
  5. R.S.Fraser Sr.

    R.S.Fraser Sr. Tele-Meister

    273
    Jun 6, 2010
    canada
    Golfnut - notice that Alamo's picture IS NOT just "one of your extra guitar cables"
    Alamo is showing you a Tip Ring Sleeve for use in Balanced Line systems, not a Tip Sleeve guitar plug. (unbalanced system)

    TRS is for use in a balanced system.
    TS is for unbalanced use.

    Using a TS into a balanced system will give you a signal, but it may be lower in level and have poor frequency content.
     
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  6. David Barnett

    David Barnett Poster Extraordinaire

    Is there no guidance in the owner's manual?
     
  7. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Meister

    440
    Jun 11, 2014
    SLC, UT
    Perhaps the word "balanced" should be explained a little.

    In instrumentation systems "balanced" is called "differential." The cable actually carries two signals: One the original signal and one that is the opposite of the original signal (negative, 180-degrees-out-of-phase terms apply here).

    The mixer takes the difference of these two signals, hence "differential." This means that the negative signal is subtracted from the positive signal and as we know 1 - ( -1 ) = 1 + 1 = 2

    There are two benefits of this setup:

    First: Any noise induced in the cable is the same on each conductor. so when it hits the differential amplifier: noise - noise = 0.

    Second: The signal level send to the amplifier is doubled, remember 1 - (-1) = 2.

    You certainly could just use a spare guitar cable, but you effectively ground out your negative signal, so now your noise is noise - 0 = noise, and your signal is signal - 0 = signal. In short, none of the benefits of a "balanced" input.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  8. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Gus, you just clarified a cloudy concept of the "balanced/unbalanced" conundrum I've been carrying around for 40 years! Thanx fer that.
     
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