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Old August 20th, 2004, 06:59 PM   #1
Fred Retread
 
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Meaning of "Balanced/Unbalanced" label

I know the difference between the two, but what does "Balanced/Unbalanced" mean when it's the label above a 1/4 " jack?
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Old August 20th, 2004, 07:30 PM   #2
 
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1/4 inch connectors can be balanced or unbalanced. If the cable is a TRS (Tip/Ring/Sleeve) connector, then it's potentially balanced, if converted from XLR/Cannon/Lo-Z connector, plugged into a balanced TRS connection. Just like an XLR/Cannon/Lo-Z cable/connector assembly carries 2 conductors and a shield, so can a TRS (Tip/Ring/Sleeve) which means it's effectively the same thing. Many years ago in Europe, many systems were connected via Tip/Ring/Sleeve instead of XLR. I think now most things are XLR.
Recording studios use TRS for patch bays in the form of TRS or TTL plugs, but it's fairly rare you'd occasion one in video production.
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Old August 20th, 2004, 07:49 PM   #3
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It also implies that the equipment will automatically work correctly whether you plug in balanced or unbalanced to that connector.
For example on most Mackie mixers, all the 1/4" connectors except the insert jacks and the headphone jack can take either balanced or unbalanced connections.
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Old August 20th, 2004, 08:03 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. And Jay, it was a Mackie I was talking about.
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