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Old November 25th, 2001, 12:09 PM   #16
Obstreperous Rex
 
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The primary advantage of these adapters is balanced audio, allowing for longer cable runs with less hum or noise.

The XL1 and the Canon XLR adapters have unbalanced audio. With longer cable runs, you have a risk of noise and hum.

This is the short version. Hope it helps,
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Old November 25th, 2001, 01:23 PM   #17
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Thanks again Chris.That's reason enough to spend the money on the little box.Any recomendations,beachtek,studio 1, elite?

Thanks.

Adam
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Old November 26th, 2001, 07:19 PM   #18
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There appears to be a slight concensus among web posters that that Studio One is a wee bit better than the Beachtek. Is it worth $30 more? I don't know. The Elite may be a remarketing of either the Beachtek or Studio One.

An alternative if using balanced mics is the Canon MA-100 (or MA-200) provides XLR conversion, about 6 dB gain, and the shoulder rest for a bit less money.
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Old November 27th, 2001, 12:28 AM   #19
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question about MA-100 -- unbalanced??

Sorry to sound uninformed but I'm new to this stuff-- so the MA-100 is unbalanced? And the beachtek model is balanced? I was under the impression that since the MA-100 was XLR -- it was balanced. So if this is true then the Beachtek model would be a much better buy, correct?? Just getting ready to buy and want to get the right adaptor.
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Old November 27th, 2001, 11:33 AM   #20
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Howdy from Texas,

<< I was under the impression that since the MA-100 was XLR -- it was balanced. >>

Ah, so... this is not so! Here's a direct quote from one of the top Audio-for-DV gurus, Jay Rose:

"It's dangerous to assume that an XLR plug or jack is balanced."

Run, don't walk, to his website at www.dplay.com and browse his tutorials... especially www.dplay.com/dv/balance/balance.html which is all about balanced vs. unbalanced audio, and where his quote comes from. Hope this helps,
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Old November 27th, 2001, 07:15 PM   #21
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> Sorry to sound uninformed but I'm new to this stuff-- so the MA-100 is unbalanced?

The MA-100 has balanced input, unbalanced output, and it is an all-solid state design (no transformers), which is fine because the audio inputs of the XL1 are unbalanced. The outputs of the Beachtek and Studio One are also unbalanced,

XLR connectors usually imply balanced systems, but as Chris posted there maybe exceptions. Also you can buy xlr-to-RCA or XLR-to-phone adapters that just unbalance the XLR connection by strapping one side to ground rather than converting from balanced to unbalanced. They tend to be low cost, often under $10.

Similarly when you see a "stereo-phone" or mini-phone jack it often is a stereo signal, especially with consumer gear. But it could be balanced mono, or it could be a unbalanced send/return from a mixer/amlifier to an audio signal processor of some sort. Consider the mini-phone output of some wireless mic receivers which is a balanced mono signal.
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Old December 17th, 2001, 09:51 AM   #22
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MA 100 sound balance

Hi All,

I have bought a ma100 mic adaptor and I use a sennheiser k6/me66 with xlr sockets.

I notice the 2 sockets on the ma100 are labelled L and R and I only receive audio on one or the other. How do I use ma100 *and* receive audio thru' both channels?

TIA

D
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Old December 17th, 2001, 11:23 AM   #23
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Well, the Senn K6 is an excellent mic, and like all other professional mics, it's monophonic. If you want to feed it to both L & R inputs on the MA100, all you need to do is get a "Y" splitter cable that has a single XLR input at one end and two XLR outputs at the other, and plug it into your MA100.

Be advised though that all you'd be doing is feeding the exact same mono signal to both channels... it will not be "stereo" which is what I think you might be looking for.

The best way to do a stereo feed through the MA100 is with two professional XLR mics, of which you already have one. One mic for the left channel and another for the right.

Most folks are using the MA100 to feed the audio from, say, a wireless lav into one channel and another external mic like your Senn K6 to the other channel. Hope this helps,
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Old December 18th, 2001, 06:46 AM   #24
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Chris, thanks very much...a very simple subject I'm sure...but only when you understand it and now I think I do.

Cheers

D
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Old December 27th, 2001, 12:20 PM   #25
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Here's a caveat--

For all of you that use this adapter, I found out (the hard way) that the MA-100 will go into hard limit with a fairly low-level signal. I was feeding the ouput from my Mackie mixer into the MA-100 so I as to be "XLR" all the way. (I was mixing 3 mikes.) Since then, I've switched to using the unbalanced RCA jack tape output from the mixer, directly into the XL-1 RCA jacks.

It's possible to feed line-level audio to the MA-100, but levels are critical. Use an oscilloscope to verify the limit threshhold.

I think that the MA-100 is doing it's job OK -- I was just pushing it a little beyond its capabilities.

Since the above occurred, I now use the adapter only for mics, along with an in-series phantom power box.

Cheers, Vic
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Old December 27th, 2001, 07:46 PM   #26
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Hi Vic,

This might be another of my "dumb" questions, but did you have the input level on your XL1 set to mic by any chance? I've used a Mackie with the MA200 without any noticable problem. I have the Mackie 1402-VLZ Pro which can output either +4 or mic levels on the XLR Main Outs. I normally use the +4 setting with the XL1 set to receive line level signals.

Works for me.

Ed Frazier
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Old December 28th, 2001, 12:10 AM   #27
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Hi Ed--

I experimented with all of the settings on the XL-1. My problem was hard limiting coming out of the MA-100, before it got to the XL-1. I use a Mackie 1202, and other than the MA-100 problem, it works fine. I picked up a 10 ft dual stereo cable with RCA plugs on each end, and as mentioned, I don't use the MA-100 with the mixer. In this mode, I use the Line level input setting on the XL-1.

I used a Beachtek adapter when I was using my Sony D-8, but with the RCA jacks on the Canon, there hasn't been the need.

Cheers, Vic
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Old December 28th, 2001, 04:32 PM   #28
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Vic,

Since I'm preparing for a shoot that calls for a sound person with a mixer (probably a boom and two RFs) - what you suggest is important to me since I doubt the sound man (or woman) will be familiar with the XL-1. If I understand correctly you are suggesting we by-pass the XLR connector(s) alltogether and plug the UNBALANCED and unshielded output of whatever mixer is being used directly into the XL1's RCA connectors?

Can you tell me a little more about the problem you encountered using the M100. Isn't the M100 a passive connector? If so, how can it be limiting the sound in any way?

I also have a Beachcraft (I'm sure I have the name wrong) XLR to RCA converter that has a toggle for MIC and AUX and two pots for the output. Would that be a better option?

There's a piece of your problem I'm not understanding.
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Old December 28th, 2001, 05:50 PM   #29
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Hi, Ozzie--

Actually, the MA-100 is not passive -- that's where the problem lies. The extra cord that plugs into the XL-1 provides power to the unit. The amp inside the MA-100 is apparently designed for mic-level inputs, or at the most very low inputs. If I have the output LEDS on my Mackie flickering above the first one or two, the MA-100 goes into hard limit.

This is all manageable if one checks everything out ahead of time with an oscilloscope to learn where the problem points begin. I found it easier, however, to not feed the MA-100 when using the mixer, and go directly to the XL-1.

With a sound guy in tow, it becomes more manageable, but doing it all alone gets a little too busy....I can screw up enough things without the extra worry!

I believe the Beachtek would be a better choice with a mixer if you want to stay XLR all the way.

Hope this helps...

Cheers, Vic
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Old December 28th, 2001, 07:54 PM   #30
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Thank you for the good advice. I will use the Beachtek instead of the M100. Since the camera will be on sticks it'll be no problem inserting the Beechtek between the camera and the tripod head. By the way, I have noticed the hard limiting with the M100 but always attributed it to the AGC or limiter in the XL1.

There's a lot of experimenting ahead. Fortunately we don't shoot until April.

PS - I notice your "real" job is with the FAA. My slip before calling the "Beachtek" a "Beechcraft" has a lot to do with me owning a Beechcraft Sierra. But that's for another forum.
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