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balanced or unbalanced!?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Charr, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. Charr


    May 14, 2004
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    hi all - i was just wondering, what best for rack effects? 1/4" jack or balanced inputs? i've been using 1/4" jacks until now, but yesterday (when i was lokking at all the wires behind my rack ) i noticed all the balanced input/outputs

    well, what the verdict?

    P.S. im a noob, so smack me if i'm way off ;)
  2. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Balanced basically means less, or no noise in the path. It is highly probable that the 1/4" jacks are balanced too if it has balanced XLR jacks. The only thing is you need to use a TRS (aka "stereo") 1/4" jack instead of a standard guitar style patch cord.
  3. in general blanced=less noise but this is noticed most when you use long cable lengths, so the ideal place for a balanced cable would be between a bass with a balanced output (very few those) and the preamp.
  4. Heckxx


    Nov 2, 2004
    Libertyville, IL
    1/4 connections and XLR connections can both be balanced or unbalanced. Balanced connections require one more conductor/wire then unbalanced connections, that is why you would need a 1/4" TRS (stereo) cable if u wanted a balanced signal. Most XLR are balanced, even though you could technically have an unbalanced XLR signal. When dealing with guitar/bass amp rigs, almost all signals are 1/4" unbalanced, including the guitar signals and the effects loop signals.

    The deal is, PA/Mixer/Sound system stuff uses mostly balanced connections cuz balanced lines pick up less noise (especially true over very long distances). Thats why most rack equipment is designed to handle balanced signals. When using rack effects for bass rigs, u should make sure it can accept and send unbalanced signals... Although there won't really be many problems if u used an unbalanced line in a balanced port anyways.
  5. Charr


    May 14, 2004
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    thx for the answers all - much appreciated :)
  6. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Watch out for the speaker jacks that are on XLR! :) Sounds rediculous but Tannoy has done it.