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jack plate or XLR in bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mara, Mar 10, 2005.


  1. Mara

    Mara

    Jan 11, 2001
    Finland
    Just wondering. Is there anything to be gained or lost if one would fit a XLR socket into a bass instead of a normal jack plate?

    -M
     
  2. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    if you're running a cable over 50 feet..you would have a good argument to run a balanced cable...otherwise I see no point.
     
  3. Mara

    Mara

    Jan 11, 2001
    Finland
    What about with a wireless unit?

    -M
     
  4. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
    Even so, you could wire a 3 conductor jack (commonly called a stereo jack, or tip-ring-sleeve) such that if you use a 3 conductor 1/4 inch plug and cable you'd have a balanced line or if you used a regular cable, it would be, well, a regular cable.
     
  5. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    If you are running a standard two wire system, then I see none. Previously I would have said that the extra security of XLRs from coming unplugged would have been a benefit, but you can get Neutrik locking 6.5mm RTS jacks now. The other disadvantage is the non-standard cable for XLR to RTS as most amps have an RTS jack for input and you'll have to provide your own cables (and spares).

    If you are using a balanced output then I'd go with an XLR. Contrary to AlembicPlayer's comment above, there can be a significant benefit to using balanced lines over short cables in many instances, especially electrically noisy environments.

    I run std 5 pin XLRs on my Alembic, and my forthcoming customs will use a 7 pin.
     
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    It's TRS.
     
  7. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Semantics.
    I think of them as 6.5's but that just confuses Americans.
     
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    :smug: And again!

    And I think of them as 6,3s or 6,35s or 1/4"s....
     
  9. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    make it stop! :D :bag:
     
  10. Mara

    Mara

    Jan 11, 2001
    Finland
  11. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    AFAIK, no. The "locking part" is where the jack gets thinner, at the base of that "spade" shape. That's what is locked in... AFAIK, I repeat. But Locking XLRs work with normal XLR jacks, so I think it would work like that in this case, too.
     
  12. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Sigh.
    I can work a calculator too. They are most commonly referred to as 6.5's here and have been for the entire time I've been an engineer.
     
  13. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    To clarify: If you are not going to add circuitry to produce a balanced signal, there is no great benefit in changing to an XLR jack, since the locking feature can be had with a 1/4" Neutrik, and will still use standard cables.

    If you intend to add circuitry to produce a balance output signal, that's a different story.
     
  14. What I have often wondered is why noone makes an amp with XLR input that you can run Phantom power to an xlr jack on a bass to power active electronics and eliminate the need for a battery in a active bass.
     
  15. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    The Alembic Series basses have had this feature for over 25 years. My new customs will too, as well as having a balanced output.
     
  16. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Manne basses have an XLR out. I don't remember whether they're phantom powerable, or if they're even active.
     
  17. I can see the advantages of not having to any extra noise creeping into your signal using a balanced cable. I am using the ProCo Guardians 'Defender' 1/4" cable and am highly impressed in its' abilities next to a comparable XLR. Anthony Jackson's very elegant signal chain includes one pickup straight to an XLR out. No onboard volume! If you record your performances live or otherwise, it might pay off if you've got high-resolution recording gear. When I do sound at Birdland jazz club musicians regularly get interference in their 1/4" cables and sometimes it can make or break a live recording. I think that in most live rehearsal or gig situations the average bassist won't benefit from having an XLR out. I've used high-quality 1/4" cables for years with stellar results. Unless you need long cable runs or can indeed hear a difference I don't think having an XLR output is going to be a benefit. One nice thing, though, is that they all lock so.......
     
  18. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    "Balanced cable" carrying an unbalanced signal to an unbalanced input has no effect. Running an extra conductor, either with XLR or TRS jacks at either end of the cable, will have no effect unless you first create a balanced signal to send. The signal coing from a standard active or passive pickup circuit is unbalanced. Creating a balanced signal requires a special active circuit, or a transformer like that found in a DI, to be in the bass. And, even if a balanced signal is properly sent to an unbalanced input, the RF rejection effect is lost.
     
  19. AFAIK, the footprint of an XLR is the same as the locking jack socket, so if you are having a bass built, specify the footprint now, and choose later.

    FWIW, I use a right angled jack into the edge mounted sockets on my bass because it is more dificult to pull out accidentally. If I pass the cable through the strap, it always snags on the stand as I pick it up, so I would support any form of locking plug & socket
     
  20. My old Zebrawood/wenge Tobias neck through 5 has a right angle xlr jack on it. Mike never loved it that way, but did it for Bob Lee who was his Hollywood shop manager at the time and was getting the bass.

    It's kinda clunky and requires a special cord, but it never has any jack noise issues. You can see it at the bottom of this photo.

    [​IMG]

    Aloha,

    Jonathan