Mixing Unbalanced Gear w/ Balanced Cabling???

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    hey all,

    i have a pretty good understanding of "un" and balanced cabling.

    BUT, i was wondering, is it ok to use a balanced 1/4" cable connecting two unbalanced pieces of gear?

    i.e. can i connect the output of a "tape send" output from a mixer to my digital audio interface's unbalanced input?
  2. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Shouldn't be a problem. The R of a TRS connector just shorts to ground, or hangs in the air doing nothing. The unbalanced device doesn't notice that it's missing anything, and the balanced device doesn't care.
  3. Over a short run it shouldn't be a problem. My only problem with it is that unbalanced cables can sound thin in high impedance circuits. That is an observation that I have made when experimenting with quad conductor mic cable as high-Z interconnect cable. It didn't hold up against a cable like Canare GS-6 that is designed for high-Z work.

    I gotta ask this, but which digital audio interface has an unbalanced input? Most/all that I have used have balanced inputs that are compatible with unbal 1/4" TS plugs.

    Also, outside of shorting out your phantom power supply if it were to be powered up, there isn't anything to lose by trying it and listening to the results.