TRS or TS?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by KingRazor, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Outputting from a snake to a headphone amp, I was wondering if you'd want to use a XLR -> TS cable, or a XLR -> TRS cable? Or does it even matter?
  2. Use TRS; TS will only give you one ear. (unless the amp has a mono input)

    Interestingly enough, the two ears will be out of phase. It doesn't matter though, as the two speakers are essentially isolated from each other.
  3. TRS refers to Tip, Ring, Sleeve and is a three circuit connector common to mono balanced or stereo headphone use. TS (Tip, Sleeve) is a two circuit connector common to unbalanced mono signals. There is a specific application for each. What kind of output does the snake carry (look at what the snake is connected to).
  4. The output comes from an AUX send from the FOH board.

    The amp has mono input.
  5. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Balanced is always better when using long run.
    If your signal comes from a board/snake , chances are the output of the board is already Balanced , so go balanced.

    Is the Mono input Balanced ?
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    What is the physical type of jack that you will be plugging into at each each end? What kind of jack is on the output end of the snake, and what kind og jack is the input of the headphone amp?

    Hint: RTM.
  7. No idea. It's a 1/4" input, but I don't know if it's balanced or not.

    The headphone amp input is 1/4". The output jack of the snake is XLR.

    The run is 10 feet at the most.
  8. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007

    Around here we add an "F" to that expression
  9. LOL we only have manuals for about 10% of our equipment.

    The TRS connection makes more sense to me because of the whole balanced thing, but I just wondered if there was a specific reason to use either connector.
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    OK I'm betting the output of the snake is balanced and the input of the headphone amp is unbalanced. It would be extremely uncommon for a headphone amp to have a balanced input. So there are two approaches: one, use a cable that's XLR at one end and 1/4" mono (TS) at the other. Be sure to get the correct gender of XLR end. That's the simplest. The other approach is to take a passive DI box and turn it "backwards", so it converts from the balanced XLR into the unbalanced 1/4". You plug the snake into the DI and then use a regular guitar cable from the DI to the headphone amp.
  11. Ah, if that's the case, a TS connector would be much simpler.

    Right now we have a real jury-rig setup with some TS cables going to some 1/4" to XLR adapters going into the snake, so I was going to buy some of these: Comprehensive Touring Series 3000 Hi-Z Microphone Cable w/Neutrik XLR 10ft

    We didn't have any 1/4" cables with female XLR ends, otherwise we wouldn't need the adapters.
  12. Maybe figure out what the input to the amp is? There's this thing called the internet. They got information on stuff there.
  13. I've had varying levels of success looking up specific models of things on the interwebz.
  14. I carry both.. XLR to TS and XLR to TRS... some of it really depends on the exact hardware..

    There is no single correct answer... unless you own and bring all the pieces
  15. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    I read the manual first. Then if it does not have the right connections for my needs or wont work with my gear I don't buy it.

    By the way, my headphone amp has 2 balanced inputs L/R.

    If a headphone amp has one input and it's 1/4". I'm 99.9999999 percent sure it's TRS
    Stereo. Not balanced. So running an XLR to TS into it will give you only one side. Unless you have a mono button.
  16. I would read the manual if we still had it. This headphone amp is at least 6 years old, probably older.

    I'll see if I can find the manual online. Need to look at the amp again and find out what brand/model it is. Will have to look on Saturday.
  17. Here's a tip, if you want people to help you with stuff:

    Find out the brand/model before you post. Could be somebody reading this has one, or knows someone who has one, or knows where to get a schematic or owners manual.

    "Teach me how to operate this random device I am telling you nothing about" is a waste of everyone's time.
  18. I know how to operate it fine, I just didn't know this kind of thing was model-specific. I figured there was a general rule of thumb for this thing. Now I realize that it depends on your equipment. I got my answer: "Figure out the model and look up the manual online".

  19. I think I found it, it looks like it's a Mackie HMX56.

    From the manual:

    These 1/4" TRS jacks accept a balanced or unbalanced line-level input signal. This is the signal that you add into the headphone mix when you adjust the SOURCE A-D Level Controls [1] on each channel strip. You might connect a submix output from the mixer to these inputs, or a direct output from an individual channel (so the talent can really crank themselves up in the headphone mix if they want to).

    These mono inputs are routed equally to the left and right phones output.

    The 1/4" TRS inputs are wired as follows:
    Sleeve = Shield or ground
    Tip = Positive (+ or hot)
    Ring = Negative (– or cold)
  20. Hactar


    Sep 25, 2011
    Boulder, CO
    OK, now that we have information things can be determined. You have a single mono TRS input. Your best cable option would be to go with a XLR to TRS 6.5mm. This will maintain the balanced signal path.
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