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unusual adapter, balanced?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jondog, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I went to a flea market and bought some used cables. One of them was, I thought, XLR -> Stereo 1/4" male, a balanced cable. When I looked closer at it I saw that the 1/4" end was actually an adapter converting a male RCA to balanced 1/4" male.

    How can this be? What is this adapter for? As far as I know, you can't have a balanced RCA plug. Am I correct in thinking that, despite the XLR on one end, this is an unbalanced cable and that the adapter cannot rebalance an RCA plug?

    The only thing I can think is this adapter might work like a Y adapter, sending a mono signal to both left and right. I've never seen one of those before, usually you have to buy a Y cable.
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    More likely it's just a balanced to unbalanced cable.

    The - of the XLR is either floating or shorted to ground (easily determined with an ohmmeter),
  3. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Yes, I've figured the cable is balanced XLR to unbalanced RCA. My question is about the RCA to TRS 1/4" adapter. I've never seen one of those, and I think it's odd because if you want to go from a balanced 1/4" jack to an unbalanced RCA, you don't need the 1/4" to be TRS, you just plug in a regular 1/4", right?

    So, to clarify, what is a female RCA <-> male TRS adapter used for?