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Will a balanced cable work anywhere an unbalanced one would?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by millard, Jan 18, 2005.


  1. millard

    millard

    Jul 27, 2004
    SoCal
    1/4" jacks, that is. Seems like it would -- ground is still on the sleeve, one conductor is on the tip, the other one would be ignored.

    But I've been wrong about how this stuff works before.

    Thanks...Millard
     
  2. danman

    danman

    May 18, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have seen this work and I have seen this not work.
    It all depends on where the terminal is touching on the jack. Sometimes the conductor for the sleeve hits the ring. In my experience I have seen it work and I have seen it not work. There are also some jacks made specifically for this. Push in until first click for TS and push in all the way for TRS.

    danman
     
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    It will not work in jacks that are used for power switching. Those depend on the ring and sleeve being shorted together.

    Examples: output jacks of active basses, input jacks of many effects pedals.
     
  4. millard

    millard

    Jul 27, 2004
    SoCal
    I should have been a bit more clear in my requirements.

    I have several items in my rack and they don't all support balanced 1/4" connections. I'd like to use balanced connections when possible AND I'd rather not have to remember which cables go to which holes unless I have to. So it is easiest to just use all balanced patch cables if that's going to work okay.

    Thanks...Millard
     
  5. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    I was wondering the same thing! For some reason, if I use my rackmount tuner and/or my rackmount compressor in with my amp, I get an annoying buzz, so I was thinking perhaps shielded or stereo cables might fix the problem, but I don't wanna blow the cash (I know, I'm a tightwad) without knowing for sure 1st.
     
  6. millard

    millard

    Jul 27, 2004
    SoCal
    I'm running a couple different directions on this. One is balanced cables which shouldn't matter at all for such short runs in the back of a rack, but what the heck.

    I've also isolated all the rack units from the rack itself using nylon collar washers on the screw head side and normal washers between the faceplate and the rack.

    I bought a BBE Sonic Maximizer plus Noise Reduction unit to see if the single-ended noise reduction might help. It's in the mail.

    I've looked at and am considering trying the Hum Eliminator from ebtechaudio.com. This unit was recommended by the Tech guy at Tech21 when I wrote them about hum/noise and my SansAmp RBI.

    There's a good chance it is just my bass's fault, though. When I power the thing up without the guitar plugged in, there's no noise at all.

    Millard
     
  7. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I don't know that they'll solve your buzz, but I'm cheap too and I just bought a 10 pack of 1.5' balanced cables from Musician's Friend for $7.99.
     
  8. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    aha! Does it hum with another bass plugged in? That might whittle down where your problem is a bit. Also, if your bass has Jazz pickups in it, make sure both pickups volume is up equal parts, or else some hum is inevitable with singlecoils.
    However, in my buzz problem its present even without an instrument cable plugged in, unless neither the tuner or compressor are conneected to teh amp.
     
  9. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    thats pretty cheap jondog! are they TRS on both sides?
     
  10. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Does'nt this solve your Q?


    Here is what I do; if its a balanced jack I do my best to make sure I am using a balanced cable. If its unbalanced I don't. Too many times have I seen balanced cables not work in the place of unbalanced. My guitarist thought one of his effects pedels was dead untill I checked his cables and found that he had gotten a hold of one my balanced cables. This leads me to my next suggestion, if you are having trouble telling the two apart (especially when they are jacked in) go buy yourself some colored tape and mark the balanced ones.
     
  11. Ba55Man1ac

    Ba55Man1ac Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Sydney, Australia