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XLR cables

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by InfinityJaco, Jun 17, 2001.

  1. InfinityJaco


    Jun 5, 2001
    I've seen a lot things in bass magazines and stuff about amps with XLR outputs or inputs or whatever...are XLR cables just the ones that are used for microphones? The ones with 3 prongs? Or are XLR and mic cables totally different things??
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Most mic cables have XLR plugs. Yes, they are the 3-prong thingies. They are what you call balanced cables. Pin 1 is to ground, Pin 2 is hot, and Pin 3 is the other side of the hot signal. They are good for keeping external noise off the signal. You can also make balanced cables using Tip-Ring-Sleeve (TRS) 1/4-inch plugs. Tip hot, ring to pin 3, and sleeve to ground. For recording purposes, it's best to use all balanced lines. Most instrument cables are unbalanced, and that's ... OK.
  3. That's right. XLR - and it's clones and variants - are usually the connectors used in what you might call, professional audio gear. As much as anything they're rugged connectors quite suited to the damands of such equipment.

    They're used on mics a great deal for balanced line work, as Munjibunga said.

    I'm not certain that they've been used that much on guitars - if at all - but there's no reason why they couldn't: except that they're quite expensive, they'd be bulky for that purpose and there'd be a real compatibility issue as guitatrs obvioulsy use jack connectors.

  4. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Two of my basses, Heartfield DR5 and Washburn AB20 have XLR jacks in addition to the regualr jacks.
  5. Hi Turock.

    Yes. I wasn't completely sure of my facts so said, "...if at all...". I'd a sneaker XLR had been used but I'd no idea where. What's the idea of fitting them: is is for direct injection or do they just parallel the jacks?

  6. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Rockin John
    Even though I have owned both of these basses for several years, I have never used the XLR on the Washburn. I tried the one on the Heartfield only once, out of curosity. The XLR seemed to give a hotter signal. I don't know of any real advantages of this setup (if anyone knows of any, I would like to hear about them), and as you mentioned compatibility is an issue. I would not pay extra for this feature, both of these basses just happened to come that way.
    Just thought you might want to know that there are some basses with this setup.
  7. Appreciate your comments.


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