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Any Advantages or Disadvantages of using the different inputs on studio monitors?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by theapex, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    My KRK rp8's have an XLR, 1/4, and RCA. Does one have any advantages or disadvantages over the other?
  2. macrumors 68030


    XLR is typically balanced, while 1/4in can go either way (I'm assuming in this situation it's unbalanced) and RCA is always unbalanced ...

    it's really what works best with your setup, but Balanced (in my opinion) is always better. It allows for less noise and other things to be picked up along the way.
  3. macrumors G4

    The XLR would ba a balanced input. If your source has this kind of output it would be the best because balanced lines have better rejection of common mode noise. However this only matters if the cables are long, like more then 10 or 20 feet at 100 feet it is the only way to go.

    The 1/4 and RCA are likely un-balanced, meaning one side is grounded.
  4. macrumors regular

    the 1/4 and the XLR are both balanced. and the cables mos likely are not going to need to be over 3tft long. so would the rca input be ok. I just don't want to sacrifice sound quality at all. that was my main concern. I thought that maybe RCA was a cheapo connection. i know that I can get those cables cheaper than I could xlr or 1/4 inch cables.
  5. macrumors 601


    if there's any interference in the area, the XLR would probably be the best at rejecting it*. go that way if your concern is sound quality.

    * under the loose theory that a given OTS XLR cable may have better shielding than an OTS balanced 1/4" cable.
  6. macrumors 6502a



    I assume you'll drive the monitors from your new Tascam 1082 (the one that won't sit still :) )? The 1082 has balanced monitor outs on 1/4". If your monitors 1/4" inputs are indeed balanced (like their XLR ins), then there should be no difference whatsoever between going into XLR or 1/4" on the monitors. Use whatever cables you have, or whichever ones are more affordable. Make sure you use TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) connectors for the 1/4" ends, sometimes called "stereo" even though it's a balanced mono signal you intend to carry of them.

    Edited to add: I would NOT use the RCAs. They are consumer level, unbalanced stereo. The FW-1082's "monitor out" 1/4" outputs are pro-level (+4dBu) balanced outputs.

    - Martin
  7. macrumors regular

    Thanks Aviation for the great info. I decided not to use the RCAs last night when I heard all the humming that came from them. I will use the 1/4 inch cables. So are all stereo cables going to be TRS? I have not seen this listed on anything that I've been looking at. I just went to Radio Shack last night to pick up a few of the cables that I needed. I needed one or two more 1/4 inch patch cables to run from the outputs of my Korg Triton to go into the inputs of the Tascam.

    It sure is good to know someone else that has this machine. So now I can bug you right??? LOL :) It is going to be a beast to learn I am sure. I have figured several things out already. It didn't come with a manual, so I got one from somewhere online and had my wife print it out for me. It was only 36 pages....is that the real user manual? If not feel free to direct me to it.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Yes, all 1/4" stereo connectors are TRS, because you need three conductors (incl. ground) for stereo sound. Whether the third conductor is actually used for the sceond channel (stereo) or for balancing makes no difference for the cable.

    Yes, 36 pages, that's what I have, too. What it DOESN'T contain, unfortunately, is examples of suggested setups in the overall audio system. So you are pretty much on your own with regard to how to use it, or what workflow to use that the FW1082 can support.

    Having said that, because it's really three devices in one (mixer, audio interface, control panel), it would be very difficult to suggest THE BEST way to use it in your setup. So think of it this way: experimenting and finding out how it helps you the most is part of the fun!

    - Martin

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