Balanced or Unbalanced Cables?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by dogbone, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    #1
    My studio is coming together nicely. I've decided on a pair of Event ALP5's (as they are not overpriced in Australia unlike everything else) to go with a presonus firebox and AT2020. Now I just need to afford a trap and I'll be sorted.

    Anyhoo...I'm not sure what sort of cable to get for the monitors, balanced or unbalanced. I don't really know what the difference is. So any enlightenment on this would also be appreciated. Also should I lash out and get monster cable or would it be overkill in my case?

    Also what are the four line out's for? Why four. What would the other two be used for.

    PS sorry for the dumbassed questions.

    Thanks.
     

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  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    short answer first: balanced for your monitors.

    medium answer: generally, the type of cable used is dictated by the gear being connected. i.e. each connection will be either balanced or unbalanced, so use the appropriate cable. in the case of connecting balanced to unbalanced, or vice versa, i use balanced.

    longer answer: unbalanced, or TS (tip sleeve), cables have two wires carrying the signal, whereas balanced, or TRS (tip ring sleeve), have three. balanced connections are less prone to interference because the having the third wire allows any interference picked up along the way to be subtracted out.

    ...

    regarding brands, first and foremost avoid monster cable: it's crap, it's overpriced, and they have ridiculous business practices. good cabling, imo, is important.

    atm i have mogami cables connecting my monitors. there are a number of good brands; i tend to use mogami, belden and redco.
     
  3. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    #3
    OK that's good I'll keep an eye out for those cables. I might even get a pair of KRK V4's that are shop floor demos at the right price.

    The next most obvious question is, why isn't everything 'balanced' why aren't all connections 'balanced' is there some situations when a TS connection is better?
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #4
    balancing a connection requires a transformer on each end. this adds cost and complexity, plus distortion (where "distortion" means it alters the waveform, not that it adds grunge a la a distortion pedal).

    additionally, some connections are unbalanced perhaps because they've always been, like a guitar to an amp. that's more of a guess than a definitive answer.
     
  5. cschreppel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    For monitors,

    Use balanced. When in doubt, use balanced. I also 2nd the vote for Mogami. Most of the cabling for my recording rig is Mogami.

    Also, the 4 line outputs can be used to send your mix or whatever to other devices, stereo recorders, etc.
     

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