TS to XLR cable - Balanced or Unbalanced? - diyAudio
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Old 25th July 2011, 09:24 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Post TS to XLR cable - Balanced or Unbalanced?


I've recently bought this TS to XLR cable:

KM6MP2MBLK Adam Hall Cables Liveline Series - Microphone Cable XLR male to 6.3 mm Jack mono 6 m

and the guy in the store told me it was balanced, although I'm not sure of that.

I know that TS is an unbalanced connector and XLR a balanced one, but how can I know if the cable is balanced or unbalanced?

Thanks in advance
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Old 25th July 2011, 10:29 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Typically the 3rd wire is connected to ground (pin 1) to complete the circuit. This is OK regardless if it's transformer or active balanced input.

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Old 25th July 2011, 10:46 PM   #3
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but can it have the same noise cancellation functionality of a normal balanced cable?
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Old 25th July 2011, 10:56 PM   #4
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
The cable itself is neither balanced nor unbalanced. it is the application of that cable that determines this. XLRs are common in balanced connections. 1/4" connectors are used for balanced connection, but are then going to be TRS plus, not TS.

Wiring a XLR cable to a TS plug is going to result in the circuit becoming unbalanced.

The whole point of a balanced line is that there are two signal conductors, neither being ground. You can often just ground one side and use the other as a "hot" and connect that to an unbalanced input somewhere. But then that balanced signal source was just forced into unbalanced.

So the store guy was wrong. In his defense, some people use the term "balanced" to mean the type of connector. SO in his mind, he might have been right.

It is possible to use a TS plug on the end of a balanced line, however, the sleeve connection could not then be grounded, and the female connector would have to be isolated from ground. I have never seen such a thing, and it is highly unlikely I ever will, at least not in any commercial equipment. But one could do it.
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Old 25th July 2011, 11:09 PM   #5
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thanks for the explanation Enzo. that was very clear.
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Old 26th July 2011, 01:08 PM   #6
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Join Date: May 2007
A balanced cable can retain some of its interference reduction even if used unbalanced, if wired correctly. You can see what the cable is by removing the covers at the terminations.
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