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Newbies:  difference between 1/4" balanced and 1/4" unbalanced?

04-Apr-03 (rave808)
08-Apr-03 (machine101)
09-Apr-03 (projekt 2701)

Original Message
rave808.... (04-Apr-03  04:04PM )

- i'm gonna buy an audio interface for my computer so i can start recording etc. i'm looking at a couple of units but one has 1/4" balanced ins and the other has 1/4" unbalanced ins what is the difference i'll be using drum machines and synths for recording but through an anolog mixer


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machine101.... Re:difference between 1/4 (08-Apr-03  08:27PM )

- Unbalanced inputs are noisy because they are not grounded. If given the choice, always go with balanced inputs.


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projekt 2701.... Re:difference between 1/4 (09-Apr-03  06:47PM )

- actually, unbalanced cables _are_ grounded. (tip is hot, sleeve is ground).
unbalanced cables are *unshielded* which means that after a long cable run your signal will pick up more noise, and degrade your signal.

this is one reason why a microphone cable is balanced. because a microphone is such a low-level instrument, a balanced cable will tame cable noise, and keep signal integrity.

line level instruments are much hotter, so an unbalanced cables work fine (of course for a short cable run)

if a longer cable run is necessary, you would use a direct box to convert an unbalanced cable to a balanced run.

hope this helps a little.

projekt 2701

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