Balanced TRS jacks on sound cards
Nov 16, 2008 at 1:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

slowpogo

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Posts
755
Likes
10
There are several sound cards out there that use balanced 1/4" ins/outs: Echo Mia, Emu 1212m, ESI Juli@, M-Audio's cards.

My question is, will these cards accept unbalanced 1/4" cables/equipment?

Like, if I want to connect my headphone amp to the ESI Juli@, can I just run unbalanced 1/4" cables from the Juli@'s 1/4" outs to my unbalanced amp (Millett Max)?

I know the Juli@ can be switched to RCA jacks, but I have a bunch of nice cables I made/bought for my home studio that are all 1/4". And none of my equipment is balanced. Can I still use these cards that advertise balanced, TRS ins/outs?
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 2:38 AM Post #3 of 11

slowpogo

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Posts
755
Likes
10
Thanks, this is good news
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 5:37 AM Post #5 of 11

slowpogo

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Posts
755
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by BadassBob /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Mono TRS plug = unbalanced
Stereo TRS plug = balanced

Hope that helps.



I thought mono plugs were just "TS" (tip-sleeve), or am I missing something here..?
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 6:03 AM Post #6 of 11

b0dhi

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Posts
2,070
Likes
21
If you connect mono TRS jacks into the balanced out of the Juli@ you could be connecting the ground and negative phase terminals, which the Juli@ might not like. You can easily convert a balanced signal to unbalanced but you should use a stereo->mono adaptor. It's not a problem if the jack is stereo as the unbalanced end point will just ignore the negative phase signal.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 5:56 PM Post #7 of 11

obobskivich

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 29, 2007
Posts
11,206
Likes
589
Location
Barsoom
Quote:

Originally Posted by slowpogo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I thought mono plugs were just "TS" (tip-sleeve), or am I missing something here..?


yes, and no
TRS connector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

more than you ever wanted to know....


beerchug.gif


don't most of the e-mu cards have a direct unbalanced output? idk about the ESI cards, and I know with the M-Audio cards will distinguish balanced/unbalanced, more or less just curious here
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 6:25 PM Post #9 of 11

EnOYiN

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Posts
2,269
Likes
18
The E-MUs are like swiss knifes. They can accept and output mono, stereo, balanced and unbalanced. How much more does a person really want?

Edit: I am talking about the E-MU 0404 which I've own myself. I don't know about the other devices though.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 7:48 PM Post #10 of 11

slowpogo

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Posts
755
Likes
10
Well I looked at the Juli@'s manual and under the specs for the 1/4" +4db outputs, it says in parentheses "balanced or unbalanced." So with that card anyway, seems like either you can switch between them with software (or maybe jumpers), or maybe you don't have to and the TS plugs will just work fine without any fiddling.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 11:38 PM Post #11 of 11

BadassBob

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Posts
275
Likes
11
I had mine backwards sorry. I had an EMU 1212M, and in the instruction manual you use a Mono TRS plug for unbalanced, and a Stereo TRS plug for balanced.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top