Use 3-pin or 4-pin XLR?
Sep 16, 2009 at 4:49 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26

Sennshead

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What is the difference b/t using 2, 3-pin plugs or 1, 4-pin plug? And why is it that some guys are still using the 2 xlr plugs (like headroom)?

I've heard that the 1, 4-pin is newer and just as good as the two, hence my question.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 4:56 PM Post #2 of 26

krmathis

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Old habit I guess.
Headroom have been using 2 x 3-pin XLR for years, and many aftermarket cable vendors have taken it on. AKG on the other hand used 1 x 4-pin XLR on the K1000 since its introduction around 1990.

I highly prefer the 4-pin one, but your milage may be different.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 5:13 PM Post #3 of 26

grawk

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The big advantage to 3pin from an amp builder's perspective is you can use combo jacks, so you can have xlr and 1/4" outs. You also have separate connectors for each side, which allows for complete dual mono.

There are no advantages on the headphone end of things, you just have a pair of heavy giant connectors. What I recommend is terminate your headphones in 4pins, and have adapters for 4->2x3, 1/4", and 1/8", plus a good 4pin extension cable.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 8:29 PM Post #4 of 26

ServinginEcuador

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My guess is that there are very few 4-pin options out there when compared to the multitude of 3-pin connectors. You can spend a small fortune on esoteric/high-end 3-pin connectors, but have something like 4-5 options for the 4-pin, none of which are very expensive.

When it comes to high-end it's knowing that rhodium and other exotic materials are available for 3-pin connectors you'll have people choose them because they will/might/could sound better, so why risk it.
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 1:46 AM Post #6 of 26

FallenAngel

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3-pin can carry ground.
wink.gif
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 6:46 AM Post #8 of 26

ford2

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sennshead /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What is the difference b/t using 2, 3-pin plugs or 1, 4-pin plug? And why is it that some guys are still using the 2 xlr plugs (like headroom)?

I've heard that the 1, 4-pin is newer and just as good as the two, hence my question.



Using 3 pin makes it very easy to plug into the balanced outputs of a preamp or dac.
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 9:53 AM Post #10 of 26

oldwine

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ford2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Using 3 pin makes it very easy to plug into the balanced outputs of a preamp or dac.


yup!! it think it is the main reason why most recable process are 2x 3pin XLRs.
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 11:18 AM Post #11 of 26

grawk

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Except that the genders are reversed for headphone amps with 3pin xlr, so you'd need an adapter either way to plug into balanced outputs from dacs etc.
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 11:51 AM Post #12 of 26
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ford2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Using 3 pin makes it very easy to plug into the balanced outputs of a preamp or dac.


Actually, you can't, as headphone 3-pin XLRs are gender-reversed. You could use gender-reversing adaptors though.

I prefer the idea of one 4-pin plug, but if you're going to be taking your balanced headphones to meets a lot, then 2x 3-pin, at least via an adaptor, might be more useful. If you want your headphones to be as convenient as possible when used in any portable fashion, 4-pin is less bulky.
 
Sep 18, 2009 at 1:23 AM Post #14 of 26

El_Doug

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sennshead /img/forum/go_quote.gif
are there adapters to go from 2, 3-pins to a 4-pin?


yes. but a much more useful setup would be to terminate with 4-pin, and then use an adapter to connect to 2x 3-pin.
 
Sep 18, 2009 at 5:29 AM Post #15 of 26

Zaubertuba

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Actually, you can't, as headphone 3-pin XLRs are gender-reversed. You could use gender-reversing adaptors though.


Or, you could use these.
wink.gif


But, to get back on-topic, I've been kind of wondering myself what the "standard" connector is. And why are headphone 3-pin XLR's gender-reversed, anyway? Why depart from EIA/AES standards?
 

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