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Thread: balanced vs unbalanced ins/outs

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    balanced vs unbalanced ins/outs

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    Hi!
    Now, what I know about this, is that balanced is better, and that it is better when it comes to noise, hum etc.. (long cable runs)
    I also know that balanced has a larger dynamic range, some 13-18 dB, or something like that, can't remember exactly. (Feel free to let me know what the exact figure is).

    I have unbalanced ins/outs, since I have short cable runs. My "problem", or question if you like, is that I can never output what my preamp considers 0 dB, if I go anywhere near that figure, the signal has peaked some 3-6 dB ago.... The result is, of course, that I never get to "push" the output stage of the preamp, which I would like to do, since that gives som artifacts that I like..

    My question is, do I have to get a balanced converter to do this, or could I put something (not too expensive) in the signal chain, between the preamp and the input, that lowers the signal enough, without degrading the signal much?

    Anyone else had similar problems?
    All thoughts are welcome and appreciated.

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    Trying to figure out what you're doing....what pre are you using and does your mic require phantom power?

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    I am assuming you pre has balanced outs at +4 and your card has unbalanced ins at -10 (it's very early and I can't remember which is dbv and which is dbu) You have a mismatch in what each considers line level. the easiest way to fix this is to take a compressor (or something else with an output gain control) and put it between to pre and the card.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    Unless you keep everything at line level or not line level, you will run into these kinds of problems. Sometimes theres a switch on the back of your equipment to change from -10 to +4.

    Danny

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    Problem solved

    My conclusion is that, instead of putting something between the preamp and converter (or in the pre's insert), I'm going to buy a separate balanced converter, that has SPDIF out... That way, I can still use my unbalanced inputs for stuff that doesn't need to be balanced, while at the same time having two balanced ins via the soundcards SPDIF...

    Thanks for your replies, guys! (or girls, for that matter.. )

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