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Thread: Monitor Cables

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    Monitor Cables

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    Hey guys.

    I am using Yamaha HS5 because I'm in a small room. They're great, btw. But my main question is can I use TS cables with these? The manual says:

    Balanced connections: These effectively cancel noise picked up from external sources. Balanced connections allow for longer cable runs that would probably otherwise result in more noise being picked up.

    Unbalanced connections: Commonly used to connect electronic musical instruments and guitars, etc., to amplification equipment. If your cable runs do not extend past one or two meters, unbalanced cables can probably be used without any problems.

    My cable run is about 4ft, so I'm fine using these and won't harm the monitors? Would I notice any upgrade in sound if I switch to TRS?

    Thanks!

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    Use balanced cables if you can.

    Whether unbalanced cables will give you any problems depends not only on length, but on how noisy your system is. For example, with my first set up I used unbalanced and was noise free. At some point I replaced the computer and immediately started picking up interference which was only solved by switching to balanced.

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    Getting the cabling wrong won't harm the monitors. Balanced is the one to go for if the output from your system is balanced. If it's unbalanced there is no benefit. Realitically a 4 ft run could be via any old cable no need to fret on this kind of length. Balanced helps with hum and interference issues. However, sonically, you won't hear a difference if the system is quiet with unbalanced and you swap to balanced.

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    Does your interface have balanced output jacks?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    Does your interface have balanced output jacks?
    I'm not sure. I think so because they're line in (it's a Scarlette 18i8). Those are balanced, right?

    As long as it won't damage the speakers I'm okay. I hear no noise or interference of any kind.

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    Yes, the Scarlette has balanced outputs. So TRS cables are optimal. But you only need them if you have interference (noise).

    Worth a few buck to make sure you don't have added noise from PC or whatever.
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    Maybe someone with electronics experience can clarify (calling Dave.. @ecc83 ) - is there a ~3dB drop when using an unbalanced cable on a balanced out->in path, or do I have it mixed up. Not enough coffee yet to make a google exercise trustworthy...
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    Youll be fine over such a short distance. Just ont have them running parallel to electrical cables.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
    Maybe someone with electronics experience can clarify (calling Dave.. @ecc83 ) - is there a ~3dB drop when using an unbalanced cable on a balanced out->in path, or do I have it mixed up. Not enough coffee yet to make a google exercise trustworthy...
    Depends on the design of the balanced output. Impedance balanced outputs (which are very common on home studio gear) will give the same output level into both balanced and unbalanced inputs. An active balanced output will usually give a reduced level as you are only using one output and shorting the other to ground with a TS cable (so not really recommended). Transformer balanced outputs will give the same output level.
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    There is a secondary advantage to balanced working, it almost always (but not guaranteed!) eliminates ground (aka hum aka earth) loops.

    However, if OP has no such issues atmo, no worries but it is as well to bear in mind that the addition of other gear into the system could result in ground loop trouble.

    BTW K? The drop in level from a 'proper', i.e. two amp balanced output to unbalanced is 6dB. Then there are those very clever 'servo' systems that don't drop!

    Dave.

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