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balanced xlr vs trs?
Old 22nd June 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 
ppingpoong's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
balanced xlr vs trs?

Does anyone know what the main differences are? I'm pretty noob when it comes to these things. I'm running a fmr rnp which has a trs out and was wondering if this is actually affecting my sound as much as I think it is.
Old 22nd June 2011
  #2
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Liquid Shadow's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Balanced XLR and TRS are exactly the same electronically, the only difference is the connectors.
Old 22nd June 2011 | Show parent
  #3
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Jimsi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
same principle, just different ends...I actualy like trs better because it's used in most 48point patchbays and is easy to connect...
Old 22nd June 2011 | Show parent
  #4
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Bibster's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimsi ➑️
I actualy like trs better because it's used in most 48point patchbays and is easy to connect...
I hate them for being tricky to solder and XLR's are latched (most of the time)

TRS are more low profile: You can have WAY more connectors in the same space, hence they use them in patchbays.
Old 22nd June 2011 | Show parent
  #5
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captainate's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you're using a patch between your fancy ribbon mic and your preamp, and inadvertently have phantom on while you plug in a TRS connector, you'll likely blow the ribbon. XLR's don't short during connection, so you'll never have that problem. Not that I advise leaving phantom on - ever.

That's about the only operational difference I can think of (aside from what's been mentioned)
Old 22nd June 2011 | Show parent
  #6
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Matti's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Yep

Matti
Old 22nd June 2011 | Show parent
  #7
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AlexK's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
TRS (and TS) jacks short for a brief moment as you plug them in, which can in some situations cause some fairly major issues (one was mentioned above).

Also, XLRs lock in place, and are so much easier to solder...
Old 22nd June 2011 | Show parent
  #8
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Jimsi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
trs should not be used on mics with phantom through a bay, just gear...get a XLR Patchbay for that...
Quote:
Originally Posted by captainate ➑️
If you're using a patch between your fancy ribbon mic and your preamp, and inadvertently have phantom on while you plug in a TRS connector, you'll likely blow the ribbon. XLR's don't short during connection, so you'll never have that problem. Not that I advise leaving phantom on - ever.

That's about the only operational difference I can think of (aside from what's been mentioned)
Old 22nd June 2011 | Show parent
  #9
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captainate's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimsi ➑️
trs should not be used on mics with phantom through a bay, just gear...get a XLR Patchbay for that...
I'd never patch things that way, but it's good general info to have IMO
Old 22nd June 2011
  #10
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superwack's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ppingpoong ➑️
Does anyone know what the main differences are? I'm pretty noob when it comes to these things. I'm running a fmr rnp which has a trs out and was wondering if this is actually affecting my sound as much as I think it is.
FYI the RNC does NOT have TRS outputs... they are TS (unbalanced!) there is a TRS Insert for send/return operation this could be what is affecting your sound!

check out the manual on how to hook it up:

"Hooking up the RNC to gear other than TRS inserts must be done with a pair of TS (Tip-Sleeve) jacks for each RNC channel. Thus, the full stereohook-up of an RNC must be done with four TS 1/4'' cables."

Hope that helps.
Old 22nd June 2011 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Head
 
snoopynow's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
TRS jacks were designed for telephone exchanges, which gives us the normalling contacts so useful in patch bays, but means they were intended to be plugged in and out fairly frequently. If they remain plugged in a particular position for long periods of time, when ultimately they are moved they tend to need some serious cleaning. Generally XLRs don't suffer from this. There are two different models of TRS jacks, and using the wrong one can bend the contacts out of place on the socket, making the normalling unreliable, or, in the other direction, not switch the normalling contacts at all. All three pole XLRs are compatible.

Generally, XLRs have better cable clamps.

XLRs being Male-female, they work as their own extension leads. Jack cables being male-male you need a back to back to extend it; but you never find yourself having led a cable round a long and convoluted path having to get a couple of gender changers to plug it in.

XLRs are a lot heavier; when you drop a multisnake down from the balxony they can be lethal.

All in all, I tend to use XLRs, but they are quite a bit more expensive (even the cheap copy ones).
Old 22nd June 2011 | Show parent
  #12
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3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
hey, don't forget that trs short briefly during connection and can blow ribbon mics with phantom power if you patch it that way.

oh wait, a few people said that first LoL
Old 23rd June 2011 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
ppingpoong's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
oh yeah its TS not TRS... whats the difference ? :S eh i'm gonna go consult my manuals. pretty much im going and FMR RNP into an FMR RNLA then into a blackbird.
Old 23rd June 2011 | Show parent
  #14
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bcgood's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Balanced In audio, the opposite of Unbalanced. For us balanced refers to a type of AC electrical signal having two "legs" independent of ground. One is generally considered positive (+) and the other negative (-) in voltage and current flow with respect to ground. Unlike unbalanced audio lines there is no "signal" carried in the shield or ground connection unless there is a fault. The main benefit is that any noise that gets induced into the line will be common to both the positive and negative sides and thus canceled when it arrives at its destination, assuming the destination is balanced. This phenomenon is called "Common Mode Rejection" and basically just means that any signals common to both the positive and negative legs of balanced lines get canceled. This happens because when the receiving device looks at the signal the common noise actually shows up as out of phase with itself, and gets cancelled. Think of it as if the negative (-) signal gets inverted to positive (+) before use, which puts the desired audio signal in phase with the already positive other leg and at the same time causes the undesired common noise to become out of phase with itself. Clear as mud?

Balanced lines are generally much better for long cable runs due to their ability to reject induced noises. XLR and TRS type cables are designed to transmit balanced audio from one balanced device to another. A standard 1/4-inch guitar cable is an example of an unbalanced cable.

---------------------

TS (Tip Sleeve) and TRS (Tip Ring Sleeve)

---------------------

XLR
Trademarked name for circular 3-pin connectors developed by Cannon (now owned by ITT). "XLR" was originally nothing more than Cannon's part designation for the connector, which meant "X Series," "Latch," and "Rubber." In fact, you'll also sometimes see these connectors referred to as "Cannon" connectors. XLR has since evolved into a generic industry term, and many manufacturers now make this style connector. In audio work, XLR connectors are normally used for transmitting balanced mic and line level signals.

Pin 1 of an XLR connector is always ground/shield. The connectors are designed so that pin 1 makes its connection first when inserted in a jack; this ensures that the ground connection is made first, helping prevent pops and thumps in the audio chain.

Either pin 2 or pin 3 may be hot (determined by the gear the connector is plugged into), with the remaining pin being cold. To maintain correct polarity in a signal path, it is important to be aware of which pin is hot or cold on all connections, and wire your cables accordingly.

--------------------------

A side note about XLR pin 2 and gear..

If you are running your gear on balanced XLR connectors, are they wired Pin 2 or Pin 3 hot? Although Pin 2 is more common in the United States, we do see a fair amount of equipment using Pin 3 for hot. If the hot connections are reversed by using incorrect cabling, problems will result!

Moral of the story: Know your gear!

Also for what it's worth. Know thyself

Old 23rd June 2011 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
duff mcshark's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ppingpoong ➑️
oh yeah its TS not TRS... whats the difference ? :S eh i'm gonna go consult my manuals. pretty much im going and FMR RNP into an FMR RNLA then into a blackbird.
TS = Tip / Sleeve
TRS = Tip / Ring / Sleeve

TS (instrument cables) is your unbalanced connector and TRS is balanced or used for stereo applications (headphone connectors).
Old 3rd January 2013
  #16
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richgilb's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I am about to put an unbalanced 1/4" jack device in my outboard chain. It is an early SPL Vitalizer to connect to an eq and a compressor. It will be the only unit that does not have xlr. The jack leads will be very short, as the units live in the same rack. To what degree will this bottleneck the quality of the chain?
Old 3rd January 2013
  #17
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NYCruiser's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
It won't be a problem. Keep the unbalanced cables as short as possible.
Old 3rd January 2013 | Show parent
  #18
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb ➑️
I am about to put an unbalanced 1/4" jack device in my outboard chain. It is an early SPL Vitalizer to connect to an eq and a compressor. It will be the only unit that does not have xlr. The jack leads will be very short, as the units live in the same rack. To what degree will this bottleneck the quality of the chain?
Some large consoles have Unbalanced Out on the bays to outboard gear...
Old 3rd January 2013
  #19
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richgilb's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Cheers. I'll just get a nice posh pair of short leads and not worry about it then..
Old 1st February 2013
  #20
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Slug1's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
You could make, or order, a set of ground lifted TRS to XLR, where you ground lift the TRS connectors that will go into the unbalanced gear. Some might call it overkill, but its a good way to properly connect unbalanced gear to balanced gear.
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