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XLR soldering, grounding/soldering question
Old 24th March 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
XLR soldering, grounding/soldering question

hello hello
could someone be kind enough to explain to why some XLR cables have the shield soldered in to 1 pin, and others have half the shield soldered in to pin 1 and the other half on the shell/case of the connector? I dont really know how to describe what part I'm talking about, so I have uploaded 2 examples to keep it simple (both neutrik connectors)

Do these 2 methods of soldering /grounding have any difference in the sound?
Im asking cause I just got done soldering 4x 40cm xlr cables to connect my amps to a crossover. I soldered 2 one way, and the other 2 the other way. If anyone believes this will cause some difference in the sound coming out of the crossovers then I will fix it right away. thanks for your help.

example 1 (half in pin 1, half on the shell) :

example 2 (all the shield going in to pin 1) :

Last edited by sounds&words; 25th March 2012 at 01:43 AM..
Old 24th March 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
The first photo has a poorly solder wire on the shell connection!
Most XLR cables only connect the shield wire (it's not a ground wire) to pin #1.
The reason many don't connect the shield to the shell is because a metal shell might come in contact with something else made of metal that's at a different voltage potential.
Old 24th March 2012 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Nut
 
Tone Grown's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater ➑️
The first photo has a poorly solder wire on the shell connection!
Most XLR cables only connect the shield wire (it's not a ground wire) to pin #1.
The reason many don't connect the shield to the shell is because a metal shell might come in contact with something else made of metal that's at a different voltage potential.
I agree. It completely has to do with grounding. It will not change your sound one way or another. I would recommend making all your cables like picture 2 with out connecting the shell of the XLR connector. There is an argument that if 2 cables are plugged end to end then the connection does not have a shield around it for those 2 inches, but if you are plugging directly into gear then the gear most likely will provide the ground contact for the shell on either end.

i don't think you need to fix it. It will be fine the way it is unless you can hear any sort of hum.
Old 24th March 2012
  #4
Gear Nut
 
mixedbyolivier's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I know you're about grounding in this thread but your red/blue wires "should be" inverted;
Doesn't matter until your connectors are soldered the same way on both sides..ok.
Old 24th March 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
fastlanestoner's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Haha, the first thing I thought of was how bad that solder connection is too! No worries, everyone gets there! As for your question, it's either for "extra ground"... or it was convenience on the part of the manufacturer.

Either way it has a negligible difference.
Old 24th March 2012
  #6
Gear Head
 
mu-tron-kid's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The gear you are plugging these cables into will make the decision.

You would USUALLY want to pick EITHER pin 1 if grounding is taken care of by the circuitry inside the gear, or use the tab to the XLR case if the equipment uses its chassis for ground.
Rarely do you want BOTH.
If the piece of equipment you connect to has ground being sent to the chassis, then the first picture will take your ground to the chassis of the gear , IF the XLR receptacle on the equipment is of conductive material and touching the chassis.

If said piece of gear is rack mounted with other pieces of equipment that also send ground to the chassis, then you begin to have ground differentials between the pieces of equipment, the ground running (likely) through pin one into the gear's circuit board and out the ground of the power supply cable, etc. giving you many possible sources of ground "loop" / differential that may result in audible "Hum".

By having BOTH connected like photo 1, you are just adding more variables if and when you have to track down the cause of any interference.
Old 24th March 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
You know, most of the commercially made cables I've opened (to fix! Lol) have both pin 1 and the chassis tab connected with the shield. Just sayin...
Old 24th March 2012
  #8
Gear Head
 
mu-tron-kid's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Do those commercial cables have the "braided shield" going to pin 1 and a "drain wire" going to the chassis tab?
Old 24th March 2012 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
NEWTON IN ORBIT's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mu-tron-kid ➑️
The gear you are plugging these cables into will make the decision.

You would USUALLY want to pick EITHER pin 1 if grounding is taken care of by the circuitry inside the gear, or use the tab to the XLR case if the equipment uses its chassis for ground.
Rarely do you want BOTH.
If the piece of equipment you connect to has ground being sent to the chassis, then the first picture will take your ground to the chassis of the gear , IF the XLR receptacle on the equipment is of conductive material and touching the chassis.

If said piece of gear is rack mounted with other pieces of equipment that also send ground to the chassis, then you begin to have ground differentials between the pieces of equipment, the ground running (likely) through pin one into the gear's circuit board and out the ground of the power supply cable, etc. giving you many possible sources of ground "loop" / differential that may result in audible "Hum".

By having BOTH connected like photo 1, you are just adding more variables if and when you have to track down the cause of any interference.
I dunno...I always want pin one connected, no matter what.

If done right, pin one should take a very short trip to chassis from the connector anyways. Don't ever trust the tab and the connector to make solid contact.

Anything I build now has a tiny jumper wire from pin 1 to chassis, right next to the connector.

john
Old 25th March 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I've been making cables for 30+ years and I learned early on to never connect shell to ground. This is asking for ground loop problems.

There are rare conditions where you have to leave pin 1 disconnected. I just finished some wiring for a patchbay and the rack gear didn't work right. Pulling pin1 one fixed the problem. Ground loop - nasty buggers.
Old 25th March 2012 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
NEWTON IN ORBIT's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real MC ➑️
I've been making cables for 30+ years and I learned early on to never connect shell to ground. This is asking for ground loop problems.

There are rare conditions where you have to leave pin 1 disconnected. I just finished some wiring for a patchbay and the rack gear didn't work right. Pulling pin1 one fixed the problem. Ground loop - nasty buggers.
Yeah, pin one problem there.

You're right, sometimes at the receive end for example. I hate having to do this though, but yeah. It's either get inside the gear, and find the problem and fix it, use a transformer (expensive), or do what you did.

Forgot about this, good point. Or other quirky stuff, like unbalanced gear, to interface with balanced, strapping pin 3 to pin 1 etc. There are some times when you have to get creative.

It's amazing how much gear out there has pin one issues though. Even new gear, when you'd think we'd have sorted this over the last 3/4 century or so.

I haven't ever had the connector cause a ground loop issue, but I don't trust them at all to make a solid contact either. Filing / sanding away the paint on the chassis, using a small ground lug, lockwasher (with teeth) and jumper wire to pin one ensures a tight connection. I always connect to the actual pin, and never the connector, because the connector housing is so freaking flaky.

I just built a 11 space chassis for 500 modules, and though I didn't put a lug every connector, I put one in between each two, so a pair is connected to each lug.

Between this and using an external supply for mine, it is pretty damn quiet.

Like you, I didn't connect to the tab on the jacks either. Just redundant when each one is soldered to a ground lug.

Anyway, good point with the patchbay thing. Gotta do what ya gotta do.

john
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