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  1. #1

    balanced mono vs stereo 1/4" ???

    i havent came across an answer to this.. i hope someone here can help me. whats the difference between a stereo 1/4" cable and a balanced mono 1/4" cable? are all TRS cables MONO? i dont understand.

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    A TRS connector with a 2-core cable (ie a cable with a shield and two signal wires) can be used for either a balanced mono signal or an unbalanced stereo signal.

    If it is used for a balanced signal, the sleeve connects to the shield, ring to cold and tip to hot.

    If it is used for a stereo signal, the tip is the left channel, the ring is the right channel, and the sleeve is the shield.

    Our audio connection pages might be of some help as well.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  3. #3
    thanks for the fast response. i figured thats probably how it worked but no one could give me a straight answer. so the cables are wired exactly the same for mono balanced and stereo unbalanced? are any stereo cables balanced?

  4. #4
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    That's right, a standard TRS cable is wired the same whether it's used for balanced mono or unbalanced stereo.

    You can make just about any sort of cable you like. A balanced stereo cable would require four core wires in addition to the shield - hot and cold for both left and right.

    I don't think I've ever used such a cable exactly, but balanced stereo systems are common enough. Systems I've worked with generally use two XLR connectors to carry a stereo signal - one balanced cable for the left and one balanced cable for the right.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  5. #5
    very helpful. thanks alot.

  6. #6
    Hi Dave,

    You said, " If it is used for a balanced signal, the sleeve connects to the shield, ring to cold and tip to hot."

    I am assuming you're referring to a TRS-to-XLR connection.
    But what about TRS-to-TRS? Is the wiring T-to-T, R-to-R, and S-to-S? (for balanced TRS cables).

    Thank you.

  7. #7
    Yes, that is right. Tip to tip, ring to ring and sleeve to sleeve.

  8. #8
    Nick
    Guest

    Re: balanced mono vs stereo 1/4" ???

    Ok, I have a broken headphone cable but I am confused by its wiring. I had thought that TRS had three wires. This one has four. Why, and where would I connect those to a new male head to fix the cable? And now I think I'm really screwed because I'm not sure which color = which part. =( .. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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