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  1. #1

    Correct way to wire XLR female to 1/4" TS male cable


    Is this the correct way to wire a cable with an XLR female to unbalanced 1/4" TS male:

    XLR 1/4"
    Pin 1 - Sleeve
    Pin 2 - Tip
    Pin 3 - Sleeve

    Or do I leave Pin 3 disconnected?



  2. #2

    You could leave the ground pin disconnected, using + and - as signal pins, but there is normally no need to and this may change the level of the signal.
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs) Chat at:
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler

  3. #3
    NO!!! (Depending...)

    This is one of those cases where people didn't think things thru before setting a standard. The correct answer depends on the situation, and if you get it wrong you can get into a lot of trouble.

    Dynamic mic: Connect pin 3 to the sleeve; it won't work otherwise.

    Dynamic mic into an input with phantom power: Connecting pin 3 to sleeve will burn out the mic. Leaving it open will make it work, though not well. Fortunately, you're not likely to have phantom power on a 1/4" jack.

    Transformer - balanced line output to unbalanced line input: Connect pin 3 to sleeve; it won't work otherwise.

    Electronically balanced line output to unbalanced line input: this is the way the vast majority of balanced outputs are these days. An electronically balanced output is really two unbalanced outputs with opposite polarity. Connecting pin 3 to the sleeve shorts one of the outputs, which at best will cause distortion and at worst will fry the output chip. Pin 3 should be left open. Exception: some old EV boards had a special circuit to make them work like transformer outputs. Since Mr. Mackie was working for them then, maybe Mackie boards are the same way, I'm not sure. If you have one of these, you may have to look carefully in the manual.

    Emergency technique, if you're not sure: put a 1K resistor between pin 3 and the sleeve. Then it will work, either way. On the other hand, it won't work as well as it could, either way.

    Sorry about the lengthy and confusing answer, but there's no end run around this issue. It was a stupid oversight on the part of the whole industry, and unfortunately neither the first nor last.

  4. #4
    Karl's right (sorry about that, I didn't read your post fully, thought you were trying to plug the other way)
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs) Chat at:
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler


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