balanced vs phono
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default balanced vs phono

    i have just got myself a firebox (thx cuttaboi) and am going to get myself 1/4 to phono cables for home use and for mixers which don't have 1/4 inputs....however, is the sound improved going through a balanced 1/4 cable? i know a&h mixers have 1/4 inputs so is it worth investing in the extra expense and bulk of having both kinds of cables in case the house rig/mixer has 1/4 inputs?

  2. #2
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    New Jersey/NYC


    I have never noticed a difference in all of the times I have run Phono to 1/4", nor the other way around. If the cables are solid the sound will be solid.

    But I've never done anything really complex in sound work, but for DJing, they all sound the same to me.
    It's the FAQ. Read it.

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  3. #3
    Tech Mentor djtimmmy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    North Central , WV


    The biggest difference in the discussion in using Balanced or Unbalanced is:

    Balanced has a higher Noise Rejection

    Unbalanced is considered High Impedance 10k ohms
    and Balanced is 600 ohms typically

    With Balanced audio you can also lift the ground on one connector to help eliminate ground loops (That nasty hum in the audio) or use an audio grade isolation transformer (Humbucker) in the most severe situations

    The the levels are different
    Unbalanced is typically 1v pp -10db is usually zero level

    With balanced 1.4 or higher depending on 0Db or a system that uses +4Db as the zero reference.

    When you have options where both are accessible go with balanced

    Here is a nice Write up from Rane on the subject
    Last edited by djtimmmy; 10-30-2009 at 09:21 AM.
    Current Gear: Vestax VCI-100 with DJTT overlay and firmware mod / M-audio Fast Track Pro / Traktor Pro / Windows XP Pro / Korg Nanopad / Akai LPD8 / American Audio MCD-510 / and craploads of other gear


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