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Total newb question re balanced/unbalanced

Discussion in 'Recording' started by i64X, May 25, 2006.

  1. i64X

    i64X Guest

    First let me just say I've been reading this board for the past hour, and although I understand these things (balanced, unbalanced, XLR, TS, TLS, etc.) a LOT more than I did when I woke up this morning, I still have a question regarding my own equipment and if the setup I have will work or not.

    Last night I bought a pair of Rokit 5's that I want to use with my PC. They have a balanced XLR and TLS input on the back, as well as an unbalanced Phono input. All of that I understand.

    Today I picked up an EMU 0404 sound card with 1/4" TS unbalanced outputs. I was going to pick up the 1212M (has 1/4" TLS balanced outputs) but they didn't have one in stock (and it's $100 more).

    The kid at Guitar Center also sold me some TS to XLR cables to go from the unbalanced TS outputs on my sound card to the balanced XLR inputs on my monitors.

    Two questions:

    Will this work? From what I've been reading I'll end up at -6dB with the difference. Would this affect sound quality at all?

    Would I be better off going from a TS connection on the sound card side to a phono connection on the monitor side (unbalanced to unbalanced)?

    This is going in a home setup where I'll just be messing around, so there's little RF stuff to interfere with my small 4-5 foot cable runs - just an FYI.

    Please advise. :)
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    First...it's TRS, not TLS. It stands for Tip, Ring, Sleve. They have 3 contact areas compared to a TS plug which only has two.

    With the soundcard that you have, the TS to XLR cables are going to work just fine. There would be no performance gains in using the RCA jacks and there won't be any 6db loss. You've got exactly what you need.

    Happy recording.

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