balanced outs into unbalanced rca ins on my soundcard?

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by johneeeveee, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Guest

    ... i like what i've heard about the m audio dmp3 mic pre, and am wondering if i would have a problem running out of the balanced outs on the pre to the unbalanced ins on my audiophile 24/96 card using a quality 1/4 inch to rca cable?
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Most modern gear interfaces ok using unbalanced cables on balanced I/O. You may have a 6db-10db drop in signal though. As to potential problems with noise, buzz and hum, that is more of an unknown. You may need a balanced cable with the shield lifted on one end.
  3. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :) Yes, you can use a tip/sleeve 1/4" plug on the pre out end of your cable, and adapt to the RCA, or get a cable 1/4" Phone to RCA, better connection. The output is +4db, so be sure to set your sound card inputs to accept this level. If you only have -10db input capability, you may need to step down the output level of the pre to match your card.
    This can be done with a DIY pad, ask in on the tech board how to build this, or a line level shifter like EBTECH, a 2 channel version about 60 or $70. This will take the balanced out of the pre and provide a -10db level out at the shifter. Hopefully your card will have the +4db input capability.

  4. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Guest, would i be just as well off finding a descent mic pre with unbalanced outs, and using a short 1/4 inch to rca cable into my 24/96 card?
  5. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :) Your fine, your M-audio pre is designed to unbalance with a tip/sleeve standard phone plug. The only concern is the input sensitivity of your sound card. Consult the manual for your card, or check the card settings. It must be able to handle +4db input, everything else should be cool. If it does not handle +4db, you must step down the output of the pre as I mentioned. A cable run, unbalanced, of ten feet should not cause effect to the sound.

  6. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    The Rolls MB15 does the consumer to line conversion for a reasonable price.

    Rolls MB15 Datasheet

    I scored a nice Rane BB44X + Option 88 from eBay that also does the same thing, but with a lot more channels.

    Rane BB44X Datasheet
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