In a balanced cable, thereare two inner conductors,often known as hot and cold.The screen is grounded, asbefore, but this time thescreen is not part of thesignal path. More importantly,balanced equipment isdesigned so that its hot andcold outputs carry the samesignal but with the cold signalphase inverted with respectto the hot signal. At thereceiving end, the balancedinput stage re-inverts the coldsignal and adds it to the hotsignal, thus restoring theoriginal signal. The clever part is that any interferencethat makes it through thescreen is likely to havevirtually the same influenceon the hot and the coldconductors (as they are inmore or less the sameplace). As a phase reversal isimplemented at the input of the receiving piece of equipment, any interferencecommon to both conductorswill cancel out. Theeffectiveness of this systemdepends, amongst other things, on how well balancedthe hot and cold arms of thecircuitry are at either end of the cable. Mic amps oftenhave a specification for common mode rejection,which is a measure of howeffectively the circuitry rejectsinterference that is commonto both hot and cold inputs.
A further type of cable knownas Star Quad was developedto further improve theimmunity to interference, andthis works by having twopairs of internal cables wiredin parallel, but spaced(actually woven or plaited) sothat any interference induceddue to the cable cores not
For the long cable runs used inlive rigs, it is not uncommon to findStar Quad cable in use. This is ascreened cable with four individualinternal conductors, two of whichare used for each of the elementsof the balanced signal.
The red cable above is for unbalanced signals, and has twoconductors: the wire screen andthe single core. The yellow cableis for balanced signals, andtherefore requires two centralcores in addition to its screen.
A simple helically-wound wirescreen (as in the yellow cable) isfine for general-purpose audiocabling, but a braided wire screen(as in the black cable) will tend togive less handling noise withdelicate mic signals.
Página 2 de 7Audio Cables & Wiring22/12/2001http://www.sospubs.co.uk/sos/jan02/articles/faq0102.asp