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Audio Cables

Audio Cables

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Published by: smithesh govindan c e on Jul 05, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Audio Cables
There are two main types of audio cable we will look at:
Single core / shielded 
(unbalanced) and
One pair / shielded 
Single Core / Shielded Cable
In a single core / shielded cable, the single core is used for the +ve, or 'hot', and the shield isused for the -ve, or 'cold'.This type of cable is used for unbalanced audio signals.Single core / shielded cable
One Pair / Shielded Cable
A one pair / shielded cable has one core as the +ve, and the other core is -ve. The shield isearthed.This type of cable is used for balanced audio signals.
One pair / shielded cable
XLR to 1/4" Mono Jack
The most comon way to wire a 3-pin XLR to a 1/4 inch mono jack (or 6.5mm jack), is to join the -ve and shield together.This can be done by either soldering the shield and -ve wires to the sleeve of the jack......
Or by soldering a jumper on the XLR.....Either way gives you the same result: An unbalanced audio cable.
XLR to 1x RCA
When connecting a 3-pin XLR to one RCA, you use the same wiring as if you were connecting anXLR to a 1/4" jack.The -ve and shield of the XLR are joined together, either at the XLR end or the RCA end. Theeasiest way is to solder a link between pins 1 and 3 (shield and -ve) of the XLR, rather than tryingto solder the shield and -ve wire to the sleeve contact of the RCA.This produces an unbalanced audio cable.
Stereo Jack to 2x RCA
When a stereo 1/4" jack is being used for a stereo signal (as opposed to a balanced monosignal), the left and right parts of the stereo signal can be split off to two seperate connectors. For example, a stereo headphone output can be split into left and right connectors, and one possible
use for this would be to use these two independant connectors to feed left and right monitoringspeakers.
Audio Connectors
There are a variety of different audio connectors available. The most common types are
3-pin XLR 
, and
6.5mm jacks
(also known as ¼" jacks).
3-pin XLR 
3-pin XLR connectors are mainly used for balanced audio signals. Using a balanced signalreduces the risk of inference.
Pin 1 is the earth (or shield)
Pin 2 is the +ve (or 'hot')
Pin 3 is the -ve (or 'cold).There are a number of different XLR's - 3-pin, 4-pin, 5-pin etc

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