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3.5mm to 1/4" Distortion

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Re: 3.5mm to 1/4" Distortion

Postby sri ram » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:25 pm

The terminals of the 3.5mm plug will be wired directly to the corresponding terminals of the quarter-inch 'stereo' plug, but you are going to plug it into a balanced input which is only interested in the difference between signals presented on its hot (tip) and cold (ring) contacts. A balanced input is a differential input -- it only 'hears' the difference between the two signal wires, and completely ignores anything the same!

Mackie has the same port for balanced and unbalanced source or cable. So in case if I buy mackie, is it fine to use my cable (Ugreen 3.5mm to 6.5mm Stereo Audio Cable)?
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Re: 3.5mm to 1/4" Distortion

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:06 pm

sri ram wrote:
The terminals of the 3.5mm plug will be wired directly to the corresponding terminals of the quarter-inch 'stereo' plug, but you are going to plug it into a balanced input which is only interested in the difference between signals presented on its hot (tip) and cold (ring) contacts. A balanced input is a differential input -- it only 'hears' the difference between the two signal wires, and completely ignores anything the same!

Mackie has the same port for balanced and unbalanced source or cable. So in case if I buy mackie, is it fine to use my cable (Ugreen 3.5mm to 6.5mm Stereo Audio Cable)?

No - if you want a commonly available cable you'll need something like this

https://www.kenable.co.uk/product_info. ... ts_id=6793

(That was the first one I found - there are almost certainly better quality alternatives available).
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Re: 3.5mm to 1/4" Distortion

Postby jdrum » Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:36 am

I fell into this trap. Hooray! Now my question is, when would you actually use this kind of cable? To plug a headphone jack directly into a stereo speaker?
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Re: 3.5mm to 1/4" Distortion

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:09 am

A cable with a 3.5mm TRS plug at one end and a quarter-inch TRS plug at the other is really only used to connect an unbalanced stereo source, like an mp3-player, into a device with an unbalanced stereo input.
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Re: 3.5mm to 1/4" Distortion

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:26 am

jdrum wrote:I fell into this trap. Hooray! Now my question is, when would you actually use this kind of cable? To plug a headphone jack directly into a stereo speaker?

To add to Hugh's response, I can think of a couple of examples which both involve headphone sockets...

It could be used to connect a 3.5mm headphone output to a headphone splitter/amplifier (like the Behringer HA400 for example) which has a 1/4" unbalanced stereo input.

It could also be used to connect something like a cassette deck/minidisc/CD player with a 1/4" headphone output to something like an external speaker with a 3.5mm stereo input.
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