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Question Recommend a shielded interconnect RCA to XLR or TRS

RimBlock

Active Member
Hi,

I have a pair of JBL studio monitors I use on my PC via an Emotiva preamp.

The Preamp has only RCA line out and the monitors have only TRS (1/4" jack) or XLR inputs.

I have cobbled together a couple of cables with an XLR to RCA adapter and unshielded RCA interconnects but due to the closeness to the PC and other possibly noisy devices I would like to use a shielded cable.

Cost is a factor and so 'special' audio cables (ie audioquest) are probably too much for the improvement they will give me.

Any recommendations ?.

Thanks
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
There is no advantage to converting Single Ended Unbalanced line to a TSR/XLR Balanced connector. In doing so you lose all the benefit of a Balanced Line. But it does no harm, it simply becomes the equivalent of a Unbalanced RCA Line.

There are commercially available cables that convert RCA to XLR or TRS. Though makes sure it is TRS and not TS.

You can find these cables at low/reasonable cost on Amazon, and if you search Google Images, you can find the proper internal configuration for wiring these cables. I think typically Pin 3 is grounded.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/HosaTech-GXM-133-RCA-XLR3M-Adapter/dp/B000068O4D/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Neutrik-Female-Phono-Socket-Adaptor/dp/B007WTQ1OG/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MainCore-Socket-Cable-Adaptor-Adapter/dp/B079YBSBX5/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Single-Female-Adapter-Converter-Cable/dp/B073Z9GQNZ/

Steve/bluewizard
 
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RimBlock

Active Member
Thanks for the reply.

I have some adapters currently but am looking for some shielded cables. Do you know if the commercially available XLR / TRS to Phono patch cables are actually shielded ?.

Whilst I cannot get the advantages of a balanced connection I would like to provide some protection with shielding as the cables are in a noisy environment and the cables I am currently using are not shielded.

Thanks
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the reply.

I have some adapters currently but am looking for some shielded cables. Do you know if the commercially available XLR / TRS to Phono patch cables are actually shielded ?.

Whilst I cannot get the advantages of a balanced connection I would like to provide some protection with shielding as the cables are in a noisy environment and the cables I am currently using are not shielded.

Thanks
I gave you links to Connectors and Cables. If you have the adapters (HosaTech RCA/XLR) then you can use any shielded RCA cable you want.

This cable is shielded -
https://www.amazon.co.uk/MainCore-Socket-Cable-Adaptor-Adapter/dp/B079YBSBX5/?tag=av0c-21

This cable is shielded -
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Single-Female-Adapter-Converter-Cable/dp/B073Z9GQNZ/?tag=av0c-21

You cobbled together some RCA/XLR cable but did it with NOT-Shielded cable - don't do that. If you have the connectors, take the cables apart and use Shielded Cable. Or simply buy some cables.

Or simply use the RCA/XLR adapter similar to Hosa, and used common RCA shielded cable.

Search Amazon, you will find lots of options -

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01CSKTY3S/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01CT4IHV8/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077GWTBF4/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SiYear-Unbalanced-Cable,Dual-Connection-Microphone/dp/B07D7T2W8G/

It seems to me you have locked your way into one way of thinking about the problem and that is clouding your judgement relative to easy to find solutions.

How have the options I've offered not solved the problem? I'm not trying to be a wiseguy, that is a legitimate question. Perhaps I have misinterpreted the problem?

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Khazul

Well-known Member
When I make unbal to bal cables (for eg RCA to TRS or TS to TRS), I used balanced cable and connect +ve to hot, gnd to cold and gnd to screen (ie cold and screen connected together at the unbalanced end).

In theory this is still supposed to still give you a degree of rejection of induced noise (depending on exactly how good the input is - for some it makes no real difference). For this reason, I don't buy cables for this setup and instead just make them. For cable, I always use van damme balanced mic cable (I used to buy it by the reel for my studio). Generally neutrik connectors where possible (easy of assembly, known good brand in pro-audio world and look aesthetically decent too).

On a 10M cable in studio (TS outputs of a Roland drum synth to TRS input of a mixing desk) I have noticed a significant improvement over using the simpler unbalanced cable construction.

On the like of amazon etc when I see cables like described for this, then often its just a mono cable with cold and screen joined at the balanced end but you never know until you get it usually.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Same as @Khazul, bought 10m of Mogami 2549 twin core shielded cables (£2.50 ish per m) some new Neutrik rca ends and second hand Neutrik three pin xlr (job lot off eBay) and made them up connecting the cold and shield to the earth on the rca (outer part).
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
All of the "wiring solutions" above are about somehow connecting a balanced XLR to an unbalanced RCA but are necessarily unbalanced (mismatched impedances). The performance and noise rejection properties are not reduced by this configuration and "attempts" to suppress noise induced by other sources have had no effect - if you have no noise, you wouldn't have had it anyway.

To benefit from the shielded balanced wiring you need to insert a balun, in its simplest form a suitably wired transformer that effects the conversion. The connection to the XLR side is really balanced (i.e. identical impedance), the connection to the RCA side is unbalanced, of course, so you keep that connection short.

You can get baluns from: CANFORD BALANCED TO UNBALANCED CONVERTERS - Canford or any supplier of professional audio equipment. Unfortunately though, a decent balun isn't cheap (and if it's cheap, it typically isn't decent).
 

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