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#2143825 - 12/15/09 10:42 AM Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable?
PhilippE123 Offline
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Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 11
Loc: Vienna, Austria
I've got plenty of balanced studio cables (TRS) lying around from the likes of Mogami to Monster etc, and when I am short a guitar cable I use them.

I've used them to plug my guitar into my amp, hook up pedals, and to record by going direct. While this works ok, is there any reason why this might be a bad idea as far as the sound quality goes? Am I better off sticking with strictly a guitar cable and why?

Thanks for any advice.
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#2143834 - 12/15/09 10:56 AM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: PhilippE123]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Y'know, it seems to me that as long as the small spacer in between the "ring" and "sleeve" of the TRS plugs doesn't present a poor connection for the ground contact-tab of a given 1/4" TS jack, it shouldn't be a problem, really. If you don't hear any extra noise, hum, interference, then I'd say if it works, it's more or less OK.
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#2143836 - 12/15/09 11:02 AM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
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No problem at all.
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#2143996 - 12/15/09 02:40 PM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: Bill@Welcome Home Studios]
PhilippE123 Offline
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Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 11
Loc: Vienna, Austria
thanks for the hep guys.
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#2144008 - 12/15/09 03:13 PM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: PhilippE123]
The Geoff Offline
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Hep?

I haven't heard that for about 30 years!

G.
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#2145514 - 12/20/09 02:24 AM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: The Geoff]
Mike Peralta Offline
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Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Orange, California
As far as I know, the balanced cables are really nothing more than stereo cables.... since being balanced basically means two copies of the signal get sent down the cable (1 normal, 1 inverted). So since your guitar is just outputting mono, the cable itself will carry it in mono, just not using one of the paths that's all.
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#2145598 - 12/20/09 10:04 AM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: Mike Peralta]
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mike Peralta
As far as I know, the balanced cables are really nothing more than stereo cables.... since being balanced basically means two copies of the signal get sent down the cable (1 normal, 1 inverted). So since your guitar is just outputting mono, the cable itself will carry it in mono, just not using one of the paths that's all.


without a TRS jack, no contact will be made to the ring connection. If anything -is- touching the ring connection, it would be the sleeve, so that would be the minus signal. again, no problem.
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#2145610 - 12/20/09 11:39 AM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: Bill@Welcome Home Studios]
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
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It should work OK on the majority of guitars (and basses). If you have active pickups, they may use a jack that is wired so that the connection between ring and sleeve is used to turn on the battery (most stompboxes use this type of wiring also).

In that case, the circuit will not be made to turn on the battery, and it will not work. It could be made to work by shorting the ring to ground (but the cable would then be unusable as a balanced cable).
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#2145624 - 12/20/09 12:21 PM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: MoodyBluesKeys]
Larryz Offline
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Welcome aboard Mike Peralta....

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#2145645 - 12/20/09 01:08 PM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: MoodyBluesKeys]
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
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Registered: 08/23/03
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Originally Posted By: MoodyBluesKeys
It should work OK on the majority of guitars (and basses). If you have active pickups, they may use a jack that is wired so that the connection between ring and sleeve is used to turn on the battery (most stompboxes use this type of wiring also).

In that case, the circuit will not be made to turn on the battery, and it will not work. It could be made to work by shorting the ring to ground (but the cable would then be unusable as a balanced cable).


Depends. If the physical action of the insertion of the plug pushes the ring tab back to force it into contact with the sleeve tab, (as so many switchcraft all metal bodied jacks operate) then it will work. If it works a different way (one of the plastic housing jacks) then I'm not sure. I realize that I'm talking about a switching jack, not a three wire jack, but that is what -should- be used for switching.
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#2145687 - 12/20/09 05:27 PM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: Bill@Welcome Home Studios]
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
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Quote:
I realize that I'm talking about a switching jack, not a three wire jack, but that is what -should- be used for switching.


Absolutely ..... key word being _should_ Not sure about most recent equipment, most of the vintage stuff I ever worked on just used the Switchcraft metal style - some of them occasionally would use a switched type, most seemed to use the stereo - probably a bean counter decided the few cents more that the switch type cost was reason to go with the cheaper jack.
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Howard Grand; Hamm SK1-73; Kurz PC2 PC2X PC3 PC3X PC361;
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Epi LP guit & 5s bass Blues Jr & Trace amp 2x10,1x15
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#2145695 - 12/20/09 05:47 PM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: MoodyBluesKeys]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Good call, MBK; a "stereo" jack is, in fact, what is typically used with active EMG pickups, working as you describe, and not a specific "switching" jack.

As such, I guess that a balanced TRS cable/plug could be a problem with most guitars that have active EMG pickups.
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#2146355 - 12/22/09 10:47 AM Re: Can I use a balanced cable as guitar cable? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
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Loc: Hwy 49, California
Not trying to derail this thread but quick question for MBK, do you have any idea what a Kurzweil SP88 Stage Piano might be worth these days?

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