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Keyboard cables and places to sit your butt.


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Ive never had a keyboard amp that gave me the flexibility to plug into it with an XLR connector, until now. I recently bought two QSC k10's and am trying to figure out the best connection. The keyboard I use is a yamaha s90es and has what looks like two unbalanced 1/4 inch stereo outs. Is there any reason why I should buy a 1/4 inch to xlr connection cable to hook the keyboard up? I have the choice between using the 1/4 inch or xlr input. I do notice a tiny amount of hiss but when playing disappears immidealtely upon playing. Also are all cables created equally? Most cables seem to be marketed towards guitar players. Is it worth the extra money to upgrade to a more expensive cable?


Lastly what are people using to sit on (if they are in fact sitting whey they play)? My x style chair is starting to break down a little.





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Lastly what are people using to sit on (if they are in fact sitting whey they play)? My x style chair is starting to break down a little.


Careful with that! I was sitting on an old beat-up x-style bench at a rehearsal studio, and the thing completely collapsed on me. Smacked my head pretty hard, it was not fun. The rails underneath are held to the bench with some allen screws, and these had gotten loose.


Based on recommendations here on the Keyboard Corner, I am now sitting on one of these drum thrones (with back rest), and I love it.






Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.


My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/


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+1 on the Roc n Soc Nitro. Been using it for a couple of years.


If your S90es has unbalanced outs (pretty sure that's the case) there would be no benefit to use 1/4 to XLR cables. Guitar cables should work fine. Get yourself some quality cables not because they will sound much better but because they should last longer.

I've had great luck with Pro Co Excellines & Lifelines and Monster's "keyboard" series. These are available at almost every major retailer. Overkill? maybe. Almost every Hosa cable and house brand cheap guitar cable failed me at some point.


I'm currently using a custom Mogami snake made by Redco.

The convenience of a single cable path for 4 lines is great for my situation.


On the k10's, I believe the "mix out" is balanced if you need it to go to the FOH mixing. The "thru out" matches your input. That means it would send your unbalanced signal all the way to FOH. That would have the potential for a lot of problems.


You could also use a DI, but the "Mix Out" works very well.

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Note that an XLR connector is designed to take in mic-level signals, as opposed to the type of signal which comes out of one of the 1/4 inch output jacks on the back of your S90es.


There are some benefits to using balanced cable connections once the cables get long enough. A 1/4 inch jack and the cable it is connected to can be balanced if it has a 3 part TRS (tip ring sleeve) connector, which looks similar to the jack for a stereo headphone jack. But I looked at the manual for the S90es, and it did not say anything about the 1/4 inch output jacks being balanced jacks, so I am guessing they are unbalanced jacks, which is typical for 1/4 inch connectors.


Note that there are cables you can buy which have a 1/4 inch (mono) plug at one end and an XLR plug at the other end, but I was told these are intended for low-quality kareoke mics. Buying one of these will not benefit you.


I would just stick with the standard unbalanced 1/4 inch connectors you have been using between your keyboard and your amp. If you want to connect a mic, use the XLR connection for that.

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To the OP:


I'm looking at the User Manual at the moment. If the Yamaha has unbalanced outputs, use either a mono 1/4" phone plug for connection, or; if you do use an XLR connection, the switch should be in LINE position (as opposed to MIC position), and also there should be a cable made up that has pins 1 and 3 shorted to each other and used for the ground side, with pin 2 being the hot side of the audio.


My Kurzweil keyboards have balaced output. For balanced output, you can use either TRS 1/4" cabling or XLR cabling.


As far as the difference between 1/4" and XLR - XLR are NOT limited to use for only microphones, although they are most commonly used for microphone connections. The primary difference is in professional permanent installations - and is stress related rather than electrical in nature: the 1/4" connectors will eventually have a higher probability of the connection failing because the spring connections in the jack lose their tension when left plugged in for years. The XLR connector was designed for either temporary or permanent connectors. Also the XLR has a latching device to assure that the plug isn't accidentally removed.


Above is from the viewpoint of an electronic tech with over 40 years experience.


Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."


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I believe the XLR/1/4" combo jack on the K10 will accept either mic level or line level via XLR - just set the switch appropriately prior to bringing up gain. That being said, harmonizer's right that there is no explicit reference that the S90es has balanced outs. Which would seem to imply a direct box (I might suggest Radial) if you feel the need to convert to XLR, but is unnecessary if you're just using the K10 to amplify your S90.


There was a recent cable thread wasn't there? IMHO, for keyboards the myriad topics of capacitance, "sound" of a cable, transparency of pure silver and other audiophile-type distinctions are meaningless. While a cable may color the sound of a guitar with passive pickups, at the impedances that keyboards function the primary consideration is a well built-cable with adequate shielding. I use Mogami - I got a great deal many years ago. Canare is great quality as well. Monster is good but overpriced, but their lifetime replacement thing can be useful. In my experience, most technical problems on the gig are low-tech - cheap cables are one of the most common sources of grief.


Oh, and I'm a drum throne guy too. Every X-bench I've used has eventually fall apart, and a few are dangerously unstable at the edges. I use a double-braced DW throne, which is heavy and bullet-proof enough to probably out-live me. I think it outweighs my Kurzweil.


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I've been using the Roc n Soc Nitro, too. My buddy threw it into the deal when he sold me his drum set. It's a great throne. But it's not doing the trick for me as a keyboard seat.


I really need to be able to slide myself over on the seat. That's just not possible with a throne like that. I'm going to try a bench-style x seat.

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