Currently Being ModeratedMar 23, 2012 6:08 PM (in response to Line6david)Re: POD HD Pro 1/4 Inch Inputs and Outputs
All of the 1/4" ins and outs on the HD PRO are unbalanced, as is most guitar equipment. Is there a certain usage you need balanced ins/outs for?
This is slightly at odds with the last point on response you gave here http://line6.com/support/message/364919#364919 unless you were referring to the XLR outputs in that post?
Currently Being ModeratedApr 1, 2012 8:47 AM (in response to MikeWin)Re: POD HD Pro 1/4 Inch Inputs and Outputs
There may be some confusion in the way that I asked the original question. I was not asking if the 1/4" inputs and outputs are balanced, I was asking if they are TRS (3-wire) connections. It is true that in the past TRS (3-wire) connections were used as a balanced connection as an option to the standard XLR type of connection. The TRS connection has also been used for years as a stereo connection as in headphones, etc.
However, it wasn't until I purchased a DBX 131S equalizer that I saw the TRS 1/4" (3-wire) connection used differently. DBX is using their TRS (3-wire) connections as an unbalanced, high impedance, 1/4" connection. They also include the XLR balanced connections to cover all possible connected equipment. DBX explains it as follows.
In the typical 2-wire TS connection, the tip is the positive side of the signal and the sleve is the negative side of the signal. The cabling used has an inner conductor (the positive side of the signal) and a outer braided shield (the negative side of the signal). The shield is connected to earth ground. Any noise, which may enter the cable from nearby transformers, or lighting, is grounded away out of the good signal. However, because the shield is carrying the negative side of the good signal and also carrying the noise to ground, it is possible for some noise to enter the good signal.
DBX is using the TRS (3-wrie) connection to provide a cleaner signal in this way. The tip carries the positive side of the signal, the ring carries the negative and the sleve carries the shield ground. Because the two inner conductors are isolated from ground and protected by the shield (which is grounded), a cleaner end signal is produced. Of course you need a 3-conductor cable instead of a 2-conductor cable, but there are companies already making these.
When I was about ready to puchase the cables to connect up my rack equipment, I looked into the HD POD Pro 1/4" connections. With a flashlight, I can clearly see (3) contacts inside of the 1/4" jacks. I thought maybe Line6 was using the same technique as DBX with the 1/4" connection.
That was my reason for asking the original question.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 6, 2012 10:44 AM (in response to MikeWin)Re: POD HD Pro 1/4 Inch Inputs and Outputs
@ Jimsreynolds, +1 was referring to XLR outs on HD500 as balanced. 1/4" outs are TS or Tip/Sleeve connectors.
After examining a board up close I determined that the actual connectors are TRS (or could be because they do have three rings) but only the Tip and sleeve are connected at the PCB. i.e. the unbalanced outputs on the back of the 500 are labeled as they should be - tip/sleeve or unbalanced.
In nearly all situations with guitar equipment it would not matter if something is TRS or TS because the amplifier you are running back to is always unbalanced. Even if you ran a balanced TRS cable at -10dB from a balanced line connection on a recording console to the amp it is never going to be balanced. So the connection is unbalanced and signal loss will occur after roughly 6 - 10ft of cable length. It becomes "apparent" to most people after about 12 - 15ft. at 20ft there is going to be a noticeable loss of high frequency.
If we look at the back panel of the DBX:
It shows that the TS connector has a chasse ground. They are using the ring as a sleeve and grounding internally. The TS connectors of the HDPro have an internal or floating (i.e. not earthed) ground as well to shield from unwanted noise but the connection is not balanced on either device.
Essentially, electrically, they are the same. I find it hard to fathom that wiring the same connector in a slightly different way is going to lead to any audible results. But if DBX says it yields positive results then... cool.
Line 6 Customer Support
Currently Being ModeratedApr 8, 2012 7:48 AM (in response to Line6david)Re: POD HD Pro 1/4 Inch Inputs and Outputs
Thanks for your input on this. Your answer clears up my original question. I'm always looking for the most noise free connections and since I had to purchase cables anyway, I thought I may as well get the best.
Your statement about the guitar amp is valid. I have not seen anything but unbalanced connections either. However, with my rack, I'm using a vintage QSC stereo power amp which does have balanced, unbalanced, and terminal connnections.
One might think why is this guy not using a regular guitar amp? Because the HD POD Pro models the amplifiers so effectively, my sound is created in the POD Pro rather than in the amplifier. I can get as dirty or as clean as I want and the end result is truly awesome.
Thanks again David and I look forward to your input in the future.