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HD500X into PA system


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What settings should I use? 


So far I've tried using the 1/4" out and the XLR out in a live setting, and had far better results using the 1/4". Using the XLR, I couldn't get the output loud enough - even with the master set to full the sound guy was saying that he had to turn me up on the desk to the point of clipping. Which isn't good. I had the XLR switch set to ground, could that be the problem?


I did not have the same problem when I used the 1/4" out into the desk, the levels were spot on and I had my master switch only set to halfway. I have the 1/4" switch set to "Line" instead of "Amp", is that what you would use when plugging into the PA? 


I'd be happy to use the 1/4" instead of the XLR out, but sounds guys seem to favour using XLR. Maybe better signal quality?


Anyway, if you've had experience using your POD straight into the desk I'd like to hear about your experiences, what settings and cables you prefer to use, etc. 


Thanks guys.







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This topic comes up often, because you'd intuitively expect roughly equal output from the XLR and 1/4" jacks... but not all outputs are equal.


1. The quick & simple answer is... use the 1/4" outputs with the Pod set to Line. Line provides a higher output signal for running into a mixing board / PA; the Amp setting pads the output since you don't need a hot signal running into an amp. The sound guy most likely prefers the cleaner signal to noise ratio that XLR delivers, but having a signal that's too "low" is worse than dealing with a little "noise". The balanced output "ground/lift" switch doesn't effect output level... it just removes hum caused by ground loops.


2. Understanding something about balanced XLR outputs will answer a lot of questions...


At the risk of stating the obvious, XLR "balance" has nothing to do with stereo "balance". XLR represents "Ground (X), Line (L), Return ®" -- three wires, 3 pins. The low impedence, line and return signals have "balanced" opposite polarity, like humbucking pickups. Noise from electrical interference picked up by the cable over long runs (30+ feet) can effectively be filtered out... so better signal to noise ratio.


Because XLR cables are also sheilded and have latching mechanisms, they can safely carry phantom voltage (48v) needed to power condenser mics (note: the XLR outputs on the L6 Pods don't output phantom power). Plus, nowadays most mixing boards have pre-amps for XLR inputs and can gain-stage the signal. Though balanced TRS has gained popularity, TRS can't carry phantom power for mics.


Note: Most powered monitors don't have pre-amps, so the volume drops when you use the balanced XLR output/input. Since distances are usually short going to a powered monitor, noise isn't a problem using the unbalanced 1/4" line out.

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The balanced XLR outputs give MIC level (tipically low) signals, thus to be used properly they must be connected to mixer channels dedicated to MIC level signals..


the advantages of using XLR connections are that the signal doesn't degrade when using very long cables, and you can lift the ground connection to eliminate hum noise due to ground loops..


with the unbalanced 1/4" jack outputs you can't lift the ground in case of need, but they give LINE level (hotter) signals suitable for LINE level mixer channels, and work well with short to medium lenght cables connecting the POD to the mixer


Ok this cleared up alot for me, thanks

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