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chasingMango

Guitar In - Balanced or Unbalanced?

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I assumed Unbalanced but the documentation doesn't specify.  Wondering if its worth running an XLR-to-1/4-TRS cable from my wireless receiver to the Helix, or just use a normal 1/4 TS cable.

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Its never worth it to run a regular guitar balanced. at least not distorted.

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Unbalanced... All the inputs are unbalanced except for the mic input on Floor and Rack. Plus I’ve never seen a guitar with a balanced output (some have stereo TRS outs, but that’s different).

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2 hours ago, phil_m said:

Unbalanced... All the inputs are unbalanced except for the mic input on Floor and Rack. Plus I’ve never seen a guitar with a balanced output (some have stereo TRS outs, but that’s different).

 

I have an Ibanez thinline with an XLR out.

 

I mean, not earth shattering, but still a cool feature. 

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12 hours ago, willjrock said:

Its never worth it to run a regular guitar balanced. at least not distorted.

 

Why not?  I get if it's distorted but have always wondered why guitars never went balanced.

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41 minutes ago, Thurston9 said:

 

Why not?  I get if it's distorted but have always wondered why guitars never went balanced.

 

I think it's one of those things that it's simply because it's the way it's always been been. It could be done, but there would be almost no benefit because all of the existing gear designed for an electric guitar to be plugged into has unbalanced inputs. The noise from pickups wouldn't go away with a balanced connection, anyway. You could have low impedance, passive pickups, but most guitarists wouldn't like that sound. So even with a high impedance, balanced signal you would have signal degradation issues. There's just not a compelling reason to do it.

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Les Paul experimented with balanced output on guitars. I think there's one weird model of LP from the 60s or 70s or something that has XLR out. But obviously it never caught on because there's no real reason to do it. The fact that every wireless unit has some sort of "cable tone" feature should be evidence enough that guitarists don't actually want an unadultered signal.

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Phil explained it better than i could but the bottom line is that little bit of difference a balanced signal would provide, is so far under the noise floor of a distorted guitar sound that it wouldnt even be noticeable. The only time you might be able to tell a difference was when the guitar is NOT playing....and then the only thing you might get rid of is a little bit of handling noise. Being that the guitar itself is unbalanced its kind of pointless. 

 

I dont know about a variax though, thats why i said most.

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On 3/27/2019 at 10:28 PM, Kilrahi said:

 

I have an Ibanez thinline with an XLR out.

 

I mean, not earth shattering, but still a cool feature. 

Is the XLR out for a piezo/acoustic signal?

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3 minutes ago, jbuhajla said:

Is the XLR out for a piezo/acoustic signal?

 

Yeah . . . which I agree only makes sense for an acoustic signal. Everyone is absolutely right that a distorted signal it's pointless for. I was just glancing through the post when I replied. Phil probably meant he's never seen an electric guitar with a balanced out. 

 

It's probably less about a balanced signal anyway and more about being able to just plug in to a front of house setup. 

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5 minutes ago, Kilrahi said:

 

Yeah . . . which I agree only makes sense for an acoustic signal. Everyone is absolutely right that a distorted signal it's pointless for. I was just glancing through the post when I replied. Phil probably meant he's never seen an electric guitar with a balanced out. 

 

It's probably less about a balanced signal anyway and more about being able to just plug in to a front of house setup. 

 

Yeah, I was thinking of electric guitars. I've seen a number of acoustics with preamp systems that have XLR outs, but that's a different thing altogether. Those are designed to plug straight into a mixer or snake.

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