Preface - I know this has been discussed for years on this forum. I have been reading threads for about an hour. Someone turned what I thought I know about splits on its head the other day, and reading the archives only seems to confuse me more. The question(s):For small format FOH/MON configurations or IEM rack, is a hardwired snake (ex: EWI poorman's splitter) appropriate and/or safe? If yes, what are the downsides and risks? If no, is transformer isolated the only other option, and are there downsides to transformer isolated? I previously believed that a transformer isolated split was essentially the only option, because passive splits could damage the secondary console by hitting it with phantom and that phantom from the secondary console could damage microphones. There would also be the non-damaging but annoying effects from gain changes console-console. I have never used a passive product for this reason.Some people said things in the archives that seemed to confirm this for me. Others seemed to say the opposite, describing problems I didn't totally understand from trans-iso systems. Additionally, there are passive splits being sold all over the place - which confused me previously as I thought they were dangerous and and largely useless. Can someone straighten me out? This is so simple I'm embarrassed I can't figure it out!Thanks...
by way of history, i started using passive splits with shared grounds. ewww. then we had nice custom built passive splits. then we had a 3-way jensen transformer split. i've used all 3 of these in quite literally hundreds of shows in all sorts of situations. here's what i found to be true...........................my 2 cents is, if you need a splitter, get a good, well-built passive one with pin1 lifts on every channel. you may have the rare occasion where you'll wish you had transformers. but you're gonna be hard pressed to find yourself in a situation where this will ruin your day.
You can also look at it this way; If a mixer input can be damaged by external application of phantom power, it deserved to die anyway <g>
Can you clarify the "passive splits with shared grounds" to "nice custom built passive splits" spectrum? I assume the EWI Poorman's Splitter would be the former. What would be the latter? Do you just mean generally better quality or some technical difference (like a pin1 lift switches?)
geoff makes some excellent points. transformers can absolutely save you when you can't control all the variables. and the drawbacks can be dealt with if you understand what they are.my bottom line is still that in 99.8 percent of cases you're gonna get totally satisfactory results out of a good ol' fashioned non-transformer split with individual pin1 lifts. and if i was doing PA work, and i was spending my money, that's what i'd buy...
Look at it this way; if a console is capable of producing phantom power, applying phantom power externally is not going to damage it. You can also look at it this way; If a mixer input can be damaged by external application of phantom power, it deserved to die anyway <g>
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