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Author Topic: 5-pin XLR output for guitar  (Read 1093 times)

Andrew Henderson

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5-pin XLR output for guitar
« on: May 15, 2019, 03:58:34 pm »

Hi all,

I'm working on a custom guitar that will have three outputs. The first is the typical magnetic pickup system, the second is the piezo pickup in the bridge, and the third is a pickup that has an "octave down" output for the lowest two strings. I intend to process the signals separately, which is why it needs the separate outputs (magnetic to guitar amp, piezo to PA speaker or "acoustic amp", octave output to bass amp/preamp).

I'd like to be able to use a single cable to hook up the guitar to my rack, which has the processing gear in it. I don't know of a "TRRS" 1/4" connector, so I'm looking at using a 5-pin XLR output for the guitar. I know I only need 4-pins, bu 5-pin XLR cables and connectors are more readily available if I needed to replace it.

The piezo pickup in the bridge runs through a preamp/pot that runs on a 9V battery. I'm trying to figure out whether there's a way to have the battery automatically disconnect when I unplug the cable (instead of installing another on/off switch that disconnects the battery).

For example, with a regular electric guitar with active pickups, you can use a TRS jack and wire the negative battery wire to the ring of the TRS jack, so that the battery connects to ground when a TS cable is plugged in.

Can you guys think of any way I could achieve similar functionality of battery disconnection with this weird, custom setup?  :o

Is there some other connector besides the 5-pin XLR that would provide this functionality?

Thanks!
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Jay Barracato

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Re: 5-pin XLR output for guitar
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2019, 04:11:42 pm »

Hi all,

I'm working on a custom guitar that will have three outputs. The first is the typical magnetic pickup system, the second is the piezo pickup in the bridge, and the third is a pickup that has an "octave down" output for the lowest two strings. I intend to process the signals separately, which is why it needs the separate outputs (magnetic to guitar amp, piezo to PA speaker or "acoustic amp", octave output to bass amp/preamp).

I'd like to be able to use a single cable to hook up the guitar to my rack, which has the processing gear in it. I don't know of a "TRRS" 1/4" connector, so I'm looking at using a 5-pin XLR output for the guitar. I know I only need 4-pins, bu 5-pin XLR cables and connectors are more readily available if I needed to replace it.

The piezo pickup in the bridge runs through a preamp/pot that runs on a 9V battery. I'm trying to figure out whether there's a way to have the battery automatically disconnect when I unplug the cable (instead of installing another on/off switch that disconnects the battery).

For example, with a regular electric guitar with active pickups, you can use a TRS jack and wire the negative battery wire to the ring of the TRS jack, so that the battery connects to ground when a TS cable is plugged in.

Can you guys think of any way I could achieve similar functionality of battery disconnection with this weird, custom setup?  :o

Is there some other connector besides the 5-pin XLR that would provide this functionality?

Thanks!
The typical plug switch setup involves using a trs jack in the guitar wired so when you plug in a TS plug it makes the connection between the sleeve and ring terminals.

So it sounds to me like you would need another input/output pair on your connector. Two pins jumpered together in the Shell of the connector on the cable would perform the same.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

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Jay Barracato

Scott Helmke

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Re: 5-pin XLR output for guitar
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 06:22:03 pm »

Install the battery at the other end of the 5-pin cable?  Or just feed some DC from your preamp circuitry back up a spare wire to the guitar.  If there's no battery then the battery can't go dead in the middle of a show.
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Jano Svitok

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Re: 5-pin XLR output for guitar
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 06:34:00 pm »

Can't you just use the unused 5th pin the same way as R in the TRS jack? Let's say pin 4 is ground, so wire ground to 4, battery to 5 and connect them using a jumper in the connector.
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Andrew Henderson

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Re: 5-pin XLR output for guitar
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 09:25:30 pm »

Can't you just use the unused 5th pin the same way as R in the TRS jack? Let's say pin 4 is ground, so wire ground to 4, battery to 5 and connect them using a jumper in the connector.
So it sounds to me like you would need another input/output pair on your connector. Two pins jumpered together in the Shell of the connector on the cable would perform the same.
Wow, I was so stuck on figuring out how to put the jumper / battery connector in the guitar that I hadn't even thought about jumping the pins in the cable. Duh! Thanks, guys.

Install the battery at the other end of the 5-pin cable?  Or just feed some DC from your preamp circuitry back up a spare wire to the guitar.  If there's no battery then the battery can't go dead in the middle of a show.
Another great idea. I hadn't even thought of using external power!

I'll contemplate these ideas. Thanks guys - these are both better solutions than I was coming up with. This is why I come here.
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Matthias McCready

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Re: 5-pin XLR output for guitar
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 09:34:38 pm »

Is there some other connector besides the 5-pin XLR that would provide this functionality?

Thanks!

I am no wiring expert, but what about an Ethercon cable? It locks and if the unthinkable happened (the cable breaks with no spare) ethernet cables can be purchased most anywhere, and would work in a pinch (yes not durable but the gig could go on).

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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: 5-pin XLR output for guitar
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 03:47:53 am »

I am no wiring expert, but what about an Ethercon cable? It locks and if the unthinkable happened (the cable breaks with no spare) ethernet cables can be purchased most anywhere, and would work in a pinch (yes not durable but the gig could go on).

I quite like this idea - being able to run to the local electronics store and have a replacement in-hand is worth having, compared to a one-in-the-world cable where if it breaks, you're pretty much screwed.

Second option would be to have each output on a 1/4" jack, maybe hidden on the back of the guitar, as a backup.

Chris
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Cailen Waddell

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5-pin XLR output for guitar
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 07:39:33 am »

Keep in mind that while 5pin XLR cables are ubiquitous for lighting, many of the less expensive variants, that are readily available, do not actually have all 5 pins wired.   Most only have 3 pins wired... so your mileage may vary....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 07:49:44 am by Cailen Waddell »
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Chris Hindle

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Re: 5-pin XLR output for guitar
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2019, 08:14:47 am »

I am no wiring expert, but what about an Ethercon cable? It locks and if the unthinkable happened (the cable breaks with no spare) ethernet cables can be purchased most anywhere, and would work in a pinch (yes not durable but the gig could go on).
Ethercon to a guitar?
Wow. I don't think that would work for very long.
Don't get me wrong, it's an easy way to get 8 wires somewhere, but it was never meant for stuff dancing around a stage.
The XLR is a more secure and durable connector, no doubt about it.
Chris.
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Ya, Whatever. Just throw a '57 on it, and get off my stage.

Erik Jerde

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Re: 5-pin XLR output for guitar
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 09:01:37 am »

Ethercon to a guitar?
Wow. I don't think that would work for very long.
Don't get me wrong, it's an easy way to get 8 wires somewhere, but it was never meant for stuff dancing around a stage.
The XLR is a more secure and durable connector, no doubt about it.
Chris.

If memory serves line6 did it with their modeling guitar over a decade ago. 
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: 5-pin XLR output for guitar
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 09:01:37 am »


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