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Author Topic: Using balanced cable for long guitar cable runs?  (Read 856 times)

Josh Demolar

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Re: Using balanced cable for long guitar cable runs?
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2021, 03:32:58 PM »

I am mystified by the way you are phrasing your questions about the cable:  "What would combining the two hot inner wires do? What would leaving one inner wire disconnected at one end do? What would sending one of the inner wires to ground do? One of these things is happening,,,,,".
If you KNOW it is a cable with two conductors and a shield, you either saw the information printed on the outside of the cable or unscrewed the handle of the TS phone plug on one or both ends. If you have access to each end (eg the plugs are not molded on) then you already know how they are connected and should just state that.
If you said, for example, the two conductors are both attached to the tip of the phone plug at each end and the shield is attached to the sleeve at each end, folks would
be able to explain why a lot easier!!

I did open one end, but it was a couple months ago. I don't have visible access to it at the time to verify what the inside configuration is. Hence the questions in multiple possibilities. But if none of those possibilities trigger a thought of "Oh yeah, doing _____ with a balanced cable with TS connectors solves ________ problem," then either there isn't a reason for the cables being wired this way, or you just don't know. Either way, since my specific questions are about as helpful as what I've researched online, I think I've got my answer. Thank you for your response and apologies I didn't have the details confirmed.
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Josh Demolar

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Re: Using balanced cable for long guitar cable runs?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2021, 03:45:01 PM »

The wire used does not determine whether a line is balanced or not. How it is terminated, and what it is terminated to, is what determines whether it's balanced or not. You say you have 'balanced' wire; by this I assume you mean 2-conductor shielded w/ drain wire? However, it's terminated to a TS connector, with both conductors tied to the tip. This makes it unbalanced, NOT balanced.

Why this wire? If their shop is like mine, it's the only cable they carry. We don't stock 'unbalanced' wire. And I certainly wouldn't order in special cable just for this. On top of that, the cable could be adapted in the future for balanced use with a simple change of connector.

HTH!

Thank you, this is very helpful. I didn't think that there would be any reason to use 2-conductor wire (apologies for using the wrong term, as I stated in my original question, I do know that it's not balanced unless the signal sent and received by the devices on each end is balanced). But if using 2-conductor wire is useful because it's just more flexible for multiple uses, then I can stop guessing what kind of trickery they were trying to pull.
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Steve-White

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Re: Using balanced cable for long guitar cable runs?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2021, 07:25:37 PM »

The possibility of the contractor "using what they had" makes a lot of sense in terms of wire type.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Using balanced cable for long guitar cable runs?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2021, 01:46:52 AM »

I'm aware of the SGI, and am considering purchasing (or two sets actually, for two guitar lines to two amps) if necessary. Still trying to figure out why we haven't needed it yet for the past several years.

Another vote for SGI boxes.  Just because you're getting signal that isn't mostly radio doesn't mean it's not being degraded.  They aren't even expensive, and will show you how much loss/degradation you're dealing with.  Plus, I'd rather know the signal is good, rather than hope it's 'good enough', and hope something bad doesn't happen early on a Sunday morning. 
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Using balanced cable for long guitar cable runs?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2021, 03:28:42 AM »

Thank you, this is very helpful. I didn't think that there would be any reason to use 2-conductor wire (apologies for using the wrong term, as I stated in my original question, I do know that it's not balanced unless the signal sent and received by the devices on each end is balanced). But if using 2-conductor wire is useful because it's just more flexible for multiple uses, then I can stop guessing what kind of trickery they were trying to pull.

This is most likely the case. The cost difference between 2 conductor wire vs single conductor wire for install is minimal. There is very little use for long single conductor wires, so most likely that would have been special order and cost more. Instead, pull what you have and terminate as needed.

It does sound though that the install is wrong based on general practices, but if it works, who cares?
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Brian Jojade

Andrew Broughton

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Re: Using balanced cable for long guitar cable runs?
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2021, 12:50:39 PM »

Another application of 3-wire cables used with unbalanced guitar signals is the Fractal "Humbuster" system. It actually works, but only if the device supports it. (i.e. their modellers)
https://wiki.fractalaudio.com/wiki/index.php?title=Humbuster
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Re: Using balanced cable for long guitar cable runs?
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2021, 12:50:39 PM »


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