connecting "impedance balanced" out to unbal in

hello all
i’ve decided to get a mic preamp (thanks for advice on previous thread)

the preamp is a studio-projects vtb1
it has 2 output options, balanced xlr and impedance balanced 1/4"

my soundcard has 2x 1/4" unbalanced ins.

Is is ok to connect a Y cable between the impedance balanced 1/4" output to the
2x 1/4 unbalanced inputs,
Y cable being TRS on one end and 2x TS on the other?
actualy no need for a Y cable as the signal is mono!
What cable should i use:
a trs-trs or ts-ts?

i think “impedance” balanced means this is ok?
but not ok on regularly balanced output, as the 2 ends of the Y would be oposite polarity (causing cancelling if played back in mono)

Thanks for your expet advice! :agree:

Hi JayK:

Just thinking out loud, of course…
If the line in to the Audio card in your computer is “Unbalanced” STEREO “Left-and-Right”
it would be my advice to use one 1/4" phone plug for each "Left-and-Right input to you audio line-in to your computer, from the balanced line outputs from your vtb1 preamp…

You would hurt anything…

I’m with Bill on this one, just plug it in and see what happens.

Don’t let all that balanced and unbalanced stuff worry you, the two are not explosive when mixed.

The preamp saying it has balanced output is a good thing, it might mean provided you are using balanced cables you can send that signal a lot farther without degradation, good choice of preamps BTW. :agree:

keep shinin

jerm :cool:

Thanks for replies guys,

its only a mono, 1 channel signal from the preamp,
if i used a Y cable from the xlr balanced output the recorded stereo signal would annihilate itself when played back in mono,
so i was wondering is there any difference between “balanced” and "impdance balanced"
i’ve done a fair bit of googling today and i reakon a trs-trs or ts-ts patch cable should work, just recording on the left or right input of the soundcard and record as a mono track!

Thanks jk

The VTB1 has a balanced output on a TRS jack but your sound card with its unbalanced input will just have a TS jack.

You need a TS jack lead to connect the two. (The ring connection of the VTB1 will be grounded by the TS jack plug, grounding one leg of the balanced signal which is what normally happens when feeding balanced sources to unbalanced inputs).

Most bits of equipment don’t mind this happening to them, the few that do mind would normally have a warning saying don’t ground one leg of the balanced signal.


Thanks nick!
Thats what i was begining to suspect. i’ve ordered a short ts-ts cable to do the job.
i hadnt thought of the ring being grounded.
am i right in saying that a trs-trs cable would work equally well, but not ground the ring? as it would be unconnected in the unbalanced ts input.
now i must google what the difference between impedance balanced and normally balanced is!

Hi Jay,
You are right a TRS cable would leave the ring unconnected.
This would leave one leg of the balanced signal “floating” which is an uncertain place for it to be, once you ground one leg with the ts jack you are again looking at the differential signal between the tip and ring coming from the balanced output which is what you want.(With a true balanced output from a transformer it wouldn’t matter which leg you grounded).

In an unbalanced connection the signal voltage exists between ground and the single conductor.

In a balanced connection the signal voltage exists between the two conductors but it is not referenced to ground the ground connection just enables the cables screen to shield the cable from interference.

The benefits of a balanced cable are that any interference that “crosses” the cable is induced equally into both signal conductors and hence can’t be heard, as the wanted signal exists as a differential voltage between them.