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There are a variety of different audio connectors available. The most common types are 3-pin XLR, RCA, and 6.5mm jacks (also known as ¼" jacks).
3-pin XLR connectors are mainly used for balanced audio signals. Using a balanced signal reduces the risk of inference.
- Pin 1 is the earth (or shield)
- Pin 2 is the +ve (or 'hot')
- Pin 3 is the -ve (or 'cold).
There are a number of different XLR's - 3-pin, 4-pin, 5-pin etc.
. 3-pin XLR Male
. 3-pin XLR Female
¼" Jack (6.5mm Jack)
There are two types of 6.5mm Jacks: Mono and stereo. The mono jack has a tip and a sleeve, the stereo jack has ring, a tip and a sleeve.
- On the mono jack the tip is the +ve, and the sleeve is the -ve or shield.
- On a stereo jack being used for a balanced signal, the tip is the +ve, the ring is the -ve, and the sleeve is the shield.
- On a stereo jack being used for a stereo signal (left and right), the tip is the left, the ring is the right, and the sleeve is the shield.
Jacks also come in various sizes - 6.5mm (¼"), 3.5mm, 2.5mm. The wiring for all of them is the same.
. 1/4" Mono Jack
. 1/4" Stereo Jack
RCAs are used a lot for home stereos, videos, DVDs etc.
The RCA can carry either audio or video. It is wired the same way as a mono jack: The center pin is the +ve, and the outer ring is the -ve or shield.
. RCA Male
THEN WE WILL HAVE A CLOSER LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF CABLES:
XLR to 1/4" Mono Jack
The most comon way to wire a 3-pin XLR to a 1/4 inch mono jack (or 6.5mm jack), is to join the -ve and shield together.
This can be done by either soldering the shield and -ve wires to the sleeve of the jack......
Or by soldering a jumper on the XLR.....
Either way gives you the same result: An unbalanced audio cable.