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XLR to 1/4" Stereo Jack (wired for balanced mono)
The usual way to connect a 3-pin XLR to a 1/4" stereo jack is to use the following pin allocation:
- XLR pin 1 to jack sleeve
- XLR pin 2 to jack tip
- XLR pin 3 to jack ring
This wiring configuration gives you a balanced mono audio cable.
XLR to 1x RCA
When connecting a 3-pin XLR to one RCA, you use the same wiring as if you were connecting an XLR to a 1/4" jack.
The -ve and shield of the XLR are joined together, either at the XLR end or the RCA end. The easiest way is to solder a link between pins 1 and 3 (shield and -ve) of the XLR, rather than trying to solder the shield and -ve wire to the sleeve contact of the RCA.
This produces an unbalanced audio cable.
XLR to 2x RCA
A 3-pin XLR with a stereo signal can be split into left and right by wiring pin 2 of the XLR to the tip of one RCA plug, and pin 3 of the XLR to another RCA tip. Pin 1 of the XLR connects to the sleeve of both RCA plugs.
Stereo Jack to 2x RCA
When a stereo 1/4" jack is being used for a stereo signal (as opposed to a balanced mono signal), the left and right parts of the stereo signal can be split off to two seperate connectors. For example, a stereo headphone output can be split into left and right connectors, and one possible use for this would be to use these two independant connectors to feed left and right monitoring speakers.
The only tools that are essential to solder are a soldering iron and some solder. There are, however, lots of soldering accessories available (see soldering accessories for more information).
Different soldering jobs will need different tools, and different temperatures too. For circuit board work you will need a finer tip, a lower temperature and finer grade solder. You may also want to use a magnifying glass. Audio connectors such as XLR's will require a larger tip, higher temperature and thicker solder. Clamps and holders are also handy when soldering audio cables.