Balanced and unbalanced

Martin Naef mnaef at
Tue Jun 7 19:27:21 CEST 2022

Hi Peter


Nothing to worry about. When you connect an unbalanced cable into a balanced input, it simply grounds the “cold” or “negative” wire and everything should run perfectly smooth. Cable lengths don’t matter as long as you stay within a couple of meters.






From: music-bar <music-bar-bounces at> On Behalf Of Peter Korsten
Sent: Dienstag, 7. Juni 2022 00:44
To: Music-bar <music-bar at>
Subject: Balanced and unbalanced




So, in the midst of the worst back problems I've ever had, and whilst waiting for spinal surgery (no idea when), my MOTU 24Ai arrived. There was one, new in opened box, for a good price on eBay.


Yay! 😀


This thing has 24 analogue balanced inputs on three 25-pin D-Sub connectors. It also has different kinds of connectors, green with 72 pentagonal sockets, but I'm not going to bother with those.


Unless I'm very much mistaken, all of my synths have unbalanced outputs, and that's a potential problem, because most ready-made DB25-to-jack looms are balanced.


Considering that the cables would be max. 60cm/2ft, could I risk it to get balanced cables? There is a retailer, Custom Lynx, who can make unbalanced cables on request. But they don't specify how they're wired. And balanced cables somehow feel more future-proof.


Has anyone ever had to deal with this specific scenario, or one similar? 


- Peter 

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