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Balanced Multichannel Switch w/ Unbalanced Equipment (RCA -> XLR -> RCA)

Whoareyou

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Ok, I know this is a bit strange, but was wondering ....

Multichannel switches are difficult if not impossible to come by, but there are a few of them available in the balanced audio world. So, what happens with that balanced switch if you use it for switching a system consisting of solely unbalanced connections / equipment?

You'd need some type of adapter for the unbalanced RCA to XLR / TRS balanced connector type, but are there any other concerns if there is nothing truly balanced being connected to the switch?

If the unit had TRS connections could you just use a cheap TRS -> RCA adapter to adapt the RCA connectors? Could you just use a TS plug?

Thanks
 

sergeauckland

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If all your sources and destinations are unbalanced, simple use XLR pin 1 for ground and pin 2 for signal. Ignore pin 3. If you use adapters, that's fine as pretty much all such adapters link pin 3 to pin 1, which is fine.

For TRS connections, assuming this is stereo, not balanced, then you'll need some sort of splitter to separate the Left and Right signals.

For simple passive switchers, whether balanced, unbalanced, analogue or digital, any of the cheap passive switchers work just fine.

(You don't need 75 or 110 ohm connections for domestic lengths of digital)

S.
 
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Each input is mono. And I was thinking that I could just use a TS / RCA mono cable, because nothing is balanced and the ring is not necessary to be connected in the switch.
 

Kal Rubinson

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You'd need some type of adapter for the unbalanced RCA to XLR / TRS balanced connector type, but are there any other concerns if there is nothing truly balanced being connected to the switch?
I use a passive Coleman 7.1SW balanced XLR switch and, on one of the inputs, I have 8 channels of RCA inputs each using a simple RCA-XLR adapter as described by SergeAuckland (pin 1 for ground and pin 2 for signal. Ignore pin 3). No problems at all.
If the unit had TRS connections could you just use a cheap TRS -> RCA adapter to adapt the RCA connectors? Could you just use a TS plug?
Coleman also makes a 5.1 (6 channel) switch with TRS connections but I have not tried it.

OTOH, the ideal option would be a used (since they are discontinued) Zektor switch.
 
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I use a passive Coleman 7.1SW balanced XLR switch and, on one of the inputs, I have 8 channels of RCA inputs each using a simple RCA-XLR adapter as described by SergeAuckland (pin 1 for ground and pin 2 for signal. Ignore pin 3). No problems at all.

Coleman also makes a 5.1 (6 channel) switch with TRS connections but I have not tried it.

OTOH, the ideal option would be a used (since they are discontinued) Zektor switch.

I was looking primarily at that Coleman 5.1 with the TRS connections, but I would love to purchase a Zektor. I have (had) an hds4.1, which was fantastic, but it finally gave out (unfortunately, it was not the power supply).

I've been looking for a Zektor on Ebay, but closest I've seen (currently listed) is a hds4, but I really need 6 channels. They used to come up more frequently, but they seem to have run their course. Maybe I just require more patience.

I had seen a prior post of yours where you mentioned the Coleman (would never have known about the Coleman switches without that post - thanks), and because of that post I was taking a look at their switches.

Those Coleman's are a bit pricey, but look to be made to highest standards and should provide many years of service.
 

Kal Rubinson

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I have a nice Zektor but it ain't cheap. ;)
 
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I have a nice Zektor but it ain't cheap. ;)

Wouldn't expect anything else as they are hard to come by. Perhaps an interesting trade :)?
But seriously, I am really thinking about just picking up one of these Colemans. Today I need only unbalanced, but down the road who knows.

One thing I would miss with the Coleman switches is the Zektor's IR control, since I used that with my harmony hub.

I see that the Coleman 7.1SW has a wired control, which would work, and in similar fashion the 5.1 switch has wired remote capability, but you have to DIY with a momentary switch. Easy enough, but still not IR.
 
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I have a nice Zektor but it ain't cheap. ;)
Well, 2 months later and after looking for a while, the Zektors are really the best option for me, so cheap or not if you want to clean out your closet ... :) Unfortunately, I missed out on the one Zektor Mas7.1 and a HDS4.1 that came up for auction over past 2 months.

The Colemans are definitely interesting, but I came to conclusion i don't want to purchase yet another set of cables/ adapters in addition to the equipment itself.

BTW - There is one additional switch that might be an option. Have you ever seen the Radial SW8? It is very interesting. 2 DB25 inputs / 1 DB25 out. It also has mic level XLR outputs plus other really interesting features. It is overkill, and definitely no intended for this, but I think it would work. At the moment these switches are a bit easier to find on ebay. Two version of switch exist, and it is mostly the ver1 for sale on ebay.

I is fascinating researching this pro audio equipment.

 

gene_stl

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Two of these or three, stacked and stuck together with double stick tape is what I am going to try initially. It will require pushing two or three buttons per selection. Unbalanced RCA. All three channels seem to be the same . (ie Yellow Red White)

If you don't want nor need eight they start at two and go up to eight.
 
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@Kal Rubinson - Thought you'd be interested in this :).
Just to briefly resurrect this thread, the Zektor MAS 7.1 has seen its ebay resale value skyrocket.

I used to see these sell for around $150. Now???? The last two have sold for approx. $350 to 400$!!!
 

Kal Rubinson

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@Kal Rubinson - Thought you'd be interested in this :).
Just to briefly resurrect this thread, the Zektor MAS 7.1 has seen its ebay resale value skyrocket.

I used to see these sell for around $150. Now???? The last two have sold for approx. $350 to 400$!!!
:cool: I've been waiting for that.
 
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Yeah, I thought you would like that!

Luckily, a friend of mine repaired my HDS4.1 so I'm back in business with my switch. Good enough for now.
 
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