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Two questions about studio monitors

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  • Two questions about studio monitors

    Many thanks in advance for responding to these:
    1) I have unbalanced outs on my mixer and balanced ins on my monitors (both 1/4"). What cable should I use to connect them to each other? I think I shoudn't use TRS cable as the out is unbalanced, right? Will normal instrument (guitar) cables do?
    2) Naturally, both monitors have on/off switch but they are not accessible easily as they are wall-mounted, a bit out of touch. Is it safe to leave them switched pernamently on and to turn them on via electric socket with on/off switch? Will this harm the monitors? Also would you suggest running them in auto mode? Do monitors normally consume a lot when they are in auto (standby mode)?
    Mine are not anything quality - soundking MT80A but I got them very cheap.

  • #2
    1) I have unbalanced outs on my mixer and balanced ins on my monitors (both 1/4"). What cable should I use to connect them to each other? I think I shoudn't use TRS cable as the out is unbalanced, right? Will normal instrument (guitar) cables do?
    First, a TRS cable isn't a normal guitar cable. But given your situation, use a TS cable (which a normal guitar cable is). You could maybe improve things a bit by modifying a TRS cable to make the mixer end look balanced. You'd do this by connecting a resistor between the ring and sleeve terminals. The value of the resistor should be the same as the output impedance, which you'll want to determine experimentally rather than trust the manufacturer's spec sheet. But try a common cable first. If it doesn't hum, don't fix it.

    2) Naturally, both monitors have on/off switch but they are not accessible easily as they are wall-mounted, a bit out of touch. Is it safe to leave them switched pernamently on and to turn them on via electric socket with on/off switch?
    Since there are things that cause pops and thumps when you turn them on, it's really best to turn your monitors on last. Plug them into a switched outlet strip that you can reach, and turn them on after everything else is on. Also, get in the habit of turning them off before you turn everything else off to avoid turn-off pops and thumps. It's not likely that those thumps will damage the speakers, but it's annoying, and, in answering the perpetual forum question: "Yes, this is normal."

    If they have an automatic standby, that will save a little power and a little heat, but the first thing that you turn on that generates a thump will wake up the speakers and let that thump (and others) through. That's why it's best to just leave them off until everything has settled down.

    I keep looking around for somoene who makes a reasoably priced sequenced power controller that would take care of this automatically, but they're pretty rare and pretty expensive. They don't need to be, they just are.
    --
    "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
    Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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    • #3
      Do not use a TRS cable, use a TS cable, which is a regular guitar cable. Keep the length as short as possible, and definitely no more than about 15 feet. Keep it away from all power.

      Leaving your monitors in standby mode will consume basically nothing for electricity, a few pennies a month. However if you turn other gear off ahead of them, turn off the monitors first, then turn off the other gear. speakers on last, off first.

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