Welcome to the AudioSmile Forum!

You are currently viewing the forum as a guest which gives you access to view all discussions, but registering an account will give you access to post in discussions, create your own threads, communicate privately with other enthusiasts, respond to polls and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

After you join - You must email admin and ask for your registration to be completed. This is to stop spam. If you don't do this, you will not be able to post.

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us for support.

To register now click here.
Thread Tools
Old 28th March 2011, 12:54   #1
Admin: Audiosmile
Tenson's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Kent, UK
Posts: 5,921

How to make XLR to Phono / RCA Cable

This type of cable connects a balanced XLR connection to an un-balanced RCA plug. This is not a problem because XLR connections have a positive and negative signal which are the exact opposite of each other, and a ground connection for the cable screen. An RCA / phono connection simply has a positive connection and ground for the screen.

There are however two ways to make this type of cable and the correct method depends on the equipment with the XLR connection and whether it has a 'quasi-floating balanced' connection or a plain 'balanced' connection. Quasi-floating outputs are the most common and should have pin3 of the XLR connected to ground. Plain balanced outputs should have pin3 of the XLR output not connected to anything.

Quasi-floating outputs sense if pin3 is connected to ground and output their full voltage only on pin2. Plain balanced outputs do not do this, and if you connect pin3 to ground, the voltage will still flow from that pin and being connected directly to ground will cause that output device to distort and put a lot of noise on the ground line.

Quasi-floating outputs:

To make this you need some un-balanced calbe. I'd recommend Sommer Cable Session MKII: Session MKII

Alternatively I also recommend Klotz AC110: Klotz AC110

One end of this cable with the RCA plug is done just as this RCA cable tutorial shows: http://www.zerogain.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28016

The other end must be done as per the diagram above. Pin1 and Pin 3 of the XLR must be joined together, and connected to the outer screen connection of the RCA plug. Pin2 of the XLR must connect to the centre of the RCA plug.

Take the XLR plug apart and slide the plug body over the cable to it can be screwed back onto the plug assembly when finished. Strip your cable insulation back and twist the screen wires together.

Strip the centre conductor insulation back. When pulling the cut insulation off, I'd recommend holding the centre conductor with pliers so it doesn't slide inside the outer sheath. Now apply a little solder to the twisted screen wires and the centre signal wires. Also get the plug assembly held in a small vice or ap air of pliers with a rubber-band around the handle to make it grip.

Now solder the screen wire to Pin3 of the XLR.

Next, bend that screen wire over to touch on Pin1 of the XLR and solder that. You might need to use a decent blob of solder since the wire is not actually inside the Pin receptacle.

Now bend the screen straight and solder the centre conductor to Pin2 of the XLR.

Now pop the plastic retainer clip on the cable. It compresses when the plug body is screwed on to the assembly and holds the cable tight to stop the connections being pulled.

Screw the plug together, and done!

Plain Balanced Outputs:

The connections for a plain balanced output should be made like this. Pin1 of the XLR to the outer ground connection of the RCA, Pin2 of the XLR to the centre signal connector of the RCA, and Pin3 of the XLR left floating in open space not connected to anything.

Do everything as above, but do not connect the twisted screen wires to XLR Pin3; connect only to Pin1.

Kensai - Our vision of the ultimate compact speaker
Bespoke Supertweeters - Ribbon supertweeters designed for your speakers
Modified DEQ / SRC - Affordable high performance DAC and room correction.
Tenson is offline Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

GMT +1 time is 04:59 - vBulletin, Jelsoft