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Microphone Month 4

The one exception on TRS wiring

If you ever get the opportunity to write and edit any sort of column (electronic or otherwise), you will learn very quickly to avoid the words “always” and “never” because there’s “always” an exception somewhere. Last week I said that tip is always hot in a TRS connector (TTOTD 1/5/2000). It only took one day for someone to e-mail me the exception. While I wasn’t really surprised there was an exception; the product did amaze me.

Tony Brooke of Silent Way Recording (check out his Web site, it has a lot of cool technical stuff on it) informed me, and I have confirmed, that on the original Mackie CR-1604 (not VLZ or VLZ Pro) the left and right main outputs are wired with ring hot and tip cold. All other connections (including the balanced mono out) are wired as you would normally expect. The obvious question is, why? But I haven’t bothered to try to find that out. It is what it is. Anyone using an original CR-1604 beware.

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