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Adapter Kit?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Charc, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Hello, to the other side of CB. (The sound side, that is.) Anyways, anything that I, or my school set's up, audiowise is always macgyvered. I always find myself in a sitatuon going "Wow I wish I had an X to Y adapter". X and y most often being xlr, 1/4", 3.5mm, RCA. I think it's about time to consider an audio adapter kit. I'm not sure if this is common item or not, but it seems like it'd be extremely useful. I'm currently considering this kit: http://cgi.ebay.com/Audio-Adapter-Kit_W0QQitemZ110036897442QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting . Does anyone have any idea of what the quality is on this things, or if it's worth getting?
     
  2. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Not bad...but I would suggest getting a list together of what you need and going to radioshack/frys and putting together a kit for your school as opposed to buying what someone else thinks you need on eBay
     
  3. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    It really just looks like a pile of Radio shack parts... which isnt necessaraly a bad thing. I would go through and price each of the pieces at radio shack or the equivalent and see how the price lines up.

    I have a kit that I cary in my backback and it's basicly never let me down. Its:

    3: 1/8" stereo male -> RCA male (6' cables)
    ~3: 1/4" female stereo -> 1/8" male stereo
    ~3: 1/8" female stereo -> 1/4" male stereo
    ~4: Mono RCA Female -> 1/4" male mono
    3: Stereo female RCA -> Mono male RCA (can be used to flip genders around when used with the above adapters)
    2: 1/4" stereo male -> 1/4" stereo male

    You'll notice that there's no XLR stuff there, but that's mostly b/c if your going from XLR to 1/4" or 1/8" your *probably* going from MIC level to line level so you need a DI box or some other more active device in the mix.
     
  4. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Honestly I like Peter's list a lot as a good general list and agree with his comment about the XLR adapters.

    Does your school have its own console/sound system? If so whats it comprised of? Are other people bringing in theirs?

    If you have a lot of guest speakers and performers coming in what issues do you see repeatedly cropping up?

    As for the kit on eBay...it feels like overkill to me. But I don't know it may not be in your situation.
     
  5. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    Mic level is the direct output level from the mic. This is the amount of electricity created by the microphone diaphragm, and is a fairly weak signal.

    The gain on the mixer is a pre-amplifier which makes the signal stronger so it can be dealt with by the mixer. Once it has been pre-amplified by the gain, it is at line level. This is the level that is sent to all the compressors, and any processors, and that is eventually sent to your speaker amplifiers.

    Other inputs like CD's are already at line level, and these usually have RCA or 1/4" jacks. So, it is kinda the standard that XLR is pretty much only used for microphones, which always need to be boosted from mic level to line level.
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Take a look at MCM electronics for all adapter purchases. Radioshack is the biggest rip off on all parts that there can be. The fact they charge a few dollars for a 30c off brand XLR plug is insane. Don't go to radioshack, order from MCM. MCM has great stuff at killer prices. Basicly, for what I have XLR to 1/4, both ways, RCA to 1/4" both ways, Gender benders for all products, blanks connectors of all products, 3 to 5 and 5 to 3's, terminiators, XLR spiltters, CATV splitters, RCA splitters, BNC to RCA, SVID to RCA, and a few other random ones.
     
  7. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    like the others said, make a list first of all the problems your having and the parts that are needed, if guest speakers are coming in im imagining a laptop being involved all laptops (that i know of) have a 3.5 or head phone jack depending on your setup you want to get that to 6.5 dual rca if need be
     
  8. AaronS102

    AaronS102 Member

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    XLR is use for line level all the time. In most set ups, the XLRs going to the amps are line level. On linking powered speakers with XLRs, its line level coming out of the previous speaker.
     
  9. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    Right. But, you probably aren't going to need any adapters for that at your school, since everything is already hooked up to the amps, and your problem seems only to be hooking miscellaneous things up to the mixer. Some schools re-patch their amps a lot, some don't touch it once it's set up. If you like to change your mixer sends a lot, then you might want to get some XLR adapters depending on your situation, and what you want to accomplish.

    (and XLR is also used for DMX between intelligent light fixtures, and other equipment which is another example when it is not just used for mic level. There also might be other uses for XLR that I don't know of, but I think that's it.)
     
  10. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    I dont have much time right now, but I think Mic Level and Line Level wiki pages need to be made. Basicly, there are three different levels of signal: Mic Level, Profesional Line Level, and Consumer Line level. They are all slightly different, but *sometimes* you can overlap them and make up the signal difference with gain on your board. This is especially true with Profesional vs Consumer Line Levels.
     
  11. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I have a massive adapter kit that fills up a whole tool box, and has things such as a plethora of audio adapters, patch cables, ground lifts, a multi-voltage power adapter with a large variety of adaptaplugs (great thing, folks, it's surprising how many times someone forgets their psu to their effects, midi unit, electronic drum pad, etc), a small power strip, a test microphone, a small set of headphones, a mic screwdriver, and a few other doodads, thingummys and whatsamafuzits.

    For an installation, however, put together a list of exactly what you need, chuck in to the list whatever you might need for input sources, and buy from a good audio supplier. The variety in quality of audio adapters is absolutely amazing. I've had ones that stop working after a few times due to bad interior contacts, and then ones that last forever. Despite the fact that they're insanely overpriced, the radio shack gold series adapters last forever, and always make solid connections.
     
  12. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    You do mean signal ground (aka "pin 1") lifts, and NOT AC ground adapters misused as safety ground lifts, right?

    While AC ground adapters ARE useful when used as designed (ie, with the tab attached to a grounded screw in the outlet plate), they are dangerous and a violation of safety code when used to bypass the safety ground. And in that usage, they should be referred to as ground adapters, not ground lifts, since they're not lifting a ground.

    If you need to bypass an AC safety ground, use a plug-in GFCI designed for that purpose. That said, there are few if any situations where a problem that can be solved by lifting the safety ground can't be solved in another way somewhere in the signal path (either with a pin 1 lift, iso transformer, choke, etc.).

    --Andy, about to be flying home from Salt Lake City where he spent two days in a workshop on troubleshooting hums, buzz, and other power and interference issues
     
  13. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Hosa sells a kit like that as well. http://www.zzounds.com/item--HOSMSK411 (not that I recommend buying from zzounds) Given time, however, you could probably assemble everything much cheaper. And you can get a parts box from a big box hardware store. I have 2 of them, but for hardware, bolts, nuts, etc. The only adapters I have are gender changers, 3/5 pin adapters, and a couple old pin swap cables for older Martin products. I used to carry stuff sound guys typically need but when stuff disappeared/wasn't returned I never replaced it.
     
  14. howlingwolf487

    howlingwolf487 Active Member

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    I'd highly recommend making your own adapters as long as you feel comfortable enough with a soldering iron. You can order (or have ordered for you) cable and parts in bulk for those times when someone rolls a fully-loaded amp rack over your cables and still be able to make any/all combination of adapters you require.
    Also, take a look at this little XLR doohicky Shure mentioned on their website:
    http://shure.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/s...3NlYXJjaF90ZXh0PWFkYXB0ZXI*&p_li=&p_topview=1
    (Hope the link works...)
     
  15. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yeah building the ones that require cable is a good idea....

    Did you end up getting the big kit?
     
  16. nelakluwos

    nelakluwos Member

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    While this is true, you should not use just any old XLR cable for DMX runs. Make sure the cable that you use is data grade. Any modulation in the signal could make your DMX gear do some crazy things. After all you are sending set "values" through DMX not audio which we all know fluctuates.
     
  17. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I mean pin 1 lifts. I do also have some of those AC ground adapters, but they all have little 4" wires on them to connect to the ground screw.
     

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