Studio Konnekt 48 / Desktop Konnekt 6 / Impact Twin / BMC-2: Balanced outputs

Question

The output on the Studio Konnekt 48 / Desktop Konnekt 6 / Impact Twin / BMC-2 appears as if it is not balanced - there is no visible signal on the cold pin, so is it actually balanced?

Answer

We market our outputs as balanced because they behave like balanced outputs and we would like to clarify why this is:

They have an intelligent analog output design - we call it ground sensing. It behaves basically as if it was balanced and therefore works with balanced inputs (e.g. on an amp) just as one would expect, with the expected good suppression of noise and hum that might be induced on the cable. However, it is true that when you measure this in a standard way it appears as if it is not balanced - there is no visible signal on the cold pin. That's because we use the cold pin for sensing the noise in the cable and sending it out inverted on the warm pin. That results in identical performance compared to a standard balanced connection.

The analog output design benefits from having this ground sensing circuit, which unbalanced analog outputs do not have. Normal unbalanced connections are sensitive to any noise and hum that might be induced on the cable – longer cables, bigger risk.  The ground sensing output design on the BMC-2 senses the ground potential at the receiver end of the cable run and any noise or hum that might be present there is fed back to the BMC-2 and highly reduced.

The specific wiring should be done similar to what the manual describes for a mono jack.
SK48 XLR pin 2 to RCA pin (signal).
SK48 XLR pin 1 to RCA sleeve (ground).
SK48 XLR pin 3 (the SK48 ground sense) to the RCA sleeve. The connection to the sleeve must happen in the RCA end – the point at which you want the noise and hum to be at a minimum.

Another benefit in our design is that if you drive an unbalanced input and connect the cold pin to sleeve as many people do, the Studio Konnekt 48 cold output will not send out a hot signal, which is then connected to ground. If a hot signal is connected to ground this could easily downgrade the sound you have in the hot pin. The output design does not degrade the hot pin signal in this situation.


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