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Sennheiser G3 unbalance cable ?


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I just found out that the cable for the G3- 112 ,  cl 100 is unbalance and that the cable cl 500 is balance but sold with the 500 system. I would like to know if it will give me any problem to use  cl 500 cable in my G3 112 system? Normally i would believe that balance is better than unbalance, but there must be a reason why G3-112 is sold with a unbalance cable. I will use this to connect to my HD recorder 664 with balance input. Any comment would be nice, thanks.

And yes I know that the G3- 112 is not world class radiomic, but with a DPA 4060 mic. it helps a lot.


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The manuals of each device should show you the connector types and pinouts. From there you can determine how they will behave together.

If you know nothing about wiring and how different connections interact, it's time you learned. There are some great tutorials online.

Barring that, plug it in and try it. If it works, great. If it releases the "magic smoke," not so great.

Good luck.

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Thank you for answer. I just try both cable, (cl 100 unbalance and cl 500 balance) on a G3 112 system. I was hoping for a better signal with the balance cable but I could not tell the difference. I guess since the G3 is a unbalance system as you wrote this is why.

If I unplug the cable from the reciever there was noise with the unbalance cable and no noise with the balance cable.

But again, why should you unplug the cable and leave the track arm.


Thanks Michael

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Eric: " The Sennheiser G series... "

actually it is the Evolution Wireless series, and the G's are the generations of that series...


I second what JB says, once again, and suggest Jay Rose's books at www.dplay.com as a good start.


nossnevs: " I was hoping for a better signal with the balance cable but I could not tell the difference. "

although balanced wiring is better, the differences are often not obvious.

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I was hoping for a better signal with the balance cable but I could not tell the difference. I guess since the G3 is a unbalance system as you wrote this is why. 



And this takes us back to my "tough love" suggestion that you expend the effort to actually learn what you're doing, and why, rather than to continue to simply ask others how things should be wired and then make incorrect assumptions about the results.  Sorry to be so direct, but there is no shortcut to actually knowing your craft.  Anyone who claims to be a sound mixer needs to understand that knowledge of signal flow, gain staging, and proper connections are all a part of this craft.

If you understood balanced circuits and unbalanced circuits you'd know why you heard no difference and also understand what the conditions are that actually make a difference, instead you chose to make an erroneous assumption. 

+1 as Senator Mike said, check out Jay Rose's books.  Jay's writing benefits from his ability to express many complex concepts in a fairly easy to understand manner.  


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  • 2 months later...

I have a 664 and 2 new Senni g3s but I am getting white noise when the receiver is plugged into mic level in on the 664.  Phantom is off.  I dont have this problem with my Lectros or Sony radios.
The noise is at -18 on the channel meter with the reviver plugged in and off.  When turned on it drops to about -25.  Still pretty awful!!

Im wondering if there is some incompatibility with the Senni g3 and their output cable (which acts as a second antenna for diversity) and the 664?

I emailed SD about this who said send the 664 back but they didnt elaborate on what the problem was and what they would have to do to fix it!!

I havent upgraded the firmware so its still on what the 664 came with which is 1.04 but I really think its the Senni G3 output cable.

Has anyone any ideas? 



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Its not a line level out of the g3.  Its mic level.  Almost nothing can be heard when the input is set to line in.  It certainly gets rid of the noise but everything else too!!


The receiver is an EK 100.  Its part of the Sennheiser EW 100 G3 set.


The voice level is fine on mic input, its the noise thats the problem - huge noise floor which I think the cable is generating


On the 664 The gain is at 3 O'Clock and the fader is at unity gain 12 O Clock which is a good starting point for most mic level inputs.


@John Blankenship - perhaps you are thinking of a different model?  My Lectros are line output alright but not my Sony URX-P2, they are mic level out of the reveiver and so are the Senni G3s


@studiomprd - RTFM right back at you.  Its mic level.  I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are thinking of different Senni gear?  In terms of wiring, I havent found that thread, do you have a link, are people having to rewire the cable?  its sealed at the xlr end so perhaps they are making one up from scratch but can it act as the second antenna like the one supplied?


The units are still in warranty so I hope Senni will give me replacement output cables from the receiver....

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Deafone: " I emailed SD about this who said send the 664 back but they didnt elaborate on what the problem was and what they would have to do to fix it!! "

of course it could be the 664, it could be the EK-100 G3, or even the CL-2 cable...

but your initial assumption of an SD 664 problem did not sit well...(and now you think the cable is generating the noise ..?

your concern over the antenna capabilities and other comments don't give me the impression you are a good troubleshooter or problem solver...

sure, I could be wrong...

" Its mic level.  "

I'm sure you'll let us know when you figure it our...

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i reckon that the senator and John are right.

the G3 is line level out. albeit low line level compared to some other brands. but definitely not mic level.

the cable shouldnt be generating any noise.


what is the AF OUT level set to?

where to find that should be somewhere in the manual.


try plugging your headphones into the line out. if you cant hear anything, you need to turn the AF out level up. 

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Again, sorry for not being a real sound guy Mike.  I must try harder.  You are amazing and very real.  Actually sorry for asking any questions as well Mike, I hope I didnt wake you or annoy you too much by not knowing something.


You couldnt be wrong, never!


True Im not a good troubleshooter or problem solver, im not good at anything.  Do you feel better?

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whilst Senator may rub people up the wrong way, he does have a very good point.

you should know the gear you use inside out. what it can do. what it cant do.

trouble shooting is a very important skill, that you have to learn yourself, because when everything is going wrong, and people are looking at you for holding things up, you have to be able to find out whats going wrong quickly.

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Dear Deaf,


Perhaps you should spend more time getting to know the gear than you do engaging Mike.


I have some Sennheiser G2/G3 systems I use for sending scratch tracks to camera.  Mine will do line level out (as will yours if you quit arguing and start listening). 


Set the G3 output gain to its maximum level and your mixer to line in.

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i have a G3 EK100 receiver that i KNOW is line out.

i do hope you arent confusing the fact that because you have a mic plugged in to the transmitter, that you will be expecting mic level at the receiver.


i have used it into a line level input and it has been ok. sometimes ive had to set it to +12, but it has been ok.


so, assuming youre right and everyone else is wrong.

what about this faulty output cable you are blaming things on.

is it wired correctly?

is it the sennheiser one that came with it, one youve made yourself, or one youve had made.

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Line level (not quite [nominal] +4dB but should work) is with the EK100 receiver's AF level adj. set to +12dB. (max)

Mic level with the AF level set to -12 or -18dB.

If neither of those settings work, there's other issues.

Possibly the (unbalanced) output cable: Pin 1 and Pin 3 on the XLR should be tied together. The 'ring' connector on the 3.5mm (locking) connector is floated.

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Thanks for your clear and unabusive response Rick!  So refreshing and helpful!!

Im still trouble shooting this and would be interested from hearing back from owners of the 664 who use it with unbalanced input devices.

Do you own the Sennheiser g2s and if you bought them new was the output cable balanced?

I own 2 of the Sennheiser g3s and they ship with an unbalanced output cable called the CL100.

Do you own a 664 and if so are you using any unbalanced gear with it?  if so does it all work ok or are do you have to make modifications to allow it to work?

My 664 has a problem with the unbalanced output cable from the g3 receiver and this manifests itself as a huge amount of noise on the channel.  I think it doesn't like pins 1 and 3 being linked and creates a lot of noise on the channel.  Using a balanced cable eliminates this problem.

I can plug the unbalanced cable into an SQN mixer and none of the noise is present so it can handle an unbalanced input but MY 664 cant.

It seems some other 664 owners have problems with unbalanced inputs and that a mod is needed so that makes me wonder if its just some 664s within a range of serial numbers that have a problem with unbalanced inputs?
Sound Devices have been quick to suggest sending the unit back but have refused to tell me what they think is wrong and what they are going to do to fix it.

I have a solution for using the g3s in that I now have 2 x balanced CL500 cables from Sennheiser which normally ship with their more expensive radio mics.

I'd prefer if the 664 could handle unbalanced inputs with no problems like the SQN mixer could!

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