Z1 unbalanced output to Studio Monitors?

Discussion in 'KONTROL Z1' started by mightymellow, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. mightymellow

    mightymellow New Member

    So I don't know much about this stuff, but:

    Apparently the output of the Z1 is unbalanced. I have studio monitors (M-Audio BX8a's) that have TRS and XLR balanced inputs.

    In a forum on another website, I found this problem...

    "So each RCA jack on the back -red and white – does seem to put out its own signal (if you read the manual it will show the z1 set up with two speakers) and I was able to get clear sound running through my mixer with just the positive (red) connected to the mixer and the z1. Thus, I was hopeful and set out to converter land to see what I could do.

    On one trip I came back with a 1/4 inch to RCA connector and ran one 1/4 wire from the positive (red) through the connector, into the 1/4 inch input of my powered speaker and failed. Then set back out and bought a dual RCA converter which I ran from the positive and negative (red and white) out of the z1, which combined (like a wishbone) and converted into one 1/4 inch and ran that 1/4 wire into my powered speaker and also failed. The powered speakers take 1/4 or xlr so I could have gone through the same process with the xlr and converters but that’s the definition of insanity. Bottom line for me, the RCA outputs are just unbalanced.

    Using the converters, if I moved the cable just right I could get sound directly to my speaker but then the slightest movement or when I got texts sent the worst “buzzing” sound and through it out of whack.

    To perform publicly with this I’ve reached a conclusion that you have to have a mixer or something that will take the unbalanced signal and then throw it back out there via 1/4 or XLR."

    I have used unbalanced cables straight from my monitors to my computer (TRS to 3.5mm) in the past and have had problems with the cable needing to be sitting in exactly the right spot to avoid buzz.

    How are you guys plugging your Z1 into monitors? Are you going straight from unbalanced to the monitors? Is there a better way?

  2. tmccoy

    tmccoy Forum Member

    Much like the BX5d2 that I use, the BX8 appears to accept unbalanced inputs just fine.


    Have you tried a cable like this (Dual RCA Male to Dual 1/4" TS Male)

    EDIT: Red and White RCA are for Right and Left STEREO signals, not positive and negative signals. Each RCA is a two conductor Ground (shield) and Positive (tip) connector.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  3. mightymellow

    mightymellow New Member

    Thanks for the reply!

    Good to know that you're using something similar and having good results - I've just been worried because my unbalanced input into my laptop has been so prone to buzz if not in the right position, and the poster I quoted above seems to have had similar problems. If you're not having any problems though, it looks like I should give it a shot.

    Also, re the cable you posted above, you mentioned TS but then posted your edit - is the above the cable I should be looking for? Some responses by the seller to questions says that each is mono? (sorry - don't know much about TS vs TRS etc.)

    anyone else had positive/negative experiences re this?
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  4. keng~

    keng~ NI Product Owner

    I connect my Dynaudio BM12A speakers that accept only balanced XLR Connector directly to z1, using this adaptors and this cable, all goes right without hiss, hum or buzzes at all, the only inconvenience is that when you send audio unbalanced you have +/- 6 DB of loss, so the volume is less loud and consequently if you turn up volume hiss and buzz can come in the audio signal early than with balanced audio connections...


    surely the output slot of an integrated audio card on a laptop is full of buzzes dued to entry level electronic components and electricity...

  5. mightymellow

    mightymellow New Member

    Thanks for the reply mate! I've taken the plunge and will connect through my TRS input. I'll post again letting you know how it goes.
  6. Tjhendrix

    Tjhendrix New Member