I bought these cables to go from the unbalanced pre amp outputs of my AVR to the balanced inputs of a 7 channel power amp with balanced inputs for my home theater. I purchased 1 piece first to determine how it is wired internally because Monoprice tech support can never provide this information (see Con above). They are wired properly. Pin 2 of the XLR goes to the RCA plug center contact. Pin 3 of XLR goes to the other wire conductor in the twisted pair cable and then attaches to the outer contact of the RCA plug. And lastly pin 1 of the XLR is connected to the shield of the cable which then goes to the outer contact of the RCA plug also. This is correct for unbalanced out to balanced in. If hooking up your equipment in this fashion causes hum you have a ground loop somewhere else in your system.
PROS: Wired properly for unbalanced output to balanced input. For balanced output to unbalanced input, it would depend on the circuit topology of the balanced output whether this cable is suitable.
CONS: None yet but it is curious that Monoprice Tech support can never answer a question about how their cables are wired. This info should be readily available on the website IMHO.
I love monoprice cables in general, and this cable is good. At the time of this review, the writeup is incorrect when stating that this should be used to connect an unbalanced output with a balanced input.
To connect an unbalanced output to a balanced input, a two conductor (+ shield) cable is needed. On the unbalanced end, the red conductor should connect to the tip, the black to the ring (the shield should not be connected). The XLR connector should be wired with the shield connecting to pin 1, the red to pin 2, the black to pin 3. You now would have 30-80db of noise rejection.
For more reading:
This Rane document has the best chart on proper wireing. http://www.rane.com/note110.html
This is a more technical document that tells us why. http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/connecting_unbalanced_outputs_to_balanced_inputs_and_vice_versa/P2/
I hope monoprice develops this new cable for us!
PROS: Great cable for connecting a balanced output to an unbalanced input
CONS: Do NOT mistake this cable as being the proper way to connect an unbalanced output to a balanced input (e.g. a consumer CD player to a audio mixing board).
CONS: Would not work upon initial use.....after troubleshooting I found xlr pins 2 and 3 were both connected to the RCA center pin. This is incorrect and the adapter would not work until I opened it up and made corrections. This repair may not be possible by the typical user, and would result in a lower review score if they were to isolate the problem. Shame on you, Monoprice, for your production quality control here. However, I must say this is the first quality issue I have encountered and I will continue to be a customer.
I have these cables between an Arcam FM tuner (RCA male) and an Anthem amplifier (XLR male). The cables are very flexible and appear to be of extremely good quality. What I liked best was the price which is way below the average retail for these cables. The sound reproduction is superb.
PROS: *good quality *very flexible cables
CONS: *my only beef is that the cheapest shipping method takes quite a long time to get to Canada
These cables are very well built. I especially like the rca end of it. It's metallic and is well put together. Looks very clean and professional. The cable itself is not plastic like your usual rca cable. It's covered with rubber insulation which is good for protecting the cables inside. The connections are firm and they don't loosen up. I've been using them for a while now and they're working as expected.
PROS: very pretty, strong, clean, professional grade.
I got these for plugging from the RCA outputs of my DJ mixer into the XLR inputs of my powered speaker. I wanted good quality, because everything would be riding on these. I looked online for what looked to be the best quality for the best price, and these Monoprice cables were perfect. I would have paid more to have gotten cables of this quality. They are very thick, and the connectors are heavy duty. I will be buying a second pair for backup.
PROS: Very high-grade professional quality heavy-duty connectors, very thick cables
CONS: I would have liked to have been able to get them in a longer length. I have to connect them to another pair of XLR cables to be long enough to make it to my speakers, no matter how close I put them.
Did exactly what I hoped they would do and cut the stray hum from pc soundcard to my powered monitor speakers. Good shielded rca cable to xlr was hard to find but these are very good quality and a low price. Very pleased with purchase and proceeded to buy more rca cables for the home system.
PROS: rca to xlr shielded cable, good quality, great price
CONS: The rca ends can crack sometimes and tend to fit very tightly which mostly is a plus - unless you are plugging and unplugging them a lot.