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Author Topic: SBD > UA-5: front-panel XLR or rear-panel RCA?  (Read 2155 times)

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Offline BradM

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SBD > UA-5: front-panel XLR or rear-panel RCA?
« on: June 22, 2009, 09:55:58 AM »
I'm going to be seeing YMSB next week (Sunday, June 28, in Troy, NY), and I think Ben, their sound wizard, gives board patches, but XLR only. I want to run via my UA-5 into my JB3 (the 1/8" analog connector on my JB3 is a bit flaky, but the optical part works fine), so I was thinking that I could just run a pair of XLR cables from the board into the front panel of the UA-5. If I did this, I assume I'd have to back the sensitivity off a bit compared to running mics into it, as I assume the board would be putting out a line-level signal rather than a mic-level signal. (If anyone has experience running this way off a YMSB board feed and could tell me the approx. level [which "o'clock", for example] to set the sensitivity, I'd appreciate it.)

The other way would be to use some adaptors (which I have) to go into the RCA connectors on the back panel, and use the (single) "input volume" knob to adjust the levels.

From a sound quality perspective, is one way better than the other? I think I'd be more comfortable going into the XLRs, as that's what I use all the time (I've never used the back-panel inputs), and my fingers are used to adjusting the front-panel sensitivity knobs, as opposed to the back-panel knob, which my fingers haven't dealt with before.

Any info or tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

Aloha,
Brad
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Offline sunjan

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Re: SBD > UA-5: front-panel XLR or rear-panel RCA?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2009, 10:21:11 AM »
Which mod does your UA5 have?
Remember that the flavor will affect the XLR inputs, but not the RCAs, if that's something to strive for.
Haven't ran line in with mine, so can't help you with the settings...
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Offline skotdee

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Re: SBD > UA-5: front-panel XLR or rear-panel RCA?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2009, 10:45:20 AM »
I've run SBD into both the line in on the back and the XLR on the front, got good results with both. I tend to like the line in on the back better, the little input knob on the back is how you control the levels youre sending to your recorder. That thing works as a great attenuator, and can control the signal coming from the SBD no matter how hot it is. You could run into problems with the XLR's on the front if your SBD signal is too hot.

However, as sunjan pointed out if you have a flavor modded UA-5, you would obviously need to use the XLR inputs to take advantage of the mod. However, if you have a "+" mod UA-5, be aware some work has been done on the RCA inputs on the back as well...

Offline BradM

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Re: SBD > UA-5: front-panel XLR or rear-panel RCA?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2009, 10:58:21 AM »
Thanks, everybody. My UA-5 has the digimod (done "DIY" by the guy I bought it from, I think), but no "flavour" mods that I know of. I think I'll try the back-panel connectors, if for no other reason than to gain an experience using it. (I'll be with another taper, who'll be running an audience rig, so even if I mess things up horribly, we should have a backup.)

Aloha,
Brad
2015-07

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Offline Ben Turnbull

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Re: SBD > UA-5: front-panel XLR or rear-panel RCA?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2009, 11:46:37 AM »
Which mod does your UA5 have?
Remember that the flavor will affect the XLR inputs, but not the RCAs, if that's something to strive for.
Haven't ran line in with mine, so can't help you with the settings...

'Not sure that this statement is correct.  A casual review of the UA5 block diagram found printed on the case, in the manual or on line here on TS in the archives... would tend to suggest that all sources that get input must eventually pass through the A/D > D/A chain.  Since, to my recollection, the "flavor" is imparted by replacing OpAmps (OpAmp?) I'm going out on a limb and saying that analog inputs will adopt the mod flavor by default.
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Offline Patrick

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Re: SBD > UA-5: front-panel XLR or rear-panel RCA?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2009, 11:57:12 AM »
Which mod does your UA5 have?
Remember that the flavor will affect the XLR inputs, but not the RCAs, if that's something to strive for.
Haven't ran line in with mine, so can't help you with the settings...

'Not sure that this statement is correct.  A casual review of the UA5 block diagram found printed on the case, in the manual or on line here on TS in the archives... would tend to suggest that all sources that get input must eventually pass through the A/D > D/A chain.  Since, to my recollection, the "flavor" is imparted by replacing OpAmps (OpAmp?) I'm going out on a limb and saying that analog inputs will adopt the mod flavor by default.

Was it Doug or Busman that offered to upgrade the RCA signal path separately from the mic preamp op amp chips?  So, it was another option, instead of coming standard with any "flavor" mod.  If I remember correctly, that's what the "+" was for on W+/T+/P+ UA-5s.

All of this is essentially irrelevant since BradM has a regular digimod.   :P  Just wanted to clarify.
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Offline willndmb

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Re: SBD > UA-5: front-panel XLR or rear-panel RCA?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2009, 01:53:39 PM »
be sure NOT to hit the phantom button if you use the front
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Offline Massive Dynamic

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Re: SBD > UA-5: front-panel XLR or rear-panel RCA?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2009, 04:42:28 PM »
I've had just ONE evening's recordings ruined by going SBD > XLR before I got some inline attenuators. Major brickwalling. Definitely recommend the RCA ins if you don't have a pair of -20 attenuators or similar.
And a trip to the hardware store is in order. http://taperssection.com/index.php/topic,45593.0.html
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Offline BradM

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Re: SBD > UA-5: front-panel XLR or rear-panel RCA?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2009, 06:09:14 PM »
I ran a test tonight: I play guitar, and have been recording myself by running a pair of SP-BMC3s (about 2" from the grille of a Roland JC-50 guitar amp, with the volume at about 1) into an SP-SBSB1 battery box into the front panel (1/4", via some adaptors) of my UA-5 into my JB3. With this rig, and the sensitivity knobs set to 12 o'clock, I get really good (nearly, but not quite, overloading) levels on the JB3's meters.

When I ran the rig into the back panel RCAs, I found I had to turn the input volume knob up to 3 o'clock to get the same readings on the JB3. From this I conclude that the back-panel RCAs are noticably less sensitive (i.e., have less gain) than the front-panel XLR/1/4" connectors, so I think I'll run from the sbd into the back-panel connectors. (And I may make a trip to the hardware store tomorrow; thanks, CliveStaples.)

Aloha,
Brad
2015-07

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11 / PleasureCraft / Ottawa, ON / Irene's Pub

Offline Massive Dynamic

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Re: SBD > UA-5: front-panel XLR or rear-panel RCA?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2009, 06:17:50 PM »
I believe the RCA ins go from -50db to 0db; there is no gain applied. OTOH, the XLR ins start at 0db and add gain from there, though I don't think anyone has measured exactly how much gain the UA-5 is really capable of.
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