• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

XLR vs. Humbuster

jw3571

Inspired
Is XLR still the best way to connect the Axe III to FRFR monitors? Should I be looking at using Humbuster cables instead?
 

Techboy57

Inspired
XLR is usually the best way to go. Fully balanced and least amount of noise, unless there are problems with grounding or power.
 

mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
The primary difference is with balanced XLR, the input of the receiving device does the noise cancellation so it requires a balanced input to work. With Humbuster, the output does the noise cancellation so a balanced input is not needed. If your monitors have balanced XLR inputs, I'd go that route. If they only have unbalanced inputs, Humbuster is the way to go. Both are low impedance outputs that can drive long cables well.

XLR cables are an industry staple and are typically easier to find. The XLR outs also have a ground lift switch to combat ground loops.

Humbuster cables can easily be made by unscrewing and shorting the ring and sleeve contacts inside one plug of a balanced TRS cable. No need to replace the plug, just mark it with tape or paint to distinguish it from the non-modified side. You can then easily revert the cable back to a standard TRS cable by removing the internal jumper if needed.
 
Last edited:

Ziyan

Member
I could then use Humbusters to connect pedals to the FX loop (out and in 3/4)?

Has anyone tried/noticed a benefit of using the Humbusters in that application vs regular 1/4"?
 

Danny W.

Experienced
I could then use Humbusters to connect pedals to the FX loop (out and in 3/4)?

Has anyone tried/noticed a benefit of using the Humbusters in that application vs regular 1/4"?
Humbuster works on ground-loop induced noise--pedals that are battery powered or running off a wall wart or typical power supply will not benefit.

Danny W.
 

chris

Legend!
XLR cables already have "humbusting" in them. it's by design and why XLR is preferred in professional sound installations. Humbuster is a technology designed by Fractal Audio that works only with Fractal gear, in an effort to give 1/4" connections a similar benefit that XLR already has.
 

simonp54

Experienced
I’m wondering if output 1, 1/4 inch humbuster connections can be considered a second set of balanced outs? If connected with the correct “full 3 core straight” cabling to a balanced input?
My gut tells me no, but would like to know tech reasons.
 

chris

Legend!
I’m wondering if output 1, 1/4 inch humbuster connections can be considered a second set of balanced outs? If connected with the correct “full 3 core straight” cabling to a balanced input?
My gut tells me no, but would like to know tech reasons.
it's wired as unbalanced, but you want to get a balanced output from it?
 

yeky83

Power User
Humbuster works on ground-loop induced noise--pedals that are battery powered or running off a wall wart or typical power supply will not benefit.

Danny W.
Isn't the extra shielding in TRS cables also potentially beneficial for mitigating noise? Or does this not apply to humbuster cables?
 

chris

Legend!
Isn't the extra shielding in TRS cables also potentially beneficial for mitigating noise? Or does this not apply to humbuster cables?
I think TRS cables only work like that when the jacks on both sides are wired as TRS/Balanced.

I’ve seen people say they use a TRS cable from their guitar to amp because they heard it reduces noise. But it isn’t reducing noise and isn’t the correct gear to use.

Is that what you’re talking about?

That said, Humbuster isn’t “TRS” because it’s wired differently. I feel I’m misunderstanding the question.
 

simonp54

Experienced
Ok. You guys don’t know enough to answer my question. No disrespect. Really the question is whether the internal circuitry behind the “humbuster outs” is the same as the balanced outs. Aka a differential setup. I’m guessing not. I can use out 2 as a secondary balanced out. So I’m going to do that.

Thanks for the responses
 

chris

Legend!
Ok. You guys don’t know enough to answer my question. No disrespect. Really the question is whether the internal circuitry behind the “humbuster outs” is the same as the balanced outs. Aka a differential setup. I’m guessing not. I can use out 2 as a secondary balanced out. So I’m going to do that.

Thanks for the responses
It says unbalanced though?
 

Capt Nasty

Experienced
Ok. You guys don’t know enough to answer my question. No disrespect. Really the question is whether the internal circuitry behind the “humbuster outs” is the same as the balanced outs. Aka a differential setup. I’m guessing not. I can use out 2 as a secondary balanced out. So I’m going to do that.

Thanks for the responses
The internal details of how the Humbuster works (to my knowledge) have not been publicly disclosed by FAS. So the only people who would know the details of what is going on there are FAS engineers and Cliff. I don’t think they are going to give this information up.
Isn't the extra shielding in TRS cables also potentially beneficial for mitigating noise? Or does this not apply to humbuster cables?
There is not extra shielding in a TRS vs TS cable per se. There are different types of shields that can be used on cables, but this is true of both TRS and TS.

The thing that some people (on the web) claim is that the mere existence of a twisted pair of conduit reduces noise. All the twisted pair does by itself is increase capacitance. On this sound and electrical engineers seem to have consensus.

A second, conflicting view is that the twisted pair in TRS cabling coupled with the use of polarity inverted signals (+ and -) over the twisted conduit pairs adds a level of noise resistance. There are sound and electrical engineers who vehemently argue both sides of this particular topic. If this is factual, then at a minimum the sending component would have to be balanced to get any type of noise resistance benefit out of TRS cabling. Note that this would be different than noise cancellation which a true balanced connection provides.

How is FAS achieving noise reduction with Humbuster technology? We do not know the details. Could they have figured out that sending the inverted signal over the ring to ground does in fact provide a reasonable level of noise rejection? Perhaps. If this is the case that would effectively make a Humbuster connector balanced.

Could they be using some other proprietary method that FAS figured out? Absolutely. Until Cliff decides to share what he has done no one here will have the details OP seeks to speak authoritatively to the subject. I personally think this is the most likely scenario for a simple reason: balanced connections seek to eliminate inducted noise. In other words noise that is added to the signal when the cabling acts as an antennae. Humbuster is focused on eliminating ground loop hum, which is created by a different mechanism than inducted noise.

What OP does not seem to have the knowledge to realize is that XLR vs Humbuster cables is an apples to oranges comparison. No disrespect intended. While they are both seeking to solve a problem (noise in a signal), they are solving for different causes of that problem (ground loop hum vs inducted noise). The noise cancellation in balanced connections does not solve for ground loop hum as witnessed by the inclusion of ground lifts for balanced outs.
 
Last edited:

Danny W.

Experienced
Ok. You guys don’t know enough to answer my question. No disrespect. Really the question is whether the internal circuitry behind the “humbuster outs” is the same as the balanced outs. Aka a differential setup. I’m guessing not. I can use out 2 as a secondary balanced out. So I’m going to do that.

Thanks for the responses
Sure we do--the answer is NO--they are not balanced outs. They are single-end outs with a sensing lead to detect ground noise.

Danny W.
 
Top Bottom