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post #1 of 36 Old 04-24-2009, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I have an amp that uses a type of XLR for the output. The amp is rated for 250 watts per channel.

Do I have to make my own adapter to go from the XLR output to speaker cable?
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post #2 of 36 Old 04-24-2009, 06:37 AM
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what type of amp is it? Amplifiers don't normally use XLR for speaker outs. you might be looking at an XLR loop through, to go to another amp, or a speakon output connector. but its hard to tell without knowing what kind of amp it is.
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post #3 of 36 Old 04-24-2009, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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It's the B-20 amp from NHT. They have the XLR inputs as you mentioned and then the outputs that go to the individual subs are XLR as well.

The directions say it's XLR, not speakon, so I'm not sure what ot use.
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post #4 of 36 Old 04-24-2009, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

It's the B-20 amp from NHT. They have the XLR inputs as you mentioned and then the outputs that go to the individual subs are XLR as well.

The directions say it's XLR, not speakon, so I'm not sure what ot use.

Send Jack Hidley a PM or an email to get clarification.

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post #5 of 36 Old 04-24-2009, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I figure Jack's busy with other things right now, so I thought I'd ask here first.

Has anyone ever seen an XLR power output on an amp before?
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post #6 of 36 Old 04-25-2009, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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So does anyone think I should just cut the ends off the supplied XLR power cables? I wonder if there are 3 lines inside though, and obviously, I only need a positive and negative.

Any ideas? The new amp came with all the needed cables. The XLR cables that are designed for power output are red. The directions say to use the red ones to power the subs. Obviously the subs that came with the B-20 setup had XLR inputs on the back of them.

I'm guessing the power XLR cables have been beefed up.
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post #7 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 05:04 AM
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Do you have pictures?

*edit*
Ok, I found a picture from an old ebay auction.


Wow...why did they use XLR instead of speakon or even bare wire!? I guess a person is just supposed to look for the "lightning bolt" and know.

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post #8 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 05:18 AM
 
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XLR is why I stayed away from the B20. It is set up to connect to a sub like the NHT xdw. XLR is fine for connecting up amps, but I was not sure what to do with it when connecting to speakers. It may be real simple. I would go to DIYaudio and ask Jack.
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post #9 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

XLR is why I stayed away from the B20. It is set up to connect to a sub like the NHT xdw. XLR is fine for connecting up amps, but I was not sure what to do with it when connecting to speakers. It may be real simple. I would go to DIYaudio and ask Jack.

Well, just see which pin is the negative and which pin is the positive. Two of the three must be used, and I'm sure it states somewhere in the manual.

Worst case scenario, once you know which pins are used, you could stick some speaker wire into the two female holes and tap it with a 9v battery. Because it puts out DC current the speaker will move one direction. If it moves out, then whichever pin is associated to the + side of the batter is your + speaker input. If the cone moves in, then the + side of the battery is plugged into the - speaker input. Make sense?

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post #10 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I took the cover off last night and checked out the internal wiring up to the XLR output. I'm wondering if 2 of the pins are used for positive and the other pin is for the negative. But I'll have to post a close up photo because the PC board that it's connected to seems odd. There's only 2 wires leading to the board for each side. Yellow and black for one side and blue and black for the other. The black one is grounded to the amp chassis with about 8 other black wires.

I can always swap out the XLR for something else once I figure out which wire goes where.

I don't know how amps are wired internally. Would the negative be grounded tot he chassis? It must be, because there's only one other wire left for positive flow.
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post #11 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

I figure Jack's busy with other things right now, so I thought I'd ask here first.

Has anyone ever seen an XLR power output on an amp before?

I have never seen that before.....its obviously very NHT specific.

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post #12 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 05:45 AM
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Once you get it figured out, why swap the jacks?

XLRs are relatively robust and are inexpensive.

If you want adapters just make your own. XLR plugs and jacks are commonly available.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #13 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

Once you get it figured out, why swap the jacks?

XLRs are relatively robust and are inexpensive.

If you want adapters just make your own. XLR plugs and jacks are commonly available.

I took the XLR cables apart to see the internal wires. They look to be 18 gauge at the most. I guess that was okay for the original because the cables were only 20' long. But if I go longer, I figured I would need to upgrade.

I can't recall what size the wires are inside the chassis, but they are larger than the XLR wires.
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post #14 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 06:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

I took the XLR cables apart to see the internal wires. They look to be 18 gauge at the most. I guess that was okay for the original because the cables were only 20' long. But if I go longer, I figured I would need to upgrade.

I can't recall what size the wires are inside the chassis, but they are larger than the XLR wires.

I agree with you. My set-up require a lot longer wires also. My equipment is in a mechanical room down stairs and the HT is up stairs. It would be a long run for me.
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post #15 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

I took the XLR cables apart to see the internal wires. They look to be 18 gauge at the most. I guess that was okay for the original because the cables were only 20' long. But if I go longer, I figured I would need to upgrade.

I can't recall what size the wires are inside the chassis, but they are larger than the XLR wires.

Make some new ones then. XLR plugs are a dime a dozen...well, not quite, but close. And, wire is relatively cheap too, unless you're buying that "special" stuff.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #16 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

Make some new ones then. XLR plugs are a dime a dozen...well, not quite, but close. And, wire is relatively cheap too, unless you're buying that "special" stuff.


Nah, I won't be buying any of the expensive wiring. But I'm not sure it would be worth the trouble to build the XLR cable any thicker at this point. I mean, I won't have XLR plugs on the subwoofer, so it just seems easier to bypass the whole XLR setup right from the amp.

I'll get some photos up later because the pin numbers don't really make sense with the way they are suppose to be wired. Following the numbers and looking at the PC board, the positive and negative are tied together and the ground pin is grounding to the chassis. But obviously, those 3 pin numbers really can't be relied upon because there's only 2 wires going into the XLR and 3 wires coming out. My guess is that they just used both the positive and negative wires in the XLR to carry it to the sub.
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post #17 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 07:56 AM
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Do what ever you want, but making new cables with XLR on one end to plug into the amp seems pretty easy.

Much easier, IMO, than trying to rework the amp to have some other type of terminal connections.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #18 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

Do what ever you want, but making new cables with XLR on one end to plug into the amp seems pretty easy.

Much easier, IMO, than trying to rework the amp to have some other type of terminal connections.

Agreed. Many years back, I built an in-wall connection setup with XLR wall plates on both ends of the room. Used them for my main speakers with heavy speaker cables (barewire-to-xlr) on each side. Let me swap ends of the room, putting the equipment or speakers on either end.

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post #19 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 09:25 AM
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Well if you want to make some.... www.diyaudio.com has loads of info.


From Wikipedia:
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post #20 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post


Much easier, IMO, than trying to rework the amp to have some other type of terminal connections.

Not if they're just quick connects stuck out the back!

I'll get some photos up shortly to help dicipher this wiring puzzle.
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post #21 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, here's a photo: The black wire runs to a bolt that's screwed to the chassis frame with other black wires. So it would appear that #2 and #3 are both positive?



Looking at the back of the amp, you can also see the drawing that shows what the individual wires are for inside the XLR cable. However, I think that's strickly for the XLR inputs, not the output that I have photographed.
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post #22 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

Not if they're just quick connects stuck out the back!

I guess...if you're into the hack job look.

If 2 and 3 both go to the positive wire through the board trace, then yeah, both 2 and 3 would be positive.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #23 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

I guess...if you're into the hack job look.

If 2 and 3 both go to the positive wire through the board trace, then yeah, both 2 and 3 would be positive.

Ahhh man, you wouldn't even see it though, AND it would give some extra air flow!!



Anyway, so the negative output on amplifiers actually goes to the ground on the chassis?

I'm assuming 2 and 3 both go to the positive, that's what it looks like going by the photo I posted anway. But I wasn't 100% sure.

If that's the case, then maybe I'll just use the current XLR cables. I can just cut off the terminal on the subwoofer end, twist #2 and #3 together and be done with it. I may not need over 20' right now.

I'm ready to chop it to pieces, but I better wait for some extra opinions.
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post #24 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

Anyway, so the negative output on amplifiers actually goes to the ground on the chassis?

Not all. Some float their outputs.

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post #25 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

Anyway, so the negative output on amplifiers actually goes to the ground on the chassis?

It depends on the amp design. In this case, yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

I'm assuming 2 and 3 both go to the positive, that's what it looks like going by the photo I posted anway. But I wasn't 100% sure.

Since pins 2 & 3 are tied together at the back of the connector, it is done for extra current carrying capacity through the cable, rather than using a single larger diameter wire in the cable.

Obviously, the braided ground shield was determined to be at least a match for the combined capacity of the 2 wires found in pins 2 and 3.

What might have confused you is the silkscreened image of an XLR connector with the pins identified by function--located near your amp output XLR connector.

The silkscreened XLR image does not apply to the output connector.

It is for an input connection along with the alternative TRS connector.

I think it was assumed that the amp's output would only be connected to the accompanying subwoofer through the supplied cable, so no signal ID silkscreen would be needed for the output connector. Not so for the input connector.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

I'm ready to chop it to pieces, but I better wait for some extra opinions.

Erich, go ahead and connect with confidence: pins 2 & 3 are subwoofer hot (+), pin 1 is subwoofer return (-).

If you're still a little nervous, I give you my word that I will troubleshoot and repair your amp at my expense if my advice leads to any damage.
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post #26 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, it looks like I can rip this cable apart then!

Thanks for all the advice, I appreciate it.

I have a feeling some people thought I might be going nuts when I mentioned it had XLR for outputs. Rest assured, I'm not totally crazy yet!
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post #27 of 36 Old 04-26-2009, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

I have a feeling some people thought I might be going nuts when I mentioned it had XLR for outputs.

Nonsense. It's better to be safe than sorry. Let us know how it sounds.
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post #28 of 36 Old 05-03-2009, 12:28 AM
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Erich,

Yes, Pin 2 and 3 are + and pin 1 is ground.

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post #29 of 36 Old 05-03-2009, 01:00 AM
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Erich,
now that you've got it apart your options are open

and if you can't make a decision there's a combo jack now

Regards,
Dan
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post #30 of 36 Old 05-03-2009, 06:49 AM
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Or, he can use what he has since the two small conductors are paralleled and the shield serves as the other conductor. If it's two 18ga wires in parallel, it's equivalent to 15ga wire...fine for 20-ft length.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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