Hello all,

soon I will bring my tascam US2000 to our jam space to record our band.

The guitars will go directly in the input, the bassist will use his amp's direct out into a third entry, the singer will obviously plug her mic into a 4th entry and the bassist will use three independent entries for snare, bass drum, one overhead and the rest will go through one of his mixers into the last entry.

My question lies in the fact that the soundcard's monitor outputs are 1/4 jacks and not XLR. To hear ourselves as we record, we would plug the sound card into the two yorkville speakers we usually use with a mixer just for practices.

The PA speakers DO have 1/4 inputs, however I'm not sure if I'd be ****ing up my guitar cables or putting anything in danger by using them? I don't mind buying long speaker cables if I have to, but it would be kindof a useless expense since they wouldn't be used all that often...

Using instrument cables for that kinda thing can be dodgy, they can melt if you're unlucky. You'd be better off with Speaker cables.

Instrument cables will work... but there is a possibility they'll die on you.
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Last edited by ChemicalFire at Apr 21, 2013,
hum... ok I suppose I'll buy some. Shouldn't be too expensive.

Looking at the store website, I noticed they make speaker cables that go from a 1/4 to an XLR.

Would there be an advantage for running this setup or plugging an acoustic guitar in the PA using this sort of cable? We often do direct in for recording so maybe I could make more use of this cable this way...

EDIT: I realize I might have worded this a bit too complicated...

What I mean is:
-Is there an advantage to using a 1/4 to XLR cable between my sound card and the PA speakers or is it the same as a 1/4 to 1/4 speaker cable?
-Is there an advantage to plugging an acoustic guitar/recording direct in with this sort of cable as opposed to a normal guitar cable?
Last edited by flexiblemile at Apr 21, 2013,
I have a US-2000 that I used to use.

If you're coming out of the US-2000 and feeding active speakers, you can use instrument cables. The monitor outputs are at line level, not at speaker level - you won't melt the cables.

Why not use speaker cables for this application? Because we're dealing with a line level signal, and it still needs to have the protection of a shielded instrument cable. Using a speaker cable for this low level signal makes it prone to picking up interference. Remember, you only need to use speaker cables when you're driving passive speakers from a separate amplifier - never use an instrument cable for this purpose, or you're asking for trouble,
Whoa.... wait a sec.

What is driving the PA speakers? When you say "mixer", do you mean a powered mixer that drives two passive speakers? Or a non-powered mixer that drives two active speakers?

A mixer is expecting to see a regular instrument line - not a speaker. Same with an active speaker. In both cases, you are carrying an unamplified signal eventually into an amplifier.

What you don't want to do is run an amplified signal into a pair of speakers using anything but speaker cable.

So, you'll go instrument > instrument cable > un-powered mixer > instrument cable > power amp > speaker cable > passive speakers.


instrument > instrument cable > powered mixer > speaker cable > passive speakers.


instrument > instrument cable > un-powered mixer > instrument cable > active speakers.

In active speakers, the power amp is built right into the speaker enclosure, so putting a speaker cable between the amplifier and the speaker is already done for you inside the enclosure.

To simplify it even further, speaker cable should be used between an amplifier and a speaker. Always. But only then.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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Last edited by axemanchris at Apr 21, 2013,
oh so good news for me then since I won't need to buy more cables as I have a ton of instrument cables

Axemanchris, just to clarify my designs:

For this recording session, we wouldn't use a mixer (well the drummer would for some of his mics but I digress) We would use a tascam US2000 that would record in a laptop through cubase. The monitor outs would go to two active yorkville speakers. I am now under the impression that I can use instrument cables.

However, another application that I might have seen for buying a 1/4 to xlr cable would have been while we rehearse WITHOUT the tascam and plug the acoustic guitar and vocals into a mixer which drives the active speakers OR when I record at home pluggin a guitar into the tascam.

But now I know that I don't need to buy any cables so the second point is moot.
Last edited by flexiblemile at Apr 21, 2013,
Yes. Use the instrument cables to go from your monitor outputs on the US-2000 to the active speakers. It will work fine and that's the preferred method.

If you plug the acoustic guitar into an XLR cable, make sure it's a 1/4" TS on one end - for the guitar. Most guitars do not have balanced connections. The only maker I'm aware of that does supply balanced signals on their acoustics is Taylor and their ES system.
no, it's a Godin acousticaster, not a taylor. But regardless, since I can use instrument cables, I won't need to buy any xlr cables

thank you all for your answers