Our stereo pedals use 1/4" TRS input/output cables. The left channel is on the tip, right channel on the sleeve. This is not the same as a balanced connection. See the "Stereo Pedal Connections" article for more information about stereo connections.
Connections between TRS stereo pedals use TRS to TRS (stereo) cables. Here are some examples:
- Hosa CSS-830, CSS-103, and CSS-103RR
- Monoprice 601100 1/4" TRS Guitar Pedal Patch Cable, Right Angle, 8-inch
- MXR DCIST01RR TRS Stereo Cable
- Pro Co BP-1 Excellines Balanced Patch Cable
- RockBoard Flat TRS Cable (15 cm / 5 7/8")
- Sinasoid Short Stack Gotham GAC-2 TRS Patch Cable
To split the input or output into separate left and right cables, use TRS to dual TS (or RCA) cables, commonly called insert cables. The left channel is on the tip (sometimes marked "send") and the right channel is on the ring ("return").
- EBS ICY-30 Right Angle Flat Insert Cable - 30 cm
- Hosa STP-201 1/4" TRS to dual 1/4" TS Male
- Monoprice 601051 1/4" TRS Male to two 1/4" TS Male Insert Cable
- Pro Co IPBQ2Q-3 1/4" TRS Male to Dual 1/4" TS Male Insert Cable
- Pro Co EDCBQ2L-5 1/4" TRS Male to Dual 1/4" TS Male Right-Angle Insert Cable
- Rockboard flat Y-Splitter
- Sinasoid TRS to Dual-TS Expression "TRS-V" Patch Cable
- Hosa YPP-117 Stereo Breakout Cable - 1/4" TRS Male to Dual 1/4" TS Female
- Hosa TRS-201 Insert Cable - 1/4" TRS Male to Dual RCA Male
- Pro Co IPBQ2R-3 1/4" TRS Male to Dual RCA Male Cable
- Hosa YPR-102 Stereo Breakout Cable - 1/4" TRS Male to Dual RCA Female
If you need to convert a mono signal to a stereo, you can use a 1/4" TS to 1/4" TRS adapter. This is useful if you are switching between mono and stereo instruments and do not want to reconfigure your pedal. Look for an adapter that applies the mono signal equally to stereo left and right. Here is an example:
Balanced Signals on TRS connectors
Our pedals do not use balanced input or output, but the same TRS connectors can be used for balanced connections and it sometimes causes confusion. A balanced signal transmits a mono signal using three wires: positive (tip), negative (ring), and ground (shield). The positive and negative wires carry a single audio channel, but 180 degrees out of phase. This improves noise immunity with long cable runs. Since the positive and negative wires both pick up the same noise relative to ground, the receiving device can use a differential input to subtract off the noise.
At the source:
Tip = signal
Ring = -signal
Shield = ground
At the destination:
Tip = signal + noise
Ring =-signal + noise
Shield = ground
The differential input calculates:
Tip - Ring = signal + noise -(-signal + noise) = 2 * signal
and the noise is greatly reduced.
If you connect a stereo TRS output to a balanced TRS input, the differential input will subtract the right channel from the left. In most cases, that will result in a very quiet signal.