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CABLES: Mono and Stereo (TRS)
Recent News and Updates
Today is MLK Day...
Today is a federal holiday celebrating the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States. All US Post Offices are closed today in recognition of this holiday, so orders processed and "shipped" in our system today will be packed and labeled, but will not actually be physically shipped until tomorrow. UPS is still operating today, so larger items that go by UPS will ship as normal.
Traditional NXTs IN STOCK
Get yours now!
This is an amazing value -- for our upright bass-playing friends who want an EUB that can "sub" for the big bass, we've done all the upgrades for you -- and even put a custom "traditional" finish on the bass.

You get all the modern ergonomics and portability of the NS Design Electric Uprights, but with the Traditional string set for a more authentic doublebass sound (and bowability). We've also had NS Design upgrade the tuners to the CR-spec Schallers. And the cool traditional brown finish, over the veneer, looks classy and traditional -- and we even include a set of f-hole decals you can optionally install on the bass.

The four-string is the NEW NXTa "active" model, with the built-in flash-rechargeable buffer circuit. We have a limited number of 5-strings left in the original passive design, and those are the last of the traditional 5-strings.

You can't get this exclusive model anywhere else, folks.

Read more!
McNutt Bass Cradles IN STOCK
The McNutt Bass Cradle is a super Low-Profile Bass Stand that holds your bass securely, at an angle, for easy access. Stable, and surprisingly lightweight, it's portable enough for gigging (it comes with a shoulder bag) and works nice at home, too! Great in a show pit for quick switches between electric and upright, too! Now IN STOCK for immediate shipment.

Recently Added Products
Genzler Bass Array Magellan 350/BA 10 1x10 Small Combo
Genzler Bass Array Magellan 350/BA 10 1x10 Small Combo
The wizard who brought you those great sounding amps (with a similar name) is back! This small combo has the flexibility, hi-fi transparent sound, and great design -- in a portable package -- that you would expect from Jeff Genzler...
• 15.5”W x 15”D x 16”H, 25 Lbs • 175w (350 w/added cab) and 1x10 speaker with array
Headway EDB-2 Dual Channel Blending Preamp with Mic Input
Headway EDB-2 Dual Channel Blending Preamp with Mic Input
This versatile 2-channel preamp can handle two pickups, or a pickup and a mic, with ease, with extensive EQ, notch filter, DI, phantom power, switchable impedance, and much more.
Humi-Doctor - Miniature Humidity/Temp monitor
Humi-Doctor - Miniature Humidity/Temp monitor
You've got to keep your bass in a safe environment to protect it from issues, like popped seams, cracks, and other issues. Check the temperature and humidity level where your bass is quickly and easily with this no-fuss little guy. Clip to the bridge, or use the included velcro to mount on a stand or in your case...
The Difference Between Mono and Stereo Cables
Most standard 1/4" cables (guitar cables) have two conductors, like the one at the bottom of the photo to the right. They carry monophonic (single-channel) signals, such as a single pickup on a musical instrument.

A TRS -- aka "Stereo" -- cable adds an extra connection, which allows the single cable to carry TWO channels of audio. Here's how!

The cable at the bottom of the graphic is a "standard" 1/4" instrument cable. It has two conductors (1 and 2), separated by an isolating ring (i) so that they don't contact each other. The TIP (1) carries the "hot" or positive audio signal; the SLEEVE (2) is the ground or negative audio signal. Simple, effective, and readily available, as they have been used on a kajillion guitars, basses, and other musical instruments around the world for decades.

The stereo cable builds upon this design. It adds a RING (3) to the TIP (1) and SLEEVE (2). This, again separated by the isolating rings (i), allows a second channel to be carried by the same cable.

The TIP carries hot channel 1, the RING carries hot channel 2, and the SLEEVE gets the ground signal from both channels (combining their grounds still keeps the two channels separate.)

And now you can probably figure out where the "TRS" name comes from (Tip/Ring/Sleeve).

How It Works for Us
With bass pickup sets and certain preamps, we use this "stereo" capability to our advantage. You may have recognized that the design of the TRS plug is the same as the one on your stereo headphones for your iPod, smartphone, or other personal listening device - the stereo headphone jack works exactly the same way (although usually on a smaller, 1/8" or 3mm jack/plug). While mostly we think of stereo as an paired version of the same signal (Left and Right "versions" of a music recording), in reality they are two distinct signals that happen to form a stereo image. But the two signals can be much more different - two different pickups, a pickup and a microphone, etc. So "Channel 1" and "Channel 2" are really just a similar concept to "Left" and "Right."

The K&K Sound special pickup sets, like the Bass Master Pro, Bass Master Rockabilly, Golden Trinity Mic Combos, etc., all use the two channel capability of this design to minimize the number of wires you need to get everything set up.

So Which One Can/Should You Use?
  • If you have two different pickups and you want to blend them together with a preamp, a "dual mono" input preamp is the simplest way to do it. A separate mono cable from each pickup goes to each separate input - easy-peasy.
  • If you have a system like the Bass Master Pro, which wires both pickups to separate contacts on a single jack, then you want to use a TRS/stereo cable to connect them to a preamp with a TRS input - like the Dual Channel Pro ST or the LR Baggs MixPro. (The Solstice from DTAR actually has "smart jacks" which will accept either two separate mono cables OR a single stereo one... clever!)
  • If you already HAVE products that are mismatched (a TRS pickup output and a dual-mono preamp, or two separate pickups and a preamp with a TRS input) there are adapting cables. Often called "insert" or "splitter" cables, they have a TRS plug on one end, which then splits out to two separate mono cables. So you could use a cable like that to adapt between the pickups and preamp.


Hopefully this is easy for you to follow; if you have any questions about your specific gear, drop us a line and let us know what you've got, we'll help you get it all connected!



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The Fine Print:

The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain — and/or my observations and opinions from my personal experiences (and those of Bob, before me) — as of this moment today, and is subject to change. I'm sure that a great deal more information and detail could be added — but the intent of these writings is to present easily understood, quick FAQs, to address common questions and improve the reader's general knowledge.

What's written here is by no means any kind of authoritative absolute answer, for I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on much of anything else, for that matter. So, by all means, get a second opinion, and know that all the information provided here is for general informational purposes only. I am not providing professional advice; be aware that, where applicable, any information acted upon is at your own risk.

I simply and sincerely hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you on your quest for knowledge about the bass and related subjects... that's the point!

I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints/information/updates that help improve my personal awareness and these content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know.
Mark