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Considerations in Grounding and Sheilding Audio Devices

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Over the past decade, the declining cost of professional audio equipment has facilitated its use in more home studio environments. As home studios incorporate professional, balanced equipment into their systems, the unbalanced and balanced worlds collide. Home studios adding balanced equipment to their traditionally unbalanced gear also add connectivity problems. Professional users never consider unbalanced gear, yet still have connectivity problems. The Audio Engineering Society is considering a recommended practice document covering interconnection of professional audio equipment. The incompatibility between balanced and unbalanced interconnections must be clearly addressed. The source of many interconnection hum and buzz problems involves the manufacturers' practice of audio signal grounding balanced shields. A review of the available literature prescribes clear solutions to interconnection practices. A qualitative discussion of these issues is presented in this paper.

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