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History of XLR gender convention

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Anonymous
March 23, 2005 12:49:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

One of my neighbors called me yesterday, asking if I could help the local
elementary school with their announcement microphone, which had "broken".
I said "sure, I'll take a look". It turned out the plug had come off the
end of the microphone cable, so I took it home and soldered it back on.

Testing the microphone (a Telex 253 if anyone cares) at home was a bit of an
adventure, as it had a female XLR on the output plug rather than the usual
male XLR, so I had to cobble up an adaptor.

Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of female
XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively recent
thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?

Hal Laurent
Baltimore
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 5:20:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

When I worked for Bendix Field Engineering, I learned that government
electronics used the opposite convention. A "goesinta" is male, a "comesouta" is
female.

The reason for this is that connectors often carry line or higher voltages. You
don't want the outputs to have male pins that can be easily touched or shorted.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 7:21:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Hal Laurent" <laurent@charm.net> writes:

>One of my neighbors called me yesterday, asking if I could help the local
>elementary school with their announcement microphone, which had "broken".
>I said "sure, I'll take a look". It turned out the plug had come off the
>end of the microphone cable, so I took it home and soldered it back on.

>Testing the microphone (a Telex 253 if anyone cares) at home was a bit of an
>adventure, as it had a female XLR on the output plug rather than the usual
>male XLR, so I had to cobble up an adaptor.

>Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of female
>XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively recent
>thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?

Someone will answer this with more knowledge than me; I seem to remember
someone saying something about old tv news mag stripe film cameras always
coming with males for the mic in, so every thing was female on the cables.

I also suspect that as phantom became more wide spread there might have
been a moderate safety issue about not having exposed and juiced male
pins on the wall where little fingers could jab in there and get a tickle.
Purely a guess.

Frank
Mobile Audio

--
.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 7:21:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I always figured it was simple... the pins point in the direction of
the signal flow, the female receives...

Al

On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 04:21:37 -0000, Frank Stearns
<franks.pacifier.com@pacifier.net> wrote:

>"Hal Laurent" <laurent@charm.net> writes:
>
>>One of my neighbors called me yesterday, asking if I could help the local
>>elementary school with their announcement microphone, which had "broken".
>>I said "sure, I'll take a look". It turned out the plug had come off the
>>end of the microphone cable, so I took it home and soldered it back on.
>
>>Testing the microphone (a Telex 253 if anyone cares) at home was a bit of an
>>adventure, as it had a female XLR on the output plug rather than the usual
>>male XLR, so I had to cobble up an adaptor.
>
>>Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of female
>>XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively recent
>>thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?
>
>Someone will answer this with more knowledge than me; I seem to remember
>someone saying something about old tv news mag stripe film cameras always
>coming with males for the mic in, so every thing was female on the cables.
>
>I also suspect that as phantom became more wide spread there might have
>been a moderate safety issue about not having exposed and juiced male
>pins on the wall where little fingers could jab in there and get a tickle.
>Purely a guess.
>
>Frank
>Mobile Audio
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 9:42:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

play on wrote:
> I always figured it was simple... the pins point in the direction of
> the signal flow, the female receives...

So phantom power is for people who are into female domination and/or
role reversal?

- Logan
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 10:12:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hal Laurent wrote:

> Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of
female
> XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively
recent
> thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?
>
> Hal Laurent
> Baltimore


It is essential to sound reproduction. ;-)

Peter
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 10:52:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Logan Shaw wrote:

> play on wrote:
>
>> I always figured it was simple... the pins point in the direction of
>> the signal flow, the female receives...
>
>
> So phantom power is for people who are into female domination and/or
> role reversal?


Not people, ectoplasmic beings.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 12:16:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hal Laurent <laurent@charm.net> wrote:
>
>Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of female
>XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively recent
>thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?

The installed sound guys have done the female-female thing for years.
At least in the 1950s it was popular, and you will still see it on
most hotel and conference systems today. It means the cables can be
unwound from either end and are less likely to get stolen.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 12:24:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1142gpabar7lbc@corp.supernews.com>,
William Sommerwerck <williams@nwlink.com> wrote:
>When I worked for Bendix Field Engineering, I learned that government
>electronics used the opposite convention. A "goesinta" is male, a "comesouta" is
>female.
>
>The reason for this is that connectors often carry line or higher voltages. You
>don't want the outputs to have male pins that can be easily touched or shorted.

Right, and the most common connector around, the lowly Edison household
power plug, is configured this way.

A cable with two male Edisons, used to backhaul power into a service from
an outlet in emergencies, is called a suicide cord. This is because
if you plug just one end in, you have two live prongs sticking out on
the other end.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 1:33:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1142gpabar7lbc@corp.supernews.com> williams@nwlink.com writes:

> When I worked for Bendix Field Engineering, I learned that government
> electronics used the opposite convention. A "goesinta" is male, a "comesouta"
> is
> female.

Thisi is standard practice (not just The Government) for anything that
carries real voltage. An IEC power cord is a good example. Phantom
power isn't considered "real" voltage (which is one of the folk
reasons why it's not greater than 48 V, the highest voltage that could
be run outside of a conduit in certain European countries) so it
managed to escape this convention.

Of course phantom power comes from the mic preamp, not the mic,
which is nowadays traditionally male. I don't think that the reason for
changing the connector gender was related to voltage on the male
pins.

On the other hand, there's something to be said for using a cable
with the same connector on both ends. Haven't you ever ran a long
mic cable without your brain being fully engaged and find yourself
with the wrong gender connector in your hand when you go to plug
it in? That's why in the telephone industry, they call double-male
and double-female adapters "goof plugs."


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 1:33:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <pP40e.27$Oh4.3012@news.abs.net> laurent@charm.net writes:

> Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of female
> XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively recent
> thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?

I believe it was 9:17 AM, July 17, 1957.

Actually, it's an old/new thing. They didn't switch overnight. PA
mixer/amplifiers (the hammertone gray cased thing with the three knobs
on the front that was in a closet) changed from the old screw-on
microphone connectors to XLRs when mics like the Shure 55 started
becoming popular for installed sound systems.

They used the male connector on the amplifier because it was cheaper
than a female, starting the trend that remains with us today: "Use the
cheapest parts on the unit that you're selling and let the customer
deal with the inconvenience and pay the cost that you saved."

I used to borrow a Nagra III recorder on a fairly regular basis, and
that had a male mic connector. Nothing cheap about that, it was a
matter of size.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 3:26:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <d1ru7b$197$1@panix2.panix.com> kludge@panix.com writes:

> A cable with two male Edisons, used to backhaul power into a service from
> an outlet in emergencies, is called a suicide cord. This is because
> if you plug just one end in, you have two live prongs sticking out on
> the other end.

You have to be smart about this and plug in the "dead" end first. And
make sure it's dead before connecting it to a live socket.

Around here, a "suicide cord" is a cable with an AC plug on one end
and alligator clips on the other. Useful for getting power to things
on the bench for which you don't have a matching power cable.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 4:01:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 23 Mar 2005 12:26:27 -0500, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers)
wrote:

>
>Around here, a "suicide cord" is a cable with an AC plug on one end
>and alligator clips on the other. Useful for getting power to things
>on the bench for which you don't have a matching power cable.

I have one of those, it comes out of a Variac & I use it to break in
guitar speakers at very low voltages... I always make sure the knob is
on zero and the wires are on the speaker terminals before I turn the
thing on...

Al
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 4:03:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 23 Mar 2005 07:12:17 -0800, thecatspjamas@aol.com wrote:

>
>Hal Laurent wrote:
>
>> Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of
>female
>> XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively
>recent
>> thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?
>>
>> Hal Laurent
>> Baltimore
>
>
>It is essential to sound reproduction. ;-)

So those foam things that cover the end of the mic are to prevent the
reproduction of microphones?

Al
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 6:36:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 21:49:59 -0500, Hal Laurent <laurent@charm.net>
wrote:
> One of my neighbors called me yesterday, asking if I could help the local
> elementary school with their announcement microphone, which had "broken".
> I said "sure, I'll take a look". It turned out the plug had come off the
> end of the microphone cable, so I took it home and soldered it back on.
>
> Testing the microphone (a Telex 253 if anyone cares) at home was a bit of an
> adventure, as it had a female XLR on the output plug rather than the usual
> male XLR, so I had to cobble up an adaptor.
>

I've only seen these a few times, always in "Institutional Use" . . .
places with many people and not so good security.

I always assumed it was done to discourage theft.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 6:36:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <B1g0e.441822$w62.396880@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net> cdkrug@worldnet.att.net writes:

> I've only seen these a few times, always in "Institutional Use" . . .
> places with many people and not so good security.
>
> I always assumed it was done to discourage theft.

When you steal a mic cable, do you look to see what kind of connectors
are on it? It might discourage internal theft but would only piss off
your typical cable thief. In order to discourage theft, the theif has to
be able to easily recognize that he won't be able to use it. Switching
studio headphone plugs with XLRs is a good example. A musician is
less likely to slip a pair of studio phones into his case after a session
since he'll have to notice that XLR instead of a standard phone plug
when he unplugs them to swipe them.

I know that bean counters don't think about things this way, but it's ]
probably cheaper to lose an occasional cheap standard mic cable than
to have to buy or build a non-standard one that you have to replace
when someone swipes it.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 6:44:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Hal Laurent"
>
> One of my neighbors called me yesterday, asking if I could help the local
> elementary school with their announcement microphone, which had "broken".
> I said "sure, I'll take a look". It turned out the plug had come off the
> end of the microphone cable, so I took it home and soldered it back on.
>
> Testing the microphone (a Telex 253 if anyone cares) at home was a bit of
> an adventure, as it had a female XLR on the output plug rather than the
> usual male XLR, so I had to cobble up an adaptor.
>
> Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of female
> XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively recent
> thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?
>


** The convention dates from the appearance of microphones with male XLR
sockets in the base of the handle - by around 1970 this style became
commonplace ( with Shure, Sennheiser and AKG models) and then very soon was
dominant. Mixer inputs were commonly male XLR sockets prior to that and mic
leads had a variety of connectors at the mic end or even no connector at all
with budget models.

Making mic and other long leads with males at one end and females at the
other is pure common sense - since it allows such leads to be chained. So
mixer makers soon accommodated this.




.............. Phil
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 6:44:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Before the advent of XLRs, there was another universal interface: the larger
EP or F&E (Films and Equipment) socket was in use. Screened rubber cables
were much thicker too. The microphones themselves had been fitted with some
other proprietary connectors, and there about five of these OTT types, all
pertinent to, or chosen by, the firm that made the mic. So interconnects
were tailored by the user between the type of mic and the audio input.
The only real common outlet was the threaded-ring Tuchel or DIN - a
homogenised house standard somehow expected from German makes.
There were very few early mics fitted with a female XLR interface, and they
likely "wobbled" more on the flying lead (than the reverse convention) so
were unpopular.
Early XLR-equipped audio gear had male panel plugs for inputs, even early
Nagra 111 mobile tape recorders - then, as 48V phantom became "de rigeur" on
some mixers, the input receptacle was changed once and for all time to a
3-pole female around 1970. Also, the release catch is on the cable socket
rather than on the streamlined mic body.
As this was a safety issue, it also meant wall panels carrying Ins and Outs
in studios were relieved from lay persons shorting input pins with
cigarette-packet foil or from pin-bending through vandalism or accidents!
So the males became the outputs, which never carried a phantom voltage. But
they are still vulnerable!
Since the adoption of XLRs, only *one thing* strayed and never got
universally resolved.... which was the hot, in-phase pole, pin 2 or pin 3?
[Don't let this distraction start a thread.]
But thank God for gender-benders and extension cables.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 6:50:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sounds like the institutionalists used a tradeperson to install something
akin to electrical fittings but whose emerging codes of practice were really
alien to them. Yet these were understood within the domain of trained
PA/Audio specialists whom they did not know existed or could not employ
justifiably, ie, resulting in an incompatible though working botch. The
anti-theft benefits are a pure spin-off.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 6:50:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jim Gregory wrote:

> Sounds like the institutionalists used a tradeperson to install something
> akin to electrical fittings but whose emerging codes of practice were really
> alien to them. Yet these were understood within the domain of trained
> PA/Audio specialists whom they did not know existed or could not employ
> justifiably, ie, resulting in an incompatible though working botch. The
> anti-theft benefits are a pure spin-off.


They may also have figured it would be easier to clean out a male XLR
buried under years of schmutz that collected in that hole in the gym floor.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 7:16:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

You hopefully mean "it would be more difficult...."
And don't overlook decorators and painters that found it simpler to daub
than to bypass a delicate area feature just to keep the latest colour scheme
uniform!
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 7:16:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jim Gregory wrote:
> You hopefully mean "it would be more difficult...."


You have a hole in the floor with pins, not a three-hole connector with
a surrounding groove and a latch mechanism. Therefore, easier to clean.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 7:47:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> A cable with two male Edisons, used to backhaul power into a service from
> an outlet in emergencies, is called a suicide cord. This is because if you
> plug just one end in, you have two live prongs sticking out on the other end.

Not if you plug the cable into the "destination" first.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 10:25:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:

>
> I used to borrow a Nagra III recorder on a fairly regular basis, and
> that had a male mic connector. Nothing cheap about that, it was a
> matter of size.
>

Could this be a Europe / US thing? The nagra 4s with NAB eq came
standard with female mic connectors, while the CCIR came with male.
I was told by a NOB (the former dutch state broadcast facility company)
employee that they wire every device to have male connectors, and every
cable with both ends female, for the reason already mentioned elsewhere:
if you have a 3000 ft cable just rolled out, you don't want to find out
it's the wrong way around.

Hans
--




This is a non-profit organization;
we didn't plan it that way, but it is

=====================================


(remove uppercase trap, and double the number to reply)
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 11:28:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

After all the dutiful adherence to XLR gender convention all my audio
engineering life, in studios, on dozens of international multi-broadcaster
OBs and in theatres, a lot of the stuff I have read today on this topic,
including the last bit from Hans, tells me lots of folk hardly cared
professionally about this as long as their linkage job was made easier -- so
I suppose it should have been threaded in rec.audio.opinion.
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 1:16:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

play on wrote:

> I always make sure the knob is
> on zero and the wires are on the speaker terminals before I turn the
> thing on...
>
> Al

Famous last words.....

Hans
--




This is a non-profit organization;
we didn't plan it that way, but it is

=====================================


(remove uppercase trap, and double the number to reply)
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 2:35:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Hal Laurent" <laurent@charm.net> wrote in message
news:p P40e.27$Oh4.3012@news.abs.net...
>
> Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of female
> XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively recent
> thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?


As long as I can remember I've always understood the convention to be "the
signal flow goes in the direction of the pins".


geoff
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 9:13:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 21:49:59 -0500, "Hal Laurent" <laurent@charm.net>
wrote:

>One of my neighbors called me yesterday, asking if I could help the local
>elementary school with their announcement microphone, which had "broken".
>I said "sure, I'll take a look". It turned out the plug had come off the
>end of the microphone cable, so I took it home and soldered it back on.
>
>Testing the microphone (a Telex 253 if anyone cares) at home was a bit of an
>adventure, as it had a female XLR on the output plug rather than the usual
>male XLR, so I had to cobble up an adaptor.
>
>Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of female
>XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively recent
>thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?
>
>Hal Laurent
>Baltimore
>
Well, I heard a different story when I was growing up in this
business. Here's the way it went:

Most professional recording and broadcast mics had male connectors on
them: UA (for United Artists), type P (for Paramount Studios), or
Tuchel (for anything German). Then Cannon introduce the new, miniature
XLR connector. Still, mics had male connectors and the inputs to
preamps were female, because if you used a male connector with exposed
pins for a mic level input, it put one hell of a nasty hum into the
system when somebody touched one of the exposed pins. This was even
before +48V phantom power became a standard, so exposed voltage was
not a consideration.

Non-pro microphones used high-impedance unbalanced connections with
various connectors, including a Amphenol coaxial with screw sleeve.
This is why microphones like the EV 664 had an impedance switch.

But a US company called Bogen decided to use balanced low-impedance
microphone inputs on their PA systems for schools. However, after
spending all that money on input transformers for their tube preamp
circuit, they didn't like the cost of the female XLR panel-mount
connector. The males XLRs were cheaper, and schools (even then) always
bought from the lowest bidder, so that's what they used, and they were
the first manufacturer of school PA systems with balanced mic inputs.
Male XLR became the new standard for the mic inputs of school PA
systems, and other manufacturers went along with it, including Dukane
and University. Movie and recording studios still used female XLR for
mic inputs. Many adapter cables were made. School PA mic cables always
had female XLR connectors on both ends.

And that's the story they told me, back when dinosaurs roamed and the
EV 666 was the mic of choice for PA.

Mike T.
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 9:16:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 23 Mar 2005 10:33:39 -0500, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers)
wrote:

>
>In article <pP40e.27$Oh4.3012@news.abs.net> laurent@charm.net writes:

>Actually, it's an old/new thing. They didn't switch overnight. PA
>mixer/amplifiers (the hammertone gray cased thing with the three knobs
>on the front that was in a closet) changed from the old screw-on
>microphone connectors to XLRs when mics like the Shure 55 started
>becoming popular for installed sound systems.
>
>They used the male connector on the amplifier because it was cheaper
>than a female, starting the trend that remains with us today: "Use the
>cheapest parts on the unit that you're selling and let the customer
>deal with the inconvenience and pay the cost that you saved."

Yep, that was the way I heard it.

Mike T.
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 9:39:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Nobody wants to steal double-male mic cables.
It's a STUPID thing and hotels and institutuional installs stopped doing it
decades ago on the whole due to client rants.


On 3/22/05 9:49 PM, in article pP40e.27$Oh4.3012@news.abs.net, "Hal Laurent"
<laurent@charm.net> wrote:

> One of my neighbors called me yesterday, asking if I could help the local
> elementary school with their announcement microphone, which had "broken".
> I said "sure, I'll take a look". It turned out the plug had come off the
> end of the microphone cable, so I took it home and soldered it back on.
>
> Testing the microphone (a Telex 253 if anyone cares) at home was a bit of an
> adventure, as it had a female XLR on the output plug rather than the usual
> male XLR, so I had to cobble up an adaptor.
>
> Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of female
> XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively recent
> thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?
>
> Hal Laurent
> Baltimore
>
>
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 10:48:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message news:D 1rtn2


> The installed sound guys have done the female-female thing for years.
> At least in the 1950s it was popular, and you will still see it on
> most hotel and conference systems today. It means the cables can be
> unwound from either end and are less likely to get stolen.

Na, they get stolen just the same. Then they get dumped when the theif
realises.


geoff
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 1:01:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <tol441ts24ld88mm1o986stdq659jojk4a@4ax.com> miket@invalid.net writes:

> Most professional recording and broadcast mics had male connectors on
> them: UA (for United Artists), type P (for Paramount Studios), or
> Tuchel (for anything German). Then Cannon introduce the new, miniature
> XLR connector.

The Shure 55, one of the most popular mics of its day (the "Elvis
mic") had a female 4-pin connector that you can still get a mate for
today (and in fact you need one if you want to use one of these mics
for anything but a hat rack). I doubt, however, that this has anything
to do with the gender of connectors used on amplifiers.

> But a US company called Bogen decided to use balanced low-impedance
> microphone inputs on their PA systems for schools. However, after
> spending all that money on input transformers for their tube preamp
> circuit, they didn't like the cost of the female XLR panel-mount
> connector. The males XLRs were cheaper, and schools (even then) always
> bought from the lowest bidder, so that's what they used,

Yup. Many microphones of the day had either an impedance switch or
alternate wiring of the connector for matching high or low impedance
inputs. You could buy some EV mics with either a high or low impedance
cable.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 5:57:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 06:13:38 GMT, Mike T <miket@invalid.net> wrote:
> On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 21:49:59 -0500, "Hal Laurent" <laurent@charm.net>
> wrote:
>
>>One of my neighbors called me yesterday, asking if I could help the local
>>elementary school with their announcement microphone, which had "broken".
>>I said "sure, I'll take a look". It turned out the plug had come off the
>>end of the microphone cable, so I took it home and soldered it back on.
>>
>>Testing the microphone (a Telex 253 if anyone cares) at home was a bit of an
>>adventure, as it had a female XLR on the output plug rather than the usual
>>male XLR, so I had to cobble up an adaptor.
>>
>>Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of female
>>XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively recent
>>thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?
>>
>>Hal Laurent
>>Baltimore
>>
> Well, I heard a different story when I was growing up in this
> business. Here's the way it went:
>
> Most professional recording and broadcast mics had male connectors on
> them: UA (for United Artists), type P (for Paramount Studios), or
> Tuchel (for anything German). Then Cannon introduce the new, miniature
> XLR connector. Still, mics had male connectors and the inputs to
> preamps were female, because if you used a male connector with exposed
> pins for a mic level input, it put one hell of a nasty hum into the
> system when somebody touched one of the exposed pins. This was even
> before +48V phantom power became a standard, so exposed voltage was
> not a consideration.
>

WAY back when I was in my first years of elementary school, we ate lunch
in the "Multipurpose Room" . . you know . .that gym that architetects
try to pawn off as "You don't NEED an auditorium . . . "

ANYWHO, anyone who got out of control got to "stand by himself" . .
nowadays they'd call it a "Timeout" but back then they imagined it was
punishment to be dragged to the front of the room so that all your peers
could see the Cool Kid . . . but I digress.

"Timeout" was always in front of the stage, where there was, at
convenient kid level, a mic input to the building sound system.

For reasons probably fathomed only by the administration, this input was
ALWAYS live. I'd wager no one knew how to turn it on or off so they
left it on so it would be available for the next PTO meeting. Clever
kids being clever kids, it took us about half a second to realize that
by sticking your finger in the mic input when the monitor wasn't
watching, you could generate a LOUDLOUDLOUDLOUDLOUDLOUD HUMMMMMMMMMMM.

But still they persisted in thinking sending us to stand there was
"punishment." Go fig.
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 9:26:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
>
> Around here, a "suicide cord" is a cable with an AC plug on one end
> and alligator clips on the other. Useful for getting power to things
> on the bench for which you don't have a matching power cable.

The aligator clips are easier to attach to George W Bush's scrotum, to see
if there really is more than 5% brain function. Mind you, that's reputedly
the area where most of the function would concentrate, apart from the nasal
membranes.

geoff
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 2:15:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

If anyone is paying attention, this post actually contains the answer
to the question.

Carry on.

On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 06:13:38 GMT, Mike T. <miket@invalid.net> wrote:

>On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 21:49:59 -0500, "Hal Laurent" <laurent@charm.net>
>wrote:
>
>>One of my neighbors called me yesterday, asking if I could help the local
>>elementary school with their announcement microphone, which had "broken".
>>I said "sure, I'll take a look". It turned out the plug had come off the
>>end of the microphone cable, so I took it home and soldered it back on.
>>
>>Testing the microphone (a Telex 253 if anyone cares) at home was a bit of an
>>adventure, as it had a female XLR on the output plug rather than the usual
>>male XLR, so I had to cobble up an adaptor.
>>
>>Which brings me to my question...when did the current convention of female
>>XLRs on inputs and male on outputs start? Is this a relatively recent
>>thing, or is the equipment at this school really, really old?
>>
>>Hal Laurent
>>Baltimore
>>
>Well, I heard a different story when I was growing up in this
>business. Here's the way it went:
>
>Most professional recording and broadcast mics had male connectors on
>them: UA (for United Artists), type P (for Paramount Studios), or
>Tuchel (for anything German). Then Cannon introduce the new, miniature
>XLR connector. Still, mics had male connectors and the inputs to
>preamps were female, because if you used a male connector with exposed
>pins for a mic level input, it put one hell of a nasty hum into the
>system when somebody touched one of the exposed pins. This was even
>before +48V phantom power became a standard, so exposed voltage was
>not a consideration.
>
>Non-pro microphones used high-impedance unbalanced connections with
>various connectors, including a Amphenol coaxial with screw sleeve.
>This is why microphones like the EV 664 had an impedance switch.
>
>But a US company called Bogen decided to use balanced low-impedance
>microphone inputs on their PA systems for schools. However, after
>spending all that money on input transformers for their tube preamp
>circuit, they didn't like the cost of the female XLR panel-mount
>connector. The males XLRs were cheaper, and schools (even then) always
>bought from the lowest bidder, so that's what they used, and they were
>the first manufacturer of school PA systems with balanced mic inputs.
>Male XLR became the new standard for the mic inputs of school PA
>systems, and other manufacturers went along with it, including Dukane
>and University. Movie and recording studios still used female XLR for
>mic inputs. Many adapter cables were made. School PA mic cables always
>had female XLR connectors on both ends.
>
>And that's the story they told me, back when dinosaurs roamed and the
>EV 666 was the mic of choice for PA.
>
>Mike T.
>

Willie K. Yee, M.D. http://users.bestweb.net/~wkyee
Developer of Problem Knowledge Couplers for Psychiatry http://www.pkc.com
Webmaster and Guitarist for the Big Blue Big Band http://www.bigbluebigband.org
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 2:47:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Willie K.Yee, M.D
>
> If anyone is paying attention, this post actually contains the answer
> to the question.


** How the hell would YOU know ?????





............. Phil
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 5:37:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

FINALLY !!! FINALLY !!!FINALLY !!!

I have been RECOGNIZED!!!

The Phil has deigned to dope-slap me with one of his inane adolescent
hostile comments!!

I was beginning to feel a bit inferior.

Or maybe it was because he knows I am a shrink and can comprehend the
depth of his psychopathology.

Doesn't matter now. I am up to date with the elite of R.A.P.


On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 11:47:56 +1100, "Phil Allison"
<philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote:

>
>"Willie K.Yee, M.D
>>
>> If anyone is paying attention, this post actually contains the answer
>> to the question.
>
>
> ** How the hell would YOU know ?????
>
>
>
>
>
>............ Phil
>
>

Willie K. Yee, M.D. http://users.bestweb.net/~wkyee
Developer of Problem Knowledge Couplers for Psychiatry http://www.pkc.com
Webmaster and Guitarist for the Big Blue Big Band http://www.bigbluebigband.org
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 6:15:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Willie K.Yee, M.D. wrote:

> FINALLY !!! FINALLY !!!FINALLY !!!

> I have been RECOGNIZED!!!

> The Phil has deigned to dope-slap me with one of his inane adolescent
> hostile comments!!

> I was beginning to feel a bit inferior.

> Or maybe it was because he knows I am a shrink and can comprehend the
> depth of his psychopathology.

> Doesn't matter now. I am up to date with the elite of R.A.P.

Get over yourself; his ewe begged off. Left him with slime on his hands.

--
ha
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 6:44:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <42442169.1545431@nntp.bestweb.net> wkyeeATbestwebDOTnet writes:

> I have been RECOGNIZED!!!
> The Phil has deigned to dope-slap me with one of his inane adolescent
> hostile comments!!

Welcome to the club.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 8:18:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

You deserved waaay more asterisks than you actually received. ;-)

DM



"Willie K.Yee, M.D." <wkyee@bestweb.netttttttttttttttt> wrote in message news:42442169.1545431@nntp.bestweb.net...
>
> FINALLY !!! FINALLY !!!FINALLY !!!
>
> I have been RECOGNIZED!!!
>
> The Phil has deigned to dope-slap me with one of his inane adolescent
> hostile comments!!
>
> I was beginning to feel a bit inferior.
>
> Or maybe it was because he knows I am a shrink and can comprehend the
> depth of his psychopathology.
>
> Doesn't matter now. I am up to date with the elite of R.A.P.
>
>
> On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 11:47:56 +1100, "Phil Allison"
> <philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote:
>
> >
> >"Willie K.Yee, M.D
> >>
> >> If anyone is paying attention, this post actually contains the answer
> >> to the question.
> >
> >
> > * * How the hell would YOU know ?????
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >............ Phil
> >
!