TRS or TS Jacks - MOD Dwarf

The hardware specs (per the documentation)

  • Dual 6.35mm TRS independent audio inputs, with gain configurable from -12dB to +35dB, 1M Ohm input impedance, unbalanced
  • Dual 6.35mm TRS independent audio outputs, with gain configurable from 0dB to -127dB, balanced or unbalanced

I want to confirm - TRS being stereo cables - that the Dwarf 1) indeed has 2 stereo input and 2 stereo outputs and 2) has the means to split the stereo signals on each input / output jack to allow for a true Left/Right signal division and processing.

If not, then the hardware is incorrectly documented as TRS and should be labeled as TS inputs / outputs, and the mono functionality should also be noted as such in the documentation.

I would like to have the option - IF these are indeed TRS ports - of running a single stereo TRS cable and splitting the paths inside the signal chain to create the dynamic stereo effects that I’m going for and freeing up the additional input jack for another input device (MP3 player, phone, etc…)

It is stereo input and stereo output. 2 in, 2 out.

The TRS on the outputs is for balanced cables, or something like that, @Jan knows more details.

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Want to be 100% sure what you’re saying:
Input 1 is stereo input AND
Input 2 is stereo input
Input 1 and Input 2 are mono and when combined are stereo?

I’ve tested using a TRS cable into Input 2, using the stereo cross-fader plugin, the Left channel in my test seems to function, but not the right.

I’m deeply curious how to make this work, if it’s possible.

I made the same interpretation as you did when I initially ordered.

It is indeed mono input and output. The TRS is for balanced I/O.


every single jack IO is mono audio

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BIG mistake in the specifications =/
That effectively reduces possible functionality by HALF. Still, most effects processors I’ve owned only had a single instrument input.


Oh trust me I agree. I even posted a thread asking why my stereo splitter wasn’t working lmao

I believe that some attention is being allocated to a possible overbridge/external interface hookup solution to add additional I/O.

I cannot confirm that, but I do know that myself and others have requested that feature.

The platform is awesome, and I do own and use a MDX and dwarf in my setup


While I got spoiled by the Poly Beebo having 4 in/4 out via its TRS jacks, it’s honestly nice that the Dwarf’s TRS outs can be used as balanced outs. Has anyone tried going direct from the Dwarf to FOH in a live situation, without first going through a DI or line isolator?

I don’t think there is an error in the specification.TRS do not equal stereo!
TRS can be used for stereo or for balanced input/output.
I’m quite happy that the Dwarf has balanced I/O :slight_smile:


Just a correction, Dwarf should have OUT only balanced.

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As @PeterO stated above, it is not a mistake in the specs, when it comes to the output.

The TRS outputs in the Dwarf are balanced, meaning that audio is carried through 2 conductors plus one for the shield/ground. Therefore, one must employ TRS or XLR connectors.

Balanced outputs allows for longer cables with less overall noise. They’re suitable for recording equipment or in large stages, where the musician is too far from the Mixing/PA system.

Even though TRS cables are also used for stereo signals – or in some cases, to carry both magnetic and piezo signals from a guitar (Brian Moore is an example), balanced and stereo are different things.


I agree with that and already fixed it.

You are correct @falkTX

Thanks, @PeterO. @jdkniepkamp that’s exactly why I only agreed with the part of your post mentioning that it could be more accurate on the documentation.

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This is not a mistake, you simply didn’t know what means TRS.
That’s a good news if dwrf have TRS input, it means it can receive balanced signal for professional use.
I think there’s not many pedal that use balanced signal.


It’s a mistake to mention TRS inputs and NOT mention that they only utilize mono function per input.
Many of the explanations make sense here - as to why TRS was used, even when the stereo capabilities were not. I appreciate all of those.
The only issue I needed to understand was that function. For instance, it I went to use a TRS cable to plugin my stereo instrument, only one channel would function, and I’d need to split the path to the 2 inputs using another adapter. I can much more easily get the TRS to mono output cable to do the same job, and won’t then need an adapter.
The full understanding of the capabilities of the inputs were not clearly defined, and most guitarists who see TRS inputs immediately think “STEREO INPUTS! YES!”.

Anyway- they did end up modifying the specifications, and that’ll certainly help any other folks like me with delusions of grandeur understand how to proceed with spec’ing out our own studios to make this equipment work for our needs, and it’ll also help in purchasing decisions. That’s really all I needed to achieve with the question.


Hi @jon
Can you confirm that Mod Dwarf have 2 TRS input like it’s mentionned on the web site?
so there’s a mistake in thomann description where it’s mentioned that it has asymetric input. And on your website it mentionned that Dwarf has unbalanced input!
It can’t be TRS mono input if it’s unbalanced.
So what the truth?

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I can clarify some things here,

the Dwarf has an unbalanced asymmetric TRS input and a balanced symmetrical TRS output.

This is not true, TRS simply refers to the connector type. This becomes important information when connecting a microphone for instance, as with a TS input one needs to make sure the “cold” connection of the mics XLR goes to to the sleeve of the jack. Having TRS inputs makes the Dwarf compatible with XLR to TRS cables, and not just XLR to TS cables which are less common.

I can understand this can be confusing so I’ve updated the Wiki with these clarifications and will ask the team to update the info elsewhere too

I hope that helps!


Ok that’s the first audio device I see with TRS unbalanced input. In my job TRS automaticaly means balanced signal because we never plug a balanced audio device in a unbalanced one without converting balanced signal to unbalanced signal to avoid signal loss and respect audio signal range wich is +4dbu for balanced and -10dbu for unbalanced signal.
So if I understand, Dwarf input is a -10dbu input? What is the maximum level accepted?

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Yes - I use a TRS jack to XLR cable to plug my Dwarf outputs straight into the multicore stage box every week and it works perfectly! It’s great not having to take up a couple of DI boxes.


There is one “gotcha” to watch out for with balanced TRS outputs though:
If you’re going from a device with a TRS balanced output (Dwarf) to a device with TS input (e.g. Amps, most devices with jack inputs!) it’s important to use a cable with mono/TS plugs (e.g. a standard guitar cable) rather than a stereo cable - otherwise you can end up with no signal or a very low level signal that’s full of noise.

This is because the output sockets in the dwarf have separate contacts for the Tip, Ring and Sleeve; but the TS connector at the other end often only has contacts for the Tip and Sleeve. With a stereo cable this can leave the Ring disconnected, and so there isn’t a way for the signal to make a complete circuit.

When you plug in a mono jack it connects the ring and the sleeve together at the TRS end, which ensures the circuit will be completed, so all is good

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without any attenuation on the inputs, 2.2dBu

This is something the Dwarf already handles internally :wink: