What is the difference between an unbalanced and a balanced cable?

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The unbalanced cable is mostly used to connect guitars and amplifiers, HiFi-components or as a simple control cable. It consists of a signal wire and shielding.

The balanced cable has two signal wires with a phase twisted by 180° (±). The opposite phase releases interference signals, which is why this type of cable is preferred for long transmission distances or sensitive, interference-prone components such as microphones and mixing boards, etc.