Why No XLR Input on 6600?

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When I got my 6500 I thought, wow!, finally a rig with an XLR mic input. Why has Flex removed that option from the 6600? The back panel is much larger than the back panel on the 6500/6700, so why not use the same type of combination XLR/1/4" balanced mic connector?

Was it a matter of cost or is there some technical reason?
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Jerry Gardner

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Posted 2 years ago

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Official Response
When this was initially discussed, it was in fact a cost issue. Specifically cost of manufacture and assembly.  The radios were initially slated to have only the 1/8" connectors, but eventually they decided to also add the 1/4" TRS connector. 

The 1/4" TRS connector is electrically the same as the XLR for balanced audio. The 1/8" is pseudo balanced. Field testing has shown it to work very well. One user reported that pseudo balanced was better than balanced, but I don't think that was done with instruments, just anecdotal reports. 
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KC2QMA_John

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The Balanced TRS connector was key in my decision in going from my 6500 to 6600.
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Daniel Taylor

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Nah .. the TRS on the 6500 is also balanced.

W7NGA dan
Seaside, Oregon
(Edited)
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KC2QMA_John

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"Nah .. the TRS on the 6500 is also balanced."

Yes I know but if the new 6600 did not get a Balanced AF input I may have just kept my 6500 or went to the 6700.
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Jerry Gardner

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A combo XLR-TRS connector is about three bucks in quantity. That was really an issue on a $5000 radio?
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Assembly cost of said component likely adds up since it has to be screwed on to the chassis. 
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KC2QMA_John

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I'm just thankful that FRS added the Balanced input to the final design. I don't mind that its 1/4" TRS as long as it's balanced connection.

Sure I would have preferred an XLR connector as it’s a better mechanical connection but the 1/4” TRS connector will work just fine for me as I don't plan on hanging my radio from the mic input ;)
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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People are not considering that Flex worked out the production cost right to the cost of each screw used in order to make the product very price competitive were competition is having trouble competing. They were aiming at a very narrow price point and made it happen.
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Jerry Gardner

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Do you know that for a fact or is that pure speculation?
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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It was stated publicly that they chose the connectors to keep the cost down. It’s basically the difference between pick and place robots adding one more component to the board versus an extra manual assembly step that must be done by a human.
(Edited)