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Old December 8th, 2007, 07:18 PM   #1
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XLR cables?

What is the difference between 2 wire and 3 wire XLR cables? I understand that XLR cables are supposed to have 3 wires (there are 3 pins) in them. If so, why use 2 wires then?

For long distances (like 30 feet - 50 feet run), is a 3 wire XLR better than 2 wires? What about devices at the end of the XLR cable? - if it is a condenser mic, then 3 wire XLR is better, right? But, what if the device is a "press-feed" box?

Last edited by TingSern Wong; December 8th, 2007 at 08:28 PM.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #2
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When it says "two wires", the cable shield should serve as a third conductor for signal ground. I have not heard of XLR cables with only two conductors.

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Old December 8th, 2007, 11:42 PM   #3
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This particular XLR cable has physically only 2 wires, and ZERO shielding ... just a transparent plastic covering the 2 wires.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TingSern Wong View Post
This particular XLR cable has physically only 2 wires, and ZERO shielding ... just a transparent plastic covering the 2 wires.
HUH??? Is this a commercially marketed cable or is it one that someone made up themselves. Are there XLR connectors on both ends or could it be an adapter cable of some sort with an XLR on one end and an RCA or TS plug on the other?
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Old December 9th, 2007, 05:24 AM   #5
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Hi Ting Sern,
I would suggest not using that particular 2 wire XLR cable that you have. My guess is someone made that cable because they ran out of proper microphone cable.

>What is the difference between 2 wire and 3 wire XLR cables?
3 wire (2conductors and a braided shield) is proper microphone cable.

>For long distances (like 30 feet - 50 feet run), is a 3 wire XLR better than 2 >wires?
For any distance, you should only use proper microphone cables.

>What about devices at the end of the XLR cable? - if it is a condenser mic, >then 3 wire XLR is better, right?
It is the only correct cable to use.

>But, what if the device is a "press-feed" box?
Same thing, all mic/line cables using XLR connectors must have
(2 conductors and a shield).

Is there a brand or model number printed on your cable?
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Old December 9th, 2007, 06:36 AM   #6
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Bogus XLR

Recommend you avoid these, they are junk as they have no immunity to induced noise and hum without a shield and ground.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 08:04 AM   #7
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Bogus XLR cable - I sure like that. I suspect just as much. Will definitely toss then. Thanks.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 09:39 AM   #8
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No reason to toss the cable if the connectors are of good quality...

If the connectors are metal you should be able to take the connector apart by removing the screws... then just go and get a 2 conductor shielded cable in the length you want and just solder in the correct cable....

The best cable would be 2 conductor shielded with braided ground.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 09:43 AM   #9
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Those unshielded XLR cables may not be microphone cables, but some other type, such as a special speaker cable.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 10:07 AM   #10
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I am inclined to think somebody wired up the mics using some sort of speaker cables in lieu of a proper XLR (shielded) cable. Must have been done to save costs ... the metal connectors are indeed XLR. Only the cables are not.
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