To star-quad or not to star-quad? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 1st, 2009, 10:21 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bristol, England
Posts: 78
To star-quad or not to star-quad?

At what point does using star-quad seem like a good idea to you chaps? Does distance alone come into play, or would you only bother if you suspected a noisy environment? I'm in the market for a cable or two in the 30m range, which may get used for either plant mics, or sound-reinforcement (i.e. mic-to-PA in a club/cabaret set-up).

Thanks.
Phil Bambridge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 1st, 2009, 11:10 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 523
For a 100' run, I would definitely go for quad. If it is a EM noisy environment, I'd go with a mic->line amp.

You might be just fine with regular cable but I've had situations where it sounded fine during setup and stuff came up during the shoot. Not good.

Go for overkill.
__________________
Andy Tejral
Railroad Videographer
Andy Tejral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2009, 12:05 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,053
I always use Canare Star-Quad from Markertek.
__________________
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
Dean Sensui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2009, 03:29 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cornsay Durham UK
Posts: 1,940
Just one note on star quad it is great for mic levels but not so good for line level signals.
__________________
Over 15 minutes in Broadcast Film and TV production: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1044352/
Gary Nattrass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2009, 05:50 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,123
Star quad is one of those things that is difficult to quantify until you use it to solve a problem. If you use it all the time, you rarely have noise issues but won't know the problem was there. I do lots of work in venues with theatre lighting, and thyristor buzz is a real problem with sound systems. My own way of working is to use the few star quad cables I have when mic level signals have to travel close to dimmer city, or run parallel with lighting cables - especially socapex multicore lighting cables. I've never had a problem with line level circuits, but don't quite understand why there should be any difference in noise reduction. I can't think of any reason not to use starquad on line level circuits if it was the last cable in the trunk?
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2009, 06:01 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
Just one note on star quad it is great for mic levels but not so good for line level signals.
How come?

Regards,

Ty Ford
Ty Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2009, 04:47 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bristol U.K.
Posts: 244
I've had an unexplained buzz and swapping the cable for a quad cable sorted it. Normally the un quad stuff is fine though. Don't get hung up about it but have a bit in case and more if you can.
Jimmy Tuffrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2009, 07:21 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Albany, NY 12210
Posts: 2,650
It's a question of cost. You can't afford to use it for everything, at least I can't. For me, I ask myself, is this cable going to have to run across power lines? Definitely Star-Quad. After that it gets easier to decide. Some cables coil really nicely (Belden!), even if it isn't Star-Quad, and some pricey Star-Quad cables don't feel all that nice to handle at all. There has also been some discussion in hear about whether Star-Quad cables are more fragile than regular balanced lines because they are more complicated. I don't have any insight on that though. Good cable holds up better than bad cable. That's all I know.
Marco Leavitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2009, 07:37 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt View Post
There has also been some discussion in hear about whether Star-Quad cables are more fragile than regular balanced lines because they are more complicated.
No doubt about that, quad can be really annoying to solder. And certainly, if the assembler doesn't do a good job, it can be more fragile. The insulation has a much lower melting point than regular cable and getting the individual conductors tinned togther is a hassle. Even with a lot of practice, I might need to cut it off and try again.

It might be worth it to get Switchcraft connectors (heck, make it REALLY hard for the assembler!). They are much beefier than Neutrik.

But, a well made cable should last as long as a regular one.

I've only experienced problems at the connector never in the middle.
__________________
Andy Tejral
Railroad Videographer
Andy Tejral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2009, 08:58 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 974
All my mic. cables are BBC spec. star-quad - I wouldn't use anything else.
__________________
John Willett - Sound-Link ProAudio and Circle Sound Services
President: Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons
John Willett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,323
Gotham GAC-3 works here for me.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Ty Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Monroe, NY
Posts: 686
You have a good recabler in the UK:

Stone Audio

STONEAUDIO UK | hi-fi, home cinema, multi-room, design and installation

Ask them.

John
John Peterson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2009, 09:58 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Cornwall UK
Posts: 793
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
All my mic. cables are BBC spec. star-quad - I wouldn't use anything else.
As are mine John, on your reccomendation, excellent.
__________________
Colin
Colin Rowe is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:14 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network