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Old August 2nd, 2010, 09:28 AM   #1
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XLR cables - good brand?

What's a good brand for XLR cables? Just got the new senheiser mic for the sony AX2000 and need a M-F cable.....

Just not sure which brand is bet to get, or if it really doesn't matter...

thanks!
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 11:05 AM   #2
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The best brand is to make your own! :)
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 02:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Vitale View Post
What's a good brand for XLR cables? Just got the new senheiser mic for the sony AX2000 and need a M-F cable.....

Just not sure which brand is bet to get, or if it really doesn't matter...

thanks!
It does matter, some 3rd world cheapos are flimsy, wired wrong or just generally undependable. FWIW we have always used Audio-Technica cables (bhphotovideo.com is one source) with complete satisfaction....
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 11:46 PM   #4
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If you want rock solid go with name brands like :

Whirlwind (probably the best without going esoteric)
Proco
Rapco

in the PA industry AT mic cable is considered a throw-in cable, not bad , but also not great.

BTW all of these companies make budget versions and top notch ones, with connectors being the main difference.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 12:04 AM   #5
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I'm a pretty devout Digiflex user with Neutrik ends.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 01:38 AM   #6
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I'm Canare Star-quad with Neutrick XLRs since way back. A lot of newer brands are rebadged Canare.

But I think the op is looking for something like this .. Audio-Technica XLR Male to XLR Angled Female Balanced ASP00127 - to connect the Senn. on the AX2000.

Cheers.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 01:44 AM   #7
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After verifying my suspicions, Digiflex cables (made in Canada from imported components) ARE made with Canare cable and Neutrik ends so Allan and I are in agreement. I didn't realize Canare DID self branded assembled cable. A quick visit to B&H Photo's website set me straight.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 02:25 AM   #8
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Shaun, don't know whether you know but you can *hear* mic cables.

Years ago when cheap eastern mic cables started to appear, the salesman from Rank Industries (remember them) used to come by our studios with those samples and run this demo.

With no mic connected, lay about 6' out on the studio wood flooring, plug the male XLR (Canon it was then) into a wall mic input and push the corresponding fader in the control room .. way up!

Have someone snap the cable onto the wooden floor, like a whip. We could hear the thump in the control room speakers .. the crappier the cable the louder the thump.

This guy sure sold a lot of Canare Star-quad .. lol.

Cheers.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 06:19 AM   #9
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Some cables are microphonic - always have been - BUT some very expensive cable does it too, while some dirt cheap cable doesn't. If you buy proper branded product and this happens, then send it back as faulty. In most cases it's capacitance issues - often when the outer cable is very soft and during manufacture the squeezing effect of the outer is a little less than it should be, allowing the inner lays to move - and when you thrash the cable, there's a sudden capacitance change and just like condenser mics, once amplified, it's a 'sound'.

Find a brand you like, and stick with it.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 01:05 PM   #10
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I've got great results with Audio Technica. Most XLR cables sound the same. The main thing I consider is the shielding, and the longevity of the cable/connectors. AT uses great components and I find their cables to last and last. They are reasonably priced too. Many cable's prices are unduly jacked up.

25' 18.99
Audio-Technica 3-pin XLR Male to 3-pin XLR Female AT8314-25 -

50' 21.50
Audio-Technica 3-pin XLR Male to 3-pin XLR Female AT8314-50 -

Between two 25 footers, and two 50 footers, I am able to cover most situations.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 04:33 PM   #11
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Well you've gotten good advice from some heavyweights. I highly recommend whatever cable you choose, that you get Neutrik connectors and avoid Switchcraft. I TD 2 venues used and run by students. Before I got there it had gone for 2 years managed/maintained by two very busy music teachers and students. The stuff got beaten and not taken care of. Out of 50 XLR cables, the only ones that were broken were the Switchcraft ones (about 6 total). If you've ever taken a Neutrik apart and then looked at a Switchcraft, the difference is day and night. I cut off the Switchcrafts and put on Neutriks. YMMV
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 04:39 PM   #12
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Further to what Les says: staying with ONE manufacturer of connectors also ensures that your male and female ends will always fit together and lock - something I have OCCASIONALLY had issues with when "mating" MY cables to those supplied by an inhouse AV guy who may be using different connectors.

Don't get me wrong; there is nothing PROPRIETARY about one connector versus another BUT there may be SUBTLE variances that keep them from fitting COMPLETELY and locking. I have a SHORT cable in my kit bag that has always managed to resolve this for me in the past (ancient with potentially WELL worn in connectors on both ends...)
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 11:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
Well you've gotten good advice from some heavyweights. I highly recommend whatever cable you choose, that you get Neutrik connectors and avoid Switchcraft. I TD 2 venues used and run by students. Before I got there it had gone for 2 years managed/maintained by two very busy music teachers and students. The stuff got beaten and not taken care of. Out of 50 XLR cables, the only ones that were broken were the Switchcraft ones (about 6 total). If you've ever taken a Neutrik apart and then looked at a Switchcraft, the difference is day and night. I cut off the Switchcrafts and put on Neutriks. YMMV
I cannot concur with Mr.Wilson's blanket condemnation of Switchcraft. At least here in the US, Switchcraft XLR-style connectors were widely used for SEVERAL DECADES before Neutrik arrived on the scene in any significant numbers. I suspect that Mr. Wilson's sample was heavily weighted by age as well as brand, and is thus an unfair comparison.

I have cables with Switchcraft connectors that are at least 40 years old, probably more like 45. And they are just as viable as the day they were new. Nobody has Neutrik XLR-style connectors that old because Neutrik is a relative newcomer to the game.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 07:12 AM   #14
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AFAIK, the failed Switchcraft in my sample were a school purchase (read cheap) less then 10 years old. The one that was not a hard failure but just intermitant *may* be from the 80's.

On the Switchcraft design, you have to have a small screw driver to release the shell. Some models have two screws with one a reverse threaded screw that has to be released before you can get the shell off to see the insides. Screws are easily lost, not easily replaced, sometimes covered by labels, requires a tool and slow to remove.

The Neutrik requires no tools, you unscrew the strain relief and the connector is quickly disassembled for inspection and reassembly from its 3 parts with no tiny parts to lose.

The Switchcraft strain relief is a thin metal type that is crimped over the cable jacket. The Neutrik is a plastic sleeve that is keyed and inserted into the metal shell then squeezed onto the jacket when the cap is screwed back on. The Neutrik mechanism is solid and can be removed/inserted over and over while the metal crimp of the Switchcraft requires pliers and breaks after only a couple times.

The solder terminals on the failed female Switchcrafts I took apart were thin metal strips that either broke from insertion or where pushed out the back of the connector rendering the connector useless. In contrast, the Neutrik terminals are cylinders with the insides bored out to create a cup. The wire is inserted and the cup filled with solder. The Neutrik design withstands repeated soldering. In contrast, I had a 5 year old Switchcraft terminal just break off when I went to repair the broken wire.

The Switchcraft female is 3 7/8" long while the Neutrik (due to it's design) is 2 3/4".

This is the experience that was the basis for my recommendation and preference for the Neutrik design over Switchcraft. YMMV

Last edited by Les Wilson; August 4th, 2010 at 02:24 PM.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 09:42 PM   #15
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Thanks for the advice guys..

I had to buy something quick for thursday, so I got a cheap $20 brand from amazon, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002J2O1C/ref=oss_product affordable and fast shipping, it'll work for now but I'll still need to buy a second one that'll be old reliable, so I'll take all the advice into account!
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