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Old July 15th, 2013, 09:00 AM   #1
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Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

Came across these on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/HDE%C2%AE-Fema...pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/Female-Microph...pr_product_top

Both seem to have a fair number of negative reviews. Do any of these type cables work well enough to use with a dynamic mic? I do plan to get a Shure X2U eventually, but am wondering if I could get by with one of these cheap adapter cables in the meantime.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 10:50 AM   #2
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

I bought an X2U when they first came out. It works great!
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Old July 16th, 2013, 08:44 PM   #3
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

How about 2 inputs for $79 ? review of the ART USB Dual PreAmp actually using it

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Old July 16th, 2013, 08:59 PM   #4
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

I have one of these, it works pretty well: MXL MicMate Pro - USB Adapter Interface MIC MATE PRO B&H Photo
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Old July 17th, 2013, 12:57 AM   #5
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

I got this version and it also seems to work well: the t.bone MicPlug USB - Thomann UK
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Old July 17th, 2013, 10:47 AM   #6
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

I'd be skeptical of an A>D converter's sonic quality @ $12.... but of coarse, many (normal) folks are perfectly happy with low res. MP3s too. So it depends on your (or your clients) needs and expectations.
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Old July 17th, 2013, 12:53 PM   #7
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

If you can find one of these somewhere they are quite good for the $$.

M-Audio MobilePre Mk II - USB Audio Interface 9900-60005-12 B&H
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Old July 17th, 2013, 12:56 PM   #8
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

This is the version that I have and have used for many years.

M Audio Mobilepre Recording Interface 612391414030 | eBay
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Old July 17th, 2013, 10:31 PM   #9
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

And eventually this question pops up: What are you planning to record?

If it's interviews in a noisy environment, you don't need a pristine noise floor and inaudible distortion. If it's music, or something requiring better fidelity, you need to be more choosy about your gear.

The same applies to your expected delivery. If it will be low-bitrate EweToob files, your capture can be less than perfect. If the target is something better (broadcast, CD release, etc.) then you need better audio to start with.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 06:56 PM   #10
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

Just an update: went with 3M and I can verify that it does indeed work and there is no crackling from the somewhat loose XLR connection. How does it sound? Not so terrible. Their claim that it gives a 20 dB signal boost (or singal as the product description claims) is hooey. Still planning to get the Shure, or maybe a mini-mixer, since I now find I want more inputs, but not so many that I want to drag out the big Mackie.
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Old October 6th, 2013, 12:37 PM   #11
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

The two Amazon citations look like the same cable with different "brand names" on it. It has a very cheap XLR connector and could probably be swapped for something better.

The "reviews" of technical equipment on Amazon are typically clueless and often hilarious. I usually don't even bother reading them except for amusement.

That cable looks like a low-end mass-produced product from Asia with build quality commensurate with the rock-bottom price. It probably performs reasonably well as long as it holds together. It doesn't provide phantom power which makes it usable only for dynamic mics. At that price I wouldn't expect low-noise performance.

Of course, it doesn't provide monitoring, it doesn't claim to. And latency is a function of your computer and hardware, the adapter can not affect that.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 06:22 PM   #12
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

Take a look at the Heil Sound USBQ: USBQ | Heil Sound $90 at B and H Photo. It has decent EQ built in.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 07:11 AM   #13
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

That looks like a very nice piece of gear.

One small question in my mind. "The Basics" page states it has "two band shelving equalization." But the "Specs" page says "Bass center 80 Hz," and "Treble center at 8 kHz." Wouldn't shelving equalizers have a knee frequency, rather than a center frequency?
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Old October 8th, 2013, 07:56 AM   #14
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

When you are reading commercial verbiage, remember that the last people to have their hands on the words were likely marketing types, and NOT necessarily people with technical knowledge. We have all seen examples of Japlish and Chinglish where non-native speakers attempt to write coherent English prose. The results are sometimes hilarious or amusing, or just simply incomprehensible. But almost always mangled and not really representative of the original intent.

So at least IMHO it doesn't seem all that surprising to see contradictions and misstatements like that. Take it with a grain of salt and translate it back into something that reads correctly. I agree that they are likely shelving and not peaking, but the difference between "center frequency" and "knee frequency" is likely lost on the people who wrote that.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 05:16 PM   #15
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Re: Can anyone recommend a cheap XLR to USB adapter cable?

I'd agree with you in general. This case caught my eye because Heil is an American company and Bob Heil has been making audio gear for the amateur radio market for many years. So if this is really a Heil product, translation shouldn't be an issue. OTOH if it's something that Heil imports and markets, then anything goes.
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