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Old June 15th, 2015, 01:52 PM   #1
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XLR cable for unbalanced microphone

I am using Beyerdynamics MCE58 unbalanced microphone for interviews. I shoot with Canon 60D with Juicedlink RA202 as preamp.

Is there any difference in audio quality, if I use a male-female XLR cable vs. using an XLR to 3,5mm stereo jack cable, which, I understand is intended for connecting unbalanced mics, such as my MCE58?

I already have a 5m XLR m/f cable and was wondering if it would work or should I get a new XLR-stereo jack cable?
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Old June 15th, 2015, 02:16 PM   #2
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Re: XLR cable for unbalanced microphone

I would use a decent quality XLR>XLR cable to the JuicedLink. The XLR connectors are locking and more robust than a 3.5mm mini-plug. I don't think you would have to modify the cable itself with that particular mic.
Unfortunately the audio quality of the DSRL isn't that good no matter what the front end and many folks use an external audio recorder.
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Old June 15th, 2015, 02:46 PM   #3
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Re: XLR cable for unbalanced microphone

Thanks for your answer, Rick. It is true that my 60D is not optimal for recording audio, but for my purposes it will have to do for now.

I am glad to hear that my existing XLR>XLR cable won't compromise the mediocre sound quality of my system.
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Old June 15th, 2015, 04:53 PM   #4
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Re: XLR cable for unbalanced microphone

Since your model of JuicedLink preamp doesn't have phantom power, I agree with Rick to use a high-quality XLR female to male cable with your mic.

You might want to add a shorter cable than the 5 meter one you already have.

That would give you a backup cable, a shorter one for more convenience if you know you don't need a full 16 feet, and if you needed a slightly longer run you could simply join the two together.

Do be careful using this mic around XLR connections with switchable phantom power.
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Old June 16th, 2015, 01:57 AM   #5
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Re: XLR cable for unbalanced microphone

Beyer have been crafty with this mic. If people accidentally plug it into a cable where phantom is present, the mic is isolated via a capacitor in the pin 2 line, and I've never yet come across a phantom power supply that suffers any damage from having a cable short, because it's not exactly uncommon. Looks a useful too to me!
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Old June 16th, 2015, 07:47 AM   #6
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Re: XLR cable for unbalanced microphone

Phantom Power is usually current limited at the power source by a series resistor. This protects from short circuits in most cases.

With unbalanced microphones short leads are better to reduce stray electromagnetic noise pick-up by the leads,

The 3.5MM mini-phone plug has the minor advantage of less weight and bulk than an XLR connector, if that is important to you, although as noted the robustness/reliability of the connection is lower.
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