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Old January 24th, 2018, 08:27 PM   #1
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XLR Cabling question

Is there any point in using high quality (eg. Mogami/Canare/Neutrik/etc) cables when they are being connected to a snake? Most of the snakes I've seen for sale, while they may have Neutrik connectors, the cable itself looks like Cat-5 network cabling. I'm sure this saves money, but does it bring down whatever advantages there are to spendier cables?
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Old January 24th, 2018, 10:19 PM   #2
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Re: XLR Cabling question

What snakes, exactly?

There are digital snakes that *do* use cat 5. Typically theyíre very high quality.
There are baluns that will get you 4 xlrs converted to cat 5, and, back to xlr. They always looked great, but Iíve never tried them, nor spoken to anyone who has.

But, conventional analog snakes typically have shielding & whatnot, similar to an xlr cable.

Itís true, mostly the connectors matter most, as cheap connectors may fall apart, or, may be hard to connect or disconnect. Neutrikís strain relief is something special. Quad XLR cable really does do something a *little* better to reject noise when youíre near power or RFI.

Back when I was getting set up, I bought a 1000í spool of mogami quad and all Neutrik connectors. When it was used up, I started buying good quality premade korean knockoff cables. Theyíve been fine, too. If youíre making up your own, the really good stuff is but a little bit more in cost. If you just need 6x 25í mic cables and donít feel like soldering, well, a good cable is good.

OTOH, if you only use four cables for your audio-for-video, why not make them the really good stuff?

PS. Iíve got some underused XLR & snakes from my sound reinforcement days, if you find yourself in Portland. PM me.
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Old January 25th, 2018, 05:58 AM   #3
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Re: XLR Cabling question

As notes above, quality cables are generally better made, use better components, and are more reliable/durable. One less item in the chain to potentially fail when you need it most. For the occasional user where they are not subject to frequent, rushed handling or other abuse it probably makes little if any difference.
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Old January 25th, 2018, 12:47 PM   #4
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Re: XLR Cabling question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah Rickert View Post
Is there any point in using high quality (eg. Mogami/Canare/Neutrik/etc) cables when they are being connected to a snake? Most of the snakes I've seen for sale, while they may have Neutrik connectors, the cable itself looks like Cat-5 network cabling. I'm sure this saves money, but does it bring down whatever advantages there are to spendier cables?
Are you thinking that "spendier cables" have any effect on the quality of the audio signal? (Only rich people with over-active imaginations believe that.)

The primary benefit of quality cables (and connectors) is their reliability and longevity. And that holds true whether the signal is passing through a snake (of whatever quality) or not.

My favorite audio quote (from the GearSlutz forum):

Quote:
A $200 cable is better than a $2 cable. But it is not better than a $5 cable.
i.e. It is not wise to scrape the bottom of the barrel, but you don't have to go insane and overpay for ordinary commodity items.
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Old January 25th, 2018, 02:54 PM   #5
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Re: XLR Cabling question

Thanks for the responses. I've always been a staunch hater of Monster cables (both for their prices and their tendency to sue any business with the name Monster in the title). I shed few tears over Circuit City's demise because their employees constantly tried any trick possible to get you to buy Monster cables.

I only record three or four events a year, so these cables aren't going to be in constant set up and tear-down. And you've answered my question on audio quality.

Thanks everyone...
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Old January 27th, 2018, 11:07 AM   #6
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Re: XLR Cabling question

Most of the very high priced audiophile' mic cables are just a rip off... same as the blue/green markers they used to sell for CDs. I've been using Canare star quad cable for mics and such for quite a few years now. Not only will Canare last though out a career, it's flexible and an aboslute pleasure to work with when its time to wrap. I don't find $ 0.50 per foot exorbitant, unlike those self-proclaimed 'audiophile' cables going for a few hundred. Same goes for the $3 NCX and XX Neutrik XLRs.
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Old January 27th, 2018, 03:39 PM   #7
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Re: XLR Cabling question

I'm thinking like the others. All I need from a stage cable is the ability not to die when stood on, tugged, or run over with a case wheel. All the analogue snakes I own do the same job - audio quality is of course identical.

The most expensive cable I buy is £1.23 a mtr. (Canford HST, if anyone is interested). Recently I've been buying 100m reels of similar cable from Thomann in Germany - which is 67p per mtr and seems just as good, and coils nicely.
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Old January 28th, 2018, 09:44 AM   #8
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Re: XLR Cabling question

Quote:
Most of the very high priced audiophile' mic cables are just a rip off.
Mainly paying for "bragging" rights.

Brings to mind a couple not-audio things that relate.

At a blind wine tasting in the favored wine was a cheap, slightly sweet, $6 red. The $36 bottle was not rated rather low most people. (But don;t try it with red Ripple.)

I've found that for Grey Goose vodka snobs you can give then Smirnoff tripled distilled - just put a drop or two of Contreau in the bottle to give it the hint of citrus, and they will be quiet happy if they do not see the bottle. (If you have to show the bottle, recycle a Grey Goose.)
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