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Old November 14th, 2016, 07:59 AM   #16
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Re: Xlr cables

In my very humble view cable coiling is critical for efficient storage and kink free unravelling - but the only real issue with physical damage is sharp bends. Over and under coiling is standard practice for some and for others not an issue at all - and count me as somebody who always coils with a twist each turn and not over under. As long as they coil untwisted - that's enough! Cheap cables rarely lie flat, and many have very stiff outers that can crack when sharply bent.

I sadly can't agree with this notion that cable faults are the primary reason. Looking at our faults for the past 6 months of shows, maybe two cable faults - but in both these cases, cheap or expensive cables would not have prevented it as both times the cable was ripped out of the captive XLR, once by somebody tripping and once by moving a piece of deck with the cable wrapped around a leg. Numerous shows had technical faults - Equipment failures, programming issues, faulty memory cards and sticks, crashing computers, and faulty microphones. Two cable faults, both caused by real damage that would have happened to any cable don't have any impact on me at all?
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Old November 14th, 2016, 12:27 PM   #17
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Re: Xlr cables

Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
.A station I was associated with for a brief period had a number of modules that used Cinch-Jones connectors. They were prone to this over time - the chief engineer called it "Jones plug disease."
Cinch-Jones were possibly the worst connector ever devised by man; the female part just wasn't tight enough. The plating seemingly did not discourage oxidation. Contact resistance went up, reliability went down.

I am one of those audio nuts who periodically pulled all the tubes from his audio gear (especially low-level preamps and mixers), sprayed the sockets with Cramolin, and then re-inserted the tubes. Some folks may think I go a bit overboard.

However, I have some old XLR connectors with pins that are visibly tarnished. I really do want to clean the pins, and the mating female sockets, before putting those back in service. I am not convinced that a one-time dry-wipe, from mating the connector immediately prior to use, will remove all (or enough) of the tarnish. The pins are easy enough with a Q-tip and D-5. But I'm still pondering what can get down inside those female terminals ... perhaps some variation on a pipe cleaner.

Last edited by Greg Miller; November 14th, 2016 at 02:47 PM.
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Old November 14th, 2016, 03:18 PM   #18
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Re: Xlr cables

Dry wipe can help if done frequently in normal use if the oxidation layer is very thin. But is not the solution for old, long standing build-up.
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Old December 7th, 2016, 10:40 AM   #19
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Re: Xlr cables

I recently bought a cable (a relatively short one to run from the mixer to the camera) that had gold-plated Neutrik connectors. I know Neutrik is a recommended manufacturer, but is the gold plating something worthwhile or did I spend money on a gimmick?
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Old December 7th, 2016, 01:43 PM   #20
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Re: Xlr cables

Gold pins are arguably of value mostly if you are plugging them into connectors which also have gold pins. Since this is pretty rare, IMHO, using gold-plated connectors is of limited advantage. I have XLR connectors which are over 50 years old with the original nickel plating and they still work perfectly fine IME.
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Old December 7th, 2016, 02:10 PM   #21
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Re: Xlr cables

I think gold is about corrosion. In decades of using standard (nickle) connectors I've only had one corrosion problem; of course it happened on a live show!

If you're making your own cables I'd spend the extra $1.50 on genuine Neutrik black/gold, but I have many nickle Neutrik as well, with no problems.
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
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Old December 7th, 2016, 03:42 PM   #22
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Re: Xlr cables

Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
If you're making your own cables I'd spend the extra $1.50 on genuine Neutrik black/gold, but I have many nickle Neutrik as well, with no problems.
+1, same here.
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Old December 7th, 2016, 05:59 PM   #23
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Re: Xlr cables

To clean the female receptacles of cable connections I discovered mycollection of Dremel bits has a bunch of them that fit perfectly into the holes for a light scraping. NOT attached to the Dremel of course. I use the ones that are a straight bit with a half inch of abrasion cut into the end. I spray contact cleaner in, ream it gently, then canned air. I saved a Manfrotto camera controller this way. Has worked perfectly ever since with its sub mini connection. Works for XLR and everything else.

Been at this so long I'm rounding my years of experience down...not up!
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