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bierfeldt
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Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
Need a good value in XLR cables - or maybe a tech lesson on them

I am looking for a good quality XLR cable at a reasonable price but the range is just rediculous.  Outlaw has a .5 meter cable for $13.  Emotiva has one for $30 or out on Amazon they are $370 for sterling sliver. 

I am concerned at something price at $13.  On the other hand, I have talked to an audio pro who has literally built a recording studio and he said the spec was copper, not silver and he sees no benefit in silver. 

My gut tells me the Emotiva cables are the way to go.  At $30 they seems like a good value but I am nut sure if 20 strands of copper is enough.  I found another cable for $70 that has 42 strands of copper.  My problem is I assume more is better but honestly haven't the vaguest idea of what is adequate, exceptional and what is overkill 

Any clarity would be enormously helpful as this is such an important and expesive part of the system.  I am already projected to spend $11,000 on this system and am significanlty over my original $9000 budget including the TV.  I don't want to cheap out on these cables but I also can't spend $2100 for wires. 

Please help!

RGibran
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Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
audio-technica

I was using a pair of Kimber Hero XLR’s, but someone said the audio-technica AT8314-3 @ approx. $15-20 bucks each were killer so I had to give em a try cause I’m a sucker for great cables at bargain prices.  Highly recommended!

 

RG

Allen Fant
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Great deals daily on

Great deals daily on Audiogon.com.

commsysman
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Balanced cables

The cables used in all of the world's recording studios use the standard copper cable specified by the recording industry (AES/EBU standard audio cable), and they sound perfect every time, even if they are over 100 feet long. Any standard XLR connector is also perfectly OK, as long as it does not corrode.

The kinds of issues that cause UNBALANCED cables to sound different from each other and sound different with different pieces of equipment SIMPLY DO NOT EXIST WITH BALANCED (XLR) CABLES!!!

This is because in a balanced cable

1) the shield does not carry any signal current 

2) the shield is actually connected to a "hard" ground at both ends (rather than the "floating" ground required in an unbalanced cable circuit due to the shield carrying a sgnal)

3) the signal is a differential signal; any hum or noise the signal wires might pick up would be "common-mode", or identical on both wires and therefore self-cancelling, which does not affect the differential audio signal.

Bottom line; balanced cables work flawlessly in every application and there is absolutely no reason to use any special materials. I have a $30,000 all-balanced system and make all of my own cables from standard materials; not expensive and flawless.

You will never find any "special" audiophile cables in a recording studio unless someone gave them to them free for promotional purposes.

You will also NEVER find ANY unbalanced cables in a recording studio, because from an engineering standpoint they are hopelessly flawed in their basic concept. A shield is supposed to be grounded at both ends in order to shield properly, but in an unbalanced cable this is not possible because the shield has to have an AC signal current present and if both ends were truly grounded (to a "hard" ground) there would be no signal current possible. This makes the current in the sheild highly vulnerable to all sorts of degradation; BAD BAD BAD!

If you want to make your own cables, simply buy a roll of AES/EBU standard cable (usually sold as "microphone cable') and some XLR connectors and 63/37 solder and put them together. That's what I do.

EIA standard audio cable, or "microphone cable", has two fine-stranded #22 or #24 insulated conductors and a shield, covered by durable flexible rubber outer insulation.

Amazon, for example, sells a 300-foot roll for $69.95 in a choice of outer colors (mint green is my favorite...lol). CableWholesale.com has a black 500-ft roll for $68. Belden cable is sold by Mouser Electronics and MCM electronics. Just search for "microphone cable". The Belden type number is 8413. speakerrepair.com has 300 ft rolls of green, red, purple, etc. for $60. I also see that Amazon has Neutrik XLR connectors for around $2.40 each; good deal on a good-quality connector.

 

 

 

 

bierfeldt wrote:

I am looking for a good quality XLR cable at a reasonable price but the range is just rediculous.  Outlaw has a .5 meter cable for $13.  Emotiva has one for $30 or out on Amazon they are $370 for sterling sliver. 

I am concerned at something price at $13.  On the other hand, I have talked to an audio pro who has literally built a recording studio and he said the spec was copper, not silver and he sees no benefit in silver. 

My gut tells me the Emotiva cables are the way to go.  At $30 they seems like a good value but I am nut sure if 20 strands of copper is enough.  I found another cable for $70 that has 42 strands of copper.  My problem is I assume more is better but honestly haven't the vaguest idea of what is adequate, exceptional and what is overkill 

Any clarity would be enormously helpful as this is such an important and expesive part of the system.  I am already projected to spend $11,000 on this system and am significanlty over my original $9000 budget including the TV.  I don't want to cheap out on these cables but I also can't spend $2100 for wires. 

Please help!

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