FORUMS: list search recent posts

Do expensive XLR cables really make a difference?

COW Forums : Audio Professionals

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Terry Nutkins
Do expensive XLR cables really make a difference?
on Oct 12, 2012 at 5:11:49 pm

When using a professional quality field recorder and mic, do expensive XLR cables (for mic>recorder) have any benefits over their cheaper counterparts other than reliability? Where does the money go and is it worth the expense? Is there anything wrong with using cheap cables in general?

Thanks if you can help.


Return to posts index

Eric Toline
Re: Do expensive XLR cables really make a difference?
on Oct 12, 2012 at 5:48:36 pm

First you have to define expensive. Professionals use cables are usually made with Canare or Mogami star quad cable that are designed to eliminate stray RF and or ac components in the cable from reaching the input on the mixer.

Connectors are either Neutrik or Switchcraft and are built for rugged in the field abuse. Yes, less expensive cables will work but there has to be a reason they are less expensive. I've seen many music store 3 for $25 xlr cables fail because of cheap knockoff connectors.

Think of top shelf cables as an investment not an expense. You can save some money if you know how to build your own cables using the brands I mentioned.

Eric

"I push the RECORD button and hope for the best"


Return to posts index

Richard Crowley
Re: Do expensive XLR cables really make a difference?
on Oct 12, 2012 at 9:18:24 pm

Professional-grade cables are NOT the same as "premium" "botique", "snake-oil", "big-name" cables.

As you say, the main problem with cheap low-end cables is the materials, construction, and durability. And sometimes, the quality of the shielding. I would be quite surprised to actually HEAR a significant difference even between "low-quality" cables and good professional-grade. (Except for shield integrity problems in hostile locations.)

Stick with the professional brands, Canare, Mogami, Belden, etc cable, and Neutrik, Switchcraft connectors. Avoid anything with the name "Monster" or any of the sleazy consumer "premium" brands.


Return to posts index


Bouke Vahl
Re: Do expensive XLR cables really make a difference?
on Oct 14, 2012 at 7:36:15 am

I do agree on getting the good stuff (not alone for sound quality / reliability), but also for nice handling.

I disagree that they have to be expensive.
Good quality cable is about 1 buck a meter.
A Neutrik connector is about 3 bucks.
Soldering takes about 10 minutes for an entire cable.

You do the math...

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


Return to posts index

Eric Toline
Re: Do expensive XLR cables really make a difference?
on Oct 14, 2012 at 5:05:02 pm

Here's the math. From the Markertek.com catalog.

50' of Canare Star Quad mic cable @.$51 a foot: $25.50

2x Neutrik Female XLR connectors @$2.99ea $5.98

2x Neutrik Male XLR connectors @$2.59 $5.18

Total: $36.66

Cut the 50 ft of cable in half and make 2x 25' cables and your cost is $18.33 for each 25ft cable.

Option: Buy the same 25' cables with the same components already assembled @$28.05 each. DIY and save $9.72 per cable. What's your time worth assuming you have the equipment & the skill set to do a top notch soldering job?

Eric

"I push the RECORD button and hope for the best"


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: Do expensive XLR cables really make a difference?
on Oct 16, 2012 at 5:35:06 am

I agree with all the above advice but will just add the following...

If you're just buying a cable to run between a voice booth and your board - and you'll NEVER touch it until you move to a new facility - a modest Retail Store mic cable might do you just fine.

If you're doing field recording and stringing and re-coiling your cables over and over and over again - you're INSANE to go with anything but the best quality you can afford.

Others here have defined what "best quality" is all about. (Hint: It's not about someone snake oil marketing a cable as having special powers or "cleaner sound" - it's about exactly what the other folks here have mentioned. Reliability, repairability, dependability) Period.

End of my 2 cents.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


Return to posts index


Dali Sternisa
Re: Do expensive XLR cables really make a difference?
on Nov 4, 2012 at 6:42:00 pm

I couldn't say it better Bill. Regarding the connectors. Recently I like Amphenol connectors more than Neutrik.

Br,
Dali

----------
dBStudio - Post production studio in Slovenia.
Broadcast services incl. Voice Over, Overdub, ADR, IVR, ISDN and Skype remote workflow, Re-Recording, Sound Supervision, Sound Design & Editorial, Game Audio, Audio Restoration, DVD Audio Mastering, TV and Radio commercial recordings, Corporate presentations. Slovenian and international voice talent bank.
http://www.dbstudio.si | http://www.post-production-slovenia.si | http://www.voiceover-slovenia.si | http://www.overdub-slovenia.si | http://www.dbrecordings.com


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]