Become a Site Supporter and Never see Ads again!

Author Topic: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?  (Read 1480 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline voltronic

  • Trade Count: (28)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2576
DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« on: November 19, 2018, 09:36:59 PM »
I am looking to start making my own 2-channel mic cables.  I want to do this without techflexing two cables in pairs; in other words one cable jacket assembly.  Low profile, low memory effect (lies flat) and flexibility are also considerations.

Initially I was going to use Schoeps SCH501 cable, but it is quite expensive at $12 / meter plus $13.50 shipping from Redding (very recent quote).

So, I have been looking into other options that would fit my needs.  Does anyone have experience with any of these?

1. Mogami W3106 - 3 people here recommended this already

2. Mogami W2930 (updated with link to Redco; cheaper than Markertek)

3. Canare MR-202AT

4. Belden 1902A

EDIT: Added Mogami W3106, and found that both Mogami options are cheaper from Redco, even with non-free shipping.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 05:55:54 PM by voltronic »
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q
Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24
Tascam DR-70D JWMod | Sony PCM-M10

Tascam DR-70D FAQ
Team Line Audio
Quote
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

Offline heathen

  • Trade Count: (16)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1673
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 09:52:13 PM »
No first-hand experience to add, but when I looked into this I saw some recommendations for Mogami 3106 on Gearslutz.

I'll probably make some eventually so make sure to post about how it turns out for you  :coolguy:
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5 Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05 | Tascam DR-2d

Offline voltronic

  • Trade Count: (28)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2576
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2018, 06:33:45 AM »
No first-hand experience to add, but when I looked into this I saw some recommendations for Mogami 3106 on Gearslutz.

I'll probably make some eventually so make sure to post about how it turns out for you  :coolguy:

Thanks; I'll look into that one.  I like that it has lower capacitance, as unrestricted high frequencies are very important for the music I record.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q
Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24
Tascam DR-70D JWMod | Sony PCM-M10

Tascam DR-70D FAQ
Team Line Audio
Quote
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

Offline Ronmac

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 177
  • Gender: Male
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2018, 06:54:07 AM »
I use the Canare you mention for several of the snakes I build (2,4 and12 channel). It holds up well and is very easy to build with and coils easily.

 The Mogami 2930 is also very nice, although I would probably go with the Redco branded version for considerable less cost. They look identical, but I have never seen the Redco version, so it may be jacketed differently.

Unless you are running several hundred feet the capacitance differences should not be an issue for audio signals driven by modern equipment.

Offline Walstib62

  • Trade Count: (30)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2510
  • Gender: Male
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2018, 07:56:52 AM »
One thing to keep in mind is when you "split" the cables, you will have relatively delicate tails that are prone to stress and can fail easily. Extra care must be taken to provide strain relief to the unprotected portion of the cable.

This might be a good option.:   https://www.markertek.com/product/mg-3106/mogami-w3106-dual-channel-audio-cable-black-per-foot?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase&cvsfa=3786&cvsfe=2&cvsfhu=4d472d33313036&ne_ppc_id=1553541259&gclid=Cj0KCQjwgOzdBRDlARIsAJ6_HNmmQkQvVbmp19heWDTP7DfpVUuxLjwpR8dqQHOdFDNfaOXXXKAt5wIaAgtxEALw_wcB

I haven't used it, so I don't know first hand how well it handles or durability.

Offline illconditioned

  • Trade Count: (7)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2671
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2018, 08:00:04 AM »
Mogami W3106 is like thick lamp cord, each one 3~4mm diameter (?).  Very nice, flexible and tough cable.  Each pair has served shield and solders very easily.  Pretty durable as well.For tough runs, or to secure ends, you can techflex this too :) .
By the way, if anyone finds a good supplier, please let me know.  Looking to build some more cables.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 08:01:54 AM by illconditioned »
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline Ronmac

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 177
  • Gender: Male
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2018, 09:03:43 AM »
I always use tech flex to cover the exposed segments of a snake for additional strength and strain relief. Of course, this means there is less flexibility, but better safe than sorry.

Offline voltronic

  • Trade Count: (28)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2576
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2018, 05:38:16 PM »
Mogami W3106 is like thick lamp cord, each one 3~4mm diameter (?).  Very nice, flexible and tough cable.  Each pair has served shield and solders very easily.  Pretty durable as well.For tough runs, or to secure ends, you can techflex this too :) .
By the way, if anyone finds a good supplier, please let me know.  Looking to build some more cables.

Well that's 3 recommendations for Mogami W3106, so that one is going to the top of my list.  It also has the lowest capacitance of any of the cables mentioned, so that also puts it in the lead for me.  Markertek carries it - see Walstib's link above.

 
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q
Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24
Tascam DR-70D JWMod | Sony PCM-M10

Tascam DR-70D FAQ
Team Line Audio
Quote
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

Offline voltronic

  • Trade Count: (28)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2576
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2018, 06:13:41 PM »
FYI, Redco is cheaper on both Mogami cables, even with not-free shipping.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q
Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24
Tascam DR-70D JWMod | Sony PCM-M10

Tascam DR-70D FAQ
Team Line Audio
Quote
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

Offline kingdong

  • Trade Count: (23)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 89
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 09:14:53 PM »
I've used the 3106 to make XLR5->2x XLR3 breakout cables for a mid-side microphone.  It was easy to work with and I'd certainly use it again, but I'm not sure it would be my first choice for a long run.  Since it is essentially two cables fused together I'd be worried about it being unruly when coiling a long length.  That said, I've only used it for <2ft breakouts so I have no experience with long pieces.

Offline voltronic

  • Trade Count: (28)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2576
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 10:43:10 PM »
I've used the 3106 to make XLR5->2x XLR3 breakout cables for a mid-side microphone.  It was easy to work with and I'd certainly use it again, but I'm not sure it would be my first choice for a long run.  Since it is essentially two cables fused together I'd be worried about it being unruly when coiling a long length.  That said, I've only used it for <2ft breakouts so I have no experience with long pieces.

Yes, that's my only hesitation on it as well.  The cables I would be building would all be in the 25-50 ft range.  I have a very similar side-by-side fused cable Jon at Naiant made for me as a TA4 extension which I use between my TA4-terminated DPA 4061s and my PFAs.  It's only about 15 ft and is smaller than 3106, I believe it is a Belden cable stock.  It doesn't coil all that neatly, but I don't really mind with the short length.

Ease of coiling / un-coiling is one of the reasons I want to get away from fully Techflexed snakes.  The two I have from Ted are beautifully made and will last forever, but when I need to set up in a hurry,  the long lengths often tangle.  In contrast, my 50ft mono Canare cables pay out easily and never tangle.

Mogami 2930 looks like it may be the best of both worlds here.  Have you found that you needed to heatshrink or techflex the entire fanout portion?  Or, are the individual channel jackets sturdy enough to stand on their own, with just your typical shrink at the Y for reinforcement and maybe a short length at the connectors for strain relief?
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q
Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24
Tascam DR-70D JWMod | Sony PCM-M10

Tascam DR-70D FAQ
Team Line Audio
Quote
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

Offline mjwin

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Gender: Male
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 03:55:13 PM »
At the risk of playing devil's advocate here (I tend to stay away from cable discussions), here's a wild-card. If you want a light weight, easily coiled cable, have you thought about using "starquad"?  Although this is designed for single channel use where you need to minimize hum pickup in situations with a lot of electrical noise, it has 4 cores + screen & I've found it to work very well for running a stereo pair some distance back to the recorder.  Because of the balanced configuration of the mics/recorder and the fact that the two internal cable pairs are fixed at 90 degrees to each other, the crosstalk is minimized.

I regularly use long lengths of Van Damme starquad for nature recording, where I need to be able to quickly unwind/rewind cable, often in difficult low light conditions, without it tangling or kinking.   

I terminate each end with 5 pin XLRs according to the standard "stereo mic" pinout.  (For one channel use the blue pair, for the other, the white.)  Then I have Y adaptors which are used each end to splay out the cable to 3 pin XLRs. With this configuration it's possible to daisy-chain lenghts together to get where you want without having to carry unnecessary amounts of cable. This way there's no issue with having to split cables into heatshrink/techflex, etc. either. 

Good starquad (Mogami/Canare/VanDamme/...) is tough &, because all the conductors are bound together it resists kinking when tugged hard. It's also lighter weight than (most) snakes which are bound in pairs.

The only concern would seem to be inter-channel crosstalk. Rather than attempt to model the cable & calculate this, I did a simple empirical test with an AT mic & Tascam DR100-III.
For 100m reel (wound) Van Damme "Tour grade XKE quad cable":
At 1kHz, crosstalk -91.9dB
At 10kHz, crosstalk -80.1dB.
Which is impressive by any standards: this is a whole drum of cable, after all!  It also gives real world meaning to the advantages of balanced audio:)

« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 04:18:42 PM by mjwin »

Offline illconditioned

  • Trade Count: (7)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2671
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2018, 06:04:17 PM »
At the risk of playing devil's advocate here (I tend to stay away from cable discussions), here's a wild-card. If you want a light weight, easily coiled cable, have you thought about using "starquad"?  Although this is designed for single channel use where you need to minimize hum pickup in situations with a lot of electrical noise, it has 4 cores + screen & I've found it to work very well for running a stereo pair some distance back to the recorder.  Because of the balanced configuration of the mics/recorder and the fact that the two internal cable pairs are fixed at 90 degrees to each other, the crosstalk is minimized.

I regularly use long lengths of Van Damme starquad for nature recording, where I need to be able to quickly unwind/rewind cable, often in difficult low light conditions, without it tangling or kinking.   

I terminate each end with 5 pin XLRs according to the standard "stereo mic" pinout.  (For one channel use the blue pair, for the other, the white.)  Then I have Y adaptors which are used each end to splay out the cable to 3 pin XLRs. With this configuration it's possible to daisy-chain lenghts together to get where you want without having to carry unnecessary amounts of cable. This way there's no issue with having to split cables into heatshrink/techflex, etc. either. 

Good starquad (Mogami/Canare/VanDamme/...) is tough &, because all the conductors are bound together it resists kinking when tugged hard. It's also lighter weight than (most) snakes which are bound in pairs.

The only concern would seem to be inter-channel crosstalk. Rather than attempt to model the cable & calculate this, I did a simple empirical test with an AT mic & Tascam DR100-III.
For 100m reel (wound) Van Damme "Tour grade XKE quad cable":
At 1kHz, crosstalk -91.9dB
At 10kHz, crosstalk -80.1dB.
Which is impressive by any standards: this is a whole drum of cable, after all!  It also gives real world meaning to the advantages of balanced audio:)
I do the same.A standard stereo mic wiring over a star quad cable.
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline Ronmac

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 177
  • Gender: Male
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2018, 06:13:53 PM »
Note that star quad cable always exhibits higher capacitance (there is no shielding between pairs) than regular mic cable or 2 channel snake cable. Voltronic mentioned he wanted to keep the pf as low as possible, although my opinion is that regular runs at audio frequencies shouldn't be a concern. I have several lengths of star quad terminated in 5 pin xlr (I made several 5 pin to 2x 3 pin tails) and never have a problem with them. Most of mine came from re-purposed star quad 3 pin mic cables.

Offline voltronic

  • Trade Count: (28)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2576
Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2018, 08:39:46 AM »
At the risk of playing devil's advocate here (I tend to stay away from cable discussions), here's a wild-card. If you want a light weight, easily coiled cable, have you thought about using "starquad"?  Although this is designed for single channel use where you need to minimize hum pickup in situations with a lot of electrical noise, it has 4 cores + screen & I've found it to work very well for running a stereo pair some distance back to the recorder.  Because of the balanced configuration of the mics/recorder and the fact that the two internal cable pairs are fixed at 90 degrees to each other, the crosstalk is minimized.

I regularly use long lengths of Van Damme starquad for nature recording, where I need to be able to quickly unwind/rewind cable, often in difficult low light conditions, without it tangling or kinking.   

I terminate each end with 5 pin XLRs according to the standard "stereo mic" pinout.  (For one channel use the blue pair, for the other, the white.)  Then I have Y adaptors which are used each end to splay out the cable to 3 pin XLRs. With this configuration it's possible to daisy-chain lenghts together to get where you want without having to carry unnecessary amounts of cable. This way there's no issue with having to split cables into heatshrink/techflex, etc. either. 

Good starquad (Mogami/Canare/VanDamme/...) is tough &, because all the conductors are bound together it resists kinking when tugged hard. It's also lighter weight than (most) snakes which are bound in pairs.

The only concern would seem to be inter-channel crosstalk. Rather than attempt to model the cable & calculate this, I did a simple empirical test with an AT mic & Tascam DR100-III.
For 100m reel (wound) Van Damme "Tour grade XKE quad cable":
At 1kHz, crosstalk -91.9dB
At 10kHz, crosstalk -80.1dB.
Which is impressive by any standards: this is a whole drum of cable, after all!  It also gives real world meaning to the advantages of balanced audio:)

That was essentially my original plan with the Schoeps SCH501 cable.  It quickly got to be very expensive when you add in 4 XLR5 connectors, not to mention the cost of the cable itself.  The build would have cost over $200 for a 50 ft run.

This is why I am now looking into cable stock such as the Mogami options mentioned here that are already snaked internally, so there is no need for the XLR5 connectors to make breakout cables.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q
Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24
Tascam DR-70D JWMod | Sony PCM-M10

Tascam DR-70D FAQ
Team Line Audio
Quote
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

 

RSS | Mobile
Page created in 0.259 seconds with 42 queries.
© 2002-2018 Taperssection.com
Powered by SMF