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Author Topic: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?  (Read 6650 times)

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Offline voltronic

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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 »
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Offline heathen

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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:
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Offline voltronic

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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.
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Offline Ronmac

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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

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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

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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 »
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Offline Ronmac

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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

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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.

 
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Offline voltronic

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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.
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Offline kingdong

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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

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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?
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Offline mjwin

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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

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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

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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

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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.
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Offline TSNéa

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2018, 10:34:15 AM »
I saw a stereo cable made by Kortwich (Berlin) to power a stereo pair from AC with 2 XLR-3 on each side: two F on mic side, two M on power unit side.

The L+R channels go into one of the XLR-3, only one channel is used on this XLR-3, and a short cable carrying the other channel goes into the other XLR-3.
Two XLRs on each side instead of three, but you lose the possibility of adjusting the length of the cable..
Still better with short right angle XLRs.

From the outside diameter, I guess it was a "starquad cable".

http://www.filmtontechnik.de/en/products-from-kortwich/
Expensive. Just buy the idea (which I saw on other sites as well).

Offline illconditioned

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2018, 04:10:42 PM »
I saw a stereo cable made by Kortwich (Berlin) to power a stereo pair from AC with 2 XLR-3 on each side: two F on mic side, two M on power unit side.

The L+R channels go into one of the XLR-3, only one channel is used on this XLR-3, and a short cable carrying the other channel goes into the other XLR-3.
Two XLRs on each side instead of three, but you lose the possibility of adjusting the length of the cable..
Still better with short right angle XLRs.

From the outside diameter, I guess it was a "starquad cable".

http://www.filmtontechnik.de/en/products-from-kortwich/
Expensive. Just buy the idea (which I saw on other sites as well).
Wow.  That site is a hacker's dream.  Plus he makes preamps and microphones.
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 TSNéa

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2018, 05:46:46 PM »
 :)

Offline Walstib62

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2018, 12:45:34 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?

Another approach you could try... If you use 2 small diameter cables, then you spin them around each other as a twisted pair, taping them every few inches or so.  then techflex them together, I think this would make them coil much easier. What makes 2 cables hard to coil is the cables get twisted in opposite directions, and those twists work against each other.

Offline voltronic

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2018, 12:58:58 AM »
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?

Another approach you could try... If you use 2 small diameter cables, then you spin them around each other as a twisted pair, taping them every few inches or so.  then techflex them together, I think this would make them coil much easier. What makes 2 cables hard to coil is the cables get twisted in opposite directions, and those twists work against each other.

That's an interesting idea, but I have long cables that are fully techflexed already and I want to go in a different direction.

I think the Mogami 2930 is the winner here, especially as I now have a short sample of it in hand from a generous member here who I will keep anonymous lest the entire form hit him up for cable samples.  :D

I have also just placed an order with EFKSOUND for four of these 3D-printed XLR caps that allow you to adjust exit angle for low-profile connectors, and don't require any drilling of the XLR shell at all.  (Be advised, he is not printing any new stock until sometime in December, but I emailed and he had two each of red and black that he was able to sell me.)

Thanks to everyone for sharing your experience and advice.
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2018, 08:00:20 PM »
Volt,

I have those XLR caps and they are good, but they merely press into the connector shell, and I have had them pull out when disconnecting from the deck socket. I ended up having to tape them in place. Just be aware!

Offline voltronic

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2018, 06:11:27 PM »
Volt,

I have those XLR caps and they are good, but they merely press into the connector shell, and I have had them pull out when disconnecting from the deck socket. I ended up having to tape them in place. Just be aware!

Thanks for the heads up.  I'm hoping he improved the design.  The last thing I want to do is put tape over top of these custom 3D printed things I am having shipped from Spain.  I just emailed Eric the other day asking how the exit angle is locked in, and he said they just fit tightly.  I went with these because I liked the way they looked, and wanted the ability to change exit angles in the future without drilling through the shells.  If mine fall out, I'll ask for a refund, or failing that, hot glue them in.

Cable Techniques makes these similar-looking caps, but are designed to be held in place with the set screws on their own connectors which are very expensive.
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2018, 05:03:26 PM »
Silicone would likely be better. I think it would hold them well and be removable later. 

Offline heathen

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2018, 05:09:42 PM »
I think the Mogami 2930 is the winner here, especially as I now have a short sample of it in hand from a generous member here who I will keep anonymous lest the entire form hit him up for cable samples.  :D

I have also just placed an order with EFKSOUND for four of these 3D-printed XLR caps that allow you to adjust exit angle for low-profile connectors, and don't require any drilling of the XLR shell at all.  (Be advised, he is not printing any new stock until sometime in December, but I emailed and he had two each of red and black that he was able to sell me.)

Thanks to everyone for sharing your experience and advice.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts on both the cable and the caps, once you've got them in hand.
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2018, 06:38:03 AM »
Silicone would likely be better. I think it would hold them well and be removable later.

That's a good idea; thanks.
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2018, 11:00:48 AM »
Cable is built and functional!  I miscalculated a bit on the techflex length for the mic ends, but it feels pretty sturdy with just the heatshrink as strain relief.  For the recorder end, I copied the offset from one of my GAKables.

The EFK end caps fit VERY tightly.  The inside threads of the Neutrik shells grab right into the somewhat rough textured surface of the plastic caps.  They are actually a bitch to remove if you put them in wrong.  Because they are 3D printed plastic, you wouldn't want to use a metal tool.  I have found carefully working them with rubber gloves works.

Thanks to all for the helpful advice!
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2018, 11:03:20 AM »
How is the feel of that cable?  Consistent with what you were aiming for?
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2018, 11:39:39 AM »
How is the feel of that cable?  Consistent with what you were aiming for?

Yes, I'm very happy with how it came out.  It is EXTREMELY flexible, even the main run covered by the outer jacket.  I've never encountered a cable assembly of any type that is anywhere near this flexible.  Covering the fanouts with techflex was an absolute must, as they are really thin.

The fact that the inner jackets have channel numbers printed on them and the individual conductors have color-coded hot wires made it easy to keep track of what was what.

I have 30ft of this stuff left, and will definitely be making more in the future.

2 sets of cables just went up in the YS, BTW.
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2018, 10:51:10 PM »
Having used the same plastic pieces, I will say this:
1. The plastic can pull out from the metal housing. I found it to feel very tight at first, but over time the plastic grip to the internal threads of the housing is reduced.
2. The plastic/metal junction creates a pinch point on the cable. I had a cable fail recently with these. The shield had worn down and separated, causing a loss of signal. The inner 2 conductors were fine.

I have decided to go to stubby RA  1/4 in. TRS plugs at the recorder end of the cable.

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2018, 09:58:43 AM »
Having used the same plastic pieces, I will say this:
1. The plastic can pull out from the metal housing. I found it to feel very tight at first, but over time the plastic grip to the internal threads of the housing is reduced.
2. The plastic/metal junction creates a pinch point on the cable. I had a cable fail recently with these. The shield had worn down and separated, causing a loss of signal. The inner 2 conductors were fine.

I have decided to go to stubby RA  1/4 in. TRS plugs at the recorder end of the cable.

Regarding #2, I think it depends on which version of the EFK caps you have (he makes them with two different sizes of "channels" for the cable) and also the thickness of the cable itself.  In my case, the Mogami W3040 individual channel wires have an OD of 2.8 mm, and the EFK caps I have are made for 4 mm wire.  Even with the wire wrapped in techflex and heatshrink, there is still some play.  If I ever redo the ends, I would likely double-up the shrink.

Would you please link to the RA TRS plugs you like?  I have never used TRS where phantom power is involved - do you find it as reliable as XLR?
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2018, 10:30:23 AM »
My Tascam decks have combo jacks, so it is no problem with phantom power. My reasoning with the TRS jacks is that they can rotate within the jack they are plugged into, so you con position them in any direction desired.

https://www.redco.com/Amphenol-ACPS-RB-AU.html

This is just one example of a cable mount plug. There are other options as well.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 10:35:20 AM by Walstib62 »

Offline Ronmac

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2018, 11:54:23 AM »
I have never (thankfully) seen a preamp that supplies phantom via trs

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2018, 03:28:07 PM »
Most preamps/recorders have combined XLR/TRS inputs with phantom power. You can choose XLR or TRS connection. E.g.: my Tascam dr680 has 6 inputs with phantom power. Inputs 1-4 are XLR/TRS and inputs 5-6 are only TRS. I think 5-6 are only TRS because of saving space.

Does phantom power via TRS cause troubles? I used this connection couple times on dr680 and everything was fine.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 03:31:31 PM by kuba e »

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #33 on: December 27, 2018, 03:32:31 PM »
Combo jacks are two separate connector sets in the same package, routed differently. There should be no phantom voltage on the TRS connectors, in fact, I have never seen a case where they do.

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2018, 03:47:20 PM »
Maybe the Tascam dr680 is an exception. It really provides a phantom via TRS on all six inputs. I've measured it right now. And in the past, I used it when I needed a phantom power on all 6 channels of dr680.
That's why I thought it is possible with all recorders. What is the reason for phantom limitation on TRS, because safety reasons?

Edit: It occurred to me that no phantom on TRS is good for safety. Unbalanced equipment is usually on TS or TRS and phantom power can destroy this equipment. It is such a fuse. I have to be more attentive with dr680 when I take unbalanced feed from sbd.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 05:39:18 PM by kuba e »

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #35 on: December 27, 2018, 05:02:06 PM »
Combo jacks are two separate connector sets in the same package, routed differently. There should be no phantom voltage on the TRS connectors, in fact, I have never seen a case where they do.

Lots of decks put out P48 on the TRS part of the combo connector. My Marantz PMD706 delivers phantom on the TRS only inputs 5-6 - they even included a TRS > XLR cable in the factory package. The Tascam DR680 does it. I'm sure there are others.
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2019, 05:53:04 PM »
How is the feel of that cable?  Consistent with what you were aiming for?

Yes, I'm very happy with how it came out.  It is EXTREMELY flexible, even the main run covered by the outer jacket.  I've never encountered a cable assembly of any type that is anywhere near this flexible.  Covering the fanouts with techflex was an absolute must, as they are really thin.

The fact that the inner jackets have channel numbers printed on them and the individual conductors have color-coded hot wires made it easy to keep track of what was what.

I have 30ft of this stuff left, and will definitely be making more in the future.

2 sets of cables just went up in the YS, BTW.


I'm currently building a snake with Mogami 2931 (the 4-channel version of 2930). Mogami owes a lot of its flexibility to the loose-fitting outer sheath. It allows the 4 inner cables to slide around freely when coiling, preventing kinks and twists. I was concerned about the durability of those 4 little cables at the ends of the snake (the fan-out). But each cable has a twist of cotton strings inside to add tensile strength, along with a steel ground wire (in addition to the copper shield). I think they're pretty tough little cables, if the fan-out survives for a year I'll consider it a success.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2019, 06:35:28 AM »
How is the feel of that cable?  Consistent with what you were aiming for?

Yes, I'm very happy with how it came out.  It is EXTREMELY flexible, even the main run covered by the outer jacket.  I've never encountered a cable assembly of any type that is anywhere near this flexible.  Covering the fanouts with techflex was an absolute must, as they are really thin.

The fact that the inner jackets have channel numbers printed on them and the individual conductors have color-coded hot wires made it easy to keep track of what was what.

I have 30ft of this stuff left, and will definitely be making more in the future.

2 sets of cables just went up in the YS, BTW.


I'm currently building a snake with Mogami 2931 (the 4-channel version of 2930). Mogami owes a lot of its flexibility to the loose-fitting outer sheath. It allows the 4 inner cables to slide around freely when coiling, preventing kinks and twists. I was concerned about the durability of those 4 little cables at the ends of the snake (the fan-out). But each cable has a twist of cotton strings inside to add tensile strength, along with a steel ground wire (in addition to the copper shield). I think they're pretty tough little cables, if the fan-out survives for a year I'll consider it a success.

That wire you are referring to is definitely not steel.  It's the drain wire, which contacts the inside of the braided copper shield.  It is just a copper wire that has been tinned.  Steel would be pretty lousy from a conductivity standpoint.  You might be thinking of wires used by DPA and Schoeps which have a thread of Kevlar running through to add tensile strength.  Nothing like that in the Mogami snake cable, but those cotton threads seem to do a nice job while keeping things flexible, as you point out.

When you make your connections, that drain wire is what you solder to Pin 1; not the shield itself, which you trim back all the way.  This is so much easier than having to unbraid, twist, tin, and solder the actual shield to pin 1 as you would need to do if there was no drain wire.

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2019, 03:16:59 PM »

I'm currently building a snake with Mogami 2931 (the 4-channel version of 2930). Mogami owes a lot of its flexibility to the loose-fitting outer sheath. It allows the 4 inner cables to slide around freely when coiling, preventing kinks and twists. I was concerned about the durability of those 4 little cables at the ends of the snake (the fan-out). But each cable has a twist of cotton strings inside to add tensile strength, along with a steel ground wire (in addition to the copper shield). I think they're pretty tough little cables, if the fan-out survives for a year I'll consider it a success.

That wire you are referring to is definitely not steel.  It's the drain wire, which contacts the inside of the braided copper shield.  It is just a copper wire that has been tinned.  Steel would be pretty lousy from a conductivity standpoint.  You might be thinking of wires used by DPA and Schoeps which have a thread of Kevlar running through to add tensile strength.  Nothing like that in the Mogami snake cable, but those cotton threads seem to do a nice job while keeping things flexible, as you point out.

When you make your connections, that drain wire is what you solder to Pin 1; not the shield itself, which you trim back all the way.  This is so much easier than having to unbraid, twist, tin, and solder the actual shield to pin 1 as you would need to do if there was no drain wire.

http://www.mogamicable.com/category/bulk/snake/
You're right of course, it's not steel, I should have said it was silver colored. I was a bit confused by it when I first stripped it but I'm doing what you suggested- trim the shield and solder the silver drain wire. They're electrically the same. This is helpful because I'm building a 4.7K mod into one pair and that drain wire helps me fit everything into a 3.5mm TRS plug a little easier.
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2019, 07:34:10 PM »
Joining late, but here's my two cents worth.

Mogami, Canare, Belden all make great cables. So what else differentiates them?
Price, size, and handling. Is the cable stiff or flexible, does it coil nicely or is it a pain? Is the smaller diameter flexible not as durable?

I'd order a few feet of each, then pick based on physical characteristics.
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2019, 06:29:26 AM »
Joining late, but here's my two cents worth.

Mogami, Canare, Belden all make great cables. So what else differentiates them?
Price, size, and handling. Is the cable stiff or flexible, does it coil nicely or is it a pain? Is the smaller diameter flexible not as durable?

I'd order a few feet of each, then pick based on physical characteristics.

These brands also supply information on all of the electrical characteristics of their cables, so you can see how they actually perform, unlike mystery audiophile snake-oil companies.

Your advice on ordering a few feet of each is good, though.  I went with the Mogami W2930 due to a combination of construction / handling characteristics and the low capactiance.
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2019, 09:40:56 PM »
Fwiw, I have a couple of DIY adaptors that I use to turn a single standard mono Canare L4E6S XLR cable into a single xlr cable that carries unbalanced stereo signal. It comes in pretty handy.
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2019, 08:36:10 AM »
the issue with your plan (from my own attempts)...will be the splitting of the cable for the two channels.    So you'll have 4 lead wires for your signal...plus the shield which you'll use as ground.
so....the process will remove the rubber jacket...which is all of your protection from wear and tear...and then will have you likely soldering onto the shield to run a separate wire as ground (dont use the shield itself...that gets difficult to maintain and you'll bust that solder spot when you least want it).

So now you have just 3 wires...no shielding at all.    You'll have to make the lead Y split with some girth so that the strain relief of the cable has something to grab on to.  OR....if you are cutting your XLR's, you might be able to get away the thin leads.

I tried this several times.....the cable failed eventually.   I gave  it up.   Better to make a 5 pin cable and just split the ends with XLRs.   Much more robust.

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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2019, 07:04:27 PM »
Nick,
If that is towards my suggestion,... I've been running that rig, in that config. or, close apprx., for over 10 years without any failure. I have the terminations in two ways, as 1/8" stereo, or, as split RCA, split at an XLR connectors joint.
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Re: DIY stereo snake mic cables - good option?
« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2019, 08:42:16 AM »
it wasn't....
just sharing my experience

 

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