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Author Topic: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?  (Read 1028 times)

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Offline voltronic

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Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« on: June 28, 2022, 03:56:43 PM »
I have been hearing great things about the Schoeps KS stereo cable from some of the other classical people on GS Remote. It uses Kevlar for high tensile strength and Hytrel for kink resistance. Several people commented about how it lays perfectly flat and hangs perfectly straight, and carrying two channels within a 4.4 mm profile is quite attractive.

What I cannot find anywhere are specifications on its conductor arrangement, shielding, insulation etc. nor can I find any electrical measurements. I contacted Schoeps directly but so far have not heard back. Is it a miniature star-quad, or some other arrangement?

I was considering buying 10 meters or so from Posthorn and making my own cables with miniXLRs to save money, but at $12/meter for the raw cable, I want to know what I am getting into first.

It is my understanding that running two channels on one star-quad cable is normally not advisable due to the potential for crosstalk between the twisted pairs. Gotham specifically addresses this issue with their GAC-4 Ultra Pro by shielding each conductor separately, but that cable is far more expensive and very difficult to find as bulk raw in the US.

Does anyone have any other info on this cable? I also wonder if Schoeps makes their cables in-house, or another manufacturer makes it for them and that third party might have this information.
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Offline DavidPuddy

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2022, 04:11:03 PM »
Sorry, cannot comment on this specific cable, but I made my own "clone" using Canare L-4E5C mini star quad cable and Neutrik NC5MX-B/NC5FX-B due to the cost savings. I can report zero issues running it in many different environments, including one where my nbob recording was rendered unusable due to light interference.

Hopefully you hear back from Schoeps. They have always been expedient with answering questions in my experience, but I believe many in Europe take vacations around this time.

Offline SMsound

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2022, 06:37:24 PM »
^^Cool find---I'm very interested in what you find out. I invested in a bunch of custom Mogami snakes last year, but I don't actually use them much because I've been doing 'fly in' recording and they take up a lot of luggage space. I'd be pretty excited about a tiny version with chopped XLR's.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2022, 08:47:54 PM »
Sorry, cannot comment on this specific cable, but I made my own "clone" using Canare L-4E5C mini star quad cable and Neutrik NC5MX-B/NC5FX-B due to the cost savings. I can report zero issues running it in many different environments, including one where my nbob recording was rendered unusable due to light interference.

Hopefully you hear back from Schoeps. They have always been expedient with answering questions in my experience, but I believe many in Europe take vacations around this time.

Thanks for the tip on that Canare mini quad. It's almost as skinny as the Schoeps KS, and super cheap!

What I was considering was the "regular" Gotham GAC-4 as it's still quite inexpensive, but was put off a bit by this statement on the page:
Quote
Stereo & 2 Channels application:
We actually do not support the idea to use a Starquad cable for stereo wiring, however it will be done and can be made with acceptable compromise regarding crosstalk and similar.

For connectors, I was going with Rean RT5MC-B / RT5FC-B because they are so much cheaper than the full-size NC5, and would be even more low-profile. When you need 4 of them for each run with the stereo cable itself and the breakouts, it adds up.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2022, 08:56:18 PM »
^^Cool find---I'm very interested in what you find out. I invested in a bunch of custom Mogami snakes last year, but I don't actually use them much because I've been doing 'fly in' recording and they take up a lot of luggage space. I'd be pretty excited about a tiny version with chopped XLR's.

Funny that you mention Mogami snakes. What I have been using for my DIY stereo runs was Mogami snake cable, the 2-channel version W2930. It's great stuff, but was looking to see if I could do 2-channels in a thinner profile.

For single-channel balanced, I love Gotham GAC-3. It lives up to its claims of high RF immunity in my experience.
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Offline SMsound

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2022, 10:58:41 PM »

Funny that you mention Mogami snakes. What I have been using for my DIY stereo runs was Mogami snake cable, the 2-channel version W2930. It's great stuff, but was looking to see if I could do 2-channels in a thinner profile.

For single-channel balanced, I love Gotham GAC-3. It lives up to its claims of high RF immunity in my experience.

Yeah---I think your posts inspire most of my gear purchases...  Last year I upgraded my cables to some custom 50' long 2ch snakes made out of Mogami 2930 and the black/gold Neutriks, with black heatshrink instead of techflex on the breakouts (prefer black heatshrink since it disappears when you're filming as well as recording and it also doesn't collect dirt), plus a bunch of single cables made out of Canare StarQuad (the thicker one, L -4E6S). They all sound great and no issues with interference, but after I got them all, I pretty much stopped recording locally, and now that I have to pack all my gear in a carryon suitcase I really want some thinner cables.  I just got some Schoeps CMC1L, and the 20'ish cables they come with are unbelievably compact. Assuming they really are interference-resistant, I really want to buy/make some 20' or 30' singletons and 2ch-snakes out of that stuff with some chopped XLR's.

You can see my post about this currently right under yours in the Cables subforum.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2022, 11:04:10 PM by SMsound »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2022, 04:10:14 PM »
My choice is Canare L-4E5C and Sommer Cable 200-0461
https://shop.sommercable.com/ru/Cable/Bulk-Cable-Audio/Patch-Mikrofonkabel-SC-CICADA-4-200-0461.html

I was just looking at that model from Sommer yesterday. Even thinner than the Schoeps KS!

Do you find out lays / hangs straight, or does it have a memory effect, which I've heard mentioned about the standard Cicada 2-wire balanced?
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Offline hipporu

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2022, 05:17:03 PM »
I was just looking at that model from Sommer yesterday. Even thinner than the Schoeps KS!

Do you find out lays / hangs straight, or does it have a memory effect, which I've heard mentioned about the standard Cicada 2-wire balanced?
All cables have a memory effect, more or less. It's more of a storage effect. I roll the sommer into a coil about 25cm in diameter, so it fits in my backpack. After that, he lies or hangs with the microphone about 100gr without noticeable memory effect. The sommer has a spiral screen, so it is softer and more flexible than the canare.
As for crosstalk, I didn't hear any effect on 30m of cable. Maybe on the GS there was a topic about star-quad cables for stereo, someone even made measurements. For minimal penetration, it is important to use white conductors for one channel and blue for the other (canare), sommer similar to the arrangement.
This is probably all I know about these cables.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2022, 07:26:49 PM »
I was just looking at that model from Sommer yesterday. Even thinner than the Schoeps KS!

Do you find out lays / hangs straight, or does it have a memory effect, which I've heard mentioned about the standard Cicada 2-wire balanced?
All cables have a memory effect, more or less. It's more of a storage effect. I roll the sommer into a coil about 25cm in diameter, so it fits in my backpack. After that, he lies or hangs with the microphone about 100gr without noticeable memory effect. The sommer has a spiral screen, so it is softer and more flexible than the canare.
As for crosstalk, I didn't hear any effect on 30m of cable. Maybe on the GS there was a topic about star-quad cables for stereo, someone even made measurements. For minimal penetration, it is important to use white conductors for one channel and blue for the other (canare), sommer similar to the arrangement.
This is probably all I know about these cables.

That's what I was referring to, as I also transport my cables in a similar size coil.

If you don't hear any Ill effects over 30 m, that's good enough for me as I almost never need a run longer than 10-15 m.

As far as stereo wiring, Gotham gives guidance on that: Use adjacent pairs on the star for each channel, rather than connecting opposite pairs as you would normally for "correct" star quad wiring.

I think you've convinced me that this is what I'm looking for. They will go great with the mini XLRs I plan to use, and I'll get some of the 2-conductor cicada for the fanouts.

Thanks for sharing your experience!
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Offline SMsound

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2022, 05:43:39 PM »
I'll get some of the 2-conductor cicada for the fanouts.

Do you mean you plan to splice in 2 new cables to make the 'Y' of the fanout?   When I had my Mogami snakes custom made, I asked them to make the fanout by stripping 18" of the outer insulation on the snake (big fanout for spaced pairs), then add a good quality heatshrink over each 18" side of the fanout to act as its new jacket, then reinforce the 'Y' joint where they meet. I have seen some makers splice in other cables for the fanout, but it seems like avoiding extra joints is often a good idea.

PS are you using the Pinecil for this? I haven't taken mine for a spin yet---have you found that it's up to soldering XLR's?
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2022, 09:31:04 AM »
I'll get some of the 2-conductor cicada for the fanouts.

Do you mean you plan to splice in 2 new cables to make the 'Y' of the fanout?   When I had my Mogami snakes custom made, I asked them to make the fanout by stripping 18" of the outer insulation on the snake (big fanout for spaced pairs), then add a good quality heatshrink over each 18" side of the fanout to act as its new jacket, then reinforce the 'Y' joint where they meet. I have seen some makers splice in other cables for the fanout, but it seems like avoiding extra joints is often a good idea.

I am going to make one long cable with TA5 (5-pin mini XLR) connectors each end. Then I will make two separate Y cables that attach to each end of the long run, TA5 to male or female XLR. That's the way Schoeps does it for their KS stereo cable; the fanouts are sold separately.

What you have on your snake is what I normally do making cables with the same 2-channel Mogami snake cable, except I do Techflex to cover the fanout portion with just a couple inches of shrink at the split and at the XLRs.

The reason I'm doing the mating pairs of TA5s at each end is that I can swap in longer or shorter lengths of the main run depending on my needs, or even just connect the fanouts together for a short interconnect.

I actually changed my mind and didn't get the 2-conductor Cicada because it would have added a whole lot more in shipping from the German eBay store I ordered from. So it was cheaper to just get a longer length of the mini quad version. So my fanouts will actually be wired according to proper star-quad convention, even though the main run will not be.

PS are you using the Pinecil for this? I haven't taken mine for a spin yet---have you found that it's up to soldering XLR's?

Yes, and I've used it for several cable projects already. It performs beautifully and is so much easier to maneuver than a normal pencil iron. The included tip does the job, and I haven't felt the need to get others yet. This will be my first time soldering the tiny TA5 connectors, though. That is more a test of my soldering skills than the iron, I think.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2022, 08:11:47 PM »
I bought the Sommer Cicada 4 cable and hope to have time to solder up my cables in the next few weeks. Before I do so, I wanted to be sure I am wiring correctly for minimal crosstalk between channels. I have run into some conflicting info regarding which conductors to use for each channel.

My original plan was to follow the guidance from Gotham quoted below:
Quote
Stereo & 2 Channels application:
We actually do not support the idea to use a Starquad cable for stereo wiring, however it will be done and can be made with acceptable compromise regarding crosstalk and similar. If you use the cable as stereo line, use red/white for channel 1 and pink/ivory for channel 2. And again, all the shields to ground but not to the body shell of your connector.

So according to the cross-section image, Gotham is saying to use adjacent conductors for +/- of a single channel, which would make the two + conductors (and two - conductors) directly opposite from each other on the spiral.



Today I found this article from SoundOnSound which recommends a totally different approach:
Quote
So, using Canary or Van Damme star-quad cables, one channel would be carried on the two blue wires and the other channel on the two white wires — but that makes it a bit awkward to wire up, as you have to be careful about testing which wire is which before soldering into the connectors to ensure correct polarity. I tend to use the BBC-spec star-quad from Canford Audio in preference as that is much easier to use in this application, since the core wires are red/blue for mic A and green/white for mic B.

Referring to the Canford cable mentioned, it is clear that SoS is saying to use a pair of opposite conductors for each channel, similar to what you would do for typical single-channel starquad. That would put two positives and two negatives respectively next to each other on the spiral.


So, which is correct?
« Last Edit: August 15, 2022, 08:20:38 PM by voltronic »
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Offline hipporu

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 03:29:25 AM »
To confuse everyone even more, I'll post it here  ;D

https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,75952.msg691326.html#msg691326

My cables are made like this - "use the two blue wires as one channel, and the two white for the other"
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Schoeps KS stereo cable - specs and construction details?
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 07:18:12 AM »
To confuse everyone even more, I'll post it here  ;D

https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,75952.msg691326.html#msg691326

My cables are made like this - "use the two blue wires as one channel, and the two white for the other"

That's not confusing at all - the poster measured a 40 dB improvement in crosstalk when wiring using opposite pairs for each channel as you have done. That's good enough for me. Thanks!

I posted this same question on GS Remote, and got some additional helpful information:
https://gearspace.com/board/all-things-technical/1386530-starquad-2-channel-wiring-conflicting-info.html#post16125435
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