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Author Topic: Best XLR cables recommendations?  (Read 23663 times)

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Offline flipp

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2012, 08:21:35 AM »


But it looks like the Gotham cable has better specs for quad

Migrating to Gotham >:D

That's exactly why I switched after years of using Canare Star Quad.

Can you share a direct link of the cable you speak of quad
thanx


Not sure if this is the one DigiGal was referring to. For more info, use the contact info on Gotham Audio USA's homepage.

I wasn't familiar with GA's products. Looks like something else for me to try. Thanks for the recommendation DigiGal.

Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2012, 10:36:35 AM »
Maybe we should start a great big cable drama thread.  We haven't had one in a while! ;)


In my many years here at TS, I've never heard a published cable comp that documented a sonic difference due to cables.

I'm not saying cables don't make a difference - far from it.   Just that a Lot of assumptions are made.  We seem to take a lot of things for granted in cables.  Such as the preference for star quad over two or three conductor.

And, oh, btw.  Some people use the wrong flux.  Or they don't take the time to clean the flux off after soldering. So their solder connections corrode.  I'm not saying that about anyone specifically, or even implying it.  Just that cleaning flux from connections is a PIA and it tends to expose us to harmful chemicals.  It is the part of cable making that I dislike the most.  Good solder joints are also important.  How hard can it be to solder a wire to a terminal?  Well.....

So on the Gotham cable..... Has anyone confirmed that there is a sound improvement?  Or is this chasing specs?   Has anyone actually verified the specs by measuring the cable?  What aspect of the mechanical construction results in a lower capacitance?  Are your runs so long that capacitance is a major consideration?

Does it justify the higher price (2X - 3X?)?    The shield is a double layer twist, which has great coverage.  One concern with that approach vs. a braid is whether the shield opens up due to wear or a situation beyond your control.  Ideally, our cables get less wear than most on stage cables.  Though many of us do record on stage.  Of the cables commonly in use, 1804a has the least shield coverage.  Some of the silver-teflon MIL cables may also suffer from poor shield coverage.

The Gotham specs seem to obfuscate things a bit.  They made some odd choices in units.  Like how they specify the size of the conductor.

So what is our priority in cables?  For me, it is audio quality and some amount of durability (I don't want to worry that hidden damage is compromising my recordings).  Another major consideration is ease of setup and tear down.  I want to minimize my setup time, especially on a ladder up in the rafters, and especially up on stage.  The teflon jacketed cables can either be extremely difficult to handle, or they can be wonderful - I've worked with both.  A friend had an early pair that were terrible -  they had a tremendous memory and wanted to coil like a spring.  My primary pair are wonderful, and every time I coil them I think of how much I love them compared to my canare and mogami cables.

At this time, I have some great test equipment that would be useful for comparing some cable behaviors.  Mainly frequency response and RF noise.  While I tend to emphasis subjective listening performance above all else, there is a lot to be said for eliminating cables that have poor frequency response, etc.  Though doing these tests balanced is much more tricky.  Ultimately, I don't really have any time for this now - my active mic products are the priority (though I am really curious).

Beware of counterfeit cable and counterfeit connectors.

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Active microphone mounting bars for Schoeps and AKG, and Naiant AKG, ready to ship

Offline DigiGal

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2012, 11:14:57 AM »


But it looks like the Gotham cable has better specs for quad

Migrating to Gotham >:D

That's exactly why I switched after years of using Canare Star Quad.

Can you share a direct link of the cable you speak of quad
thanx


Not sure if this is the one DigiGal was referring to. For more info, use the contact info on Gotham Audio USA's homepage.

I wasn't familiar with GA's products. Looks like something else for me to try. Thanks for the recommendation DigiGal.

Yes, GAC 4/1 is Gotham's low capacitance star quad cable and it's the one I was referring to, I used Neutrik EMC XLR connectors on the GAC 4/1 cables. 

I also just picked up some Gotham three conductor "double Reussen shielded" GAC-3 mic cable to try.  Haven't built the GAC-3 cables yet but will put standard XLR's on these.  GAC3 recommended by Neil Muncy to overcome "pin 1 problems".
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 11:17:57 AM by DigiGal »
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 D-330BT | DPA 4060 4061 4266 | Neumann TLM 103 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD MKE2 MD421 MD431 | Shure VP88 SM7B SM63L SM58 Anniversary Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 Quad w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SD MixPre-D Recorders: SD MixPre 6 | Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 2011 27" 3.4GHz Quad i7 iMac High Sierra | 2020 13" MBA Quad i7 Catalina | Wave Editor | xACT | Transmission | FCP X 

Offline dlh

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2012, 10:24:42 AM »


But it looks like the Gotham cable has better specs for quad

Migrating to Gotham >:D

That's exactly why I switched after years of using Canare Star Quad.

Can you share a direct link of the cable you speak of quad
thanx


Not sure if this is the one DigiGal was referring to. For more info, use the contact info on Gotham Audio USA's homepage.

I wasn't familiar with GA's products. Looks like something else for me to try. Thanks for the recommendation DigiGal.

Yes, GAC 4/1 is Gotham's low capacitance star quad cable and it's the one I was referring to, I used Neutrik EMC XLR connectors on the GAC 4/1 cables. 

I also just picked up some Gotham three conductor "double Reussen shielded" GAC-3 mic cable to try.  Haven't built the GAC-3 cables yet but will put standard XLR's on these.  GAC3 recommended by Neil Muncy to overcome "pin 1 problems".

I've wanted to try the Neutrik EMC XLR .  Do they require a tool to fasten the boot to the shell?  Wonder how effective they are against cell phone interference.
(We could start a discussion about how much better these sound  ::)
http://www.neutrik.us/en-us/xlr/crystalcon/nc3fxx-b-crystal
 . . . especially with "miracle pebbles" taped around the cable ;D

Just kidding; not trying to start anything
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Offline DigiGal

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2012, 04:36:03 PM »
I've wanted to try the Neutrik EMC XLR .  Do they require a tool to fasten the boot to the shell?  Wonder how effective they are against cell phone interference.
(We could start a discussion about how much better these sound  ::)
http://www.neutrik.us/en-us/xlr/crystalcon/nc3fxx-b-crystal
 . . . especially with "miracle pebbles" taped around the cable ;D

Just kidding; not trying to start anything
Dave

Although they sell one, a special tool is not at all necessary to install the boots, it could probably help speed up assembly if you're making lots of cables.

I used EMC connectors with the GAC4/1 quad cable but by design it seems the GAC 3 cable will be better suited with standard XLR connectors.

The Neutrik EMC connectors integrate an LC-filter to avoid RF-interference and LF-noise from their EMC XX series of connectors.  The Neutrik EMC XX incorporates circular capacitors that act as high-pass filters with a cut-off frequency around 10 MHz and also an EMI suppression ferrite bead with 24 ohm at 1 MHz btw. pin 1 and the cable screen providing a low-pass filter for improved RF rejection.

They were developed to reduce RF interference and pin 1 problems, more details here for anyone following along.  http://www.neutrik.us/en-us/xlr/emc-series/nc3fxx-emc

No "miracle pebbles" or "magic legumes" involved with the EMC connectors, but you could add them yourself if so inclined.  ;)
The crystalCON with CRYSTALLIZED TM Swarovski Elements on standard NC connectors are most likely marketed toward stage performers who are looking for bling.    :crazy:
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 D-330BT | DPA 4060 4061 4266 | Neumann TLM 103 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD MKE2 MD421 MD431 | Shure VP88 SM7B SM63L SM58 Anniversary Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 Quad w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SD MixPre-D Recorders: SD MixPre 6 | Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 2011 27" 3.4GHz Quad i7 iMac High Sierra | 2020 13" MBA Quad i7 Catalina | Wave Editor | xACT | Transmission | FCP X 

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2012, 08:15:20 PM »
PM sent

Darktrain is the MAN :) Ted does nice work as well 8)
Schoeps MK 4V & MK 41V ->
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Offline axomxa

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2012, 09:09:14 PM »
Have been a mogami/canare star quad guy for years, but have begun the shift to Ted's cables exclusively.  Echo everything said about product and customer service ;)   
Mics: MBHO 603 (KA200N, matched pair) / AKG C460B (ck63, a60/ck1, NBob/PFA actives) / Senn MS14P (MKE 4012 supercards & 4010 cards) / AKG SE300B (ck91 & ck92)
Mic Cables: 15' 3 channel GAKable / 15' custom Star Quad / 12' Mogami
Pres/ADC:  Grace V3 / Denecke PS2 > Denecke AD20
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Offline datbrad

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2012, 03:18:24 PM »
As far as commercially made cables, I have been a ProCo Ameriquad user for almost 20 years. Around 2005, had a 2 sets that were 9 years old where the female Neutrix connectors were starting to have a tough time locking. I called them about getting them serviced, and instead they offered me a full replacement at no charge, all I had to do was send them the old ones. Great cable maker, IMO.
AKG C460B w/CK61/CK63>Luminous Monarch XLRs>SD MP-1(x2)>Luminous Monarch XLRs>PMD661(Oade WMOD)

Beyer M201>Luminous Monarch XLRs>PMD561 (Oade CMOD)

Offline noahbickart

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2012, 09:36:56 PM »
I've been very happy with everything Darktrain has made for me, from RCA>RCA, RCA>mini, and an awesome 30' kcy extension cable.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, GAKables 10' & 20' 6-channel snakes, Darktrain 2 & 4 channel KCY and mini xlr extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6 I
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Offline Phil Zone

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2013, 08:31:12 PM »
I am a fan of cables made by ted gakidis, they are the best and hes a great guy!


« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 11:02:06 PM by Phil Zone »
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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2013, 11:16:56 AM »
I would like to point out that both Ted( a cnble maker himself) and Digi Gal pointed out you can make your own.  Is it for everyone? Well no.  But, it is one of the first steps you will learn if you are going to try and solder anything.  The plus is that you spend a little less and can make exactly what you want.  Worst case is that you don't do a good job and have to do it over.  All part of the learning curve, IMHO.  Or you just have no interest or dont feel it is a skill set that you can/have mastered then our local cable makers are there for you.  As an aside, I can get Zaolla cables at just over cost, if you wanted. http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=126561.0   BUT....even just over cost they are expensive cables being solid silver not the silver plated.  They are alos the opposite of light with cable being about 10mm.  I have looked and have not found an easy ready source for bulk purchase of this type of cable.  Fwiw' the only cable I don't own yet is the gotham, I have, and use, the canare & Mogami star quad, Gepco bittree 110 ohm starquad, Belden 1804a starquad.  This type of cable is better at rejecting interference, and your best interference protection os to do what Digi Gal does. It does help on your basic connectors if you do tie in the shells in order to have the coverage be continuous especially when you might be using two cables connected to each other.   Now let's start up that "BEST" cable argument, as noted, we have not had that downward spiral in a while >:D

Offline twatts (pants are so over-rated...)

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2013, 11:11:00 PM »
Buy a soldering iron and learn how to make you own cables...

Terry

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Offline haftodo

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2013, 08:57:07 PM »
I'm looking for new cables and would like to try the gac 4/1.   Since I'm solder challenged......do you know anyone that makes the GAC with Neutrick EMC connectors?  Mentioned before, but it seems that could be a good combination.

Also like the look and feel of the musilux, but not sure if it would hold up with me.   I would probably break it first time out.
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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2013, 10:12:41 PM »
PM darktrain. He makes all of my cables exclusively and I've been extremely happy with all of them. They're all HQ cables with good neutral connectors ;) if its a cable and a connector you need, darktrain can do it if its possible.

I have never bought or used Teds cables, but I've seen them and they look like they're super HQ as well. You really can't go wrong with either cable maker. I just have experience with darktrain, so that's why I'm recommending him ;)
Schoeps MK 4V & MK 41V ->
Schoeps 250/0 KCY's (x2) ->
Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's (x2) ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby XLR's (x3) ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 & MixPre-3 ->
SanDisk 128gb Extreme Pro & 64gb Ultra Plus SDXC-I

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Re: Best XLR cables recommendations?
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2013, 11:58:50 AM »
  I'm sure cable design and build can make differences in sound and clarity, but I would also like a set of cables that are easy to handle. 

Read a good paper that explains how the 4 conductor works.   I also learned a lot about cable technology and issues.  Now I just need to read another 10 times and maybe it will begin to sink in  :)
   
http://www.procosound.com/download/whitepapers/Understanding%20Microphone%20Cables.pdf 




 

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