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Alternative Insert Cables

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by Codemonkey, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    This isn't so much a question as a story about what I've been up to the last few days. See, as recently as Sunday I ordered up an Alesis 3630. I gather the opinion of it is that it's fine until you want it to "crunch". We'll see how it stacks up with more cheap gear when it arrives. Exciting, really :)

    I pondered and pondered. Nowhere local sells true insert cables in any reasonable length. Then I had a brainstorm.

    Instead of using inserts, I could open up some flexibility for myself. I took a pair of 1/4" TRS splitters I've had lying around a while. Cracked em open, and bent the connectors around. Bought a 2m 4 way TS-TS loom. The splitters are now set to (instead of sending T + R + S to both outs) send T-in + S-in to T-out1 + S-out1; and also to send R-in + S-in to T-out2 + S-out2.
    Confusing. Basically it makes an insert cable.

    (Expired Link Removed)

    It's a bit kludgey - yes. The splitters are probably susceptible to going bad at some point. In the meantime, the advantage is that I can choose between hooking it up as a channel insert; or to go from an effect/aux out and back to a separate input - even go from the main outs to amp inputs; without the need to have separate insert cables.

    Of course, the gear hasn't arrived and so I haven't tested these. But if it all falls apart (the splitters are held by tape) then I still acquire 4 2m patch leads and a compressor.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find a permanent permanent marker.
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Welcome back, long time no see. Hats off to you my friend for your ingenuity, but I can't help wonder if you might have been penny wise and pound foolish on this one.

    So you spent about £10.99 on the 2 meter 4-way cable And defaced a £2.59 Stereo Headphone Adaptor that is admittedly likely to be dodgy in terms of long-term reliability to avoid firing up that soldering iron.... <cue your favorite animated gif of dead horse being beaten>

    For as little as £5.91 you could make your own 1M insert cable.

    Or if you're REALLY inspired, take your 4-way separate it into 2 x 2-ways - then cut them in half lengthwise and make 4 x 1m insert cables by soldering 4 TRS connectors at the cuts. (or 2 x 2m insert cables, if 1m isn't long enough)

    £1.69 each Cheap Plastic 1/4" TRS
    £1.49 each Cheap Plastic 1/4" mono x 2 = £2.98
    £1.24/meter Twin Mono Cable

    MUCH better connectors:
    £4.89 each Neutrik 1/4" TRS
    £3.49 each Neutrik 1/4" mono

    Just one type of mic cable to make balanced patch cables:
    £1.94/meter Mic Cable

    Food for thought. All the best.
  3. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Definitely not the best option in the long run. I haven't traded in that one-track mind yet.

    However, having the ability to remove the TRS and leave TS+TS is a swing for me.
    If they break then TRS connectors and soldering the whole assembly together is the likely route I'll take.

    I only need 2 x 2m for the moment. I weighed up usage and thought 1m would be too short.
    I walked around part of our building planning to run some ethernet cable; "20m will do the trick", I declared, ignoring reality. Fortunately we got a 30m cable as we used 28.

    I hate to sound like I'm deliberately going against what is good advice but I had a chance to test these tonight, and they appear to work correctly.
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    "Welcome back, long time no see."
    Yes, how has that time you spent in the slammer for hacking the Playboy website been spent...LOL!!!
    I wish that I'd known that you were in need of a 3630....Got one here in Florida with your name on it the next time you're passing through...maybe some Sennheiser Evolution wireless lavs that our infamous FCC deemed
    "illegal" recently, as well...:) I figure that they are still viable in Scotland.
  5. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Four grey walls, three square meals, two roommates and a partridge in a pear tree, that'll do me.

    700MHz is very legal here. Nearly as legal as driving on the left side of the road.
    The only reason an Evo system wouldn't work here is if the plugs won't handle the 230V juice... but double the voltage means double the power and range, right? :p

    As for the 3630; I don't 'need' it - in the same way Jp22 doesn't 'need' one. But he has daisy-chained EQ units, all I have is this swept-mid channel EQ!
    I'll hopefully find out soon but I've heard it's lousy on bass guitar. I'll probably be using it on vocals/spoken word mainly though. Any experience of that? Some threads on here say it sounds mushy when it works hard but another poster said it sounds transparent.
  6. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    And I've got some out-moded AKG wireless. (you know they're made in Europe and you can buy European DC power supplies).

    I was under-whelmed by the 3630's I've come across, there seem to be some units that work better than others.
    Hopefully you've got a peach not a lemon.
  7. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Got a lemon of a board with potato preamps... it'll match up nicely.

    I often wonder about the scale of this wireless carry on. How many mics does each church have to replace, multiplied by the number of churches in an area... add to that your pubs/clubs/live venues/TV studios and so on... across a whole country. That must be a heck of a lot of wireless kit that's suddenly useless. The closest I can think of is if the UK decided that g-band wireless routers were no use.
  8. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    This "whitespace' fiasco has been a pretty big pain. Not all wireless systems had to be replaced, just the ones in the 700 MHz band (actually 698–806 MHz). So I don't know... maybe 20% of my clientele?. I've seen estimates ranging from 10% to 25% nationwide.

    Anybody have any hard data on that?
  9. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Well I figure there's 4 main groups of wireless, that I've seen anyway.
    Cheapo VHF like ours (~170M), a group around 450MHz, then the 700 band, and also the high 800s going past 900.
    There will of course be more groups, I can't say I've seen or used every possible frequency. And not all groups will have the same amount in use; but 15-20% sounds at least reasonable.
  10. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Update: the 3630 has arrived. Actually it arrived on Tuesday but today I got to use it.
    Got in at 10:20, was tested and deemed functional, ready to use at 11 for the service. Had it rigged up within a few minutes and slowly crept the settings up during the service.
    Set pastor's mic fader, didn't touch (or feel the need to touch) the fader for the entire message.

    I'll reserve judgement until I can play around more, but it doesn't sound much like a lemon.

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