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are expensive mic cables worth the money

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by tevis, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. tevis

    tevis Active Member

    are expensive mic cables worth the money. irecord with a 002 protools mod by blacklion
  2. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    What about Pro audio is NOT expensive?
    These are as good as it gets:
    mogami - Google Search
  3. tevis

    tevis Active Member

    at about monster i have a 55 gift cert from sweet water
  4. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    the short answer no, most people in pro audio buy cable for its marketing.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Oh man, not you! You buy radio shaft or some Chinese knock off for $1.50 a foot and I'll stick with Mogami or even better, Accusound in my chain and have a good time lol. . Each to his own :)
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The more qualified answer is a resounding, Maybe. The shorter the run of cable the less noticeable the difference between Accusound to ProCo to Hosa is. The longer the run, the better quality and consistency of good cable begins to shine through. Then there is the more real and noticeable difference.

    If you have a high end monitoring setup with a treated room and great analog and digital gear, then yes, cables make a difference (audio not power).

    If you are working out of your bedroom or a garage that is untreated and your mixer/interface/whatever is not up to snuff, or you are a heavy gigging band, then no, getting a sturdy workaday cable if fine.

    I have Whirlwind, ProCo, Canare, Mogami in my racks and cases. They all have excellent solid connectors which is equally important to the wire itself.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    It is my opinion that if you can't hear the difference, Jack is spot on and said it much better than I ever could. I did an A/B with Mogami and the new Accousound. My 6 year old could tell the difference. It was very obvious to me. I am now a believer. We used AKG K270 headphones so sitting position and room acoustics wasn't effecting the A/B.

    I have recently added the Furman IT-20 II power conditioner to my chain and it's even deeper. Something you can't explain more than this. Just is :)

    My choice cable now and whom I totally endorse is Accusound. They have just earned my respect and a spotlight here.

    For all my interconnect cable including monitors, I am hoping to get VOVOX. Vovox is finally available in North America through audioplusservices.com. My sources say its not a hoax. Those sources are people into hybrid audio, high end monitors systems and high expectations.

    Enjoy the discussion over at the slutz lol but don't get too effected by all the BS there.
    (Dead Link Removed)

  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I find that cheap cables generally need repair more often. Hosa is the only budget cable that has a lifetime warranty, but i believe you have to send them out to hosa, where monster you can just return to any store w/out packaging. Like jack said, if the cables are in fact the weakest link in your system then you'll notice. But the holy grail canle isnt' gonna make your 100 condenser, an 87. I was disturbed to see the inside of monster's pro-link & studio pro looked quite the same. I don't know enough to say for sure, but only the outer sheathing looked like the difference, of the 50%markup i paid for. I generally use monster's middle of the road cables which have gold connectors/lifetime warranty, and have no complaints besides what i think is a hyped price. Most studio guys i know swear by mogami if you got the budget.
    I'd say get a few nice cables that you can keep basically forever if you can solder, and get some budget ones for backup, or if you run a bit short.
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If you seek the Holy Grail more often you'll find the Knights of Ni!!!
  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    lol. Does any ever find that thing?
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The Knights who say Ekke Ekke Ekke Ekke Ptang Zoo Boing Zow Zing.
  12. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    For me its all about longevity. My control room has 32 + 8 + 8 + 4 cable runs coming in from 4 other rooms and these are up to 15 metres long - all in all its about 400m of cable feeding the control room alone - and its quite a small studio. I've used Sommer, Klotz and some free thin ratty stuff when I first opened that my live sound engineer mate told me would be absolutely no different from the expensive stuff.

    All of these have exhibited odd failures, loss of balance, crosstalk and slowly been replaced and troubleshot until eventually when I had the flood I took the opportunity to recable throughout with Canare - some people charge $5 per foot or more! this would obviously be $2,000 - I ended up importing from the States and paying .65 per foot, so it cost me about $850 or something just for the cable.

    Add 100 chassis/TRS at £2.50 per unit for Neutrik and the bill was a further $800 or so for the connector ends.

    But once wired up the noise floor was immediately and visibly lower in Totalmix and the whole sound 'crystallised' is the only way to describe it. There was no way to A/B that part of the setup but the results were staggering.

    However more importantly for me, that bill was a bill I will pay once - I've not had a single problem with the cables thus far and really regret not having done it sooner.

    Having like Chris replaced my "in-room" cables to Accusounds a few years back again I've had no cable failure. Buy once and buy wisely is the adage here - the killer is that it is a very expensive task when you are multiplying things by 32 channels. If you're selling your services there isn't really an excuse for cable failure on the job.

    I must cringingly admit that although I've gone Canare for my 'gold' 16 channels and outboard gear, a lot of my less-used patchbay connections of which there are a further 192, are still wired with the cheap stuff, which makes me uncomfortable, although its easier to get away with interconnects as they get less use, don't disappear behind a wall making it impossible to check them, and can be replaced quickly and easily. I intend to do them all with Canare but am probably going to change to soldered TT patchbays as I can't face a bill of $750 on TRS connectors. Neither can I face soldering 576 connections, but at least I can get one of my staff to do it, where I can't make them pay the bill!
  13. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I said my piece on this in post #9 of this thread and I have not been convinced otherwise. My in-room cables were made by Jeremy Cucco and have been great. If you build your own cables, you can get excellent quality for the price of moderately priced cables (e.g. the ProCo if you are looking at Sweetwater).

    More specifically - about using your gift certificate - about Sweetwater's inventory that I have tried.
    Forget the Hosa cables - cheap, not durable.
    The ProCo cables use good wire, but the ends can break if they get stepped on. Fine for normal use. I use some behind the desk where they can't get stepped on.
    Monster Performer. Good build quality. $40-$60 for short cables. (About the same as Accusound.) If you are curious it's worth buying one. Even if you find you like a cable at half the price just as much you aren't out a huge amount.
    Monster Studio Pro. $80-$120 for a short cable. Is this what you thought of as "expensive?" I sure do. Certainly seem well built, but you're going to have to show me.

    I have not tried the Monster standard or the Planet Waves.
  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    It used to be you had to roll your own to get any quality. Now there are several good options. You still have know what is what. There are five different quality levels of ProCo for instance. The bottom uses Amphenol connectors which are not as good. The wire itself isn't so bad but the real difference-like most companies-between mediocre and good is the % of shielding. Better shielding means more metal means higher price of course. Purists would also argue one should use electrically conductive silver solder too.

    For me, Switchcraft and Neutrik connectors and quality wire is sufficient without getting much more esoteric than colored tape for ID purposes.
  15. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    If you see it from a technical pov... Quality cables have better shielding and better conducting material, they last longer and are more reliable.
    Now, with sounding better, there is a constant war going on. Those, who deny that there are cables that sound better, must ask themselves: why don't you use cheap copper leads from the radio shack for connecting your 15.000 $ monitors to a 5.000$ D/A covertor or a mic to a 500.000 $ Neve? Because it sounds sheity!! So, there are cables that do a better job, no?
    Why is it so hard to believe for some that there are cables made of special material and manufactured with superior engineering know-how and maybe special wiring technique and insolation that sound better then others which are constructed following a more conventional technology?

    They all throw about with A/B testing.... OK, but if you do a nulling test and there is something left to hear with a level of about -35 dB that is not comming through the other cable, what is this then? In case of Vovox it was something low down and from the high mids onwards that gets transfered which was not comming through with another cable.
    Now, they claim...It is different, but not necessarily better sounding.....Bollocks....

    Cable cannot generate a bit more of the music signal by itself. It was only able to transmit more of the original source signal. And that makes it better in my eyes and in my ears, because I can hear that... and certainly not me alone...

    Now, are expensive cables worth the money...NO!!
    Excellent cables are worth the money. There is enough extremely expensive snake oil stuff out there that is not doing anything good. But just as much there are some wonderful products on the market that are worth their price tag.
    In the midle you find good ol' quality cables that do a good job for many applications and for a reasonable price.
    Unless your signal chain, monitors and acoustic is on the same level as the HiEnd cables you want to buy, it would be wise to go for the mid-price quality products, instead. Although, it would improve sound, there is much more to gain when spending the budget on better pre-amps or monitors, etc.. for now.
  16. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm one of the ones who throw about double blind A/B/X, and it is one of the big reasons that I am skeptical about the possibility that there is any difference in the sound transmitted between working cables. In many cases it is difficult and expensive to construct valid A/B/X tests and in some cases impossible (e.g. distinguishing between components of integrated systems). But with cables it is dead easy. It could easily be set up with a few thousand dollars of special equipment (that I bet the techs at the cable companies have lying around). You need a computer and router system that will randomly assign one cable to button A, one to button B, and one of the two to button X. If a room full of trained listeners can identify X=A or X=B with statistically significant accuracy then I will accept that there are audible difference between the cables. If you think that no one at the cable companies have though of doing such a test I know of a bridge you might be interested in buying.
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Are there any transmission loss/purity test stanards on the record? Seems like there is a standard to be set. I know in acoustic treatment, it's Riverside that sets a standard. I feel like any commercially available 'pro audio' wire must adhere to 'minimal' specs. What is the 'max'? What is 'minimal'? Differences? is it 'regulated'? by 'who'?
    Destroy me where i'm off, i want to learn.!
  18. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Ni. Now bring me a shrubbery….
    audiokid you have been saving that up ;)
    I agree with jack, distance is where high capacitance cables will get you into trouble.
    I don’t do live sound, the longest distance I have to run is 50 feet. I avoid excessive cable like plague.
    Quite frankly it doesn’t matter how great the cable is, you will have signal degradation over long runs.

    When I buy bulk cable for a specific application I look at:
    * impedance and capacitance per cm
    * AWG (conductor size)
    *Stranding count -how many strands and there individual sizes (31/41 would mean 31 strands of 41AWG)
    *Twist count per meter
    *Shielding type (foil, copper mesh, etc..)
    *Jacket material

    What I don’t look at is brand.

  19. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    Hey guys! Did you ever see this? Not making any opinion. Just thought I'd share only because it fits this thread.

  20. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Yup, couldn't resist lol, just messing with you :)

    I've got some brand new 20' Audix cables that are made in China to compare. I'll try and get this done tonight.

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