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Cable length and signal degradation?

Discussion in 'Accessories & Connections' started by Mr. Tangent, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. Mr. Tangent

    Mr. Tangent Guest

    I'm using Pro Co Excalibur cables currently, which are 20'. I'm wanting to cut down on excessive cable length to ensure the highest quality recordings as possible on my home studio budget.

    1) Including the patch cable, and entire routing, what total cable length should I be shooting for, with an unbalanced cable?

    2) Would anything under, say, 20' not pose any potential problems? (i.e. would most, if not all, of my signal/decibels still be present)

    3) If I chose to use balanced cables, with a mix of balanced and unbalanced gear, would I expect to get longer cable runs with less signal degradation or would it be about the same?
     
  2. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
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    New Milford, CT USA
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    Mr. T,

    > If I chose to use balanced cables, with a mix of balanced and unbalanced gear, would I expect to get longer cable runs with less signal degradation or would it be about the same? <

    The real issue is not whether the devices are balanced or unbalanced. Rather, it's the output impedance and current capability of the "sending" device.

    Most modern gear has a very low output impedance, so cables runs longer than 20 feet are not usually a problem. However, passive devices like electric guitar pickups and microphones can be affected by long cables. And for the same reason, low impedance microphones suffer less than high impedance types. Again, with microphones it's the impedance that matters, not whether it's balanced or not. It's just that in practice all the low impedance mikes are also balanced, all the high impedance types are unbalanced.

    --Ethan
     

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