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Cable Quality Questions

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by drbam, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. drbam

    drbam Guest

    On another forum there has been an interesting, but not very conclusive, discussion regarding cable quality, how different cables influence sound, reliability, monster pricing, etc, etc. I'm considering upgrading my cabling (the entire studio has a mixture of Hosa, Proco, a few Mogamis, but most of it is the cheaper stuff like Hosa). I would love to read some indepth and informed info from some of you folks.

    Thanks,

    drbam
     
  2. Jonesey

    Jonesey Active Member

    I know exactly what you mean. It can be quite an under taking replacing all your cabling and you would like to know if it will show any improvement before hand.

    I too would like to hear what someone else here at the forum can input on this subject.

    best of luck

    Jonesey
     
  3. groovestix

    groovestix Guest

    I'm looking to do the same. I'm considering Monster cable ( prepackagd, which I can get at a good price), Mogami Gold (prepackaged), having cables custom made, possibly using Mogami, or actually putting a soldering station together and assembling the cables myself, probably using Mogami. The advantages of premade cable being time saved and custom being necessary length cut only and special connector situations (ie - balanced to unbalanced, etc). Any word on DIY? Wondering if it's worth the time and effort to learn and make quality cables for a fairly small studio. I have a maximum of 16 tracks simultaneous recording. Suggestions?

    MB
     
  4. timstoel

    timstoel Guest

    I have gone to making all of my own cables, except stuff involving DB-25s and stuff like that. I use Mogami cable and Neutrix ends. This also allows me to fix everything, unlike the Hosa stuff with molded ends. I recommend this way for anyone who cares about their sound and is willing to put a little effort into it. YMMV. The premade Mogami or Monster Cable is excessivley overpriced.

    There IS a sonic difference between Hosa and Mogami. It IS worth buying better cables. Buy the best you can afford. Don't overlook buying high end digital cables because quality does make a difference in digital lines. Even power wiring should be first class.

    Tim Stoel
     
  5. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    I have to echo exact what Tim says here...

    I have made all my own cables using Mogami quad cable and Neutrik gold-plated ends. It costs a bit more then the "standard" Neutrik ends and "standard" Mogami cable, but I figure that if you are going to do it, you might as well do it right.

    I have also make all new mic cables and guitar cables using all Mogami/Neutrik stuff.

    Here I am spending tons of money on components, mics, etc., and then I am going to skimp on cables??? I don't think so!!! Maybe what I have done is overkill, but at least it is one part of the signal chanin that I don't have to worry about.

    For me, it is the "weakest link" philosophy...

    The best prices and service I have seen is from Redco Audio:

    http://www.redco.com./
     
  6. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    Hey Helix

    I took a look at the site,,, thanks

    so you use same cable for mic/ line/ all set ups ???

    i noticed that the line cable was a bit cheaper,, but I guess buying bulk of one cable would be cheaper then two seperate cables at higher price / foot


    I didn't notice any TRS connectors,,, my RME is balanced in/outs,,,


    Sanity
     
  7. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    http://www.systemsstore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=ss&Category_Code=neutrik
     
  8. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    IMO, cabling can make a difference but much depends on the rest of your signal chain. Cables are perhaps one of the few remaining items that retailers can get big margins on - there is a HUGE markup on them. This and a number of other reasons are why I've been making my own for about the last year.

    There's a fairly good discussion of what makes a good cable at the Zaolla website. It's here. Just keep in mind that they want you to buy their cables. These guys make exhorbitantly expensive cables. I tried one of their ten foot mic cables awhile back and, while it was good, it wasn't worth the $117.00 price tag IMO so back it went after testing.

    I recently picked up a 1000 foot reel of Canare DA206 pretty cheap - dealer cost is about 68 cents a foot and I picked it up for about 16 cents a foot. It's a funky blue color and is primarily intended for making AES/EBU digital cable but makes excellent mic, instrument and patch cables as well. I'm in the process of making my entire cabling chain out of the stuff and thus far it's definitely made an improvement.

    Rapco also makes some very good cable lines. I have a number of balanced instrument cables made from their Roadhog series and it's some serious cable. Not very expensive either. From what I've discovered, price is not necessarily an indication of cable quality, especially when you're rolling your own.

    Ultimately, I'd say the best way to determine if one cable "sounds" better than another is to do your own testing. If possible, have someone help you do a blind test of them especially if one is considerably more expensive than another. Price may consciously or unconsciously influence your decision so don't do the tests by yourself.
     
  9. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    IMO, cabling can make a difference but much depends on the rest of your signal chain. Cables are perhaps one of the few remaining items that retailers can get big margins on - there is a HUGE markup on them. This and a number of other reasons are why I've been making my own for about the last year.

    There's a fairly good discussion of what makes a good cable at the Zaolla website. It's here. Just keep in mind that they want you to buy their cables. These guys make exhorbitantly expensive cables. I tried one of their ten foot mic cables awhile back and, while it was good, it wasn't worth the $117.00 price tag IMO so back it went after testing.

    I recently picked up a 1000 foot reel of Canare DA206 pretty cheap - dealer cost is about 68 cents a foot and I picked it up for about 16 cents a foot. It's a funky blue color and is primarily intended for making AES/EBU digital cable but makes excellent mic, instrument and patch cables as well. I'm in the process of making my entire cabling chain out of the stuff and thus far it's definitely made an improvement.

    Rapco also makes some very good cable lines. I have a number of balanced instrument cables made from their Roadhog series and it's some serious cable. Not very expensive either. From what I've discovered, price is not necessarily an indication of cable quality, especially when you're rolling your own.

    Ultimately, I'd say the best way to determine if one cable "sounds" better than another is to do your own testing. If possible, have someone help you do a blind test of them especially if one is considerably more expensive than another. Price may consciously or unconsciously influence your decision so don't do the tests by yourself.
     

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