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Can someone help me please?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by sponnie, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. sponnie

    sponnie Active Member

    I posted in the Vocal Booth forum and I'm just about to buy a mic cable.

    I think I'm going to get Starquad.

    The problem is the more I read about cables the more confusing it gets :shock:

    I was thinking that seeing as this is a Pro Audio forum maybe you guys would better understand a small section of a web page so that I can make my decision one way or another.

    I have a low impedence condensor mic 100 ohms.

    Does star-quad actually sound better?
    When used for low-impedance microphones, star-quad construction substantially reduces the inductive reactance of the cable. Inductance was previously mentioned in discussing impedance. An inductor can be thought of as a resistor whose resistance increases as frequency increases. Thus, series inductance has a low-pass filter characteristic, progressively attenuating high frequencies. While parallel capacitance, the enemy of high-frequency response in high-impedance instrument cable, is largely insignificant in low-impedance applications, series inductance (expressed in microHenries, or uH) is not. The inductance of a round conductor is largely independent of its diameter or gauge, and is not directly proportional to its length, either. Parallel inductors behave like parallel resistors: paralleling two inductors of equal value doesn't double the inductance, it halves it. In cable construction, using two 25 AWG conductors connected in parallel to replace each of the conductors of a 22 AWG twisted pair will result in the same DC resistance, but approximately half the series inductance. This will result in improved high-frequency performance: better clarity without the need for equalization to boost the high end.
    Also of significance is skin effect, a phenomenon that causes current flow in a round conductor to be concentrated more to the surface of the conductor at higher frequencies, almost as if it were a hollow tube. This increases the apparent resistance of the conductor at high frequencies, and also brings significant phase shift.


    Some of the description is beyond my understanding. I don't know if reducing the inductive reactance is good or not :roll:

    At the end of the section it appears to say improved high-frequency performance and better clarity is achieved but I'm not sure if that's with Star-Quad or without it.

    Lol sorry if this is a dumb question but I can't make sense of that :-?

    Thanks for any advice.

    PS I was about to buy a Star-Quad cable but there was a note beside it saying this cable is high capacitance so it might not be suitable for some mics. It didn't say what kind of mics though
     
  2. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    My two cents on this.

    Going starquad is well into the finer details of things, the sort of things where taste has a lot of importance.

    Long before reaching that point of distinction, there are quite a few basic things to cater for. All good quality microphone cables are made to supply the microphone with the two signal leads inside a shield. The cable is made from a material that resists wear and tear and will keep the cable working for a number of years. The contacts are of good quality and will reliably mate with both the microphone and the preamp. There are quite a few different manufacturers doing good cables. Sadly, you may also find "not really good" cables, generally at discount prices. Luckily, the typical condensor mic is less sensitive to the cable quality than a dynamic mic, not to mention ribbons. No need to worry too much.

    Once the basics are in place, there is one thing for you to do -- use your own ears and your own mics and listen if there is any difference. In my experience, cables are at the very bottom of things influencing the sound. Long before that comes things like the talent, the room, where the mic is place and so on.

    Well, my 2 cents. Don´t worry.

    Gunnar
     
  3. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    What mic are you using, and what are you recording into AND how long is your cable run?

    The reason I ask is because if you were using all sorts of really expensive equipment, you most likely would already know the answer to your question.

    So I would assume from your post that this is not the case. So, the difference that you might hear may not apply using the equipement that you have.
    Also that starquad stuff is designed to help eliminate interference which can happen when you run cables for long distances.

    Here is what you should do. Buy a regular cable of good quality, and buy one of the starquads. Compare the two.
     
  4. sponnie

    sponnie Active Member

    Hi there and thanks for replying. I'm using an Audio Technica 2020 and going through a Behringer valve pre-amp. I'm only going to be using short runs of maybe 3 or 5 metres as it's only for a home computer recording set up.

    I think I might buy Planet Waves Custom because they seem to have a lot of good reviews.

    I'm just worried about the interference because there are a lot of electrical appliances about.
     
  5. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    very very good advice

    then come back here and tell us if you hear any difference
    or
    have any impressions of the two standards or cable.

    Sound quality is not the only aspect of a cable.
    yes I know ... sound is the main thing
    but
    laying flat on the floor
    neatness and ease of roll up
    thickness and thoughness ... thicker is not always better

    and so on
     
  6. CharlesDayton

    CharlesDayton Active Member

    It would be interesting to get both and compare, just to satisfy some curiosity. However, some good quality, shielded cable, Neutrik xlr connectors, and a soldering gun and you can save a lot of money, and get a cable to the length you need.
     
  7. tedcrop

    tedcrop Guest

    You can also go to http://www.redco.com and save alot of money and get lengths you need.
     

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