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db25 cable questions for wiring the studio

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by epting, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. epting

    epting Active Member

    So here is the deal. I am in the patchbay/cable routing hell part of the whole studio build. I have decided to get a couple of Audiolot 192pt mixbays. I spoke with a gentleman about possibly getting the wiring and boxes in a bulk deal through Audiolot, but the price was a good deal out of my range. I was quoted $230 for 10' of dsub cable, however I have found a lot of db25 snakes and other cables on sights such as sweetwater and others for literally a third, or less of the price. Mt question is, is there a difference? If I run some db25 snakes through some conduit to different wall mounted boxes with my xlr ins and outs and whatnot, will I be good to go? The price just seemed so drastically different I wonder if I'm missing something here. Also, what if I were to just have db25 mounted to the wall plates instead of all of the xlr? Couldn't I just use db25 to xlr snakes in the control room? Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm curious how you like the patchbays, I was thinking about them but figured they were overpriced but also I'm now looking at different types like the xpatch, liaison or spl masterbay. Please let me know how you like them?

    Pro Audio LA is the best place to buy cable, forget Audiolot. I just ordered some DB25 snakes from them and they are excellent. In fact, I like this company so much we should be promoting them.

    I'm going to send them this link for you, maybe they can answer your other question.
  3. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    First, it's generally not a wise move to post quotes from companies in public, other than the national chains... it's generally considered to be poor form. Especially when you're unsure of what you've been quoted.

    Second, I can assure you that you were not quoted $230 for a single 10 foot length of db25... and more than likely, you were quoted for either more than one, and/or the panels were included.

    As I explained to you when you stopped in the studio the other day, I use db25:xlr, db25:TRS, db25:bare wire and db25:db25 cables as needed for all of the connections to the patchbay. Only you know what connectors you need, to integrate your gear. You just need to make a map of what you want connected and where. This will tell you how many connections, tie points and ultimately, how many patchbay points you need.

    As I also explained, every connection in the signal path represents approximately a 3db loss. The more connections, the more loss, the more gain you will need to overcome those losses... and thus, you will also increase your noise by a factor of 3db. Minimize your connections, and use a low capacitance cable with good quality connectors. So, trying to put in panels with panel connection to db25 is not only counter productive, but you'll play hell trying to pull a db25 through a 2" conduit (about the largest you'll get in those 2x4 walls)... unless you pull the shell off... in which case, you seriously risk breaking wires and loosing the connector in a bend... which negates your trying to avoid soldering in the first place. I hate to say it this way... but if you are planning on doing any kind of decent looking job on this installation... suck it up, use a decent panel with good connectors and solder the things... it's just the way it is.

    The cabling in any studio is the most overlooked, but costly investment. In speaking with several dozen studio owners and builders over the years, it comes in at about 20% of your overall equipment budget. If you haven't budgeted that amount, you're in for a serious hurt in the wallet.

    audiokid, the Audiolot Mixbays were as price competitive as every other 192 point tt:db25 bays on the market, when I bought mine... actually, they were quite a bit cheaper when I included them as part of a package deal which included cables and panels (among some other items).

    I'm not shilling for Josh, but I have done a good bit of business with him, and I found him to not always be the cheapest, but he does give fair pricing, and he stands behind the products I've purchased.
  4. proaudiola

    proaudiola Active Member

    Hi epting,

    Jared here from Pro Audio LA. One thing I would be aware of before purchasing the Mixbay. The way they are configured seems intuitive in one way, but can actually be extremely confusing. They are 4 row patchbays, each with 48 points. But row 1 is normalled to row 3 and row 2 is normalled to row 4. Now on one hand, that seems kind of convenient, but on the other hand, it is harder visually to see what normals into what when you have to skip over a row. They are also a bit pricey when they are essentially just 2 Audio Accessories MiniShorti DB25 patchbays so you may want to consider just getting 2 shortis and having a more industry standard patching solution that is also a bit less expensive and easier to understand. As for DB25 snake pricing, that does seem very high for a 10 foot Dsub cable.

    As far as difference in quality between different cable types, I would say Mogami is definitely a step up from Hosa, Live Wire and even Gepco and ProCo.


    Pro Audio LA
    Audio Cables & Studio Solutions | DB25, XLR, 1/4", Snakes, Patchbays, Equipment | Pro Audio LA
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hi Max,

    No worries about passing on Josh's name. Glad to hear you've had good experiences with Audiolot and the patchbays. And nice bit of info about db loss and cost passed on. I definitely recommend buying the best cable you can. Its what makes or breaks your sound.
    Didn't realize you helped epting too, good karma coming your way for all the help you've shared here over the years, indeed. I'd love to visit your studio and you one day.

    Right on seeing ProAudioLA chime in! I have purchased a fair amount of cable from various sources and these guys rock! Their soldering and labeling is the best I've seen, not to mention their pricing and website is right on. They have my vote. I've given quite a few companies a chance to get a spot light here and all failed but Pro Audio LA. Wish I tried them before I dropped 10 grand on cable a few years back. :(

    Back to the OP...
  6. epting

    epting Active Member

    Thank you guys, I mean no disrespect at all to anyone at Audiolot. I'm sorry if I posted something that maybe I shouldn't have. I think Audiolot has great products and I hope to do business with them someday. Max thanks again for all the help. I have been mapping the studio out and again, I can't thank you enough. You are a good guy to know. I did talk to a guy named Scott today. His website is studiowiring.com. He hard wires switchcraft patch bays with mogami wire. No connections, switches or any of that in between. Given the 3db loss like Max mentioned, I think this might be a good way for me to go. Not to mention his price is very competitive. I think I might just be on the way to getting this thing started. Again, sorry about the price quote on the db25, maybe he misquoted me, or I misunderstood him. I hope to be around the forum for a while and don't want to piss too many people off....yet:)
  7. proaudiola

    proaudiola Active Member


    As for the 3db loss, I have not experienced that with modern day balanced equipment when patching. We have a very complex patching setup with 5 96 point patchbays and hundreds of thousands in high end outboard gear as well as a Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console. In my experience, you may get a loss of about .1db but it is nowhere close to 3db. In some older pieces of gear where the output impedance is different, you may get a little more, but we are talking very old units from the 60s that this may pose a problem. As for the differences in solder type vs. DB25 or some kind of quick disconnect, here are the main ones. Solder type patchbays do not move well. It is very easy even when they are soldered very nicely for points to break, or become noisy after moving things around. Also, the normals are hard wired, meaning they cannot be changed without paying someone to do so (or soldering them yourself). Changing normals on a fully wired 96 point bay after it's been configured can be very difficult for space constraint reasons. Also, any reconfiguration of your patchbay would require re-soldering things in different places. Nowadays, with a lot of people doing high end recording and mixing out of project studios, having a tech on site to do these types of modifications is not cost effective. A 96 point DB25 patchbay has 12 dsubs on the back and reconfigurable normalling jumpers. You can completely reconfigure your patchbay, as well as expand on it very easily yourself. When expanding, you simply purchase off the shelf DB25 to DB25, XLR or TRS ends and connect them up.

    At the end of the day, the convenience of a modular patching system like a DB25 patchbay outweighs the marginal cost difference of a solder type system for most people. I'd be happy to elaborate further if you're interested. Feel free to message me if you'd like.


  8. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Jared makes a point I guess I should qualify from my earlier post...

    .1db loss is probably normal... but the 3db factor is AC impedance, and is generally best thought of as a maximum potential loss... especially with poor solder joints. Regardless of it being a maximum or a minimum, failure to minimize connections, using high capacitance cabling and/or poorly manufactured connectors is going to increase both AC impedance and DC resistance... which is the opposite of getting as much signal into and throughout your studio as you optimally can.

    To Jared's point of the db25 style bays versus hardwired/solder type patchbays... RIGHT ON!

    Their convenience and stability far outweigh any so called "cost savings" from using systems that are not serviceable by the owner. But even as an engineering tech with over 30 years experience, I chose a system that offered the greatest flexibility and the least amount of headaches.

    Unless you've had to trouble shoot wiring harnesses before, you have no idea how much fun it can be to track down a single broken wire, or cold solder joint on 1 single pin (of 3 possible connections) inside a rack that has literally HUNDREDS of wires in close proximity of each other... it's a real blast!

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