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How to make your own snake

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by PenguinJohn, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. PenguinJohn

    PenguinJohn Guest

    First off this is my first post here and Ill probably be posting some more here on out for any other questions I have

    Ive been Googleing to find websites with guides to maybe show how to make your own snake, but unsucessfull I come here and ask if any1 here knows of a guide or who can make a guide to building your own snake.

    I want this to be a project that Im going to work on for a place I run sound for every Monday night, and the owner is slowly upgrading his sound equipment.

    Im thinking of making a 10 or 12 channel snake all XLR connections. I think I have a generall idea of how to put it together, but I cant figure out exactly what supplies I need. I know I will need 10/12 male and female XLR connectors. For the stage box I will probably build it out of wood (since Im a pretty good carpenter). Now where I need help in is the wiring. I can solder well enough, so that isnt a problem. What I need to know is what gauge wire I should use (22 AWG, or 24 AWG?) and how would I shield each wire properly, and what should I use for shielding (or is there a website or company that makes pre-shielded wires that I can buy in bulk with all 3 wires (ground, lead, return) pre wraped)? Finally what should I use to protect all the wires (a garden hose maybe?)

    So any help that can be given, ideas, comments, links to websites where I can get supplies or guides would be helpfull.
  2. ghellquist

    ghellquist Guest

    I think that people tend to use one of the ready made multi cables. They are made of a number of individual microphone cables and are set inside a common outer sleeve. Companies like Mogami and Gotham cable makes these cables. I think you could google around a bit and find some source close to you.

    One really important thing about cables is to make them long-lasting. On the multis I have seen the end where the individual cables goes out to a whip has a sleeve and protection to allow the cables to got out easily.

    I think my best advice is for you to go to a PA rental company or one of the electronic music shops and ask to look at their multis. Once you are there ask for the prices as well. And check you own costs, it is easy to end up rather close for the components only.

  3. Unless you have a contractor's permit or resale permit, you can EASILY get up to the cost of a new snake in components only.
  4. PenguinJohn

    PenguinJohn Guest

    ok, well does anyone know of an internet site that sales components for snakes? The only stores that I know of around me are just guitar center, and sam ash... and I know if they have them their prices would be outrageous.
  5. check out http://
  6. SPLstudio

    SPLstudio Guest

    Hey wait i did my own snake.....

    it cost me like a total of 80$$
    The wire not expensive 5$ per 100 feets i bought 4.
    connectors 2 $ each i bought 10 i had already 10 xlr females.
    an aluminium box 10$ you do the holes on the box, screw the xlr to the box, solder and that's all

    that is it!!

    it is beautiful. not as beautiful as the ones already done with machines doing the punchs but it is worth the satisfaction.
  7. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    Markertek and Gepco, right off the top of my head...
  8. Fruition2k

    Fruition2k Active Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    South Florida
    Bought two 500ft reels of Canare star quad 6 and 9 pair, (all in a single cable of course) from Markertek and its worked out great.
    I use no box though, just Neutrik ends and several sizes of heatshrink, labels, heatgun..etc..
    This isnt for live but at home for my studio, as you know you'll
    want to build it with male and female on both ends depending on your needs and setup.
    Building a snake is just time consuming if you've never tried, It can be fun though....put on a stack of records and fire up the soldering iron..you'll be amazed how good vinyl sounds.
  9. zemlin

    zemlin Distinguished Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    Yeah, the key to making it affordable will be in the choice of cable. I had someone sell me 100' of 19 pair cable for $35. My panel mount XLRs came out of a dead peavey mixer.

    I still spent well over $100 including connectors, all the heatshrink for the fanout, etc. If I had to buy the cable retail I would have been better off buying a ready-made snake.
  10. karbomusic

    karbomusic Active Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    I normally handcraft most of my studio cabling... but...

    I built one 12 channel xlr snake a few years ago. It was probably the last one I will ever build.

    I burnt (pun intended) way more labor soldering the connections and pulling through shield and placing heatshrink over every single connection etc than I would if I just purchased one pre built. It can be done but the $$ savings on the parts arent that much anyway.

    It worked great, but way too much labor time and solder smoke for me.

    Best regards-

  11. JBsound

    JBsound Guest

    Try this site:


    They seem to have the cheapest prices on that kind of stuff.
  12. PenguinJohn

    PenguinJohn Guest

    thanks for all the replies, With those companies and websites Ill be bound to finding what I need for a good price. :cool:
  13. niros

    niros Guest

  14. tubes4tone

    tubes4tone Guest

    I would recommend checking out Audiopile.net for a pre-made snake. Mark has excellent prices and even better service on quality products. If this is for use only as a live sound snake, then I would definitely buy one from him and save all of that work and also know that it will be reliable and durable.


    If you want something fancier or higher quality for studio use, then I would second the recommendations for Canare Starquad multi-pair (depending on how many channels you want) and Neutrik connectors. The Canare cable will greatly reduce the noise susceptibility of your setup, but I don't think the mini-pair wire inside that you have to break out at the ends would stand up to the abuses of the live sound world. I build one for home use in my studio complete with plenty of heat shrink, but I'm still leary of letting it get tossed around and pulled about on someone's stage.

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