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Is this type of cable any good

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by sheld, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. sheld

    sheld Guest

    Hello i am planning on making my own microphone cables and i have come across a couple of drums of cable very cheap, can anybody tell me if this is quality cable, here is the spec

    2 core individual lap screened microphone cable
    conductors 2x20/0.1mm
    screen 2x51/0.1mm
    CSA 2x0.16mm2
    Diameter 6.5mm

    on a scale of 1/10 is this anygood

    Thanks in advance for your advice :D
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    On a scale of 1 - 10 this scores 0, if I read the spec correctly. You say the cores are individually screened? This would defeat the noise rejection properties of a balanced microphone system. The two conductors must be inside the same screen.

    Can you give a manufacturer's reference for the cable or a link to a data sheet?
  3. sheld

    sheld Guest

    Hello, as i say i know nothing about cable but i am hoping to learn something from this?. The spec i have given is off the drum itself although there is no manufature name on the drum.

    I picked up a few connectors with the drum and they are from skytronics, so i looked on there website for the cable and i have found something similar only my cable has the two core plus the earth wire here is the link to there site.


    The spec i have posted is exactly what it says on the label though i have no idea what it means, i was hoping somebody could let me know if it is quality microphone cable :)

    Thanks :roll:
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    OK, the site you link to shows a good range of screened cables. What you need for balanced microphone use is 2-core overall screened cable. Compare the details shown for one of those types with the details of your cable (2-core individual screened).

    Your cable would be fine for stereo unbalanced use, such as a -10dBV pair to a minidisc recorder or from a CD player, but I wouldn't use it for balanced signals.
  5. sheld

    sheld Guest

    Hi Boswell

    I did get a second opinion on this cos i couldnt understand why the cable is called microphone if it is not suitable, the info you have given me is absolutely correct and I am now looking into buying overall screened cable. Thanks for your advice :D

  6. mpd

    mpd Guest

    Is there any printing on the cable itself? Most cable has a silkscreen every few feet on it. That should identify what you have.
  7. sheld

    sheld Guest

    Hi, Yes the cable is from skytronics. The type of cable i have "individual screened" can be used for balanced audio at line level rather than mic level,
    but as boswell says this cable is normally used for unbalanced audio signal.
    Its been a lesson for me and at least i havent wasted my XLR connectors on cable that is not suitable for microphone level.

  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Don't read too much into the "line level" vs. "microphone" usage, as your individual-screened cable could be used for either. The issue is not the signal level but whether the signals are balanced or unbalanced. If you had, for example, a single-point stereo microphone (e.g. Sony ECM-MS957) whose output was an L-R unbalanced pair, your original cable would be suitable for that. For mono dynamic or capacitor microphones (especially phantom-powered ones) equipped with XLR connectors, use a 2-conductor cable that has an overall screen.

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