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regular cables or snakes cables...?

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by elcubo, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. elcubo

    elcubo Active Member

    Who can tell me if there are some diference or if it better to use or not to use snake cable from mogami or canare instead the regular full cables??? i mean, in the studio conections...any moderator? Remy? :wink:
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    good quality, fully shielded, snake cables are fine for line level stuff
    most people would say they are also fine for mic levels

    when I want to feel that I'm really serious about a track
    I do use individual mic cables straight from Mic to Mic-pre ... with no additional connections
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Snake or regular (single mic) cables are fine for either mic or line level. I understand Kev's desire to run single cables for each lead, but I'm sure you'd agree Kev, that this is more of a personal choice than anything concrete.

    Personally I prefer the Mogami. We make snakes using both Canare and Mogami (and Belden too), but I like the shielding on the Mogamis the best. Canare's is actually probably the best as they use a tightly woven braided shield for each set of conductors but this is a REAL pain in the a$$ to undo and make ready for termination.

    Belden uses foil with a drain wire which I'm not a big fan of and in the case of your question, I wouldn't use it for more than a 50' run or so (although I know folks who order it in 500' lengths and have never complained!).

    The Mogami uses a twisted/stranded shield which is quite effective at shielding and is very easy to terminate.

    Bear in mind, most studios (pro/large) are internally wired with snake cables. Aerosmith, U2, the Beatles - all went through snakes.

    Just my $.02

  4. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member


    I guess the only way to try to split between the three you mentioned
    could come down to how and where ... some of the physical reasons rather than sound reasons
    as I think you would have a tough time splitting on sound reasons alone.

    when the cable is in the wall or in a safe place where it isn't rolled up every day or stepped on constantly ... it probably doesn't matter.

    but it a tough environment the double woven Canare could be a good thing

    I have used long runs of Belden 8 and 16 ... with the foil ... and sometimes for Mic levels.
    These were terminated to both soldered patch panels and Krone blocks
    The drain wire makes things easy to handle.
  5. elcubo

    elcubo Active Member

    thanx!!! as usual you guys are very wise and informative...another doubt about the snakes cable is that i cant find a snake cable made of Mogami W2893 the miniature version of the famous W2534 Quad Mic Cable
    at least at redco...but i see a miniature quad version from CANARE...i prefer MOGAMI too....but id rather to have a snake 12pr cable...but i dont know how much the quad's cables improve the sound beside the noise rejection,,,can u tell me about it?
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Trust me - you don't want a snake made from quad cable!

    Starquad or quad cable has significantly higher capacitance which results in a high frequency rolloff over long distances. The noise rejection benefits are very minimal or not noticable seeing as how balanced cables do a pretty good job of noise rejection on their own.

    I typically won't build a star quad cable over 50' and usually I stop at 25 feet.

  7. elcubo

    elcubo Active Member

    hmmm... :roll: ....good tip...i need a 33 feet long xlr/xlr snake...so you think i should go with the regular snake MOGAMI cable??? can you give me some model/brand? i dont live in the USA...so i must be sure of what im buying...thanx again guys...RO rules!!!! :twisted:
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    For 33' you can go with just about anything, but I would still go with something with a lower capacitance. AES snakes are the best, but they are anywhere between 2 and 5 times the cost of the comparable mic cable snake.

    I don't have specific model numbers off the top of my head but a quick visit to any of the manufacturers' sites will provide you with that. My recommendations starting from "least good" to best would be as follows -

    1 - Belden Brilliance snake cable (I use a 35' Belden Brilliance snake myself in my home studio and inside the walls at the house.)

    2 - Canare multi-channel audio cable

    3 - Mogami multi-channel audio cable

    4 - Mogami multi-channel AES cable

    Surprisingly, options 1-3 above are relatively affordable if you plan on rolling your own. That 35' Belden snake I made, including Neutrik X series XLRs cost me a whopping $55 for 8x8 XLR.

    Good luck!

  9. elcubo

    elcubo Active Member

    Thanx Cucco...you ve been very helpfull...i dont think im gonna "roll my own cable" ( :lol: ) dont have the time...but ive been rollin my snake in REDCO and its about 300$ is that too much???
  10. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    my experience with the Star Quad is much better
    feel that any capacitance issues are outweighed by it's ability to reject noise

    however if you don't have a serious noise issue then it can be argued, to keep things simple

    I do consider the Mic level cables differently to the Line level cables


    I always ... roll my own cables ... and most of everything else
  11. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Do you mean that you use different cable for mic and line? There's usually never any distinction between the two from cable manufacturers. Also, they usually (if not always) spec out to be about exactly the same (save some differences between brand).
  12. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    sometimes ... mostly yes ... err not always ... depends on ... stuff ... :shock:
    difficult to explain what comes naturally over years of installs in both Broadcast and Music

    it also is influenced by usage and abuse-age
    ... in the walls or on the floor

    as was pointed out here or in another thread
    if you were to use star for 24 mics ... there would be a large amount of space used up in the sand box
    so build a bigger sand box if you want the Star-Quad individuals

    Foil shields are great for the walls but not so good for the floor with lots of abuse and may roll ups.

    Mic levels are often terminated into 150 ohms to 1 Kohms

    Line levels are 600ohm and more often these days is 10 and 20 Kohms

    Digital AES ... 10 or 110 ohms ... ??? brain fade ... I don't actually remember loadings for AES
    just goes to show how rarely I do the AES

    Have I used Belden AES Digital cable to carry a Mic ... yes ...
    it was there and I needed to get the job done ... did they complain ... NO

    and I have run Digital on standard Belden foil and it worked fine

    sometimes these issues manifest when the distances are very long.
    I don't see 33 or 50 ft as long
    50 and 100 metres is starting to get long

    300 metres and longer for a Mic cable ... across the other side of the Race Course is long but it's been done ... the loss of top end is not noticed as in the TV bizz that can be an advantage but I wouldn't for Music recording.

    I consider many things when I spec cables

    any of the cables mentioned above will serve well in the walls of your studio

    many of the foils will be fine on the floor if you take good care

    under the feet of the troublesome musicians then go the Star-Quad or equivalent
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I have two, 250 foot, 20 pair, Belden foil shield snakes. On a couple of occasions, I have had to link both snakes in series for a 500 foot pull. Dynamics, condensers and ribbon microphones were utilized and the noise in a high RF environment wasn't a problem. As far as frequency response goes, I think maybe I was down 1 or 2 DB at 15kHz? Certainly not a problem factor. Especially considering the fact that most people can't hear beyond 15kHz, television and radio doesn't broadcast beyond 15kHz, MP3's at 128 kilobits per second only have a frequency response to 15kHz.

    Quite a few years ago I did have some Mogami microphone cable that had a nice wrapped Copper shield that was simply, awfully, microphonic! Even in a balanced circuit, if you were to move the cable, you could hear the cable moving, electrically, as interference! It was a beautiful soft rubber jacket and was very reminiscent of the Neumann microphone cable but certainly didn't work as well and was not their top-of-the-line, but still, quite awful.

    What will we do without solder?!?! Glue the wires to the connectors??
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  14. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Kev -

    It's funny - but AES and mic cables obviously can be interchanged with little to no problem. The load on an AES (textbook) is 110 Ohms. Very rarely do I find many mic cables very far out of that spec. In fact, most if not all that I've tested come within a 5% tolerance.

    Recently, I did a choir recording where I had to fly my mics from 4 stories above ground (Remy, you're probably familiar with Lisner Auditorium on GWU campus). Anyway, I went through the stage's 300' snake (generic cable) which went to stage left, then into the live sound company's 100' snake and ultimately into 50 feet of my own cable. In this case, I was running condensers and ribbons and both were just fine (as Remy similarly relates.)

    Also as Remy mentions - the "High End" Mogami (which I will go on record as saying I REALLY do like in most situations) is quite microphonic and also prone to RF interference. I did another choir concert (childrens) where I was only going through about 100' of Mogami cable to my rear mics and sure enough, I got a CLEAR broadcast of B101.5 (the local radio station). Thank god I ran redundant main arrays and wound up using the Blumlein main pair which had plenty of ambience...

    I guess the moral of this whole post is:

    For the most part, cable is cable. There are minor (VERY) differences between brands and types, but for the most part, if it's well assembled and a decent build to start, it will get the job done. If it doesn't, sell it and buy some new ones.

    One side story here...

    I'm in the process of starting up a custom cable company (say that three times fast!). I'll mostly be making pro audio cables, but decided to look at some OEM manufacturers of speaker and interconnect (unbalanced RCA type) cables. Funny enough, I ran across an OEM manufacturer who makes cables for a very prestigious cable company. The prestigious company sells a certain 8' pair of speaker cables for a little less than the cost of a new Toyota (seriously!). Well...I found that the OEM manufacturer sells this cable with NO branding on it and no termination for around $2 per foot. Add to that the $200 for some SERIOUSLY nice WBT connectors and 6" of silver Kester, we're looking at less than $250 fully assembled! What a HELL of a mark-up.

    I can't believe people accept this sh*t. Making your own cables is the ONLY way to go (and that's odd since I just said I'll be making others' custom cables - the catch is, I won't be slapping that HUGE ASS markup on them!)

  15. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    And now the problem isn't as much B101.5 as it is Nokia cell phones, even when they are in silent mode, they make horrendous interference in everything. "Cheek she cheek cheek cheek she cheek ack ack cheek!"

    Drives me crazy!
    Ms. Remy Crazy David
  16. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

    Cucco are you making cables for private clients only or for the general public? If i took the time, i could solder my own cables. but heck, i just don't have the time.

    btw, saw you in the latest issue of Pro Gear...nice!
  17. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Until recently, it's been private only. However, I'm going public (not IPO...) currently. Feel free to contact me offline. My e-mail link in my profile is current.

    You ain't kidding! The Nextel ones KILL me....Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch...

    What really kills me is when I'm recording an ensemble (choir seems to always be the worst offender) and you AND the director tell everyone "TURN YOUR CELL PHONES OFF! NOT ON VIBRATE - OFF!!!) And invariably there's the tell tale Ch Ch Ch Ch somewhere in the disc!
  18. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Xactly! Where's the real FCC when you needem'??

    1st Phone since 1979 & I'm not talkin' cellular!
    MS Remy Ann David
  19. elcubo

    elcubo Active Member

    thats the problem...i dont live in the USA and cant afford to sell and buy these kind of cables, in my town we dont have cable dist. and if you find some, they are waaaaaaaaay expensive...so im tryn to go safe askin to you guys (and gals, thanx Mother Remy :wink: ) whos ve been very informative...so, i decide to take the risk with a 12 pr multichannel mogami cable...30 feet long...etc...lets see...
  20. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    the phones

    I echo .. again ... DIY cables

    " What will we do without solder?!?! "
    I can't ... and won't consider life without solder ... BUT ROHS may get me in the end

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