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Reliable mid level headphone extension

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by kmetal, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    hey i've been running into problems consistently (no signal, cutouts, jumpy side to side, static) with my current heaphone extensions, just looking for a decent 20' or 25' extensions 1/4"f 1/4"m. Going to replace the 8 current extensions. Looking to keep it around 20 bucks a piece. thinking of something similar to these pro co Pro Co BPBQBQF20 (20') | Sweetwater.com. the planet waves that came up on a search had that rubber jacket that i don't like, the mogami's are out of the price range for now. It's not making sense to just make them either, such a small order of connections and raw wire would barely save money, and i'd have to to put them together. anyone know of a good average trs extension? thanx
  2. aj113

    aj113 Active Member

    I use ordinary stereo TRS cables with double female adapters on the end. Works fine for me, and a lot simpler to replace if they do go down at some point in the future.
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    ProCo makes a pretty decent product without all of the over-priced hype the way Monster does, should do you fine.
  4. rocksure

    rocksure Active Member

    Can you solder half decently? I make my own ones. Buy the parts and make them to the length you want.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    All you need is one of those trashed out orange AC power extension cords for the wire and a handful of decent, non-Chinese connectors such as, Switchcraft, NEUTRIK.That should solve 99% of your problem. You don't want to use shielded cable of any kind on the output of any power amplifier so, microphone cable is NOT a good suggestion.

    Headphones system designer
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  6. rocksure

    rocksure Active Member

    Using an old AC extension cable is a good idea. However, If you are running an extension lead to a single pair of headphones, it is a pretty low voltage signal. It is not like you are running a heavy duty speaker cable to a set of PA speakers. So in this case, what is the problem with using a mic cable without the shield attached at either end? Am I missing something here? I have done that without any problems.
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Having a shielded cable even when utilizing just the center 2 conductors without the shield will still create a capacitive effect as the cable becomes a capacitor. And that capacitance along with the wires resistance will equate to inductance with a capacitive load. Lots of amplifiers don't want to see that nor operate well that way. It doesn't matter that you haven't yet had any problems. You are creating problems that have not yet been revealed.

    When I say to utilize those old orange AC electrical extension cords, that's the cabling from your headphone distribution output box to your personal headphone adjustable box. I'm not talking about wiring your headphones with those thick cables. Most headphone cabling on headphones is also not generally shielded though some are. But that's just a 6 foot chunk after a current limiting & load resistor in the headphone box. So the headphone system and the wiring should all be accomplished with at least 18gauge, 3 conductor zip cord or thicker. No centralized single stereo amplifier driven headphone system has headphones connected directly. All headphones are going through current limiting resistors in your headphone box before it gets to your headphones. And they output of the central headphone amplifier should be terminated with a 8 ohm, high power resistor with at least a 50 ohm series buildout power resistor to the parallel wired multiple output headphone distribution feed box. That way it doesn't matter how many headphones are wired in parallel to the amplifier. The load on the amplifier will always be 8 ohms. The current reduction series resistors will protect your headphones from blowing out and the ones in your headphone box will prevent your hearing from blowing out. Most headphones do not require any more than 1-3 W of power for ear bleeding levels or, permanent hearing damage. And you want at least a 30 W per channel power amplifier to ensure incredible head room and the ability to pass all transients, clearly.

    I utilize 40 W per channel amplifiers for my headphone systems.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  8. rocksure

    rocksure Active Member

    OK. I am not questioning as in saying you are wrong, more trying to understand this myself. Your electrical knowledge obviously exceeds mine.
    So, what I don't understand is how the cable becomes a capacitor. You have two central core wires that you are using, and there is an insulation layer between these and the unattached shield, but it still becomes a capacitor?

    But that aside, I actually interpretted ( perhaps wrongly) that in the original question kmetal meant the extension cables from the individual headphone out sockets from a headphone amp, to individual pairs of headphones, in which case mic cable would be ok.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    cool stuff. my buddy and i ran what we joke as the 'sweatshop' when we were wiring our pa. 12ga. 3' to 80' runs Neutrik 1/4",xlr, trs, speakon. 22ga, within rack. Did that about 4 months ago, seems fine, soldering is not a prob but it's just not that much cheaper to buy just 8 factory extensions. Were going to put wall mounted panels in/out of each booth, and room, maybe it makes more sense to bulk purchase, and just get it all done at once.
    Yeah our distribution boxes are trash too, apparently needing annual re-soldering (1rolls,1pro-co). They hum loudly again!
    The hafler 250watt is fine, which gets headphone signal from a d8b bus, and feeds the rolls splitter box. The second bus feeds a generic 4ch. headphone amp.
    Amps are fine for the cable runs which are mostly balanced and about 50 feet.
    thinking about just getting a couple pre fab extensions to have around for next week's sessions, and start putting the work into the realistic final wiring scheme for the place. Including eliminating of the 100' 16ch snake running between the walls thru pipe the drum room, and all the pigtails from every other place.
    We currently use the default 2 stereo cue mixes on the d8b, drum room gets 1, everybody else gets the 2nd. Since were not doing to much DSP on the board, theres usually like three stereo aux pairs unused, which could be useful in more individual headphone mixes.
    A decent distribution box recommendation would be really appreciated too, we should have at least one or two around.

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