Well, I have finally added a patch bay to my home studio after much debate, and find that I am going to need something like 22 balanced TRS cables just to wire in the patchbay!!! This does not include any patch cables for the front in order to redirect signal paths!
When I bought the patchbay, it came with a free set of 8 Hosa TRS patchbay cables (color-coded of course!), but I am hesitant to use them...the quality looks pretty low (thin cable, etc.).
I am pretty picky about my cables, and feel like this is not area in which to skimp.
How does everyone else deal with this? Do you make your own cables? I can pick up some Horizon TRS 1/4" connectors for about US$2.50 each, (US$5.00 per cable), *plus* the cost of the wire (which is not cheap, even when bought by the foot...). In addition, it is going to take me 15 years to properly solder that many TRS cable ends (44)!
To buy quality TRS cables, they are going to cost me about US$20 - 25 each...US$550 for cables? Ouch!!! Not an option right now!
Once again, my questions:
1) How is everyone dealing with this?
2) Are the Hosa cables worth using, or are they garbage (front panel only)?
Hosa cables are fine.for your case..the problem being that if they break you can not repair them. What I do is make my own or just take the existing connectors off of the Hosa snake and put on Neutrik connectors!
Cables are expensive yes, something we all have to deal with when we take the patchbay plunge!
James, if you make cables and they're not going to be flexed a lot, use foil shielded cable with a separate drain wire. Much easier to make cables with this. Get low capacitance wire such as 110 ohm AES digital cable, and the Neutrik connectors. I use super-duty Switchcraft phone connectors for live sound, but for studio use the Neutriks are sturdy enough and a LOT faster to make up. they have little "solder pots" for each wire, you just flow a little solder into the pot, do all 50 or 100 connectors at a time so you just have to hold the wire against the blob of solder and heat it with the iron.
If you do an "assembly line" gig, it goes much faster for a lot of cables. Consider labels BEFORE you start the job - you can either use white and clear shrink tube (write with an indelible fine pen on the white, shrink it, then shrink the clear over it, nearly bulletproof) or you can get electrician's labels after the fact, that are in a dispenser - frosted white AND clear on each stick-on label - write on the white thru a little window, then peel it off, put it on the cable white part first, then the clear stuff wraps OVER the white to protect the writing)
You can get all this stuff at newark.com, post back if you have a hard time finding it... Steve