Should I buy StarQuad cable for recording

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by sponnie, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. sponnie

    sponnie Active Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Hi there. I'm new to recording and this is what I'll be using:


    CRT monitor

    Valve pre-amp for line and mic

    Digital effects processor for guitar.

    AT2020 condensor mic

    All of this equipment is within a 2 metre squared area.

    I'll be recording vocals and acoustic guitar. Maybe micing up an electric guitar amp too.

    Will enough interference be generated that I would be better buying Starquad cable or normal cable?

    There isn't much price difference between the two cables. I just wanted to know if there was a big difference for the situation I'll be recording in.

    Thanks for any advice :)
  2. saemskin

    saemskin Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    Never heard of starquad cables, but that is not something you want to go "budget" with in any setting. Perhaps you should buy 1 set of quality cables and one set of average cables, listen to the difference and let your ears decide :wink:
  3. Vaylence

    Vaylence Guest

    Holy crapola batman, my band picked up a planet waves cable ($50.00ish) and did an A/B with a Horizon ($20.00), results: NO FREAKING COMPARISON, the Planet Waves cable just plain sounded better.

    I'm not sure if this is even close to what you are talkin about, because I dont know of this starquad business either, but if it is a question of, "is a higher quality cable worth the extra cash"? In my experiance the answer is Hell yes.
  4. starquad ash the double ground or something right?
  5. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    Dublin, CA USA
    StarQuad refers to a twisted configuration with two wires of each leg in an physical X configuration. Both Canare and Mogami make StarQuad configuration cables - others may also.

    The advantage of these cables is reduced noise pickup, since the quad configuration is better a rejecting certain types of noise. The only real disadvantage of them is that they have a higher capacitance, which makes them less desireable in long runs. That means hundreds of feet.

    Hard to say in any given situation whether they are required, but they don't cost that much (about $0.30-$0.45 per foot for bulk cable (depending on quantity), if you solder your own connectors). About $1.00 per foot well terminated from any number of people.

    I like the Canare L4E6S because it is nice and flexible, easy to work with, available in many colors, and fits Neutrik plugs nicely. Check here to learn more.

    Others perfer Mogami... they are both very good.

    Hope this helps.

    audiokid likes this.
  6. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    The only reason IMO to get Canare Star Quad cable is if you are in high RF areas, in large cities, like New York, or LA, or near power lines or electical transformers, power relay stations, etc. Standard 2 conductor balanced cable will protect you in 90% of all situations, and will sound better than quad cable. You can still used balanced cable up to 300 ft. When you are in a "hostile" enviroment then use the quad cable.
  7. lgabiot

    lgabiot Guest


    As Mdemeyer stated it, Starquad is a technologie aimed to reduce electromagnetic interference pick up in cable.
    It works only in balanced situation, and needs proper wiring.
    The difference with a standart balanced cable is not big, but it's here. It has nothing to do with sound quality, but only with the fact the cable will pick less hum noise.
    Thoses cables helps for instance with low sensitivity microphones (M160 for instance), when used in a "dirty" electromagnetical environnment (think of a stage with lights on dimmer for instance).

    I'm not sure you will be needing it in your settup, but it won't be overkill anyway. the Starquad Canare is my favorite cable, very rugged, easy to manipulate, does not "remember" twists so always stay in a nice shape. Of all the cable I have they are the most resistant. For that reason alone, I would buy them...

    As for quality of sound, on normal lenght, I really don't believe there's a difference beetween cables, that's just myth.
    On long run (suppose you are equipping a whole skyscrapper building to host a tv channel or whatever, with cables running into the whole house), then yes indeed quality does matter...

    best regards,

  8. sponnie

    sponnie Active Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Hi guys. Thanks very much for all your replies and information.

    I live in a city and near a couple of cell phone transmitters. Also there are quite a few cab companies around who use radios to communicate. Also I live in a block surrounded by apartments on 4 sides. Do all the television sets and radios in other apartments affect the cable? Lol with my neighbours living so close I really shouldn't be singing at all if I really cared about their human rights :p

    So I'm thinking to get the Starquad.

    I can get two Van Damme (with Neutrik xlrs) Starquad cables for $60 or two Van Damme (with Neutrik xlrs) normal SPOFC cables for $40.

    You think it's worth the extra $20?

    I know it's not a lot of money but I'm a student and it's close to Xmas and I wish I didn't like so many people then I wouldn't have to buy so many presents :evil:
  9. 43hertz

    43hertz Guest

    In my opinion you would be wasting your money on the Starquad.
    For the short runs that you are talking about, you will notice no interference difference(since honestly, far more interference comes in at the connector than will ever come through at mid-cable) and your sound will actually be less accurate, as Nathan said, than regular "two conductor with shield" cable.

    Use the extra money for more presents for those you love, even if it's yourself! :cool:
  10. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    You may or may need the star quad now, but I would stiill suggest that you get star quad (mabe not the specific ones you mentioned) as you very well may need in the future, and it like many other items needs to be part of any decent audio tool kit.
  11. sponnie

    sponnie Active Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Haha! Stop messing with my brain you two :-?

    Oh my, it seems to be the most polarising subject regarding music technology altogether!

    I don't know nothing about musical instrument cables but 3 things you don't talk to audiophiles about whilst drinking. Politics, Religion and Interconnects :shock:

    I think I might just get normal cable. I do understand what you mean when you say it should be part of a good audio kit. From what I've read it would really only come into play in a live environment where there will be a lot of lighting and other cables. I will never be using the mic outside of the house.

    I would get arrested :roll:

    Maybe I will treat myself with the saved money and get a singing lesson :p
  12. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Ya, the house.... Where the fridge motor, AC, light dimmers, computer monitors, shotty and poor wiring, cordless phones, wireless internet, ect... all potential sources that generate EMI, RFI that a star quad is likely to be of help with more so that any standard balanced cable.

    But it's up to you...
  13. sponnie

    sponnie Active Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Yep I hear you :)

    I've changed my mind again. For the main reasons you mention.

    Also, I found a page where a guy is giving a technical explanation but I'm sure he's saying Starquad is actually better when dealing with high frequency response :shock:

    Maybe I read it wrong but I'll post a link and if you scroll down the page half way he briefly talks about it.
  14. roguescout

    roguescout Guest

    I am using Blue Kiwi quad cables (got a great deal on a batch of them). I'm not sure if they are the "best", but I am the poor SOB in my neighborhood with the utility pole in his backyard.

    No problems or noise whatsoever. I think they sound better than my Monster XLR's.

    The best thing is they are highly visible (imagine a skinny green garden hose). I have never had someone snag and trip on one (unlike my standard black cables which seem to jump themselves around ankles).

    They are probably overpriced and overrated. If I hadn't gotten such a deal on them, I would have gone with Mogami Neglex.

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