Good Balanced Cables?

bmg

Member
I need to buy some balanced XLR - 1/4" cables.
Years ago, I used to have them made by a company in Ca. that I think were in the movie trade, but no doubt they have vanished by now.
They used either Mogami or Canare cable, but I'm not out to spend all that much these days.
What would be a good comparable cable?
(But please, no Hosa.)
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Marketek will make you what ever you want and they use Mogami and Canare typically. I buy much of the connectors and cable I use to make my own from them. Alternatively, Whirlwind has XLR to TRS 1/4" that you can get through many music stores online and brick and mortar. Sweetwater has them for about $31 for 10ft cables.
 

Ponder5

Member
I use Hosa for some stuff, Whirlwind for others. No name generic stuff, too.
Most I've made myself from wire stock and Switchcraft connectors, though more recently Neutriks.
Not seeing a difference in them. The electrons seem to travel just fine.
 

bmg

Member
I was thinking af maybe making them myself, as the lengths are to be quite small, though I'd have to buy some tools, etc. to do so.
 

markmann

Active member
I was thinking af maybe making them myself, as the lengths are to be quite small, though I'd have to buy some tools, etc. to do so.
It doesn't take many tools though and once you have them you can make and repair cables and other soldered electronics. One thing I do quite often is to make custom length cables out of un-used cables.
 

jamesperrett

Active member
I used quite a few Horizon cables when they were trying to break into the UK market and had some good offers on. They may not be as fancy as other brands but they still work many years later. I'm not sure if they are still around these days though.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
As this is The Rack section can I assume bmg that these cables will run to 'fixed' outboard equipments? If so I can save you even more money!
Don't for a start use heavy duty 6mm (1/4") OD 'mic' cable. 3-4mm foil screened two core cable works just as well* is cheaper and, because it uses a 'drain wire' for ground, is a dream to strip and solder. It is more than flexible enough though of course it will not take the abuse a singer gives a live mic cable!

Then, superb though they are it is a waste of money to use Neutrik connectors when that will live forever round the back of the kit with the dust and spiders. You can buy 5 or more perfectly serviceable TRS jack plugs for the cost of one Nuke. Same for XLRs. Yes, the better plugs have better cable retainers but the intelligent use of shrink sleeving can counter that.

Get a test meter that buzzes, save loads of time. Get a 50mm table clamping vice and use one XLR plug to hold its mate while you solder.
DO buy a decent solder station at about $50 You can also still buy 60/40 Lead Tin solder. Much easier to use than the cheap versions of Lead free.

*In fact, foil screening is superior to all others especially at keeping RF out.

Dave.
 
Last edited:

bmg

Member
Looking through some old cables, I found some Canare L-4E6S.
This is 5 conductor; would this be good for making a balanced XLR - TRS cable?

 

jamesperrett

Active member
Star-quad is designed to minimise interference in places with high electric fields. It is often used in broadcast applications. It will be fine for what you want provided the diameter isn't too large. Star-quad cables have slightly higher capacitance than standard cables but this only becomes an issue with very long runs or high impedance sources (which are unusual these days).
 

ecc83

Well-known member
If making up balanced cables you might as well take advantage of the 'hum bucking' quality of that cable.
Wire one White/Blue to tip (pin 2 XLR) and other White Blue to ring (3 XLR)
NB. make dead sure you preserve the correct polarity but you have to do that with standard cable anyway. Test as y go.

If you don't want the extra rejection wire just ONE Blue and ONE White to ring and tip and take the redundant wires to ground. That way you will reduce the capacitance a bit (not that it really matters) and make the cable less microphonic.

Dave.
 

Ponder5

Member
As long as we're gonna be lectured on cost of connectors, also remember you're paying for wires you don't need.
Full duplex wiring certainly has its place, but if you're making cables for a home setup, much more generic cabling will service you well and cost less with every foot you use.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
As long as we're gonna be lectured on cost of connectors, also remember you're paying for wires you don't need.
Full duplex wiring certainly has its place, but if you're making cables for a home setup, much more generic cabling will service you well and cost less with every foot you use.
Not a lecture chap, just common sense. I also think the OP already has the star quad cable?

Dave.
 

Ponder5

Member
It was a lecture, Old Boy, and as always, an obvious one.
And well, he might already have some - looking through his old cables - but there's no need to ever purchase more.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
It was a lecture, Old Boy, and as always, an obvious one.
And well, he might already have some - looking through his old cables - but there's no need to ever purchase more.
Well then, if you think so I trust you found it informative. All I try to be.

Dave.
 

bmg

Member
Thanks - it was helpful.
Though all of the clips I've seen have the same colors joined together.
 
Last edited:

Folkcafe

Active member
If making up balanced cables you might as well take advantage of the 'hum bucking' quality of that cable.
Wire one White/Blue to tip (pin 2 XLR) and other White Blue to ring (3 XLR)
NB. make dead sure you preserve the correct polarity but you have to do that with standard cable anyway. Test as y go.

If you don't want the extra rejection wire just ONE Blue and ONE White to ring and tip and take the redundant wires to ground. That way you will reduce the capacitance a bit (not that it really matters) and make the cable less microphonic.

Dave.
My understanding of the proper way to maximize noise reduction is to wire both blue together and both whites together. It is the twists in the pair that reduces the noise. Separate them and you negate this.
 
Top