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What is a cheap, BUT good mic XLR cables?

bball_1523

I am wondering if there is a specific XLR cable that I should purchase instead of the generic musiciansfriend.com or whatever cables?
I don't have a lot of money to dish out so I'm wondering if there is a really really cheap cable, about 10 foot max, XLR cable that is pretty reliable?
August 3, 2005 @05:53am
GZsound

Any reasonable mic cable will work except Radio Shack. I personally will not buy mic cables that do not have Switchcraft or Neutrik connectors...ever again.
You do not need to buy Monster or other expensive brands to get good cable, but I strongly suggest you make sure the connectors are Switchcraft or Neutrik.
August 10, 2005 @06:59am
sabianq

listen to GZsound young grasshopper,
a waste of money monster cable is.
cable is cable, it's the connectors that make or break the cable.
so stick with Switchcraft or Neutrik.
also you can always make your own cable.
just buy all of your connectors in bulk online, then get yourself a 500 foot roll of XLR cable.
you can get the cable in any color you want (red, yellow, green, blue, ect...)
i use different colours for different stuff.
i like to use bright yellow for microphone cables so the speakers dont trip over the cord,
i like to use red cables for return lines and blue cables for send lines, it makes it easy to trouble shoot if there is an issue in the middle of a show.
August 10, 2005 @12:06pm
graphixkid

Man, people really need a place to go to get these questions answered.
Ok then, first of all, Mogami cable is excellent. In my opinion you do not need a better cable. All of their cable is OFC (Oxygen-Free Copper), which offers the highest conductance you can buy, next to solid gold of course.
Second, check out Mogami's website to find out what type you need (XLR, instrument, RCA, MIDI, snake, etc). Then, you can either buy it by the foot at Redco Audio, along with some gold plated Neutrik connectors and solder your cables yourself (you may find this to be a lot of fun - I do)...
...or you can buy it in premade lengths at
Hotwired Cables on eBay, or Musician's Friend.
If you solder your cables yourself, make sure you use lead-free silver-bearing solder, which is most easily gotten at Radio shack. Lead-free silver-bearing solder saves you from breathing lead, and also creates a better connection.
Have fun! :D
August 10, 2005 @09:49pm
GZsound

If you are looking for permanent install type of mic cable, I suggest going with 24 guage, two conductor with drain and foil shield wire. Bulk wire can be had for around 16 cents a foot. However, Belden, etc. make excellent mic cables.
Not to discount Mogami or Monster, but great cable can be found for a lot less money.
August 12, 2005 @05:43am
Sonic Valley

Originally posted by graphixkid
Man, people really need a place to go to get these questions answered.

They do...right here.
August 12, 2005 @11:26am
graphixkid

Actually, I kind of meant a link to have handy to pull out and hit everyone over the head with. ;)
August 12, 2005 @10:25pm
bball_1523

I bought a "pro audio" 10' XLR neutrik connector cable. It works out well although my firewire solo needs more input gain.
August 13, 2005 @05:00pm
abigor

I would suggest buying the cable and connectors separately and saudering them yourself. its relatively simple with steady hands, and usually you can get more than you need, that way you can make as many cables as you need and have extra left over. I don't know how much it costs though. I imagine it'd be relatively cheap
August 19, 2005 @01:48am
Lee Salter

soldering, not saudering.
I buy Switch Craft connectors and bulk Mogami cable and make my own. I've seen some pretty bad pre-made cables. If I make my own, I only have myself to blame if there's a problem. If you're looking for digital grade cable (at twice the price) there's Belden 1800F.
September 3, 2005 @12:03pm
bball_1523

can cables cause a decrease in volume input?
September 3, 2005 @04:06pm
jmail

Most certainly, "yes". For most applications, tho, you would generally not notice much of a decrease (unless it's *really* cheap), since cheap cable is usually on cheap mics. Cable length also comes into play, which is why most mic cables aren't over 15-18 ft. Guitar cables are usually less than 20. Usually speaking, the cheaper the cable, the more "micro-phonic" it is. In other words: cheap cable, when dragged across the floor, will induce noise into the cable. Also, the shield's noise rejection isn't as good, and you'll pick-up stray electromotive noise from power cables, and lights, etc.
September 3, 2005 @08:37pm
Lee Salter

I beg to differ. Unless a given cable has a serious problem, such as a short, there should be no audible difference in signal level passing through 2 different cables. In a laboratory you might be able to measure the difference but not in just listening.
Now cheap cable may, indeed, present problems such as microphonics or crackle, but the difference in the transfer of voltage through any 2 cables should not be audible.
Lee
September 10, 2005 @06:26pm
jmail

I don't remember the brand (Radio Shack?) that we grabbed one night. While at a gig, we had a cable going bad. Roadie ran to the nearby electronics store and bought 20 ft. or so of el cheapo. It worked, but we had to bump the gain up for the pre-amp on the mixer a bit, compared to where it had been set with the original cable (SM-58). The wire in the cheap stuff was like 24 gauge, compared to the 22 gauge in the Belden (exact gauges not remembered, but you could see and hear a difference, plus the Belden was silver coated copper, the other "looked" like copper...). Might have been a coincidence, and I've never done any scientific analysis of wire gauge & material. Also, the new XLR connectors may have had a bearing, or the on-site soldering... Ever since, tho, I've paid attention to the little details of my mic cables, such as wire gauge, cord quality, length of build, connectors, storage, etc. AND, ALWAYS HAVE SOME SPARES, pre-built & ready...
September 10, 2005 @09:17pm
Lee Salter

I agree that R.S. cable is to be used only in an emergency.
Belden 1800F - Digital rated flexible microphone cable is only
24 AWG and is reported to be about the best you can use ,by a number of consultants (not design/build firms). The smaller gauge of the conductors yields a lower surface area, hence significantly lower capacitance per foot, therefore causing less high frequency attenuation.
I think that wire gauge alone is not a good indication of which cable is good or not so good. Even a manufacturer with good credentials may make a model which is not as good for a given purpose, such as mic cable. Choosing cable with a good spec, from a reputable manufacturer is a good way to start.
Lee
September 11, 2005 @10:00pm