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Author Topic: Brand of reliable XLR cables  (Read 23535 times)

Gordon Waugh

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Brand of reliable XLR cables
« on: June 15, 2012, 10:43:12 pm »

I bought 5 XLR cables and about 5 TS (i.e., instrument) cables from Monoprice about 6 months ago, and they have been dropping like flies. Half of the cable connectors have had to be resoldered. Today I discovered that a 50 foot XLR cable's shield is shorting with one of the wires--even after I removed both connectors. I was pretty careful to make sure I did not cut too deeply when I removed the outer casing--so I don't think that caused the short. So the short must be somewhere down the cable.

Do you have any suggestions for a brand of good quality cables at a reasonable price?
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Gordon Waugh

Scott Wagner

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Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2012, 11:05:39 pm »

I bought 5 XLR cables and about 5 TS (i.e., instrument) cables from Monoprice about 6 months ago, and they have been dropping like flies. Half of the cable connectors have had to be resoldered. Today I discovered that a 50 foot XLR cable's shield is shorting with one of the wires--even after I removed both connectors. I was pretty careful to make sure I did not cut too deeply when I removed the outer casing--so I don't think that caused the short. So the short must be somewhere down the cable.

Do you have any suggestions for a brand of good quality cables at a reasonable price?
Get yourself some Belkin cable and some Neutrik connectors - roll your own.  It's cheaper and better.  The best part?  The quality is up to you.
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Scott Wagner
Big Nickel Audio

Nils Erickson

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Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 02:06:00 am »

I have been really happy with two brands.  The "Road Hog" series by Rapco, which have a heavy duty jacket and neutrik connectors.  They coil easily and feel beefy.  I have had a lot of them for 10 years without failure, but I treat it nicely...

Second, I like Canare.  Probably the most flexible cable I have used; it just feels great, and winds up better than anything I've tried.  You can get it terminated however you like if you order from a place like Markertek.  Or, buy it bulk and make your own if you are handy with a soldering iron and have good attention to detail.

Cheers,
Nils
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Gordon Waugh

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Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2012, 09:08:48 am »

Get yourself some Belkin cable and some Neutrik connectors - roll your own.  It's cheaper and better.  The best part?  The quality is up to you.

Did you mean "Belden" cable? I cannot find Belkin bulk mic cable.
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Gordon Waugh

Scott Wagner

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Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2012, 09:46:20 am »

Did you mean "Belden" cable? I cannot find Belkin bulk mic cable.
Yes.  Sorry, I'm into my third week of sleep deprivation....
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Scott Wagner
Big Nickel Audio

Brian Larson

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Brand of reliable XLR cables
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2012, 04:28:28 pm »

I used to use Belden 8222 and really liked it but from what I can tell it's been discontinued? Any suggestions for replacements?
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2012, 06:28:23 pm »

+1 for RoadHogs.  Been using them for about 60 gigs.  Great thick rubber outer jacket.  Maybe I have a rubber fetish.
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Mark McFarlane
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Randall Hyde

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Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2012, 06:29:44 pm »

I bought 5 XLR cables and about 5 TS (i.e., instrument) cables from Monoprice about 6 months ago, and they have been dropping like flies. Half of the cable connectors have had to be resoldered. Today I discovered that a 50 foot XLR cable's shield is shorting with one of the wires--even after I removed both connectors. I was pretty careful to make sure I did not cut too deeply when I removed the outer casing--so I don't think that caused the short. So the short must be somewhere down the cable.

Do you have any suggestions for a brand of good quality cables at a reasonable price?

I've been the whole route of "XLR cables are consumables, buy the cheapest and throw them away as they go bad." (Too bad they always go bad in the middle of a gig). I've been the "buy the best (like Mogami) route". Lifetime replacement is nice, but when you need about 50-100 cables in a rig it's a bit too expensive. I've gone the "build your own" route (using quality cable and connectors).

In the end, I started buying Guitar Center's Livewire cables. Not the best quality (but still pretty good). Lifetime replacement warranty so you only buy them once. The price is okay (especially if you can find them cheaper on line and make GC price match them). Since I switched over to them about two years ago, I've never had a cable fail; not suggesting they don't (indeed, after two years I expect some of them to start failing) but they've been far more reliable than the cheap stuff I've bought in the past and I've yet to have any audio problems with them.

Building your own *can* be less expensive and arguably higher quality (assuming you do a great job putting them together). But I value my time and by the time I've put one of those cables together they are very expensive indeed.  If you don't value your time (or value it very inexpensively, say around minimum wage) maybe build your own are the cheapest way to go. However, even at $25/hour, the $10-$15 in parts cost is going to blow up and be more expensive, in the long run, than Livewire cables.  And when your cables go bad, just swap them out on your next trip to GC.

BTW, knowing how to build your own cables is a good idea. If you absolutely, positively, have to repair one at a gig, it's a good skill to have (OTOH, having lots of spare cables is a good idea, too).

One really *great* thing about "build your own" is that you can build custom lengths so you don't have spare cabling inside rack cabinets.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 02:06:51 am »

...

In the end, I started buying Guitar Center's Livewire cables. Not the best quality (but still pretty good). Lifetime replacement warranty so you only buy them once. The price is okay (especially if you can find them cheaper on line and make GC price match them). Since I switched over to them about two years ago, I've never had a cable fail; not suggesting they don't (indeed, after two years I expect some of them to start failing) but they've been far more reliable than the cheap stuff I've bought in the past and I've yet to have any audio problems with them.

...
Cheers,
Randy Hyde

FWIW, I only pay a couple dollars more per cable for Road Hog than what Guitar Center is selling their Live Wires online today.  When you add in Tax at GC versus Mike's shipping fee the price is pretty close depending on the quantity you buy.  Real Neutrik connectors on the Road Hogs with heavy rubber cable.  Mike Pyle sells them (you can search for Mike here and PM him).  Mike has been 100% reliable for the 8 years or so that I have done business with him.
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Mark McFarlane
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Turn down what's too loud.

Scott Carneval

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Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 01:01:32 pm »

I build my own when I have time, I'll buy from Guitar Center if I'm in a bind. Lately I've been having one of my guys build them if we have down time. it's a good skill for him to have and now he understands the difference between balanced and unbalanced. I stock neutrik connectors and rapco-horizon cable
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 01:01:32 pm »


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