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Title: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Gordon Waugh 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?
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Scott Wagner 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.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Nils Erickson 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
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Gordon Waugh 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.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Scott Wagner 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....
Title: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Brian Larson 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?
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Mark McFarlane 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.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Randall Hyde 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
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Mark McFarlane 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.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Scott Carneval 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
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Paul Dershem on June 17, 2012, 06:22:09 pm
Have any of you tried the EWI cables (with Neutrik connectors) from Audiopile?

http://www.audiopile.net/products/Mic_Instr_Cables/MBQN/MBQN_cutsheet.shtml
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Rick Earl on June 17, 2012, 08:35:19 pm
Have any of you tried the EWI cables (with Neutrik connectors) from Audiopile?

http://www.audiopile.net/products/Mic_Instr_Cables/MBQN/MBQN_cutsheet.shtml

I've bought a couple of dozen from them and have had great luck.   I have  one of three types of cables in inventory;  Canare / Neutrik that I build myself, Whirlwind Stock MK series, and EWI both Neutrik and EWI connectors.   In the past 6 years I have only had 2 cable failures.  One turned super high impedance when cut in half on a platform, the other had the end yanked off when the stage hand tugged a bit too hard (ok, WAY too hard)when the cable endwas caught.    The cut cable was a Whirlwind, the other a Canare.  I have yet had a failure on EWI.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Paul Dershem on June 18, 2012, 02:07:46 pm
Thanks!
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: George Dougherty on June 18, 2012, 11:23:46 pm
Have any of you tried the EWI cables (with Neutrik connectors) from Audiopile?

http://www.audiopile.net/products/Mic_Instr_Cables/MBQN/MBQN_cutsheet.shtml
I've got both the Starline with EWI connectors and the Premium cable with Neutrik XX series connectors.  For the cable itself, I'll take the premium any day.  The Starline feels like its got empty space in the jacketing and doesn't play as nicely.  The Premium cable coils and lays as well as most anything I've used otherwise.  The EWI ends fit overly snug in some off-brand XLR jacks, especially the female connectors in male jacks.  I also have some of the EWI quad cabling, which is also nice, but the 4x22ga cable is a bit stiff for my tastes.  I prefer the ProCo Ameriquad cabling I've also got from back when the prices were lower.  For the price difference, I'll take the EWI premiums.  Just about $20 for a 20ft cable.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Paul Dershem on June 19, 2012, 01:28:12 am
Thanks, George.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Chuck Simon on June 23, 2012, 12:49:46 pm
These guys have some great prices on USA made cables:

http://www.northernsound.net/Sales/catagories.html
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Brandon Wright on June 24, 2012, 03:18:40 pm
Gearsource also has some great prices on CBI's MLN series cables. They are made with USA Belden cable and Neutrik connectors. They can be had for about the same price as the EWI's and are hand assembled in the USA. Nice heavy jacket that coils wonderfully FWIW.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Tracy Garner on June 25, 2012, 07:28:34 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?

Washington Music Center (Chuck Levins) has some cable they branded and I'm not sure who makes them. They are by far the nicest cable Ive ever used in terms of rubber quality and build. They are also several dollars cheaper than GC. They have them in lengths of 3 ft to 100ft.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Jay Barracato on June 25, 2012, 07:56:33 pm
They are whirlwind, I believe. They have a heavier jacket than most, but the cable is soft and lies flat nicely.
Title: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Rob Spence on June 25, 2012, 09:14:41 pm
I have used the EWI starline series with both their connectors and Neutrik
I must have over 50 of them and have never had one fail.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: W. Mark Hellinger on June 25, 2012, 10:15:12 pm
on the Road Hogs with heavy rubber cable. 
Really?  do tell about the heavy rubber part, as I'm very curious.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Scott Wagner on June 25, 2012, 10:55:08 pm
Really?  do tell about the heavy rubber part, as I'm very curious.
Road Hog cables have a PVC cover, not rubber.  Rubber has a MUCH better hand.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Mark McFarlane on June 25, 2012, 11:53:23 pm
Road Hog cables have a PVC cover, not rubber.  Rubber has a MUCH better hand.

Sorry for misleading people, I never looked it up. It looks and feels like rubber, softest cable covering I have felt, but in fact it is soft PVC in matte black.  My bad.  20 lashes.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: W. Mark Hellinger on June 27, 2012, 11:33:57 pm
Sorry for misleading people, I never looked it up. It looks and feels like rubber, softest cable covering I have felt, but in fact it is soft PVC in matte black.  My bad.  20 lashes.
hey, no big deal Mark (BTW... good name).  I'm probably hypersensitive to specifics concerning cables.
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: John Penkala on July 01, 2012, 09:37:32 am
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 use Whirlwind MK series mic cables. I have had most of them for over 10 years without a single failure.  When I make my own, I use the same Belden cable with the copper braided shield and the long barrell Neutrik XLR connectors that Whirlwind uses.

JP
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Scott Hofmann on July 01, 2012, 10:40:14 am
I've always had good luck with Conquest Sound's RA2 series cables. www.conquestsound.com
Title: Re: Brand of reliable XLR cables
Post by: Brian Alleyne on July 04, 2012, 07:48:49 pm
I have been lucky with audiopile.net