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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Installed Sound/Contracting => Topic started by: Nathan Riddle on April 09, 2018, 05:30:25 pm

Title: XLR 96% braid vs 78%
Post by: Nathan Riddle on April 09, 2018, 05:30:25 pm
I'm curious if there's any real benefit or objective difference (other than more is better) between XLR cables with different braid amounts.

96% braiding (Pro Co)
vs
78% braiding (much cheaper cables)

---

My application is in a rack with RF equipment.

Tried a search on here and google didn't find anything interesting (articles, white papers, etc)
Title: Re: XLR 96% braid vs 78%
Post by: Michael Thompson on April 10, 2018, 01:36:04 am
I'm curious if there's any real benefit or objective difference (other than more is better) between XLR cables with different braid amounts.

96% braiding (Pro Co)
vs
78% braiding (much cheaper cables)

---

My application is in a rack with RF equipment.

Tried a search on here and google didn't find anything interesting (articles, white papers, etc)

More isn't always better.  For example a foil shield is usually 100% coverage, yet it's properties are quite different than a braid or a spiral.  One does better with RFI and the other EMI.  In practical application of balanced mic/line cables it makes little difference because most of the rejection is coming from the balanced pair and RF signals don't make it through the audio circuits themselves even if the are -3 out at 200khz.  You are probably more likely to have issues with ground paths in the gear (i.e. pin 1 problems).  There are plenty of other things to look at when comparing cable though.  Impedance, capacitance, insulation material, fill material, flex life if it's a portable cable, etc...  The cheap cable could be microphonic or have an impact on HF if it's high capacitance, but within one rack, I would pretty much use any shielded twisted pair from any of the major manufactures and not worry about it.
Title: Re: XLR 96% braid vs 78%
Post by: Luke Geis on April 10, 2018, 01:44:27 am
I would venture a bet that in long lengths the 78% yields lower losses in HF content. There is a capacitance between the shield and the core wires and with more wire comes more opportunity for those little things to show affect. While 98% sounds better, I wouldn't say that more is always better. I have a saying: " Too much of a good thing is still too much " . At what point do diminishing returns begin to show? I don't know the scientific answers in this case, but I would bet that in lengths under 100', there would be 0.001% difference between them either way and which is better is up for debate.
Title: Re: XLR 96% braid vs 78%
Post by: Nathan Riddle on April 10, 2018, 10:22:51 am
Cool thanks, I figured the difference would be negligible; but I want my clients to get appropriately designed equipment. If the  94+% braid yielded improved performance then the extra expense would be warranted.
Title: Re: XLR 96% braid vs 78%
Post by: Kevin Graf on April 10, 2018, 11:59:40 am
In a rack with lots of nearby RF, a cable with a braid/foil combo shield would be a good bet.
Title: Re: XLR 96% braid vs 78%
Post by: Nathan Riddle on April 10, 2018, 12:45:43 pm
In a rack with lots of nearby RF, a cable with a braid/foil combo shield would be a good bet.

Any suggestions as to brand/cable?

I'm not particularly interested in rolling my own as it's cheaper & faster for a manufacture to do so.
Title: Re: XLR 96% braid vs 78%
Post by: Kevin Graf on April 10, 2018, 01:07:55 pm
I would stick with Belden, Canare and Mogami cables. (also a few regional bulk cable manufactures)
Stay away from any that make audiophile like claims.
Title: Re: XLR 96% braid vs 78%
Post by: Nathan Riddle on April 10, 2018, 01:20:35 pm
I can see those cables used in a high usage environment.

The point of this thread was: were there any studies that confirm higher braid coverage = appreciable difference in RF environment.

The conclusion is no they don't.

I'll stick with the significantly cheaper cables that work well in past applications.
Title: Re: XLR 96% braid vs 78%
Post by: Tim Padrick on April 16, 2018, 01:22:02 am
I like to use Horizon Mic1 or Wireworks MusiLux.  Both are spiral shields.