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studio monitor cable

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studio monitor cable

Postby axeman_ukl » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:58 pm

what cable type is used to get the best out of your monitors is it just mic cable xlr to trs on your sound card or is it something thicker or shielded.

i am looking to build some cables and want to make the best cables i can.
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Re: studio monitor cable

Postby James Perrett » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:13 pm

For active monitors microphone cable is fine. For passive monitors you can use thick 2 core mains cable - 2.5mm square is great but you can probably get away with 1.5mm square for most things.

Cheers

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Re: studio monitor cable

Postby Setter » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:19 pm

Assuming you have active or powered monitors and that your soundcard has balanced 1/4 jack outputs then good quality balanced/shielded (microphone) cable from Sommer, van Damme etc. made up with neutric connectors will be fine.

The quality cable and connectors are more (IMHO) about ensuring reliability than ultimate sound quality for these very short cable runs.

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Re: studio monitor cable

Postby axeman_ukl » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:35 pm

Setter wrote:Assuming you have active or powered monitors and that your soundcard has balanced 1/4 jack outputs then good quality balanced/shielded (microphone) cable from Sommer, van Damme etc. made up with neutric connectors will be fine.

The quality cable and connectors are more (IMHO) about ensuring reliability than ultimate sound quality for these very short cable runs.

J


cheers for the info yes the speakers are active and the sound card is balanced ,i've got some van damme cable left and some neutric conections from making some mic cables.

do both cables have to be the same lenght ,i heard some guy in an hi fi shop once say its so the sound gets to both speakers at the same time.that different lenght cables will make the sound get to the shorter one faster than the longer one ?
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Re: studio monitor cable

Postby dmills » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:53 pm

Lets do the math:

Speed of sound : ~ 300m/s
Speed of light : ~300,000km/s

Assume a velocity factor of say 0.6 (reasonable for most cables) and the electric field travels 600,000 times faster then the sound, so a difference of 10M in cable length is equivalent to a movement of 10/600,000 = 0.016667mm relative to the speaker.

Conclusion: Hifi salesmen are full of it (Which just proves something we all knew)!

Regards, Dan.
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Re: studio monitor cable

Postby axeman_ukl » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:03 am

yeah i kind of figured it was a crock of s**** at £5 per meter its more bonus to the sales rep.
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Re: studio monitor cable

Postby Steve Hill » Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:32 am

The cable length thing is not about the speed of light, but about capacitance. All cable has some capacitance, and that means the longer the cable, the more e.g. some top end detail will be lost. Frankly this will be inaudible to most ears in almost all conceivable cases, but it is measurable. (The classic example would be unbalanced long guitar leads, where it can be very obvious).

So it makes some sense to have equal length cables so they have an equal impact on the sound passed to each monitor.
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Re: studio monitor cable

Postby James Perrett » Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:23 pm

Capacitance will have very little effect on either passive or active speaker cables as the impedances involved are fairly low. If you are looking at lengths of 100m or more you might have problems but over 5 - 10 metres the effects can be ignored.

Resistance is important with passive speaker cables - hence my advice to use cables with a large cross sectional area. Certain badly designed hifi amps also require high inductance speaker cable.

Cheers

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Re: studio monitor cable

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:40 pm

axeman_ukl wrote:what cable type is used to get the best out of your monitors is it just mic cable xlr to trs on your sound card or is it something thicker or shielded.


Since you're talking about active speakers and a balanced interface, then we are dealing with line level balanced signals.

Any standard mic cable will be absolutely fine for that -- two signal cores and shielded.

The cables don't need to be the same length -- speed of signal propogation is so fast that cable length differences are irrelevant in this application -- so make them the right length to make the job neat and tidy when installed... bearing in mind you might want to re-jig things later on and there's nothing more frustrating than not being able to re-use the existing cables.

The hifi sales-mans thing about making passive speaker cables the same length has some validity since cable resistance can be significant in that application and is directly related to the length of cable. So it does make some sense to match cable lengths for passive speaker applications if you are dealing with lengthy cables.

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Re: studio monitor cable

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:18 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The hifi sales-mans thing about making passive speaker cables the same length has some validity since cable resistance can be significant in that application and is directly related to the length of cable. So it does make some sense to match cable lengths for passive speaker applications if you are dealing with lengthy cables.

hugh

Agreed - with long cables to passive loudspeakers some amps may have their damping factors slightly compromised, so it's possible that having one cable significantly longer than the other might change the tightness of the bass end on one speaker slightly.


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