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Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

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Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:11 pm

So I need to get some pseudo-balanced cables to hook up unbalanced synth outputs to the balanced ouputs of my interface . . . and on checking online I see SOS are out of stock (no longer carry?) and the alternatives thrown up by Google seem to be in the range of £40 a pop.

Say it isn't so! (To be fair they look like decent quality cables, Neutrik connectors etc)

Anyone have a line on more economical alternatives?

Cheers!
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:13 pm

Talk to http://orchid-electronics.co.uk or make your own. £40 sounds seriously overpriced to me.
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:53 pm

Good man Mr. Spoons!

Yeah, it does seem a tad on the steep side no? It's this place, for ref;

https://www.designacable.com/catalog/ca ... ed/id/217/

Of course, the fact the site has "design" right there in the name's probably worth a few quid extra just on the magickal strength of the word alone. The kit does look competent at least. I probably should have included that the price was per pair, which I'm sure has quite a large bearing on whether they're exorbitant or not.

I'll have to make a quick inventory of my specific needs and shoot Orchid a message then. Thanks Sam :).
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:45 am

IMHO £40 a pair is a little pricey but not madly so.

Making these cables properly to genuine professional standards is very fiddly work.

The SOS ones use a surface-mount resistor and capacitor and are built uniquely for us by the Neutrik UK distributor to ensure they are of the highest quality and reliability.

Although this type of cable doesn't seem to be available from any mainstream commercial suppliers, some of the bespoke cable-makers will do them to order, although few build them correctly in my experience... If you're handy with a soldering iron they can be done DIY, but it's a real challenge to get both the capacitor and resistor in there!

Oh... and bear in mind that pseudo-balanced cables are only of use with synths that have grounded power supplies. If used with synths that have double-insulated supplies (most of those with wall-warts) it will usually make unwanted noises worse!
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:35 am

And in defence of Designacable they do make very good cables. I have some of their mic cables and I can't fault them.

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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:03 am

£40 for a pair doesn't sound too unreasonable (I'd assumed a single cable) when a decent mic cable costs at least £10-15.
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby Peevy » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:04 am

+1 for designacable. Fast delivery, excellent quality and great options for customisation, length, colour, boot colour etc.

If buying in pairs, I order one with a blue boot and one with a red boot to easily distinguish left and right.
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:28 pm

The BBC tradition is red and green for left and right, same as navigation lights on ships and planes.

Hosa cables often use grey and orange. Hi-Fi uses white and red, and there are probably several other 'standards' floating about, too...
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby blinddrew » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:32 pm

Which has just led me to think that, in live sound, designating one side of the stage port and the other starboard could help prevent a lot of left/right/audience-view/stage-view confusion.

Admittedly probably just to replace it with port/starboard confusion instead...
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby John Willett » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:32 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The BBC tradition is red and green, same as navigation lights on ships and planes.

But you have to be careful.

Red and Green - Red = left and Green = right.

Red and any other colour - Red = right.
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby Kwackman » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:42 pm

John Willett wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:The BBC tradition is red and green, same as navigation lights on ships and planes.

But you have to be careful.

Red and Green - Red = left and Green = right.

Red and any other colour - Red = right.

I hope you don't take up flying or sailing as a new hobby! :D
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby Aural Reject » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:43 pm

Peevy wrote:+1 for designacable. Fast delivery, excellent quality and great options for customisation, length, colour, boot colour etc.

Yep - I've got some of theirs, alongside getting other custom stuff from Direct Cable Systems.
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby Mike Shand » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:56 pm

Is it certain that these designacable “pseudo balanced” cables have the resistor and cap as in the SOS ones? I can’t see any mention of it on their website and they sound as if they are just floating screen.
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:13 pm

Kwackman wrote:
John Willett wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:The BBC tradition is red and green, same as navigation lights on ships and planes.

But you have to be careful.

Red and Green - Red = left and Green = right.

Red and any other colour - Red = right.

I hope you don't take up flying or sailing as a new hobby! :D

Already did (as an old hobby) I usually stick to Red is Right as I only have one set of Red/Green colour coded cables and they are short XLRs usually used to connect the mixer outs to the sub x-over inputs. It does grate slightly doing it though.......

Mike Shand wrote:Is it certain that these designacable “pseudo balanced” cables have the resistor and cap as in the SOS ones? I can’t see any mention of it on their website and they sound as if they are just floating screen.

I'm sure it's a question they'd be happy to answer. If you're dubious an email to Jon at Orchid would get you exactly what you need at a very reasonable price in my experience.
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:50 pm

Well chaps, what can I say? I ask, and I receive. So I reckon I'll say thanks - and peace be upon you!

Seriously though, great info and a much needed contemporary perspective supplied. It's been bloody years since I had to get new leads and had no idea where current pricing is at, or what constituted "reasonable" for quality stuff . . . and that's the other part of the equation, in that this is the first time I'm even attempting to pay attention to the quality of the cabling, so that alone brings a little sticker-shock.

Glad to hear Designacable are alright actually, as aside from my own ignorance on pricing they seemed fairly legit on the quality front, and not absolutely silly audiophile balderdash. Just a little spendy compared to my previous cheapskate habits!

Cheers Hugh for the deeper detail on PSUs. You can add to that our discussion from the other thread on stepdown transformers and the fact I've a few US/JPN units the grounding of which is a mystery to me. So I expect it won't be a one-size-fits-all situation with the PB-cables and I may need different strategies for different kit.

Or an actual full-studio grounding plan. It should be stressed that I'm not encountering any issues at present, even using unbalanced lines - but I haven't hooked everything up in anything close to a finished state yet so thought it might be prudent to get some PB cables since I need cables anyway. I'll grab some balanced while I'm at it and hope I cover my needs with some to spare.

Scary though . . . even my modest setup's looking like a fair old whack of cash, especially when I add in decent MIDI cables too.

Ya know, sometimes I wish I had a cheaper interest . . . like amateur motorsports or yachting or something.
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby Aural Reject » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:02 pm

n o i s e f l e ur wrote:Scary though . . . even my modest setup's looking like a fair old whack of cash, especially when I add in decent MIDI cables too.

Ya know, sometimes I wish I had a cheaper interest . . . like amateur motorsports or yachting or something.

I feel your pain...I’ve just done my first stock check for years after adding bits piecemeal...turns out I’ve got about £2k worth of shockmounts :headbang:
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:12 pm

Don't get me started on shockmounts. I would like, but cannot currently afford, shockmounts.

I looked at the prices . . . with mounting shock.
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:19 pm

Shockmounts are easy. You only have to remember one word: Rycote. :)

CC

Edited to add PS: OK, Rycote shockmounts aren't cheap either but they're not expensive when you compare them to some (I might mention Neumann here ...) and they jolly well work.
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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:58 pm

n o i s e f l e ur wrote:Ya know, sometimes I wish I had a cheaper interest . . . like amateur motorsports or yachting or something.

Even a modest one of these costs more than the National Debt of a medium sized country

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Re: Pseudo-balanced cables . . . how much???

Postby John Willett » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:28 pm

Kwackman wrote:I hope you don't take up flying or sailing as a new hobby! :D

You *really* have to be careful if you take up sailing.

Remember - Red and Green - Red = left and Green = right.

In the UK, Europe (and most of the world I believe) harbour beacons are marked red on the left when ENTERING the harbour.

In the USA beacons are marked red on the left when LEAVING the harbour - the opposite. :beamup:

If you are unaware you could be on the rocks. :beamup:
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