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Mic Cable recommendations

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Mic Cable recommendations

Postby jodaki » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:23 pm

Hola,

I want a 100m drum or 2 to make my own patch and mic cables so I need a recommendation for a good quality cable please.

There is such a variety that I could do with a bit of clarification.

Now, Ive done some 'reading' in the gear***z place and the consensus there seems to be along the lines of - you are an amateur or possibly even a loser if you consider anything except mogami, mate... and also claims that mogami cable gives you tighter, lower bass, clearer highs and possibly I guess also reduces signs of ageing..

Anyway.... I would consider getting another mortgage for a few rolls of mogami or van damme or other wonderous cable brands. IF THEY ARE WORTH THE MONEY

So, do good cables give you better frequency response? And are brands such as mogami, van damme etc, really that miuch better than Sommer or Sssnake or whatever else goes for much less money.

If there isnt anything in it then why do studios insist on mogami/van damme cables?

For the record, I have all these brands of cables and I like them all pretty much. The van damme and mogami feel nice but I'm not sure I noticed them conveying my music around the place any better than the studiospares or thomann cables that I have.

thanks, John
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:39 pm

jodaki wrote:So, do good cables give you better frequency response?

No

And are brands such as mogami, van damme etc, really that miuch better than Sommer or Sssnake or whatever else goes for much less money.

Generally no, but there are some caveats... (see below)

If there isnt anything in it then why do studios insist on mogami/van damme cables?

Known quantity? Ignorance? Hype?

The van damme and mogami feel nice but I'm not sure I noticed them conveying my music around the place any better than the studiospares or thomann cables that I have.

Quite so.

I like the Van Damme cables too, because they are well engineered, feel nice to work with, are easy to terminate on the connectors, and aren't silly prices. I tend to use VD cables for multicores, particularly. But actually the vast majority of my individual mic cables are made with Canford HST or SQ cable.

There are certain technical aspects to consider -- like the type and effectiveness of the cable screen (for mic cables double helical (Reussen) is best, helical is second best, then braided and then foil -- although foil is excellent for installation cables), and the overall capacitance (lower is always better). These factors affect the cable's ability to reject interference.

Star-Quad (SQ) cable is really only useful if you work in areas with very close interference sources -- like when running mic cables alongside lighting cables for extended lengths. SQ always has high capacitance and is harder to terminate, so I don't recommend it for standard mic cables. I do have some SQ cables, but they are rarely used, and some have been re-used for stereo cables with 5-pin XLRs!

Then there's the physical construction to think about -- how thick the outer layer is, how easily and neatly it coils, etc. -- and how thick the signal conductors are. These all affect the long term robustness of the cable and what it's like to use in practice.
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Luke W » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:18 pm

I've just got a load of Sommer cable to do some patchbay/monitor controller wiring with. Less than a quid per metre, and it's really flexible which will be very welcome when routing it around in the back of a rack. I've used quite a lot of their different ranges with no problems.

This stuff: https://www.studiospares.com/Cables-Leads/Cable-Balanced/Sommer-200-0001-Stage-22-Balanced-Mic-Cable-Black-per-m_546710.htm

I tend to avoid really cheap cable but mainly because it's a pain to work with more than anything else, as mentioned above.
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:22 pm

Deleted.

Might be large thumbs but looks like something weird is happening re. duplicate posts.
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:23 pm

There is always a variety of opinion at Gearslutz and some of it is very valuable. Unfortunately you have to invest some time to figure out the knowledgeable from the opinionated (sometimes they are the same person - just to complicate things).

I tend to look for Klotz cable first because I've always had good experiences of cutting/soldering, handling (wrapping up and carrying around) and longevity.

My personal £3s worth (inflation, eh?).
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby James Perrett » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:30 pm

jodaki wrote:If there isnt anything in it then why do studios insist on mogami/van damme cables?

You've been reading too many interviews with "star" engineers. There are plenty of other sensible brands of cable like Belden and Klotz that are used in studios. I also have a few cables made up from Farnell's own brand cable which have lasted over 30 years. Modern mic cables seem to be more flexible than the older cables that I have but they have no bearing on the sound.

A few years ago when Horizon were trying to break into the UK cable market I bought quite a few of their cables and found they worked well for a reasonable price but I don't think they are available in the UK any more. I also bought some reels of Studiospares' cheapest mic cable which I would have to say was a bit of a mistake - they advertised a braided screen but they didn't say that it only had about 10% coverage and it was very stiff.

One suggestion that I've seen is to use cables with 110 ohm characteristic impedance - these can be used for both microphones and for AES (and certain other) digital connections. I'm not sure how relevant this will be for you but it could work for those using AES digital links.
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby jodaki » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:56 pm

shufflebeat wrote:There is always a variety of opinion at Gearslutz and some of it is very valuable

Hi yes, I know that really, it's exactly as you say. I was reading a patient and convincingly knowledgeable guy called 'theblue1' there last night in fact.

I was trying to be funny I guess, as there is a lot of shouting on gs and its sometimes hard to detect fact from fiction :)

And yep I like my klotz cable too. I forgot about that one.

My personal £3s worth (inflation, eh?).

I'm glad you arent charging by the metre ;) thanks again..
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Dan LB » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:08 pm

I've used this stuff: https://www.thomann.de/ie/cordial_cmk_2 ... l_100m.htm to make around 50 cables over the years and have never had a problem with any of them - some of them are about 15 years old now and still going strong.

It's easy to strip and terminate, it coils up nicely, it lays flat, it comes in various different colours and it's cheap! What's not to like?!
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:19 pm

I bought 200 metres of RS own-brand two-core plus screen in 1974 to make up some cables with what we used to call Cannon plugs (XLRs to the whippersnappers! :lol: )...

I still have about 30 metres on one long reel... still giving faultless service... (The rest has been sold-on over the last six years or so as made-up cables as my requirements have diminished.)
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:16 am

shufflebeat wrote:There is always a variety of opinion at Gearslutz and some of it is very valuable. Unfortunately you have to invest some time to figure out the knowledgeable from the opinionated (sometimes they are the same person - just to complicate things).

I tend to look for Klotz cable first because I've always had good experiences of cutting/soldering, handling (wrapping up and carrying around) and longevity.

My personal £3s worth (inflation, eh?).

Another Klotz fan here, although I'm not that concerned with cabling, and will use anything if necessary, as I can't tell any difference sonically, on the whole, but I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that I actually could hear a sonic difference with Klotz cables.
Let's end this right now and say this is unsubstantiated, and just my personal preference, but I buy it now because even though it may be psychological, that's fine, "I" can hear it, and that's all that matters. :)
Friends have had occasions to use 100 meter runs of multi channel cable and they've always chosen Klotz.
They also do something called "installation cable" it's a screened pair, with a plastic screen as well as lapped copper, it's great to work with, and it saves space.
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:30 am

There's absolutely nothing special or unusual about any of the Klotz mic cables, but they are all well engineered and comparable to those already mentioned, and most have low capacitance at around 55-60pf/m.

Klotz also do a Reussen screen cable (MC5000), which is very good, as well as a couple of versions with braided screens (which some prefer, but they are harder to terminate...), and one for use in very low temperatures (should you find yourself recording Polar bear grunts!)

They also make a star-quad cable which, although still following the tedious convention of pairs of blue and white wires, at least adds a stripe to one white and one blue wire to aid identification when using the cable for stereo applications! :-)
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:40 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:There's absolutely nothing special or unusual about any of the Klotz mic cables, but they are all well engineered and comparable to those already mentioned, and most have low capacitance at around 55-60pf/m.

Klotz also do a Reussen screen cable (MC5000), which is very good, as well as a couple of versions with braided screens (which some prefer, but they are harder to terminate...), and one for use in very low temperatures (should you find yourself recording Polar bear grunts!)

They also make a star-quad cable which, although still following the tedious convention of pairs of blue and white wires, at least adds a stripe to one white and one blue wire to aid identification when using the cable for stereo applications! :-)

Hugh, is the low capacitance of some of the Klotz cables lower than other cables? If so could that have an effect on the sound?
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:55 am

It's certainly lower than some, but most of the well-known names make similar cables with similar specs. Some mic cables are up in the 150pF/m range -- especially star-quad cables -- but even that kind of capacitance isn't likely to cause any audible effects at the kind of impedances involved in a mic circuit with a source impedance of under 200 Ohms and a destination impedance of under 5k Ohms for most.

Now if you were talking about guitar pickups at 2k plus and amp inputs in the megs then cable capacitance will have a significant effect... but not in a mic cable.

H
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:14 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:It's certainly lower than some, but most of the well-known names make similar cables with similar specs. Some mic cables are up in the 150pF/m range -- especially star-quad cables -- but even that kind of capacitance isn't likely to cause any audible effects at the kind of impedances involved in a mic circuit with a source impedance of under 200 Ohms and a destination impedance of under 5k Ohms for most.

Now if you were talking about guitar pickups at 2k plus and amp inputs in the megs then cable capacitance will have a significant effect... but not in a mic cable.

H

That's interesting, initially I used Klotz installation cable for the leads to my CD player, at line level -10dB, compared to the really nasty moulded ones that I used, I thought I could hear a difference.
I have Klotz mic leads along with loads of others, and I must admit, I can't hear the difference between any of them with mic signals, and I don't even know which ones I'm using most of the time!
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:21 am

Arpangel wrote:That's interesting, initially I used Klotz installation cable for the leads to my CD player, at line level -10dB, compared to the really nasty moulded ones that I used, I thought I could hear a difference.

Possible -- and in that situation it could possibly be due to the Klotz cable having a lower capacitance than some cheap unbalanced hifi cable. But another possibility is that the klotz has better screening and so there was less interference getting in to the cable in the first place -- and that would potentially make a big difference, especially in an unbalanced interconnect. Interference doesn't need to be directly audible to cause audible changes in performance! Out-of-band interference can very easily cause in-band side-effects!

H
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:35 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Out-of-band interference can very easily cause in-band side-effects!

H

I agree, don't want to go too far off topic, but this has caused arguments for me in the past.
Especially about high end audio gear of various types having a frequency response that extend well into the supersonic, and the possible modulations and effects those frequencies have on audible signals.
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:13 am

Well, there are benefits to having a wide bandwidth within the electronics... but the inputs and outputs really do need some level of filtering to stop nasties -- and there's an awful lot of RF flying around these days -- getting in (or out).
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:03 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:... especially in an unbalanced interconnect.

'Interconnect' is a perfectly good word with a perfectly good meaning. But it's been so hi-jacked by the audiophool community that it makes me flinch whenever I hear it!
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:52 pm

:D
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Re: Mic Cable recommendations

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:22 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:... especially in an unbalanced interconnect.

'Interconnect' is a perfectly good word with a perfectly good meaning. But it's been so hi-jacked by the audiophool community that it makes me flinch whenever I hear it!

Which flings (brings?) me neatly to my belief that black Klotz sounds better than green.....

:D
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