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TA3 output cables?

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TA3 output cables?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:10 pm

I've just bought a Zoom F8n and I'm puzzling over TA3 output cables. I doubt I'll need them but looking around they seem remarkably expensive for what they are - £60 a pair is typical. So can anyone tell me what the point of TA3 cables is and why are they so expensive?

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Re: TA3 output cables?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:22 pm

I confess I didn't know what a TA3 cable was and had to look it up! I'm guessing that they chose them as the space saved by the mini-XLR sockets is useful in some way internally and that they offer a robust balanced connection in a small footprint. Looking at the image of the F8n I don't think a full sized pair of output XLRs would fit in the available space alongside the combo sockets on inputs 5-8.

If it's a relatively uncommon cable type then perhaps they are not made/sold in the quantities that more common cables are, leading to higher prices. That said, I don't have any definitive answers, just thinking aloud. I too am interested to see if someone knows more.
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Re: TA3 output cables?

Postby twotoedsloth » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:29 pm

I only paid $30 CDN for a pair of 6 foot TA3 to 1/4 TRS cables.

Maybe you can find a better price at a bespoke cable company?
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Re: TA3 output cables?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:34 pm

If this is the correct mini XLR type, then Studiospares have 5m cables for £20 each. Still a little pricier than one might expect but they use Neutriks for the large end and Rean/Neutrik for the minis so the quality looks very good to me.

These specific ones are currently out of stock but they are available to order and there are a couple of other variations listed also.
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Re: TA3 output cables?

Postby MOF » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:41 pm

They are used in addition to XLRs on my Sound Devices mixer e.g. direct outputs, I thought about making up some cables but decided I don’t really need them for what I do.
They are for space saving reasons and not terribly expensive (see below) if you want to make your own cables.

https://www.mouser.co.uk/_/?Keyword=TA3 ... ft&FS=True
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Re: TA3 output cables?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:45 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote: So can anyone tell me what the point of TA3 cables is and why are they so expensive?

They are convenient, compact, and reliable alternatives to the traditional XLR, and are increasingly common on portable recorders from the likes of Zoom, Sound Devices and others.

They are indeed often quite expensive, but probably only because they are fiddly to make and relatively rarely required, so there's no economy of scale... And they are associated with expensive recorders, of course, so some retailers might choose to add a premium...

I've found Pink Noise in Gloucester are quite cost-effective for such things...

https://www.pinknoise-systems.co.uk/ta3-mini-xlr.html
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hat made me curious wsRe: TA3 output cables?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:14 pm

Pink Noise do seem good value for a lot of stuff, I've found. Question answered, thanks all. What made me curious was wondering if, given the price, there was any intelligence in the cable itself Thunderbolt cable style. The answer is clearly not.

Cheers,

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