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Best speaker cables for yamaha hs-80's? Will these work?
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craven
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29th May 2011
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Best speaker cables for yamaha hs-80's? Will these work?

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29th May 2011
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I have the Yamaha HS-50M's and the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R. I connected them using balanced cables, and don't seem to miss anything. Why would you go for unbalanced cables? Both the M-Audio outputs and the Yamaha inputs are balanced.

The HS-50M's and HS-80M's don't have a lot of low end anyway, especially when you compare them to everyday HiFi-speakers. Perhaps you're looking for the sound of an added Yamaha HS-10W without actually knowing it?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
Will these cables increase my speakers low end ability and make them sound better?

i have yamaha hs-80's and i have generic old crappy speaker wires connecting them to my fast track ultra 8r. they seem weak on the low end and slightly transparent.

will these make a difference and if not which cables are the best for my monitors?

thanks!

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Hey there -

the answer is NO.
tutt
U have ACTIVE, powered speakers, which have their own bulit in amplifier, so the only thing U need to run to them is line audio signal - like any other jack, XLR, etc U might have in your setup - the cables U refer to are SPEAKER cables, i.e. cables meant to run the from the output of a power amp to a PASSIVE speaker, or between a guitar amp head and the speaker cabinet, bringing (so to speak) the "already amplified" music to it, not the music "at line level" as U need to.
(In any case, always seriously doubt cable manufacturers' claims about the mircales & wonders or particular effects in one frequency region or the other that their cables are supposed to have - exaggeration & snake oil abund in this area...).
Also, if U're connecting those Yamahas with "crappy old speaker wire" U're doing them a disservice - use a good, ordinary (possibly balanced) LINE/MICROPHONE cable.

I totally disagree on the Yamaha HS80Ms not having a lot of low end - it's quite the opposite, in fact, as many a post here on GS by many users will tell U.
The HS50M are a different little animal, with a lot less low end, also due to the limitations of woofer & speaker enclosure/cabinet size.

Check your room & acoustics for serious phase issues if U're missing bottom end, also check (especially given the worrying info about using "crappy old speaker wire - which I imagine is 2 separate wires) that U haven't inadvertedly wired them out of phase betwewen eachother - that would cancel out massive amounts of low frequencies!

Also, check the way the frequency contour switches at the back are set: they should be equal on both speakers, and U might want to try attenuating the high frequencies, switching that switch to the -2 position... Yamaha's tweeters are quite forward and bright.

Regards,

A
F
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29th May 2011
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This thread would be funny if it wasn`t downright scary.

Wonder how many pairs of active monitors have been returned either as sounding crap or with the amps blown up because of exactly this simple misunderstanding?
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29th May 2011
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29th May 2011
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Scary. You need TRS or XLR cables for transmitting a LINE signal.
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30th May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
Will these cables increase my speakers low end ability and make them sound better?
As others have pointed out, you don't want to use speaker wire to connect active (amplified) speakers. Use ordinary XLR microphone or balanced TRS interconnect cables, depending on which type of plug you need for your mixer.

I can see where people get confused about this, though... I've seen "recording package" deals that included an interface, a mic and speaker cables along with active El Cheapo monitors. Apparently, some of the big online companies selling this stuff don't know much about this, either.

Even if you had passive speakers, those cables wouldn't make any difference. At audio frequencies and amplifier output levels, ordinary Romex you use to wire your house would work as good as anything else you can buy. As long as people believe they can hear a difference, they'll pay silly amounts of money and buy into the marketing bull. Monster has gotten rich off of this.
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30th May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Gu View Post
As others have pointed out, you don't want to use speaker wire to connect active (amplified) speakers. Use ordinary XLR microphone or balanced TRS interconnect cables, depending on which type of plug you need for your mixer.

I can see where people get confused about this, though... I've seen "recording package" deals that included an interface, a mic and speaker cables along with active El Cheapo monitors. Apparently, some of the big online companies selling this stuff don't know much about this, either.

Even if you had passive speakers, those cables wouldn't make any difference. At audio frequencies and amplifier output levels, ordinary Romex you use to wire your house would work as good as anything else you can buy. As long as people believe they can hear a difference, they'll pay silly amounts of money and buy into the marketing bull. Monster has gotten rich off of this.
ok so i just need a TRS to XLR microphone cable? i guess thats why i am getting a hum out of my speakers?
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30th May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
ok so i just need a TRS to XLR microphone cable? i guess thats why i am getting a hum out of my speakers?
Or a TRS-TRS cable.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreaeffe View Post
Hey there -

the answer is NO.
tutt
U have ACTIVE, powered speakers, which have their own bulit in amplifier, so the only thing U need to run to them is line audio signal - like any other jack, XLR, etc U might have in your setup - the cables U refer to are SPEAKER cables, i.e. cables meant to run the from the output of a power amp to a PASSIVE speaker, or between a guitar amp head and the speaker cabinet, bringing (so to speak) the "already amplified" music to it, not the music "at line level" as U need to.
(In any case, always seriously doubt cable manufacturers' claims about the mircales & wonders or particular effects in one frequency region or the other that their cables are supposed to have - exaggeration & snake oil abund in this area...).
Also, if U're connecting those Yamahas with "crappy old speaker wire" U're doing them a disservice - use a good, ordinary (possibly balanced) LINE/MICROPHONE cable.

I totally disagree on the Yamaha HS80Ms not having a lot of low end - it's quite the opposite, in fact, as many a post here on GS by many users will tell U.
The HS50M are a different little animal, with a lot less low end, also due to the limitations of woofer & speaker enclosure/cabinet size.

Check your room & acoustics for serious phase issues if U're missing bottom end, also check (especially given the worrying info about using "crappy old speaker wire - which I imagine is 2 separate wires) that U haven't inadvertedly wired them out of phase betwewen eachother - that would cancel out massive amounts of low frequencies!

Also, check the way the frequency contour switches at the back are set: they should be equal on both speakers, and U might want to try attenuating the high frequencies, switching that switch to the -2 position... Yamaha's tweeters are quite forward and bright.

Regards,

A
F
on the fast track ultra 8r, i have the 2 outputs and each output #1 and #2 are set to "center" meaning each speaker, has left and right in them, so i set the Chanel #1 going to the left speaker, to the all the way left position, and did the same thing accordingly to the right speaker for channel #2 going all the way to the right only for the right speaker, is this right?

also, how do i know if they are in or out of phase? i included a diagram of my studio layout, i believe i am mixing in the "center" of the room LITERALLY.

When i walk balk 6 or so feet to the 90% area of the room there is low end, if i walk all the way to the other end of the room at the 80-90% area, there is even more low end, but in the center of the room there is nothing.

check out the diagram for me, thanks!
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30th May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxVMH View Post
Or a TRS-TRS cable.

i have a gold plated TRS-TRS cable now, but it says balanced guitar cable.
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30th May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
i have a gold plated TRS-TRS cable now, but it says balanced guitar cable.
Not as optimal as a TRS-TRS line cable, but probably better than "old crappy speaker wires".
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31st May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
i have a gold plated TRS-TRS cable now, but it says balanced guitar cable.
Then you're good to go. TRS: Tip-ring-sleeve = balanced. Normal jack (TS) is unbalanced. However, you can send unbalanced stereo signals through TRS cables. But never mind that.
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1st June 2011
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Um, I'm absolutely not a specialist in this field, but I've been using unbalanced speaker cables for years now, and I've never had problems or hum. Why? Because I'm in a small room.

Permit me to quote from the HS-80's manual:

"Unbalanced lines are fine for relatively short cables runs unless you happen to be in a location that is plagued by high levels of electrical and radio-frequency noise. Of course if you’re using equipment that only has unbalanced outputs you have no choice, and will need to set up your system so that everything can be connected with the shortest possible unbalanced cables. If your mixer and monitors are located on the same desktop or tabletop, for example, there should be no problem. But if you need to run line-level cables longer than about three meters (longer than about 10 feet), you might be better off using balanced connections for maximum noise resistance."

So Yamaha are giving us bad advice here?
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1st June 2011
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Can you even get balanced guitar cable? unless your using a guitar with a DI out or a dual pickup guitar im pretty sure its not a guitar cable (and with dual pickup it would be two unbalenced not balenced). Also guitar cable is a different impedance to mic/line cable.

I'd say buy some good quality mic cable with neutrik connectors.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Shadow View Post
Um, I'm absolutely not a specialist in this field, but I've been using unbalanced speaker cables for years now, and I've never had problems or hum. Why? Because I'm in a small room.

Permit me to quote from the HS-80's manual:

"Unbalanced lines are fine for relatively short cables runs unless you happen to be in a location that is plagued by high levels of electrical and radio-frequency noise. Of course if you’re using equipment that only has unbalanced outputs you have no choice, and will need to set up your system so that everything can be connected with the shortest possible unbalanced cables. If your mixer and monitors are located on the same desktop or tabletop, for example, there should be no problem. But if you need to run line-level cables longer than about three meters (longer than about 10 feet), you might be better off using balanced connections for maximum noise resistance."

So Yamaha are giving us bad advice here?
It's not bad advice, but naturally the part about being "plagued by high levels of electrical and radio-frequency noise" is gonna be somewhat individual for everyone. Shortly put, if you can use balanced, use balanced - but chances are it's just as good with unbalanced.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krushing View Post
It's not bad advice, but naturally the part about being "plagued by high levels of electrical and radio-frequency noise" is gonna be somewhat individual for everyone. Shortly put, if you can use balanced, use balanced - but chances are it's just as good with unbalanced.
I'd think the most important issue here is to NOT use guitar cables but speaker cables; whether these are balanced or not will matter less for most low end setups due to the supposed shorter distance between the outputs and the speakers (ie maximally 10 feet = about 3 meters).
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Originally Posted by Black Shadow View Post
I'd think the most important issue here is to NOT use guitar cables but speaker cables; whether these are balanced or not will matter less for most low end setups due to the supposed shorter distance between the outputs and the speakers (ie maximally 10 feet = about 3 meters).

Sorry, Black Shadow, U're RIGHT about the possibility of using both unbalanced or balanced, as Yamaha says in the manual (and obviously balanced is "safer", from a noise/interference point of view, and a must when we're talking longer cable runs or tangles of cables with mains/electrical cables somewhere in between), but U're WRONG about "speaker cables"!

This was precisely the issue I and some others were trying to clarify to the OP - an ACTIVE monitor speaker does NOT need "speaker cable" (and U can see Yamaha does NOT suggest it, anywhere in the manual), because speaker cable is what runs between the power amp and the speakers themselves (do not confuse "monitor" as in "speaker enclosure", and "speaker" as in the transducers or a passive set of loudspeaker boxes!), and in the Yamahas or in any other active/powered monitor the power amps are WITHIN the speaker enclosure/cabinet itself, so U actually never see that cable nor know what brand or type or make it is - and indeed, it doesn't matter.
"Balanced speaker cable" does not exist - speaker cable is just two conductors, the red/+ and the black/-, if U remember the old days of home hifi - there are NO connections for shield on a passive loudspeaker or on the output of a power amp.

So, back to the Yamahas or any other active monitor, what one needs is a regular studio cable, a mic cable if U will, or a line cable if one likes that term better - and chances are it will have the 2 conductors + shield so U can use a balanced connector & make a balanced connection.

Just hope it clarifies the matter.


A
F
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1st June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
also, how do i know if they are in or out of phase? i included a diagram of my studio layout, i believe i am mixing in the "center" of the room LITERALLY.

When i walk balk 6 or so feet to the 90% area of the room there is low end, if i walk all the way to the other end of the room at the 80-90% area, there is even more low end, but in the center of the room there is nothing.
You need to get the low end treated in your room.
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Originally Posted by andreaeffe View Post
Sorry, Black Shadow, U're RIGHT about the possibility of using both unbalanced or balanced, as Yamaha says in the manual (and obviously balanced is "safer", from a noise/interference point of view, and a must when we're talking longer cable runs or tangles of cables with mains/electrical cables somewhere in between), but U're WRONG about "speaker cables"!

This was precisely the issue I and some others were trying to clarify to the OP - an ACTIVE monitor speaker does NOT need "speaker cable" (and U can see Yamaha does NOT suggest it, anywhere in the manual), because speaker cable is what runs between the power amp and the speakers themselves (do not confuse "monitor" as in "speaker enclosure", and "speaker" as in the transducers or a passive set of loudspeaker boxes!), and in the Yamahas or in any other active/powered monitor the power amps are WITHIN the speaker enclosure/cabinet itself, so U actually never see that cable nor know what brand or type or make it is - and indeed, it doesn't matter.
"Balanced speaker cable" does not exist - speaker cable is just two conductors, the red/+ and the black/-, if U remember the old days of home hifi - there are NO connections for shield on a passive loudspeaker or on the output of a power amp.

So, back to the Yamahas or any other active monitor, what one needs is a regular studio cable, a mic cable if U will, or a line cable if one likes that term better - and chances are it will have the 2 conductors + shield so U can use a balanced connector & make a balanced connection.

Just hope it clarifies the matter.


A
F
That clears things up a lot, thanks!
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And since this misunderstanding is far more common than I thought, the EXPLANATION.

Speaker cable is traditionally two conducters run in individual plastic sheathing, usually either different colors or marked with a stripe on one conductor and plain on the other, so correct polarity can be ensured.
In the posher verions of this, you may well find the two inner cores are then encased in one thicker outer plastic sheath.

Now the crucial difference between cable for connecting passive loudspeakers to an amplifier and cable for connecting active loudspeakers to your mixer or other output from your recording system is....

One carries AMPLIFIED signal with a lot more oomph all ready to feed your passive loudspeaker and because the signal IS so powerful, it has less need to be shielded from external interference.

The other carries low level LINE signal which is amplified by the internal amplifier in your active loudspeaker and IS sensitive to external interference.

So really what it comes down to is that, regardless of whether you use balanced or unbalanced cable to feed your active monitors, you are well advised to use a SCREENED cable.

This is where one connecting wire is sheathed in plastic as per the conventional speaker wire, but then the OTHER conductor is wrapped or braided round the outside of the first conductor to form a shield against electronic interference from external sources.
In this case, the hot or phase signal should be applied to the inner core and the neutral or `negative phase` of the signal applied to the outer wrapped conductor.
In a balanced shieded system, there are two wires insulated from each other but both wrapped or braided in the outer metal sheath. In this instance, one of the inner cables gets connected to the +phase or hot and the other to the neutral or negative phase, whilst the wrapped or braided shield is connected to ground.
And this is realistically the best of all worlds.

I am really hoping this is understandable to all.

What it boils down to is for passive speakers you need two-wire cable with good sized conductors (NOT bell wire!) and for active speakers you need either proper trs or xlr balanced, screened cables with a shield PLUS two inner conductors, or at the very least single core screened cable such as is used for guitar cables.

So. If the amplifier is built into your speakers (does it have a volume control?) you need balanced mic or unbalanced guitar leads.

I use a pair of HS80m speakers with two XLR to TRS cables because my monitor controller (passive volume control between my soundcard and the monitors) only has TRS.

But I also have a pair of Tannoy passives which run from a Quad power amp, connected with 2.5 mm squ. cable.
And of course the signal from my soundcard to the Quad amp is passed with regular screened hifi style cables for left and right.


Phew! Any questions, just ask.

Last edited by ivansc; 1st June 2011 at 07:21 PM.. Reason: spelign orrers
craven
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2nd June 2011
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is this setup ok, i wanted to open the drums up, so now instead of playing into a corner of sound panels, the drums play into the open room and face away from the corner.

as far as mixing how is this setup?
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3rd June 2011
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Did you get your balanced cables yet?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craven View Post
Will these cables increase my speakers low end ability and make them sound better?
No. It takes a pretty high capacitance cable to alter signal quality at all when talking about line level output. If you're talking about guitar cables then it can make a difference with a bad cable because of the unbuffered passive electronics in an electric guitar where tiny fluctuations really alter the entire circuit, including the pickup. but in buffered line amplified output, no, it won't make a difference.

but get them anyway if you want - nice high quality cables are always good when you dont' want the cable to die on you!

edit: oh and I'm assuming you're using shield cables LoL - if using speaker cables with active monitors then yes, you're in for trouble. speaker cables are only for passive speakers with power amps driving them. and for the record cable quality makes no difference between power amps and passive speakers unless it's uber thin crap quality wire.

It's all scientific fact. but I always like the idea of better quality cables when it comes to my studio - it's worth it for reliability, even sometimes just for looks (customers want to see expensive looking cables connecting your gear).
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#25
16th February 2012
Old 16th February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
And since this misunderstanding is far more common than I thought, the EXPLANATION.

Speaker cable is traditionally two conducters run in individual plastic sheathing, usually either different colors or marked with a stripe on one conductor and plain on the other, so correct polarity can be ensured.
In the posher verions of this, you may well find the two inner cores are then encased in one thicker outer plastic sheath.

Now the crucial difference between cable for connecting passive loudspeakers to an amplifier and cable for connecting active loudspeakers to your mixer or other output from your recording system is....

One carries AMPLIFIED signal with a lot more oomph all ready to feed your passive loudspeaker and because the signal IS so powerful, it has less need to be shielded from external interference.

The other carries low level LINE signal which is amplified by the internal amplifier in your active loudspeaker and IS sensitive to external interference.

So really what it comes down to is that, regardless of whether you use balanced or unbalanced cable to feed your active monitors, you are well advised to use a SCREENED cable.

This is where one connecting wire is sheathed in plastic as per the conventional speaker wire, but then the OTHER conductor is wrapped or braided round the outside of the first conductor to form a shield against electronic interference from external sources.
In this case, the hot or phase signal should be applied to the inner core and the neutral or `negative phase` of the signal applied to the outer wrapped conductor.
In a balanced shieded system, there are two wires insulated from each other but both wrapped or braided in the outer metal sheath. In this instance, one of the inner cables gets connected to the +phase or hot and the other to the neutral or negative phase, whilst the wrapped or braided shield is connected to ground.
And this is realistically the best of all worlds.

I am really hoping this is understandable to all.

What it boils down to is for passive speakers you need two-wire cable with good sized conductors (NOT bell wire!) and for active speakers you need either proper trs or xlr balanced, screened cables with a shield PLUS two inner conductors, or at the very least single core screened cable such as is used for guitar cables.

So. If the amplifier is built into your speakers (does it have a volume control?) you need balanced mic or unbalanced guitar leads.

I use a pair of HS80m speakers with two XLR to TRS cables because my monitor controller (passive volume control between my soundcard and the monitors) only has TRS.

But I also have a pair of Tannoy passives which run from a Quad power amp, connected with 2.5 mm squ. cable.
And of course the signal from my soundcard to the Quad amp is passed with regular screened hifi style cables for left and right.


Phew! Any questions, just ask.
Apologies for reviving this thread, I am still not clear about one thing

I have an active monitor/speaker which I want to use to power a passive one. Do i need a speaker cable for this? or is it okay to use a normal microphone cable?

thanks.
#26
16th February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eugenics View Post
Apologies for reviving this thread, I am still not clear about one thing

I have an active monitor/speaker which I want to use to power a passive one. Do i need a speaker cable for this? or is it okay to use a normal microphone cable?

thanks.
Your post is confusing...

You cannot use an active speaker to power a passive speaker. You need a power amp.

Edit: I thought of one exception. Some pairs of powered speakers have one speaker with all the amps in it, and the second speaker is passive. In this case, use a speaker cable (two conductor, large gauge), not a line or mic cable, between the powered speaker and the passive one.
#27
16th February 2012
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If I were you I'd order some Mogami W2534 from somewhere like performanceaudio.com and some Neutrik Gold TRS connectors and wire some yourself...a soldering iron and basic hand eye coordination with a cheapy berrinnger line tester will get you the best possible cable for pretty cheap.

Mogami or go home
#28
16th February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Shadow View Post
Um, I'm absolutely not a specialist in this field, but I've been using unbalanced speaker cables for years now, and I've never had problems or hum. Why? Because I'm in a small room.

Permit me to quote from the HS-80's manual:

"Unbalanced lines are fine for relatively short cables runs unless you happen to be in a location that is plagued by high levels of electrical and radio-frequency noise. Of course if you’re using equipment that only has unbalanced outputs you have no choice, and will need to set up your system so that everything can be connected with the shortest possible unbalanced cables. If your mixer and monitors are located on the same desktop or tabletop, for example, there should be no problem. But if you need to run line-level cables longer than about three meters (longer than about 10 feet), you might be better off using balanced connections for maximum noise resistance."

So Yamaha are giving us bad advice here?
Also...as I gather, the unbalanced line/instrument cables are usually made with a coax/shielded cable for noise, whereas a speaker cable is not, even though both are just a + and - pair.
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#29
17th February 2012
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changing my generic trs cables for mogami was a huge improvement. The extremes freqs opened up and everthing became more transparent.. btw no one talk good about monsters on monitoring.
#30
2nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rakkaus View Post
changing my generic trs cables for mogami was a huge improvement. The extremes freqs opened up and everthing became more transparent.. btw no one talk good about monsters on monitoring.
Slap in the face for you.
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