Belden 9182?, 89182 ? 9207 ? 89207 ?
Old 23rd January 2013
  #1
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Belden 9182?, 89182 ? 9207 ? 89207 ?

Belden 9182?, 89182 ? 9207 ? 89207 ? How different are they ? Which one is the best in your opinion?
Old 23rd January 2013
  #2
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Here are some simple guidelines for cable that will apply to all the manufacturers.

For mic or instrument cables that will get used and abused a lot, use spiral or the better braided shielded cable. There are specific threads here to look up for mic and instrument cable recomendations, just try to keep them as short as possible.

For line level signal in a cable that will not be moved very much (slang here is "Install" cable) you can use something with a foil shield and drainwire. The sheilding coverage is better and it's priced lower. If the line level cable will be carrying digital signal (AES-EBU from one digital device to another) then the impedance of the cable needs to be 110 ohms. For carrying analog signal look for cable that is in the 100 to 150 ohm impedance range. Typically for install cable you find each conductor being 22 or 24 guage and quality low capacitance cable will have a capacitance spec of 15 pF/ft or lower (thats per foot, if it's spec'ed in meters pF/m then simply divide by three to get a rough per foot number). When looking at snake install cable containing multiple balanced pairs, look for each pair to be INDIVIDUALLY foil shielded with it's own drain wire. The drain wire by the way is usually the same gauge thickness as the two conductor wires but bare without insulation and in physical contact with the foil shielding thus during soldering of the cable's end connectors you solder the drain wire as the shield.

You should be able to find many contenders among the many cable manufacturers (not the resellers just stamping their name on it and jacking up the price). Instead of looking for "Best" which is subjective at the very least, focus instead on "great" (a well spec'ed low capacitance cable matching the above guidelines) at a modest cost and keep the extra money in your pocket to spend on other items that will matter more.
Old 23rd January 2013
  #3
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Hi Bassmankr,
Thanks for the detailed reply, I see what you mean "The Best" is of course subjective
It's just that I have heard a lot of good things about Belden cables, and wanted to buy some to use in my studio for mic, preamp, converter chain as well as monitoring.
I don't have time to make my own testings of cables trying to find the "BEST FOR ME "- one.
In this forum some very experienced people praise Belden 9182 and some 9207 - and also there mentions of 89182 and 89207
I wonder , aren't those 89182 and 89207 cable models identical to 9182 9207? or there is significant difference?
Maybe someone knows for sure ?
Old 23rd January 2013
  #4
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The thing is all these different cables have data sheets listing their specs for download off the net. Between that and old cable threads here with a little bit of getting your hands dirty you can figure this stuff out. Just quickly with a couple cables you list above and looking at the net info on them I see this. The only difference between the #9182 which sells for around $2 a foot and the #89192 which sells for around $6 a foot is that the later is the "Plenum" code rated version for use in empty ceiling spaces and chases of commercial buildings (its for fire and building codes for wires not inside conduit). They are foil shielded (install cable) and have 150 ohms impedance and 16.5 pF/ft capacitence which is OK but you can do better for a lot less money. Something like the foil shieded Belden #9271 is around 50 cents a foot, 124 ohms impedance and 12.2 pF/ft capacitance. Remember each manufacturer is going to have many cables that make the grade of specs I outlined in my first post. If you are located near Chicago and want to PM your details I'll contact you. Depending on what you need I may have some extra decent cable here that won't kill a budget. You really don't have to spend much to get quality cable despite what the massive snake oil marketing on the net leads you to believe.
Old 19th February 2013
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Belden 89182 is 8.8 pF/ft between conductor and conductor (16.5pf/ft between conductor and shield) compared to the 9271 at 12.2 pF/ft. 89207 is 14 pF/ft.

The 9271 has PE and PVC insulation which is not quite as good as the double FEP Teflon of 89182 and triple of 89207.

89182 is 150 ohms.
89207 is 100 ohms.


TankT34,

I have experience making cables with 89207 and it is totally solid, amazingly well built, but slightly annoying if you're expecting to lay your cables neatly behind desks, etc. Unless you are plugging into equipment with the highest build quality this cable can actually make connections less secure as it is so stiff it can put pressure on sockets and even move equipment around if not secured in a rack for example. It can be bent slightly though, and holds shape fairly well. It sounds excellent as a mic cable, but be careful as it could pull your mic off the stand easily.

Cheers

Last edited by Robo; 30th April 2013 at 09:10 AM.. Reason: Added impedance, added triple Teflon layer info
Old 19th February 2013
  #6
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It's also worth adding that the difference between 89xxx and 9xxx other than plenum is the insulation materials used - in the case of 89182/9182 the latter has a foamed polyethylene inner sleeve (very good) and PVC outer (not that good) compared to the former's FEP Teflon for both inner and outer (excellent).

Last edited by Robo; 27th February 2013 at 02:57 PM.. Reason: Added insulation/dieletric information
Old 11th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
It's also worth adding that the difference between 89xxx and 9xxx other than plenum is the insulation materials used - in the case of 89182/9182 the latter has a foamed polyethylene inner sleeve (very good) and PVC outer (not that good) compared to the former's FEP Teflon for both inner and outer (excellent).
If I have understood cable specifications like impedance, capacitance and inductance correctly the lower numbers the better ?

In that case reading the electrical characteristics of the belden cables it seems like 89207 has the best numbers.
impedance (100ohm), inductance (0.15H/ft), capacitance (14pF/ft) compared to 89182 with impedance (150ohm), inductance (0.29H/ft) and capacitance (8.8pF/ft).

Well 89182 has better capacitance numbers, but other than that the 89207 specs seems better.
How important is lower capacitance compared to lower impedance and inductance ?
Old 11th March 2013
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Old 12th March 2013
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Belden 150F is unbalanced coaxial (single conductor) cable and thus not used for most studio wiring / mic cable which likely will be balanced. Guitar / Instrument cable to an amp or DI box is typically unbalanced single conductor. As far as cable impedance, you are trying to match or get close to the impedance of the gear. Digital gear (AES/EBU) has to see 110 ohms impedance with cable. Digital Clocking cable (Wordclock) has to see 75 ohms impedance with cable. Analog gear is more forgiving with impedance (100 ohms to 150 ohms impedance is a good range for balanced analog). Any capacitance rating under 15 Pf per foot is going to be decent. Inductance goes up as capacitance goes down. It wasn't that many years ago the manufacturers had what they listed as balanced audio cable in the 40 to 60 Pf per foot range so things have gotten better for studio wiring.
Old 12th March 2013
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Thanks.

For some odd reason one of the Belden 9182 mic cables I have made stands out from the rest as noticable louder and better sounding.

It's the only one with gold Neutrik connectors NC3MXX-HE - Neutrik and NC3FXX-HE - Neutrik.
The others I'v made have the standard silver NC3FXX - Neutrik and NC3MXX - Neutrik connectors.

Can it have something to do with the preamp (Avid Omni) I'm connecting to also has gold connectors ?
Maby it's more likely a soldering issue ?
Old 13th March 2013
  #11
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Gold connectors are just a thin electro-plating of gold for corrosion resistance. They are only of use if BOTH the male and female connector are gold plated (otherwise you get corrosion/electrolysis from dis-similar metals), and it's a connection that stays plugged in all the time. Something like a mic cable will not take that many times plugging in and out before the thin gold plate wears off in contact spots. Frankly most of the time it's not worth the extra cost.
Old 14th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Gold connectors are just a thin electro-plating of gold for corrosion resistance. They are only of use if BOTH the male and female connector are gold plated (otherwise you get corrosion/electrolysis from dis-similar metals), and it's a connection that stays plugged in all the time. Something like a mic cable will not take that many times plugging in and out before the thin gold plate wears off in contact spots. Frankly most of the time it's not worth the extra cost.
I just soldered another cable (Belden 9271 this time) with gold XLR connectors. Also that one stands out from the rest as louder and clearer. Even more clear than the Belden 9182.

Still it might be I did a better soldering job ?

Anyway, thanks for your answers.


I just bought a soldering station with temperature control. Do you have any tip on what temperature is ideal for soldering mic cables like the Belden 9271 and 9182 with Neutrik connectors ?
Old 18th April 2013
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Hot enough to melt the solder properly do that it runs, but not so hot it melts the insulation. Takes a little bit of trial and error, but it's not rocket science.
Old 27th April 2013
  #14
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The good thing about PTFE or Teflon insulation is that it won't melt when soldering. Belden 89207 actually has three layers of PTFE insulation - one around each conductor, a layer surrounding both, then shield and then the outer insulation. It doesn't melt or warp at all. The foam PE in the Belden 9182 melts fairly easily which can be annoying. But foam PE has the same dielectric constant as PTFE so both are good wires.

I checked the characteristic impedance of the cables I have by measuring the geometry (conductor width, twisted pair conductor separation, dielectric constant) and 89207 measured a bit lower than 100 ohms, and 9182 a bit higher than 150 ohms (but both near enough).

If you're into making USB cables for audio you'll be interested (surprised) to hear that both certified USB 2.0 cables I checked had characteristic impedance higher than the 90 ohms (+/- 15) specified in the USB spec. They measured 110 ohms and 125 ohms! It probably doesn't matter much but you'd expect certified USB cables to be within spec. It seems like the manufacturers just use whatever they want. I have found some really good USB cable sold to the military/aerospace industry which must be strictly 90 ohm but that turned out to be about 13usd a FOOT...

I eventually found that my silver PTFE Tensolite military spec cable MIL-27500 is very good for the job at about 85 ohms, but this has only a thin shield and no foil so I added foil and an extra copper braid shield, and also separated the power and data lines into separate cables.

Cheers
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