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Quad vs non-quad for complete studio wireing
Old 6th February 2020
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Cool Quad vs non-quad for complete studio wireing

Hello!

This is not about different brands, it's just about weather to use quad cables or the regular ones.
I know the pros and cons of each version, but I still dont know what I should do in my situation.
At the moment I am trying to figure out how to wire my new studio. There will be 6 rooms connected with plenty of wallboxes and patchbays.
I will make my own cables with Neutrik connectors.

After reading plenty of posts here about quad vs non-quad, I basically found ot this: When having problems with EMI/RFI quad cables are suggested. If there are no such problems non-quad cables are preferred because of no HF roll-off.
The problem is I am still building the studio and don‘t know if there might be problems in the future and I cannot test because all gear and electricity is not there yet. Of course I try to keep the cables away from electricity and other things that could cause problems, but I cannot be 100% sure...

So for my specific situation, I will have a lot of multicore cables, some very short (5 meters/16 feet), most about 15-20 meters/50-65 feet, and the longest about 30 meters/100 feet.

I will solder a lot of connections and changing the complete studio wireing in the future is really a pain in the a** and I dont want to do that.

So what would you suggest?
Old 7th February 2020
  #2
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 

Quad is only necessary if your audio and electricity cables are parallel for metres at a time and inches away from each other throughout. The interference disappears very quickly after a couple of inches.

You'd have to make an effort to make that happen if you're building the place, honestly.
Old 7th February 2020
  #3
I would not bother with quad on a new build. Just take caution to keep the audio wiring away from electrical cabling as much as possible, and if budget supports it you might consider doing your electrical with an isolated ground (be careful to get someone highly qualified to do this).
Old 7th February 2020
  #4
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you might consider doing your electrical with an isolated ground (be careful to get someone highly qualified to do this).

Isolated Grounds are only useful if if metal conduit (tubing) [ridge or flexible) is installed.
Isolated Grounds are often wired incorrectly.
Old 9th February 2020
  #5
Gear Nut
 

thanks for your replies!

Of course I will try to seperate audio and electrical wiring, but because Electricity AND audio is needed at many places in a room it is sometimes hard so have enough space between.

I plan to have 2 seperate cable channles. One is for electricity and the other (space between is about 20 cm / 8 inches) is for audio. So it will never be closer than that, but do you think this would be enough seperation to use non-quad?
Old 9th February 2020
  #6
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolobartus View Post
thanks for your replies!

Of course I will try to seperate audio and electrical wiring, but because Electricity AND audio is needed at many places in a room it is sometimes hard so have enough space between.

I plan to have 2 seperate cable channles. One is for electricity and the other (space between is about 20 cm / 8 inches) is for audio. So it will never be closer than that, but do you think this would be enough seperation to use non-quad?
I'd say so – electromagnetic interference drops off quite dramatically. I'd still try to keep them non-parallel if I were you.
You can also mix and match quad if you're going from one box to another in some places that you know will require quad, and use standard everywhere else.
Old 9th February 2020
  #7
Gear Nut
 

And I will check with my electrician about the possibility with an isolated ground. He is a professional and can probably explain how it should be installed, but the problem is he has no experiences with the special situation for a recording studio...
So what works best I have to find out by myself
Old 9th February 2020
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack View Post
I'd say so – electromagnetic interference drops off quite dramatically. I'd still try to keep them non-parallel if I were you.
How would you do that?

Audio and electricity are needed almoast everywhere, and most of the wall will have acoustic treatment.
Attached Thumbnails
Quad vs non-quad for complete studio wireing-wiring1.jpg  
Old 9th February 2020
  #9
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolobartus View Post
How would you do that?

Audio and electricity are needed almoast everywhere, and most of the wall will have acoustic treatment.
Ah mate if that's how you're designing the wall you're putting them right alongside each other and completely parallel. I'd use quad in that case.
Old 9th February 2020
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack View Post
Ah mate if that's how you're designing the wall you're putting them right alongside each other and completely parallel. I'd use quad in that case.
At least there will be a thick MDF panel and a distance of 20cm / 8 inches between them.

What other method would you reccomand?
Old 14th February 2020
  #11
Gear Nut
 

I thought about it for quite a while now and maybe there is a way to have audio wiring very low (aloast on the floor) and electricity at the top (almoast at the cieling). This way they are far away from each other and electricity only comes down to the specific areas where sockets are needed.

Would that make more sense?
Old 14th February 2020
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Actually for the AC power to the audio equipment, 8 inches is better than 8 feet. wide separation makes for a big ground loop.
* * * * * * * * *
John Brandt explains in his paper:
Grounding, Wiring, & Zero Loop Area
https://www.jhbrandt.net/wp-content/...-Loop-Area.pdf

* * * * * * * * * * * *
on the other hand, if the AC power is to theatrical lighting, HVAC or appliances than wide spacing is good.

Last edited by Speedskater; 14th February 2020 at 03:33 AM.. Reason: added content & more added content
Old 14th February 2020
  #13
Lives for gear
 

I would avoid the 'quad' use. It is considered a 'special situation' design.

First hand experience trying 'quad' on the Main Monitor feed ... after 2 months using standard Monster Cable.

Hooking up the quad cable sounded very strange. Almost thought the cables were out of phase ... or something.

After a day or two, reverted back to my standard cable ... all good again.

All this in our newly designed, built, treated, Mastering Room.
Old 14th February 2020
  #14
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under most conditions for line level balanced XLR interconnect cables:
Shielded Star-Quad cables and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cables should sound the same.
the exceptions:
harsh noise/interference situations, where Star-Quad will be quieter.
extremely long cables (say 100 meters/300 feet) where a few output stages might have problems with the total capacitance.
Old 14th February 2020
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
under most conditions for line level balanced XLR interconnect cables:
Shielded Star-Quad cables and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cables should sound the same.
the exceptions:
harsh noise/interference situations, where Star-Quad will be quieter.
extremely long cables (say 100 meters/300 feet) where a few output stages might have problems with the total capacitance.
I would have thought so.

We were testing 15-20 ft length. [Mogami-quad]

It was only a test ... the only cable Guitar Center had in stock at the time.

We weren't dealing with any 'noise' situation. Just wanted to check it out.

I was surprised with the sound coming out ... returned within the week.

YMMV
Old 15th February 2020
  #16
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I still hear differences between my various 2 conductor cables (Mogami 2549, 3173, Grimm TPR, MPR's Ghost) at short lengths (10-15 feet max). I don't think capacitance is the only factor here. All the cable manufacturer reps, such as from Belden or Mogami, always push for their lower capacitance AES cables. Meanwhile, you have Benchmark that always recommends quad, Canare L-4E6S to be exact, for the best measurable performance.

https://benchmarkmedia.com/products/...alog-xlr-cable

I use Grimm TPR on the Amphion/Bryston system for both analog and digital as its 110 (+/-5) ohms impedance. It sounds neutral, dry, and relaxed. Yet, the phantom centre and image remains small and focused. I've yet to see a single poor review of Grimm TPR from anyone. Grimm recently released their new flagship cable SQM (Star Quad Master) to replace their previous flagship of TPM (Twisted Pair Master). Like Benchmark, Grimm also says that there is benefit to star quad configuration and the SQM sounds better than TPR. The limited and early reviews also seem to agree with that. TPR is priced on the reasonable side, whereas SQM is far more expensive. Still, the fact that they would choose star quad for their reference cable should make us at least give star quad more of a consideration.

I'm not sure why my different cables sound the same. They don't seem to be long enough for capacitance to be an issue considering every thread seems to say that capacitance isn't an issue for at least a hundred feet if not more. I never hear any buzzing or hum so all these cables seem adequate in that regard. Perhaps it's the shielding and RF properties or other construction parameters like conductor and shield uniformity that cause differences in sound?
Old 16th February 2020
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
Actually for the AC power to the audio equipment, 8 inches is better than 8 feet. wide separation makes for a big ground loop.
* * * * * * * * *
John Brandt explains in his paper:
Grounding, Wiring, & Zero Loop Area
https://www.jhbrandt.net/wp-content/...-Loop-Area.pdf
Very interesting, I thought its always good to keep audio and electricity as much separated as possible.
Old 17th February 2020
  #18
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Richard Crowley's Avatar
Designing audio and power conduits parallel (and likely touching) is poor practice.
At the very least, raise one of the conduits (like the audio) 50cm/18in above the power conduit at the floor level.
And put the sound treatment on the wall between the conduits.

Unless you are using remote SCR chopper light dimmers through that power conduit, it is very doubtful that star-quad will have any discernible benefit. I wouldn't do it.
IME, it is much more important to use 100% coverage foil-shield cable to fight any possible RFI.
I have wired several studio and live situations using "install-cable" and very happy with it.
Example: https://www.redco.com/Carol-E2102S-P...all-Cable.html
It is called "install cable" for several very good reasons which you will discover for yourself.
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