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What Are The Finest cables?
Old 21st May 2006
  #1
Registered User
 

What Are The Finest cables?

Hi,

I'm looking to get entirely new cables for my project studio, monitor cables, mic pre to comp to rme 800, Akai Mpc to pre to rme 800 etc, what are the finest cables out there/ and do they really make a difference?

Thanks
Old 21st May 2006
  #2
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
Cables do seem to make a difference to many, but if you're really using the converters on the fireface 800 -- I'd say you'd notice more of a difference by upgrading those before thinking about cables... though both are important.

Considering you could get an aurora 8 or even a 16 for the price of a rewiring with higher-end cables, it just seems like that would be a better step?
Old 21st May 2006
  #3
Registered User
 

Hi,

Thanks for your responses,


I'd prefer to buy them pre-made if possible, could you explain the converter thing in more detail please? (rme no good?) also any recomendations of manufacturers would be great!

Thanks

p.s Is there an industry standard for cables?
Old 21st May 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
NOCCA's Avatar
 

It's not that the RME isn't good its that upgrading that would give more difference than upgrading cables for spending the same amount of money.

So take it for what you may.
Old 21st May 2006
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Zaolas

I have tried the Zaolla cables, and believe that they make a difference on some source material which I as a non-audioprofessional can actually hear. I got a good deal on them through www.soundpure.com (NO, I do not work for them!).
They use siver based wire, and have first class construction and quality control. I think that for many applications, the somewhat higher cost is worth it (but I know that this is a controversial area). For some sources however beware. The better signal transmission can acentuate the highter frequencies and lead to a somewhat trebly/digital sound. Therefore, this is almost paradoxical, but some of my sources sound more mellow and smooth with cheaper cables. That being said, for some applications, the improvement in sound for me has been nothing less than amazing, like owning new equipment! I was sceptical, now I am a believer!
Yours, ES https://www.gearslutz.com/board/image...es/sulkoff.gif
Old 22nd May 2006
  #6
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

i make everything from scratch using canare and neutrik. the difference is generally subtle but it adds up. the difference on mic->pre and pre->converter connections is not subtle.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 22nd May 2006
  #7
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BradM's Avatar
Evidence Audio. Clear as glass. I only wish I could afford more than a few cables though. Some big name producer/engineer endorses their stuff. I can't remember who though.

Brad
Old 22nd May 2006
  #8
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natpub's Avatar
not that i could or would ever get into affording the esoteric cables, but you might also look at Kimber
Old 22nd May 2006
  #9
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Maybe this should read...What are excellent cables.??..as the finest cables could cost more than your gear
Old 22nd May 2006
  #10
I mostly use Ray Kimber's stuff. If you want very good quality, he makes some balanced mic cables that run around $3000 for a stereo 10' pair. You will need better mics, preamps, etc. to appreciate them.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 22nd May 2006
  #11
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

Get some MIlSpec silver coated copper with teflon jacket wire, and make em yourself.or have someone else make em for you.

then giggle to yourself as you realize the cables you just made yourself wouldve cost you thousands through audiofool retailers/pimps/snake oil salesmen. Thousands for a blasted cable. This is the world we live in. Anyone that pays that much for a cable is a perfect match for those Audiophile pimps.
Old 22nd May 2006
  #12
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Whatever cables you use, put Stabilant 22 on the contact points. No joke.
Old 22nd May 2006
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Songhead's Avatar
Most of the high-end studios we wire are done with Mogami - great sounding cable but not ridiculously priced like some of the really high-end stuff...

Old 22nd May 2006
  #14
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crossroad
Hi Max,

Is Stabilant 22 a sort of fluid?
From the website:

Stabilant 22 is an initially non-conductive amorphous-semiconductive block polymer that when used in thin films within contacts acts under the effect of the electrical field and switches to a conductive state. The electric field gradient at which this occurs is established is during its manufacture so that the material will remain non-conductive

the link:

http://www.stabilant.com/techt02h.htm

Where I get it in the US:

http://www.ralaudio.com/

I get the 15ml concentrate. You can use it anywhere there's an electrical connection.

Well, not on potentiometers, ok?
Old 27th May 2006
  #15
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Songhead
Most of the high-end studios we wire are done with Mogami - great sounding cable but not ridiculously priced like some of the really high-end stuff...

I agree, most high-end studios around L.A. buy rolls of Mogami and bags of Neutrik connectors to make their own cables. If you go this route you will save a ton of money and you can even custom color code your cables as they also sell a nylon colored sheathing to protect your cables from wear. I don't believe any of the hype of 'better' cables. You want a cable that is balanced and that prevents electro-magnetic interference. Mogami cables do this and sound quite clean. Anything more is pretty much unneccessary imho.
Old 27th May 2006
  #16
Lives for gear
 

I agree with the converter comment. It's easy to spend $4k tricking out a $2K car, but wouldn't you rather have a stock-ish $6K car (or something like that).

For Mogamis, I found that redco (www.redco.com) is great. You can order your own custom cables for about the retail price of inexpensive brands. They end up about 40 or 50% off the price of the pre-packaged Mogamis. They also sell Canare and a whole bunch of other brands. They're quick too, and the very nice to deal with.

Best of luck! thumbsup
Old 27th May 2006
  #17
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpert
of the hype of 'better' cables.
.
do you belive that two cables built with different materials will sound different? and if so, do you believe that one particular sound may be better suited to a particular task?

I loathe the audiophile realm as much as the next guy, and have to laugh at the jackass that pays thousands for a cable..but I fully believe that it is possible to prefer certain materials in cable design.. I like Military Spec silver coated copper and star quad personally, and to my ears, they are absolutely better than the 2 conductor belden I was using. while I do belive that a cable made with good materials is a good cable regardless of whether or not it costs millions or comes with a audiophile dissertation...I personally prefer certain types because they are "better" suited, sonically, to my needs.
Old 27th May 2006
  #18
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

I dont know...maybe I am losing my mind, but all cables sound different to me. Some subtly so, and others dramatically.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great
I don't believe so. If a cable is wired properly and has no problems, it shouldn't impart any sound of it's own.
Old 27th May 2006
  #19
7om
Gear Maniac
 
7om's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALL*MYTEE
For Mogamis, I found that redco (www.redco.com) is great. You can order your own custom cables for about the retail price of inexpensive brands. They end up about 40 or 50% off the price of the pre-packaged Mogamis. They also sell Canare and a whole bunch of other brands. They're quick too, and the very nice to deal with
Not only are they better priced, but the pre-packaged Mogami cables use the quad cable, which is less desirable for studio work. They carry quad and standard, as well as Canare and Gotham brands. They are aslo very helpful when you have questions.
Old 27th May 2006
  #20
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

ive got to give some credit to the lady that has the cheapest cable prices I have ever seen. Her name is Sharon, and her email is

[email protected]

I had her make me 3 30 footer pair and 3 10' pairs, and she did so for about 90 bucks, with shipping. She has a blazing fast turnaround time, and will make whatever length you need. Much better pricing than Redco(who I was using before her)

She uses canare l4e6s.

Highly reccomended.
Old 27th May 2006
  #21
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GYang's Avatar
It depends of how long interconnections are. Differences are there, but not so big as price difference between cables might suggest.
When I had two smaller racks, near to DAW with typically 0,5-1,5 m interconnections, plus couple of 2-3 m cables, I didn't hear much difference between Monsters (500-1000), Mogami and several very expensive cables from various manufacturers (up to 500$ per 1 m length).
When I tried Zaolla in new studio setup with longer cables (average 1-2 m, but also many 3 m) I noticed very slightly, minor change mostly in clearer high end frequencies over Mogami. It doesn't mean that I needed to replace Mogami, but tha overall character of same signal routed via 3-4 gears with total length of say 10 m interconnection cables was subtly (arguably subjective) more transparent.
Similar results achieved with Canare.
Even if some cables are capable to improve sonics further, I think that differences would be so small and negligible, that it would be better to spend money on something else.
Actually I think that Canare and Mogami bring us to 99,9999% of the target and that copper-silver cables as Zaolla can have minor advantages only in case where inteconnections distance is long or where very light enhance of upper frequencies is welcome.
When cables are differentiated by some 'experts' as warm, emotional, superb resolution revealing what was unheard before etc. vs. dull, less dynamic, weak bottom-end etc. it's all hype, marketing, money-making or call it whatever you like.
Especially in forums or paid articles in specialized magazines.
Don't buy it !
Old 27th May 2006
  #22
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
When cables are differentiated by some 'experts' as warm, emotional, superb resolution revealing what was unheard before etc. vs. dull, less dynamic, weak bottom-end etc. it's all hype, marketing, money-making or call it whatever you like.
Especially in forums or paid articles in specialized magazines.
Don't buy it !
Exactly. I cant stand that audio voodoo garbage.
Old 28th May 2006
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Just remember when worrying about the materials certain cables are made from and how low the resistance is etc etc that the change in the contact resistance every time you plug in the cable will be greater than the entire resistance of the cable (if its a short studio cable under say 30').

The suggestion about cleaning the contacts in your wallbox/patchbay is a good one as this will make a much greater difference to the sound than buying esoteric cables. I dont know the product that was suggested above but we use a spray made my Caig called 'Gold'. Do a dirty patchbay, or edge connectors inside a console with this stuff and you absolutely will hear a difference.

I say pick the cable with the right mechanical and electrical specs for the job, and a connector thats tough and will stand up to abuse, and is easy to terminate (which saves you time/money), and get on with the job of recording.


M
Old 28th May 2006
  #24
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doug_hti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great
I don't believe so. If a cable is wired properly and has no problems, it shouldn't impart any sound of it's own.
have you honestly tried yourself???!!!
Old 28th May 2006
  #25
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

I have..it is easy to tell differences, ime.
Old 28th May 2006
  #26
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

For my own tests, my friend
recorded cembalo, pedal steel, soprano, and baritone saxophone through my Gefell MK250/MV 220 measurement mics through
1.) canare quad
2.)mogami gold
3.)copper coated silver with teflon jacket

to DAV BG-1>>mytek>>into my lynx aes 16 @16/44.1

he then matched the files length wise and level wise, put them all in a folder in groups of 3

and used http://www.pcabx.com/

to test me. That test is very thorough, and each time I was able to identify the Silver cable, mogami and canare. They are all different, sonically. Especially the silver stuff.

I encourage you to try some silver yourself...it really is different.
Old 29th May 2006
  #27
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doug_hti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great
I've used a lot of different cables. And I don't know of many cases where a proper blind test was set up and people can easily tell the difference. Have you done any blind testing?

Rob,

Yes I have done proper blind test, but the ones that caught my attention were so obvious that blind test wasn't needed, as in someone else came in room not believing the sound coming from the NS10s (a switch from mogami 3103 to kimber 4vs speaker cable). Another obvious one was switching from mogami 2552 mic cable to belden 1800B. That got me convinced that there "can" be a difference after "learning" from everyone else that cables (of quality) don't make a difference.

I'm not trying to talk anyone or yourself into actually trying a cable, I just thought you made a bold statement by saying "If a cable is wired properly and has no problems, it shouldn't impart any sound of it's own."
Old 29th May 2006
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Here's what I've posted before:

I bought or built one of each of these mostly commonly available, moderate cost cables:

Belden 1266A Foil Shield
Belden 89207 Plenum (Teflon insulation and jacket)
BLUE Blueberry
Canare L-2T2S
Canare L-4E6S Quad
DiMarzio Braided Jacket
Gotham GAC-3
Gotham GAC-4 Quad
Gotham GAC-2AES 110 ohm AES
Mogami W2549
Mogami W2534 Quad
Mogami W3080 110 ohm AES
Planet Waves

All were 20 feet long. Connectors were XLR, all Neutrik silver except for Planet Waves and BLUE.

I connected each cable one at a time to a DA/AD loop using Lavry Blue 4496. I ran mono program material through this loop and recorded each track, then did blind switching comparing A-B, A-C, A-D, etc. Then went to B-C, B-D, B-E, and so on until all combinations had been compared to each other. I picked general categories of "good" vs "not quite so good". To me, good = clarity and detail and full bass. Bad = soft and dull or harsh.

Next I connected a Y-splitter to a Sony C48 microphone running on battery power. I ran cable A and cable B to two matched channels of a Gordon preamp. Then each channel to the converter using a short piece of Belden 89207, since that had performed well in the line level tests.

I sang and played and recorded both channels simultaneously. Then I played the samples back and again used blind A-B comparison to simply pick which I preferred. Whichever won was left connected, and the next candidate was plugged in to compete.

I repeated the same songs, and selected the choice from this next comparison. And so on.

After all that I had one clear winner: Belden 89207. It *easily* outperformed every other cable, for my preferences of open, strong tone.

I had picked four runners up, so I set those up in the rotating live comparisons and picked which I preferred from the batch. After I selected the best from this second round, I connected it back against the 89207 to make sure of my first opinion. I reversed the Y-connections and the preamp channels and tried again. The Belden again was by far the best.

I ranked these four alternates in this order:
1. Gotham GAC-2AES 110 ohm AES
2. Gotham GAC-3
3. Mogami W3080 110 ohm AES
4. Canare L-2T2S

These all had a pleasant sound, a little mellow, but not too harsh or dull.

In my opinion none of the others were anything special, many sounded soft and cloudy, and the bass often seemed subdued with a slow attack.

I was actually hoping something besides the 89207 would win, because this is very tough, stiff, permanent installation cable that can be fairly difficult to work with. But it is cheap and sounds absolutely great so I wired everything with it.

Steve
Old 29th May 2006
  #29
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great
Hold on, are you comparing three different recordings?

cmon man....that would be silly wouldnt it?

I tested the recording on each of the cables before moving on to the next recording.. heh

Sounds Great...none of what we do matters...test it yourself! You obviously have not, so what good is us telling you our results???the differences YOU will hear...



cables do sound different. it is silly to say otherwise.

that being said, I think it is idiotic to pay over 50-100 bucks for a cable and to fall for this snake oil crap.
Old 29th May 2006
  #30
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