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DMX cables better than XLR?
View Poll Results: What's your experience with DMX vs XLR cables?
DMX > XLR
1 Votes - 25.00%
DMX < XLR
2 Votes - 50.00%
DMX /= XLR or no difference!
1 Votes - 25.00%
Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

Old 12th April 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 

DMX cables better than XLR?

Hi all,

I am buying some funky lighting for the studio and am doing a bit of background on DMX.

I read the following and it made me question if the XLR standard could be improved, or the OP didn't understand everything completely:

"NEVER borrow an XLR mic lead from a sound bloke to substitue a DMX lead, mic cables are shielded but dont have a twisted pair, they'll pick up interference quite badly and the results will be terrible. DMX cable has to be twisted pair as it will always pick up some interference but as it's twisted the interference will affect both cable cores and will not actually alter the data therefore the system will still operate correctly."

Will XLRs cancel out noise as a result of being balanced, and DMX compatible lights don't have balanced/grounding capability?

cheers

Tom
Old 12th April 2011
  #2
XLR audio cables HAVE a twisted pair, but the shielding isn't as tight as DMX cables. DMX cables run data so the shielding needs to be pretty damn good.

Personally I prefer 'microphone' cables over DMX.
Old 12th April 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 

NO NO NO

DMX is much lower quality and not shielded.

You can use mic leads for DMX but not DMX for mic. The thing you read makes no sense - shielded STOPS interference, not makes it!
Old 12th April 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
DMX cables are 110 ohm.
Mic cables are 75 ohm.

If they were the same they would not
Be called DMX cables.


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Old 12th April 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 
foamboy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by losttrack View Post
Hi all,

I am buying some funky lighting for the studio and am doing a bit of background on DMX.

I read the following and it made me question if the XLR standard could be improved, or the OP didn't understand everything completely:

"NEVER borrow an XLR mic lead from a sound bloke to substitue a DMX lead, mic cables are shielded but dont have a twisted pair, they'll pick up interference quite badly and the results will be terrible. DMX cable has to be twisted pair as it will always pick up some interference but as it's twisted the interference will affect both cable cores and will not actually alter the data therefore the system will still operate correctly."

Will XLRs cancel out noise as a result of being balanced, and DMX compatible lights don't have balanced/grounding capability?

cheers

Tom
This is a situation that many people discuss and never really agree. In my experience of running a med size dmx rig for about 12 yrs....just use a mic cable and call it a day. That is,if the fixtures you are using are indeed equipped with a 3 pin(xlr type) dmx plug. Of course, just about every "cheap" light uses this connection. From my experience a standard mic cable will outlast any proper dmx cable that I have ever used.

Good luck,
fb
Old 12th April 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foamboy View Post
This is a situation that many people discuss and never really agree. In my experience of running a med size dmx rig for about 12 yrs....just use a mic cable and call it a day. That is,if the fixtures you are using are indeed equipped with a 3 pin(xlr type) dmx plug. Of course, just about every "cheap" light uses this connection. From my experience a standard mic cable will outlast any proper dmx cable that I have ever used.

Good luck,
fb
Not just cheap fixtures use the 3pin connection. Most top of the range fixtures do too - although often alongside 5pin.

The 2 extra pins in DMX512 are redundant and don't do anything. Using a 5-3 adaptor on the desk and then just running 3pin all round the venue is fine. Was recently touring with MAC2000, MAC575K, MAC250K, Atomstrobes and Stagebars (all Martin), everything had 3pin, not everything had 5pin!
Old 12th April 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manfrensengensen View Post
DMX cables are 110 ohm.
Mic cables are 75 ohm.

If they were the same they would not
Be called DMX cables.


Via Gearslutz iPhone app
Well AES/EBU are 110 ohm and are GREAT Mic cables...Apogee for example..

XLR is a TYPE of connector, can be 3 pin 4 pin ect...
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