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Difference between XLR Microphone cable and XLR-Balanced Audio Interconnects


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#1 shaizada

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:57 PM

Hey guys,

My friend is looking into doing some recordings. He asked me if there is a difference between the XLR Microphone cables and XLR balanced audio interconnects. I didn't know the answer to that.

Can someone offer some guidance in this matter?

Thanks!!

#2 Dusty Chalk

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:10 PM

Not sure there is a difference that matters, other than when one wants to view the cable as a [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmission_line]Transmission line[/ame] and "load" the devices on either end "properly" (explanation for this statement left off, since it is outside the scope of this thread -- we're talking getting really nitpicky here). Mic cables are designed for particularly long runs of particularly low-level signals, and are (particularly) shielded, so should be able to handle anything you throw at them. (I.E. They are usually used in more demanding situations than interconnects/audio cables would be.)
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#3 grawk

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:27 PM

microphone cables are usually more durable, and longer :)
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#4 screaming oranges

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:39 PM

I use Mogami 2534 Quad Microphone Cable with Neutrik Gold NC3FXX-B and NC3MXX-B Connectors.

Suits me just fine!

I got them for a very fair price (about $22 per cable, so $44 per pair plus a little extra for shipping) from http://www.noisycirc...sc?categoryId=2

#5 shaizada

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 06:30 PM

Nice...so "technically" it should be ok to use a well made XLR interconnect (a single and not the pair), as a microphone cable if the connections are the same on (XLR) on both ends that are suited for the job.

I just wanted to run it by you guys...

So there is no impedance issues or anything that are specific to microphone cables then right?

If all is well, he has his sights set on a nice Ohno Continuous Cast Copper cable he would like to use.

I'll wait for a few reply's to make sure and then just let him know it's good to go.

Screaming Oranges, thanks for the Mogami suggestion. I will make sure to pass it on to him.

Dusty Chalk, seems like XLR balanced cables are used on the same premises right? Long runs making sure the signal is intact end to end.

#6 feckn_eejit

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 07:12 PM

A little birdie told me that some guy in California who makes some really honkin' big amplifiers with thick aluminum faceplates and massive blue gauges on the front uses these available in terminated form here. SKU you want for 6' XLRs is "GAC-4/1-06NB" (NB = Neutrik gold pin plugs, NS=Neutrik standard, couple bucks cheaper per cable)... you'll need QTY 2 for L/R, total cost will be about US$58 plus shipping...

if these cables are good enough for these guys they've gotta be good enough for your buddy to use for recording!

#7 aerius

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 07:51 PM

My friend is looking into doing some recordings. He asked me if there is a difference between the XLR Microphone cables and XLR balanced audio interconnects.


Yeah, about $2000 per metre. :P
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#8 Dusty Chalk

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:56 PM

Dusty Chalk, seems like XLR balanced cables are used on the same premises right? Long runs making sure the signal is intact end to end.

Have you seen some microphone cables? When I say long runs, I mean long runs. There's some videos of some shenanigans by Roger Daltrey of the Who where he throws the microphone up into the air and catches it a full second or two later. Do the math. And that's just the slack.
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#9 wavoman

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 09:45 PM

Microphone XLR cables are 80 ohms. AES-EBU Digital XLR cables are 110 ohms.

Both will work for balanced analog audio I suppose, but Blue Jeans Cable and River Cable (two I just checked) both use 110 ohm cables for their balanced analog audio offerings.

#10 shaizada

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 04:24 AM

Perfect.

Thanks for the info! I'll pass this thread on to my buddy.

#11 luvdunhill

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 07:43 AM

I wonder if microphone cables have a standard on how the shield is (or isn't) connected to the third pin? Is it connected on one end, both ends, or neither end? Not that this standard in the audio world, but it could be another difference.

#12 dreamwhisper

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:43 AM

Interesting.
When I had a balanced set-up I was using Canare Starquad cables.
(the same that my dad uses in his recording studio)

I never thought twice about it, and I'm not too worried about noise. (especially when balanced)
However, I did think that my setup sounded grungy and dirty: (last paragraph of this comparison: UltimateAVmag.com: The Great Audio Cable Debate)
BUT I attribute that to my Lavry DA10. My setup was Lavry -> Balanced Beta22 -> Zu Mobius XLR'd HD650s
I didn't try any other DAC's on that rig however, so I can't really say. But I thought the Lavry sounded grungy with studio monitors as well.

#13 feckn_eejit

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:26 PM

Microphone XLR cables are 80 ohms. AES-EBU Digital XLR cables are 110 ohms.

Both will work for balanced analog audio I suppose, but Blue Jeans Cable and River Cable (two I just checked) both use 110 ohm cables for their balanced analog audio offerings.

Totally a non-issue for analogue audio transmission. Huge issue for digital.

#14 Dusty Chalk

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:48 PM

I wonder if microphone cables have a standard on how the shield is (or isn't) connected to the third pin? Is it connected on one end, both ends, or neither end? Not that this standard in the audio world, but it could be another difference.

Oh, see, now you're just making fun of me.
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#15 feckn_eejit

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:14 PM

Oh, see, now you're just making fun of me.

Actually, he isn't...

#16 Dusty Chalk

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:21 PM

the Rane link
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#17 grawk

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:33 PM

Standard is connected at the female end and not at the male end, I believe.
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#18 luvdunhill

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:41 PM

Standard is connected at the female end and not at the male end, I believe.


pro standard, or audiophile standard :cool: Dusty is on to me unfortunately.

#19 EdipisReks

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:01 PM

audioprophile standard is connected at both ends on monday, wednesday, and friday, and connected at neither end tuesday and thursday. weekends are selected via coin flip, heads both sides are connected, tails they aren't.
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#20 archosman

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 03:30 PM

I use Mogami 2534 Quad Microphone Cable with Neutrik Gold NC3FXX-B and NC3MXX-B Connectors.

Suits me just fine!

I got them for a very fair price (about $22 per cable, so $44 per pair plus a little extra for shipping) from Noisy Circuits, LLC. : Balanced XLR to XLR Cables



If memory serves that's their version of Star Quad.
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