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Old 04-05-2009, 07:02 PM
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Default 1/4 Inch Jack Cables Question

Good evening everyone:

Greetings from beautiful and sunny San Francisco.

I am about to finally invest in a decent pair of studio monitors - spotted a really great deal on eBay for JBL LSR2328P - less than $ 600 a pair, including stands, XLR cables, no tax and free shipping. The included XLR cables are no good to me since I will hook them up to either of my soundcards (M Audio Profire 2626, and EMU 0404 USB) and they both have 1/4 inch jack outputs. So I will need to get 1/4 inch cables.

Now, here's my questions:

1. Does size matter? For the cables I mean - any signal deterioration if I pick a 20 ft cable over a 10 ft cable? If no, I'll go for the longer cables to have flexibility.

2. What about brands - any recommendations, or does it really not matter?

I did online research on the forums but couldn't find specific guidance.

Thanks,
Peter
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:40 PM
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Cables are always much discussed. Heres what I can tell you:

Size doesnt not really matter however GET THE SIZE (length) YOU NEED.

Monster, pro audio, HOSA, gold plated, etc... Really doesnt matter. Although and this is important. If you buy cables someone else made up (like I have tons of custom made 1/4" and XLR cable harnesses that someone made for me - make sure the parts are not glazed or corroded even slightly. I've had harnesses that were made quite some time ago and the tips need polishing a bit. Its the CONNECTION thats important. (and no gold connections really dont do squat)

As an alternative you could make your own although I never really saw a price advantage in that. The only advantage being of course that you made them to fit so they are exactly what you want.

Try and get something thats fairly substantial - none of that faux paper copper wire Radio Shack crap. It probably transmits the signal ok but really - you want something that can be pulled out a few times without it breaking!

i'm pretty hard to buy for since I'm pretty picky. One of the things I look for in a good cable is a smooth necked flat surface before the connector so I can label the cable with a label maker and know that the label issnt going to fall off in a week. So strain relief area of cable is very important to me as well.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:51 PM
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A friend of mine once did a test where he ran an (I think it was an) AES/EBU digital signal through a monster cable and through a metal coat hanger. No difference on the oscilloscope.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:59 PM
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lol....
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:02 AM
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Monster cables aren't worth the money at all as demostrated above. I once paid (begrudginly) 18 (down from 26) for 9 metres of speaker cable by them.

Anyway I use am EMU 1212M and 2 9ft (3 metre) XLR-Phono 1/4" jack cables with my monitor speakers which happen to be Hosa cables.
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:09 AM
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Thanks Allan - I'll go for a pair of decent cables from Sweetwater w/o too many frills, then at least I know it won't be total crap. Labeling isn't all that important (I've used plastic adhesive tape and a permanent marker before, that seems to work too) - I don't have that many cables running around.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:48 AM
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Cable ties with a flat labelling area are available, such as:
http://www.electusdistribution.com.a...T&SUBCATID=225
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:06 PM
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Ah - that is a nice solution. I usually use the velcro type of straps which allow me to easily (re)arrange cables and wires as necessary.

Put in the order for the new monitors last night - pretty exciting. Should be a *lot* better than what I currently have, will let you know.
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:38 PM
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Peter,

I use these for individual cables (or stereo pairs) rather than looms.

For looms, I use the twist cable ties that tie up the new cables supplied with equipment. I find velcro ones rather bulky and keep attaching to themselves inconveniently.
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:49 PM
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Allan,

Depending upon the environment (humidity and salt), dissimilar metals in contact with each other can undergo a galvanic reaction, leading to corrosion. Therefore it is best to match the metal [plating] on the plugs and sockets.

See http://www.engineersedge.com/galvanic_capatability.htm for which metals are most compatible (least difference in Anodic Index).
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HW: Nmn U87Ai : JA-251x2 : Korg padKontrol+nanoKEY2 : No audio for now : M-Patch2 : Tannoy Reveal Active+TS-12.
SW: Win8.1P64 : Cubase 8.0.20 : Goliath : SO PP : Pianos : Gypsy : SV : Sup/Drum 2.0 : AT7 : Ozone 6Ad : RX3Ad.

Last edited by Patanjali; 04-06-2009 at 01:02 PM.
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