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Stereo cabling
#3063175 09/21/20 10:39 AM
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Do folks have a solid source for cables outside of the usual music vendors for when they need something offbeat and aren’t the build-it-yourself type?

One of the best little investments I made in the process of putting my home studio together was buying a handful of stereo TRS cable pairs — two headed ones with a black and a red that split out on both ends. Since I run a lot of stereo keyboards and such, the amount of time and aggravation this has saved me is not insignificant, and it really helps keep my moderately-sized space (and the keys area) tidy, more so than when I velcroed two cables of equal length together for purposes of stereo.

I’d like some similar XLRs for running monitor feeds and perhaps the occasional XY pair of stereo mics. I’ve seen one or two options online, but I just want to make sure I’m not missing out on a Hot Tip a la Monoprice — “oh, you can order them here in any length, And they’re always quality,” that sort of thing.

Thanks all!


Samuel B. Lupowitz
Composer. Arranger. Musician. Food Enthusiast. Bad Pun Aficionado.
Sound, Studio, and Stage Island
Re: Stereo cabling
SamuelBLupowitz #3063181 09/21/20 12:13 PM
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I used to be a "the cable doesn't matter as long as it conducts electricity from end to end" kind of person. I still am, electrically. I don't find any significantly audible or, especially measurable, difference between the budget brands and ones with oxygen free wire wound from 100 strands rather than 12, by hand, on Mt. Vesuvius by anointed virgins.

Back when all but RCA connectors were sure to be Switchcraft, and Neutrik, coming of age in the 1980sm you could be sure that as long as the cable was assembled well, it would work fine and last a long time. Today there are a number of Asian copies of XLR and 1/4" phone connectors (don't get me started on mini phone plugs and jacks), some of which aren't dimensionally accurate and sometimes plugs fit jacks too loosely or too tightly. They're plated with something shiny but isn't always the best conductor, and some have solder tabs (for the DIYer) that aren't easily solderable, either because of their position or their plating. So now you have many more choices for your supplier of cable assemblies, and some are bound to have questionable connectors even though all the gross specifications (1/4", no tolerance specified) are identical.

That being said, I have boxes of 1/4" and XLR-3 Switchcraft plugs and jacks and a few rolls of two- and single-conductor shielded cable, and when I need a single cable or two, I'll put it together myself. But if I get a new device that needs a new set of cables, particularly cables that I don't like to build like ones with D-sub connectors, I'll go for pre-made ones.

As to where to go - I was an early Monoprice customer. I have a bunch of things that need D-sub to XLR or 1/4" connectors and Monoprice, at least early on, had the best price and used decent parts, so they got my business. That's still where I still look first and usually where I place my order. But I've found that Markertek cables (and loose parts, too) are reliable and price-competitive. And if you're a regular customer of one of the major full-service dealers like Sweetwater or Full Compass Systems, you can feel safe buying what they sell.

Short answer - don't sweat it.

Re: Stereo cabling
SamuelBLupowitz #3063183 09/21/20 12:23 PM
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Thanks — and just to be clear, not particularly worried about not being able to fund quality cables, just wondering if there was a place with some more options than the two specific lengths of stereo dual-XLR cable I found that I could go to when I have these odd needs.


Samuel B. Lupowitz
Composer. Arranger. Musician. Food Enthusiast. Bad Pun Aficionado.
Re: Stereo cabling
SamuelBLupowitz #3063198 09/21/20 03:38 PM
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If you are looking for custom cables I’ve had good experiences with Redco Audio in CT. They will build you just about anything for a fair price.

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