Does it matter which XLR cable I buy?
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  1. #1
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    Default Does it matter which XLR cable I buy?

    So I'm upgrading to a mixer with XLR out instead of RCA, and I'd like to use XLR cables to hook up my PA system. My instinct with cables is to just buy the cheapest thing on Monoprice, but should I buy something a little nicer? Will I be able to hear a difference?
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  2. #2
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    You won't hear a difference between cheap and expensive XLRs, the only difference is how durable and easily repairable it is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by makar1 View Post
    You won't hear a difference between cheap and expensive XLRs, the only difference is how durable and easily repairable it is.
    pretty much

    the monoprice cables are good anyway


  4. #4
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    You probably won't hear a difference. Any reasonable cable will carry a balanced signal without audible issues.

    What you will notice is that the quality of the cable jacket and connectors do matter. Better cable will lay flat and wrap easily. The cable ends are mechanical connections. You will plug & unplug the cable ends hundreds of times over the life of a cable. Neutric and Switchcraft both make very good cable ends.

    In terms of "more than good enough" cables...the GLS Audio from speakerrepair.com are good value for money. I have installed hundreds of these cables in semi-permanent installations (e.g. churches, dance studios, etc). This is rubber jacketed cable with reasonable ends.

    Monoprice cable has a PVC jacket. Compared to rubber jacket, PVC is less flexible and less durable (especially if walked on). I have not used Monoprice for cables, so I can not comment on the quality of the connectors.

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  5. #5
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    Monoprice has been pretty good to me.
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  6. #6

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    Like everyone else, won't make a different to the sound (in fact, I and many others subscribe to the theory that the cable will NEVER influence the sound, no matter what cable), but it will make a different in the build quality.

    I bought a cheap XLR from a discount electronics store, and after one use it doesn't work anymore.

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    Hey there Tortango. I'm the guy who had the busted z2. lol.

    Like everyone else mentioned, it won't effect your sound. The gold plated XLR cables from monoprice are decent and I actually have quite a few of them. They are pretty fat for XLR cables, but coil very nicely which is nice.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tokenasianguy View Post
    Like everyone else, won't make a different to the sound (in fact, I and many others subscribe to the theory that the cable will NEVER influence the sound, no matter what cable), but it will make a different in the build quality.
    For any cable that is carrying high power (extension cords, speaker cables), wire gauge will have an effect on the voltage drop across the cable length. As a rule of thumb, 12ga wires can be up to 50ft long, and still handle anything that a "reasonable" amp can deliver in terms of voltage. You can use smaller gauge wire, but then you need to think about the application...and I prefer to avoid as much thinking as possible during a load in.
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  9. #9
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    XLRs typically carry line or lower level signals where voltage drop isn't much of an issue, and connectors like Speakon are much safer for high power applications.
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  10. #10
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    Personally I buy expensive cables, I don't get why someone would buy a DB4 or Xone 92, Traktor audio 10 and just run shitty cables.

    But that's just me...

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