Good Cables for Live Gigs
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Good Cables for Live Gigs

    Hello, I wanted to find out what are some good reliable companies that make cables.
    I am looking for a pair of good XLR cables because the no-brand one's I bought produce distortion.
    I know Monster produces high quality cables, but are their DJ and Instrument Cables good?

    I Have a Numark 4Trak and need to connect them directly to a pair of Alto TS112a's via 2 XLR cables.

    Any suggestions and opinions would be great!


    Also for anyone that cares, My first few gigs have all been great, thanks to the tips I've read on DJ Tech Tools.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitrotix View Post
    Hello, I wanted to find out what are some good reliable companies that make cables.
    I am looking for a pair of good XLR cables because the no-brand one's I bought produce distortion.
    I know Monster produces high quality cables, but are their DJ and Instrument Cables good?

    I Have a Numark 4Trak and need to connect them directly to a pair of Alto TS112a's via 2 XLR cables.

    Any suggestions and opinions would be great!


    Also for anyone that cares, My first few gigs have all been great, thanks to the tips I've read on DJ Tech Tools.
    If you can save up your pennies you could buy some of my awesomesauce cables once I can sort out a shipment of XLRs from my suppliers

    http://forum.djtechtools.com/showthread.php?t=73237
    For Sale: Handmade Custom DJ Cables - RCA / TRS / XLR!
    Gear: 2x Reloop Contour, Zomo MC-1000, Reloop RMX-40 :: Reloop Terminal Mix 4 :: Korg nanoKONTROL :: Traktor 2.6.1
    Latest Mix: June Progressive House (Soundcloud)

  3. #3
    Tech Wizard
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    They look really cool!

    Although I'm not trying to spend too much and I need a set of cables within a week or two. But If I every have some money left over for custom colors and minor upgrades I'll definitely consider those.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru
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    Interested in this as well. What brand cables have you been using Nitrotix?

    Monster produces some overpriced cables. I would never buy their cables.

    I'm considering getting some from Monoprice or Accucables.

  5. #5
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    I use monoprice cables myself, and my business partner tends to just buy them from online distributors like zzsounds, americanmusical, or if we are really in a pinch, guitar center.

    I've been very happy with the monoprice cables so far. I use XLR to XLR and XLR to TRS, and I've also picked up some RCA cables from them (and I use ones from Radio Shack as well).

    As long as you aren't running lengths over 50ft any cable should do honestly, it's when you start running the really long distances (especially for unbalanced) you need to get the fancy stuff.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitrotix View Post
    They look really cool!

    Although I'm not trying to spend too much and I need a set of cables within a week or two. But If I every have some money left over for custom colors and minor upgrades I'll definitely consider those.
    Cheers

    Tbh, I've used 99p eBay cables for years; the XLR ones are pretty solid, although obviously I avoid the nasty red and white plastic RCA cables like the plague.

    Personally I'm a BIG fan of these ones: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-5m-XLR-M...item2c6b11383a
    For Sale: Handmade Custom DJ Cables - RCA / TRS / XLR!
    Gear: 2x Reloop Contour, Zomo MC-1000, Reloop RMX-40 :: Reloop Terminal Mix 4 :: Korg nanoKONTROL :: Traktor 2.6.1
    Latest Mix: June Progressive House (Soundcloud)

  7. #7

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    *ahem* (cable monologue incoming)

    When you're buying cabling, you really aren't paying for the "cable" in a sense, but more the leads. Sure, a solid, shielded cable is important to look for, but as long as the shielding isn't straight shredding in a few years, you don't need ultra platinum oxy-injected copper wire.

    What is extremely important is the leads, the ends of the cables, the entire end of it, not just the plug. Cables flex, a lot, and the biggest point of flexing is at the bit "leading" up to the lead, with crappy leads, you're going to find yourself with broken cables/equipment when things start getting shifted and moved around on a regular basis over the years. Put a decent amount of money (no need to go overboard) on quality cables and rock solid leads, and you'll never have an issue with strained cables.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shishdisma View Post
    *ahem* (cable monologue incoming)

    When you're buying cabling, you really aren't paying for the "cable" in a sense, but more the leads. Sure, a solid, shielded cable is important to look for, but as long as the shielding isn't straight shredding in a few years, you don't need ultra platinum oxy-injected copper wire.

    What is extremely important is the leads, the ends of the cables, the entire end of it, not just the plug. Cables flex, a lot, and the biggest point of flexing is at the bit "leading" up to the lead, with crappy leads, you're going to find yourself with broken cables/equipment when things start getting shifted and moved around on a regular basis over the years. Put a decent amount of money (no need to go overboard) on quality cables and rock solid leads, and you'll never have an issue with strained cables.
    Trudat Shish. Unless you're an audiophile, sturdiness, reliability and the physical quality of the connections are the main points of consideration when choosing cables. I've got some fantastic gold-plated copper RCAs for my hi-fi gear, but there's NO way in hell I'd use them for DJing because a) the cables are ridiculously thick and bulky, and b) the RCAs themselves are tighter than... well, you get the idea.

    For my custom DJ interconnects I use RCAs which are loose enough to slip onto the RCA sockets smoothly, but not so loose that they'll get jerked out accidentally when the next DJ is running his cables, or when someone tosses their phone down into the rats nest in front of the mixer. They also have spring strain reliefs on the end of the plug to protect the soldering, and the connectors are crimped down deep into the jacket to prevent damage to the joints if they're yanked.

    All decent cables (read: 4.99 and above) will follow these basic guidelines; if you spend much more than that (cables go up to 2k for a 1m interconnect) you're more likely to come across esoteric constructions like 30AWG silver wire inside Teflon tubing which needs VERY delicate handling.

    For XLRs, however, the situation is a bit different. Most RCA connectors (even the cheap ones) use hex grub screws to secure the connector to the cable; XLR cable is usually much thicker (6mm+) and securing them that way is actually more sensible. Also, the length of the plugs themselves means that the solder joint is MUCH further from the back of the connector, so strain is less of a problem. I chose XLRs with similar construction to the RCAs I use (with the spring strain relief) but that was primarily a look and feel decision; I wouldn't hesitate using the cheap XLRs for the reasons above. I also prefer plastic to metal, largely because XLR sockets on your nice shiny gear are far more difficult to replace when damaged than a 99p cable; softer material on the plugs means if you trip over a cable, the cables connectors are FAR more likely to get damaged than the gear itself
    For Sale: Handmade Custom DJ Cables - RCA / TRS / XLR!
    Gear: 2x Reloop Contour, Zomo MC-1000, Reloop RMX-40 :: Reloop Terminal Mix 4 :: Korg nanoKONTROL :: Traktor 2.6.1
    Latest Mix: June Progressive House (Soundcloud)

  9. #9
    Tech Wizard
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    I just went to the store to return my old cables, I didn't get a chance to remember the name of the brand but it was some generic microphone cable brand.

    And I don't know about DJ cables, but I have Monster HDMI cables. It's probably a different case with XLR, but for HDMI, they are all technically supposed to be the same as long as they are a certain class. But I can tell you from basic personal observation that the $50 Monster cables outperform (by alot) the 10$ MonoPrice HDMI that I had when i first got my LED HDTV.

    Back to DJ'ing ...
    The closest Music stores by me would be Guitar Center and a local music store that really only has guitars and pianos. But I personally like guitar center so i wouldn't mind buying from them. I just don't know what the case is with XLR's. Is it like hDMI, where they are supposed to be the same, but really aren't?

    I'll go to Guitar Center and see what their audio specialist guy says

  10. #10
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    There's no way that's right besides maybe placebo effect. Digital signal is transmitted the same way. Thats the main reason why Monster HDMI cables are a waste of money.

    Analog is another issue. I'm not saying Monster analog cables are bad, but you're just paying a premium for them. You're better off getting something like Mogami or DIY a cable. I just bought a set of Atomic Audio XLRs which are supposed to be pretty good. They have really nice reviews. 10 bucks for 10' or 15 bucks for 25'.

    Guitar Center sells the stuff you need to DIY your own cables, but I don't know how good their XLR cables are. If you want to use TRS, they sell Neutriks.

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