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Recommended inexpensive XLR or TRS cables?

turbotuff

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Hi there, I was wondering if you guys have any recommendations for balanced audio cables that are inexpensive? I picked up a pair of cheap powered studio monitors for garage use and need a couple balanced 25' cables to hook them to my DAC. Any thoughts? Thanks!!
 

Dialectic

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Hi there, I was wondering if you guys have any recommendations for balanced audio cables that are inexpensive? I picked up a pair of cheap powered studio monitors for garage use and need a couple balanced 25' cables to hook them to my DAC. Any thoughts? Thanks!!
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=4793
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=4754

You can spend more but will not hear a difference. I used to recommend Amazon Basics XLR cables and in fact still use them myself for some applications. But the widely reported tendency of Amazon Basics USB chargers to catch fire has scared me away from the brand.
 
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mansr

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I used to recommend Amazon Basics XLR cables and in fact still use them myself for some applications. But the widely reported tendency of Amazon Basics USB chargers to catch fire has scared me away from the brand.
A handful (if that) of incidents, no matter how widely reported, does not constitute a tendency. Regardless, the devices driving XLR connections typically cannot supply enough current for a damaged (shorted) cable to pose a hazard. Those USB chargers are supposed to supply several amps, making it a very different situation.
 

RickSanchez

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As @Dialectic mentions Monoprice may be a good place to look. For 25' XLR male-to-female cables (assuming that's what you're looking for?) there are a few choices:
If you're looking something with better connectors (e.g., Neutrik) you might head over to Blue Jeans Cable. They might not have what you need in stock but if you contact them they will do a custom order for you.
 

frogmeat69

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Canare Star Quad cable with Amphenol connectors, pkg of two 25ft cables for $59 on Amazon from World's Best Cables HERE.

You can also get Neutrik connectors for a bit more if you look around, but both are good quality.
 

Helicopter

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Depends on budget and if you solder. No solder, low budget, I would get Monoprice (direct or Amazon) or Talent (from Parts Express), maybe pig hog if they will be treated roughly in garage. Unlimited budget, WBC with Canare and Neutrik. Solder skills, maybe make something like the WBC using @Wayne A. Pflughaupt 's online tutorial. I use his process with Type E silver plated aircraft cable wrapped and dressed with shrink wrap and techflex or paracord sleeving. I like the Neutrik gold TRS and XLR connectors and the Amphenol RCAs, but I will probably try Neutrik RCAs at some piont. There is probably no performance advantage of the cable I use over Canare. I just like it because I worked with it on military helicopters when I was young.
 
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turbotuff

turbotuff

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Depends on budget and if you solder. No solder, low budget, I would get Monoprice (direct or Amazon) or Talent (from Parts Express), maybe pig hog if they will be treated roughly in garage. Unlimited budget, WBC with Canare and Neutrik. Solder skills, maybe make something like the WBC using @Wayne A. Pflughaupt 's online tutorial. I use his process with Type E silver plated aircraft cable wrapped and dressed with shrink wrap and techflex or paracord sleeving. I like the Neutrik gold TRS and XLR connectors and the Amphenol RCAs, but I will probably try Neutrik RCAs at some piont. There is probably no performance advantage of the cable I use over Canare. I just like it because I worked with it on military helicopters when I was young.
I like the price of the Talent cables. Definitely the cheapest of the bunch in TRS to TRS format. Any benefits of going TRS to XLR or is TRS to TRS sufficient?
 

MiradoOne

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Canare Star Quad cable with Amphenol connectors, pkg of two 25ft cables for $59 on Amazon from World's Best Cables HERE.

You can also get Neutrik connectors for a bit more if you look around, but both are good quality.

I second WBC, they are great, totally solid cables. I have the ones with Mogami wiring and Neutrik connectors as balanced interconnects between my DAC and amp and am very happy with how solid they feel.

Obviously they sound no different than any other non-defective cable, but I didn't mind paying a bit extra to bulletproof the connection.
 

Helicopter

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I like the price of the Talent cables. Definitely the cheapest of the bunch in TRS to TRS format. Any benefits of going TRS to XLR or is TRS to TRS sufficient?
As long as you have a good electrical connection, i.e., not broken, then there is no benefit. XLRs are a little more robust. A TRS-TRS cable is more versatile. If had the option to go XLR-TRS or TRS-TRS, I would get TRS-TRS for a more versatile cable. If I could go XLR-XLR, I would pick that over the TRS-TRS. A TRS-XLR cable is directional, so not very versatile at all. I wouldn't use that unless it was the only option for my connections.
 

rcstevensonaz

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A TRS-XLR cable is directional, so not very versatile at all.
Can you explain this? I would have thought TRS and XLR are effectively interchangeable connectors when used in the context of Balanced <> Balanced devices. How is "direction" introduced when they are just different pinouts for Signal+, Signal-, and Ground?
 

L5730

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World's Best Cables.
Clean soldering. Nice prices.

Star Quad with Amphenol connectors.
Mogami with Neutrik connectors.

Star quad has better external noise rejection, but pays for that with higher capacitance. Capacitance probably makes zero difference over this length though.

A cable is only directional if the shield has been connected at only one end. An XLR - TRS is not a directional cable, however, typically people will go TRS from their source interface to XLR on powered speakers, but no, it's a directional cable.
XLR pin 1 = Ground/Shield = TRS sleeve
XLR pin 2 = +ve = TRS tip
XLR pin 3 = -ve = TRS ring
 

rcstevensonaz

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Any input on WBC (Worlds Best Cables) vs. BJC (Blue Jeans Cable)? I know BJC is a local shop in Seattle; but I don't know anything about who WBC is; they seem to be a mystery shop that just showed up on Amazon.

Also, can anyone provide additional insight recommended cable type & length when I am connecting two small stacked devices such as Topping E30 / L30, Topping D90 / A90, etc.? Some of the cables I've used have been way too stiff for small, lighter weight units (causing the units to lift apart instead of staying neatly stacked); usually this is from the distance being so close and such a tight bend radius. Recommended cable type appreciated for the following combos:
  • RCA <> RCA
  • XLR <> XLR
  • TRS <> TRS
Thanks
 

rcstevensonaz

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The cable isn't directional, but the XLR connector is.
Can you explain that to me like I am in Kindergarten? Wait: you are referring to XLR (Male) <> XLR (Female) when you say the connector is directional?
 

L5730

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Can you explain that to me like I am in Kindergarten?

Source device will have a male XLR socket that needs a female connector to interface with. The speaker/amp target device will have a female socket that needs a male XLR connector to interface with it. Hence directional defined by what connector you have on the end of the cable.

TRS plugs are TRS plugs. One typically finds sockets on the devices at either end, and the cable terminates in male TRS connectors. Cables don't have TRS sockets on them, well they don't usually, and if they do it's normally an extension cable.
 

mansr

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Can you explain that to me like I am in Kindergarten?
One end:
2200-nc3mx-3.jpg


The other end:
361-nc3fx.jpg
 
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