Best cable to use for DIY interconnects? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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N. Abstentia
08-07-2005, 07:42 PM
I'm going nuts here trying to find bulk cable to make my own interconnects! Any suggestions on good bulk cable to use to make RCA interconnects? My speakers are self powered and will need an RCA cable run to them instead of speaker cable.

One other question..the amps for the speakers have balanced XLR inputs, but my current preamp only has RCA outs. Would I be better getting XLR cable for the long run with an RCA-XLR adapter? Someday I may have a preamp with XLR outputs and I know it would be better then, but what about for now?

08-08-2005, 09:35 AM
I suggest you use an XLR cable. You don't need an adaptor if you can solder. You did say DIY? See

N. Abstentia
08-09-2005, 03:28 PM
I have soldering skills, but not enough to make any sense of that website!

Is that a DIY xlr-rca adapter or something?

08-09-2005, 09:27 PM
It's a wiring diagram that shows the wiring connections going from an XLS or TRS (tip-ring-sleve) comnnector (two wires surrounded by a shield) to an RCA connector (one wire to the center post of the RCA; shield plus the other wire to the outer ring of the RCA). Cleaner than an adaptor since you have one less gadget to deal with.

If you use an XLR you need to watch you get the male/female (XLR cables usually have one of each) arrangement right. If you use a TRS, a male connector is nearly always at each end and female always on the equipment.

I buy a standard XLR cable and just cut off the XLR connector I'm not going to use and solder on an RCA. The cable and the adaptor as thus one and the same.

N. Abstentia
08-10-2005, 11:31 AM
Okay cool, that's something more along the lines of what I was wondering..if there was something else that HAD to be done or if it was just as simple as replacing the XLR end with an RCA end. I had been looking at this one:

One more question..I assume this will produce an unbalanced signal, correct? Would it be possible to make it balanced even with the RCA on one end?

Also, I'm curious about these adapters while we're on the subject:

Why the heck are these $69??

08-10-2005, 01:38 PM
The image on the media colloege website shows it perfecrtly. The upper image is supossed to be a bit better because you will have an actual shiels, usually woven copper nesh or aluminum on maylar. As far as I know there is no way to make a balanced signal out of unbalanced except by using an active circuit either discrete, with opamp or with a DRV134. So what you have with either of the two digrams is an unbalanced signal and cable interfaced with a a balanced "reciever".

I think the Cardas thingees are just what you see in the diagrams just mentioned but in a nice short, tidy and attractive package. I think you could plug into either kind of cable and that would force you into which component the adapter goes to. Because of the weight of the adapter and of an XLR plug, I suspect the most secure choice would be to plug the adaptor into the component with the XLR jack. The other way aroung would give a fairly large chunk of material hanging on to an RCA jack. I could see it falling loose from time to time.

N. Abstentia
08-10-2005, 05:52 PM
Yeah I was thinking the same thing about the adapter falling out, I just can't see me using an adapter like that and I was actually looking for one with a few feet of RCA cable on it. But if following that diagram is all I need I'll definitely just make my own. Works out better anyway because I don't know how long the cables will need to might be 50 feet or so!

08-11-2005, 09:09 AM
A lot cheaper, too.

08-12-2005, 05:53 AM
Use RG6 quad shield.

08-30-2005, 10:31 AM

08-30-2005, 07:06 PM
i personally wouldnt recommend going from an unbalanced source to a balanced input without using a transformer

even with a balanced cable if you plug it into an unbalanced source then your cable becomes unbalanced and defeats the purpose of the cable

as for cable itself i would go with gepco, clark, or mogami