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nightflier
12-03-2008, 03:40 PM
Can I use ProAudio XLR (i.e. mic) cables as standard XLR cables from my stereo preamp to my amp? I'm only asking because the price difference is substantial.

P.S. My amp's XLR inputs are wired the standard way, not reversed.

Luvin Da Blues
12-03-2008, 05:32 PM
You certainly can. I use good quality mic cables between my preamp and amp. I am very happy with them especially considering the price. I would think the shielding is as good as any premium cable due to the environment that they are generally used in.

Rich-n-Texas
12-04-2008, 11:15 AM
LDB? Is that you LDB? I thought you might've gotten buried under a glacier. What's up bud?

nightflier
12-04-2008, 04:10 PM
Great, some of these boutique XLR cables are ridiculously expensive and since I really don't believe there's much difference between similarly-constructed cables, regardless of price or manufacturer, then I might as well save a little and get plain old mic cables.

LDB, I did see that you're using Canare XLRs as well. Any difference?

Luvin Da Blues
12-04-2008, 05:22 PM
LDB? Is that you LDB? I thought you might've gotten buried under a glacier. What's up bud?


Howdy Rich,Ya know how it goes,had to wait for global warming to take care of my icy confinement.

Just been busy with a new job and all that good stuff. I've been lurking but I do most of my web business from the living room where I don't have a keyboard, only a mouse.:nonod:

Take care of yourself mon ami.

Peez Out

Luvin Da Blues
12-04-2008, 05:30 PM
LDB, I did see that you're using Canare XLRs as well. Any difference?

NF, These XLR's are the first set I've installed in my rig. The only comparison I could give you would be against standard RCA cables and of course that is no contest. One of these days I might borrow a premium set of XLRs to compare but I afraid my system probably won't reveal the difference (if they exist) anyway. Maybe cause for a speaker upgrade?? I'm thinking ML or Theils at this point.

Cheers,

LDB

nightflier
12-05-2008, 05:55 PM
Maybe cause for a speaker upgrade?? I'm thinking ML or Theils at this point.

Thanks for adding to my peace of mind about XLR cables. I just ordered a set from partsexpress and they should be here soon.

P.S. I heard a pair of the 3.7's that a friend of mine purchased from Crutchfield (from their open-box selection, but still wayyyy over-priced IMO), but they do sound fantastic nonetheless. Probably the most revealing speaker I've ever heard (so not really my cup-o-tea), but for people who have warm-sounding systems, maybe just the ticket. He has two sealed subs as well, so he can fill the bottom up pretty well, but without the subs they are a bit thin, too. While they are great speakers, I think at $10K, they ought to give one more across the frequency range.

I've never really like the ML sound too much, I think the difficulty of matching the bass driver with the electrostatic panels maybe leaves a hole in the music somewhere, and that's why they don't come together for me. I've been told that the higher-end MLs are much better, but I haven't heard them. That said, I'm not really a fan of panel speakers period. I've been wrestling with a pair of Maggies for a while now and while I've been able to tweak them a bit, I'm still not getting that panel magic.

Since you have the PSB Stratos, how about the Synchronys? They are a lot less than the Thiels and probably easier to match, especially since you know the PSB sound. Maybe Paul will give you a discount for being a loyal customer?

Luvin Da Blues
12-06-2008, 05:40 AM
Thanks for the comments NF. My listening habits at this point in my life tend to lean towards the analytical side anyway (must be the engineer in me).




P.S. I heard a pair of the 3.7's that a friend of mine purchased from Crutchfield (from their open-box selection, but still wayyyy over-priced IMO), but they do sound fantastic nonetheless. Probably the most revealing speaker I've ever heard (so not really my cup-o-tea), but for people who have warm-sounding systems, maybe just the ticket. He has two sealed subs as well, so he can fill the bottom up pretty well, but without the subs they are a bit thin, too. While they are great speakers, I think at $10K, they ought to give one more across the frequency range.

Pricey yes, but I do like the Theil sound and I run duo subs anyway. I wasn't necessary thinking about the 3.7s (not crazy 'bout the looks) tho and if I do go with 3.7s I would look at preloved units.




I've never really like the ML sound too much, I think the difficulty of matching the bass driver with the electrostatic panels maybe leaves a hole in the music somewhere, and that's why they don't come together for me. I've been told that the higher-end MLs are much better, but I haven't heard them. That said, I'm not really a fan of panel speakers period. I've been wrestling with a pair of Maggies for a while now and while I've been able to tweak them a bit, I'm still not getting that panel magic.

But, But...they're MLs, haha (notice the correct usage of "they're)


Since you have the PSB Stratos, how about the Synchronys? They are a lot less than the Thiels and probably easier to match, especially since you know the PSB sound. Maybe Paul will give you a discount for being a loyal customer?

Oh ya, the Syncs are definitely on the list when I get serious about the Speaker upgrade.

Cheers

LDB

Ajani
12-06-2008, 08:19 AM
if I do go with 3.7s I would look at preloved units.

Why would you want someone to make love to your speakers? Wouldn't that just leave the Ports sticky?

Anyway, the Synchrony 1 sounds like what you might be looking for come upgrade time... I'd love to hear a pair of them...

Luvin Da Blues
12-06-2008, 08:44 AM
Why would you want someone to make love to your speakers? Wouldn't that just leave the Ports sticky?

LOL, I was thinking that this actually would increase the coefficient of friction, thereby, creating turbulent flow which would reduce port "chuffing".

audio amateur
12-06-2008, 09:59 AM
Why would you want someone to make love to your speakers? Wouldn't that just leave the Ports sticky?

Anyway, the Synchrony 1 sounds like what you might be looking for come upgrade time... I'd love to hear a pair of them...
That's nasty Ajani!!!:cryin:

Ajani
12-06-2008, 10:12 AM
LOL, I was thinking that this actually would increase the coefficient of friction, thereby, creating turbulent flow which would reduce port "chuffing".

The truly sick part is that from an Audiophile perspective, that almost makes sense... :lol:

Ajani
12-06-2008, 10:19 AM
That's nasty Ajani!!!:cryin:

Nasty??? We're just discussing the benefits of buying "used" gear...

audio amateur
12-06-2008, 10:39 AM
Nasty??? We're just discussing the benefits of buying "used" gear...
LOL
The 3.7's don't even have ports... Can't make love to them:17:
Unless you want to strip your you know what on the bind... ok I'll stop there this is going to get out of hand:ciappa:

Feanor
12-06-2008, 11:11 AM
Thanks for adding to my peace of mind about XLR cables. I just ordered a set from partsexpress and they should be here soon.
...

Blue Jeans Cable offers XLR options too. I have a 6' pair from them that are working fine connecting my preamp to my monoblocs.

audio amateur
12-06-2008, 11:14 AM
I was hoping you wouldn't stumble across this thread:p

Blue Jeans Cable offers XLR options too. I have a 6' pair from them that are working fine connecting my preamp to my monoblocs.
Is your system fully balanced?

nightflier
12-08-2008, 12:31 PM
I was going to make some off-color comment about sloppy seconds, but decided with this instead: ...and another reason not to buy rear-ported speakers.

Seriously, though, Ajani, you changed your avatar. Did you get a new piece of gear?

Feanor: which BJ cables did you get? I have a pair of fancy ones I've been using with the Monarchys and as soon as the generic ones come, I'll compare. Probably won't hear any difference, but we'll see. According to AudioQuest, there's a world of difference between fancy ones (i.e. theirs) and the basic ones, so aside from construction quality, I'm curious to see, I mean hear, if they're right about that.

Feanor
12-08-2008, 01:16 PM
...

Feanor: which BJ cables did you get? I have a pair of fancy ones I've been using with the Monarchys and as soon as the generic ones come, I'll compare. Probably won't hear any difference, but we'll see. According to AudioQuest, there's a world of difference between fancy ones (i.e. theirs) and the basic ones, so aside from construction quality, I'm curious to see, I mean hear, if they're right about that.

'Flier, as I recall I got the Belden 1800F with Neutrix connectors (http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/balancedaudio/index.htm).

Yes, I'll be interested to hear you opinion about sound differences from AudioQuest. I'd say you won't hear a difference nor that the diff is just your imagination. :D After all, I just admitted to hearing differences in speaker fuses, generic @ $0.20 versus HiFi-Tuning @ $60.00.

Feanor
12-08-2008, 01:19 PM
I was hoping you wouldn't stumble across this thread:p

Is your system fully balanced?

That is, my Sonic Frontier LINE 1 preamp and Monarchy SM-70 Pro amps are fully balanced.

Ajani
12-08-2008, 02:37 PM
Seriously, though, Ajani, you changed your avatar. Did you get a new piece of gear?

Nope... I'm just dreaming about a Naim Nait XS or 5i...

audio amateur
12-08-2008, 04:14 PM
Nope... I'm just dreaming about a Naim Nait XS or 5i...
Dream on then my friend, dream on... 'cause they ain't gonna come soon:D

audio amateur
12-08-2008, 04:50 PM
I was going to make some off-color comment about sloppy seconds, but decided with this instead: ...and another reason not to buy rear-ported speakers.
So you're saying there's nothing wrong with used front-ported speaks?:confused5:

nightflier
12-08-2008, 05:33 PM
So you're saying there's nothing wrong with used front-ported speaks?:confused5:

I think you'd be best off with the unported Thiels.

This thread is going to make people question every used purchase they've made. I mean do we really know if someone wasn't picking their nose right before they last turned that volume knob, or whether they washed their hands after using the bathroom, or whether that's just dust or someone had really bad dandruff?

...Time to get the brushes, wipes, and liquid soap out.

Luvin Da Blues
01-10-2009, 07:29 AM
Hey NF, get those mic cables yet?

nightflier
01-12-2009, 04:54 PM
Yes, they are sitting, in the package in my TV/Audio room. 'Been there for two weeks. Aside from watching 24 last night, I hadn't been in there for a week. It's just too busy this time of year.

Luvin Da Blues
01-12-2009, 05:27 PM
Yes, they are sitting, in the package in my TV/Audio room. 'Been there for two weeks. Aside from watching 24 last night, I hadn't been in there for a week. It's just too busy this time of year.


K, let us know how they work for ya. Are you going to be comparing them to other cables?

IBSTORMIN
01-12-2009, 10:10 PM
'Flier, as I recall I got the Belden 1800F with Neutrix connectors (http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/balancedaudio/index.htm).

Yes, I'll be interested to hear you opinion about sound differences from AudioQuest. I'd say you won't hear a difference nor that the diff is just your imagination. :D After all, I just admitted to hearing differences in speaker fuses, generic @ $0.20 versus HiFi-Tuning @ $60.00.

I compared the Belden from BJC with Canare Quads from Cablesolutions.com and I think the Belden are slightly more revealing. BJC actually sells both and recommends the Beldens. I only have 2' cables and both use the same end so it's very slight. Might hear more of a difference on longer runs.

nightflier
01-13-2009, 01:24 PM
IB,

How do the BJC & CableSolutions cables compare on price? Do the Beldens really sound better, or just different? Of course, being only 2' cables makes the comparing a little harder than if the cables were 20'.

Feanor,

I've read a lot of stuff about those fuses, but let's be honest, there is no way in heck that a fuse could possibly cost $60 to produce - there's a little too much greed in that formula. I realize that $60 is still not much for many of us, but I still have to believe that they are a rip-off. A fuse is about as cheap a component as there is. Couldn't it just as well be that the HFT fuse sits just slightly tighter in its socket and thus improves connectivity enough to be audible?

Sorry to be so cup-is-half-full about it, but I really think there's way too much snake oil in the whole cable argument. I've been using Mapleshade speaker cables of late, expecting to hear at least something different, but there is no audible difference. I'm sorry to say this Mr. Sprey, but I'm not hearing that "everything improved, [or that] the music seemed to be a lot closer to my ears and my heart." I happen to own DSOTM, as you recommended, on CD, SACD, as well as LP, and I still can't say that "the opening heartbeat sounds [more] supernatural" than with my other speaker cables. I'm going to keep the cables, but only because I need them and I like the fact they are thin and hardly visible, but they are just cables to me.

Feanor
01-13-2009, 04:29 PM
...

Feanor,

I've read a lot of stuff about those fuses, but let's be honest, there is no way in heck that a fuse could possibly cost $60 to produce - there's a little too much greed in that formula. I realize that $60 is still not much for many of us, but I still have to believe that they are a rip-off. A fuse is about as cheap a component as there is. Couldn't it just as well be that the HFT fuse sits just slightly tighter in its socket and thus improves connectivity enough to be audible?
....
It could just be that. Or it could be just my imagination or my mood at time of listening. For me the difference, such as it actually was, was very slight, akin to wiping a light layer of dust off you monitor.

On the other hand, emaidel as quite adamant that the Hi-fy Tuing fuses made as substantial difference for his Dalquist speakers.

IBSTORMIN
01-14-2009, 07:35 PM
IB,

How do the BJC & CableSolutions cables compare on price? Do the Beldens really sound better, or just different? Of course, being only 2' cables makes the comparing a little harder than if the cables were 20'.

The 2 foot Belden pair cost me $55 shipped. BJC sells XLR with the same Neutronic ends on Belden or Canare and the Canare were $5 more each for a 2 foot length. Prices subject to change. (LOL) BJC says the Canare has higher capacitance but better shielding. I asked them which sounded cleaner and they couldn't tell me their opinion. I already had a pair of the Canares and seeing as I need 7 total for my new H/T amp figured I'd just compare a few and keep the ones I liked the best in my stereo setup, put the rest in the H/T.

Definitely different. I went down and listened again tonight before I answered to see if it was my mood, thanks Bill, or a reality. The bass is more prevalent on the Canare and the Belden just seem slightly more detailed, cymbals sound crisper to my ear and I prefer them with my equipment. My Preludes have a silk tweeter. On speakers with a hard dome tweeter it might be too bright but sounds smoother/cleaner on mine than the Canares. It seems that with each upgrade the bass gets tighter and less prevalent. Just for fun last night I put on a CD I hadn't listened to in years and changed my cables back to the Fusion RCA Radio Shack used to carry. Funny how everything sounded more like I was used to hearing it! Kinda liked it! I switched back to my DB-25 cable from DVD to PRE/PRO and XLR from PRE to AMP and could hear what I had been missing, but it didn't sound like I was used to. Funny how at times we want to hear it the way it sounded in the old days instead of how it was recorded!

nightflier
01-16-2009, 01:29 PM
Funny how at times we want to hear it the way it sounded in the old days instead of how it was recorded!

'Must be why I always go back to LPs, despite all the pops and the extra "work" involved....

Regarding the XLRs, I finally got a chance to set up the Odyssey Candela preamp with the right gear so that I can do some A/B testing between it and the Plinius CD-LAD. The last time I did this I was using strictly RCA cables, but this time I'll have a few more XLR cables on hand. The Candela isn't truly balanced, since the jacks are connected to the same outputs as the RCA jacks. But Klaus at Odyssey said that this should not be audible on cables that are short (1M). Does that sound right to you guys? I'm not an engineer, but I guess the logic is probably correct.

IBSTORMIN
01-19-2009, 08:31 AM
'Must be why I always go back to LPs, despite all the pops and the extra "work" involved.....

I'm thinking this is why some people prefer "warm" sounding systems. Because it sounds more like what we heard back in the day. Thoughts??


Regarding the XLRs, I finally got a chance to set up the Odyssey Candela preamp with the right gear so that I can do some A/B testing between it and the Plinius CD-LAD. The last time I did this I was using strictly RCA cables, but this time I'll have a few more XLR cables on hand. The Candela isn't truly balanced, since the jacks are connected to the same outputs as the RCA jacks. But Klaus at Odyssey said that this should not be audible on cables that are short (1M). Does that sound right to you guys? I'm not an engineer, but I guess the logic is probably correct.

As I learned in another thread, fully balanced gives you a 6dB gain and through design a cleaner signal. Here is what I found on the subject:

http://www.mediacollege.com/audio/balanced/cable-balanced.html

From what people say it is more noticable on long runs. I am interested in your thoughts with your cables. Let us know!

Along this line, what can people tell me about BAT?

nightflier
01-29-2009, 04:43 PM
Well these are just preliminary tests and the cables are different lengths, but I can't hear a lick of difference between them. I am swapping out custom-built boutique Canare cables, a pair of cheapo Hosa cables, and a pair of just as cheapo PartsExpress cables. I thought I heard a difference there a few times and then I couldn't hear it again.

Luvin Da Blues
01-29-2009, 05:45 PM
Well these are just preliminary tests and the cables are different lengths, but I can't hear a lick of difference between them. I am swapping out custom-built boutique Canare cables, a pair of cheapo Hosa cables, and a pair of just as cheapo PartsExpress cables. I thought I heard a difference there a few times and then I couldn't hear it again.

So whats ya going to use on the new DAC??

IBSTORMIN
02-15-2009, 07:45 PM
Well these are just preliminary tests and the cables are different lengths, but I can't hear a lick of difference between them. I am swapping out custom-built boutique Canare cables, a pair of cheapo Hosa cables, and a pair of just as cheapo PartsExpress cables. I thought I heard a difference there a few times and then I couldn't hear it again.

It might only make a difference on truly balanced systems. Do you hear a difference with RCA cables?

nightflier
02-19-2009, 12:55 PM
Still no difference. I've had time to try all sorts of different combinations, different amps, premaps, sources, and it's all a wash. Maybe these cables are just that similar? If so, then they should cost the same, too. Well the Canares do look a lot nicer, maybe that's where the 300% markup comes from?

No difference with RCA cables either. Aside from the increase in volume (which really makes comparing a PITA) it's the same all around. So my conclusion is: buy the cheapest XLR cables you can find, provided they are well built. And if you care about impressing your friends, buy thick, colorfully-jacketed ones.

IBSTORMIN
02-20-2009, 05:41 PM
No difference with RCA cables either. Aside from the increase in volume (which really makes comparing a PITA) it's the same all around. So my conclusion is: buy the cheapest XLR cables you can find, provided they are well built. And if you care about impressing your friends, buy thick, colorfully-jacketed ones.

If you can't hear the diffference......I'm jealous. Seriously. You can go out and buy any cables and BE HAPPY!!!!!:23:............

Dam jealous!

nightflier
02-20-2009, 07:01 PM
Either that, or my system isn't up to snuff (at least I'm sure that's what the audiosnobs at Stereophile would say).

IBSTORMIN
02-21-2009, 06:34 AM
Either that, or my system isn't up to snuff (at least I'm sure that's what the audiosnobs at Stereophile would say).

Your equipment looks much better than mine. Your RCA's might just be of a quality equal to XLR's and that's why you don't hear a difference. I'm comparing BJC Belden XLR to their RCA and there is definitely a difference. But then I heard a difference in 2 foot XLR's. I'll have to do another a-b comparison and see if I'm imagining things on the XLR's.:mad2:

nightflier
02-21-2009, 03:10 PM
Also check volume levels, XLR connectors are typically louder.

Luvin Da Blues
02-21-2009, 03:18 PM
I like this explanation....

"Balanced Audio Cables

Balanced Sound CableBalanced audio cables use an extra line, and consist of a hot line (positive), cold line (negative) and earth. The audio signal is transmitted on both the hot and cold lines, but the voltage in the cold line is inverted (i.e. the polarity is changed) so it is negative when the hot signal is positive. These two signals are often referred to as being 180 degrees out of phase with each other but this is technically incorrect — the signals are not actually out of phase, they are opposite polarities, i.e. one signal is effectively flipped upside down rather than being delayed 180. This confusion could be due to the fact that in a graphical representation of a sine wave the effect of changing polarity and changing the phase 180 looks the same.

When the cable is plugged into an input (on a mixer or other equipment) the hot and cold signals are combined. Normally you would expect these two signals to cancel each other out, but at the input stage the inversion is reversed before being merged together, so they actually combine to form a stronger signal.

Along the length of the cable, noise can be introduced from external sources such as power cables, RF interference, etc. This noise will be identical on both hot and cold lines. This is known as a common mode signal - a signal which appears equally on both conductors of a two wire line.

So the hot and cold lines carry two signals: A desirable audio signal which has an opposite voltage on each line, and unwanted noise which is the same on both lines.

This is where the trick of balanced audio kicks in. At the input stage when the inverted audio signal is re-inverted to make both desirable audio signals the same, the unwanted noise is inverted. Viola - all the unwanted noise is cancelled out, leaving only the combined original signal."

IBSTORMIN
02-21-2009, 05:14 PM
Also check volume levels, XLR connectors are typically louder.

I know, my system is fully balanced and it gives a 6dB gain.:thumbsup:

IBSTORMIN
02-21-2009, 05:16 PM
I like this explanation....

"Balanced Audio Cables



I do too. I posted it in another discussion a while back.:thumbsup:

nightflier
02-23-2009, 04:05 PM
Just out of curiosity, how do others do A/B testing between XLR and RCA cables? I use a volume control box which adds another obstacle to one of the two sets of cables, and so I hardly consider my testing conclusive. Unless I had one of those preamps that can actually set volume presets independently for each input (I don't), or use two identical preamps (I've done this in the past when I had the equipment), I really don't see how to fairly do an A/B test between the two cable types.

Fortunately I do have components with multiple XLR inputs and outputs (also rare, BTW), so testing between different XLR cables is possible for me. Of course, like many of you, my XLR cables are of different lengths which aslo poses a problem. I know A/B testing has it's share of issues as well, so I'm only asking about the practical side of this.

...maybe it's a good thing I can't hear any differences.

IBSTORMIN
02-23-2009, 04:17 PM
Just out of curiosity, how do others do A/B testing between XLR and RCA cables? I use a volume control box which adds another obstacle to one of the two sets of cables, and so I hardly consider my testing conclusive. Unless I had one of those preamps that can actually set volume presets independently for each input (I don't), or use two identical preamps (I've done this in the past when I had the equipment), I really don't see how to fairly do an A/B test between the two cable types.

Fortunately I do have components with multiple XLR inputs and outputs (also rare, BTW), so testing between different XLR cables is possible for me. Of course, like many of you, my XLR cables are of different lengths which aslo poses a problem. I know A/B testing has it's share of issues as well, so I'm only asking about the practical side of this.

...maybe it's a good thing I can't hear any differences.

My amp has a switch on the back that I can switch from balanced to unbalanced. It's just a case of getting out the chair, running around in back of the amp, flipping the switches and running around in front, adjust the volume and listen again. NOT the easiest to do I will admit. Maybe mine is more like A................... / .................. B testing!:lol: