How to choose the right cable for your music equipment


Any concert, any sound recording or just listening to music at home cannot do without a wired connection of equipment. At the same time, more and more devices appear (receivers, turntables, portable speakers, and many others) that can work wirelessly. Basically, this only applies to the operation of equipment in domestic, home conditions, or equipment related to personal audio: headphones, players, etc. At a professional level, everyone still uses wired connections. But due to the large amount of equipment, the number of connections and varieties of connectors, it is extremely difficult for a simple layman to navigate. What cable to use, in what equipment, the main types of wires? — in all this we will try to figure it out in this review.

1. Microphone cable (balanced)

The microphone cable is a two-core cable, the color of the protective layer of the cores, most often — white and red + braided screen (braid). Very often, a microphone cable is called — Balanced. The connectors used most often: XLR connector (microphone connector, female connector, XLR 3 pin) is a three-pin connector XLR connectors can be of two types: XLR female (Female, F), in essence it is connector with a «jack» XLR male (Male, M), in essence it is a connector with «contacts» Scope: Microphones, Sound cards and studio equipment, Speaker systems, Lighting equipment and much, much more …

2. Instrument cable (guitar)

Already based on the name, it becomes clear that this type of wire is used to connect various instruments — guitar, keys and many others. “Guitar cable jack jack”, “guitar cable”, “guitar cord”, “instrument wire” — all these statements are about this type of wire! The instrument cable is a braided single core cable. The price of this type of product may vary depending on the following main characteristics:

  • Wire thickness
  • Softness, flexibility
  • What material are the inner cores of the wire made of?
  • Additional features such as «inner braid with anti-static jacket and low noise»

Connectors most commonly used:

  • jack 2 contacts
  • jack mono
  • jack 6.3
  • jack connector

All of these are the most popular names for these types of connectors. The main application with equipment: Guitar, effects processors, keyboards and other types of musical instruments.

3.Acoustic wires, speaker cable

This type of cable is used to connect speakers, both for those used at concerts on stage, and for home acoustics, of course, in this case we need to talk about the use of passive speakers. The sound speaker, the sound of which we want to improve, needs high-quality wires, it costs separately note that the speaker must be equipped with 2 (two) wires of the same length in order to avoid loss in the sound quality of the speakers as much as possible. Cable products for speaker systems are two-core cable, without braid (not shielded, it can be either round or flat, depending on customer requirements and operating conditions. The choice of speaker wires is a very important point, you need to pay special attention to this issue so that the speaker, the power of which we want to preserve and its sound, always pleases the user and does not require replacement.Connect the cable to the speakers, most often, you can completely without using special connectors… When connecting, be sure to observe the polarity and prevent short circuits of the wires.Wire thickness required for connection depends on the length of the cable and the power of the audio signal.The higher the power and distance of the acoustics, the thicker the cable cores should be.Before you buy an acoustic cable, you need to correctly calculate all these parameters, the most popular cable thickness for speakers is 2 * 1 ,5.

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