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15ft Premier Series XLR Male to XLR Female 16AWG Cable (Gold Plated) [Microphone & Interconnect]
Monoprice’s line of Professional Audio cables brings you high performance cables at rock bottom prices. Whether you’re connecting broadcast equipment, instruments for your band or your high end entertainment system, Monoprice has the interconnect cables for you.
Balanced audio cables utilize impedance balanced lines that reduce EM and RF noise and extend the effective range of the cable run. Additionally, unlike standard unbalanced RCA interconnects that utilizes their braid as a signal return, balanced cables have a separate braided shield to provide additional resistance to interference without modulating the interference into the signal. This prevents ground loop issues.
Our XLR male to female cables continue our tradition of bringing the highest quality cables at the best prices. These cables feature thick, heavy gauge wires, gold plated connectors and sturdy connector housings.
- 16AWG Stranded Copper Wire Conduits.
- 97.5% Shielded Balanced Connections
- Gold Plated Connectors
- Metallic Graphite Colored Connector Housings
- Molded Strain Relief Boots.
For some unknown reason I was messing with a multi-meter and one of these cables. I found that the shell of the connector was connected to, that is had essentially zero resistance, to the ground prong on the XLR connector. I really didn't know if this was a good idea so I measured several other of the same model cables. I found that some had the connection and some didn't. I opened the end connector of several cables and found that some of the cables has a small wired soldiered from a lug which connects to the shell to the ground lug and some didn't.
I got online and referenced what I think was an AES standard on this type of cable. My reading was that the standard is vague on the connection. In more reading online, all of the opinions on the subject that I found, said that the connection was a bad idea. Having the cable shell connected to ground provides an opportunity for signals to be introduced in to the ground if there a say connections between two cables and the cables are on the floor and are crossed by another cable. It could also cause problems even for cables connected to equipment depending on what comes in contact with the cable shell. It seems to me that having a connection between the cable ground and the shell isn't a good idea. Whether it is a good idea or not it seems that the connection should either be made in 100% or 0% of the cables. I have at least ten cables of varying lengths and a quick set of measurements shows that the connection is present in about 50% of them. This seems to show a lack of control in the production process.
Based on the above I decided to further investigate the construction of the cables. I cut one into two pieces (they are low cost) and stripped back the outer cover. As specified the cable has a mesh shield around the two conductors. The cable does not have filler around the two conductors which in my opinion is unacceptable. It is important to maintain the twist in the signal wires and maintain the geometry of the shield. In my opinion, twisting the cable, or putting pressure on the outside of the cables will distort the shield and make it less effective. It will also potentially affect the conductor geometry. This just doesn't seem to be the way to make the cables. Use of these cables in a stage environment where they might get rough handling would seem to be particularly problematic. Datasheets on for example Belden balanced cables shows a filler and do other datasheets I found. I ordered some cables from another source a long with a one foot piece of the cable. Examining that cable I found filler.
Given that the filler likely costs almost nothing being a paper sort of material, it really seems unacceptable in my opinion that any cables don't have it no matter how low their cost.
I've found other balanced cables for about the same cost that don't have these problems and I'm using them now. I have a small pile of what I consider useless cables.
CONS: Lacks filler in cable to maintain correct geometry of conductors and shield
Shell connected to shield on a random basis
PROS: Quality connectors, Gold plated connectors, quiet, heavy duty
PROS: nice and thick, price, connection
PROS: The XLR connector shells are a gun powder grey in color and are made of metal. The 1/4" connectors are black in color and are also make of metal. Both of these connectors are very professional in looks and construction. The cable looks great as well. The sound quality sounds good to my ears.
CONS: The cable diameter is on the thicker side. For my purposes I don't think this will be any sort of problem.
I open up the connectors when they arrive to be sure the shielding wire is properly insulated from the XLR connector casing. If not I put a piece of electrical tape in just to be sure. They are being installed in a professional environment and I dont want to risk any ground loops.
CONS: The one I received has the shield and one of the insulated connectors shorted out somewhere inside of the cable.
PROS: Great Cables, Great Price!
PROS: top quality item