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Advice on XLR cables?


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Hey team. 

 

I have an XLR output (from Cambridge CXN) and I'm going to run it into an RCA input (Schiit Vali 2 which I'm using as a pre-amp). I'm running the cable about 5m. My question is: should I run 2 separate XLR cables, then use XLR>RCA adaptors on each? Or should I just grab a 2>1 XLR adaptor or cable, run one quality cable, then split it into 2 RCAs. The cable will be going through a wall and will run reasonably close to some power and ethernet cables etc so there will be some noise to shield, but since it's not going to end up being balanced anyway, I figure 1 cable is just as good as 2?! 

 

I was thinking about getting a Mogami Gold 15ft cable for $95. I use the CXN for my main system into a Rega Elicit R using the RCA outputs, but would like to be able to output also to my second system in the adjacent room (Schiit Vali > Burson Bang > KEF Concertos). 

 

Thanks

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The XLR connectors are separate for left and right channels so you'll need two cables, one for each channel. Good shielding would be useful because of the proximity to other cables—although I can't tell you whether converting to RCA at the start or the end will make any difference.

There should be a cable expert along soon to give you that help.

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If the cable's shielded, it would be cable-making practice to have the xlr at the source with the shield connected to the -ve, and the rca's at the desination without the shield connected (the "floating ground"). 

 

A single three-core xlr cable could theoretically be used, provided it is possible for a xlr to manage a shared ground (ie, cables used for common -ve, and r+ve and l+ve) - someone with more knowledge could confirm this.  Theoretically, better performance would be to have the l + r on separate cables.

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I don't think sharing the 2 channels over 5 m in a common shield is going to be good.

 

I'd suggest a good quality "twinax" cable, like Belden 3079A, one for each channel.

 

It's not expensive, has solid copper cores of 22 AWG, and both foil and tinned copper braid shielding.

 

You can fit XLRs to one end and RCAs to the other - easy.

 

@andyr might be able to suggest a source?

 

Edited by BioBrian
corrected gauge
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I would avoid a single cable unless you are sure the components connected are friendly with the idea of a shared negative L/R connection. Some components aren't and damage will occur. 

Edited by t_mike
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9 hours ago, BioBrian said:

I don't think sharing the 2 channels over 5 m in a common shield is going to be good.

 

I'd suggest a good quality "twinax" cable, like Belden 3079A, one for each channel.

 

It's not expensive, has solid copper cores of 22 AWG, and good copper braid shielding.

 

You can fit XLRs to one end and RCAs to the other - easy.

 

@andyr might be able to suggest a source?

 

 

Thanks, Brian - I can sell however much is required to @sammclean, if he wants some.  (Just PM me - as you're in Melbourne, I can now drop it over!  :) )

 

I had to buy a 1000' reel - so I doubt he's going to find a few metres lying around at Middys or L&H.

 

Andy

 

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