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DIY Patch Cord advice please

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Anonymous
November 7, 2004 12:11:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hello,

I'm at a point in my home studio where I need a bunch
of 2 foot 1/4" patch cords, and a few long balanced ones
as well. I'm good at making things, but I've found the
cost of the connectors at the best prices I can find, to
be as high as manufactured cables. In order for DIY to
be effective, the parts have to be cheap. Please advise.

More about : diy patch cord advice

Anonymous
November 7, 2004 12:11:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"james of tucson" wrote ...
> I'm at a point in my home studio where I need a bunch
> of 2 foot 1/4" patch cords, and a few long balanced ones
> as well. I'm good at making things, but I've found the
> cost of the connectors at the best prices I can find, to
> be as high as manufactured cables. In order for DIY to
> be effective, the parts have to be cheap. Please advise.

The connectors you are pricing are likely significantly
higher quality than those used in the manufactured cables
you are comparing to. Note that they are also repairable
where molded-connector cables are almost "throwaways".
Anonymous
November 7, 2004 12:11:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

james of tucson <fishbowl@conservatory.com> wrote:
>
>I'm at a point in my home studio where I need a bunch
>of 2 foot 1/4" patch cords, and a few long balanced ones
>as well. I'm good at making things, but I've found the
>cost of the connectors at the best prices I can find, to
>be as high as manufactured cables. In order for DIY to
>be effective, the parts have to be cheap. Please advise.

If you want long-frame stuff, the premade cables are definitely the way
to go. I like the Neutrik ones, with nice metal ends that are easily
repaired. Soldering long-frame plugs is a pain and Neutrik can do it
cheaply enough.

Avoid cables with molded connectors like the plague. All cables will
fail, but if they have connectors you can unscrew, you can fix them when
they do. If they have molded connectors, you throw them away.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Related resources
Anonymous
November 7, 2004 2:34:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>Hello,
>
>I'm at a point in my home studio where I need a bunch
>of 2 foot 1/4" patch cords, and a few long balanced ones
>as well. I'm good at making things, but I've found the
>cost of the connectors at the best prices I can find, to
>be as high as manufactured cables. In order for DIY to
>be effective, the parts have to be cheap. Please advise.
>

DIY are gonna be a better grade patch cord for the same dollars, about $8.
AP Audio makes 2' packaged 8 for $24.00.
Here's a link. They're all priced about the same. I've had better luck with
the AP Audio in molded cables.

http://www.zzounds.com/cat--AP-Audio--2924

YMMV

--Wayne

-"sounded good to me"-
Anonymous
November 7, 2004 11:37:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <slrncoqfhq.an8.fishbowl@radagast.home.conservatory.com> fishbowl@conservatory.com writes:

> I'm good at making things, but I've found the
> cost of the connectors at the best prices I can find, to
> be as high as manufactured cables. In order for DIY to
> be effective, the parts have to be cheap.

No, you can use good connectors, good cable, and good assembly
techniques and end up with a better cable than you can buy cheap.

But welcome to the world of mass production. Companies like Hosa use
connectors that have fewer metal parts (in fact fewer parts, period)
than the connectors that you can buy to assemble yourself, and they
use a lot of automated tooling to assemble the cables. Also, they buy
parts by the truckload. So they can buy parts at lower cost than you
can, they can assemble them more efficiently, and they may even use
parts that you can't buy on the retail market.

My advice is not to try to save money on cables that you can buy
conveniently. Make the custom cables that you can't buy off the shelf.
Those are the ones that will cost you a lot if you have to pay someone
to custom build them for you.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
November 7, 2004 1:31:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Sat, 06 Nov 2004 21:11:50 GMT, james of tucson
<fishbowl@radagast.home.conservatory.com> wrote:

>I'm at a point in my home studio where I need a bunch
>of 2 foot 1/4" patch cords, and a few long balanced ones
>as well. I'm good at making things, but I've found the
>cost of the connectors at the best prices I can find, to
>be as high as manufactured cables. In order for DIY to
>be effective, the parts have to be cheap. Please advise.


Home-made will be better quality, and repairable. Or you can buy a
bunch of cheapo ready-mades and treat them as disposable. They work
OK until they fail :-)

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
Anonymous
November 8, 2004 2:54:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 2004-11-06, Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:

> Avoid cables with molded connectors like the plague.

Thanks for the reply, Scott.
I haven't skimped on instrument cables. I'm a keyboard player with
7 main instruments in my rig, so that's 7 stereo channels, plus 8 submix
channels coming out of one of my synths, plus spdif in one case.
Anyway from the instrument to the patchbay and/or recorder I use nice
expensive cables of correct length and all is good. But now I'm trying
to do more with effects and so forth in my rack, and a pedalboard, &c,
and so I'm suddenly in need of about a jillion 2-foot-or-less cables.

I'm very good at making stuff, but alas, the strategy of DIY is no
bargain here.
Anonymous
November 8, 2004 11:57:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 2004-11-07, Peter B. <thecatspjamas@aol.com> wrote:

Thank you, Peter. There's a lot of good advice in your post.
I envision a corner of my office with a 1000' spool of mic cable
and a parts bin full of connectors, and I think you just got me
there.
Anonymous
November 8, 2004 11:59:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 2004-11-08, Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:

> And then a couple hundred more to replace them when they fail, plus lost time.

Right, a lesson I don't need to learn, and the reason I'm trying to
avoid it. I *know* I make better stuff than they, "they" being anyone
else, but the barrier to entry (1000' of mic cable, a bin of connectors)
has me sticker shocked. For the cost of cabling, I could buy another
instrument, or an effects box or a mic or something :-)
Anonymous
November 8, 2004 11:59:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

james of tucson <fishbowl@conservatory.com> wrote:
>On 2004-11-08, Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:
>> And then a couple hundred more to replace them when they fail, plus lost time.
>
>Right, a lesson I don't need to learn, and the reason I'm trying to
>avoid it. I *know* I make better stuff than they, "they" being anyone
>else, but the barrier to entry (1000' of mic cable, a bin of connectors)
>has me sticker shocked. For the cost of cabling, I could buy another
>instrument, or an effects box or a mic or something :-)

Right. Mike cables aren't exciting. But they are things that you need
to have and there's really no way around that. Sadly, most of the really
important things in the studio (like room acoustics) wind up in that category.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
November 9, 2004 10:13:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 2004-11-09, Peter B. <thecatspjamas@aol.com> wrote:

> The molded end HOSA cable seems to be prefered by garage bands for
> hooking up amps to speakers. I've seen them 'spliced' to lamp cord
> without electrical tape.
> Nobody knew why the sound kept cutting out...

Heh :-)

I understand most of you are audio guys, and I'm out of the element
here, but my keyboard rig is pretty much completely wired with Hosa MIDI
cables. Without actually counting, I think I have 17 different MIDI
cables, it's insane but necessary, trust me. They get the job done,
but granted, they don't get much abuse. Well, the ones on my pedalboard
do get stepped on and pushed around a bit.

But MIDI isn't the same class of problem as audio or digital audio.

Thanks again to everyone who responded to this thread.
Anonymous
November 10, 2004 6:30:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"james of tucson" <fishbowl@radagast.home.conservatory.com> wrote:
>
> [...] the barrier to entry (1000' of mic cable, a bin of connectors)
> has me sticker shocked. For the cost of cabling, I could buy
> another instrument, or an effects box or a mic or something :-)



If it helps any, you're not alone. Seems lots of people make wiring an
afterthought and don't budget for cable.

I'm building a little overdub/post room in my house. I already have
whatever equipment I need, so the costs have just been minor
renovations, fixtures/millwork, acoustic treatments and interconnects.
Since the rooms are small and there isn't much gear involved, I figured
the budget would be credit card small. Whoops.

Looking at just wiring (since that's all that's relevant to this
discussion):

- four 48 point patchbays, which I bought used really cheap. Since I'm
only ever moving eight channels or so at a time, this was enough for
mixer interconnects and a small assortment of outboard (a more
complicated rig would require many more points). $300

- a ten foot line from each patchbay jack to a corresponding point on a
piece of gear in the rack or the mixer. Doesn't sound like very much
wire until you do the math -- 48 x 4, x ten feet each. Almost half a
mile of wire just for a simple little rig! I had planned to use name
brand cable (I've always used Mogami in the past) but this time opted
for generic simply based on price. Two boxes of 1000 feet each was
$200. Double that for name-brand.

- connectors for the "other" end of those ten foot lines. Fortunately I
know a connector wholesaler so I was able to get Switchcraft and Neutrik
at a substantial discount, but enough 1/4"-TRS and XLR connectors to do
the job still came out to roughly $750.

With other miscellaneous materials and supplies, the cost of wiring a
*very* basic rig with generic cable, used patchbays and discounted
connectors was close to $1500. Something for everyone to consider when
budgeting for system upgrades.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
November 10, 2004 6:30:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Whenever I've designed studios, or consulted w/ studio owners for
upgrades, I always set aside between 7% and 12% of the equipment total
(in dollars) for wire/cable/connectors

....and I *still* manage to go overbudget more often than not!




(sorry for the top-post)

"Lorin David Schultz" <Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote in message news:<kuqkd.141819$9b.40203@edtnps84>...
> "james of tucson" <fishbowl@radagast.home.conservatory.com> wrote:
> >
> > [...] the barrier to entry (1000' of mic cable, a bin of connectors)
> > has me sticker shocked. For the cost of cabling, I could buy
> > another instrument, or an effects box or a mic or something :-)
>
>
>
> If it helps any, you're not alone. Seems lots of people make wiring an
> afterthought and don't budget for cable.
>
> I'm building a little overdub/post room in my house. I already have
> whatever equipment I need, so the costs have just been minor
> renovations, fixtures/millwork, acoustic treatments and interconnects.
> Since the rooms are small and there isn't much gear involved, I figured
> the budget would be credit card small. Whoops.
>
> Looking at just wiring (since that's all that's relevant to this
> discussion):
>
> - four 48 point patchbays, which I bought used really cheap. Since I'm
> only ever moving eight channels or so at a time, this was enough for
> mixer interconnects and a small assortment of outboard (a more
> complicated rig would require many more points). $300
>
> - a ten foot line from each patchbay jack to a corresponding point on a
> piece of gear in the rack or the mixer. Doesn't sound like very much
> wire until you do the math -- 48 x 4, x ten feet each. Almost half a
> mile of wire just for a simple little rig! I had planned to use name
> brand cable (I've always used Mogami in the past) but this time opted
> for generic simply based on price. Two boxes of 1000 feet each was
> $200. Double that for name-brand.
>
> - connectors for the "other" end of those ten foot lines. Fortunately I
> know a connector wholesaler so I was able to get Switchcraft and Neutrik
> at a substantial discount, but enough 1/4"-TRS and XLR connectors to do
> the job still came out to roughly $750.
>
> With other miscellaneous materials and supplies, the cost of wiring a
> *very* basic rig with generic cable, used patchbays and discounted
> connectors was close to $1500. Something for everyone to consider when
> budgeting for system upgrades.
Anonymous
November 10, 2004 9:17:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <kuqkd.141819$9b.40203@edtnps84> Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca writes:

> Looking at just wiring (since that's all that's relevant to this
> discussion):

> - a ten foot line from each patchbay jack to a corresponding point on a
> piece of gear in the rack or the mixer. Doesn't sound like very much
> wire until you do the math -- 48 x 4, x ten feet each. Almost half a
> mile of wire just for a simple little rig! I had planned to use name
> brand cable (I've always used Mogami in the past) but this time opted
> for generic simply based on price. Two boxes of 1000 feet each was
> $200. Double that for name-brand.

Steve Lampen of Belden has been extolling the vitues of running
balanced line level signals through Cat5e or Cat6 UTP Ethernet cable.
If the balancing is good you can get away without a shield
(automatically eliminating ground loops) and the cable is really
cheap. We've been kicking around getting someone to manufacture DB25
adapters to two RJ45 jacks to run eight channels through two pieces of
UTP cable and connecting to things using the TASCAM/etc. DB25 wiring
standard.

I guess it takes guts to wire an audio installation without shielded
cable the first time, but if it works, that's a confidence-builder.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
November 10, 2004 11:17:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Richard Crowley" <rcrowley7@xprt.net> wrote in message
news:10oqg6rcah60185@corp.supernews.com...
> "james of tucson" wrote ...
>> I'm at a point in my home studio where I need a bunch
>> of 2 foot 1/4" patch cords, and a few long balanced ones
>> as well. I'm good at making things, but I've found the
>> cost of the connectors at the best prices I can find, to
>> be as high as manufactured cables. In order for DIY to
>> be effective, the parts have to be cheap. Please advise.
>
> The connectors you are pricing are likely significantly
> higher quality than those used in the manufactured cables
> you are comparing to. Note that they are also repairable
> where molded-connector cables are almost "throwaways".
>
not necessarily better quality.
major manufacturers are going to get a very large bulk discount on their
connectors.
they are also going to have better equipment for building the cables which
will make their staff more efficient such as automatic wire strippers
tinning machines and all kinds of things that just make them more efficient.

the biggest thing is the buying power.
I cant buy my stock for anywhere near the price that a large cable
manufacturer can.

Doug
!