Author Topic: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?  (Read 1076 times)

Offline gavinbirss

Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
« on: January 12, 2020, 11:35:02 AM »
I am planning making up some of my own XLR cables.

Any tips from experienced members most welcome.

Have cable and connectors.

cable: Belden 8412 (have black, light blue and yellow not available locally)
connectors : Neutrik silver over nickel (frequent reconnects) and gold over nickel.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 11:39:01 AM by gavinbirss »

Offline chrisc

  • Trade Count: (+153)
  • AVForums Grandmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,226
  • Total likes: 737
  • Cape Town Hi-Fi Club - we're getting better sound
Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 11:52:29 AM »
At the risk of being called a heretic, I'd say that XLR is not as fussy as non-balanced in terms of using some exotic cable

You just need to make sure of the polarity, but Google has many illustrated examples

Why not use a thickish 3 or 4 core stranded cable with an outer shield?  They are easy to solder, but not so much heat on the pin that the plastic melts
Music is the shorthand of emotion

Offline gavinbirss

Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2020, 07:46:46 AM »

Offline Crankshaft

Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2020, 08:05:11 AM »
I've made XLR cables using pretty much the same components that you intend using.

I just soldered the wires to the signal pins and the shield to the ground pin.
No voodoo or snake oil required.

Offline gavinbirss

Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 08:09:08 AM »
@Crankshaft

Thanks

A little headshrink was used to cover cable end (where shield was opened) and pinched?

You use a heatgun?

Can candle wax be used to suspend soldered wires? Too make cable sound silky smooth?

Good solder with silver and good sized solder tip with enough temperature?

« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 08:16:29 AM by gavinbirss »

Offline Crankshaft

Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 08:16:36 AM »
The Neutrik connectors have very good clamping action to grip the outer sheath of the cables.
I don't think heat-shrink will be such a good idea, as it may affect the grip on the cable, and there will be too little sheath on the inside of the connector to hold any heat-shrink.

Make good solder joints and make certain that no bare wires make contact with each other.

Offline Hi-Phibian

  • Commercial Member
  • Trade Count: (+56)
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,442
  • Total likes: 588
  • I really prefer email, see my banner for address..
    • Croak Audio Exploration
Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 08:50:42 AM »
Try avoid nickel plating layers.
Use a temp controlled iron at the right temp for the solder used and within spec for the wire (van den Hul for eg has a max temp recommendation)

If you believe cable conductor
And construction makes a sonic difference I would avoid excessive add on like shrinks and sleeves and boots if not needed. 
Air is the best insulator.  Everything else is inferior in different grades.

Plug connectors in to a dummy socket to hold them and act as a heat sink. 

Decide on your thinking on the ground of the XLR.  Pin 1 only or pin 1 and body.

Use a method of stripping that does not bruise or gauge the conductors.  More important for video and digital but worth observing none the less. 


.
Croak Audio
Analogue by birth, digital by design. Mostly a StereoType though known to enjoy some Mono too  http://www.croak.co.za https://instagram.com/croakaudio?igshid=1wzr83vlqtbyy

Offline pwatts

Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2020, 10:36:58 PM »


Decide on your thinking on the ground of the XLR.  Pin 1 only or pin 1 and body.

Which one do you follow on yours? Best would be to solder according to the mating gear of course but that is seldom an option.