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DIY & Tutorials => DIY Tutorials => Topic started by: gavinbirss on January 12, 2020, 11:35:02 AM

Title: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
Post by: gavinbirss 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.
Title: Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
Post by: chrisc 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
Title: Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
Post by: gavinbirss on January 15, 2020, 07:46:46 AM
@Hi-Phibian ?

@genesis  ?
Title: Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
Post by: Crankshaft 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.
Title: Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
Post by: gavinbirss 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?

Title: Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
Post by: Crankshaft 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.
Title: Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
Post by: Hi-Phibian 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. 


.
Title: Re: Making your own balanced XLR cables any tips?
Post by: pwatts 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.