Cables and Connectors
Do you need cables and connectors to connect an instrument, microphone or speakers?
We also have adapter connectors in stock.
Cables and connectors may seem like a side thing to you at first glance when it comes to music, but sooner or later you will need to get some cables and connectors, a cable with the right connectors and maybe adapter plugs to plug in your instrument, microphone, audio component or speakers on the appropriate music equipment.
In our offer you will find cables and connectors in the categories Pre-made Cables (with subcategories Instrument cables, Microphone cables, Audio cables, connecting or Patch cables, Y cables, MIDI cables, Speaker cables, Multicore cables and Other cables), Bulk Cables (Instrument Cables, Microphone Cables and Speaker Cables), Connectors (Adapters, XLR Connectors, Jack Connectors, RCA Connectors, Speakon Connectors, and Other Connectors) and Cable Accessories.
When using musical instruments and musical equipment such as cables and connectors, you will encounter different levels of signal that will need to be transmitted by the connecting cables. Roughly speaking, they could be divided into four signal levels:
- Microphone signal level - this is the voltage of the signal generated by the microphone. This is the lowest or weakest signal level out of four and requires the preamplifier to raise it to the line signal level.
- Instrumental level of signal - these signals somehow fall between the microphone level (lower) and the line level (higher). These signals refer to any level emitted by the instrument, usually from an electric guitar or bass. A preamplifier is required to raise the signal to the line level. Musical instruments such as e.g. electric guitars, especially guitars with single-coil magnetic pickups, emit high-resistance signals, while musical instruments such as synthesizers or various keyboard tubes emit low-resistance signals that could almost be considered line signals;
- Line signal level - line level signals are the highest level signals before the final gain. This is the type of signal that usually flows through your recording system or sound system behind the preamplifier and in front of the final amplifier that powers the speakers. There are two types of line levels - consumer and professional:
a) The consumer line level is estimated at about -10dBV and is what you will find in products such as CD or DVD players.
b) The professional line level is estimated at about +4 dBu and can be found in equipment such as mixing desks, preamplifiers and equipment for processing signals.
- The speaker level of the signal is after the final amplification. When a line-level signal enters the amplifier, it is available to power the speakers at the so-called speaker-level signal. These signals are much higher in voltage than line-level signals and require speaker cables for secure signal transmission.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when buying cables.
Will a more expensive microphone cable offer better sound quality than a cheaper one?
Should I then buy the cheapest possible microphone cable?
Best not to. The durability and reliability of the microphone cable can still be a problem. When the microphone cable works, it works the same as any other. However, if the cable is damaged or worn out, noise, interference and other problems will occur. Therefore, we would not recommend you to buy a microphone cable on eBay for $ 2 from China. However, any decent microphone cable that costs anywhere from $ 7 onwards is already enough for basic, uncomplicated use.
Why should I buy a more expensive XLR cable?
If you make a living from work that involves sound (performing live music on stage or recording for music customers in your studio, etc.), you want to ensure as much as possible that your cable won’t fail in the middle of a performance or recording session and slightly more expensive microphone cables they provide a more robust design and are more durable in long-term use. If it’s just podcasting or a beginner’s studio, you can replace a broken cable from time to time without a problem. With careful and conscientious use, even affordable microphone cables and connectors do not break down too often.
How important is cable durability?
Probably not too much for home / studio use. For outdoor or larger stage use, however, you will need a microphone cable that you can stretch and walk on.
Length has virtually no effect on sound quality or signal speed. For a small makeshift studio, it’s good to reduce the clutter factor: 2 - 3m should be fine (1m if you’re a true minimalist and the microphone will be on the table or you’ll be holding it in your hand). Of course, for outdoor installation, on a larger stage or in a larger recording studio, it is useful to have cables at least 5 to 10 m long.
Thick or thin cables?
Thicker cables are well protected (although thinner ones are not unprotected either), but thinner ones are more flexible and adaptable. Does thickness really affect sound quality? No
For instrumental cables, we will take the most into consideration guitar cables because electric guitars are most susceptible to changes in sound due to differences in cable quality. For cables for e.g. electronic keyboards do not need to pay as much attention to the quality of the cable itself, because their impact on sound quality is minimal
Will a more expensive guitar cable offer better sound quality than a cheaper one?
Yes. A more expensive cable will most likely also have a lower capacitance than a cheaper one and will degrade the sound of the guitar to a lesser extent than a cheaper one. This only applies to guitars with conventional passive magnets. With an electric guitar with active magnets or with an acoustic guitar with a built-in preamp, these problems disappear, a better cable will have no effect on the sound of the guitar, or it will be negligibly small. Equally insensitive are electronic keyboards, which have a similar signal as guitars with active magnets.
Should I then buy the most expensive guitar cable possible?
Not necessarily. It is possible that a slightly cheaper cable with a higher capacitance will be more suitable for your guitar, which may naturally have a slightly sharper sound, and this cable will soften it just right. Also keep in mind that there have probably been a lot of legendary guitar parts on memorable hits from the past, recorded with cables that today would not be considered exactly the highest quality. However, for the sake of durability and reliability, you should buy higher middle class cables if you are a professional or semi-professional musician.
What length of cable should I buy?
Due to the influence of cable length on sound quality, do not overdo the length, even if it is of high quality. If you use additional pedal effects that are declared as "True Bypass" or "Hard Bypass", you will not avoid sound degradation without using a device called "buffer", which practically converts the high-resistance guitar signal into low-resistance and eliminates degradation sound problems. By using this device, you will also be able to use longer cables with minimal loss of sound quality. However, if you are using a pedal that already has a built-in buffer (such as Boss pedals), you will already solve most of the problems and do not need an additional buffer device.
Two priorities are important when powering speakers - low resistance and high power. You can also make speaker cables in an emergency by soldering mono sockets to a normal electrical mains cable and it will sound fine. The resistance of the cable is proportional to the length and cross section of the cable, so by using a thick wire and maintaining a limited length of cable, we keep the resistance low and the cable will be able to control the power of the amplifier without overheating. That said, if you need longer speaker cables, look for thicker ones, with a larger conductor cross section. Also, the greater the power of the amplifier and speakers, the larger the cross section of the cable (the thicker it should be).