Without delving too far into hair-splitting and sophistry, here at Federal Audio we’ve come up with a few good reasons to invest a little in your studio cabling.
1) Keep it Quiet
Typical studios large and small are bombarded with RF (radio frequency), electrostatic, and EMI (electromagnetic induction) noise from wireless devices, electrical dimmers, and bad wiring practice like routing AC too close and parallel to signal wires. Some of this noise can get past even the best shields. This is even more of a problem in home studios.
Mogami Gold’s Quad (4 conductor) cables can cancel up to 15 db (about 97%) more noise than even the best twisted pair (2 conductor) cables. That is a huge difference. That is why all their balanced TRS and XLR cables are made with quad wiring. In their words: “Nothing is quieter”.
If you’re replacing cheap inexpensive cables often enough it may work out cheaper in the long run to have bought higher quality cables in the first place. This might seem obvious but of course the cost of pro cabling can mount up quite quickly. Our best advice would be to buy it once, and buy it right. The best cables are the ones you never think about - they’re all connected and working as they should. Better quality cables will often come with a lifetime warranty (as Mogami does), so think of the extra cost like a great insurance policy.
4) Sound Quality
Dodgy cables are going to affect the quality of the audio passing through them. You just spent all that cash on high-end converters and monitors with beautiful ribbon tweeters. You want to get the most out of that equipment with a neutral, transparent transfer of audio signal.
5) The Free Stuff
You can optimise your studio to get the best from your cables no matter how much you spent on them. It matters how you connect and run your cables. Even the nicest cables will be noisy if you run them parallel with power cables, or if you connect two devices which are grounded in two different locations. Short cable runs are advised to minimise potential noise and interference.
And finally, take care of your cables. Field recording and recoiling is the biggest test of a cable’s durability. Don’t use the extension cord method, wrapping them up over your wrist and elbow. Running castors over them and shutting doors on them doesn’t help too much either.