It's the specs that matter!
This why I'm very excited by Avencore's latest Pro Audio cabling range. They seem to have made a cable that is everything a professional cable should be but without the inflated price (and the snake oil).
Avencore Platinum Series Microphone Cable delivers the best possible audio signals in a superbly designed product. It's a balanced cable, perfect for long runs with crystal clear signal!
Let's break down Avencore's Pro Audio offering here and see what we get...
We'll start at the core of this 7.5m cable. In it you'll find 2x 24 AWG carriers, each with 20 strands of 0.12mm Oxygen Free Copper (OFC). Surrounding these are an additional five layers of materials:
- PE Isolation: A layer of Polyethylene (PE) goes around each copper carrier to isolate them from each other. PE Isolation also mitigates the Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) produced by the current going through both carriers from interfering each other. Although not a perfect insulator, PE is better than the cheaper PVC isolation found on a lot of cables and is more than enough to deal with the low voltages used in these cables.
- Conductive PVC: Next is a layer of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) modified to be conductive. Rather than isolating the EMI coming from each of the carriers (which is what the PE Isolation does), Conductive PVC, instead, insulates each carrier from outside EMI.
- Cotton Filler: Helps make the cable more round, helps prevent static discharge from the rubbing of the two cores and absorbs some of the impact from being crushed by various things (chairs, trolleys, stage gear, humans of any kind, Kim Kardashian etc.).
- TCWB Shield: This is the main shield for the cable and also serves double duty as the grounding connection. Tinned Copper Wire Braid (TCWB) shielding is the best shielding a pro audio cable can have. Tinning the copper extends its lifetime and a braided shield has a higher percentage of coverage than a spiral shield while being much more forgiving to being bent than a foil shield.
- Outer PVC Jacket: Super not interesting, absorbs impacts, holds everthing together and helps take the strain off the internal components.
Joined to each end we have some very well made connectors. All Avencore XLR cables feature high quality Yongsheng connectors for extended long term reliability and signal quality. Genuine Yongsheng connectors have superior contact points, higher quality components and tighter tolerances when compared to inferior products and counterfeits. The pins on all Avencore XLR connectors (male and female) are gold plated for long term, high quality conductivity.
Avencore Platinum Series 7.5m XLR Cable Specs:
- Avencore 5 Year Warranty
- Well made and thought out, reliable, professional level cables
- Genuine high quality Yongsheng XLR connectors with gold plated pins
- 24 Gauge OFC Carriers (20 x 0.12mm strands per carrier)
- PE Isolation
- Conductive PVC insulation
- Tin Annelled Copper Wire Braided Shield
- Pin 1, Ground (wired to shield)
- Pin 2, Positive (red)
- Pin 3, Negative (black
- Comes with a reusable soft cable tie to aid with storage
- Black cable with black connectors for inconspicuous use
Balanced microphone cables, a brief explanation.
Microphones operate on a very low voltage, this means the signal traveling from the microphone to the sound desk/audio interface can very easily pick up unwanted interference along the way. When this low voltage signal is received and amplified to desirable listening levels any unwanted interference picked up along the way is also amplified to not so desirable listening levels.
To get around this, microphone cables can be balanced. This involves sending the signal from the microphone along two carriers instead of one. The first carrier is the normal signal heard by the microphone but the second one is inverted (put out of phase). Both carriers pick up the same interference from various sources (mobile phones, power cables etc.) along the way. When the two signals arrive at their destination the second signal is re-inverted back into normal phase to match the first signal again. When this happens, the interference, which is now out-of-phase between carrier one and carrier two is cancelled out and cannot be heard any more. Clever!