Results in Power Pro Audio Cables, Leads & Connectors

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Power Pro Audio Cables, Leads & Connectors 

Audio cables, connectors and power leads are all essential within any live or studio set up. 

While cables and connectors are integral parts of the signal chain, where poor selection can introduce noise, power cables are not a part of the signal chain.

Cable types

  • Shielded - used in unbalanced set ups to reduce ‘hum’ noise caused by electromagnetic interference, braid and foil are the two most common types of shielding. 
  • Unbalanced - simple, direct transfer of signal from the source directly to the receiving device. Distortion may be picked up in this simple process.
  • Balanced - offers greater protection against electromagnetic interference. Two signals are carried from the equipment with one out of phase, and the two signals are recompiled at the receiving end. If you required a balanced lead, this is typically indicated by manuals for your existing equipment. 

Connector types

  • Firewire - also called IEEE 1394, there are three types of connector: 4-pin; 6-pin; and 9-pin.
  • Jacks, TS or TRS - available in 6.35mm (1/4 inch), 3.5mm (1/8 inch) and 2.5mm (3/32 inch). Cylindrical in shape, tapered at the end.  
  • MIDI - often used for computers, drum machines, effects processors, sequencers and synthesisers.
  • Optical - transmit digital audio as pulses of light and are surround sound capable. 
  • RCA or Phono - more common in home stereo systems but sometimes used by the professional to connect consumer equipment to a PA system.
  • Speakon or speaker twist connector - for connecting speakers to amplifiers
  • USB (Universal Serial Bus)  - ensure selection of the correct size of connector and USB standard.
  • XLR - normally with a lockable tab and three pins, these are most commonly used for microphones, amplifiers, and speakers. 

Female and Male Connectors Explained

Each half of a connection is either male or female. The female connector receives and holds the male connector. Where pins may be found on the male half, the female half will have holes corresponding to the pins. 

Things to consider

  • Connector - check the types of connectors that the equipment you already have requires to ensure you make the correct selection
  • Length - think about the setting in which your cable is required ensure that it is long enough, but not so long that you have metres or loose cable
  • Overload - when considering power cables do not overload any extensions leads and ensure adequate gauge to cope with the job to avoid overheating and fire hazards
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