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Ordered MH UNL2 - Need TRS to XLR cables

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I found a dealer who will ship me a demo ULN-2 to try out and if I like it I'll get a new one from him. I can't wait. My balanced 240V circuit will be in place and I received the Torus RM20 balanced line conditioner so my system should be in great shape to give the ULN-2 a meaningful and lengthy audition. I might even compare it to a Bryston and the Ayre. I will definitely see how the Mac Mini server and ULN compares to an Oppo player I'm using now.


I do need TRS 1/4 inch to XLR 3-pin balanced cables for this. All I know is the pro audio dealer has Morgami Gold cables at $100 a pair. I'm looking for a recommendation for other reasonably priced but well designed and built cables. I do not do spendy cables, like $1000 a pair. But I do want a reasonably good cable, maybe something better than a Morgami Gold for not much more cost.




Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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Until you find cables, perhaps even until you decide whether to keep the ULN-2, an alternative is use of a Neutrik NA3MP adapter - balanced TRS to male XLR adapter.


For "audiophile" cables, you'll likely need custom termination. I'm currently using these same adapters with very high quality XLR cables, to good effect, while I wait for custom-built adapters and/or a cable manufacturer who will do custom termination.


The case has been made here for adapters with higher quality cables versus lower quality cables (Mogami, e.g.) available pre-terminated.


Not all will agree.







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I've always liked Canare cable. It's a pro cable but it sounds very natural and is excellent value.

And stick with Neutrik connectors.


If you are only slightly DIY, with time and patience try making your own cables.


Otherwise try your local musical instrument store or pro audio hire company as they should happily assemble a cable for you; it should take appx 20mins per cable to do a nice job.


Ultimately, I would buy an 'audiophile' XLR to XLR and then reterminate one end with a Neutrik TRS connector.


Check this link for excellent value Wireworld XLR.




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Pro cables are probably a good bet here. Cardas makes some called 2x24M (but verify that those are TRS and not TS):




and so does a little outfit called Empirical Design:


(direct link is here: http://www.empiricaldesign.net/interconnect_cables.html).


Both should be great cables.



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"And stick with Neutrik connectors."


Agreed on this. Even Franck Tchang prefers Neutrik connectors on his ASI Livelines (which are my current cables), for sonic reasons, although he does drill a couple of small holes in them for resonance purposes.





BTW, if you do buy the NA3MP adapters I mentioned, make sure to get the wired version, unless you want to solder the internal connections yourself.




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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I ordered a pair of Blue Jeans TRS/XLR to start with. Great price actually. Should be on par with Morgrami or maybe even better. It's made with a Belden wire and Neutrik XLR and Canare TRS phone plug.


I'm going to try the adapter approach too. I'd like to try using the same wire as my speaker cables, which are Anti Cables from Paul Speltz. I've heard that using the same cables in a system has some benefits. But I'm not sure this synergy thing really applies when the total cabling consists of one set of speaker cables and one pair of interconnect. I'll be keeping my eye peeled for a used pair of Anti Cable XLRs on Agon and will track down the adapters too. This should be an expensive and hopefully interesting experiment for later.


I'm curious about one more cabling area that has come up with my decision to go with a UNL2. That is Firewire cables. I know that many people say that USB cabling makes a difference. But what about Firewire? I picked up a Lacie 400/800 FW cable recently. What's the word on performance differences with Firewire cables?




Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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They carry Cardas, Van Den Hul, Zaolla, Vovox, Evidence, Gotham, Canare, Mogami, George L's and several other manufacturers all in TRS to XLR male terminations. I've spoken with several folks who prefer Vovox, Evidence, and Zaolla over Mogami in studios around town. I've been browsing their site as I'm looking to upgrade from my Mogami's because my interface has TRS outputs as well. Bryan it's funny you mention the Anti-Cable interconnects because they are high on my list; let me know what you think of the Blue Jeans cables. Thanks.


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"That is Firewire cables."


The cable provided with the ULN-2 is great, although it comes in impractical length(s). I have only the long one - 4.5m. Apparently, they also provide an 18" cable as well, but I didn't receive one.


Try the Gold-X, preferably a short 6-pin to 4-pin, with adapter from 4pin back up to 6pin on one end, to isolate (read eliminate) the power. I chose the Granite adapter. This assumes you have a FW400 input on your computer. You can also pull out the power pin from the cable if you want. One person even just put a tiny strip of electrical tape over the pin.


For FW800 (as in Mac Mini), there's no Gold-X available. For whatever reason, I've not been able to find an appropriate adapter to lose the power leg on a FW 800 cable.


I've switched over to G5 (rather than Mini), so I stopped my pursuit of FW800 cable. VRS had no FW800 recommendation when I asked them a few months ago.




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Clay, I do have a mini and probably won't be able to drop the power pin like you said. And I could use a FW 400/800 adapter with the MH stock cable. And I have the Lacie cable. But I'm curious if there is much word on the street that Firewire cables make any difference like USB's.


I have an email out to Blue Jeans to see if they will make a Firewire cable, and if they will make a 400/800 cable that drops the power.




Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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You can block the DC voltage pin on a Firewire cable pretty easily by covering that single pin with a very small piece of thin kapton tape. First, use Google to find a pin diagram of the Firewire 400 connector, and locate the power pin. Then using an Xacto knife cut a small piece of kapton tape (available online in many sizes, has many uses in electronics, get thin stuff) just large enough to cover only the power pin. Use a pair of tweezers to place the tape, and be sure to rub the tape down with some kind of thin tool, a plastic or wooden toothpick works great. As long as you are careful plugging in the cable you should not have any problems.

This mod is easily removable, and avoids using adapters, etc. I tried this and noted no difference in the sound of my RME FF-400 (but the Fireface does not sound very good anyway)-but I really wonder how much this mod is worth, as the ground connection to the computer is still intact, and likely loaded with noise; I do not think that one can defeat the Firewire ground connection without causing problems (but I am not sure about this, anyone know for sure?)


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I just ordered a pair of cables from Lava. They offer many different lengths and many combinations of mis-matched terminations.


I'm trying the 2' Vovox Link Protect S (i.e. shielded) with TRS to XLR male - $175 for the pair.


I want to test out (theory of better performance from) higher quality audiophile cable with adapters versus good quality pro cables with proper connections. :)









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