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Shielded cables & Unshielded cables?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by TCollins, Sep 27, 2000.

  1. TCollins


    Apr 4, 2000
    Likes Received:
    This might sound like a dumb question but, how do you tell the difference between a shielded cable & an unshielded 1/4" cable?
    Thank you!
  2. jfsjbb


    Aug 29, 2000
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    If you find a cable and do not know whether it's shielded or not, just plug it into your amp and turn it on. If you recieve your local radio station or Radio Vaticano, if you can listen to your microwave oven working, it's probably not shielded.

    Of course it's also possible to open one of the plugs an search for the shield, which should be connected to ground.

    If a shielded cable is kind of new, you can usually read something like "noiseless", "instrumental", "microphone" on it, whereas unshielded cables are only used as speaker cables, hence the imprint "speaker".

    Don't rely on it, though. The reason for shielding cables is not to recieve radio noise, so just check that out. The shielding may not work due to bad contacts in the plugs, which is quite common, unfortunately.
  3. billbassbuilder


    Aug 30, 2000
    Likes Received:
    A shielded cord (an instrument cable) has one insulated conductor in the center, (or two for a balanced line, like in a low impedance mic cord) surrounded by a braided 'shielding' wire. This is sometimes foil, or just stranded wrapped around the center insulated wire. The shielding is used to block out any radio interference, for any connections before it is amplified, to keep noise to a minimum.

    An unshielded wire has two insulated wires in the middle, there will be no wire wrapped as a 'shield' around the pair. This is used for speaker wire, the signal has already been amplified and is now a high current conductor.

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