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Can I use ' low noise microphone cable ' as patch cables for my pre, power, etc...?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Grahams Groove, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove Can we please just groove for a while? Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    I was re-doing all the connections in my rack to make the cables more "neat" if you will and I noticed that on the Livewire instrument (supposedly) cables I bought, that the cable sleeve itself says, "Professional Low Noise Microphone Cable". (I noticed this because I just bought 2 more of the 'same' cable from a different distributor and they have a different color sleeve near the ends, and say low noise insturment cable on them.

    They came in the same package and everything, and they seem to have worked so far, but I want to make sure this isn't problematic for my amp at all.

    I should also note that on the 1/4" male ends, the "microphone" cable has 2 plastic rings (about .25 inches apart) on it, while the "instrument" cable only has one plastic ring on the connector.

    Sorry if my terminology for some of this isn't correct...I did my best.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Cables are cables, so as long as they have been working, you can just keep using them. It doesn't seem to me that an amp would be damaged by using the wrong type of cable.
  3. YosemiteSam


    Jun 8, 2005
    Chatham, MA
    "Microphone" and "instrument" cables should be comparable and compatable. Either of these and "speaker" cables are not. Speaker cables aren't shielded, and you'll get a lot of noise/interferance if you try to use them on input. I've heard that you really shouldn't use shielded cables for speakers (especially in high wattage uses) but I've always used the proper cables so don't have any first hand knowledge.

    -- Sam
  4. Your "microphone" cables are 3-conductor cables, with a 1/4 inch TRS end (tip-ring-sleeve) whereas your instrument cables are just plaim ordinary 2-conductor cables with a tip-sleeve configuartion.

    The 3 conductors will work in a 2 conductor situation (such as using them for instrument cables) but if there is ever a need for you to have the 3 conductors (patching in cdertain mixer send/returns) you can't substitute a 2 conductor cable. Make sense?
  5. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    It may actually get a little deeper than that.
    If you're running TRS plugs...you MAY have the option of running your rack "Balanced" as opposed to the normal "unbalanced" mode.

    Many will tell you that for short cable runs..it doesn't matter. I ain't one of them. I've run my SWR Grand Prix into a QSC PLX both ways and the difference is significant. I don't exactly have magic ears and "Balanced" is WAY better.

    You may want to check your manuals for your gear and see if you have that option.