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Thread: Bgw amp plus eq for free!

  1. #316
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Sea,

    Since you have a history of stashing treasures in the house, i wouldn't mind having a peek at the connector box you have somewhere. Could be some nice stuff to see in there. No obligation, feel free to say no. Just curious.

    Widget,

    Thanks for the input. In spite of that i still like Switchcraft, they have some quality connectors, manufacture in the US, have a huge selection of connectors and adaptors, covering almost any situation, not really matched elsewhere. Hopefully they won't end up pricing themselves out of the market (or may become a niche mfr?). That would mean about Neutrik, Senior, Amphenol? and China left. And Neutrik has already started cutting cost with quality going down a little...

    Richard

  2. #317
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    Neutrik's well-known NC3FX Female XLR connector of more recent construction. Right there near the top can see the O ring has been changed for a grey one, previously was black. Not just a matter of color, also cheaper. If you look at the previously posted pic in # 295 (Aphex interfaces cables made), using some of the Swiss made connectors on-hand, the XLR O rings are black.

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    In addition to the O ring, the soldering cup terminal (2nd part) was also changed from round to squareish and the metal color isn't as shiny silverish as in the past. Looking at the other end of that part, where the three male pins go in, it use to be almost 360° full metal inside for increased contact. Not anymore. Think of tiny prison bars where you have a metal bar/strip then free space, again metal bar/strip followed by small space, and so on all around. So less metal used for contact inside each pin hole. Material cost i guess. The cable retainer (3rd part) is the newer model, and not as robust for sure as it used to be. Therefore four more cost reduction small modifications...

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    The other well-known NC3MX male XLR connector of more recent times. Note on the 3rd part shown the silver soldering cup terminal and to some degree on the three pins. This is typical older style. But Neutrik has changed such thing on recent XLRF. Then i assume the XLRM might be the next one in line for a cost reduction "remodeling". The cable retainer (4th part), same as dealer gave me to replace a lost one, is also the recent model with weaker plastic.

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    I made sort of a global recap picture, it should follow soon, showing the changes between older and newer Neutriks, for their long standing and most popular models i guess: NC3FX (XLR female); NC3MX (XLR male); NP3C (1/4"TRS). The NP3X 1/4"TRS is excluded since its already been shown/compared with the NP3C, plus the former has limited barrel space re cable size.

    Connectors are a details business in my view, and these add-up, plus details matter for long-term connection reliability, specially when systems are subject to setup and tear down a number of times.

    Richard

  3. #318
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    These are the connector changes recap pictures mentioned in the previous post. Two pics are identical, except for where i've drawn lines to point where modifications were made. Third pic is simply taken from a different angle that some folks may prefer. Note the first pic is clear enough to be enlarged a few times (i tested it), in order to have a closer look at the differences, after saving it to hard disk.

    The left column is Swiss made connectors all the way down, and the right column is newer Liechtenstein made equivalent parts. 4 parts per connector, each time in the same order from top to bottom. That makes it easier to compare two generations of the same connectors, also gives members a more global view.

    At far right the packaging with model number is used for connector identification purpose right next to the one involved. There's a number of parts there making it preferrable to know which one belongs where.

    Note the change mentioned in previous post re inside the female XLR where the male pins go in is not show here, could not picture that with the small cam i have, but i sure see that change with my eyes and a good light.

    The vertically drawn line in the right column is to indicate the change made on the female XLR soldering terminal has not been carried out YET on the male XLR soldering terminal a little below. Hence a difference between these two connectors. But i wouldn't be surprised the same mod makes its way to the male XLR in the near future. More to come.

    Richard

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  4. #319
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    Unfortunately don't have many Swiss made Neutriks left, having used recently four 1/4"TRS as well as XLRF from my stock to make cables for the Aphex interfaces.

    Pic: left bag XLRM, these are pretty old, bought them used in nice condition long ago, were soldered once, built like a tank, their silver metal wasn't as shiny in those days as the bit more recent ones on the right side, also Swiss; a few 1/4"TS follow; then a pair of 1/4"TRS & XLRM. The odd number (3) of XLRF at far right is due to a mic cable i have, which had a Neutrik XLR connector at one end and a Switchcraft XLR at the other end, i kind of think it looked dumb to have different brand connectors on the same cable, so replaced the Switchcraft with a Neutrik, "symmetry" restored, and a working XLRF Switchcraft now orphan...

    When these Neutriks are depleted will have to say goodbye to good old Swiss Made connectors, sniff. Welcome to the world of cost cutting and quality reduction, like most of the rest...

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    Recently purchased a whole bunch of new generation Neutriks i'll need: NC3FX, NC3MX and NP3C (plus the two NP3X to try). The details about those were shown before. As for the odd number (15) on the left bag here this is caused by having to replace (make a pair) the XLRF i took in my stock in order to put a Neutrik connector on the mic cable mentioned above.

    Next time different connectors, no Neutriks!

    Richard

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  5. #320
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    At the top of pic is the orphan Switchcraft A3F XLR female. As explained before i removed it from a mic cable simply for appearance reason. Its used, in good condition and works. IF YOU HAVE SOME USAGE IN MIND FOR THAT A3F, LET ME KNOW, ITS AVAILABLE FREE. Won't be using it in a foreseeable future, keeping it in a bag, and don't like to throw away things that work and may be useful to someone else.

    The first four bags from the left are Senior connectors. Purchased these a long while ago when Senior was distributed in Canada. I've seen somewhere Senior was founded by a group of ex Switchcraft employees. No wonder their 1/4" look similar to Switchcraft models 280 & 297 shown before. Senior now being amalgamated into Maclean Senior industries.com (MSI). Though their 1/4" look like older Switchcraft, their XLR ones look more like the Neutriks.

    Nicely made connectors: 1rst bag new 1/4" TRS; 2nd bag also TRS bought new, but i soldered those once before then made changes to some cables, kept the connectors as used ones; 3rd bag new TS; 4th bag new RCA's. The last two bags on the right are connectors with a soft spring at cable entry, nice to reduce foil shield cable bending in tight spaces. Don't recall their origin. The spring 1/4"TS are used to connect the Alesis reverb & delay to the mixer (pics and explanations later).

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    The idea here is to use some spring loaded RCA's along with the small & shorter Canare install cables left in order to replace the larger & longer Monster Cables (previously shown) going from Bellari phono pre to Aphex interface. They'll fit better in the limited space available, while providing a softly curved cable using that RCA model. On to do list for next time i make cables, will solder those too.

    Richard

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  6. #321
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    The connectors used on cables between the Mackie mixer and the Alesis effects unit are somewhat different from what i usually use, and a few reasons will explain this further in next post.

    On 1rst pic the top cable uses a pair of Senior 1/4"TS, while the other two cables in the middle have spring entry 1/4"TS connectors. The logic for using spring 1/4" has already been explained. As for the use of Senior connectors here, have only two spring 1/4" connectors left, shown on a prior pic, and want to keep them as spares, in case there's a problem with the ones in use, plus the Senior i have a bunch of them.

    The odd number of cables (3) seems unusual for stereo operation, and it is stereo, but for the moment simply keep in mind the "going out in mono and coming back in stereo" connection principle between the mixer and effects.

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    Older folks here may remember this Alesis unit since tons of them were sold and it was known as the affordable, quick and easy reverb & delay. Alesis has typically been musician's gear, not really professional studio equipment in my view, though they called themselves "Alesis Studio Electronics", maybe more for project studios i guess. 25 years ago it cost me $290.CAD

    That sound effects tool may not be the taste of today but still quite useful to me and its been reliable since 1995. A fun toy to play with! Every setting is right there at the finger tips, fast to make sound effects changes on the go, without having to enter menus, scroll, select, confirm, exit, etc.

    In addition to adjustments & EQ knobs, the two main knobs at right let the user determine the effects, the first one to choose among 16 program types (reverb, delay, etc.), with the second one covering 16 different program variations. For example, if "large rooms" is selected, there are 16 types of large rooms available. And so on for other effects. A card, plus owner manual, provide identification details/explanations for each effect in case the user requires more info.

    Note that you don't necessarily need a mixer to use a sound effects tool such as the Alesis. It can be used in the audio signal path between a preamp and amp, for example. But in such case its operated full (L/R) stereo with the whole program material being subject to the effect applied. Small room #1 acts as defeat setting (no effect).

    First Alesis pic is pretty clear to be enlarged somewhat, however the next one is even better.

    Back to "going out in mono and coming back in stereo" with upcoming post.

    Richard

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  7. #322
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    The three-cable connection scheme for "going out in mono and coming back in stereo" applies to signal routing between a mixer and effects device. Note the purpose isn't to save money on cable & connectors, though it does happen as a small bonus, but rather for keeping some mixer flexibility or possibilities.

    A shortcoming small mixers have is the limited number of Aux Sends/Returns to do this, therefore one needs to optimize use of these resources. Some very small mixers have only one Aux Send/Return, in such case there isn't much choice, you have to use the sole connection possible and you're done. The case here is about using 1 or 2 mono Sends, and a stereo Return, on mixers having a pair of each, like the one shown which is pretty frequent.

    A number of smaller mixers have two Auxiliary Sends and two Stereo Auxiliary Returns. An Aux Send can be used to feed a stage monitor/headphones (foldback as the British call it) or an effects processor, while a Stereo Aux Return will take the processed signal from an effects unit, or may be used as an additional stereo input, for example.

    The Alesis effects is full stereo but allows feeding it in mono and will still output in stereo. Which is nice to avoid using all Aux Send possibilities with a single device, therefore keeping the other Aux Send free to connect something else the user may need.

    So exiting mixer in mono to effects unit and returning signal from effects to mixer in stereo implies one cable (mono) Mackie to Alesis and two cables (stereo) from Alesis to Mackie mixer. Hence the use of only three cables as shown on a previous pic.

    One can still output mixer in stereo to effects unit with a fourth cable, if that is the wish, using the two available mono Aux Sends (one per channel) and use a Stereo Aux Return on the mixer. The drawback with this option is simply that you have no other Aux Send left for monitor (add small fourth cable cost). Therefore, having mono out/stereo back in is a nice alternative and makes sense to save the next Aux Send on-board the mixer for other use.

    Richard

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  8. #323
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