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Thread: Bgw amp plus eq for free!

  1. #301
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Forgot to post that pic with the first group. Yup, older Swiss made were better built than what we're being served today. Never failed, nor broke any, last forever... In up coming posts you'll see some differences between older and newer equivalent models.

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  2. #302
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Bought a pair of these little slimmer body Neutrik 1/4" NP3X to try them, this is a lower cost version of Neutrik's well-known NP3C, i don't regret purchasing only two of them!

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    Left on pic is NP3C, and at right NP3X, both 1/4"TRS.
    Made an assembling simulation at one end of a pair of Aphex cables prior shown (post # 295, 1rst pic) using the NP3X connectors (other end being XLR). That install cable is larger than some others, but still about half the diameter of a mic cable. Screwed around for a while, and just couldn't fit that cable, retainer and cap in connector body! They never got to soldering step. I put them aside and used instead good old NP3C's as shown in above post. No fooling around, job done.

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    NP3X taken apart. Another one with a cheaper cable retainer.
    The screw cap thread on NP3X is inside the connector barrel, not on the outside like NP3C, so there's less space inside when assembling with cable. Then, if you're going to buy these connectors be aware of the cable size issue possibility, which i never bothered with using NP3C. I may find some use for the NP3X pair sometime down the road using smaller install cables i have (pic later).

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    NP3X, metal cutting line shown by arrow isn't straight and edges are rough. Not sure the Swiss would have allowed this to go to market...

    Globally, ok connector but not great, will still do the job if cable used isn't too large. Considering what i pay for NP3C vs NP3X, say a dollar or less difference, i won't spend time getting more NP3X, would rather go for NP3C.

    BTW, this is mostly about Neutrik connectors, this being what i use most and are found everywhere. Other reason: there hasn't been a Canadian distributor for Switchcraft in a very long time, same for Senior connectors (founded by Switchcraft guys), though both brands are still available in the US. Have some Senior connectors bought long ago, pic later. Basically, Neutrik "owns" the Canadian connector market with a huge share, the rest being essentially lower cost Asian stuff...

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  3. #303
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    1/4" connector used here is an older new Swiss made NP3C. The four parts of an XLR male connector ended up being in the picture for no specific reason.

    For illustration purpose only, here i used an even larger 18 AWG installation cable since its easier to see the wires. I left a tiny piece of shiny Alu shield at jacket end simply to show it, normally i remove that to avoid any shield contact with the conductors or connector. The shield's drain wire does the connection when its being used (soldered), which is not the case in that example.

    Note the drain wire (shield) is bent backwards on cable jacket, away from the connections, since it won't be utilized at this cable end. This is simpler than covering it with heat shrink. Drain wire will then be hidden under the cable retainer and inside screw-on cap shown, both non-conductive plastic. It will remain there securely, with no risk of touching signal wires or connector, in case i wish to make cable modifications later. Have wired this way both pairs of Aphex cables at 1/4" connector end. The XLR at the other cable end does have shield connected to Pin 1.

    A number of equipments i have are older, not necessarily built in accordance with newer Pin 1 standards as is often the case (known as "Pin 1 problem"). Unfortunately its difficult to know exactly which older gear conforms to newer Pin 1 rules and which doesn't. More so since it took some time for manufacturers to comply with the new standard. (If you own more recent compliant gear then read further.)

    Therefore playing it safe noise wise. Shield isn't required to make balanced lines work, but its nice to have to drain away interferences. When connected at one end only it also minimizes ground loops (hum, buzz). Not connecting shield at input ends avoids passing on potential noise to the next input. Haven't had noise issues going that way.

    The connector wiring example shown is with a 1/4"TRS, however same can be implemented on balanced XLR to XLR or TRS to TRS cables if need be. That connection strategy is among the various ones provided in Rane's Sound System Interconnection, Note # 110, 11/15. Moreover, Eargle also gives that suggestion of connecting shield at one end only to get rid of ground loops, in Handbook of Sound System Design, P. 195.

    There's another possible explanation why it may be preferable not to connect (on older gear) the cable shield at the INPUT end instead of at the output end. On one hand, audio gear outputs usually have lower impedances and inputs having higher impedances. On the other hand, low impedances are less prone to/affected by noise issues compared to higher impedances. By not connecting the cable shield at INPUT end, where noise might have more hold onto, then you basically remove the problem from the "weakest" side of the connection. The shield does remain connected at the OUTPUT end, the one with lower impedance, therefore less sensitive to noise issues...

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    The Pin 1 issue (or sleeve on a 1/4"TRS) was not just a matter of connection. It also involved for Mfrs the redesign of internal grounding system on many equipment (e.g. amp, preamp, mixer, etc.) based on the new rules to comply with the new standard. What is seen on this pic is only the end result.

    In the old practice shown, XLR case was chassis ground and pin 1 was signal ground (shield). With the NEW standard, pin 1 (or sleeve on 1/4"TRS) is chassis ground. Note the signal ground (shield) doesn't appear anymore, and XLR case grounding is now optional on the right side. With compliant (more recent) gear there's only one ground which is chassis. With such gear one continues to connect shield to pin 1 (or sleeve on TRS), AT BOTH ENDS of the cable. Since the latter connection is now linked (internally) to chassis ground there's no need for a second ground. The sole one has a dual purpose: chassis grounding and shield drain, both going through the same ground, which should help in having stuff at the same ground potential, then minimizing ground loops noises.

    If the equipment/connection scheme doesn't fit in the 1rst or 2nd best right way as explained in the Rane note, then opting for their 3rd best right way, as i do for older gear, may come to the rescue with its numerous connection examples/suggestions in the charts.

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    Left, older Swiss NP3C and on right side a more recent Leichtenstein made NP3C.

    On the left one machining is straight and edges are nice, same as on pic #1861. On the right one metal cutting line is not straight and edges rough (like seen before with NP3X). That tells me Neutrik may now be using the same 1/4" connections shaft on NP3C as they do on lower cost NP3X, but differentiated the connectors with the other parts used. On recent NP3C the cable retainer has been changed for a bit longer grey unit with less robust plastic, compared to the older black one at left. Arrow on gray retainer shows a section where the plastic is pretty thin, so more subject to break. Couple more places where cost reductions were implemented, not getting better...

    Richard

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  4. #304
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    HOME RACK WIRING

    Except for RCA connection type gear for which I showed previously some Digiglex/Ultralink/Monster cables used, i prefer using balanced installation cable for rack equipment interconnections, though some people still use mic cable for this purpose.

    In my view, mic cable is generally too large, heavy, and costly for nothing in home racks, specially with many pieces of gear which generate lots of wiring between the equipment. Making a pretty large "spaghetti plate" behind the gear when mic cable is used.

    Mic cable is made such a way because its normally subject to intense handling and flexing during performances or on tours. However installation cable is pretty much stationary and left as is once installed, therefore much less subject to handling or flexing.

    Often mic cable has braided shield coverage in the 91-95% at best, cheap ones may be lower than this, i've seen as low as 71% shield coverage, not really acceptable in my view (Canare L-2T2S has 94%). An advantage with foil shield installation cables is that they normally have 100% shield coverage, not only for the premium ones.

    One "misleading" aspect of mic cable is that many people think because it has a larger diameter than installation cable, then the wire conductors inside must be larger size. Not necesssarily though. Most good mic cables use 24 AWG or so conductors (Canare L-2T2S has 23AWG), some lower cost use 26 AWG. The standard installation cables i use have mostly 20 & 22 AWG wires, except for a few at 18 AWG (previously used Canare L-2B2AT has 25 AWG). The cable size difference isn't automatically due to larger conductors, but rather often based on jacket thickness, fiber filler inside, some other added for strength, braided shield thickness...

    Definitely more practical to me using installation cable in home equipment racks with its smaller outside diameter taking less space, while having sufficiently large conductors. Its lighter, has twisted pair wires also, better shield coverage and the foil shield comes with a drain wire for easy shield connection. Generally easier to work with and faster to solder directly the drain wire to a connector, than having to undo some of a braided shield, twist it then solder.

    When making your own RCA cables, you can even use install cable for this, connect both wires from the twisted pair to the tip of a RCA connector, plus drain wire to ground or sleeve, then benefit from "wire doubling" mentioned before (Eargle: two identical wires in parallel lowers effective gauge by 3). So, two 22 gauge wires in parallel now become equivalent to a 19 gauge wire, with no increase in cable size! which is nice for somewhat longer runs. Though most of my cable lengths have been about 1 meter, some a little more others less, but its changing for additional longer cables.

    Richard


    Pic shows the various installation cables on-hand and use depending on the situation. Altogether there's about 175'-200' of cables there, which allows the making of interconnection cables as i need them with various connectors in stock.

    On left side are the 18 gauge cables i seldom use, and on the right side a pile of 20 & 22 gauge cables. The smaller one on top of pile would probably fit nicely with the smaller Neutrik NP3X connector mentioned, the one near the bottom of pile being the larger jacket one that connector didn't want to take.

    In the center of the pile are two short 18" lengths of Canare L-2B2AT i got left. Have a project for these two, they'll replace the 3' RCA Monster Cables going from Bellari phono preamp to Aphex interface, both of which will be close to the mixer, standing vertically on their side when things get back in the rack. No doubt Eargle's wire doubling trick will be used with the Canare leftovers. Plus got some RCA connectors also having a spring at cable entry that will provide a nice soft bend in the tight space available (pic coming).

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    Pic of raw cable page from a Digiflex catalog. The first four are mic cables. Two have twisted pair(s) using 24AWG and their shield coverage is indicated. The arrow shows the type of installation cable i use with specs.

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    Pic of page from Canare wiring catalog with regards to foil shield cables. First one is the L-2B2AT mentioned along with specs. This is pretty small cable to work with and the conductors more so. Note the third one with filler (and larger dia. conductors) is a larger cable.

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    Pic of another page from the same Canare wiring catalog, but this time for the braided shield L-2T2S mic cable with 6 mm dia., and this is among the smaller ones.

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  5. #305
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Wolf,

    Seems like something went wrong since your last Avatar pic... Maybe you took too much of that testosterone booster stuff advertised on TV? LOL

    New look appears like: A) turned into an old hippie; B) stone chimp; Sea) joined the crowd in Portland; D) have waived all your privileges; E) don't really know where you are at the moment; F) other incredible explanation...

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  6. #306
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Wolf,

    Seems like something went wrong since your last Avatar pic... Maybe you took too much of that testosterone booster stuff advertised on TV? LOL

    New look appears like: A) turned into an old hippie; B) stone chimp; Sea) joined the crowd in Portland; D) have waived all your privileges; E) don't really know where you are at the moment; F) other incredible explanation...
    all of the above choices.
    It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
    She's gettin' us all, yeah, she's gettin' us all

  7. #307
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    OH! Worst than i thought. Was hoping it might be A) or D) ... lol

  8. #308
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    OH! Worst than i thought. Was hoping it might be A) or D) ... lol
    G. for garbage, it's been a G year. may be best answer (getting old too)
    It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
    She's gettin' us all, yeah, she's gettin' us all

  9. #309
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Sea,

    Agree, with all the events like bike accident, Covid-19, fires out west: are you impacted? etc. pretty much trash year, but ain't over yet 2nd Covid wave seems to be getting on track in Europe, Canada and others...

    Been on household tasks for a while (wife hurt her back again, worst), healing taking much longer now, have to pick up the slack... Spinning nothing (LP, CD) these days, other than spinning my head re too many things to do. Then getting much cooler here, some night temps already close to freezing point, quite premature. Add mother nature's touch, migrating birds are flying away sooner, started going south to warmer climate 2nd or 3rd week of august! not a good sign , early winter?

    Yeah getting older too, more so soon, still trying to make it before reaching 68 where everything falls apart as you mentioned before, got a few more before getting there but everyone seems to go by faster, year after year...

  10. #310
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Sea,

    Agree, with all the events like bike accident, Covid-19, fires out west: are you impacted? etc. pretty much trash year, but ain't over yet 2nd Covid wave seems to be getting on track in Europe, Canada and others...

    Been on household tasks for a while (wife hurt her back again, worst), healing taking much longer now, have to pick up the slack... Spinning nothing (LP, CD) these days, other than spinning my head re too many things to do. Then getting much cooler here, some night temps already close to freezing point, quite premature. Add mother nature's touch, migrating birds are flying away sooner, started going south to warmer climate 2nd or 3rd week of august! not a good sign , early winter?

    Yeah getting older too, more so soon, still trying to make it before reaching 68 where everything falls apart as you mentioned before, got a few more before getting there but everyone seems to go by faster, year after year...
    sorry to hear abt wifes back ...can be miserable. I know.

    Mine went thru hell abt 3 years ago .. gall bladder removal, 2 heart attacks while on OP table, then a double bypass...but I do all possible to help her. (things she was able to do in the past) ...... Got my own issues, but trying to step up for her.

    We still have pretty mild temps and trying to get outside projects done b4 Fall rains start.

    But, as Bono said ...."Nothing changes on New Year's Day"
    It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
    She's gettin' us all, yeah, she's gettin' us all

  11. #311
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Sea,

    That's real bad luck your wife had. Going in for an issue and coming out with two, must have been pretty challenging times for both of you. Though she can't do as before, hopefully she's doing better now, after what she went through...

    Hadn't heard of ...."Nothing changes on New Year's Day", probably right, but a sure thing is that we'll have one more year on the counter, damn it...

  12. #312
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Sea,

    That's real bad luck your wife had. Going in for an issue and coming out with two, must have been pretty challenging times for both of you. .
    well, I found an alternate view of the situation.

    maybe it could be seen as Good Luck. She had 2 blocked arteries, that fact doesn't change whether they saw it that time or another. She had 2 heart attacks while being in the OR. Is there a better place, IF it has to happen ?

    Took a month to get her back home . Total unfunded bill came to $161,000 US. She was 67 and MEDICARE covered 99%. My co-pay came to $1,600.

    She is such a sweetie and has a compelling life story (little 5 y.o. barefoot North Vietnamese girl evacuated from her home via the French Navy, relocates to SVN and makes good , etc.) She is our rock and family center , best thing that's happened in my life of almost 50 years together. She has saved my life & our daughters at least twice.

    Even if the hospital bill had NOT been covered, I'd have paid it without thinking twice.
    It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
    She's gettin' us all, yeah, she's gettin' us all

  13. #313
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    A member recently mentioned in a thread he was buying stuff from Digikey, shipped from Canada. Good, went to see digikey.ca for some well-known Switchcraft connectors from the past, they're still available!, not from local dealers though. Prices given on the site are Canadian dollars, making things easier, no currency exchange calculations.

    They have 203 barrel type connectors! and in terms of connector options/possibilities Switchcraft is difficult to beat. Looked quickly at many of them, more so at the older ones i know: model 297 1/4"TRS and 280 1/4"TS. Also looked rapidly at the old standard XLR models A3F & A3M one of which i have. However, i'm mostly interested in the 297 TRS, thinking i might get a few of these.

    Don't mind paying a little more for North-American stuff instead of lower quality Asian copies. But hard to believe how much the 297 sells for: $11.CA each! The equivalent or so Neutrik NP3C i got recently from my dealer cost me $3.95 CA. So getting some 297 would mean almost THREE TIMES what i paid for the NP3C...

    Well, my naivety or stupidity has its limits. Too bad for Uncle Sam this time, think i'll stick with the Neutriks, as well as the Senior 1/4" purchased way back and still have which are pretty much identical to the Switchcraft.

    On the older XLR front, A3M & A3F, prices are more reasonable at $5.50 and $6.CA respectively, but getting close to double what the Neutrik equivalents cost me. Don't really like having to play with small screws on a connector either, once you've tasted screwless connections like Neutrik. Then no homerun with Switchcraft at this time...

    Richard

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  14. #314
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    I've got a box of XLR connectors somewhere. All USA & metal. Various brands.

    And never had any gear that needed them. had planned ahead, but never happened.
    It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
    She's gettin' us all, yeah, she's gettin' us all

  15. #315
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Don't really like having to play with small screws on a connector either, once you've tasted screwless connections like Neutrik. Then no homerun with Switchcraft at this time...
    Pretty much everyone agrees with you. That is why Neutrik became the goto brand of connectors. Better engineering, excellent quality, and reasonable pricing.


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