Does the cable quality affect the sound quality of an analog mixer?

hey, maybe someone who has experience with it knows. I don’t know if this question has been asked before. in any case, it’s about a dawless setup with an analog mixer. the question arose as to whether the cable quality is relevant for the sound quality. there are significantly more expensive cables, although they have the same purpose. It’s not about stability, then it’s clear that you need a stable cable. But are there sound differences when the cables are not moved as well as we can? Thank you for your feedback!
greetings, rob

Short answer: No.

There are differences to be found in all sorts of cables, but that is mostly relevant for high frequency / high bandwidth / high speed signals. For sub-20KHz audio signals, the only practical difference in todays market is with durability. All cables on the market have good enough noise shielding and low (enough) impedance.

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…I like to hear that. this saves a lot of money, given the stark price differences. thanks!

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If possible:

shielded cables > non-shielded cables

balanced > unbalanced

You may be happier with the noise floor. If you live a half mile from a high power radio station or another source of RF, you’ll likely have a stronger opinion on this matter.

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You should head to Gearslutz with this question and have a blast reading the comments.

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Please, ask the same question on an audiophile forum and report back with 900$ cables recommendations ! :innocent: :star_struck:

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No need for outrageous expensive cables but the resistance and capacitive influence do affect sound. A cable is THE only connection between the gear. A regular analog filter is build of a resistor and a capacitor. Although short cables hardly introduce resistance that doesn’t mean it’s zero. If you have a analytical way of listening you probably end up in the camp that is convinced cables do matter. If you can’t hear the difference between 96khz or 48khz recordings you probably end up in the cables doesn’t matter camp. Either way it’s fine and a matter of personal taste.’just try for yourself. Proper shielding is always a plus with so much interference in todays ether. Just pick a channel, crank up the gain and listen, put in a cable a do the same. With a bad shielded cable you end up with a theremin. Not claiming facts just my personal experience.

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The capacitance & internal resistance of a cable is only really an issue when used with a high impedance source like a guitar where the two factors together work to make a low pass filter, especially when using a long cable as is common with guitar. But for low impedance line driven outputs it’s really not an issue, and this is talking from a purely electronics standpoint not an audio one, because the two things are not mutually exclusive when we are talking about electronic instruments.

There are small amounts of parasitic capacitance and resistance in all circuits, it’s just not enough to be of relevant concern in 99.99% of audio applications.

And for OP, no you needn’t worry. No need to buy $50 mogami cables or whatever, just grab what’s easiest to find and most suitable for your needs.

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Agree with all the comments above.

My dad was an audiophile, with no problem spending $500+ on a pair of interconnects or speaker cables. He wasn’t rich by any means either, just wanted to have the best listening experience possible for his small system. I could understand the differences and subtleties of amplification, speakers, even DAC choices but the design and marketing of cables always seemed like snake oil to me.

Then there was an reputable article some years back comparing basic lamp cord (the same stuff you can buy at Home Depot for nothing) to a range of super high end 99.99% oxygen-free speaker cables… NO appreciable sonic difference. So there ya go.

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Don’t I know it! :sob:

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…crappy cables can only support crappy sounds…
no matter from where to where or in or out…
and even top notch analog gear can’t make shitty input signals shine…

decent cables are like decent converters…once u’ve heard the difference…
u can never go back…

people who doubt that, never came close to actually hear that difference…
so when u always use the cheapest of the cheap, u simply never experienced what ur missing out on…

u don’t always have to pick the most expensive ones…but never pick the cheapest…

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I have all my cables made by artisanal metallurgists from the former Soviet Union using a combination of gold, platinum and the harvested tears of Amazonian babies.

As a result, all my music is so good it literally makes doves cry.

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Shame it doesn’t make Amazonian babies cry as at least there would be a renewable component to your excesses.

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Yeah, we tried using dove’s tears instead, but it sounded shit.

Like, Octatrack shit.

Nothing like the tears of deforested youth to really get those cables singing.

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hope you’re joking

cos all of what you said is bullshit except for the last line

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…there are a little more factors to cables than just psychic and impedance ones…
trust me on this…

Please do tell!

edit: wasn‘t meant to sound so… potentially passive agressive :v:

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…well, first of all, a cable contains of more parts than just some ordinary wire…
if i remember correctly…
while even that wire is not only made from ordinary cupper…
and even ordinary cupper again is not really a clear statement of any proof and any kind of one way solution when it comes to all different alloy factors…
but hey…end of the day, just jack it…

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I must say that this is not correct, at least in terms of cables that any of us would buy (Hosa on up to Mogami and above…)

Here is a quote from a major audiophile forum about what I referred to earlier above:

“There has been for about five or six years now, a pool of around
$5,000 for anyone who can tell the difference between basic zipcord
(lamp cord, if you will) and the most exotic ‘audiophile’ speaker
cable (which can run up to more than $1,000 a foot!), under
level-matched double blind conditions. i.e. when they don’t actually
know what’s connected. In all that time, and despite many claims of
‘obvious’, ‘night and day’, and ‘pretty amazing’ differences, not one
single person has even attempted to claim this money.”

The same goes for interconnects (same as XLR/1/4" cables in pro audio)… except for considerations of shielding, connection quality and durability, the differences in audio quality are negligible.

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Exactly, a conductor is a conductor is a conductor.

If you’re using a cable that has enough internal resistance + capacitance to make a difference to the sound then you’re doing something very wrong.

Here’s an absolute worst case equation for the attenuation of a signal at 20khz in this decent quality but cheap 1.5m cable i found on thomann, following the standard calculation for a low pass filter (as found here):

Capacitive reactance (Xc) = 40,808.95976382255273
Resistance (R) = 0.1275
Impedance (Z) = sqrt( (Xc * Xc) + (R * R) ) = 40,808.9597658143
Total attenuation factor = Xc / Z = 0.99999999995119

So your 20khz signal will be reduced by less than 0.000000000001% (think i got it right). If anybody can hear that they must be have bats in the family tree. At 50hz the reduction is 0%. So it’s effectively flat in frequency response in the range that matters. And going beyond that any reduction in signal will be vanishingly small for a long time, up into the megahertz probably.

PS. i know i haven’t factored in the impedances of the connected devices, cba tbh

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