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modifying headphones with straight balanced cable? is it possible?
Old 24th November 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
hazelmossobrien's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
modifying headphones with straight balanced cable? is it possible?

My headphones tend to get all tangled up with that damn coiled cable that headphones ship with. Is it feasible to switch out the stock cable with some standard mic/line cable in a non messy, butchered looking fashion? and retain strain relief?


has anyone ever done this?
Old 25th November 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
AmongstTheLiving's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Do not use mic/line cable for your headphones.

Headphones use headphone cable (3 way speaker cable unshielded, if I'm not mistaken.)

The phones will buzz horrifically if you use mic/line.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmongstTheLiving ➑️
The phones will buzz horrifically if you use mic/line.
Why would they do that? I've made all my headphone extension cables using balanced microphone cable. Never had any problems.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
AmongstTheLiving's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I can't say for sure, but I think it had something to do with the shield picking up RF. Could've been more dramatic under the space needle in Seattle too... but in my experience, its been a big no no.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great ➑️
Why would they do that? I've made all my headphone extension cables using balanced microphone cable. Never had any problems.

Agreed, all my extensions are mic cable and in the past I have replaced the coiled cable on headphones with mic cable. No problems.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
what is 3 way speaker cable unshielded and where have you seen it on headphones?

correct me if i'm wrong but headphone cable is fig 8 cable which has 2 unbalanced signals. using mic cable is exactly the same except there is a common ground (and in a stereo trs you have to join the grounds anyway)
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmongstTheLiving ➑️
Do not use mic/line cable for your headphones.

Headphones use headphone cable (3 way speaker cable unshielded, if I'm not mistaken.)

The phones will buzz horrifically if you use mic/line.
I'm sorry but this is a good example of why people should be very skeptical of web advice! The buzz statement is completely untrue...perhaps impossible is a better word.

Nearly ANY kind of cable can be used with headphones and there will be no audible difference. Headphones are passive, medium impedance devices with no gain, and are totally immune to ground noise issues. You can't make a headset buzz with the wrong kind of cable - you just can't do it.

The only considerations are the "feel" and durability of the wire. Many wire types will not stand up to repeated bending and pulling without giving way. Most headphone cables use a "silk" type of wire that is super resistant to breakage, and that is really the main concern with headphone cable.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
hazelmossobrien's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Kulka ➑️
I'm sorry but this is a good example of why people should be very skeptical of web advice! The buzz statement is completely untrue...perhaps impossible is a better word.

Nearly ANY kind of cable can be used with headphones and there will be no audible difference. Headphones are passive, medium impedance devices with no gain, and are totally immune to ground noise issues. You can't make a headset buzz with the wrong kind of cable - you just can't do it.

The only considerations are the "feel" and durability of the wire. Many wire types will not stand up to repeated bending and pulling without giving way. Most headphone cables use a "silk" type of wire that is super resistant to breakage, and that is really the main concern with headphone cable.
I've got some standard Mogami mic/line cable laying around, this should be fine then?
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelmossobrien ➑️
I've got some standard Mogami mic/line cable laying around, this should be fine then?
I use standard 20' mic cable for headphone distribution boxes and it works great.
Although I do use 12 gauge wire from the amps up to the point that the floor boxes take off!
Hey, better safe than sorry!
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
AmongstTheLiving's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Maybe I'm wrong about the general use, but I've seen and heard it in that one instance. Switched from mic line to speaker cable and it worked great.

Sorry for the bad intel. I fully revoke my statement.

But hey, now I know.

We'll just pretend like this never happened.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
JohnRoberts's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
+1

Cans are relatively low impedance so won't pick up much of any buzz. Main consideration is that 3rd circuit, if it's the shield, is a robust low impedance path, since it is common to both L & R earphones and carries 2x the current.

JR
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
hazelmossobrien's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I emailed Chris at Redco for his suggestion. He said he'd recommend the Mogami W303. Which is just thin mic/line cable.

then it's settled! thanks for chiming everybody.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Sean0313's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I am using Mogami 2549 for my headset extensions...Works fine...
Old 27th November 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
RusRant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelmossobrien ➑️
I emailed Chris at Redco for his suggestion. He said he'd recommend the Mogami W303. Which is just thin mic/line cable.

then it's settled! thanks for chiming everybody.
Do you mean Mogami W3031? Yeah, I use Mogami W2552 for all my headphone runs, works great.
Old 27th November 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
hazelmossobrien's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RusRant ➑️
Do you mean Mogami W3031?
yea
Old 27th November 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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Matti's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
My mic cables double as headphone extension cables with suitable adapters

Matti
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