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Shielding approaches for 4pin XLR headphone cable
Shielding approaches for 4pin XLR headphone cable
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Old 23rd March 2019, 06:15 PM   #1
itsikhefez is offline itsikhefez  United States
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Shielding approaches for 4pin XLR headphone cable
Default Shielding approaches for 4pin XLR headphone cable

I'm building a 4pin XLR cable for headphones and am unsure about the proper construction approaches.

1) Using a starquad cable. 4 conductors are used for L/R +/-, but what to do with shield? Floating on both sides or connect to ground lug on XLR side? Does it have any effect when its not connected on either end?

2) Taking 2 * twisted pairs and run in parallel. Put heatshrink somewhere in the middle to form a Y. No shield in this case

3) Sames as (2), but use a shielded single conductor (instead of twisted pair), such as Mogami 2330. In this case, each channel is shielded separately.

Any pros/cons with these approaches? Which would be preferred?
P.S. I don't want to take the approach that some others take, by removing the individual conductors from the starquad out of the shield, and forming a braid with them

Thanks!

Last edited by itsikhefez; 23rd March 2019 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 07:01 PM   #2
805amp is offline 805amp  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsikhefez View Post
I'm building a 4pin XLR cable for headphones and am unsure about the proper construction approaches.

1) Using a starquad cable. 4 conductors are used for L/R +/-, but what to do with shield? Floating on both sides or connect to ground lug on XLR side? Does it have any effect when its not connected on either end?

2) Taking 2 * twisted pairs and run in parallel. Put heatshrink somewhere in the middle to form a Y. No shield in this case

3) Sames as (2), but use a shielded single conductor (instead of twisted pair), such as Mogami 2330. In this case, each channel is shielded separately.

Any pros/cons with these approaches? Which would be preferred?
P.S. I don't want to take the approach that some others take, by removing the individual conductors from the starquad out of the shield, and forming a braid with them

Thanks!

Loads of useful information here Balanced Cables
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Old 23rd March 2019, 07:15 PM   #3
Galu is offline Galu  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsikhefez View Post
1) Using a starquad cable. 4 conductors are used for L/R +/-, but what to do with shield? Floating on both sides or connect to ground lug on XLR side? Does it have any effect when its not connected on either end?
Connect the shield to the XLR ground lug at the amplifier end to provide protection against RFI. Leave the shield floating at the headphone end.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 07:20 PM   #4
itsikhefez is offline itsikhefez  United States
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Shielding approaches for 4pin XLR headphone cable
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Originally Posted by 805amp View Post
Loads of useful information here Balanced Cables
Thanks.. I've seen that previously.
What I found a bit odd with his suggestion is to use both whites for 1st channel and both blues for the 2nd channel.

Even though the inner construction is all 4 wires twisted together, I thought a White/Blue pair would be preferred for each channel?
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Old 23rd March 2019, 07:26 PM   #5
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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Wouldn't star quad cause crosstalk? Not such a bad thing with headphones possibly?
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Old 23rd March 2019, 07:34 PM   #6
Galu is offline Galu  Scotland
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I may be missing something here, but I would use the 4 wires individually for: L+, L-, R+ and R- like in the Gotham Mini Star Quad shown in the link given above.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 07:54 PM   #7
Galu is offline Galu  Scotland
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Originally Posted by itsikhefez View Post
I thought a White/Blue pair would be preferred for each channel?
I don't see why that would be a preference over using a White/White & Blue/Blue pair.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 08:02 PM   #8
itsikhefez is offline itsikhefez  United States
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Shielding approaches for 4pin XLR headphone cable
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Originally Posted by Galu View Post
I don't see why that would be a preference over using a White/White & Blue/Blue pair.
When building a single channel XLR cable (3-pin), Canare specifically instructs to use both whites for pin 2, and both blues for pin 3.
http://www.canare.com/UploadedDocuments/Cat11_p35.pdf
".. in order to maximize noise rejection".
So basically using two twisted pairs for a single channel, right?
And the conductors are chosen in a way that + is twisted with -.

In similar fashion, in the headphone construction, since each pair is for a different channel, I would expect us to use the 2 twisted conductors.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 08:18 PM   #9
Galu is offline Galu  Scotland
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The standard for 4 pin connection is to use two white wires for one pair and two blue wires for the other.

Q. What’s special about star-quad cable? |
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Old 23rd March 2019, 08:22 PM   #10
itsikhefez is offline itsikhefez  United States
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Shielding approaches for 4pin XLR headphone cable
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Originally Posted by Galu View Post
The standard for 4 pin connection is to use two white wires for one pair and two blue wires for the other.

Q. What’s special about star-quad cable? |
This is slightly different.
2 whites are used for +
2 blues are used for -
Due to the white/blue pairs, the + is twisted with the - for the SINGLE channel.

When using for conductors in the headphone, we will have 2 channels, so not utilizing the star quad advantage.
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