Help! Question about Canare Star-Quad Cable DIY
Mar 21, 2006 at 3:16 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

David D

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Hello All! Newbie to the forum, but I've been lurking for a while. I posted this over in the cables forum, but it was suggested that I repost my question here.

I have a pretty decent background in audio (professional and hobbyist), but I was looking at the DIY cable sticky and am curious how the Canare Star-Quad cable is used.

I bought some Canare Mini Star-Quad and Neutrik 1/8" & 1/4" TRS connectors from Markertek to make some interconnects. I've got some iPod dock connectors on the way as well. I'm making a line out connector to go from my iPod to my Portaphile amp, and another interconnect to go from a mixing desk to my headphone amp (amongst other things, I do live sound for a large local band).

I'm curious about the use of conductors. In pro audio, the braided shield would be used for ground, the whites (+) for one side of your balanced line and blues (-) for the other.The DIY sticky states to use the white conductors for the signal (using blue for ground). I also noticed there wasn't a reference to use of the braided shield. Something about using two of the same color wire for different channels goes against my nature . I'm assuming the DIY sticky is done the way it is due to the way the wires are twisted together (alternating blue/white)? Has anyone used any other configuration, e.g., one white & blue pair for left/right signal the other for ground, and the shield tied to ground at one end? Just curious! Thanks!
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David
 
Mar 21, 2006 at 2:56 PM Post #2 of 8

Pars

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Normal usage would be the white conductors for left/right each, the two blue for ground. Shield should be terminated to ground on one end (source) and left floating on the other end.

Supposedly the blue dye in the insulation has a miniscule effect on the dielectric (PVC), so the white conductors are preferred for signal (isn't the ground return technically signal as well?). The shield is typically not used for the ground based on stranding (very fine) and composition (copper? steel? not sure what StarQuad is).

If your BS meter is going off on any of this, you're not alone
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Try it both ways and see if you can detect any differences...
 
Mar 21, 2006 at 5:38 PM Post #3 of 8

David D

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Having worked for a "high end" audio shop, I'm all too familiar with some of the "snake oil" that permeates the industry. Most of the time everything depends upon the collective resolution of the system. You know, the "weakest link" sort of thing. To be honest, using an iPod and the associated equipment that I've got, I doubt a 6" piece of cable will show much difference whatever way it's wired. My guess is any sonic differences that may be noticed would have to do more with the blue and white wires being twisted together alternately (blue, then white, then blue, then white). The shield will be wired single ended no matter what I do.

David
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Mar 22, 2006 at 5:46 AM Post #4 of 8

velogreg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Pars
Normal usage would be the white conductors for left/right each, the two blue for ground. Shield should be terminated to ground on one end (source) and left floating on the other end.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Pars

Supposedly the blue dye in the insulation has a miniscule effect on the dielectric (PVC), so the white conductors are preferred for signal (isn't the ground return technically signal as well?). The shield is typically not used for the ground based on stranding (very fine) and composition (copper? steel? not sure what StarQuad is).

If your BS meter is going off on any of this, you're not alone
blink.gif
Try it both ways and see if you can detect any differences...



I am very new to this DIY thing and have no professional experience so can you answer this for me? How does one terminate the shield to ground on one end? Is the process the same for grounding the shield on a power chord as well? I hope your answer is simple otherwise I am going to have to redo alot of DIY projects.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 2:54 PM Post #5 of 8

Pars

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Quote:

Originally Posted by velogreg


I am very new to this DIY thing and have no professional experience so can you answer this for me? How does one terminate the shield to ground on one end? Is the process the same for grounding the shield on a power chord as well? I hope your answer is simple otherwise I am going to have to redo alot of DIY projects.




Just tie the shield to the ground connection on one end... don't tie it to anything on the other end (and ensure that it won't touch/short to anything else. Simple?
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 8:17 PM Post #7 of 8

Pars

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Quote:

Originally Posted by velogreg
How does one "tie the shield to the ground"? Are you saying solder? Does it matter which end? Thanks for your patience.


Solder it. For example, if you are doing a 3.5mm mini connector, both the shield and the ground wires would go to the sleeve connection on the mini connector on that end. On the other end,just the ground wires. Doesn't matter which end. Typically the end with the shield terminated is put at the source end. This is known as a telescoping shield, and the idea is apparently to not contaminate the downstream chain with any interference picked up by the shield.
 

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