Cables:


XLR = Ground Line Return - Balance Cable - used for microphones or sending signal over long distances
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1/4 in Cable - unbalanced Used for sending line level signal short distances. Guitar patch cable.
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Snake - Allow you to put your mixing board in the back of the hall. Connect all your mics to the snake!
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Speaker Cable - Looks much like a 1/4 cable but is thicker and more insulated. Used for speaker connections.




Speakon Speaker Cable - Interesting locking connector on the end.
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Balanced 1/4 inch cable - used for patch bays and FX racks (Notice the two rings)

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What is a balanced line?
A balanced line is simply one that has three conductors wired separately. Two of these are signal wires which are wired out of phase with each other and the third one is ground (usually this is the shield). The two most common types of connectors on balanced cables are XLR (3 pin microphone connectors) or tip-ring-and-sleeve (TRS or stereo 1/4" connectors). The big advantage of a balanced cable is that it is designed to cancel many types of noise. Use them whenever possible.



Mic Stands

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With a boom!
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Does it matter what length or thickness of speaker cable that I use?

YES! Cable length and thickness of the wire (gauge) has a major effect on the sound that a P.A. system ultimately produces. The thinner the wire (the higher the gauge number) or the longer the cable means the greater the loss. The loss is related to impedance of the speaker in the system as well. The lower the speaker impedance, the higher the cable loss. Below is a chart of some common lengths, thicknesses and impedances along with their respective cable losses:

speaker_cable_chart.jpg