How to Wire Audio Cables
Audio cables have 3 connections: a plus, a minus and a shield. It would be a mistake to assume that in order to connect 2 devices with an audio cable, all you need to do is connect plus to plus, minus to minus, and shield to shield. Audio signals are small and have high resolution in signal content. Random noise imposed on cables from outside sources of radiated electrical signals will impose noise on the audio signal. Impedance mismatches in the cabling and between the 2 devices being connected will strain the ability of the receiving device to properly interpret the audio signal. While some of this is inherent to sending and receiving devices, proper cabling can reduce outside noise imposing on the cable and help the devices perform at optimal levels. There is no single strategy to achieve a proper cabling match. Instead, each individual cabling issue must be carefully considered when connecting audio cable. Use these tips to learn how to wire audio cables.
Keep cable lengths short. Use only enough cable to connect the 2 devices. Avoid leaving excess cable rolled up and in danger of picking up outside noise. This also will help to reduce the impedance that the cabling presents between the sending and receiving devices. A good rule of thumb is to keep cable lengths 4 or 5 meters (13.2 or 16,5 feet.) Some professional equipment is specially designed to operate with cable lengths of 10 or 20 meters (33 or 66 feet.) Consult your equipment manuals for more information.
Use shielded cable. Cables come with many types of shielding. The most effective cable shielding types are foil or woven metal. Avoid using conductive plastic or wrapped wire screens.
Avoid tight turns or kinks in the cable. Particularly in foil screen cables, this can crack or separate the shield and reduce the efficiency of the screen.
Match balanced receiving and sending devices.
If both the sending and receiving devices are balanced, make sure that the screen is connected to ground at both ends.
Compensate for an unbalanced sending device. If the sending device is unbalanced, leave the cable screen disconnected at the receiving device. Connect the minus signal of the cable to the pin of the receiving device that would have otherwise accepted the cable screen.
Allow for an unbalanced receiving device. If the receiving device is unbalanced, connect the minus signal to the screen at the sending device. Consult your equipment manual to see if the sending device is fully floating. If the sending device is fully floating, do not connect the minus wire at the sending device.
Avoid noise pick up from power cables. Do not run audio cable so that it lays alongside power cables. If the audio and power cables must cross, make the cross at right angles to minimize noise pick up in the cable.
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Not a question
If this question (or a similar one) is answered twice in this section, please click here to let us know.
There is a type if cable called star quad that duplicates the plus and minus lines. If this cable is used, connect the 2 pluses together at the device and connect the 2 minuses together at the device.
Use a Graphic Equalizer
Build a Speaker Box
Measure Speaker Impedance
Clean Vintage Stereo Equipment
Extend Speaker Wires
Change the Needle on a Vinyl Player
Pair HMDX Wireless Speakers
Reduce Rattles from Your Subwoofers
Statement: This post is only the personal view of the author and does not represent the opinions of ALLPCB.com.