quarter inch cable
A quarter inch cable is a standard audio cable which acts like an electric conductor as it transports an electric signal from two sources, like a guitar and an amplifier, or a set of headphones and a monitor. They're similar to XLR audio cables in that they're always bi-balanced and the connections are different. The important thing to know about this cable, when purchasing one, is that different manufacturers use different terminologies for their abbreviations. An example is that some may refer to the male component of a cable as an "STD". Don't get confused!
If you're new to cables and need a good explanation, here's a short run-down: First, there are three major types of quarter inch cables, all of which are commonly used in recording and audio/visual situations. These are coaxial, RCA, and sleeved. In addition to these, there are many other options including multi-conductor, ribbon, and so on. There are some best choices when looking for cables, so let's take a look at those. The best options are in order of popularity.
Capacitor Cables: This is a fairly common type of quarter inch cable, as they're used for most types of cables. These cables use a thin layer of copper which acts like a capacitor which stores energy when an electric current passes through it. That means that the more capacitance a cable has, the larger amount of power that can be stored and transmitted. Capacitors have their advantages, namely the fact that they're extremely low cost, reliable, and versatile. However, when sourcing these cables, make sure to check that they are well grounded and won't cause any damage if placed or run over in any way.
XCR Cable: One of the most popular options in the audio interface world is the XCR, which stands for "xirp" (short for "single channel") conductor cable. The main advantage of these cables is that they are easily integrated into any existing audio interface system, but they are also very simple to interface with. The cables use two types of xhr (transmitter/sender) connectors, each one of which is capable of carrying a small amount of data. The transmitters can either use an analog signal (either polarity) or digital signal. One example of a popular system using XCRs is found on many MP3 Players.
Acoustic Cable: Another type of quarter inch cables is the acoustic variety. These are ideal for use with condenser microphones and other high quality compact microphones. The key advantage of these cables is that their insulation is much better than that of most other types of conductors, which allows the electrical signals to have a better chance of being transmitted efficiently. The low level capacitance of the transducers in the headphones used with these cables makes them particularly useful.
Copper Shielded Wire Gauge: This particular cable type is made up of a series of insulated copper wires, similar in structure to a jacket. Each wire is smaller than the next, ranging from one and a half inch to three and a half inches. Despite their name, however, this wire gauge is not really metal but rather a thin plastic or sometimes cloth-like layer. Because of the insulating properties of the fabric, the smaller conductors within the cable are able to carry more current than the larger ones. These smaller conductors also provide a higher bandwidth since they lie close to one another.
Stray conductor protection consists of a rubberized connector sleeve having various metal or plastic layers. This equipment has different levels of shielding so you must always choose the right cable according to the wire size you are using. Most cable connectors have four different protection levels which are: electrostatic, thermal, physical and mechanical. Electrostatic connectors consist of two pieces of metal; the outer one is a conductor, while the inner one acts like an electrode. Usually, these are used in live performance applications because the physical layer can prevent shorts and interfere with other components.
Thermal shielding is made of two different fabrics separated by a thin aluminum foil. One material is electrostatic in nature, while the other acts as a temperature barrier. With respect to shielding, thermal foil is similar to an electric shield. Mechanical shielding is a type of cable shielding that is made up of two fabrics and a third metal plate. It is usually used in conjunction with the electronic shield to provide additional levels of protection against shorting and electricity flow.