In the “old days”, you had racks of amplifiers and miles of speaker cable to get from those amps to your speakers… but as we’re all well aware, “powered speakers” are more than just a fad, they’re here to stay.
Making cable looms were also common-place, where - if you knew you needed power at stage-right for a guitar amplifier, as well as a mic for the guitar player and a mic for his amp, AND you were going to need this exact same setup for the next 30 shows you do, you would simply tape together the necessary cables and mark them so you could find them later in the cable trunk.
Now that every speaker is a “powered speaker” (not just a speaker, but a speaker with a purpose-built amplifier strapped to the back of it!) and each of those needs a power cable AND a signal cable running to it…. It wouldn’t be uncommon to have a rig with few speakers and a few subs per side and 6 powered monitor wedges on the stage…. All that cable makes for a mess that both the audience and artists will see, and creates yet another potential hazard for the artists and crew wandering the stage in the dark – hardly ideal! Add to that what you do when you have one bad XLR cable and need to figure out which one it is in a hurry….. not easy!
Enter the next era of cables – “Hybrid Cables” that contain in a single sheath a power line and one or two balanced lines (think: Power and signal like a snake) that both cleans up the stage and makes setup so much simpler – no more “chaining the power cables” for some things while stringing XLR’s all over the place. In our case, we use PowerCon and XLR, but they can be made using just about any type of connector out there, and the “splay” on either end of the cable can be custom-cut to any length you need.
It may not be nice to think about the expense (because you already have a pile of XLR cables and the power cables that came with your speakers?) but we found that they cost about the same as buying reasonable quality replacements that also make the show much quicker to wire and easier to troubleshoot (and you can keep those XLR’s for microphones and your old power cables as spares).
They may not look like much – but that’s kinda the point, isn’t it?
Manager, Professional Services Division
Pro Audio Rentals • Event Production • B2B Sales • GearHeadz
Cosmo Music – The Musical Instrument Superstore!
905.770.5222 x 379