Mic Cable Shielding

Microphone cables have shielding under the rubber jacket to help isolate the audio signals carried on the cable conductors from outside interference.

There are four basic shielding types and each has advantages and disadvantages.

1. Copper braid-This consists of very small copper wires that are tightly braided around the internal conductors. Copper braid is the most expensive shielding, has the second best outside interference rejection, and is the best more insuring that cables are easy to coil. Braided copper shielding provides the best material for soldering the connectors and the ends of the mic cable.

2. Steel braid-Steel braiding using steel rather than copper for the shield and it is braided around the internal conductors in a similar manner. Its rejection of outside interference is not quite as great but it is less expensive. Cables with steel braided shielding have similar coiling characteristics to copper braided microphone cables.

3. Steel drain wire-These cable use just a few, larger gauge steel wires that run parallel with the main conductors or are wrapped loosely around them. This method provides minimal shielding and makes the cables more difficult to coil. It is the least expensive method to use and adds the smallest amount of additional weight to the cable.

4. Aluminum foil-Cables that are not intended for coiling may use this material, as it provides good shielding at a relatively low price. It is used only when the connector is intended to be crimped on rather than soldered.

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