3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

For performing musicians and engineers: stagecraft, engineering and gear.

Moderator: Moderators

3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by OliverATX »

Hello, Y'all!

I hope everyone is doing great!

A quick question for the experts here. I am going to put the new X32 into our rack. The X32 XLR ports are all out the back and I would like to put a patch panel under it and route the XLRs to the front of the rack. This means connecting 15 channels.
For context, the rack is a 12U rack with X32, DI, IEMs, Power Conditioner, rack mounted PC and WIFI.

2 Options:

A) XLR to XLR Individual Patch Cables (3ft)- Example: Any good XLR cable
B) XLR to XLR Snake (3ft)- Example: Hosa XLR-802

The patch cables are shielded better. I assume this is not too relevant at this short length, but then again, there are a lot of power cords and electronic doodads in the back that may cause interference.

The short snake takes up way less space and therefore allows for more airflow in the rack (which could be a benefit), but maybe not as shielded?

I would like to go the snake route as it will probably be cleaner with less clutter, but am a little concerned about the possible loss of audio quality.

Anything I am missing or any good advice on this?

Thank you!

Oliver
OliverATX
Regular
Posts: 57 Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:50 pm

Re: 3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

There's no reason why a snake should be less well screened, but obviously there are good quality and bad quality snakes, just as there good and bad individual cables.

But a three foot snake is going to be a tricky find...

Personally, I'd buy a suitable length of muliticore and wire it up myself to optimise the individual cable lengths to each socket and make the rack as neat as possible.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 34399 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: 3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by blinddrew »

I guess the advantage of using individual cables is that if a cable does go off for any reason you can replace it individually. But if this is to be a semi-permanent set-up then it's unlikely that you'll have that kind of failure, and you can always carry a couple of 1m XLR cables spare as emergency patches.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 19341 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: 3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by James Perrett »

I'm not sure that you'll find a 3ft loom but here's a 6ft loom

https://cpc.farnell.com/pro-signal/psg0 ... xlr%20loom

It appears to use the same cable as the D-Sub looms that I use which are foil screened so there should be no problem with interference. I'd better add that I've not used those connectors though.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 12243 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: 3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by Wonks »

As you’ll have at least one foot of unloomed cable at each end of a 3’ loom, I really don’t think a 3’ loom would be practical or beneficial. And a longer loom means you have to find space for the extra length of cables.

Personally I’d go individual cables, tied in bunches of say 4 cables to keep things neat so that the length of the loose ends can be kept to a minimum.

I’m quite taken with wiring harness loom tape as it’s gentler on the cable than plastic cable ties and cheaper than velcro.

Don’t forget to mark up each end of the cable so you can remove and replace if necessary with ease.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12943 Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am Location: Reading, UK
Reliably fallible.

Re: 3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by Arpangel »

I’ve got some 3mm foil screened, it’s so small, you can bunch them up and hardly know they are there, strap them to the sides of your rack.
As Wonks said, a three foot loom just isn’t worth it, but the above isn’t a ready made solution, you’d have to make the leads yourself.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11324 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That’s another thing

Re: 3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by OliverATX »

James Perrett wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 10:59 pm I'm not sure that you'll find a 3ft loom but here's a 6ft loom

https://cpc.farnell.com/pro-signal/psg0 ... xlr%20loom

It appears to use the same cable as the D-Sub looms that I use which are foil screened so there should be no problem with interference. I'd better add that I've not used those connectors though.

Those look nice, but are not available in the US as far as I can tell....
OliverATX
Regular
Posts: 57 Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:50 pm

Re: 3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by OliverATX »

blinddrew wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 10:30 pm I guess the advantage of using individual cables is that if a cable does go off for any reason you can replace it individually. But if this is to be a semi-permanent set-up then it's unlikely that you'll have that kind of failure, and you can always carry a couple of 1m XLR cables spare as emergency patches.

Yes, I weighed that against space savings. The Monoprice 4-channel loom is inexpensive enough that I can buy one extra- just in case and still have less clutter..
OliverATX
Regular
Posts: 57 Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:50 pm

Re: 3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by OliverATX »

Wonks wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 8:25 am As you’ll have at least one foot of unloomed cable at each end of a 3’ loom, I really don’t think a 3’ loom would be practical or beneficial. And a longer loom means you have to find space for the extra length of cables.

Personally I’d go individual cables, tied in bunches of say 4 cables to keep things neat so that the length of the loose ends can be kept to a minimum.

I’m quite taken with wiring harness loom tape as it’s gentler on the cable than plastic cable ties and cheaper than velcro.

Don’t forget to mark up each end of the cable so you can remove and replace if necessary with ease.

Good points! Thank you
OliverATX
Regular
Posts: 57 Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:50 pm

Re: 3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by OliverATX »

At the risk of talking to myself here :D , this was my final decision (maybe it helps someone down the road):

I returned the Monoprice 3ft snake I was originally set on. I am sure they are fine cables, but there were two reasons:

First, having individual cables will allow me to more easily swap a single cable, should one fail (thank you @blinddrew).

Second, the 3ft snake has inherently 1ft of unloomed strands on both sides. The distance that I am dealing with is only 2ft (if that much) to begin with, so it was indeed kind of pointless to use a snake (thank you @Wonks).

I will share pictures once I finish wrapping/organizing the 24 cables in the back of the rack :crazy:

Best,

Oliver
OliverATX
Regular
Posts: 57 Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:50 pm

Re: 3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by OliverATX »

All done and as promised! :bouncy:

https://imgur.com/a/aHVjClN

Image
OliverATX
Regular
Posts: 57 Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:50 pm

Re: 3ft Patch vs Snake Cable

Post by Wonks »

All very neat! Well done. :thumbup:
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12943 Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am Location: Reading, UK
Reliably fallible.
Post Reply