If you’re like us, you’ve spent a lot of time thinking and worrying about cables. Whether we’re stocking up on extra IECs for our Pioneer CDJs, XLRs for our studio monitors, or RCAs for our mixer; we don’t think you can ever be over-prepared with cables. Not all cables are created equal, however, and we’ve had plenty of power cables, as well as balanced and unbalanced audio cables, go to shit after only moderate usage. We’re constantly upgrading or changing our audio cable setup and searching for the best of the best for the ideal balanced audio cables for our home mixing and mastering studio. Now, we think we’ve finally found them, in the form of Better Cables.com‘s Silver Serpent II Balanced XLR!
Quality at an Affordable Price
Since 1999, countless audiophiles, engineers, and producers have chosen BetterCables.com as their source of high-performance audio/video cables because they understand how crucial quality audio cables are. BetterCables.com is a great American company and all of their wire and cable assembly is done in the USA. This is a more expensive process and reflects the pride and care they take in manufacturing their products domestically. Despite their care for quality, you can expect to pay extremely reasonable prices for their cables – only 30% more than their Chinese-designed and manufactured counterparts.
We’d been using Mogami cables in our studio for most applications, but noticed that the cable shielding wasn’t very durable and wasn’t the quietest either. This is with our tests on their GOLD series – despite their awesome warranty, we wouldn’t wholeheartedly recommend Mogami for longer runs of cables or for routing analog audio to hardware. You want to have backups ready in case something goes wrong, and cables are a considerable investment. You’re in excellent hands with BetterCables.com and it’s immediately apparent in the quality and care of their business and products.
We experienced the most issues particularly with our analog routing setup, with inconsistent noise floor and occasional interference, despite cable management and power conditioners. The connectors and cabling on the Silver Serpent IIs are obviously better and feel substantial in your hand.
We put our pair of Silver Serpent IIs to test with some analog gear, A/B-ing it against several Mogami and Neutrik cables we had in the studio. The Silver Serpent IIs were the clear winners: boasting superior sound quality, digital AES/EBU compatibility, clarity, near-silent background, low capacitance, and hard-cell insulation build quality (we can’t say the same for Mogami- we’ve had several of their cables randomly break despite their quality claims).
The hard casing on the Silver Serpents looks awesome and works amazingly well at protecting and insulating these cables. These are reference grade interconnects for only slightly more money than their prosumer counterparts. We’re seriously impressed with these cables and we’re excited to test out more cables from them in the future! There’s been talk of building a U87 clone for our studio, so we might have to put some microphone cables to the test soon!
What audio interconnects do you use in your studio? Let us know on social media!