Originally Posted by intgenx
My locally available choices are Belden, Klotz and Sommer.
Belden is good, 1800F would do the job i you want an AES/EBU cable. The regular cables are cheaper and will work as well for analog. No experience with the other brands.
Shield: How will I know if it has adequate shield? Which published spec would identify that?
Depends on the environment. If you are in a high RFI environment, maybe 95%+ copper braid or serve, or 100% foil. But considering your cables are audio, not digital, and the shield isn't very effective at audio frequencies, probably none at all. Belden is offering unshielded twisted pair for balanced lines now like 1353A.
Electrolytic Tough Pitch copper, the copper that most electrical wire is made from.
24 AWG is fine. The cable is carrying almost no current.
What capacitance? Impedance?
Lower capacitance is better, but for reasonable length runs it isn't worth worrying about. You won't hear a difference. Impedance is primarily a factor of cable length. So, not a lot you can do about it.
I'm being told AES/EBU rated cables are desgined for low signal loss and so should be better even for analog signals?
You won't hear a difference. The main difference is that the AES/EBU cables have a characteristic impedance that matches the requirements for the digital interface. Characteristic impedance is not an issue for analog audio because the cable is not operating as a transmission line.
Mic vs Line: What is the difference between mic cables and balanced line cables?
Two kinds of lines are used for microphones: balanced (twisted pair, with or without a shield) and unbalanced (single wire with shield). The same is true for line level audio. Balanced lines have better noise rejection. Microphone cables are typically more flexible than other audio cables.