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post #31 of 61 Old 04-09-2012, 12:26 PM
 
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I don't think anyone suggested using RCA cables.

Any wire you chose to terminate with XLRs' will work. Since it's for in wall, you'll need the appropriately rated cable.
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post #32 of 61 Old 04-09-2012, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

Yes the Monoprice XLR cables are both excellent and also extremely great value.

But you need to understand that XLR interconnect cables are mandatory in the sound biz for these reasons: 1) extreme long cable runs of over 100+ feet (so XLR runs with higher voltage) and 2) durable connectors that can be reliably pushed in/out many many times without problems/failing and 3) durable wires that can be run over repeatedly by heavy equipment being moved about on wheels and 4) great shielding.

In my own experience there is zero sound quality merit for home use of XLR interconnects.

When I was testing high performance audio interfaces and audio gear back in the days when my now-departed www.pcavtech.com web site was active, I found that balanced I/O could provide a significant measured advantage, and even sometimes make an audible difference. This was even when cables as short as nominal 1 meter interconnects were involved.

What I measured was a sort of a unbalanced ceiling effect when it came to SNR and dynamic range. It wasn't so apparent with 16 bit equipment but when working with top quality 24 bit equipment, the way that balance I/O circumvents subtle grounding problems was a sight to see. I even got to the point where I made up a set of special balanced/unbalanced cables that would provide some of the benefits of balanced I/O for equipment with unbalanced I/O. This had to do with making a firm connection the negative signal terminal of the measuring equipment to the chassis or outer connection of UUT output RCA jacks. Sometimes this could be good for 10 or 15 dB better measured results.

I developed the opinion that any piece of equipment that alleged that it had > >16 bit performance, but lacked balanced outputs was fooling itself and its users. Because, about 92 dB SNR or dynamic range was about as good as it typically got with unbalanced I/O, whether RCA or 1/4" TS connectors.

I also agree with the former comment that any in-wall cable needs to have the CL rating that is required by the electrical code for your area.
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post #33 of 61 Old 04-09-2012, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought "OtherSounds" was suggesting RCA. For a home environment, I wouldn't mind RCA. As long as there no sound/interference being picked up from a 50 foot run somehow.
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post #34 of 61 Old 04-09-2012, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I thought "OtherSounds" was suggesting RCA. For a home environment, I wouldn't mind RCA. As long as there no sound/interference being picked up from a 50 foot run somehow.

The problem is you'll only know when you fire everything up.
You could run coax and shielded twisted pair everywhere and only terminate the XLR if needed. Prolly a waste a money, but you'd be covered for anything.
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post #35 of 61 Old 04-09-2012, 02:05 PM
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Someone got onto your "puter" huh? lol

Yeah, I'd codeined up and gone back to bed because I had a migraine and left the computer to put itself to sleep which she took advantage of. Payback will be a bitch.

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It makes me feel a bit at ease about going with the more "durable" of the two wires I was looking at. Hopefully I made the right choice.

You'll be fine.

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Even if not, I'm gonna pretend I did in my mind to justify the Marketek over the Monoprice lol.

Congratulations, you are now an audiophile. Start telling people how they lifted veils and revealed inner detail in all your recordings and you'll get your secret decoder ring.
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post #36 of 61 Old 04-09-2012, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Congratulations, you are now an audiophile. Start telling people how they lifted veils and revealed inner detail in all your recordings and you'll get your secret decoder ring.

LMAOOO!!!! This last part made me bust out laughing
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post #37 of 61 Old 04-09-2012, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I thought "OtherSounds" was suggesting RCA. For a home environment, I wouldn't mind RCA. As long as there no sound/interference being picked up from a 50 foot run somehow.

I do recommend RCA interconnects for the home.

But if your equipment needs an XLR interconnect, it's not a big deal.

Given your in-wall needs, just be sure that the Monoprice (or other) XLR cables are rated for in-wall use. Monoprice has a web "chat" (not sure that's the right word) option somewhere on their www.monoprice.com site (under "support"?)

Ask Monoprice if their XLR cables are rated for in-wall use.

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post #38 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 04:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

I do recommend RCA interconnects for the home.

But if your equipment needs an XLR interconnect, it's not a big deal.

Given your in-wall needs, just be sure that the Monoprice (or other) XLR cables are rated for in-wall use. Monoprice has a web "chat" (not sure that's the right word) option somewhere on their www.monoprice.com site (under "support"?)

Ask Monoprice if their XLR cables are rated for in-wall use.

I'd use RCA if I could, makes no difference to me really.

I didn't even know they made XLR that was meant to be installed in the wall. Seems kind of redundant to make a wire with connectors that are meant to take abuse, be connected and disconnected frequently, then insulate the wire with a more expensive material for permanent in wall installations.
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post #39 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I'd use RCA if I could, makes no difference to me really.

I didn't even know they made XLR that was meant to be installed in the wall.

Guess what they wire recording studios with? ;-)

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Seems kind of redundant to make a wire with connectors that are meant to take abuse, be connected and disconnected frequently, then insulate the wire with a more expensive material for permanent in wall installations.

XLR connectors are almost always overkill for home use from a mechanical viewpint. Even the lowest grade XLRs I've ever seen would last forever in typical home use.


Note that the quality of workmanship for actually wiring XLRs can vary to the point where the assembly is easily broken while both the wire and the connector are still good.

Talking about specifying touring-grade XLRs for home use seems strange except that even the best XLRs are pretty cheap by audiophile standards. I think one can still buy Neutrik XLRs for under $3 each if you shop around.


As I've pointed out in an earlier post, balanced connections can be advantageous even when the cable lengths are short. If you have a complex system with a number of interconnected components, the exposure to grounding problems and also problems with cables disconnecting *themselves" can make XLRs into problem solvers.
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post #40 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 06:14 AM
 
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I didn't even know they made XLR that was meant to be installed in the wall.

XLR refers to the connectors at the ends of the cable. You can use any cable you want. Most terminate the cable ofter pulling it, though....it's much easier this way
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post #41 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I never thought of that lol. I guess they don't use RCA in recording studios.

I'm not to keen on the idea of me attaching an XLR connector to a wire. From my understanding, its not that easy.
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post #42 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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Soldering 3 wires on each end is easy.
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post #43 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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That's all it is? Lol I can do that
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post #44 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I never thought of that lol. I guess they don't use RCA in recording studios.

I'm not to keen on the idea of me attaching an XLR connector to a wire. From my understanding, its not that easy.

Depends on how well you can solder wire.

Ever done that?

Neutrik XLRs are generally considered to be easy to solder.
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post #45 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I've soldered wires when I was 11 years old lol. I'm sure I can solder. I thought there was more to it then that, but I can definitely solder.
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post #46 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 12:53 PM
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Anyone who suggests that you use unbalanced cables for over 6 feet needs a reality check! You don't want to do that; very bad idea.

Balanced is the only way to go.

Please check the zzounds website for the Hosa cables. 50 feet is $27.95 and 25 feet is $17.95; these are excellent cables, and those are cheap prices.

If you need a lot of cables, then you have to pay for them or make them; no whining...lol.

Standard AES/EBU cable uses 22 gauge wire; a lot of the others use 20 gauge. The gauge is not critical, but 16 gauge seems a bit odd; never seen that before. Audio engineers use the standard 22 gauge cable for runs of 100 feet and longer; no problem there.

If you go to pacificcable.com, they have a 500 foot roll of AWG 22 AES standard MIC cable for $75.00. Part number 256-210. That should be enough for all of your cables. Buy that roll and get your connectors from Amazon and plug in your soldering iron.

That is only 15 cents per foot, plus about $7 for each pair of Neutrik gold-pin connectors from Amazon. That is what you should be paying for bulk cable.

That makes a top-quality 40-foot cable cost about $13 to make.

If you can solder you will make some perfectly good cables.




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Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I don't think RCA cables are an option for me since the amp on the Catalysts only have XLR connections. That and people that have used RCA cables and just used adapters for the cats have experienced some noise or hissing.

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post #47 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 12:58 PM
 
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The OP has ALREADY stated that the device to be connected are BALANCED!

Why would ANYONE want to defeat this?

And who is so unaware as to equate unbalanced and balanced topologies.

There are very real benefits to a balanced topology.
Will one notice it in ALL circumstances. No!

But balanced topologies offer significant advantage in an environment where such interference is present.

This entire issue is a non-starter of a debate.
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post #48 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 01:10 PM
 
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Balanced is the only way to go.

Even when you don't have a balanced source and load?

Quote:


Anyone who suggests that you use unbalanced cables for over 6 feet needs a reality check! You don't want to do that; very bad idea.

Anyone who repeats this bad advice over and over again needs a reality check.
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post #49 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I've soldered wires when I was 11 years old lol. I'm sure I can solder. I thought there was more to it then that, but I can definitely solder.

You need to be able to turn a screw, cut and strip wires.
Leave the wires long enough so you can make the soldering station comfortable.
A small vise, needle nose pliers, wire cutter/stripper, and a reasonable soldering iron make the job easier.
It's easier than trying to pull multiple xlr cables though a hole.
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post #50 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Anyone who suggests that you use unbalanced cables for over 6 feet needs a reality check! You don't want to do that; very bad idea.

Simply not true.

I currently used unbalanced RCA ICs in my home system with length of 10' for the amp that drives my front L/R speakers.

With the added note that the RG-6 wire is Belden 1694A, which has *excellent* shielding.

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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Balanced is the only way to go.

Please check the zzounds website for the Hosa cables. 50 feet is $27.95 and 25 feet is $17.95; these are excellent cables, and those are cheap prices.

If you need a lot of cables, then you have to pay for them or make them; no whining...lol.

Standard AES/EBU cable uses 22 gauge wire; a lot of the others use 20 gauge. The gauge is not critical, but 16 gauge seems a bit odd; never seen that before. Audio engineers use the standard 22 gauge cable for runs of 100 feet and longer; no problem there.

If you go to pacificcable.com, they have a 500 foot roll of AWG 22 AES standard MIC cable for $75.00. Part number 256-210. That should be enough for all of your cables. Buy that roll and get your connectors from Amazon and plug in your soldering iron.

That is only 15 cents per foot, plus about $7 for each pair of Neutrik gold-pin connectors from Amazon. That is what you should be paying for bulk cable.

If that's a current price, it's a nice price.

Last time I bought 100 Canare RCAP RCA plugs, a pair totaled just over $7.

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That makes a top-quality 40-foot cable cost about $13 to make.

If you can solder you will make some perfectly good cables.

That looks like a good deal to me at $13.

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post #51 of 61 Old 04-10-2012, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I didn't even know they made XLR that was meant to be installed in the wall. Seems kind of redundant to make a wire with connectors that are meant to take abuse, be connected and disconnected frequently, then insulate the wire with a more expensive material for permanent in wall installations.

Actually, installation-grade cabling is typically used for in-wall runs, and it's way cheaper than mic cables, since it doesn't need a robust jacket designed to withstand the abuse of stage use.

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=100-240


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Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I've soldered wires when I was 11 years old lol. I'm sure I can solder. I thought there was more to it then that, but I can definitely solder.

This might help. Part 5 covers XLR connectors.
How to Solder: A DIY Guide to Making Your Own Cables

Regards,
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post #52 of 61 Old 04-11-2012, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Anyone who suggests that you use unbalanced cables for over 6 feet needs a reality check!

Theory, bench testing and field experience shows that length is a secondary justification for using balanced I/O. The primary justification is the way that balanced I/O circumvents minor grounding problems.

Quote:


Balanced is the only way to go.

Which begged the question from another poster: "Even if you don't have a balanced source and load". It may or may not surprise that poster to learn that most of the benefit of balanced I/O is obtained when the load is balanced.

Unbalanced sources can be connected to balanced loads through balanced cables in ways that are highly advantageous and address both subtle grounding problems and interference pick-up.

The only time that unbalanced wiring is justified is when both the source and the load are unbalanced. If only the load is balanced, then a balanced cable can still provide a benefit if properly wired (Please see Rane Note 22). Perhaps that is what the poster meant.

Quote:


Please check the zzounds website for the Hosa cables. 50 feet is $27.95 and 25 feet is $17.95; these are excellent cables, and those are cheap prices.

Hosa makes lots of XLR cables in different grades. I prefer their CMK series. 20 gauge conductors, Neutrik connectors, low noise relatively flexible cable. I have about 15 in various live sound applications and after 2 years absoultely no problems.

Quote:


Standard AES/EBU cable uses 22 gauge wire; a lot of the others use 20 gauge. The gauge is not critical, but 16 gauge seems a bit odd; never seen that before. Audio engineers use the standard 22 gauge cable for runs of 100 feet and longer; no problem there.

Agreed that 16 gauge is overkill for mic and line level cables. Heck, 20 gauge is overkill. 24 gauge suffices, but 22 gauge gives you extra margin.

I can't over-emphasize how much difference actual assembly quality makes. I once was given a bunch of XLR cables by M.. F.. as part of a package deal with mic stands. The stands were good, but the cables all failed within a year of live sound use. I reterminated them, noted the assembly flaws (lack of proper strain relief) and they became reliable. Same cable, same connectors.
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post #53 of 61 Old 04-11-2012, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow thanks for all the info guys. I'm sure I can make XLR cables then. I have all the tools necessary, minus the soldering iron. Mine kicked the bucket years ago so I'll have to pick me up a new one of those. Thanks for all the links to, its very much appreciated
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post #54 of 61 Old 04-11-2012, 07:34 AM
 
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"Even if you don't have a balanced source and load". It may or may not surprise that poster to learn that most of the benefit of balanced I/O is obtained when the load is balanced.

This poster is not surprised...others may be surprised to learn that balanced io requires a balanced driver AND receiver to benefit from common mode noise rejection.
Unfortunately there are too many who believe that the benefits come from the cable itself and not the driver and receiver...as evidenced in this thread, and many others.
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post #55 of 61 Old 04-11-2012, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post


Unbalanced sources can be connected to balanced loads through balanced cables in ways that are highly advantageous and address both subtle grounding problems and interference pick-up.

I agree, although they can't fix real ground loops, where as truly balanced connections can really help in the elimination of ground loops and common mode noise.

Quote:



I can't over-emphasize how much difference actual assembly quality makes. I once was given a bunch of XLR cables by M.. F.. as part of a package deal with mic stands. The stands were good, but the cables all failed within a year of live sound use. I reterminated them, noted the assembly flaws (lack of proper strain relief) and they became reliable. Same cable, same connectors.

I was taught "A good electrical connection begins with a good mechanical connection". That certainly includes proper strain relief. As you've indicated good technique and implementation is far more important than over priced components.
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post #56 of 61 Old 04-11-2012, 11:49 AM
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Quote:


Originally Posted by arnyk: Unbalanced sources can be connected to balanced loads through balanced cables in ways that are highly advantageous and address both subtle grounding problems and interference pick-up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampfox View Post

I agree, although they can't fix real ground loops, where as truly balanced connections can really help in the elimination of ground loops and common mode noise.

This trick was very common in legacy analog NTSC broadcast video systems. Video, consumer or pro is unbalanced. But what many manufactures of broadcast quality distribution amplifiers and switchers did was to use a differential input. The cable shield was not grounded at the receiving end but rather was connected to the low side of a differential amplifier. This does give you about 15- 20db of CMR rejection. Not anywhere near a true balanced system but better then raw unbalanced.

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post #57 of 61 Old 04-12-2012, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

This trick was very common in legacy analog NTSC broadcast video systems. Video, consumer or pro is unbalanced. But what many manufactures of broadcast quality distribution amplifiers and switchers did was to use a differential input. The cable shield was not grounded at the receiving end but rather was connected to the low side of a differential amplifier. This does give you about 15- 20db of CMR rejection. Not anywhere near a true balanced system but better then raw unbalanced.

Way back, when I built custom instrumentation amps, I would trim the input stage with a goal of of +85db CMRR. It's not practical to expect that level of performance with mass market audio equipment but (as I'm sure you know) greater than 50-60 db CMRR is easy to obtain with a differential input.
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post #58 of 61 Old 04-12-2012, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampfox View Post

Way back, when I built custom instrumentation amps, I would trim the input stage with a goal of of +85db CMRR. It's not practical to expect that level of performance with mass market audio equipment but (as I'm sure you know) greater than 50-60 db CMRR is easy to obtain with a differential input.

The THAT1200 line receiver opamps make it pretty easy. Designed by Bill Whitlock of Jensen Transformers. I doubt they are used in any domestic audio products though. Just an FYI if you haven't seen them.
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post #59 of 61 Old 04-12-2012, 12:57 PM
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I missed this-- how many ft are you needing? Under ten' i doubt SQ can even be a concern.
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post #60 of 61 Old 04-12-2012, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DAB View Post

I missed this-- how many ft are you needing? Under ten' i doubt SQ can even be a concern.

Lots of feet lol. I just received my cables. I got five (5) 50 foot, three (3) 25 foot, and one (1) 15 foot cables.
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