Star-Quad Cables

Star-quad design is sometimes quite a bit of talked about cable type. When I saw Star-Quad Cables and Double-Blind Testing posting at Controlgeek blog I decided that it would be a good idea to write something about them.

Several companies use a quad configuration in their balanced cables instead of a twisted pair; Canare calls this Star Quad. The design uses four conductors twisted around each other; opposing pairs are connected at either end.


The star-quad design for microphone cables, where 4 conductors are used in pairs, with a short lay length, to cancel out the effects of external electromagnetic noise, is well known in demanding applications such as TV, video and theatre where thyristor lighting control systems are in use. Star quad, four conductors in square formation, in which opposite conductors are connected in parallel at both ends to form a single, magnetically-concentric balanced pair, in order to minimize magnetic induction. The truth is that it works. I have tested star-quad cable arrangement against normal twisted pair cable, and I have to admit that it rejects the noise better when I have tested that on lab environment (comparing several cable constructions).

A star-quad cable resembles kind of super-set of a normal twisted pair microphone cable. There are four cores in star-quad cable plus an overall screen. The screen helps to prevent electrostatic interference from reaching the signal cores, just as in a conventional cable. What’s special about star-quad cable? article tells that the four cores are very tightly twisted with each other and rotate over a relatively short length. The very short lay length of the core twisting also helps to make sure that any interference is induced equally into the the two paired sets of wires (although works quite well even if the twists are not very tight like in Gotham “Star-Quad”). This arrangement results in a magnetically coaxial structure and provides greatly improved rejection of electromagnetic interference compared to standard two-core mic cables.


The result of start-quad construction is better balance of interference and therefore better rejection. What’s special about star-quad cable? article mentions that the improvement is perhaps as much as 20dB. Up Your Audio: Time For Star Quad Microphone Cable article tells that star-quad cable is raising common mode rejection (CMRR) by a factor of 10, or about 20 dB.

The rejection is better especially for very close-source electromagnetically induced interference. You get this kind of interference when you lay a mic cable alongside something that radiates strong and nasty interference (mains power cables, dimmer cables). Star-quad cables are widely used today, particularly where there is a likelihood of having to lay mic cables alongside strong sources of interference.


Quad cable provides increased immunity to radio interference as well. The “Star-Quad” concept is known and recommended where the RF-rejection is the most important factor and where very long cable runs are needed. The star-quad configuration was invented for use in telephone cables back in the ’30s, and was adopted in the TV world in the ’60s and ’70s.

So how does the star-quad cable differ from normal microphone cable in technical properties? According to Up Your Audio: Time For Star Quad Microphone Cable article a star-quad mic cable contains four 24-gauge wires instead of the usual single 22-gauge pair. The four wires spiral together tightly so they alternate plus and minus, creating better “looping” that improves resistance to electromagnetic interference.

The four cores are arranged in a cross formation, and the opposite cores are wired in parallel to form a single balanced pair. The very short lay length of the core twisting also helps to make sure that any interference is induced equally into the the two paired sets of wires. Star-quad cable works very well with balanced audio signals.


Star quad construction reduces the inductive reactance of mic cable: Replacing a 22-gauge twisted pair with two pairs of 24-gauge conductors connected in parallel produces the same DC resistance, but about half the series inductance.

The downside is higher capacitance: with four wires in the cable, the core-core and core-screen capacitance will be higher than in a more conventional two-core cable.

If this provides better clarity without the need for EQ to boost the highs or causes loss of high frequencies due capacitance could depend on which kind of devices are connected to the cable. I think the effect could be in either case by case.

Up Your Audio: Time For Star Quad Microphone Cable article recommends to consider a new set of star quad microphone cables as the most affordable way to improve sound. According to that article nothing that costs so little can make such a big difference in the quality of a sound system as its mic cables and using phantom powered mics places a higher demand on mic cables than simple passive devices. According to Up Your Audio: Time For Star Quad Microphone Cable article claims that star quad cables can also improve sound quality. Most report clearer highs, less mud in the mid-lows, and a lift of the “haze” associated with previous mixes. I can’t verify those claims. I have not used that so much in real life audio systems that I could say does it sound better like one article claims. If you have noise problems then considering star-quad cable could be a reasonable idea. I don’t think that they could really make things sound better, but they sure can reduce interference.


  1. medical assistant says:

    Good comments. Thanks! :)

  2. Chester Weaving says:

    There is visibly a bundle to realize about this. I consider you made certain nice points in features also.

  3. Star-Quad Cable in test « Tomi Engdahl’s ePanorama blog says:

    [...] Cable in test Are Star-Quad is well known in the audio industry as a good cable construction to use in demanding environments [...]

  4. Cables Dmx Cords | MNC Makina Music says:

    [...] source="amazon" results="10"]Cables Dmx Cords[/affmage] Can you use a microphone cable instead of a dmx cable? I have 4 Intimidator 1.2 scanners that I want…own on stage and un hook the cord from the sound board and plug it into the controller. Do you think [...]

  5. tomi says:

    Google changed their ranking strategy some time ago.
    Their aim was to lower junk sites rankings in the way…
    Accidentally it seems that the rating of this site dropped also on the process :-(

  6. tomi says:

    Thank you for your feedback.
    I started this blog March 2009.
    I have run the web site and written articles for electronics/computer magazines for more than 10 years.

  7. Moshe Beckwith says:

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any ways to help stop content from being stolen? I’d truly appreciate it.

    • tomi says:

      I sometimes ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation.

      It is technically pretty impossible to stop content from being stolen if you still want that people can access it easily.

      I have to live with the fact that sometimes content is being stolen, and when I see that done I react to it as needed.
      Reaction could be usually (depending on the case) request to remove the content or adding proper attribution of the source of the information.

      Sometimes some of your content on other site, put there with proper link back to your site, can act like an advertisement to your site.
      It adds visibility on Internet and can even boost your search engine ratings (more links pointing to your site).
      If you see your material copied somewhere, think what would be the best strategy to react.
      Attacking aggressively to site that has copied material and demanding material taken out immediately is not always the best reaction…

  8. auta poleasingowe says:

    Nice idea of art. I’m from Holland I read many arts about it. I think idea of article is quite best and impresive to think about this article and future. Best regards from Denmark.

  9. does nono work says:

    I’ll right away snatch your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please permit me know in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  10. School Software says:

    You made some decent factors there. I looked on the internet for the dilemma and found most individuals will go along with along with your web site.

  11. record pools says:

    Currently it appears like Movable Type is the preferred blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  12. papaya clothing coupons says:

    I really enjoyed your page, the content was insightful, hoping for more awesome updates in the future

  13. japanese london says:

    Exceptional post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Many thanks!

  14. consumer genetics says:

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in truth was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep in touch?

  15. euro 2012 fixtures says:

    Hi would you mind letting me know which web host you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a honest price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  16. Walk in Dusche says:

    Good – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task..

  17. stoppen met roken zyban says:

    With almost everything that appears to be developing throughout this area, all your opinions tend to be somewhat exciting. However, I am sorry, because I do not give credence to your entire suggestion, all be it refreshing none the less. It would seem to me that your opinions are actually not completely rationalized and in fact you are your self not really totally certain of your argument. In any event I did enjoy reading it.

  18. gowns mother of the groom says:

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  19. security cameras home says:

    Wonderful post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Cheers!

  20. metro pcs phones sale says:

    Some truly fantastic information, Glad I discovered this.

  21. Federico Casola says:

    An attention-grabbing discussion is worth comment. I feel that it is best to write extra on this subject, it might not be a taboo topic however generally persons are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  22. stephen pierce says:

    I am usually to running a blog and i really recognize your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and hold checking for brand new information.

  23. Baume & Mercier Swiss Watches says:

    Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it ;) I will come back once again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  24. * says:

    Your artical can be so fantastic!

  25. fitness online says:

    I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog. I’m hoping to view the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own website now ;)

  26. russian mail order says:

    Some times its a pain in the ass to read what blog owners wrote but this internet site is real user genial ! .

  27. restaurant certificates says:

    Discovered your article quite intriguing indeed. I really loved reading through it and you also make fairly some superior details. I will bookmark this web page with the potential! Relly good short article.

  28. fast race cars says:

    Discovered your short article pretty exciting without a doubt. I seriously liked studying it therefore you make fairly some excellent points. I will bookmark this website with the upcoming! Relly good content.

  29. Arbejdstoej says:

    Identified your content really intriguing in truth. I genuinely enjoyed browsing it and you make really some fantastic factors. I’ll bookmark this web page for the future! Relly fantastic content.

  30. oversubscription says:

    We are most often obtaining difficulty , following in your Rss. It comes program error 451. Let me know whether it is a new easy to deal with miscalculation or maybe if it is just everyone . Ive experimented with opera and also For instance. I have to be making use of AVG Firewall program as well as i’m not sure how you can power it down . I have to be not exceptional using Pcs. Ill take a note of your blog and then determine for those who have replied. good luck

  31. gestion immobiliere says:

    Found your report really remarkable in fact. I actually experienced examining it and also you make pretty some fantastic points. I am going to bookmark this website with the foreseeable future! Relly great report.

  32. hpdesignjet plotters says:

    Discovered your report pretty intriguing without a doubt. I genuinely enjoyed looking at it and also you make quite some good details. I will bookmark this site for your upcoming! Relly fantastic post.

  33. bookkeeping edinburgh says:

    Identified your article very exciting indeed. I really liked reading it and you make pretty some great details. I will bookmark this web site for that foreseeable future! Relly excellent content.

  34. San Diego massage says:

    Observed your short article very remarkable in truth. I genuinely enjoyed looking at it so you make fairly some very good details. I’ll bookmark this web site for the long run! Relly terrific post.

  35. VOX Amplifiers says:

    Uncovered your report very remarkable indeed. I really appreciated looking at it and also you make fairly some great points. I am going to bookmark this website to the potential! Relly great article.

  36. cab franc says:

    Observed your report extremely appealing in fact. I really really enjoyed reading it and you make rather some very good points. I’ll bookmark this site to the future! Relly excellent post.

  37. cleaner says:

    Observed your post really exciting in fact. I seriously loved studying it and you make really some excellent factors. I’ll bookmark this web site for the foreseeable future! Relly wonderful report.

  38. image says:

    Discovered your short article quite remarkable indeed. I actually liked reading through it and also you make really some great points. I am going to bookmark this site for that potential! Relly excellent post.

  39. Make extra says:

    Discovered your short article very intriguing in fact. I definitely loved looking at it and also you make really some very good details. I will bookmark this web site with the potential! Relly terrific report.

  40. Stairs London says:

    Some truly nice and useful info on this web site, also I think the design holds fantastic features.

  41. etoro says:

    I got what you mean , regards for putting up.Woh I am pleased to find this website through google.

  42. trading says:

    Admiring the persistence you put into your blog and detailed information you offer. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  43. IT jobs abroad says:

    Observed your post pretty appealing without a doubt. I seriously liked reading through it and also you make very some fantastic factors. I am going to bookmark this internet site for your foreseeable future! Relly great short article.

  44. Engravable Jewelry says:

    Found your write-up very interesting indeed. I genuinely liked looking at it and you simply make fairly some good factors. I’ll bookmark this web page to the long term! Relly excellent post.

  45. earn realistic income online says:

    Found your content extremely appealing indeed. I definitely enjoyed reading through it therefore you make pretty some very good points. I’ll bookmark this internet site with the long term! Relly great short article.

  46. Bhoutan says:

    Exceptional post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thank you!

  47. Wilbert Trant says:

    That is certainly some inspirational stuff. Didn’t know that opinions may be this varied. Appreciate your sharing many of the enthusiasm to consider such tips here.

  48. Santa Hadder says:

    Brilliant do the job all over again. I am excited for far more changes.

  49. fkawau says:

    This is the penalize Star-Quad Cables Tomi Engdahl’s ePanorama blog journal for anyone who wants to move out out active this substance. You attending so such its virtually wearying to debate with you (not that I truly would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new gyrate on a matter thats been written active for eld. Nice bunk, simply great!

  50. Rae Shibuya says:

    I’m chuckling at this post simply because it has driven dwelling just how smaller the world is. I linked into your blog site from one more website that I linked into by looking through a random Twitter article that came up during a totally random Twitter search. All that to say I wound up on your web site totally by chance.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *