If you thought a microphone cable is a microphone cable, think again. There’s a huge difference between microphone and instrument cables, ranging from the connector they use to the shielding and even the quality of the wires. So far, I used a Klotz XLR mic cable with my sE Electronics sE2200A, but Chord Company sent me one of their 3m Cream cables. At first I thought them naming the cable “Cream” referred to the sleeve’s colour, but after comparing the Chord cable with my own, I think they call it “Cream” for a different reason.
The microphone Cream cable has the typical high-quality characteristics the Chord Company also builds into its Hi-Fi audio cables. The cable that I received was simply perfect. The terminations were perfect, the cable uses original Neutrik XLR connectors and the cable itself was perfectly shielded. That’s unlike my “high-end” Klotz. The Klotz cable has room inside the Neutrik connectors to move, which is asking for trouble.
Yet, my Klotz does great with the bass tones in voice recordings, it sounds good and I didn’t think there was much room for improvement. But it turned out there was. With the Cream cable the bass was still there, but there was also more detail and clarity in the recorded results. According to two of my closest friends, my own voice recordings with the Cream cable came closer to what my voice sounds like in reality than it did with the Klotz cable. They claim the Klotz actually makes my voice sound deeper than it is. It seems it somehow accentuates the bass tones. This means my voice characteristics are clearly carried more accurately when using the Cream cable.
This microphone cable doesn’t do crackling noise
Another advantage of the Cream cable is that it doesn’t generate sound by itself when you accidentally move it. I don’t often accidentally pull on my cables as I’m always extremely careful, but sometimes even I can’t avoid slightly pulling or moving the cable when I reach out for something while recording. With the Klotz — and with others I’ve tried — such motions inevitably result in a slightly crackling noise that I filter out in post-production with iZotope’s RX Advanced.
Chord’s Cream cable has no such problem for some reason — I suspect the high-grade build is the main reason why there’s no noise at all. Perhaps touching a regular microphone cable creates some static electricity that discharges and finds its way inside to mess with the actual copper wires.
To sum it all up, I think Chord called this cable the Cream cable not so much because it has a creamy white sleeve but because it gets your voice across more accurately than any other cable. Just as creamy white is more of a pure white than snow white in the paper business, for example 1.
The Chord Cream cable isn’t expensive either at about €65 for a 3-metre version.
- Most copy or printer paper has been made a brighter white using chemicals, which will actually fool a spectrophotometer when you measure the colour of ink deposited on such paper. ↩