If you read this blog, you probably already know we have some pretty wild stuff in our studio — high-end boutique microphones, ultra-linear preamplifiers, a 5.1.4-channel system with high-end loudspeakers and amplification, and, perhaps controversially, really expensive cables. Some say there’s no difference at all between a high-end cable and a coat hanger, some say there are absolutely huge issues between any high-end cable. We’re a bit in the middle of those two. Whilst we do seem to hear differences, they tend to be more subtle than we think, making any placebo effect a larger difference than we’d like. So to try and settle the argument for ourselves at least, we wanted to make a blind A/B comparison using different XLR cables as microphone cables in a real-world recording situation. The test We set out to record 5 takes of music, each time with two sets of main microphones, spaced at about 16mm from one another. The microphones in question are Josephson Engineering C617 bodies with Microtech Gefell MK221 measurement microphone capsules on them. The microphones were then connected to a Grace Design m801mk2 preamplifier, each pair of microphones using a set of varying XLR cables, all of them 10 metres long. Between each take, we switch microphone cables and record another take. The signal from the preamplifiers (4 channels in total) then go through a custom-made breakout cable (Grimm Audio TPR8 with Furutech FP-602F (R) and FP-601M (R) connectors) into a Merging Technologies Hapi MkII frame with the latest ADC modules running at DSD256. This was recorded into Merging Technologies Pyramix in DSDIFF and then converted to PCM 352.8kHz 64bit floating point using Weiss Engineering Saracon, where it was then cut to length and put together in Steinberg WaveLab Pro 12. Exports were made using WaveLab’s built-in SRC and LIN Dither by MAAT Digital. Try for yourself and win a one-year TRPTK Member Pass! What we’re most curious about, though, is what you think. Do you hear any difference between the A and B variants? And if so, what differences do you hear? Do the test below, and maybe you’ll win a one-year TRPTK Member Pass! Click here to go to the TRPTK Cable Comparison A/B Test.