When it comes to voiceover recording, can a cable make a difference?

Vovox Cables 2In 2010, we got the chance to test some Swiss-made Vovox microphone cables and we were sold right away. Now a cable is just a cable, right?  Not exactly.  First of all, the Vovox cables are incredibly well-constructed, terminated with Neutrik connectors and tough enough to stand up the worst abuse.  We wouldn’t be surprised if they last a lifetime.  But, more crucially, our testing suggested they do have an impact on the tone – nothing miraculous -but a positive difference nonetheless.

We were sceptical too, but repeated A/B comparisons showed the Vovox cables to have a slightly clearer bass and more detailed, open highs. In fact, one high end cable we tested against the Vovox sounded just awful by comparison; we’d swear it was exaggerating any sibilance.  So, bit by bit, we replaced all our cables and interconnects with Vovox.

But we recently, we hit a problem; the Mika mic arms we had specified for the new booth came with an integral cable built in.  Neat.  But the trouble was, there was no way to yank it out and replace with our beloved Vovox. We had to sacrifice one or the other.  In the end, we chose to go with the built-in cable, rather than strap a Vovox to the outside of the mic arm.  It was an aesthetic choice.

Funny thing is that this time, the tone didn’t seem to change.

Now does that make a mockery of our careful A/B testing three years earlier and the very clear differences we were hearing? Did we fool ourselves? Not sure. There is a theory that if you put even a short Vovox cable somewhere else in the chain, for example, from the pre-amp to the AD convertor, then that’s enough to get the tonal benefits described earlier.  And it’s true that almost every other cable in our mic chains is a Vovox. But the theory seems far-fetched.

One of these days, maybe when work slows up, we’ll do the tests again.  But for now, we’ll leave the argument to the audiophiles and relax about it all.  One thing is certain: it gives us a lot of confidence to know that the cabling in our UK voiceover studio are widely regarded as some of the best you can buy.

Vovox Cables

Posted on January 1, 2016

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