Let’s talk about something that often gets neglected in our quest for pristine sound quality: audio cables. We invest a lot of time and money in building our dream audio setups, but we often forget to give proper attention to the lifelines that carry the music to our ears. Fear not, though! Today, we’re going to dive into the world of cable care and explore some tips to keep those audio cables working like a charm for a long, long time.

  1. Handling with Tender Loving Care: First things first, let’s start with the basics. When handling your audio cables, make sure to do it with gentle hands. Avoid yanking, twisting, or bending them excessively. Remember, cables have feelings too! Treat them kindly, and they’ll reward you with uninterrupted sonic pleasure.
  2. Say No to Knots: Oh, the dreaded knot! It’s the bane of every cable’s existence. Resist the temptation to tie your audio cables into intricate knots. Knots can strain the internal wiring and lead to signal degradation. Instead, opt for proper coiling techniques. A loose over-under coil or a figure-eight wrap works wonders in keeping your cables tangle-free and in great shape.
  3. Mind Your Connectors: Connectors are like the gateway to audio bliss, so it’s crucial to keep them in tip-top condition. Regularly inspect your connectors for any signs of wear or corrosion. If you spot any issues, give them a gentle clean with a soft cloth and a bit of contact cleaner. And remember, when connecting or disconnecting cables, hold them by the plugs, not by the cable itself. This reduces strain on the cable and keeps those connectors snug and secure.
  4. Cable Storage: When it comes to storing your cables, it’s best to avoid chucking them into a tangled mess in a dusty corner. Invest in cable management solutions like cable ties or Velcro straps to keep them neatly organized. Coiling your cables and storing them in a dedicated cable bag or case helps protect them from physical damage, dust, and unwanted critters. Plus, it saves you the hassle of untangling a labyrinth of cables every time you want to listen to music.
  5. Steer Clear of Extreme Conditions: Audio cables aren’t fond of extreme environments. Keep them away from excessive heat, cold, moisture, and direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures can affect the insulation and overall performance of the cables. Avoid placing them near radiators, heaters, or air conditioning vents. Instead, provide them with a cozy and moderate environment where they can thrive.
  6. Regular Check-Ups: Just like visiting the doctor for regular check-ups, your audio cables deserve some attention too. Periodically inspect them for any signs of wear and tear. Look out for cuts, frayed ends, or exposed wiring. If you spot any damage, it’s best to replace the cable or get it repaired promptly. Prevention is key to keeping your cables in excellent working condition.

By following these simple tips, you can extend the lifespan of your audio cables and ensure a seamless listening experience for years to come. So, take a moment to show your cables some love and care. They are the unsung heroes that bridge the gap between you and your favorite tunes. Happy listening!


  1. Build Quality: One of the primary factors influencing the price of audio cables is the quality of materials used in their construction. Expensive cables often feature high-grade materials such as premium metals for conductors (e.g., silver or gold), superior insulation materials, and robust connectors. These materials not only enhance the cable’s durability but also contribute to better signal transmission and reduced interference. Cheaper cables, on the other hand, may utilize lower-quality materials to keep costs down.
  2. Engineering and Design: Cables that have undergone extensive engineering and design work tend to be pricier. Manufacturers invest in research and development to create cables with advanced features like improved shielding, better noise rejection, and optimized signal flow. These design considerations can result in enhanced audio quality and a more immersive listening experience. Cheaper cables, though functional, may not have the same level of meticulous engineering behind them.
  3. Brand Reputation: Brand reputation plays a significant role in pricing. Established and reputable brands often command higher prices due to their track record of delivering quality products. Lesser-known or generic brands may offer more affordable options but might not have the same level of brand recognition or consistent quality control.
  4. Marketing and Packaging: The cost of marketing and packaging can also impact the price of audio cables. Extensive marketing campaigns, endorsements, and elaborate packaging designs can add to the overall cost. These expenses are usually factored into the retail price, resulting in higher-priced cables. In contrast, less marketing-intensive brands may be able to offer their products at a more affordable price point.
  5. Subjective Factors: It’s worth noting that audio perception is subjective, and personal preferences vary. Some individuals may claim to hear noticeable differences between expensive and cheaper cables, while others may not perceive a significant disparity. The debate over whether expensive cables offer tangible benefits or if it’s just a placebo effect continues among audio enthusiasts. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to decide what they believe makes a noticeable difference in their listening experience.

In summary, the price variation in audio cables can be attributed to factors such as build quality, engineering, brand reputation, marketing expenses, and subjective perceptions. It’s important to strike a balance between your budget and your desired level of audio quality when choosing cables. Ultimately, what matters most is that you enjoy your music and have a great audio experience, whether you opt for a budget-friendly option or invest in a higher-priced cable.

Rock Circus - Leeds - Rehearsal rooms - Don Van (2)


Mixing desks, also known as audio mixers or soundboards, play a crucial role in achieving high-quality sound production. We will explore affordable options for mixing desks, what they are best suited for, where to buy them, and provide a breakdown of different models and their prices

  1. Understanding Mixing Desks and Their Functionality:

A mixing desk is a device that allows you to control and adjust multiple audio inputs and outputs simultaneously. They enable you to blend and balance various sound sources, such as microphones, instruments, and playback devices, into a cohesive mix. Mixing desks come in various sizes and configurations, ranging from compact models with a limited number of channels to larger desks suitable for complex audio setups.

  1. Choosing the Right Mixing Desk for Your Needs:

When selecting a mixing desk, it’s essential to consider your specific requirements. Here are a few factors to consider:

a. Number of Channels: Give some thought to the number of inputs and outputs you’ll need based on your audio setup. A small home studio might only require a few channels, while a live sound engineer may require more extensive options.

b. Features: Consider features such as built-in effects, equalization controls, auxiliary sends, and USB connectivity for recording purposes. These features can significantly enhance your mixing capabilities…..they also can be totally useless too if you know you`ll never need them.

Personally, I like to grow with my equipment, maybe some time down the line when youre working on a different project these things may become useful.

c. Portability: If you require a mixing desk for live performances or on-the-go recording, consider a compact and portable model that can be easily transported

a. Behringer Xenyx Q802USB (8-channel): This compact mixer is perfect for small home studios or podcasting setups. Price: £75-£100.

b. Yamaha MG10XU (10-channel): Featuring built-in effects and USB connectivity, this mixer offers versatility and high-quality audio. Price: £180-£280.

c. Allen & Heath ZED-10FX (10-channel): Ideal for both live performances and studio recording, this mixer includes built-in effects and EQ controls. Price: £250-£300.

d. Soundcraft Signature 12MTK (12-channel): With its multi-track USB recording capabilities and professional-grade preamps, this mixer is perfect for advanced home studios. Price: £380-£450.

..but bear in mind these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the retailer and location.

Mixing desks, like any electronic equipment, require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. While the specific maintenance procedures may vary depending on the model and manufacturer, here are some general tips to keep your mixing desk in good working condition:

  1. Keep it clean!!: Dust and debris can accumulate on the surface and inside the faders and knobs of your mixing desk, potentially affecting its performance. Regularly dust the surface and use compressed air or a soft brush to clean the faders, knobs, and other components. Avoid using excessive liquid cleaners, as they can damage the sensitive electronics.

  • Protect against moisture and spills: Liquids are shit when it comes to the circuitry of your mixing desk. Be cautious when placing drinks or other liquids near the desk and consider using a protective cover if there’s a risk of spills. If a spill occurs, immediately power off the mixer, disconnect it from the power source, and clean up the liquid carefully. Allow it to dry thoroughly before using it again.
  • Check and clean connectors: Over time, the connectors on your mixing desk may accumulate dust, dirt, or oxidation, leading to connectivity issues. Inspect the connectors regularly and clean them using contact cleaner or a specialized cleaning solution. Ensure the connectors are securely plugged in and avoid excessive force when inserting or removing cables.
  • Service and repairs: If you encounter persistent issues or suspect a malfunction, consult the manufacturer’s documentation or contact their customer support for guidance. But beware, a lot of people who repair audio gear will NOT touch a desk, simply because of the amount of work it takes to get access to the problem that needs repair.
  • Firmware and software updates: Some mixing desks may have firmware or software that can be updated to enhance functionality or fix bugs. Check the manufacturer’s website any available updates

By implementing these maintenance practices, you can keep your mixing desk in good shape, ensuring optimal performance and extending its lifespan.