Matched interconnect cables producing different volume left and right

This one's got me stumped.
I recent rearranged my listening room and needed much longer interconnects between by preamp and monoblocks.
I had an old pair of 4 meter cables from about 1994 stored away (very expensive back then) and pulled them out.  They are pure silver with a copper braid with WBT RCAs on the sending end and Neutric XLRs on the receiving end.  I needed XLRs on both ends so I soldered on a set of Cardas XLRs on the sending end.  I understand intellectually how to solder correctly but have very few reps as I seldom need to do it.
When I put them in the rearranged system, the sound stage was much worse than before and the left channel sounded a little louder than the right.  I switched the cables left and right and suddenly the sound stage was equally disappointing but now switched so the right channel was a little louder.  No obvious distortion or anything like that from either channel.
So here's the question, is it possible my amateur soldering significantly changed the resistance (or some other property) of the cables enough to influence the volume?  Or is it more likely that all this aging changed some important property of one cable?
How do I figure this out?  These things cost way too much to throw them away.
You broke a connection. :)

XLR still works if only 1 wire is connected, but half volume.

Get a continuity tester, and test each of the 3 connections. I'm sure that will reveal your answer.


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you may have measured continuity at the interconnect pins but maybe one connector is not making the proper contact with the other piece's connector on one end
I hope you have an ohmmeter. Make sure that

  • Pin 1 M is connected to pin 1 F
  • Pin 2 M is connected to pin 2 F
  • Pin 3 M is connected to pin 3 F
When you look at them, one will be the mirror image of the other!
Well, the alternative is one of the signals is shorted to ground.  Make sure the 3 pins don't have continuity between them.
I've got continuity on all three and no shorting.
Not sure how much solder is too much, but there's not a big obvious glob of excess solder on any of them.
All three pins on the male connector appear to be of identical length and none of them feel loose.
If your wires are color coded pin 1 was brown /ground, pin 2 red/hot, pin 3 white / neutral or black neutral. Is that how they are on the neutrik  end? 

12,197 posts10-16-2020 12:00am

Too much solder?


 OR a cold solder joint.

I say check for smear. Any part of any wire touching either by sloppy solder, or resin left over from soldering. Clean and inspect. Resin is conductive. OK! clean that stuff off with isopropyl, THEN inspect for smear, and repair the problem.. E is right... something has a bad or NO connection.. I say bad! Could be both.. CHEAP ends should sound great.. mine do... I use copper neutrik style.. Could be made in the tim buck too for all I know...Sure sound good. 7-10.00 usd.

Start over.

Cut the connectors off each end.  Get brand new XLR connectors.

Check the bare wires for continuity point to point and also between conductors and also shield.  Should be no continuity between conductors and also shield, but only point to point.
 Connect XLR on one end.  Recheck continuity.
Connect XLR on other end.  Recheck continuity.

You are good to go.

You don't want continuity, you want zero impedance, or close to it.  What is it??
#1 buy a solder which remove the solder joints get a roll of copper solder wick and resolder 
and don’t use junk ,like kester , use a High quality audio solder Myself and many use Cardas high silver content,plus copper, 
or WBT or mundorf supreme , sonicly less hard and noticeably
more musical , and buy a natural flux ,Amazon has all this and temp at least 400 degrees ,over  time a cold solder joint very possible and back then the mentioned above solders of today
much better in every way.