Putting a new end on a XLR cable

I have a pair of Tara Labs 3 meter interconnects and I’ve lost a wire connection in the left cable. (It’s playing softer than the right one) For the life of me, I can’t figure out how they built it so I can take the end off, re solder the connection and put it back together. If I can’t figure out how to do it myself, My other options are cutting the end off and buying a good XLR plug or sending it back to the company and potentially paying as much as $500 for the repair.

Anyone here know how to take apart a Tara Labs XLR cable?

Thanks in advance.


Assuming you narrowed it down and the cable is the problem, $500 sounds excessive. Is that what Tara Labs quoted you for the repair or you suspect it will cost that much? Just curious. Those are most likely neutrik connectors that don’t cost more than $10. 


Yeah, I thought it was crazy too, that’s why the post.  I was hoping for something like $50 + shipping.  The problem is has to be one of things, a broken connection in one of the two hot wires or a hot wire that’s broken, somewhere in the cable. 
I’m going to hope someone here knows the answer.  If not, I’m going to slice and dice and lose a couple of inches off my left IC.

I googled a photo and it isn't obvious to me how to take them apart but a person with more experince should be able to figure it out.

However, before you go to al the trouble get a meter and check the resistance of each wire.  If you have continuity (0 ohms) between the pins on each end, then it isn't the cable.  


There is 1. a screw holding the housing together or 2. the big part unscrews from the little part or 3. they glued it together when it was made (permanent) or 4. something else (the great unknown).

I had a broken connection in my Harmonic Tech XLR so took it to a guitar repair shop who fixed for $20. Good luck

A local technician should be able to easily handle this repair for far less than $500. Where are you located?

Also, if the connection between the conductor and XLR connector has failed, you would likely get no sound rather than a "softer" sound. Are you sure the cable is the problem?


If one of the hot wires is broken the sound will get softer. If the ground wire is broken, there will be no sound. Connection one is bad. I’m assuming it’s the connection. I’ve never had a wire break mid cable, but I’m sure it happens.


No screw that I can see and other than the collet with their logo, there doesn’t seem to be anything that comes off.

Try unscrewing the ends. Doesn’t make sense to make something that can’t be serviced. Press any buttons present (XLRs usually have a release button). Don’t go nuts but use reasonable force. Good luck

P.S. You may have to sacrifice any heat shrink present. I'm seeing lots of Tara XLRs on Bing images and most have a rubber washer/O-ring that indicates screw together. What color are your ICs?


You’re right about the O ring on the female side, there isn’t one on the male side. The O ring is between the lock pieces. I tried to unscrew the female side with a pliers and cloth and so far nothing has moved.


I forgot to mention, the collets are blue and say RSC air1 and Series 2 under in a different font. They are the only thing that unscrews, so far. The rest of the cable is a black/silver weave and the ends are black with Tara Labs in white on both ends.

My final suggestion is to call Tara and ask for instructions about how to access the wire points. Good luck


Sorta tried that already and.  “We would need to test the cable in person to determine where it is damaged.“. Was the reply.

Just got a second reply   “No easy way unfortunately. We would need to see it in person in order to determine where the connection was bad.”


True, you need to open it up. 

If there is no screw visible it's probably a situation where part of it screws onto the other.  Grab the end of the connector closest to the wire exit and twist against the rest of the connector.

I wish there was an easy way to share pictures here. It might make this so much  easier!


Brother, I’ve tried everything I could think of. And yes I took a pliers to the back of the female end (with a cloth to keep from doing to much damage) and nothing! I poked around the male end and tried to pop off the front and nothing. 

This is what's wrong with this hobby/industry.  Do you really think it will take TARA Labs $500 to diagnose/fix this issue?  I think not, but even so, it's likely an isolated request/incident. TARA Labs should fix it for free - that's the way they should treat a customer. It's a drop in the bucket for TRA Labs.  Greed - IMO.

Tell the TARA people to answer the question "how can I open the XLR terminal?". They're just giving you some B.S..

@op. From looking at pics on the net, they probably do unscrew. That is the way most neutrik xlrs come apart. However, on the Tara Labs cable, the collet that is immediately behind the xlr plugs would block that from happening - unless the collet is removed.

First I ever heard of Tara Labs cables. Thanks for the heads up. Hope you work it out.

On every thread like this there are always people who recommend calling the manufacturer. I’m sure they are just sadists. They are currently sitting in their listening chair with a snifter of brandy and a smile on their face. They are picturing you punching endless buttons to get through the computer phone tree--reaching dead ends and having to hang up and dial again several times. You eventually start hitting 0 and the computer tells you this is not an option...meanwhile our antaginist has a clear picture of this in their mind and they are smiling as they take another sip of Napoleaon. Now you’re getting really upset and yelling "representative" at the computer. The computer says "i must have more information before I can connect you." ....another sip of fine brandy by the evil genius....finally you’re connected to a guy in a call center in India. He says he can’t answer technical questions, they must be submitted online. He promises an answer in 45 days but you know that you’ll never get an answer....one final sip of brandy. Remove the silk smoking jacket and slip into bed for sweet dreams of other people suffering.


The metal collet does unscrew, but that’s all I can do. Very frustrated. Probably going to cut the old one off and replace it with something aftermarket. No idea what’s out there, I have a mission for tomorrow.

I recently built a set of XLR cables using these. Very happy with them.


Where are you located. I've built and repaired hundreds of cables and equipment. If you are near, I can offer to look and provide thoughts and possibly even some new Neutrik gold/black connectors. Good luck.

Buy new XLRs. Cut and resolder.

Being sortah a compulsive excessive, I would do All of them. And being so, I would also peek into the XLR holes on the amp and preamp to match gold to gold, silver to silver pins. Dissimilar metal contact thing.

Option 5. "The best connector is No connector at all". Open up the units. Cut all the ends off your cables. Solder the cable wires directly to the inside of the amp and preamp XLRs.

I just looked online and it stated that Tara Labs interconnects have a lifetime guarantee. so this should be covered for free.

Thanks curiousjim. I wonder then if they have bonded the two sections together? Anyway, it looks like it's out with the cable cutters :((

Tara Labs is a pretty good company and they should be able to fix the cable under warranty or relatively inexpensively. Did they really say that it would be $500 to fix the cable? If they did I find that hard to believe. 


I’ll end up having to do both cables, otherwise they won’t sound the same. I’m sure the cable company will be happy to sell me something 😀

Thanks @carlsbad 

I’ll check those out. I’ve bought from them before. Chris is good people.

BEWARE. Some cables use teflon insulation. When teflon is heated past 250C, it releases HF, one of the most corrosive and toxic substances known. You have a few alternatives: solder outside, at eye level or above. Or use a ventilated fume hood and a respirator (that's what I do). Or send them to someone who is equipped to handle teflon. Or pray.

Good luck.

Second hand you said. Are you sure they are real Tara Labs cables, because there are so many copies these days…

@carlsbad ,

I’m looking at ordering a couple pair of the Aeco connectors and have a question. How big of a cable will fit? The Tara’s are easily 1/2” thick.


Thanks @terry9 

As I’m getting older, my hands sometimes shake, so most likely I’ll be taking them to someone to be soldered, but if I do it myself, I’ll solder them in the garage.

@curiousjim There is a plastic sleeve that bushes it to 8.5mm.  without the sleeve it is 12.5mm.  Jerry


Cool, I just ordered two pair.

Oh, did you use silver solder on you connections? I know I have some, but where…

Thanks again.

I would NOT solder wires with teflon dielectric in an enclosed space, without excellent ventilation.