- Sound Designs Create Sound Performance -

XLR Cable

The Iconoclast Design

The Iconoclast XLR cable is a star quad cable -- but a star quad with some very unusual features inside. Star quad cables produce excellent noise rejection qualities, albeit usually at some cost in higher capacitance. A typical star quad XLR cable has four conductors, each insulated in a dielectric, helically cabled together without any internal spline to separate them. Iconoclast does away with the individual conductor insulations -- the bare copper conductors are in air-tube chambers, where they are centered by use of a spiral spacer filament. These four chambers are separated by a central spline, enclosed in an outer FEP layer, then covered in a bare copper high-coverage braid shield and finally jacketed in FEP.

This unusual design mirrors the layout of the Iconoclast RCA, with the effect of making the electromagnetic properties of Iconoclast RCA and XLR as similar as possible. For more on the "whys and wherefores" of Iconoclast XLR design, see the RCA/XLR Design Brief in The Story of Iconoclast.

The Two Design Variants: 4x1 and 4x4

The original Iconoclast XLR design used four solid copper wires as the signal conductors -- one in each of the four star-quad air chambers. One consequence of this arrangement, and its resulting low capacitance, is that this cable is suited not only for analog, but also for digital AES/EBU applications.

After development of the first Iconoclast RCA and XLR cables, Galen revisited one key aspect of the design to see if he could bring down the cable's inductance. Four wires instead of one in each channel, arranged in a tiny star quad, would do this, but only if they could be kept physically separate; if they touched, being uninsulated, they would behave as a stranded wire. A small FEP separator, shaped like a plus sign, was the key: easy enough in concept, but difficult to implement successfully on a production cable. After some experimentation, it was found to be doable, and so this is the "Generation 2" Iconoclast XLR cable, the 4x4. The outer star quad of the 4x4 cable provides superb common mode noise rejection without the high capacitance usually associated with star quad cables, while the inner, tiny star quads reduce inductance (with a modest increase in capacitance). This change to inductance and capacitance takes the cable outside the impedance spec for AES/EBU, however, so it should be used in analog applications only.

Note: At this writing we do not yet have the cable stocks on hand for the 4x4 design in OCC. We do have TPC and OFE available. OCC is currently expected in March 2019. Pricing is viewable, and the TPC and OFE versions are orderable, below.

4x1 original Iconoclast design (left), versus 4x4 (right)

Electricals (typical):

  • Capacitance:
    • 4x1, 12.5 pF/ft
    • 4x4, 17.5 pF/ft
  • Inductance:
    • 4x1, .155 µH/ft
    • 4x4, .115µH/ft
  • Resistance, Conductor:
    • 4x1, 17.5 Ω/1000 ft
    • 4x4, 15 Ω/1000 ft.
  • Resistance, shield:
    • 2.5 Ω/1000 ft.


Iconoclast XLR cables are terminated with Neutrik NC3MXX-B and FXX-B male and female XLR connectors, using WBT silver solder. All termination work is done in our Seattle shop, and all cables are accompanied by a test report showing final measured values for capacitance, inductance and resistance.

Conductor Options:

There are three options available for the signal conductor composition (shielding is TPC on all varieties). The difference between these is purely one of material, and not of design; regardless of whether your cable is made with TPC, OFE or OCC, the internal structure is the same, and the termination methods and hardware are the same.

The conductor choices for XLR cable are TPC, OFE and OCC. TPC is Electrolytic Tough-Pitch Copper, widely used in communications cable of all sorts. OFE is Oxygen-Free Electrolytic Copper (99.99% pure); OCC is Ohno Continuous Cast copper (99.99998% pure). The outer jacket color is red for TPC, violet for OFE, and green for OCC.

Return Policy:

We accept returns for any reason whatsoever within 30 days of purchase.

To Order:

To see prices and to order, use the tables below. At this time we do not have stock of the 4x4 cable design, but it is on order and will be offered here as soon as we have it on hand.

Iconoclast 4x1 "Generation 1" XLR Cables:
Length in feetPair or SingleCable Stock Price
Iconoclast 4x4 "Generation 2" XLR Cables:
NOTE: the OCC version is not yet available to order, but prices can be viewed below.
Length in feetPair or SingleCable Stock Price
About Us -- International Orders -- Privacy -- Payment, Shipping and Return Info -- Dealers -- Contact Us