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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Cables, Leads & Connectors

2. Important Terms

Cable... flex... lead... wire... what do all these terms mean?

  • A cable is an assembly of one or more conductors (wires) with some flexibility.

     

  • A flex is the proper name for the flexible cable fitted to mains electrical appliances.

     

  • A lead is a complete assembly of cable and connectors.

     

  • A wire is a single conductor which may have an outer layer of insulation (usually plastic).

What a Lead Should Do

A lead should convey an electrical signal (or light in the case of fibre optics) with minimal degradation of the signal over the length of the lead and/or its connectors. To this end, different types of electrical signal require different lead designs, as the nature of the signal (level, bandwidth and input/output impedance) will dictate the attributes of the cable and connectors used.

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