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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
    Layer1) In synthesis and sound design, sounds are often created from two or more basic waveforms or samples layered together. 2) In computing, most operating systems and other software are written in layers, from the lowest level dealing with basic processing functions which is addressed by higher-level layers with specific functions such as sound and graphics.
    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,
BandwidthThe range of frequencies passed by a bandpass filter (the difference between the upper and lower cut-off frequencies).
bandwidth
and input/output impedance) will dictate the attributes of the cable and connectors used.

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