New Gear Review: Sound Tools Cable Testers

SoundToolsrat_snifferSound Tools has an expanded line of problem solvers for the itinerant recording engineer, live sound engineer or audio technician. I received three of the most useful tools in the Sound Tools line: the XLR Cable tester, the 1/4-inch TRS/TS cable checker, and the NL4 loudspeaker cable test system for cables using Neutrik’s Speakon NL4 connectors.

All three of these cable checkers test the entire length of a cable without having to remove or unbundle it from its installed position or from within a multi-cable snake. Especially good for installed sound systems, recording studio wiring, and troubleshooting complex live sound setups, the Sound Tools system is a two-piece system: the battery powered Sender unit and the Receiver or “Sniffer” unit.

Like all the Sound Tools testers, the XLR Sniffer/Sender pair are both made of lightweight aluminum with the XLR Sender, looking like a barrel connector with a standard female XLR connector, attaches to the male end of a suspected microphone or line XLR cable-—even hundreds of feet long. The Sniffer is connected to the other end of the cable and instantly reads its condition using combinations of the A, B and C LEDs.

Sound Tools XLR Sniffer/Sender Cable Tester sells for $45. A very handy device you’ll want if you’ve ever “rooted” around filthy recording studio floors or live stages looking for bad XLR cables. Contact Rat Sound Systems at 888-545-8271.

Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs, and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. http://barryrudolph.com