Not unoften in the complicated world of connections that you’ll find the same connector type doing different jobs. It is important to know that just because the connection looks the same doesn’t mean that it carries the same signal or that the wire for the cable is the same. Let me give you a few examples:
XLR Connectors: These can be analog audio, digital audio (AES/EBU, AES3), or DMX lighting control. (Digital and DMX have very similar standards for wire, so we can group those together and just say digital from here on out.) For analog and digital, the wire looks very similar, it is a twisted pair shielded wire. The concern with digital is it requires a very precise standard of 110 or 120-ohm characteristic impedance. Not to get too far into the weeds, basically, it means it carries high-frequency data very well. Because the digital wire is similar to analog wire, you can use digital wire for analog, but you can not use analog wire for digital.
We have them separated for easy shopping:
RCA Connectors: A very similar problem can be found here, too, because you have analog audio, digital audio (SPDIF), and video. In this case, the base wire is a single conductor shielded wire in a coaxial format, but digital and video require a standard of 75-ohms. Also, like before, the digital-video wire can be used for analog, but analog should not be used for digital or video.
That just barely scratched the surface, and I’ll save 1/4″ TS and TRS for another day. I just want my main takeaway to be: there are differences in wire, and not all cables are alike, don’t assume because it has the right connectors, it is the right cable for the job. And we’re happy to talk it through with you to make sure you get the correct one! (Contact Us)