Long Length MIDI Cables



A while ago we decided to question the 50ft MIDI cable length maximum. It was spurred on by two things, first the need to make longer runs with MIDI, the second a comment about why would you need to run it longer that 50ft (we say, why not?). We sell a great many 50ft cables and have never heard of a problem with them. So if we can safely do 50ft cables, why not go farther and see what happens?

We did testing on a couple pieces of gear, figuring you could test all day and get similar but different results. We tested to the reasonable extreme, using our top grade cable at the longest reasonable lengths most anyone would need. With the top lengths of 250ft of Mogami 2948 MIDI wire and 100ft of Mogami 2930 2 pair analog snake the MIDI continued to work flawlessly.

Doing a signal analysis of the MIDI signal, it was clear the longer you ran the signal the more degraded the signal was, but with our gear it was not bad enough to cause a problem. There were definite differences in the degradation between different pieces of gear, most likely due to different input and output construction.

Where theory meets reality
MIDI is a digital signal passing 1's and 0's from gear to gear in a data stream. The natural signal is a perfect squared wave. Even through with one foot of cable you can see some degradation in the data. With digital it all really comes down to tolerance, so if you run a cable 100ft will the input tolerate the resulting amount of degradation. Logic dictates gear is designed to handle some degradation otherwise the MIDI maximum length would be 0 feet. Tolerance is going to be gear specific; you might have one combination (gear out to gear in) that only tolerates 75 feet, where you might have another combination that tolerates 400ft. The only way to know is try it.

Testing disclaimer
While we have had good luck with making these extreme runs, these where all performed in one environment at our offices. We have never had any major noise problems on any gear we have tested caused by our power or RF in the environment. The gear tested with is fairly modern that seems to meet modern electrical standards.

Terms of Sale
We have decided to offer longer than specified MIDI cables. Though we believe you will most likely have no problems with them we cannot guarantee them with all gear and in all environments. If you have very old gear or a high EMI/RFI noise environments these lengths might not work or work well. These cables should not be depended on with unknown gear or in new environments.

We offer these cables with our Limited Return policy listed on our "Shipping and Returns page," however we will make exceptions to the cables lengths over 50ft that did not work with your gear or environment. Restocking fees will depend on options purchased and condition of the cable upon return, to be handled on a case by case basis. For used cables past initial trials, we can cut the cables down to make standard length cables; fees will apply for labor and parts.

By purchasing these cables you agree to the terms listed here.

To see all our MIDI cables Click Here

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