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Hosa Technology Announces Pro Breakout Cables

Hosa Technology Announces Pro Breakout Cables

Streamlines the process of interfacing consumer audio with professional gear

Buena Park, CA – November 2014… Hosa Technology, the leading innovator of analog and digital connectivity solutions for the modern musician, is pleased to introduce the latest line expansion to the Hosa Pro line of cables. The new Hosa Pro Breakouts make the process of interfacing consumer audio products with professional equipment easier than ever. With Hosa Pro Breakouts, any consumer audio product equipped with a stereo minijack output can seamlessly be interfaced with professional units sporting quarter-inch Tip/Sleeve, XLR, or even RCA connectors.

Hosa Pro Breakouts are available in three configurations. The 3.5 mm TRS (tip/ring/sleeve) to dual RCA option—identified as the HMR-000Y Series—is ideal for DJ mixers or home stereo systems. The 3.5 mm TRS to dual 1/4-inch TS (tip/sleeve) breakout—identified as the HMP-000Y Series—can be plugged into patch bays or a mixer’s phone inputs. The third category, the 3.5 mm TRS to dual XLR3M breakout—known as the HMX-000Y Series—is ideal for connecting into discrete channels on a professional mixer or similar interface.

As users of Hosa cable products have come to expect, the new Pro Breakouts line is manufactured from the finest materials. All three configurations utilize nickel-plated REAN connectors (a brand of Neutrik AG, the industry’s connectivity leader) for efficient signal transfer and durability. Equally notable, these cables sport 24 AWG Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) conductors for enhanced signal clarity and 90% OFC spiral shields for a higher signal to noise ratio. These materials, combined with Hosa’s world-class workmanship, result in truly superior cable products designed to provide exceptional audio performance and years of trouble-free use.

Jose Gonzalez, Hosa Technology’s Product Manager, commented on the company’s new Pro Breakout cables, “The growth of portable audio products such as iPods, smartphones, and tablets has changed the requirements of live audio. Even in the most professional live audio and studio setups, people frequently need the ability to add a consumer media player into the mix. When this situation arises, they need to be able to count on the cable they’re about to patch in. Hosa Pro Breakouts make trusting one’s cable easy. All three configurations make the process of interfacing consumer audio products with professional gear quick and seamless.”

The HMR-000Y and HMP-000Y Series are available now and include their respective cables in 3-, 6-, and 10-foot lengths. The dual XLR3M HMX-00Y Series will be available January 2015, in 3-, 6-, 10-, and 15-foot lengths. MSRP pricing ranges from $16.65 to $29.10, depending upon the cable’s connectors and length.

Hosa Technology Announces Recipient of 2014 Audio Engineering Program Scholarship at Musicians Institute

Buena Park, CA – October 2014… Hosa Technology, the leading innovator of analog and digital connectivity solutions for the modern musician and audio/video professional, is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2014 Hosa Technology Audio Engineering Program Scholarship at Musicians Institute (MI) in Los Angeles. The scholarship—now in its second year—is awarded to a new student enrolling in the MI Audio Engineering Program who clearly articulates their career goals in the music industry, as well as why they should be considered for the scholarship, in a 500 word essay. This year’s award recipient is Danica Renee Garcia of Santa Paula, CA.

The Hosa Technology Audio Engineering Program Scholarship is available to students enrolled in the Audio Engineering Program only. The award constitutes a $1,000.00 tuition credit ($1,000.00 per quarter for the first quarter of the program, as long as the recipient maintains satisfactory progress). The scholarship recipient will also receive a voucher for $250 worth of Hosa products at retail value. The recipient of the Hosa Technology Audio Engineering Program Scholarship must maintain full-time enrollment status (12 units) during the full length of the award period.

Asked why she chose to study in the Audio Engineering Program at MI, Danica states, “My education has always been extremely important to me. Knowing that MI has a 12:1 student to teacher ratio is one of the main points that sold me on MI. The teaching staff is incredible and the quality of education is phenomenal. They set you up for nothing but success and all you have to supply is the effort and drive. And that is what makes MI one of the most unique schools in my eyes; it’s why I invested my future here. I absolutely adore the vibe around campus, the networking and connection opportunities, and the fact that everyone there is also chasing their biggest dream with no boundaries, the possibilities are limitless.”

Garcia’s eventual plans include pursuing her dream of scoring a movie and dubbing audio into a music video or TV show. She also hopes to open her own recording studio one day, be a lyricist, and also tour the world. “I have many dreams and aspirations,” states Garcia, “and MI is the school I trust to set me up for success.”

Mayumi Martinez, CEO of Hosa Technology, commented on Garcia’s winning of the Hosa Technology Audio Engineering Program Scholarship. “We are delighted that Ms. Garcia has been selected as the winner of this year’s scholarship. Musicians Institute is a vital link in the education of up and coming musicians and audio engineers, and we are very pleased to be helping her as she works toward her goal of a career in music and audio. I believe our participation in this endeavor allows us to give back to the community while investing in the next generation of music and audio professionals. We look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship with Musicians Institute and wish Ms. Garcia the very best.”

Meet the Team: Maria

Name: Maria Andrade

How long have you worked at Hosa?
19 years

What is your current position?
Lead Electronic Assembler

Tell us a little bit about your job.
I personally assemble, modify, or repair various types of audio cables. I also prioritize and delegate work orders to a small team of assemblers, while inspecting all finished goods produced by the Assembly department.

What did you do before joining Hosa?
Before joining Hosa I had an office job with Pacific Theatre.

How would your coworkers describe you?
I think my coworkers would describe me as friendly, very helpful, and hard-working.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy going to Zumba class and also cooking for my children.

What music are you currently listening to?
I mainly listen to Cumbiás.

What was the last concert you saw?
The last few concerts I saw were El Recodo and Marco Antonio Solís.

What’s your favorite…
TV show? Marimar and other telenovelas
Food? Enchiladas
Place you’ve been? Mexico
Hosa product? I don’t have a favorite, I like them all!

How has Hosa changed over the years?
When I first started, the company was very small. We only had two assemblers, a few warehouse workers, and a couple people in the office. There were a lot fewer customers back then, so there weren’t nearly as many assembly orders. As the company grew, the product line also expanded. I quickly learned how to assemble all sorts of different cables and work with various materials, including optical cables. In my 19 years, I’ve seen people and even technologies come and go, but Hosa continues to move forward and improve each year.

What do you enjoy most about working at Hosa?
While I very much like my job making cables, the thing I enjoy most is the people. The owners have always been very good to me and I like the people I work with. In fact, I have always viewed Hosa as my second home. When I come to work each day and look around me, I don’t see managers and coworkers—I see family.

A Balancing Act

Questions about balanced and unbalanced audio come up frequently and it is an important concept to understand when hooking up pro audio equipment. Before you start plugging things in, check if your devices use balanced or unbalanced audio so that you may purchase the correct cables only once.

Analog audio cables consist of a shield and one or more conductors. Corresponding connectors must then have at least two points of contact. Cables that only have a contact point for the shield and one signal are unbalanced. An example of this would be a guitar cable, as it uses 1/4” TS connectors. In this example the sleeve of the connectors is the shield and the tip is used for the signal. The problem with unbalanced cables is that if any noise enters the signal as it passes from one end to the other, that noise is added to the sound when it reaches its destination. This is precisely the reason balanced audio was created.

In balanced audio the signal is duplicated and carried on two separate conductors. The trick is that one of the signals is flipped, or inverted, to be the polar opposite of the other; one is positive and the other negative. At their destination, the negative signal is changed back to positive and combined with the original. At the same time, the noise traveling on the negative signal is also flipped and becomes the polar opposite of the noise on the positive signal. The result is any noise equally picked up by both conductors is rejected at the destination. Microphone cables, like the Hosa Edge CMK-010AU, are examples of balanced cables. Microphone levels are very low and the best way to keep them noise-free is to use balanced audio. Microphone cables with 3-pin XLR connectors, audio interconnects with 1/4” TRS connectors, and even interconnects with 3.5mm TRS connectors are examples of balanced audio cables if they are interconnecting devices using balanced audio.

It seems pretty easy when it comes to cables, right? If the cable has two points of contact, it’s unbalanced; and if it has three, it’s balanced. Well, not quite. A 2-conductor cable is not strictly a balanced cable. It’s the devices in use that determine the function of the cable. The Hosa CSS-110 is a 1/4” TRS interconnect. If you use this cable to go from the balanced left output of a mixer to the balanced input of a powered monitor, it is a balanced audio cable. Take the same cable and use it to hook up the stereo headphone output of a mixer to a headphone amp, and you’ve got an unbalanced stereo cable. In the second example, one conductor is carrying the left output of the mixer and the other, the right output. This cable is not carrying the same signal along both conductors and is therefore, not passing a balanced audio signal.

It’s important to always verify the type of cable you will need for the equipment you plan on connecting. Take the time to understand the connector types and the signal transfer formats before you begin researching the cable you wish to buy. Knowing this information before you go shopping for cables will save you time, which is better spent putting your new pro audio equipment to use.

- Jose

The DB-25 Enigma

Many times, people look at the jacks on the back of a device to figure out what cables they will need. While this is not really the best way to figure things out, most of the time it will get results. If you see an RCA jack and ask for an “RCA cable”, you’ll probably find a suitable cable (though there are different types of cables that use the RCA connector). But if you don’t get a little more information, you’ll most likely run into trouble when you see a DB-25 jack on the back of your audio device.

DB-25, or D-sub, connectors were originally created for computer applications. The audio industry adopted the DB-25 as a way of getting multiple channels in and out of devices while taking up minimal space. In this regard, the DB-25 connector works great. However, the use of this connector is problematic because there is not one universally accepted way of wiring it. In fact, there are three widely used wiring conventions when it comes to DB-25 in the audio world.

Some devices use D-sub connectors as a way of inputting or outputting eight channels of balanced analog audio. Each balanced channel requires three pins—one for the positive signal, one for the negative, and one for the shield—and each channel is grouped in a triangle pattern by taking two pins from one row and one pin from the other. Eight channels require 24 pins and pin 13 is simply not used. The Hosa DTM-800 series balanced snake is wired this way. It connects to the DB-25 output and breaks out to eight XLR male connectors. The Precision 8 mic preamp by True Systems uses a DB-25 connector to output all eight channels. This makes it possible to run a single cable with eight channels to an audio interface or mixer.

Professional audio devices can also use one DB-25 connector for eight channels In & Out (I/O) using the AES3, or AES/EBU, format. This digital audio format enables devices to send two channels of audio along one balanced audio line. This is where it really gets fun, as there are two standards for AES/EBU multi-channel I/O—and manufacturers choose which one to use.

The first is known as the Tascam wiring standard. The Tascam wiring standard is the same as the analog standard at the DB-25 connector end. The wire, however, must be different, as it is not passing analog sound. The AES3 specification requires 110-ohm balanced cabling for AES/EBU signals. Unlike analog snakes, AES/EBU snakes carry two digital channels on each balanced line. This means through one DB-25 snake, the device can send eight channels and receive eight channels simultaneously. If you are using a digital snake that breaks out to XLR connectors, it will have four male and four female XLR connectors instead of four like connectors on the analog snakes. Avid and Universal Audio are two companies using the Tascam standard. Avid’s ProTools HD I/O uses AES/EBU via a DB-25 jack.

Companies such as Apogee and Mackie, among others, have adopted the Yamaha wiring standard for their AES/EBU I/O. The wire is the same as that used for the Tascam digital snakes but the pin configuration is much different. In this case, the ground wires are on one side of the connector, while the other side gets the conductors. The Lynx Aurora 16 AD/DA converter uses AES/EBU with the Yamaha standard.

Note that if you are connecting two digital devices, you must make sure to use the correct pinout for each. If one of your devices uses the Tascam standard for its AES/EBU I/O and the other uses the Yamaha standard, you can still use them together. You must, however, use a snake with the Tascam pinout on one end and the Yamaha pinout on the other. Analog to digital is not as simple. You cannot use a DB25 snake to interconnect AES/EBU and analog signals. This would require a separate interface, which is a topic for another discussion.

The next time you turn to the back of your device for cable answers, remember the connector type is not everything—especially with DB-25. Your first question should be whether you’re looking at an analog or digital connection. If it’s digital, the next step is to figure out the wiring standard the device uses. Taking these steps will decrease headaches down the road and ensure you purchase the right DB-25 snake the first time.

- Jose

Y or Y Not?

The Y cable earned its name from the way it looks. There is a single connector on one end with a cable that splits, either as a zip cable or with a small box that conceals the split, and finishes with two connectors at the other end. A stereo breakout meets this same visual description and yet does not perform the same way as the typical Y cable. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two.

A Y cable is used when there is one signal that must go to two different places. For example, when you have one 1/4-inch TRS headphone output and you want two people to listen to the same thing on their own headphones with 3.5 mm connectors. The quickest solution to this problem would be a Y cable with a single 1/4-inch TRS male to dual 3.5 mm TRS female jacks. Each of the two headphones will get exactly the same signal. The cable is wired so each contact on the single end connects to the equivalent contact of each connector on the dual end. Be advised that a traditional Y cable is designed specifically to split a signal. Using a Y cable to combine two signals is not recommended because you have no control over the way the signal is combined.

A stereo breakout, on the other hand, is designed to do what the name states, it breaks out a stereo signal into two discrete points. A common situation requiring a stereo breakout is playing music from an iPod® through an audio mixer with 1/4-inch TS inputs. The solution is a 3.5 mm TRS to dual 1/4-inch TS stereo breakout cable. You connect the 3.5 mm end to the iPod and on the other end you’ll have the left signal (tip of the connector) on one of the 1/4-inch connectors and the right signal (ring of the connector) on the other, allowing you to connect each to its own input on the mixer. When used properly, a stereo breakout can be used in either direction. You could use the same breakout from the previous example to take the left and right outputs of a mixer and connect them to a laptop equipped with a 3.5 mm stereo input.

It’s important to know what you need to accomplish in order to select the right cable. Hopefully this has shed some light on these two popular audio problem solvers so that you can always make the right choice.

- Jose

We Have A New Website

Welcome to the first blog post on the new hosatech.com. We are very excited to share the new website with you. If you were familiar with our previous site, you’ll find a fair amount of similarities here. However, there are also some significant improvements, additions, and overall changes. We would like to take this opportunity to share some of the new features, hopefully answering a few of your questions along the way.

This may come as a surprise to you, but we use the site, too. In fact, some of us utilize it on a daily basis. This means that functionality and ease of use are just as important to us as they are to you. For this reason, we made sure to incorporate a responsive design. This enables you to quickly access information and have an enjoyable browsing experience whether you are on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart phone. No more constant zooming in and out on your mobile device just to find a product.

Speaking of products, it’s pretty well known that Hosa makes a lot of them. Our catalog has over 1,100 individual part numbers! The vast majority of those items are cables. The new mega menu and product pages make it easy to browse through our catalog, but what if you are looking for a specific cable and already know what connectors you need? Enter the new Hosa Cable Finder. Regardless of whether you know which category to look in, you can quickly and easily find the right cable with just 3 simple steps.

Now that you know a couple different ways to find the products you are looking for, it’s time to purchase them. You may have already noticed there is no shopping cart on the new site. Over the years, we have worked very hard to establish relationships with the top resellers in the music, pro audio, and electronics industries. Whether you want the face-to-face interaction of a local store or prefer the convenience of online shopping, there is an Authorized Hosa Reseller waiting to provide you with the superior customer experience you deserve. Even outside the USA, our distribution partners share our vision of providing connectivity solutions for everyone.

Hopefully this has given you some insight into the new website, but the best way to get the lay of the land is to just explore it for yourself. We plan to use this blog as a way of sharing more and more about our products and our company. Keep an eye out for future blog posts on various topics including tips on how and why to use certain products, spotlights on members of the Hosa team, upcoming events where you can hang out with us, and more.

- Kyle

Hosa Technology Marks 30th Anniversary

Transition to new leadership and a pinpoint focus on connectivity solutions highlight company’s agenda

Buena Park, CA – March 2014… Hosa Technology, the leading innovator of analog and digital connectivity solutions for music, sound, and A/V professionals, is pleased to announce the company’s 30th anniversary. From its humble beginnings in 1984, company founder Sho Sato has built Hosa into an internationally recognized organization that provides an expansive range of products for various industries. What began as a single-page catalog of audio interconnects and adaptors now encompasses most—if not all—audio cables and adaptors, a growing assortment of data and video cables, wireless microphones, stands, and much more. The 30th anniversary celebration kicked off at January’s Winter NAMM Show with a focus on the company’s leadership transition to new CEO Mayumi Martinez.

On opening day of the 2014 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA, Hosa commemorated its 30 years in business by inviting its longest-standing dealers, including Sweetwater, Sam Ash, American Musical Supply, Alto Music, and numerous others, for a momentous toast. During this gathering, Martinez reiterated the company’s focus on providing the best cables and connectors to the industry. “I’ve always been attracted to the opportunity to take what my father built from the ground up and elevate it,” says Martinez. “While I can’t replace his 47 years of knowledge in pro audio, I’m very fortunate to have a great team behind me with the technical expertise required to maintain our focus, which remains ensuring Hosa’s success as a leading provider of cables, adaptors, and other connectivity products.”

Hosa Technology has grown considerably during its three decades of operation. The company currently employs 40 people, ranging from customer service to sales and marketing, product development, shipping and receiving, and administration. The company’s main office and warehouse are located in Buena Park, CA, but recently a second warehouse was opened in Taiwan to cater to the company’s international customers. In addition, Hosa works with a total of 20 sales rep firms to support its domestic and international efforts.

Stemming from her family’s competitive nature, Martinez said her goal for Hosa over the next five years is to double the company’s sales, which means expanding beyond MI and pro audio, and adding more technology cables. She also plans to expand Goby Labs and Mogan Microphones, Hosa’s other key brands. “My goal is to make Hosa the go-to brand for professional connectivity products,” Martinez explained. “Everyone needs HDMI®, USB, and other technology cables, but pros are often forced to use consumer-grade products. I believe Hosa can excel in that niche, with cables built for the jobs at hand.”

As Hosa looks forward, Martinez sees the company’s largest areas of growth to be in the AV integration industry, bridging the gap between audio and video. “AV integration is bringing audio and video closer together, and many dealers that have traditionally focused on video and consumer electronics are bringing pro audio to a larger market than ever,” Martinez said. “Since the DSLR camera has become the go-to tool for videographers, even camera stores are carrying an ever-increasing selection of Hosa pro audio products.”

“The evolution of Hosa Technology to its present day status is an accomplishment my father and I are extremely proud of,” Martinez concludes. “Over the years, Hosa has grown to reflect the diverse nature of the music and sound industry. The people who work here are like family. Without their effort and dedication, the company’s growth and success would not have been possible. Looking forward, I envision even greater opportunities as we strive to provide the music, sound, and A/V professional with the best tools available to help make their aspirations a reality.”

Hosa Technology Announces New Edge Series Microphone, Guitar, and Speaker Cables

New flagship cable products employ state-of-the-art materials and workmanship

Buena Park, CA – January 2014… Hosa Technology, the leading innovator of analog and digital connectivity solutions for the modern musician, is pleased to introduce the Edge Series cable products. Featuring genuine Neutrik connectors, Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) conductors, and world-class workmanship, Hosa Edge cables—the company’s flagship cable line—provide musicians and audio professionals with the finest signal transport means available. And because Hosa Edge consists of microphone, guitar, and speaker cables, it can be used along the entire signal chain, ensuring one’s music will retain all the clarity and punch of the original sound.

Hosa Edge Microphone Cables proudly utilize Neutrik XX-series connectors. Manufactured with gold-plated contacts for corrosion resistance, a Zinc die-cast housing for rock-solid reliability, chuck-type strain relief for maximum cable retention, a boot with a polyurethane gland to prevent cable kinking, and an ergonomic design that ensures easy handling, Neutrik connectors are the ideal terminations for a cable designed to provide stellar performance and durability. Hosa Edge Microphone Cables employ 20 AWG Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) conductors along with polyethylene dielectrics and a 95% OFC braided shield. This reduces resistance and capacitance for maximum signal transfer and crystal-clear high frequency transmission while providing maximum noise rejection.

Many of the performance attributes of the Hosa Edge Microphone Cables can be found on the line’s guitar cables as well. Hosa Edge Guitar Cables utilize genuine Neutrik X-series plugs, which employ precision machined, one-piece contacts for signal integrity and structural rigidity. Like the Edge Microphone Cables, these guitar cables feature gold-plated contacts, a Zinc die-cast housing, chuck-type strain relief, a boot with a polyurethane gland, and an ergonomic design that ensures easy handling. Further, the Edge Guitar Cables incorporate 20 AWG Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) conductors, a 95% OFC braided shield, and conductive PVC.

Like the Hosa Edge Microphone and Guitar Cables, the new Edge Speaker Cables employ Neutrik connectors that offer precision machined, one-piece contacts for signal integrity and structural rigidity, chuck-type strain relief, and a sleek, ergonomic design. These speaker cables utilize 12 AWG Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) conductors that reduce resistance and provide maximum signal transfer. Further, they are manufactured with a PVC jacket that adds durability, remains flexible, and reduces the visibility of the cable.

Jose Gonzalez, Hosa Technology’s Product Manager, commented on the company’s new Edge Series cables. “Transmitting sound from its source to the audience with minimal signal loss is absolutely crucial,” says Gonzalez, “and this mandate is precisely what the new Hosa Edge Series is all about. Someone at the beginning of the signal chain poured their heart and soul into their music, and the music must reach the crowd with the same quality and impact as originally created. Unfortunately, the quality of the cable that transports one’s signal is often overlooked. With the new Edge Series, all of us at Hosa are confident the music will be delivered exactly as it’s supposed to be.”

Hosa Technology’s new Edge Series cables will all be available in a variety of cable lengths. MSRP of the Edge Series Microphone Cables will range from $45.45 – $145.80 while the Edge Guitar Cables are priced from $46.50 – $81. The Hosa Edge Speaker Cables will carry pricing from $37.65 – $232.50. Hosa’s Edge Series microphone, guitar, and speaker cable products are expected to become available by March 2014.