Other Equipment

Who is using an extra long instrument cable?

1

I connected up my two longest cables today reaching 35ft.

I like what it did to tame the brightness of the 6157 Super Bass Amp matched to the TV Classics...it started to be a bit calmer.

Setzer is at 60 ft., my next effort will be a 10 ft. and a 50 ft. with Tavo's Mystery Brain in between.

Any others using this simple trick? Comments?

2

But Setzer is using it to plug Filtertrons into the 15K input of a SpaceEcho. He just got lucky. Youre just using the capacitance of the cable as a tone control.

3

Yeppers...it's a good test of how much more capacitance I need.

Zone in on the tone...(lifted from guitar.com)

Earlier we used the term ‘theoretical ideal’ because conventional metrics of quality don’t always apply to guitar tone. Just as low-impedance pickup systems and low-distortion solid-state amplifiers attract very few guitar players, low-capacitance sonically neutral instrument cable can work against you. What sounds ideal in theory often sounds less than ideal in practice.

Although treble roll off may seem less than ideal, many guitarists prefer the treble-reducing effect of longer cables. If you’ve ever played a Strat or Tele through a 100-watt Marshall, you can probably figure out why.

It’s a matter of taste, but one player’s bright is another harsh. Artists as diverse as Brian Setzer, Keith Urban and Jimi Hendrix have all stated a preference for lengthy guitar cables, but the explanation goes beyond mere treble roll off.

Guitar circuits are surprisingly complex because they contain resistors, capacitors and inductors. In combination with cable capacitance, you end up with a wah-style resonance peak at the cutoff frequency and the position of that peak can be character defining.

Guitar and pickup designer Bill Lawrence cites a specific example: “Jimi Hendrix used a coiled cord with 3,000pF (of capacitance). This was the secret of Jimi’s tone: shifting the resonance frequency below 2,000Hz on his Strats has a similar effect to a midrange boost.” Lawrence also noted that Hendrix would reach for shorter cables in the studio when he needed a brighter tone.

4

I used to use a 50-footer for sound checks. It allowed me to be out at the board while playing so we could fine tune the sound. That said, I always dropped down to a length that "just about" stretched from one side of the stage to the other, so I could wander a bit, but the 50'-er went back in the bag before showtime. I thought it was too much of a trip hazard.

Had I known...

OF course, I was usually whacking away on one of my acoustic 12s into a DI for sound check.. Not sure how much of a difference the long cable made in that case, if at all.

5

Well, I'm wireless so I can get really, really far away

7

That would be digital NOT analog....

– Twangmeisternyc

And I'm totally ok with that too

8

My wireless sounds like a cable. I recorded an A/B comparison and I defy ANYONE to spot where the edits are.

10

search guitar slim!

he's credited with using guitar cable from 50 to 350!!! feet!

the legendary nyc band the fleshtones also used super long cables..they'd start & end shows from outside the club...

if capitance study is what you want..cheaper to buy some caps and solder em in...if u need the cord distance..well, wireless has capitance like tweaks available...there are even wireless that boast about how they offer altered tone parameters

myself, i use 20 foot cable max..i like my cables clear..if i want to cut highs i'll use my guitar tone AND volume controls

11

I've discovered this exact trick recently. I've started using a Bullet coily cable (which is about 30ft) to tame the brightness of an old Epiphone Tone Spectrum pickup (wired to a volume pot and then the jack of an old Epi archtop) through a blackface circuit amp with no mid control. Tames the harshness and adds just the right amount of mids. Really noticable difference when compared to a regular straight 18ft cable. Bullet cables have now become part of my tone and from what i've read other coily cables can be darker.

12

When I get back into the Gretsch Amp, I'll probably know what to do...and how much.

13

Well, I'm wireless so I can get really, really far away.

That would be digital NOT analog....

I believe my early 2000 era Shure T4/T11 wireless is analog.

Long cords seems a silly way to add additional capacitance if you don’t need the actual length.

15

Well, I'm wireless so I can get really, really far away.

That would be digital NOT analog....

I believe my early 2000 era Shure T4/T11 wireless is analog.

Long cords seems a silly way to add additional capacitance if you don’t need the actual length.

– Charlie Vegas

All I know if that my coily cable is doing something I can't get by messing with the bass and treble controls on my amp...just seems to work for me with this particular pickup and this particular amp. Being coily it doesn't feel like 30 ft too...feels as long or as short as I need it to be!

17

That is a good article.

Whether I use the 2 extra inputs on the amp, or as you say make a stomp box.

Billy also sent a link to a Cap Test box as well. It has 24 different values as pre-sets.

It was just too simple and inexpensive to buy the 50 ft. cable in this round of tests before taking things all apart.

My next effort is replacing the Mud Switch with a No-Load Tone Pot...I have been wanting to do that for some time just less than a decade...

18

I use a 20' to the board and a 20' behind the board to the amp so I guess I have been using a long cable for some time.

19

Nice trick! Personally, I found the best mix between low capacitance per metre, durability and price were the DiMarzios and I've compared many different lengths and brands. Though I prefer to keep them up to 20ft at max.

20

Years ago I was a believer in the fact that you had to use a decent cable after using cheap cables which crapped out very quickly. But I felt that as long as you used a decent cable and good quality jacks you were good to go. Then I tried a really good cable and was horrified to learn that I could indeed hear quite a difference! Since then I have begrudgingly paid a little more to get better quality cables but I refuse to go down the directional cable rabbit hole.

Dimarzio make some very good cables but I have bought a heap online from one of those places which makes them to order with braided covers in different colours - I can't remember their name but they're excellent and not too ridiculously priced. Plus I like the braided exterior - they don't seem to get sticky like the black rubber Beldon cables do.

I also make a point of using the shortest cables I can get away with, so the longest I regularly use is 10'. My reasoning is that it's easy to get rid of tone but hard to keep it. So if my sound is too bright then it's easy to fix, but too dull means I've already lost something somewhere and it's hard to get back. It's just my way of thinking. It's not right or wrong but it's worked for me.

21

I've been using Rapco/Horizon lifetimes for quite a few years. I've had many claims and regardless the reason, they always replace them for free. I don't know if I'm compromising on sound or not. Are you using monster cables, Jimmy?

22

I just replaced the 500K vol pot in my Hot Rod with a 250K... a lot less trouble lol.

"I also make a point of using the shortest cables I can get away with, so the longest I regularly use is 10'. My reasoning is that it's easy to get rid of tone but hard to keep it. So if my sound is too bright then it's easy to fix, but too dull means I've already lost something somewhere and it's hard to get back. It's just my way of thinking. It's not right or wrong but it's worked for me."

I agree with this. I do have buffer pedals for such things (too much cable), but they are just another cog in the damn signal chain, that I'd rather not use.

As for cable brands, my theory has always been "find one you like, and stick with it, because that eliminates THAT part of the equation; you'll always know what you're getting." I've used Spectraflex for 20 years, and will use them until they go out of business or I die. A little expensive, but I like them. Same deal for picks- find one and stick with it.

23

Length is not an issue as long as they are left handed.

24

Suprdave - Ruger just reminded me of which cable I use - Spectraflex! They're as good as I'll ever need. At home I also use the braided cables that come with Gibson guitars which may as well be made by Spectraflex. I have been accused of stealing the cord from a kettle before but I don't care.

25

Suprdave - Ruger just reminded me of which cable I use - Spectraflex! They're as good as I'll ever need. At home I also use the braided cables that come with Gibson guitars which may as well be made by Spectraflex. I have been accused of stealing the cord from a kettle before but I don't care.

– JimmyR

Yet another example that we were separated at birth!


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