Instrument Cables and Capacitance

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by KraftyBob, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,105
    Likes Received:
    1,284
    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs - USA
    I'm currently using Fender California cables and was thinking about swapping them out for Mogami as 1) my cables are about 15 years old, and 2) you always hear about Mogami's reputation. I don't have any issues with my cables but figured maybe it was time for new ones.

    Before doing so, however, I decided to a little research. Surprisingly, for the price, the Fender California cables get pretty good reviews. The two complaints that I see are the cables are stiff (not when they're 15 years old lol) and some have failed early because of poor solder joints. My cables are pretty flexible at this point and I've not had one failure.

    These cables have a fully braided shield, and the shrink wrap around the solder joints extends about 2 1/2" from the plug giving it a little extra support at the ends. I then measured the capacitance on one of the cables and it was .37 nanofarads for a 10' cable - making it a 37pF/ft cable.

    I then went on Mogami's site and checked their specs. Their Gold Instrument cable is rated at 39.7 pF/ft. I couldn't find the capacitance chart for their Platinum cables.

    With this information I have no plans to change out my cables. I think the Fender cables were about $15 for a 10' cable, so I'm wondering why people spend $50 for a 10' Mogami? Sure, they come with a lifetime warranty, and while I don't play out right now so my cables are seeing the abuse of being "on the road", I could buy 3 of them for less than 1 Mogami.

    I remember when Monster cable was all the rage for home and car audio and then later it came out it was all overblown. Not much of a difference, if at all, and btw, it's a pain to work with in car audio because it's so damn thick. Is Mogami and other "high end" instrument cable the next Monster?
     
  2. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    4,752
    Likes Received:
    4,515
    Location:
    Montreal
    You're right to keep what you're currently using.
    If you have any " capacitance" worries put a buffer on your board if you haven't done so already.
    BP
     
    WellBurnTheSky and KraftyBob like this.
  3. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2019
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    827
    The right no BS cable answer is Switchcraft connectors on Belden 9778 or 9395 cable with high quality strain reliefs attached.

    Anything beyond that is wasted money.

    To eliminate cable capacitance effects, get a line driver /buffer pedal such as my favorite, the Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster. Connect it
    to your guitar via a short cable and use pretty much any length of cable from it to the amp and its low impedance output will make
    cable capacitance a non-issue. The Pickup Booster also helps create a nice overdrive when turned up, as it provides plenty of signal
    to overdrive your input stage.
     
    KraftyBob and BanditPanda like this.
  4. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    795
    put a Mogami cable in your hand. you can even feel the difference
     
    El Gringo likes this.
  5. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    4,752
    Likes Received:
    4,515
    Location:
    Montreal

    Get outta here Rick! lol. Is that really worth the excessive cost? No.
    BP
     
    KraftyBob likes this.
  6. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    20,378
    Likes Received:
    16,552
    Location:
    Vermont
    I buy Mogami and Canare cable in bulk and build my own for MUCH less.
     
  7. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    795

    hell yes. they are well made cables. very stout. now do i believe all the hype about high dollar cables? nope.
    not a lot of it anyways. i like mogami because they are a rugged cable. got tired of el cheapo cables and replacing them.
    hell his cables are 15 yrs old. he should buy one and try it. dont have to buy their top tier cable either.
    its like having the same guts in two different stomp boxes except one is made of metal and one of plastic.
    i'll go metal every time.
     
  8. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    4,752
    Likes Received:
    4,515
    Location:
    Montreal

    Or the Polytune3 which does include their built-In Bonafide Buffer
    https://www.tcelectronic.com/Catego...ar/Tuners/POLYTUNE-3/p/P0CM0#googtrans(en|en)
    BP
     
    lordquilton likes this.
  9. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    4,752
    Likes Received:
    4,515
    Location:
    Montreal

    Nah..like KB said..." I could buy 3 of them(Fender California cables) for less than 1 Mogami."
    Sure most studios use Mogami and all the Mogami fanbois (lol) will come out in droves proclaiming how their ears notice a distinct tonal superiority but the bottom line here is KB is not gigging or on tour at the moment and the cables are well looked after and not subjected to heavy use.
    There is absolutely no reason for the unnecessary extravagance ( read waste ).
    Hell no.
    BP
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
    KraftyBob likes this.
  10. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2019
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    793
    I've been using klotz for a while, I'm very happy. Also I have some REALLY OLD planet waves that still kick ass.

    and recently I've cut the bullshit and started assembling my own cables, neutrik plugs with gotham, mogami, or whatever good quality they have in the store. much cheaper, excellent results.
     
  11. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    20,378
    Likes Received:
    16,552
    Location:
    Vermont
    I can't hear much difference, but I can tell the difference when a cable lasts 1 year or 20 years.
    I still have a Sidewinder cable built with Belden cable I still use (almost 50 years...).
    Quality stuff will last a long time.
     
  12. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    795
    yep thats the cheaper route to go. as you stated, MUCH less
     
    KraftyBob likes this.
  13. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,105
    Likes Received:
    1,284
    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs - USA
    When I was a kid playing in a garage band me and the other guitarist put our money together and bought a spool of Belden Blue cable with a foil shield and these cheapie connectors with a plastic casing. Those things would crack all the time - I have no idea what we were thinking lol.

    For home use and the once in a while I play out with friends I'll stick with what I have. If I start playing out regularly then I would likely buy in bulk and make my own cables. But this time I'll avoid the foil shielded cable (in favor of a true braided shield) and plastic connectors :).
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  14. Antmax

    Antmax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    725
    Location:
    Brit in California
    It's not just the capacitance but the kind of shielding and insulation on the cable. Whether it blocks out any interference if you run it close to a AC cable, whether it picks up noise if it drags or gets bumped across the floor kind of thing.

    Mogami is nice cable, it's fairly low capacitance so keeps most of the highs while having a slightly fuller sound than some of my lowest capacitance cables like Gotham and Hosa.

    I don't own an actual Mogami cable. I just make my own from their bulk cable or if I'm feeling lazy buy one from Worlds Best Cables on Amazon. They make range of nice cables comprised from the better cable and connector brands all silver soldered with decent warranty at a reasonable price. Mogami, Lava, Van Damme, Gotham, Canare, Belden, Neutrik, Amphenol, Eminence etc.
     
    KraftyBob likes this.
  15. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    14,211
    Likes Received:
    8,020
    Location:
    Start the reactor... Free Mars!
    I think newer Fender cables are junk and probably made in China.
    Monster Cable (to me) is a joke.
    I wouldn't buy any cables with molded-on ends.
    Mogami is really excellent cable (depends on which Mogami you are buying).
    Canare is so-so average.
    Belden is good.
    I bought Mogami broadcast cable which is the highest rated for flexing, and soldered ends onto it. Switchcraft makes the best 1/4" plugs.
    I wouldn't buy cables made in China.
    Given a choice I would buy Belden or Mogami and Switchcraft plugs then just make my own.
    You really don't get much of a deal unless you buy a whole roll of wire.
     
  16. Antmax

    Antmax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    725
    Location:
    Brit in California
    You can get the Mogami 2524 (Gold) for aprox $1 per foot including tax with free shipping online. And some decent plugs for $2 - $4 each. I'm just about to make up some longer cables to do the 4 cable method with the HXFX I bought last month.
     
  17. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    14,211
    Likes Received:
    8,020
    Location:
    Start the reactor... Free Mars!
    As you will find:
    Mogami is one of the only manufacturers which tests cable for number of flexes before failure.
    One of the only spec sheets which gives you full disclosure.
    This is serious engineering which is not trying to hide the facts.
    Now try this with cable made in China. (which is always trying to hide the facts)

    mogamicables.png

    Conclusion: Mogami is damn good cable but costs more.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow, jmp45 and Antmax like this.
  18. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    4,752
    Likes Received:
    4,515
    Location:
    Montreal

    Sure and that's not saying Fender's California cables are not quality right?
    After all he has already been using them for 15 years.
    BP
     
    Mitchell Pearrow and KraftyBob like this.
  19. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    4,752
    Likes Received:
    4,515
    Location:
    Montreal
    One dollar a foot is a very good price.
    BP
     
    Mitchell Pearrow and Antmax like this.
  20. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Messages:
    992
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    How do you measure capacitance? I have a cheapy multimeter (M-830B). Can it measure capacitance.
    My cables are 15 yrs old. Store brand mid range at the time.
    They are all still working perfectly, but they never get gigged. They are getting a bit stiffer though.
    I did go crazy and but a 15 foot Monster about 12 yrs ago and that one is still mint.
     
    Mitchell Pearrow likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice