What cables do you use?

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by Maggot Brain, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. tonefinder

    tonefinder Member

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    I used Live Wire all through my gigging years during the 90s and 00s. It took awhile to come to grips with their poor performance. After finally having had enough, I invested in Mogami.

    With Live Wire, signal loss is also an issue, once you string a few pedals together in front the amp.
     
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  2. Victory Pete

    Victory Pete New Member

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    I tried Live Wires right before I got the Mogamis. First thing I didn't like was they have a terrible memory, they were kinked and don't lay flat. Sent them all back before I even plugged them in. The Mogamis are a little stiff but still lay flat.
     
  3. Gene 689

    Gene 689 New Member

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    I used Planet waves for many a year then forgot to pack them them after a gig, I had them for about 4 years, got a few Fender cables now. They have been stood on & had many a drink spilt on them & still going strong after 6 years of use. I have the right angle jacks on them as well. Paid about £20 each for them. I do look after them by coiling them up properly avoiding sharp bends, so as not to exceed the bend radious. Good quality cables in my experience. :applause:
     
  4. JeffMcLeod

    JeffMcLeod Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, if I was playing professionally, or even just playing out regularly, I'd probably go with something a little sturdier.

    Right now I'm just another hairball that jams by himself or occasionally with a few guys.
     
  5. ProfChaos

    ProfChaos Member

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    I buy Pig Hog cables through Sam Ash in the US. Because of the way that the shrink-wrap protective shield on Pig Hog cable jacks protects against broken jack wire connections, Pig Hog cables are durable. Because of the gold jack-tips, they make connections less subject intermittent crackling that comes from oxidation that accumulates on the tips of cheap-o cables. I use a shorter, ten-foot, Pig Hog cable into the Marshall, because, to get my sound, I rely on feedback from a modified 1991 Marshall 1960 Classic (Green-Back-loaded) slanted cabinet. The Pig Hog ten-foot cable is only $21.00 US at Sam Ash: https://www.samash.com/pighog-instrument-cable-phixx

    Pig Hog cables have a lifetime warranty, and they beat the hell out of paying $61.95 US for a Mogami ten-foot instrument cable. Mogami cabes are surely nice--top-notch--, but I haven't hit the Lottery, yet. :) In the meantime, I'll make do with Pig Hog cables.

    For the audio cable of the MIDI effects switcher, I also use a ten-foot Pig Hog cable connected to a DMC Ground Control MIDI effects programmable effects switcher. Same with the Send and Return cables to the Eventide Eclipse.

    cheers, :cheers:

    Professor Chaos
     
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  6. turfdoc

    turfdoc New Member

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    Wireless when playing out.....it's free of abuse by feet, mike stands, too many beers, etc. At home, whatever has a screw on end that I can repair myself.
     
  7. burster1

    burster1 New Member

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    Rainwater Sound makes Mogami cables for a great price and have been using them for a long time.
     
  8. RCM 800

    RCM 800 Well-Known Member

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    Used spectraflex till GC stopped honoring the warranty, same with Monster. Been using GLS for about 2 years now without a failure. Cheap and seem to work well. To be honest Ive never really been able to hear the difference between my cheap and good cables though.
     
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  9. Dead Jackson

    Dead Jackson Member

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    i am an audio engineer for 40+ years. The first thing I had to learn how to do was make reliable cables. I recommend this FIRST, as somebody else has said, the best cable is the one you can work on. First and foremost. Next would be the components. Mush very good info on here IMHO. Back in the 70s, there was only one to even consider: Belsen. By far the toughest bar none. Built to last and most important, not to fail. Back then there was only one connector to consider, Switchctaft. That has changed considerably. We have many considerations regarding products from components to pre made cables. This can be like an argument between Ford and Chevy. All the posts here are relevant. From affordable to the highest quality. Here is what I have found from 40+ years of testing and using in practice:
    First I make all my own cables except for one manufacturer: Mogami. At one point I bought a $140,000 Gamble audio console and was told by the maker, Jim Gamble, whiz motto is “The best sounding without compromise”, He told me for the patch bay TT cables to “go spend the money on Mogami cables and NOTHING ELSE.” He then grabbed a handful of Mogami patch cables that were patched into the patch bay and pulled all of them by the cable, not the plugs, which is total sacrilege in our industry. A sure recipe for premature failure. He then told me they NEVER FAIL, and that those same cables were 30 years old.

    In my career since, I had to buy hundreds of this patch cables at $18 each. I found a guy on Fleabay with a huge selection New in the bags. I bought a bunch and he threw in some 1/4” Mogami cables for free. they have not failed me. I find guitar cables left on stage all the time but guitar players and have a huge selection. Only one guitarist asked me to send his to him, a $40 20’ Monster cable. I have several.

    Monster has a great marketing team. They claim their cables sound better than everybody else’s due to the copper content and the super fine strands. Low oxygen, etc. Yes, all this is true, on test equipment. Can you hear the difference? NO. However, you can hear noisy cables from our design pooping and cracking after breaking down over tears of use or just sitting around. Cables are made from metals, copper being the best in terms of flexibility and ductility. Thus means it’s ability to remain flexible after being bent around many times without becoming brittle and breaking. Other metals do not have this property. The fine strand lends to being ultimately flexible at the ecpense of ductility and durability, therefore the insulation durability comes into play.

    insulation is made of plastic, and rubberized plastic or plasticized rubber, in the case of Belden. Rubber lasts a long time, eventually drying up and getting brittle and cracking. Plastic is a dynamic material, gassing of over time which actually loses some of its physical material in the form of gas. As this occurs, it shall become brittle and cracks as per your car dashboard. The sun is your enemy here.

    Therefore the type of plastic, and the layers of cord that are wrapped in the cable fortify the strength of the cable and protect the relatively fragile tiny wire conductors inside. Additionally, the materials in that insulation reject noise, a VERY important function. Magnetic fields travel infinitely through space and ALL OTHER MATERIALS, some better than others, therefore the selection of those materials is crucial to inductive and broadcasted radio frequency (and their lower harmonics in the audio range) nose rejection.

    My personal favorite cable to make my own with us Canare. It is very flexible which lends well to laying flat on the ground, however, there is a cheap Chinese knockoff that is even more flexible. More on that in a minute. I use ONLY NEUTRIK connectors, tge new industry standard. They are able to be repaired in the field quick and easy if you are skilled, which I highly recommend you all become. Learn how to correctly solder, and prepare to solder and correctly build cables. You will not be disappointed. Neutrik connectors have tge best strain relief in the biz, a very important part of durability. Very hard to pull the cable out of the plug when you trip over one while acting like Angus Young on stage in a heavy metal frenzy. As for Monster, sorry, they fail and they are EXPENSIVE!

    My cables that I made with Canare and Neutrik have never failed. NEVER. Also, Canare has 4 conductors: 2 white and 2 blue, all twisted. This rejects noise better and give the ability for a3 conductor cable (with the shield) which means stereo or balanced. That’s another discussion.

    Now GLS: Orange County Spraker . Com is an online seller of GLS cables, a Chinese cable company.... yep, I said it. Chinesium. The cables are the most flexible and lay flat better than any others I’ve used. HOWEVER.... they are not as durable, and they use knock offs of Neutrik, which offers me off, partially because it’s a rip off of the genius who invented them, which or President will expound on more than I can... That said, they have a problem: Chinesium steel! The Oakland Bay Bridhe bolts are made of this shit and failing already. You’ve heard the stories: Chinese steel made from melting down I’ld wheels and manhole covers etc, not measuring up to the published specs that are universally accepted, therefore, the spring in the XLR connectors fail!!! That’s the part that holds the microphone cable plug into the mic. You get the picture. That said, when that part goes south, and it will, tge rest us such a direct copy that the design allows you to unscrew that shell off of the front of the GLS and screw on the real Neutrik.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
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  10. zachman

    zachman Well-Known Member

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    I make my own using: Mogami, Belden, Canare cable and Switchcraft and Neutrik Plugs
     
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  11. Dead Jackson

    Dead Jackson Member

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    This is very interesting as I have not heard this before. See my lengthy post below. I used switchcraft exclusively for decades until Neutrik came out. I’ve not had this issue but now I’m going to go check it out. I noticed you said “some equipment” so maybe I have just been lucky so far. And I agree with you on the expensive cables, a waste of money on marketing except one: Mogami. Read my post....
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
  12. Victory Pete

    Victory Pete New Member

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    I have one 20 footer in my studio I made 15 years ago. I don't remember the name and there is no name on the cable. It has silver conductors, it was $100 just for the length of cable. I bought the 20' length from BestTronics and put on my own Switchcraft connectors. I still have some from the 1990s when I made all my own cables from Studio One by Belden. All still working to this day.
     
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  13. Redguitar

    Redguitar Member

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    Of course I don't remember the brand name, (maybe Hosa) they are at the rehearsal dungeon. But I bought 4 each, 20' length, cloth braided guitar cables about 25 years ago, and they all perform spectacular. The worst thing is maybe just snugging up the rubber coated outer barrel once in a while.
     
  14. dregsman

    dregsman New Member

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    Well I went down this road about 10 yrs ago and bought 200$ valdenhul cable with Neutrik ends. And it made a difference because my pedal board was all true bypass. But it wasn't completely fixed. Soon as I started using a pedal with a buffer everything was as clear as just a short cable straight nto the amp and the expensive cables mad no difference. So then I switched to Canare cable which is good but I thought a pinch dark, the I started making my own Mogami 2554 with g&H plugs. Had them for 10 years no problem and they sound great. Still use a buffer, it in the TC flashback on the end of my chain. You need a good quality cable but it does not have to cost alot. I made 2 20ft cables for about 30 dollars.
     
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  15. fingertied

    fingertied Member Silver Supporting Member

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    yes things get pricey when you use quality materials, but i have piece of mind that it will work when i need it to. And plus after you buy 20 cheap cords because they get noisy and wear out you even out. Cheap cords tend to get noisy after they have been coiled several times
     
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  16. DC135er

    DC135er Member

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    ProCo cable with Neutrik plugs. Make them yourself. You can't beat it.
     
  17. Ross MacGregor

    Ross MacGregor New Member

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    Planet waves, Ibanez and Ernie Balls. I use Planet waves for the most part. Their cheaper cables are good, the more expensive ones are indestructible. The Ibanez braided cable I have is awesome, but is a little stiff as it's still new. Ernie Ball pancakes for patch cables. Can't go wrong with Planet Waves though if you're in doubt.

    Who remembers Whirlwind cables back in the 80s? Those things were lifetime guaranteed and the shizz back then.
     
  18. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I still have a couple Whirlwind cables. It was an offshoot of Belden Corp.

    I have found a less expensive option than Switchcraft or Neutrik, I got some Amphenol connectors in bulk, they have black as well as silver. Time will tell if they hold up, but they have sturdy solder connections as well as great strain relief. I still use heat-shrink when making cables, it is a great way to color-code different cables that all look the same.

    If they are anything like their other connectors they should last a long time.
     
  19. L Newman

    L Newman Member

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    You like monster? You like curly? Get a Monster curly cable. I have one. I always use it.
     
  20. Sean Christie

    Sean Christie Member

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    George L’s all the way.
     
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