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Bad cords! Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by iplaybass, Feb 14, 2001.

  1. iplaybass


    Feb 13, 2000
    Houston, TX
    I dont know if im tough on my cords or what, but they always go bad and i always have to get out the ol' soldering iron and get to work. I just love it when im playing a gig and i get that great "bass note crackle crackle silence" sound. Anyone have suggestions as to brands of cable or cable treatment that could help me avoid these situations? Thanks
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I have two 18' Whirlwind instrument cables that I have used for about 10 years with no problems what-so-ever.
  3. Here is a little trick I learned from my Dad (of all people). When I was a kid, the cords he built this way lasted for many years - probably longer than the components should have.

    After you've soldered the connections to the lugs, slide the metal tube up to the jack and fill it totally with silicone rubber. You can use clear and it won't be quite as messy. Then screw it over the leads and top it off if possible through the back of the jack. This totally immobilizes the soldered leads and also gives some additional strength when they get yanked on. If you want to really make a pro cable, then slide a 4" long piece of heat shrink tubing over the end of the jack and shrink it down. Now the cord won't bend quite as much and it will help to make it last even longer.
  4. My suggestion is to use cables (either propietary or custom made) with either Switchcraft or Neutrik plugs. I prefer the Neutrik. They are Swiss and are bulletproof. I have never had one let me down. Also the cabling should be robust and noiseless.
  5. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I like Spectraflex cables. I haven't seen em around for a while. I also use a DiMarzio braided cable. I gotta agree w/Marty Forrer. I use the locking ends for my head & Switchcraft on everything else. Very well made. I'd stay away from Monster Cables. I've had problems w/the tip breaking off & getting stuck in my input jack & my input jacks are Switchcraft "cannon" jack & I had to replace the whole jack, twice!!! Switchcraft ends on cables NEVER gave me a problem.
  6. bigsammy


    Jan 29, 2001
    Moline, IL
    it depends on your bass, kinda. if you have something like a fender jazz or prescision where the output jack is on the front of the bass, your gonaa want to get a cord with one angleed plug and one straight. also, the chord that i found has the least amount of signal loss and the strength is a chord called "Road Hog". cant remember the company name right now but i think it might be the American Cable Co. but i dunno, you guys might now what im talkin bout.

    just my 2cents

  7. i tried the road hogg,, what a pile of A$$
    lent it to a mate who plays g'tar cos he needed a longer cable and when it came back it was pants,, don't know what happened but he oly had it for the weekend ,, i think it kinked around the soildered points and because it's moulded i couldn't see,,from then on i had to keep on adjusting it to get a sound,,,

    replace it at christmas with George L's,,there grand bought 16 feet and 4 ends for £27 i think,, cut it into two 8 feet lengths and have had no loss of sound and there very cleear,, brother now uses them for guitar,, they look a bit strange to begin with,, very thin,( i got the thicker gauge ) but the ends are very neat,, almost sculptural!!

    there nice and because it has the single centre pin for connection theres no solder to dry or crack

    and when i want more length i don't have to buy a new complete cable just a longer length of cable,,,

  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Don't get cables with sealed plugs, better get sth. like Neutrik like Marty said.
    I hate it if I have to shorten a cable because the wire is broken somewhere inside and I can't use the plug again. Neutriks are really 'pull-resistant' - you won't rip the cable from the soldering points. Also, some cheaper cables aren't straight, almost like they were 'rolled' when the plastic coating was still warm...nasty onstage loops to trip over...
  9. metalloid


    Feb 2, 2001
    I say get whirlwind. I love mine.

    I guess if you have the money get monster cables if you are super picky.
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I like Hambone's idea. I make all of my interconnect cables (balanced and unbalanced for the PA), and I always put heat shrink tubing first over the inner connections, then over the whole external jack casing (about 3 inches of tubing). I have never had one of my cables fail.

    For instrument cables, I have Monster, DiMarzio, and George L's. I'd suggest George L's for you. If they act up, you just cut the end off, and re-install the plug. My brother uses Whirlwind, which fail occasionally. So now I take 'em home, re-solder 'em, and do the double shrink-tube thing. Then they don't fail.

    I hate to say it, but cable performace is also a function of how you treat them. ALL of our cables get carefully wound, tied with a velcro strip, and placed neatly in the same case every rehearsal and every gig. I know exactly how many cords we have, and exactly where each one is. Zero failures in six years. (This applies to my cords and the PA cords.)
  11. thumper

    thumper Guest

    Around here, Memphis (Elvisville), TN, most of the music stores have lifetime guaranteed cables. What most of the guys are doing is buying those cables (you need to have enough so that you have a couple of spares) and when they do die (and they will just like death and taxes guitar cables will die and usually just when you need them to work the most) you take the dead one(s) to the store and swap for a new one, complete with a new warranty.
    I have several of those cables and many George L's. The George L'S are the best cables, period. You can make them any length you need and it takes almost no time to repair or to make. Even an old redneck like me can make and repair them. Just call them in Franklin, TN and talk to Mona (George's wife). She'll get you set up.

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