cable from head to cab.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by gbenner, Aug 19, 2001.

  1. gbenner


    May 20, 2001
    ocean, new jersey
    does anyone use or heard a difference
    with the cable going from your amps
    head to the speaker cab. everyone talks
    about different cables from the bass to your
    amps head,getting more lows or clearer
    highs. but if the signal leaving the head
    is not reaching the speaker cab. clean,
    i would think this could effect your sound
    just as much,if not more. i havent tried
    anything different then my old patch cord.
    any thoughts on this?
  2. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    The signal from amp to cab operates at a much higher voltage and has a much shorter path.
    It's not nearly as suceptable to signal loss.
    As long as your cord is 14 ga. and not twenty feet long, I doubt anyone could hear a difference.

    But....My speaker cord as a piece of 8 ga. monster cable 2 1/2 feet long. You never know.
  3. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I recommend everything below 16 gauge, Zero Oxygen, Gold Plated connectors (Neutrik Speakons if available)

    I make my own cables if not Speakon.
    I use Phoenix Gold Saphire Cable with Switchcraft or Neutrik Plugs.

    There is signal loss if you use extremely large cables, and dont even think of using guitar/mic cables, they will make the head dissipate most of the power in heat form.
  4. bassclar7


    Apr 22, 2000
    Goodrich, MI
    I personally am a beleiver in the nice cables and full sound. I use Monster Prolink cables (Speaker cable format) Usually the studio 1000. They sound outstanding. Great for Bass. If you have speak-on connectors, I recommend you use them. Otherwise just the 1/4 inch will do.
    They run about $40-$50 but it's worth it for a 6 foot cable.
  5. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    I guess it depends on your "perspective". I'm a degreed engineer and can afford any cable. I have an amp that puts out up to 1000 watts bridged, and I use a 16 AWG regular ~6' homemade speaker cable with 1/4" connectors. While this might be borderline for this particular power level, the only thing I would do to improve it is convert the connectors to banana or Speakon type. The gauge of the wire is sufficient, and the audience will not be able to hear any difference by going to a heavier gauge - unless you are pushing a lot more power and/or using much longer cable. IMO the use of exotic cables is unfounded for most applications.
    - Mike
  6. 16 Gauge or 14 Gauge stranded copper, with good quality connectors and good solder joints. That's all you need.

    I doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference between 14 Gauge "zip" cord and some $100 speaker cable. I know a lot of people think differently, but oddly enough, it's usually the people who own really expensive cables that say they are that much better. (And the flip side is people like me who don't own expensive cables who swear there is no difference.)

    Emperor's new clothes kind of thing.

  7. gbenner


    May 20, 2001
    ocean, new jersey
    thanks for the replies, im using just regular lamp
    cord cable, i guess its about 14 gauge. i always
    wondered if a better cable would make a difference, i guess not. although i might throw on some gold plugs,my silver ones are at least 20 or so years old. thanks again.
  8. Spend a little money now and keep them forever.

    Tara Labs cables for musicians, as far as I know, only available through L.A Bass Exchange.
  9. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Thanks, Chris. Your EE background is valuable, and I agree with you 1000%! IMO exotic cables, exotic speaker design concepts, and the like share a lot of common qualities with snake oil.
    - Mike
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
  11. JBL has an excellent section in their Sound Design Manual that does the math (and exposes the B.S.) for cable gauge.

    I have an unanswered question: what about the Oxygen Free stuff?

    IMO more snake oil, but I'm open to facts to the contrary. :D
  12. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    It means: if you spend $100/foot on their cable, they'll throw in the oxygen for free. ;)
    - Mike
  13. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Well, maybe you could say that a very exotic cable wont affect our rigs tone.

    Maybe. Just Maybe.

    But in the Hi-Fi audio equipment and Home Theater implementation and design, we dont use anything less than a Phoenix Gold Saphire 0-Oxygen Cable.
    The sound is just clearer and cleaner.
    It is better for the performance of the subwoofers too.

    As always, let your ears decide.
    Now on the Intrument to head cable.. I choose nothing less than a 0 Oxygen Leem cables with gold plugs.
    They are great for the tone.

    And a lot cheaper than Monster Cable.
  14. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    The hi-fi and home theater markets are especially rife with snake oil wire marketing. Retailers tend to like it because the profit margins on accessories are very large, so if they can get someone to spend hundreds of dollars on cables in their store instead of $5 at the hardware store, they'll put on the hard sell. The wire's performance doesn't even have to be better (and most likely, it isn't) in order to convince the consumer that it is.

    If the specialty wire companies actually have found ways to make wire better than perfect, they would've made discoveries that would really put them in the running for a Nobel Prize, and I don't think that's happened. They would also have gotten interest from industries that require high signal integrity, such as radio astronomy, avionics, biomedical instrumentation, space telemetry, etc. That hasn't happened, either.

    Trust your ears, but use your head at the same time.

  15. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    I use a cheap 2ft cord for amp/cab and a cheap 18ft cord from bass/amp.
    I allways found I get more mileage out of a new set of strings or a new battery for tone.
  16. Kinda snake oily, i've never heard any difference myself, but I tend to use it a bit for one reason:

    Less corrosion.

    I've seen alot of my cheaper non-O2-free cable internally tarnish and corrode over time (mainly due to humidity and damp old houses!). Not enough to go "whoa dude! she's gonna blow!" but enough to irk the anal perfectionist side of me...
  17. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    I was in the HIGH END car audio field, as a technician, for 15 years. I built LOTS of show systems that were 30-40,000 dollars!!!!! I don't buy the cable deal at all! We would get solicited by cable manufacturers all the time that claimed "AUDIO PERFECTION AND TOTAL NOISE REJECTION". This my friends is CRAP! If you pull one of those reps aside and ask him the deal, he'll plead the fifth and remind you of the greater margins involved with CABLE Co. X. I personally could never hear a difference between GOOD quality, inexpensive, bulk cable, and $12.00-$100.00
    a foot Boutique cable.
    Of course SOMEONE will disagree with this!!!!!!!
  18. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    :D Amen to that! As far as I'm concerned, once you have a decent cable (as I do), you'd have to have your brand new strings, 10,000-watt ultra-clean power amp, the best speaker system you could buy, all set up in an anechoic chamber with no ventilation noise (i.e, total dead silence) to hear the minuscule difference between the cable and one costing 100 times as much. Then you'll have unobstructed listening to your (probably less than deity-like) bass playing. I say - save your money and practice more! :)
    - Mike
    (Not that *your* playing isn't deity-like! But mine sure isn't!) ;)
  19. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Fabulous point! And these are applications that are scrutinized by the most capable engineers around.
    - Mike
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I can't see why there's all the arguments and the fears about getting "ripped off."

    I bought 3 fairly short "Monster" Cables to go from head to cabs - so I have one spare. But I've never used it as the cables have never failed in several years.

    But anyway my real point is that these Monster cables cost me £13 - now this is just peanuts, considering my head and cabs cost over £2,000 and my bass cost £1700 - so £13 is like negligible and not worth arguing about!!

    So why bother trying to "cut costs" in this area - if we were talking about savings of 100s of £s or $s then I could understand it, but as I say £13 for a component that has lasted 2-3 years already with no sign of wear seems remarkably cheap and to try to get a better deal, just seems like a completely false economy to me. :confused: