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Cables are Ridiculous

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by M0ses, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I have had a $60 cable that lasted almost thirteen years.
    I have had a $5 cable that lasted twelve. It was a cool yellow color, with real Neutrick jacks.

    The second $5 cable I bought didn't last six months.
    Neither did the second $60 cable.

    I don't personally buy into most of the tone debate around cables, a clean connection is a clean connection IMO, so don't need to bring brand names into it...

    But what is everyone's take on reliability. How do you recognize it? How you do you get it?
  2. I get it by building my own out of top quality wire & top quality connectors.
    Bob_Ross, RSBBass and JACink like this.
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Don't buy stuff that looks obviously cheap in construction.
    Take care of your equipment.
    Don't overpay for BS claims.
  4. I've had cheap cables last a year. I've had cheap cables last 20 years. I've never bought an expensive cable.
    dwm74 likes this.
  5. Hunter34


    Nov 30, 2017
    I recently picked up a Kliq cable from Amazon, and it’s dead quiet with no hum and very flexible. http://amzn.to/2DBH2rU

    I also recently picked up a Quantum High Def cable for “free” as part of a big amp/combo purchase and it seems very well made and very rugged. The cable is extremely stiff and not very flexible, but I’m sure a Mac truck could run over it and it would still work. Quantum Audio Designs EPI-10 Oxygen Free High Definition 10'

    I “think” the sound is slightly cleaner on the Quantum, but I’m also a brainwashed audiophile who has spent exponentially more on my 2-channel reproduction system than my 1-channel creation system.

    For the value, I’d buy the Kliq. It absolutely kills any of my Monster cables (which always seem to buzz and hum) and has better REAN 1/4” connectors to boot. But I wouldn’t turn down another Quantum, either.
  6. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    I've used the same cables for over 20 years, never an issue.
  7. Rimshot

    Rimshot Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    I've had good results from any cable I've treated reasonably (e.g., not chucking it in a bag to "birds nest", not yanking the plug out violently, etc). I've payed from $5 to $80 at one point or another. Never noticed an audible difference and they've all lasted at least 10 years.
  8. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    If the cable is stored properly--over/under coiled following it's memory and velcroed--and not yanked around, crimped, etc... they last forever. I still have belden/switchcraft cables from the 80s because of this.
    Ubersheist, Ultradust and ddnidd1 like this.
  9. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    Agree 100% with OP!

    I have 1 fairly high end cable that was rather expensive, all my other cables are about as cheap as I could get them.

    And honestly I don't hear any difference in tone or tone suck using either.

    I am pretty sure the same kind of raw material was used for the wires and plugs on both the expensive one and the cheap ones too, so doubt it would even be possible to measure any difference.

    When that is said, I do think the expensive cable is slightly more study made, but I like the cheap ones better, as those are more flexible and less stiff.

    Also if one of the cheap ones go bad I would easily be able to re-solder the bad soldering (or cut off the bad part of the cable and then solder the jack plug back on), which is rather difficult to do with the expensive one as the lower part of the jack plug is covered in a thick layer of molded plastic making the assembly between the plug and the cable.
  10. The phrase "they just don't make them like they used to" often comes to mind on stuff like this.
  11. Chicory Blue

    Chicory Blue Secretly Queen of the Moon Supporting Member

    My viola bass came with a really really thin cheapo cable. At first I was like, “pff, what is this nonsense?” but then it sort of became my favorite cable ever. So light, so portable, just the right length...

    It more or less spontaneously just fell apart on both ends a few days ago and now produces a hideous crackling hiss when I use it.

    It’ll be missed. Didn’t last but half a year, but it was just so comfortable. I want another.

  12. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    I don't HEAR different cables, but I buy decent ones $30-40. Evidence Audio for $150- A sucker born every minute.
    They all have a lifetime OTC warranty these days anyway.
  13. Ultradust

    Ultradust Commercial User

    May 19, 2007
    Seoul, Republic of Korea
    General Manager, Moollon


    I couldn't have said it better :)

    I have some ancient Belden/switchcrafts combos that may not be the same full frequency type that I use for studio patches, but they have all that warm, vintage tone that 9778s have always been known for (er...robust midrange clarity and no icy top end), stay nice and flexible in cold weather (sheath made of military-grade rubber, not PVC) and best of all are still in great shape on both ends for daily use. An absolute tank of a product when well cared for.

    And just in case for a rainy day, a while back I bought four packs of fresh Belden 9778 lines with Switchcraft tips, assembled over here by Muztek (Just $32 for 3 meters) and so easy to find at the bigger shops. Consistent and dependable.

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    bigtone23 likes this.
  14. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I've had the same few cables for many years--may need to replace a couple of them--but I refuse to pay "Big Bucks" for the "Big Names"
    but the brand I mostly have sued --I can't find--good quality--not an outrageous price.
    the ones that need replacing are different brands.
  15. Most of my cables are from the 80s/90s since I've stored them properly. I ran sound for a large, professional events company (some concerts/festivals, mostly conventions) and learned how to take care of cables. They'll last pretty much forever, maybe with some minor repairs on the ends once or twice.

    As far as the tone goes, I don't notice a difference in live situations. I noticed in the studio that cheaper cables pick up interferance (other electronic devices, mostly) and hum more, but even that is minor and usually can be fixed easily.
    bigtone23 likes this.
  16. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    That's my experience with cables and sound, too. If I'm using an active bass or line level, the sound isn't really affected, but I will notice RF noise and interference with less quality shields.

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