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Can you hear tonal variations from cable to cable?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by AmazingGracePlayer, May 30, 2007.


  1. I currently use 2 types of cables, and their costs are pretty much the same, and I can't tell the difference, from hearing, which cable I'm suring. But I was looking around, and saw these 20 feet Fodera cables well over 100 dollars, and other ones for 10 dollars. Aside from their durability, are there any variations in the sound signal they send from bass to amp?
     
  2. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    This can be a can of worms sort of topic but for the most part I say no. A cord can only be so good.. quality materials and proper thickness and voila.

    For entertaining reading along these lines check out this thread:
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=109162

    :)

    bc
     
  3. "Can o' worms"??? Brad's bein' nice!!!

    That being said, I personally don't think there's a damn bit of audible difference, and any blind test would reinforce that.
     
  4. BetterBottomEnd

    BetterBottomEnd <- Not me I just like looking at her

    Jan 9, 2007
    Cable Wi
    [​IMG]
     
  5. I'll go along with:

    "A bad cable can take away... but a good cable can't add."
     
  6. BetterBottomEnd

    BetterBottomEnd <- Not me I just like looking at her

    Jan 9, 2007
    Cable Wi
    Look they're having a nice civil discussion about this over on the DB side why don't we all just watch quietly and let things develop then we can come back over here and started a heated argument or make fun of tara labs.
     
  7. I think that if anything is being taken away, its a problem with the cable. Tho i have heard some audible difference when playing guitar with one cable vs another. Possibly to do with the differences in connectors.
     
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I've understood that the cheap, flexible cables have lower capacitance that the thicker high end cables giving less signal loss over longer cable runs.

    I typically have a 20' cable running from my amp to my volume pedal, and another 20 footer from the pedal to my bass. I don't notice any difference if I just run one cable straight to my amp.
     
  9. 5....4....3.....2.....1....

    Hmmm, still not closed, well I'll be.
     
  10. I never cared but finally thought about it. Cables support any musical setup with the same sized jacks.

    They aren't even marketed for specifics so in my mind there is not even enough evidence for a sales pitch on the idea.
     
  11. Today I just got this like 1/5 inch thick (in diameter) cable from a friend, and I'm using it, and it sounds pretty good... I remember seeing these cables with 18 or 20 karat gold cores, and they cost over a thousand dollars for a 20 foot... man...

    Wow... no more comment.
     
  12. Sorry, I've just seen these threads come up many times on TB and get closed quicker than a Sadowsky thread.
     
  13. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Yes.

    Both myself and a good friend of mine who plays guitar have noticed many differences. They are subtle. Most other musicians I know are half deaf from too many loud gigs anyway to notice any subtlety.

    I signed up with Evidence precisely because after using them, I noticed a difference and liked it. I don't pretend to know the physics of what one cable does and another doesn't and I really don't care. It sounds better than any other cable I have used, and that's all I need to know.

    My friend noticed too and this was without being told I was using a different cable. Other friends of mine tried it and didn't notice anything at all. I have found that the ability to listen with a critical ear varies tremendously from person to person and there are no hard and fast rules that you can apply when it comes to what someone can or cannot hear.

    This same friend of mine took his guitar in to be worked on, and played an open string to the repair guy (no slouch, he had done lots of work for me before) and said "See? Hear that buzz?" It was pretty faint. Something that would probably never come through an amp. My friend was kinda being anal. But it was there. The repair guy? "Nope, I don't hear it." We were both baffled. "You don't hear that?" "Nope."

    Somebody relating their experience about not hearing a difference between X and Y means nothing to me. Maybe you see more clearly than I do as well. Hell, I wear contacts so it's likely you do. I can still see, but without my contacts you would see more clearly and with greater detail than I would even tho we were both looking at the exact same thing.

    Why should hearing be any different?
     
  14. Deacon_Blues

    Deacon_Blues

    Feb 11, 2007
    Finland
    The only things I look for in an instrument cable are durability and handling (I hate those fabric cables! :mad: ). If I was recording professionally, I'd probably pay more attention to the sound quality, but on gigs or when just recording for my own fun mainly, I couldn't care less as long the cable is working. The quality of the bass pickups and electric circuitry, pre and power amps, the cabinets, EQ settings and eventual effects affect the sound a million times more than a standard instrument cable compared to a high-end version. No-one in the audience will know any difference...

    Just my two cents on this topic...
     
  15. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    A million times??? Jeesh....
    Technically, the impedance of the 75-Ohm cable, being what it is, combined with the inverted ratio of the capacitance of the right-angle Titaniatom(R)-plated connector.........


    (my answer.....no. No difference at all when comparing a properly functioning instrument cable)
     
  16. Other than hearing buzzes, do you hear any variation in the tone itself? Not the background buzz or the plugging/unplugging noise.
     
  17. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    The buzzing story was just an anecdote to illustrate that (like vision) hearing ability varies.

    As for my experience with Evidence; it's tough to describe, but I'll try.

    The biggest difference I noticed was in the low end. The mids and highs sounded about normal...nothing I would have noticed. But the low end seemed at once fuller and yet tighter. Perhaps "controlled" is a better way of putting it. It's easy for the low end to sound mushy and ill-defined, but with Evidence it was a much more solid round and tight low end.

    I've no agenda, except to stop people from telling other people what they can or can't hear particularly when they haven't used the item in question. I've tried other cables (Canare, Monster, Mogami, Planet Waves, just to name a few) and was unhappy.

    Now here is the important part for those that assert the placebo effect; i.e. "You're hearing what you expect to hear." That is a legitimate assertion. Placebo effect is very real and has been well documented. But if you're going to argue that, be logical and consistent. I expected great things from all those cables mentioned. I bought them after hearing praises. Especially in the case of Mogami, someone whos' opinion I trust told me I would love them. I was predisposed to think they sounded great; that's what I was expecting. I was less than thrilled in all cases.

    When I tried Evidence, I noticed a difference I had not heard with the others. In fact my guitar player noticed as well. And (here's another important point) the day I tried it for the fist time, after 3 tunes he looked over to me and asked "Did you do something different like EQ wise or something?" even though I had not told him I was using the new cable.

    That was my experience, FWIW. I'm sold now and nay-sayers can save your breath for someone else.
     
  18. To you, does a "controlled" tone sound like it's going through slight compression?
     
  19. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I wouldn't describe it that way. It was "fatter" but tighter as well. Kind of reminds me of something Sadowsky said long ago about his pre that it would boost the low end, but tighten it up as well.

    Of course, that's a totally different set of circumstances, but that description seems apt.

    EDIT: Please remember: we're talking subtle differences here. I'm a picky SOB who has been know to spend several days on hi-hat & shaker tracks in my home studio trying to get them "just right". Also, I promise you no one in the audience will ever notice anything. Why do it then? Because I enjoy the sound more, it makes playing more fun and so I'll play with more energy and enthusiasm.
     
  20. What are the types of music you play?
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 3, 2021

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