Directional cables?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassboat, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. bassboat


    Sep 27, 2001
    Directional cables. Is this for real? Do you guys hear a difference?
  2. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    From what I understand, they're directional so the signal doesn't have to travel all the way through the cable to reach ground. I have no personal experience with them, but that sounds pretty legit to me. Directly quoted from the Planet Waves website:

    "Why is the shield connected on the amplifier end, and not the guitar end? This configuration provides the best shielding against external noise. The shield intercepts external noise and diverts it to the amplifier ground, reducing interference. Connecting the shield to the amplifier end provides the shortest and most direct path to the amplifier ground and maximizes the shielding effectiveness. If the shield is connected at the guitar end, the intercepted noise is forced to travel through the cable before reaching the amplifier ground; this causes extra noise pickup by the cable and reduces shielding effectiveness. If the shield is connected at both ends, some of the noise can still travel through the cable before reaching the amplifier ground, thereby reducing shielding effectiveness."

    Bassboat, There have been a buttload of threads started on the pros and cons of different cables, including the Planet Waves cables that I immediately think of when someone mentions directional cables. Search and ye shall find. ;)
  3. Attaching a shield to one end only is perectly legit to try to stop ground-loop induced hums. It may or may not help depending on the situation.

    However, there are some high-dollar "directional" audio interconnects and speaker cables that are being advertised on the audiophile circuit. These are completely bogus, they claim to somehow conduct the flow in the proper direction...never mind music signals are AC...these cables are voodoo IMHO
  4. 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
    Before anyone has a chance to poopoo nashvillebill's assessment, I want to say I'm with him, one thousand percent.
  5. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    That's good enough for me.
  6. Me too!
  7. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I have a few. They don't seem to sound any better (or worse) than my non-directional cables.
  8. 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
    Me three!
  9. So called "Directional Cables" are BS for sure. If something truly is directional in electronics, then it's a diode, or at least has some diode characteristics.

    As for connecting the shield at only one end, there is some merit to that, but only to avoid ground loops in complex systems. In normal coaxial guitar cable that wouldn't work since the shield serves as the return conductor. If there is no worry about ground loops, then using the shield as the return conductor is a good way to keep magnetically induced hum from getting into the signal. Since there is only one cord going to a guitar, there is no worry about ground loops, so just use the standard guitar cable with shield as return conductor. It'll be fine.

  10. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I was feeling reckless the other day. I plugged the 'Amp' end of a cable into my bass, then proceeded to rip the tags off all the mattresses in the house! :eek:
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    They're coming for you.