DIY Cables?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mwiles30, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. mwiles30


    Dec 31, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    I was thinking today, "Hmm, I'm 18, and I make my own cables. Am I unique?"

    Which leads me to wonder, are there any other bassists out there (of any age) who make there own cables?
  2. Beyer160


    Dec 20, 2008
    Soldering is an essential skill for any musician who plays an electric instrument, you're fortunate to have learned early!

    Some of my cables are DIY, some I bought premade because I got them cheaper than I could buy the parts.
  3. FanOfAlice


    Nov 8, 2006
    i was making cables when i was 15
  4. mwiles30


    Dec 31, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Cool. I'm actually glad other people do it. Nowadays, you can actually buy a spool of Belden cable and a bunch of Switchcraft ends, and in the end save money, and get custom cables.

    Buying them just doesn' do it for me anymore.
  5. Craig_S

    Craig_S Inactive

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    I cut the f&%# out of my left hand middle finger, when I was 16, while repairing a mic cable. Still have the scar. Right down to the bone. I still repaired the cable and I finished the night too (tough bastard that I once was ;)). Don't ever use your buck knife as a replacement for a proper screwdriver.

    If you're going to play regularly, you'll need at least two spare cables for every one you use. You'll save a lot if you learn to make and repair your cables.
  6. dregsfan

    dregsfan *Spay And Neuter*

    Sep 13, 2006
    I've been making my own cables for many years. It has taken that many years to get good at soldering. It seems to be something that is easily done poorly, and difficult to do well/properly. I finally enjoy the soldering and to choose your type of cable and plugs, and lengths etc. is kinda fun. .........I'm obviously hard up for entertainment. - ha
  7. mwiles30


    Dec 31, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    It's kind of a sense of accomplishment for me. Amongst my guitar and bass possessing friends, it's kind of a one-up on them.

    Sounds kinda stupid, but it's all in good fun.
  8. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Until my eyes got too bad to make good solder joints I made my own cables. Belden cable and Switchcraft 280 plugs, a solder jig and my Weller.

  9. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I make my own cables sometimes. I used to work at a music store where we got Fender Vintage Voltage cables back all the time, and we'd just send back the packaging for our warranty reimbursement. It was always the ends going bad, so I'd slap some new ends on it, and I've been using those cables for probably near 5 years.
  10. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    As a PA guy as well as a bassist I've made tons of instrument, balanced, and speaker cables using the same raw wire (Belden, Canare, Horizon, etc) and connectors (Neutrik, Switchcraft) as the majority of good pro cable companies use. I've also got a lot of their product in the steamer trunk. Important to choose low capacitance wiring with braided shield rather than foil/barewire shield so that it doesn't load passive pickups/basses excessively nor crackle when moved about on stage.
  11. LOL the above is true for me as well. Though, I go with Canare, Mogami, and G&H, Neutrik, Switchcraft.

    I like being able to make exactly the cable I want. The perfect length, one right angle or two, pin one lift...

    Soldering is a great skill to have. Complete bass re-wire, with star ground, remove and replace dead pre-amp power switch... The list goes on.

    When I was a teen, I'd convert old radios, and cassette players, to practice amps.
  12. primedynasty

    primedynasty Guest

    Nov 9, 2007
    Fishers, IN
    i have been soldering for a while, redid all the wiring in my p-bass, added another 9v to my spector, and have made two effects pedals as well as numerous car repairs. Where do you guys get your materials? I definitely want to make my own cables instead of buying them. I saw a video on youtube where this guy used neutrik ends that seemed really nice, but he didn't mention a source for them.
  13. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I haven't bothered to save links. I just google and recognize some previous sources that were good and competively priced near the top of the search, often weighting shipping prices and geographic locale as determinants.
  14. Craig_S

    Craig_S Inactive

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Ha! That's cool! I ripped the speakers in my parent's old RCA console to shreds, using it as an amp. I rigged a removable 1/4" jack that plugged in where the needle cartridge went. They never knew. :D
  15. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    I've been doing general sound stuff since I was around 12, had to learn to make new cables quick considering I was breaking so many old ones... :D
  16. Scorsa

    Scorsa Guest

    Apr 22, 2008
    Johnson City, TN
    Im 15 and i just started making little patch cables and such.
  17. Nice. The RIAA EQ must have given an amusing bass boost.
  18. Craig_S

    Craig_S Inactive

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Fart city. The speakers were jumping so much the cone was flapping like rolling Rs. Awesome distortion too! when I was 14, anyway. Oh, man! :cool:
  19. rokkitt


    Jun 7, 2007
    bronx, nyc
    I gotta start doing this.