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Do cables made for bass really help much?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by paf77, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. paf77


    Dec 3, 2008
    I've noticed monster makes some cables specifically for bass and I was wondering if that really helps bring out that deep bass that shakes venues? My tone right now is alright, but if i can make it any better than I'd love to. I'm just trying to figure out ways to make my setup sound even better at gigs. Also does the speaker cable that connects the head to the cab have much to do with the quality of bass? I don't think I've ever heard of a speaker cable made just for bass... Thanks everyone!
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    They absolutely do help... GC accessory counter workers make a bigger sale off you.
  4. NGL


    Sep 8, 2009
    Terre Haute, IN
    Well, I am the proud owner of one of those high-quality Monster bass cables, and here's my review: It does a good job connecting my bass to my amp.

    Yeah, I bought one a while back. It's much better constructed than the $10-$15 cable I was using previously. But as far as tone goes, don't expect to notice anything different. If I'd had any sense when I decided to buy a new cable, I probably would've shopped around a bit and gone with a brand a little off radar that has equal or better quality at a cheaper price.
  5. anonymous101511

    anonymous101511 Guest

    Mar 5, 2001
    Dean Markley Strings, Xotic Basses, Kubicki Basses
  6. Longhornhombre


    Jan 24, 2009
    Austin, TX
    Ha, I agree with NGL!

    Do cables made specifically for bass help much? No. I've got a few Monster Bass cables and if someone could hear the difference, I'd be shocked.

    Do well-made cables with a lifetime warranty help much? I guess, if you want to spend the extra cash. As NGL pointed out, they're certainly better than a cheapo cable...but only because they're probably more reliable! Not because they sound better.

    Personally, I wouldn't stake much on the promise of better tone/sound...

    Just my $.02...maybe there are folks out there who can hear the difference...?
  7. No
  8. I'm not a 'Monster hater' like many. However, the particular Monster cable you are talking about (the Monster Bass) is the ONLY cable that sounds very different from all other cables (which sound literally identical, at least with an active instrument) IMO and IME. It's a very interesting thing, and the difference in the sound is not subtle at all.

    The bad news about this is they built some sort of super high capacitance or something into that particular cable which really reduces the treble response of the instrument. As a result, it SEEMS to provide more low end (hence, 'bass cable'). However, IMO and IME, it is a trick of the ear resutling from the decrease in treble response (not good), and you are much better off getting a standard cable from Monster or another brand... doesn't matter, they all pretty much sound the same.

    Speaker cable... unless you are running 100', they all sound the same. Get a nice short one that is just long enough to reach between your amp and cabs and be happy. I like Speakon connectors, but only because they snap in place... you won't hear any difference between then an 1/4 (there are some 'safety' advantages to Speakons also)

    IMO and IME. Avoid that Monster Bass cable:)
  9. If they did make a difference, wouldn't it make sense for the likes of Monster to provide stores with test cables so you could try them before you buy and hear the difference for yourself?.
  10. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    I like the cables I make in my garage. I buy the Neutrik connectors and Canare instrument cable and I can make a cable for the fraction of the price of most anything pre made.

    I disagree with KJung. Neutrik NL-2 connectors will make a difference at higher power levels which is why bass amps have them and why they had banana connectors before Neutrik improved the locking mechanism on the NL series connectors 10 or so years ago. Little known fact the Neutrik NL connector has been around since the late 80's.

    The 1/4' connector as we know in its earliest form dates back probably about 100 years and was designed for the telephone company switchboard operators. Hence the name 1/4" "phone" connector. It was obviously never designed to be used as a speaker connector carrying potentially 100's of watts. If you took a modern 1/4" plug and put and tried it in a antique telephone switch board there is a high probability it would fit and work.
  11. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Don't be dumb and buy into their stupid marketing scheme.
  12. TheXym


    Oct 19, 2006
    I have a monster bass cable, and it does a great job for me. The lifetime warranty is a good thing, but I still carry a spare. If I hadn't been given a GC gift card by a former student teacher when I needed a new cable, I probably wouldn't have splurged for the monster.

    My home theater is also completely wired with Monster, but I was moonlighting at Circuit City when I got the audio setup. The 70% off accomodation Monster gave employees was the biggest reason why it's all Monster, I got it for about the same price as the regular interconnects and speaker wire would have cost.
  13. I agree, there surely is no good reason to NOT use Speakons. However, with the typical 300 to 500 watts a bass amp puts out, there is no way anyone could hear the difference between these type of plugs and 1/4". However, safety, ease of repair, locking, etc. are all good enough reasons to go this route if your amp and cabinet have the right connectors.
  14. ummm...I typically don't use my speakon cable because there's so much more bottom end to tame coming from my rig. My amp has speakon outs, so I use an adapter to 1/4" and use a DiMarzio speaker cable. I got the adapter because one of my cabs doesn't have speakon in. I use this setup normally, because with the speakon cable i get a huge bottom end that is hard to tame and causes a lot of speaker excursion. just sayin...

    also, I notice a significant difference in my mogami platinum cable and my george l cable...the bottom end is as solid and deep, and chords don't come through as clean on the george l. I wouldn't have really thought there was a huge difference until one night at a regular gig, I had forgotten the mogami. I used my george l for runthrough. I couldn't get my tone, volume, or anything right. It was so distracting. My bass didn't feel right. I was about to go crazy trying to figure out why it wasn't where it normally was.
    I went back home and got my mogami, came back, and it was just right. There's something to it that isn't present in the other cable.

    this is all IME of course, and it should be known that I'm terribly picky about my tone and feel.
  15. None of the above makes any sense. Sorry but to attribute a huge tone or volume difference to a cable is just plain silly. I'm sure you 'thought you heard what you heard'. IF you are using a totally passive instrument, and really have a lot of treble in your tone, cable capacitance can have a minor impact on the top end of your tone. Minor though. I own both of the cables you are discussing. The George L does have about the lowest capacitance of any cable I'm aware of, and in some cases (i.e., with passive basses and relatively long cable runs), the George L's can transmit a bit more upper treble to your amp, which can, to some, sound just a touch 'thin' compared to a higher capacitance cable. However, it's not that the Mogami has more low end, but rather that the Georgle L is a little more transparent. However, minor, minor impact on tone. Not sure what you are really hearing?!?, but if you are using a long cable run with a passive instrument, the 'clarity' of the very low capacitance George L can sound a smidge different than most other cables.

    And you don't use a Speakon cable because you think that impacts your 'bottom end'?!?!?! God help all of us:rollno: Why in god's name would you think the design of an end of a cable would impact the tone of your rig. Amazing how this garbage gets put out there.
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    ^^^ +1,000 to every word.

    Sorry f4g, but 99% of what you described was all in your imagination.
  17. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    No. That stuff is just a modern day "Snake Oil". A good quality cable is a good quality cable for just about anything. Thay can't "tune" the copper wire specificly for bass.
  18. ayryq


    Jan 9, 2009
    FWIW, I think the Fender "Premium Gold" bass cable is pretty cool looking. The ad copy is nuts though:
    Anyway, it would look cool with a black bass.

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