Dumb rack effects question

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by K2000, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    If I'm running line level rack effects* into my power amp, should I be using speaker cable to patch them together, or is instrument cable good enough?

    *(maybe all rack effects are 'line level' -- I don't know) :meh:
  2. soulgaard1


    Aug 1, 2005
    You are fine.
    you SHOULD use instument/signal cable.

    NEVER use speakercable for that - its not shielded, so you would get a much noisier signal with that.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Correct- YES to instrument cables. Line level signals are at a higher amplitude than instrument level, but it's really only a difference of like one volt, and they are otherwise nearly the same. Speaker cables are for speakers only.

    Not all rack effects run at line level; some older guitar-oriented units run at instrument level, and many (both old and new) have in/output controls for operating at different levels.

    Since you're running them into your power amp, you might want to investigate whether the effects have the option of balanced output (TRS or XLR plug), and whether a balanced input is recommended for your power amp. Depending on the specific units, you may be able to get a louder, cleaner signal by using a balanced connection into the power amp. And then with other units it doesn't make any difference. Just worth looking into. :)
  4. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    speaker cables only from your amp to your speaker, they will work in other places but will sound noisey.

    bongomania has it right, you will want to know if you have balanced or unbalanced connectors but as a default unbalanced will work in almost all situations. The balanced will give a cleaner signal but if just one of your rack effects is unbalanced is will cause you entire system to run unbalanced.

    There are also balanced 1/4 plugs as well so it does not have to be xlr to be balanced. Also, note: There is a difference between and balanced cable and a sterea cable (like a headphone cable). They are NOT the same as they are wired up differently.

    good luck, email if you have any detailed questions about your rig.
    [email protected]

    Todd :)