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Effects pedal chewing up my patch cables?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by MadModBassist, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. MadModBassist


    Jul 16, 2009
    Long story short, I was plugging in everything no-problemo until I got to my Carbon Copy. It took a lot of extra force to shove the cable in (bad habit, I know; I'm just very anxious to have it be completed after so many months of saving up), so I was quite concerned. I took the cable back out and, lo and behold, there's a small gouge on one side of the cable. So, my inquiry is two-fold:
    1. Is this a problem I need to address with the manufacturer?
    2. Does this mean my cable is gonna be toast/present future problems for my board?

    I have not tried actually playing through the cable out of fear of some catastrophic failure that blows up the pedal(s), and I can't anyway due to sleeping family and lack of easy access to quiet practicing methods.
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I assume the gouge is in the metal plug, not the vinyl coating of the wire part?

    It shouldn't have taken so much force, so that is slightly concerning as far as figuring out why it was tight like that, but the good news is the cable will be fine even with some damage in the surface of the plug, and absolutely nothing will blow up or be catastrophic.

    What brand and model of patch cord is it?
  3. MadModBassist


    Jul 16, 2009
    Yes, the gouge is in the actual metal plug.

    That's what I figured. I shouldn't have to force it, and it's only on that side (the input). Output is fine, other pedals are fine.

    Good to hear nothing catastrophic should happen! I've been a bad luck charm for stuff like that before, so better safe than sorry, heh.

    I tried two different ones: A cheap plastic Perfektion cable and a Hose slim 6". Both had the same issue that did not seem to be present in any of the other pedals, including my other MXR pedal (bass envelope filter).
    Interestingly enough, I just found this, which may be of some interest/relevance.
  4. MadModBassist


    Jul 16, 2009
    Going to bed for now. I will post pics of the gouge and hopefully glean further insight in the afternoon!
  5. The most it could possibly do to your speaker is an annoying buzzing. I'd say 50/50 on if it works or not.
  6. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    It could be your patch cable that is a bit out of spec, I've thrown away a few cheapos where the plug is a bit thick. Depending on which pedal you use it with it will work or not, some pedals seem to accomodate the thicker plug, some don't. Try different cables and see if the problem is perhaps with the patch cable rather than with the pedal?
  7. MadModBassist


    Jul 16, 2009
    Here's a pic of the slight gouge where it was forced in. Nothing major, but it's still concerning me.
  8. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    I've had problems with done if my hosa pancakes fitting as well
  9. jez79


    May 2, 2004
    Thats the shield part of the cable and carries only the ground. That gouge will have absolutely no effect on sound or connectivity, even if it was on a signal carrying part of the plug.
  10. MadModBassist


    Jul 16, 2009
    Ah, maybe it is just the cable then. That kinda sucks, but I can always get better cables.
    Excellent to hear! That assuages my paranoia.

    Thanks for all the input, guys! I guess I'll just invest in some better cables then.
  11. Don't even worry about it.
    jwr likes this.
  12. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Well, nothing will blow up, but I still wouldn't keep using a cable I have to force into the jack, it's not supposed to work that way.
  13. I'm amazed! Decent jack plugs are made from decent materials and then plated with decent material that ensure good electrical connection, so one material is tough, one makes reliable connections. If you stand on them, nothing happens. Other plugs are made from thinner and poorer material. These never last, get scratched easily, and are less reliable.

    I imagined a slice, a sharp edge, a split or similar from your description. You have a scratch! Insignificant in the life of a plug! Your pedal probably has high spring pressure dorm a decent connector to ensure it doesn't crackle and is a decent electrical path. Your plug got scratched by it. Jack cables are disposable. If you buy expensive ones, they last longer before they get thrown away. Some people buy cheap, and at the first dent or crackle throw them. Others buy expensive ones and don't worry so much. Other people solder their own. I have a pile of them and don't remotely get excited by them. If one does anything odd, it goes in the dodgy bin, and at some point I inspect, test and then repair or throw.

    I'd rather have a tightly gripping socket that scratches the poorer plugs than a gentle one that might make a poorer contact. Some people leave their plugs in all the time, many claim this weakens the springs. Others pull them out each time.

    If you think back to telephone exchanges, jacks went in and out thousands of times in the past. You are worrying about far less than that.

    If you love that particular plug, then test with your finger the scratch has no sharp edges. If your finger can't feel it, use it. If you can feel a scratch, then continued use will eventually rub off the plating on the jack socket spring. Eventually. However, as they sell a slightly abrasive jack plug designed to de-tarnish sockets, the plating isn't that soft to be damaged by an occasional plug. Many people have even jammed in bent and dented plugs that have been damaged by flight cases and boots in desperation. Damaging the sockets is pretty hard. You tickled it. Forget it!
  14. MadModBassist


    Jul 16, 2009
    Thank you so much for such a detailed response! This is good stuff to know. I didn't stop to consider that it's actually better for the jack to be this tight than for it to be loose, but that makes plenty of sense. I will definitely rest easy from now on! Thanks very much for the advice!

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