Gold Tipped Cables

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by theshadow2001, May 31, 2005.

  1. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Just talking to my bands guitarist there and I mentioned that I needed some new instrument cables. He mentioned some brand that I can't even remember and said that they were really good quality and were gold tipped.

    Now to me a chain is only as good as its weakest link and if something has gold tipped connectors what difference does that make to the quality of the signal since there's about six feet of copper running between the two gold connector.

    I know that gold is a better conductor than copper but what odds does a little bit of gold make when your using mostly copper anyways?

    Infact why shell out loads of money for a cable when all you really need is good solder joints and possibly a bit of shielding?

    Just wondering what peoples experience and opinions on the matter was
  2. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Most "Gold" connectors have about .01% gold in them. I bet if you took some bolt cutters and cut it in half you would find that the metal is guite thin too. I have done this with monster cables and found it to be pretty amusing.

    Believe what you want. Some people will argue till the day they die that their gold this or that is far superior than anything ever concieved by man, quite possibly its alien technology, meanwhile some will tell you that good ol' fashioned switcrafts are all you need and everything else is a conspiracy to dupe you into buying crap you don't need. Listen to both cables and make your own judgement call. I personnally use Canare GS-6 cable and Canare or Neutrik connectors. Still sounds like bass coming out my rig, so I must be doing something right.
  3. lowrez

    lowrez no.

    Nov 27, 2004
    New Englandish
    Actually copper is a better conductor than gold. Golds one advantage aside from looking pretty is its resistance to corrosion.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I couldn't give a crap about cables. I buy the ones that are on sale. I find that they make little, if any, difference in tone. I think Monster cables are a joke, and I think the ends don't make a bit of difference what they're made of. The only thing that makes any difference is length of cable.
  5. thisSNsucks


    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    My storie's like this, after a few months when I first started out with a no name cable, I started getting horrible noises through my amp. The cable was of course bad, so I went to GC and the sales rep told me how good monster cables were. I bought one and a few weeks later it crapped out on me. So I went back and got another for free because it was still under warantee. Few weeks later, same story. Now I use gold plated Planet Waves cable that I've had for about a year, never any troubles. Maybe the fact that its gold doesnt make a difference to me but the fact that its the most reliable I've used definatly makes me a fan.
  6. TheMinotaur


    Jun 5, 2005
    I used to make my Own My Father was an Electrical Engineer and he had access to anytype or wire I needed So I bought a whole roll. I got Tips and used the Best Sodder(Sp?) my father could get. I do agree though that Cables dont make much of a difference in the sound quality but the durability is what counts. I dont use Cables anymore everything is wireless in my Studio.
  7. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    Get Monster Cables.
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Get a decent cable (e.g. Klotz) and Neutriks and learn to make your own.
    Gold is a waste.
  9. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    I believe cable DOES make a difference in sound. There are a few factors that make this so. The gauge of the wire as well as the shield changes the capacitance of the cable. This can act as a high pass filter dependant on the instrument. The type of shield used can allow interference into your cable. When cables are coiled tight, run over, stepped on, yanked, etc, they start breaking the internal wires. A good quality cable will be more durable when abused.

    Gold connectors have, basically, the same electrical properties as the nickel. The use of Gold comes in handy if you plug in your equipment then don't unplug it for a while. IE: Recording studio's, racked gear. Whenever you plug/unplug your connectors it is actually cleaning them. The Gold will maintain it's connectivity due to lack of oxidation as Lowrez stated.

    Get a cable you can have confidance in. It's a real drag when it fails onstage! :bawl:

  10. i use hot lines, the ones with the gold tips :p , but not because of that, because of the PVC cable covering, they're a bit more heavy duty and dont coil up as they rather cheap and the pair that ive had have last over a year each....i paid about $26aus each, i cant remember if they're 10 or 15ft, i think 15
  11. Kaboom


    Jun 13, 2005
    aside from this forum, i also lurk in a HI-FI forum, and the flame wars that take place there around cables can get extremely heated.
    Gold actually sucks as a conductor. Silver is the best, followed by copper, followed by gold, which lags WAY behind.
    The deal with gold is that it doesnt rust, and therefore the connection is always perfect. In a world in which people are paying 5000 dollars for 4 meters (12 feet) of speaker cable, many argue that gold plated connectors are essential. However we are talking about perfect listening rooms, where every piece of the system is close to sonic perfection.
    In a gig with people yelling and cheering, with several thousand watts of sound and where the amount of distortion is absolutely intolerable by the standards of audiophiles, the sonic quality of the cable is pretty much meaningless (assuming a CERTAIN degree of quality, of course. If you have an RF antenna as a cable, then u really should get sth else).
    Bottom line. Cables do make a slight difference, but often REALLY small. Get a cable that wont crap out when you're jumping and bumping into your guitarist (for those of you that do that kind of thing). I'd say no need to go gold or exotic for instrument cables.
  12. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    So when these guys setup using their mega $$$ cables and gold tips do they also wear certain clothes to add or detract from the sound? You know, like fuzzy shirts to soak up the sound or Silk to reflect it more?


  13. Kaboom


    Jun 13, 2005
    there's all kinds of snake oil in that hobby. I mean there are more or less sensible people like me who draw a line. Cables DO make a CERTAIN difference. anyone in this forum can hear the difference between a system cabled with 10$ interconnects and 150$ interconnects. And possibly between 150 and 1500$ interconnects, but the point of diminishing returns arrives QUICKLY.
    In my experience, usually the speakers make the greatest difference, and that's where the point of diminishing returns arrives the latest.
    But there are other people who are convinced that you need to (check this out) BURN THE CABLES IN, meaning that it makes a difference in the sound once they've been used for a few hundred hours...
    not to talk about suspended cables, water-insulated cables... etc etc etc.
    But really, with the more sensible stuff you can really hear a difference. Are you willing to pay what they're asking for being able to actually pinpoint the location of every violin in a 24 violin section in a huge orchestra? and are you gonna pay the extra megabux so that u can know where the concertino is?
    While people here at talkbass find it stupid to spend 300$ on .5 meters of cable, people at spending 2000$ on a mid-quality bike wont understand why the hell anyone here would pay that amount for a bass, when its "only" a lump of wood with 4 strings and a few bits of metal...
    Oh and i do use cotton gloves to handle some of my vinyl (not all), because when you paid 240$ for a signed copy of Dark Side of the Moon, the sole idea of getting the slightest scratch on it makes you puke.
  14. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound

    AWESOME! :hyper:
  15. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    I don't care what kind of instrument cable I use.

    On the other hand, correct and quality speaker cable is important, especially with longer runs in a PA. If you can afford it, use 12 guage. Neutrik Speakon connectors are ideal for me.
  16. Kaboom


    Jun 13, 2005
    hey pbd, if u are into vinyl (or just want sth FRICKEN COOL to hang on your wall) check ebay for signed LPs. I got DSOTM and Tubular Bells so far. If u stick to the reputable sellers, you can be sure they are authentic.
    The black DSOTM cover with all signatures in bold red REALLY does kick some serious ass...
  17. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    Thanks Kaboom....I enjoy listening but I've not acquired the 'vynel bug' yet. I appreciate others hobbies though.
    My hobby; 70 Monte Carlo, 71 Buick skylark/GSX clone, 63 Corvair Monza....besides bass of course!

    travatron4000 that looks like something I would use to dress the engine compartment on my 1970 Monte Carlo :eek: :D I don't see many failure points for that cable! How much do they cost?
  18. travatron4000


    Dec 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    i got mine for $20 US (+shipping, i think, it was a while ago) on E-bay from a nashville shop called guitar heaven. killer deal. it has the really nice neutrik connectors on it too. my only complaint is that it rolls when you step on it and when i'm jumping around with my punk band i've almost bitten it. :D
  19. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    :eek: Sounds like you need a good wireless :hyper: